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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lights Out


When I graduated from college I shared an apartment with a friend of mine. We were two typical guys that didn’t pay a lot of attention to what was going on around us. One day someone came in to our place and ask why it was so dark. At first, we weren’t sure what they were talking about. It didn’t seem dark to us. Upon further inspection, we discovered half of all our light bulbs were burned out! We hadn’t noticed because they didn’t go out at once, but one at a time. Our eyes had adjusted over time, so we couldn’t tell the difference.

Sin is that way sometime. It can creep up on us, and before we know it we have pushed God out of our lives. That is why it is so important to keep the light of God shining on our lives. Jesus is called the Light of the World, and he does bring light in to darkness. We are also told, Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path. – Psalm119:105. Stay in the Word! It brings clarity to your world, and guides you in truth.

Wise up – keep the lights on!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Know and Follow

To be a good follower of Christ you must remember the Word that He taught! His teachings were truly revolutionary…not against any government or nation…but against the sinful philosophy of an unregenerate world.


He taught of holiness: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48.


He taught of loving your enemies: “But I say unto you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Luke 6:27-28.


He taught of forgiveness: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14.



He taught on so much more, but if you can “master” these three you will show His light and Truth in this dark world. Remember you can’t follow someone very well if you don’t know them. Know and follow Jesus.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Followhood

We have all heard of being part of the “hood” or priesthood, motherhood, fatherhood, etc. What would a group of sold out followers be called? Are you part of Jesus’ “followhood”? Jesus said in John 12:26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.



People have said they will follow Christ when their lives get straightened out. We all know that will never happen.

I've heard that insanity can be defined as: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Another way to say it would be; Doing the same old things & expecting a different outcome. 

If we are not following Christ then we cannot complain about our circumstances. The original believers were called “Christ Followers”, and that is what we should be about doing in our daily lives.



Remember - “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”



Be part of the "Followhood" – be a Christ Follower.

Amen?

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Counting Steps


Jesus called His disciples by saying, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. They left their nets and boats and turned their lives over to Him. In essence he does the same with us we are called to “Follow Him”. As we turn our lives over to His will and ways we will be taught how to share the Gospel (be Fishers of men).



Most of my family wear a "fitbit" - it counts our steps each day. We can see how each other have done during the day, week, or lifetime. Yes, it has become something of a competition to see who gets in the most steps! What if we all all wore a "Jesus-bit" with the ability for us to see how we are doing in our walk with Christ? Interesting concept, but be assured someone is counting...

Jeremiah 10:23 -I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.



Proverbs 16:9- In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

 In order to follow someone, you turn away from your past life of sin, turn your life over (towards) to Christ, and take the steps necessary to follow Him

Galatians 5:24-25 –Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.



1 Peter 2:21 - To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.



Keep in step with Christ. Amen?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

In Step

I recently read a book by the famous preacher C H Spurgeon who over a hundred years ago had this to say about following Christ.

"Brethren remember, to keep close to Jesus Christ is right. It is in itself to keep close to integrity, for the Lord Jesus never stepped out of the right path. He never asks any of his followers to do anything which be a breach of the right, or which will make them turn aside from uprightness. If we could put our feet down exactly where his feet went down, even though we had to walk up to Calvary itself, it would be our duty so to do, for his path was perfect rectitude, and in him was no sin. We challenge heaven, with its omniscience, to detect a flaw in him. We challenge hell, with its malice, to discover in him an aught that is amiss. Lovers of the right and of the true, ask grace that you may be as he was. You cannot be more eminent for virtue than he. You cannot serve your God better. You cannot do better than keep close to every step that he has taken, and, whether in life or in death, to follow him. It is right, then, because he deserves it; it is right, again because in itself it is according to the eternal rules of equity."

Some things never change regardless of time. Jesus’ path was perfect may our desire be to follow Him as closely as possible.
Follow the Leader - Jesus, everyday.
Amen?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Following Truths


God honors a consistent life of obedience and faithfulness. From the time of our salvation till we go to heaven we must keep our focus vertical - on Him always. Our marching orders all the same. Jesus said in Luke 9:23-26 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?  Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.



