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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Offering Your Best

As we mature as believers our understanding of God’s Word should grow as well. A deeper understanding of the Word of God can only occur if we spend time hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on it. Next week we'll be having a VBS at my church. It's where a lot of us learned many Bible stories. One of my favorites is the account of Jesus feeding over 5,000 people. We learned as children about Jesus’ love, using a little boy’s lunch, and the great miracle that followed. By digging deeper into this passage we can learn Biblical truths that give us direction, and help us grow in Christ.

We can learn lessons in giving, receiving, and blessings when we are doing God’s work. First we must be willing to give whole heartedly to the work of the Lord. The boy in this story gave all he had to Jesus. In his eyes and those around him it sure didn’t seem like much, but because of his faithfulness, and belief that Christ can truly do all things, something unexpected was about to occur. In our lives, we may feel that what we have to give isn’t much, but when we give it all to Him, heaven rejoices. What in your life do you need to turn over to the Lord for His kingdom’s work? He is waiting for you.

If you notice, Jesus didn’t go looking for food, but accepted what was offered to Him. God is funny like that. He told a group of church people one time that after a poor widow gave a couple of coins in the collection plate that she was the greatest giver. Why? Because she gave all she had. Jesus wants us to give our gifts of service, money, talents, and resources to do His work. When we have that same giving heart as the widow, God will accept it, multiply it, and allow us have it back to use it in ways we can never imagine.

Jesus took the fish and loaves and blessed them, and then He gave it to the people there. The disciples distributed the food, everyone ate all they could, and there were 12 baskets of leftovers! When Jesus blesses what we have entrusted to Him, it will come back to us many times over. Just think about what God can do with your offering. Probably something we could never expect, but we will be amazed at what He can do through willing followers. Amen?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Focus

“Memorial Day is an official holiday in most states of the United States. It was observed on May 30 until 1971, when for federal employees, the date was changed to the last Monday in May. With the exception of Louisiana, all states observing Memorial Day adopted the change. It is also known as Decoration Day.

The custom of placing flowers on the graves of the war began on May 5, 1866, in Waterloo, NY, and Waterloo has been recognized by Congress as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, then president of the Grand Army of the Republic, declared that May 30 would be a day to decorate with “flowers the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.”

After World War I the day was set aside to honor the of all American wars, and the custom was extended to pay homage to deceased relatives and friends, both military and civilian. The most solemn ceremony conducted on Memorial Day is the placing of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns located in Arlington national Cemetery.

Some Southern states observe Confederate Memorial Day--April 26 in Georgia, the last Monday in April in Alabama and Mississippi, and May 10 in South Carolina. Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina do not observe the general holiday, and in Virginia the last Monday in May is called Confederate Memorial Day.”
- From the Encyclopedia Americana, 1991 edition

Many people see it as just a day off; a 3 day weekend. But for those who have lost someone because of war or military action, it means much more than a day off. In fact, every American ought to recognize this day out of his patriotic duty to his country and in honor of those who spilled their blood to make America what she is today--free, strong, and a nation worth fighting for.

Because men and women have died for this country, we have the right to preach God’s word freely. We have the right to live at peace in our own homes. We have the right to pursue peace, prosperity and happiness. Thank God for those who died to make us free. Amen?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Sunday

Memorial day is more than just a long weekend or the start of summer. It exists so we can set aside time to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. My family has fought in every war since the American Revolution. Some will be remembered today for their sacrifice. It does not matter is you have not lost someone directly to war - it matters because we are a free country. Thousands of men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Today we honor their lives and pray for their families.


I have read the following at many funerals. Look at the words and allow them to minister to a loss that you have had. It's called, With Hope


You left us with the memory of your smile,
And nothing we can do, And nothing we can say,
Can take away the pain, The pain of losing you,
But we can cry with hope,
Cause we believe with hope,
 There’s a place by God’s grace,
 There’s a place where we’ll see your face again.


Through the cloud of tears,
I see the Father’s smile and say well done,
 And I imagine you,
 Where you most wanted to be,
Seeing all your dreams come true,
 Because now you’re home, and now you’re free,
And we have this anchor because we believe,
That everything God promised us is true,
So, we wait with hope, and we ache with hope,
We hold on with hope, we let go with hope. - Steven Curtis Chapman


Thank you Jesus for the blessing of hope. May America bless God on this day and always. Amen?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Talk About It

I find it very interesting on how my health journey has opened conversations with people who are resistant to hearing the Gospel. But they will freely talk about diet, clarity of mind and exercise. There was a nurse that I had been trying to witness to at my Dr.’s office for a couple of years.  I went in for an appointment and she asked me if I lost weight, and commented that I had a “healthy” glow. Then she asked the question, “What kind of plan or diet are you on?” I explained I was on a new life-style plan that included exercise, a diet change, and helping my outlook on things. We went on to talk about specifics then I told her the name of the plan. She asked, “Who is Daniel?” That is the open door that we need to pray for. Let someone ask the question then be ready to share God’s great plan for their life.

Telling people about Jesus has been part of the plan from the very beginning. Mary, a friend and follower of Jesus, was the first to see Him after He rose from the dead. Jesus said to her, “Mary. "She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:16-18

In other words, “
Now that you know the truth, Go and tell”. I love a simple plan. Don’t you? What part do you think you’re supposed to play in God’s plan today?
Is your life in a place where you can fully embrace God’s plan today and play your part? If not, what steps do you need to take? Take time today to do business with God, and get on His plan.

Begin looking forward today with a new plan for your life. God promises, But I will restore your health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 30:17 

Change someone else's life today. Share Jesus. Amen?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Serve Somebody

You cannot make life changes without first realizing who you serve. Bob Dylan wrote a song about all different kinds of people, choices, and lifestyles and makes a point that is true about everyone. The chorus says,  But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed, You're gonna have to serve somebody, It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, But you're gonna have to serve somebody. "Gotta Serve Somebody"

So in other words, Who is your King?

What or who controls your actions, moods, and thoughts? The Bible makes it clear who your King should be. Jesus asked the disciples,  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. —Matthew 16:13-17

God reveals through Peter, Jesus' identity and made sure every one heard it. Later on in Jesus' earthly ministry He exposes the truth about His identity.

“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.—John 8:57–59

In the final days prior to Jesus’ death, He made it clear—even before the Jewish “supreme court”—just who He was: Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I Am…” —Mark 14:61–62 


We must have this part right before addressing our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. Make Jesus your King. He promises, I will restore your health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 30:17 

Change your life today. Serve Jesus. Amen?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tracking With Me

One element of change that we can all work on is our Focus. Clarity of mind is so important. No more brain fogs, sadness, depression, or feeling doomed to mental disorders! Doesn't that sound awesome? With God all things are possible. The problem is that we want short cuts and to do things our own way.

Recently I saw a commercial that asked, What is focus? Focus is having absolute clarity and alertness. Owning your opponent. Knowing you got this! Keeping your eye on the ball, and hitting it out of the park. Own the zone, on target, and on your toes. On top staring the world in the face saying bring it on! Focus is power. Focus is life... It was a commercial for an energy drink! 


Romans 12:2 says, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Be about doing life God's way and under His leadership. Know, obey, and believe in His promises.

Philippians 2:13 - For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Ephesians 3:16 -  I ask that he will strengthen you in your inner selves from the riches of his glory through the Spirit. (CEB)
Philippians 4:8 - From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.

Follow God's Word and plan for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Jesus promises, I will restore your health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 30:17  Change your life today. Strive for the focus God desires for you to have. Amen?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Caring God

God cares deeply about your mental and emotional health and restoration. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 says,  Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and a good hope. May he encourage your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do or say.

God's love and grace is offered to everyone. Through these wonderful gifts you can find encouragement, strength, comfort, and hope for today and eternity. His focus in our lives can be applied to everything we think, do, or say. God's way not our way is the best way!

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.- 2 Timothy 1:7 

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? - Galatians 5:16-18 (MSG)

Follow God's Word and plan for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Jesus promises, I will restore your health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 30:17  Change your life today. Strive for the focus God desires for you to have. Amen?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Setting Goals

Please spend time contemplating and praying about these ideas from The Daniel Plan.

FIVE REASONS WHY I NEED TO SET PERSONAL GOAL 

1.   Goal setting is a spiritual discipline.
      “God plans to bring all of history to its goal in Christ. Then Christ will be the head of everything in heaven and on earth!” Eph.1:10 (GW)

2.   Goals focus my energy.
      “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.”      1 Cor. 9:26 (NCV)
      “Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.” Eph. 5:16 (NLT)

3.   Goals stretch my faith.
       “According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matt. 9:29
      “Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Rom.14:23

4. Goals build my character.
      Paul: “I do not claim that I’ve already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving toward the goal for which Christ Jesus has won me to himself.” Phil. 3:12 (TEV)
      “Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him.” Eph. 4:13 (CEV)

5.   Goals give me hope.
      Job: “I do not have the strength to endure. I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on.” Job 6:11 (NLT)
      “The plans I have for you are plans to prosper you, not to harm you. They are plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11 (NIV) 


I hope you are encouraged to do something to make your life healthier and happier. God desires you to be your best, and will help you. I will restore your health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 30:17 

Change your life today, and set some goals. Amen?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Applying Wisdom

We can learn a lot from Psalm 73 about almost slipping and how to protect ourselves. Read this with yourself in mind and God speaking directly to you.