Three truths we must remember to follow Christ:



The DESIRE to Follow (v.23)

Following Jesus requires a deeper knowledge of God, a deeper desire to pray before acting, and a more serious reflection about the Christ found in Scripture. (“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13)



The DENIAL of Self (vv.24-26)

To follow Christ means to renounce one’s will and ways

By living for ourselves we die, by dying to ourselves we live. (Born twice die once)



The DAILY Walk (v.23)

Every new idea should be born of prayer, quiet reflection, and careful consideration of the steps and thoughts and heart of Jesus. (Daily dying to self)



Go and preach the Gospel, and if you must, use words.”- St Francis



Be consistent in your walk with Jesus. Put a smile on God's face.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

God's Authority

We know by many Biblical passages that Jesus proved he has authority or victory over death. 93 times the Word of God we see authority is used mostly in the New Testament concerning Jesus and His authority.



How does this authority play in to your relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior?



Look at the definition:

1. the power to determine or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.

2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization:

3. a person in whom authority is vested

4. a person having the legal power to make and enforce the law

5. an accepted source of information or advice



Does Jesus have authority over your life?



That’s the only way to know victory! Amen?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

God's Delight

The word delight means "joy, gratification., satisfaction, gives great pleasure. "What gives delight to God? The prayers of a righteous person, someone who knows and understands Him will give God delight. Here is an acrostic of the word DELIGHT to help guide us.
 
How to Delight God in Your prayer Life:
Desire – Proverbs 15:8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

Edify - Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Lead – Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life:
Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Intercession – 1 Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone

Grow – James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything

Hear – James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Thanks – Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Of all the motivations to pray, none is greater than this. Think of prayer differently. Instead of a duty or drudgery, it's a delight. Amen?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Peace in Action


In Max Lucado’s book, Six Hours One Friday, he speaks about the disciples being paralyzed in the Upper Room. They came back there after Jesus’ arrest and death on the cross.

John 20:19a - On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders,
-         Trained and taught but didn’t know what to say
-         Marched for 3 years but now they sat
-         As they looked at the walls of the upper room they also looked inside themselves in self-examination
-         They could not forget Jesus and even though they fled, they came back together
-         This was the beginning of the first church

Upper room futility
-         enough religion to come together but not enough passion to go out
-         a little bit of faith but no fire
-         good people, ideas, plans, meetings, and intentions but the door remained locked

John 20:19b-22 - Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Only one thing can change this futility – They saw Jesus and received His joy, forgiveness, peace, and Holy Spirit.

The same is true for churches today. Be changed – seek the risen Lord.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Take-away


What "takeaway" did you receive this Easter?

Jesus spoke directly in to the lives of His disciples on Resurrection Sunday, and speaks to us as well. The thing that resonates with me is how He greeted His friends after He arose from the dead. He didn't go in to a great sermon or an explanation about what happened. He simply said, Peace



We tend to miss this in our studies. We spend time on other details. We grin at Thomas' reaction of Jesus showing up just after he had said he wouldn't believe unless he touched Christ's wounds.



I'm sure Jesus was pleased that His doubting friend fell to his knees proclaiming Jesus Lord. Jesus said it was greater to believe and to have not seen. The writer of Hebrews teaches on this same aspect of faith. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1



What do you have faith or hope in? Is it seen or not seen?



Jesus said those with "blind faith" in Him are blessed. They will receive His peace.



If someone ever ask you to show them the evidence of Christ tell them to look at your believing heart. Allow His peace and light to shine in your life - the darkness will lose every time.



Thank you Jesus for your peace that I cannot comprehend, but humbly accept. Amen?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Truth Rises


Easter says you can put Truth in the grave but it won’t stay there! “But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.” -Acts 2:24



Eight Truths about the Resurrection:

1. Jesus’ grave was empty. No one doubts this!

2. Women discovered the empty tomb. - There were eyewitnesses!

3. The site of Jesus’ tomb was known. - It was public knowledge!

4. Nobody ever claimed the tomb still contained Jesus’ body.

- Conspiracy theories are made up!