   1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that,  I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, 
it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;  I will tell of all your deeds.

Let us thank you Jesus for His love, counsel, and wisdom. Amen?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Instructions

A few years ago I was using the ATM at my local bank. It’s set up like a lot of banks with a set of glass doors to the machine and then another set in to the bank. I always watch the people coming in while I’m making a withdrawal. I saw this man coming in the door at a pretty good clip. He comes in the first set of doors and turns right behind me and runs right in to the glass wall!

He falls to the ground hard, and his file and papers going flying. I turned and helped him to his feet. As I picked up his papers I asked if he was okay. He replied, “What happened?” I told him he ran in to a wall. He said, “That’s impossible! The man from this bank told me to come through the doors and turn right and I’d be at his desk.”  

Well, he was okay and went on through the second set of doors (and turned right) to his appointment. I thought now there is someone who takes instruction literally!

Even though it was kind of funny I can appreciate someone taking and following directions to the letter. Jesus said, “If you love me then obey my commands”. Makes you think. If God spoke literally to us and told us to go and do this or that would we?

Wait a minute, I think He did. Amen?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

What Time Is It?

God is calling us to be about His agenda, purpose, timing, and perfect will. It is time that we truly seek revival and renewal to be God’s children. We need to love and worship Him alone with all our heart, mind, body, and soul. Are we ready to get off the slippery slopes and sinking sand to stand on the only firm and sure foundation, the Rock of our salvation Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God? Shall we set about trying to recover that “first love” and joy of knowing Christ? Will we be willing to listen and obey God’s increased demand call on our lives, time, finances, heart, and actions? Will we help our neighbors and country to hear the truth, that we do trust in, want to bless, and will strive to be “One nation under God”?  I believe it’s time!

In 1963 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood before God and the country in front of the Lincoln Memorial and said these words: I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together and, to stand up together.

The Word of God says in Numbers 12:6, he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. Today we find our situation like the one found in 1 Samuel 3:1, the boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.  The Bible prophesies in Acts 2:17, “‘in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
It is time “even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow” to have a dream. Realize that God is in charge, and he can do all things. By His strength and in His will He can use us as part of His purpose and plan. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together and, to stand up together. By God’s Word He will reveal Himself and give the vision for our church and country, but we must turn to Him in faithfulness, obedience, and love. Amen?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Good Answer

If God is willing to forgive His enemies then do we have the right not forgive ours? Christ told us to love our enemies. Who are you angry at or hold a grudge? Let’s take a look at a man who was angry at God in Jonah 4:1-4  But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

 Four attributes of God that we need to follow are:

1. God is gracious and compassionate.
2. God is slow to anger.
3. God is abounding in love.
4. God relents from sending calamity.

Jesus tells us to follow His example. We have the right to question God but, He also has the right to question us! What is He asking you to get over and move on from?
 
 With God's strength every set-back can be a come-back!

 Don’t miss giving the grace that you have received. Amen?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Honest Grace

What are  the results of confession? - Receiving, Restoring, and Recognizing!

Receiving God’s mercy and kindness.

“If you hide your sins, you will not succeed. If you confess and reject them, you will receive mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 ncv)

“God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again.” (Psalm 51:1–2 ncv)

Restored relationships.

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:10–11 esv)

Recognizing God’s power on display.

“Many of the believers began to confess openly and tell all the evil things   they had done . . . So in a powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing.” (Acts 19:18, 20 ncv)
 
Will you confess and risk honesty with God this week?

Allow God's grace to change you and your life. Amen?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

It Matters

Do you know you matter to God? The world says your identity is “in your possessions, talents, tattoos, kudos, or accomplishments.” And that you are defined by “your divorce, deformity, debt, or dumb choices.” —Max Lucado   
 
The Word says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“If God loves you, you must be worth loving. If he wants you in his kingdom, then you must be worth having. God’s grace requires you to change your attitude about yourself and take sides with God against your feelings of rejection.” —Max Lucado

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:13–14)
 
Don't miss God's grace. Amen?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Listening Up

Every time I do a funeral of a person whose life is cut short because of bad decisions I wonder what went wrong. It's a real tragedy with many questions that might never get answered. Answers and hope at a time like this can only come from God. We need to look (up) and listen (obediently) to the Lord.

 The psalmist begins with his eyes looking up...


Lord, you are the God who saves me;
    day and night I cry out to you.
May my prayer come before you;
   turn your ear to my cry.

Then he looks at the world and starts his lament.
 I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. I am set apart with the dead,  like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care. You have taken from me my closest friends  and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape;  my eyes are dim with grief.  Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?


Then he looks back up from where our help really comes from.

I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. 
I cry to you for help, Lord
in the morning my prayer comes before you.

How's your life - are
you looking up for your help or looking out? 
Are you listening?


Monday, May 16, 2016

High Ground

Spiritual battles take place all around us. Let's take a page from our American history books to learn a lesson about making decisions. On the battlefield discernment is critical. An officer leading his men into battle must be able to make decisions quickly and accurately. Decisiveness can spell the difference between victory and defeat. During the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee, one of the greatest military strategists to ever wear an American uniform, knew this well. He was fond of saying that “battles neither turn on a division or a brigade let alone a company or a squad. Rather, battles turn on the will of a man holding a rifle who takes aim or takes to heel.” Battles turn on individual decisions. Such was the case of the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Lee, with a force of over a hundred thousand Confederate troops, had marched through Maryland and into the lush Pennsylvania countryside. With surprise and speed on his side, Lee took to the offensive and pushed into the city. He knew that the Union army was to his rear and that by the next day he would be facing them. Nonetheless, there was high ground just outside of the city, a hill called Culp’s Hill. With the city under occupation and his artillery on that hill, Lee could command the approach of the Union army and put them on the defensive. However, everything hinged on taking that hill.

The hill was on Lee’s left flank directly in the path of General Richard Ewell’s corps. Lee sent a message to General Ewell directing him to “take that hill if feasible.” As Ewell’s corps advance through Gettysburg and over the field leading to Culp’s Hill, the Union Army began to pour into the Gettysburg countryside. Elements that had been routed earlier in the day were streaming eastward toward General Meade’s Union army encampment on Cemetery Ridge just to the east of Culp’s Hill. If Ewell could take that hill, his guns would be trained right down upon them. Ewell paused his forces. What should he do? Should he attack with full force and push them off the hill? Should he take a small detachment and engage the enemy for strength? Should he stop his advance and wait until the next day’s light? Ultimately, Ewell decided to do nothing. Two days later the Confederate Army, defeated, straggled back toward the Potomac River and the safety of Virginia. The moment had been lost. The day had been lost. The battle had been lost. And, ultimately, the war had been lost. For the sake of a moment’s indecision, all had been lost.

Ewell risked failure because he couldn’t make a timely decision. Only one decision, but so much depended upon that moment’s value. When you think about it, our lives are like that terrible battle. Satan’s army lies before us waiting to destroy us. God is behind us, though. He tells us to take the high ground and put the foe on the defensive. We can either advance or retreat. But, remember, this battle hinges on your ability to be discerning. Delay can be costly when you are fighting the good fight. Every moment has its value. We should live life in a spirit of knowing this and accepting our responsibility to understand that our decisions, good and bad, are critical to the path we walk in this life. Obedience to God's plan and ways are always best.

Remember to always choose to be on God's high ground.
Amen?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Don't Miss It

God's Word is so deep that you will never get to the bottom of it! It sure is fun to "dig in to it" though. Hebrew 12:15 tells us, "Don't miss God's grace". This is a key passage to begin "grace" learning. Today let's look at the New King James version of verses 14-16.
14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.

God's peace and holiness is available to all people. Christ followers are to share His grace in a world filled with bitterness and trouble. We are warned not to trade the eternal gift of God for the temporary things of this world. 

 Receive God's eternal grace not the world's temporary pleasures.
Amen?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

God-Shaped Heart

There are so many modern day medical miracles. I am amazed by what they can replace and fix in our bodies. They can give you a heart transplant but cannot change your "heart". Surgeons cannot remove lust, hatred, envy, or any kind of sin. Praise God He can!

Ezekiel 36:26, “
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” –
 
 Do you need a change of heart?

God's grace is the key to this change for a God-shaped heart.
 
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:14-15
 
Receive God's grace not the world's troubles. Amen?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Rest in Grace

Trying to be “good enough” to achieve salvation  never works, because we are not perfect. “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48 esv)

“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.’ Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ But the law is not of faith, rather ‘The one who does them shall live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:10–14 esv)

Grace has to be one God’s best ideas for sinful people. We contribute nothing. He contributes everything. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 nkjv)

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” (2 Timothy 1:9) The certainty of God's promised grace replaces endless effort—we can rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Accept and rest in God's grace today. Amen?