5. The resurrection was the church’s proclamation from the beginning. - Changed lives are proof! (Cowards become bold evangelists)

6. The appearances of Jesus. - Over 500 people saw Him!

7. Skeptics were converted. - Thomas and Jesus’ brothers just to name a few.



8. The miraculous emergence of the church. - The first 50 years of the church saw unprecedented growth!



May we take the Truth of the Resurrection and apply them to our lives. Amen?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Remember Hope


In Matthew and Mark, it is reported that both thieves were mocking Jesus along with the crowd. As the hours wore on, however, one criminal’s conscience was smitten, and he repented. The repented thief rebuked the other and testified to Jesus’ innocence. His prayer reflected his belief that the soul  lives on after death; that Christ had a right to rule over a kingdom of the souls of me, and that He would soon enter that kingdom despite His impending death. His request to be remembered is a plea for mercy, which also reveals that the thief understood he had no hope but divine grace. All of this demonstrates true faith on the part of the dying thief. Christ graciously affirmed the man’s salvation, and offered paradise to the repentant thief on the cross



Luke 23:39-43 - One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.



Your hope in eternity brings you hope today. Amen?

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Good in Friday


Good Friday – What’s so good about it? 



The day that Jesus, Son of God, dies for the world in the cruelest of ways, and we call it Good Friday. The Sunday School answer would be it is good for what Christ did for me!



Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”  A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. - John 19:28-30 All that was needed to be done for our redemption was accomplished by this great act of love. 



Have you received His gift of salvation?

I invite any who are within driving distance to come to Hopewell Baptist church tonight at 6:45 to experience a reenactment of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. It could change your life.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mandatum

Today is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday It is the Thursday before Easter Sunday, observed by Christians in commemoration of Christ's Last Supper. The name Maundy is derived from mandatum (Latin for "mandate or commandment"). Jesus said not my will but God's will be done - it's doing God's plan His way.

In many churches, Communion is celebrated during the evening service to remind us of His obedience and sacrifice. Christ gave his followers at the Last Supper a commandment that they love one another (John 13:34).

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Are you showing the love of Christ? It’s mandated. Amen?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Really Listen


Let he who has ears to hear, use them” Jesus used this phrase eight times in the Gospels and eight times in Revelation. Look at James 1:22-24 –  22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. Don’t just listen but obey!



Look at the parable of the seed and the Sower found Luke 8:1-8  1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.  4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”



In all four cases the seed, the Sower, and the message are the same.

What’s different? – It’s the listener!





Listen and obey God’s Word – be changed this Easter season. Amen?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

One Man


I find it rather ironic that for the last 2,000 years the world has fought so hard to reject Jesus yet will still acknowledge Him. Holidays, laws, organizations, and society in general has been greatly changed and influenced by Jesus Christ. The reaction to Lazarus being raised from the dead was met with scorn by the religious authorities.

Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.  But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.  Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all!  You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation,  and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.  So from that day on they plotted to take his life. - John 11:45-53

Maybe it comes down to this: What are you more afraid of - man or God? The right answer is found throughout the Bible like: For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. - Psalm 96:4

Honor God with your life. Solomon said: "I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him."

Amen?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jesus' Voice


Throughout the story as told in John 11, Jesus said everything was occurring for God's glory. We have seen over the last few days that there was a lot of emotion and confusion but Jesus was ready to show His glory!

 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.  “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” - John 11:38-44


Who doesn't love this story? Many consider this Jesus' greatest miracle. 

Listen for Jesus' voice today - come out of "graves" that are keeping you from being in His presence! Take off the "grave clothes" of this world and bask in His glory! Live for Him, and join in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord! Amen?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Blessed Is He


The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” - Matthew 21:6-11



The people's cries of 'Hosanna' came from Psalm 118:25-26 25 LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.



Hosanna means "save now." Despite what Jesus had foretold about his mission, the people were looking for a military Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and restore Israel's independence.

When we say “Hosanna” are we looking at the temporal or the eternal (today or forever)?



Praise God! He can save us from our sin and punishment, so that we may be with Him forever and ever. Hosanna!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Jesus Weeps


Martha may have been disappointed and somewhat frustrated, but she had faith and knew her brokenhearted sister Mary had to come to see Jesus!

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.  Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” - John 11:28-37

Mary was very discouraged and emotional. She makes the same statement to Jesus concerning her brother's death, but it comes from her heart. It touches Jesus... and He weeps with her. 

What a beautiful scene of love, tenderness, and compassion from our Savior! Is your heart broken? Cry out to Jesus - He understands and will cry with you. Amen?

Friday, April 7, 2017

All Things


We have all been frustrated or disappointed in someone or a circumstance. The sister of the man who died really believed if Jesus would have came when He was notified that Lazarus would still be alive.

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.  “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God,who is to come into the world.” - John 11:17-27

Martha had faith but she didn't have the experience or knowledge that Jesus has authority over life and death. There is much to be learned here. We cannot base God's supernatural power on our human understanding. Remember the song, "Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to..."

Praise God that we can grow in our faith and believe, "All things are possible in Christ"! Amen?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spiritual Trust


Doubting may be in our human nature, but it should have no place in our spiritual trust in God. As we continue the story in John look at the confusion of the Disciples.

And then he (Jesus) said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you,and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,  and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” - John 11:7-16

The Disciples really didn't understand what Jesus was saying. All they knew was that going back to Judea was not going to end well for Jesus (and probably them). Sometimes we get get so focused on our self that we miss what Jesus is trying to tell or show us. 

Today, slow down, take a deep breath, look in a mirror, and ask God to please repeat what He has been saying to you! Then be obedient. Clarity is a beautiful thing... Amen?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Perfect Timing


When speaking of God's timing my friend would often say. "Four days late and right on time!". This of course is true. God's ways and timing are not ours - many times. It also refers to an event in the Bible from John chapter eleven. This story sets the tone for what the world would experience over the next ten days. With Palm Sunday coming next week I feel it would be good to revisit one of the greatest miracles of Jesus' ministry - bringing his friend back from the dead!
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. John 11:1-6
This is an incredible account in Jesus' ministry. One of His closest friends is deathly ill and Jesus doesn't rush to his bedside. Have you ever felt like this? You cry out to Jesus and then you don't hear His voice or feel His presence? I'm sure we all have, but know this - He does hear you. His way of dealing with your crisis might be totally different than what you had in mind.
Trusting in God means that we will do it His way and in His time (even when we don't understand or like it). Maybe God seems to be running late these days... or maybe we should ask Him to increase our faith.
Amen?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Expectations


For a long time, over 400 years after Israel returned from Babylonian captivity, God was silent. But there was hope. In the midst of being taken over by the Persians, then Greeks, and then the Romans God’s promises were still true. His greatest promise of sending a Savior to the world was yet to come, and His people longed for this coming King.



The prophets foretold of God coming in the form of a man that would create a kingdom that would last forever. Then as now people had their own ideas about what God should and would do. The Jews wanted a conquering King to destroy the enemy and make Israel the mightiest nation on earth. Today  many have the wrong expectations of God. They expect Him to be like a genie in a bottle, and grant all our wishes to give us happy lives.



God always knows what is best for us, and we need to be more in tune with His plans and purposes for our lives.



The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them because they take refuge in him. Psalm 37:9-40



Praise God today and always for knowing what’s best for us Amen?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Change the World


Jesus told His disciples that they were going to "Change the World" in The Bible Series that was on TV. A friend of mine was put off by the comment because Jesus never said that in their version of the Bible. They're right - it's not said in mine either, but it certainly is stated loud and clear.



Jesus did change the world! His disciples took on His mantle and started churches all over the know world, and it grew faster and larger than any time since. That is real change - Amen?



Jesus said in Matthew 18:2-5, He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.



May we become more "child-like" as we accept how Jesus changes our lives and world as we follow Him. Change is good. Pray today, "Jesus change the world, starting with me".

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Learning To Be Humble

Jesus' disciple, Peter, was the one who tried to cut off the servant of the high priest’s ear in the middle of what was possibly 600 Roman soldiers gathered around him. Peter said he wouldn’t deny Jesus even if it meant death. But Peter had to learn that he wasn’t as strong as he thought. He had to learn he wasn’t always right. He had to learn to submit to the Lord with humility. He had to learn his ways weren’t always God’s ways. 

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. -
Matthew 26:33-35
God does that with us. He allows people, circumstances, and events in our lives to take place in order to sift us. He is preparing it for a purpose.
Because of this experience Peter can encourage others, like when he wrote in 1 Pet 1:7 “These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

God allows does allow us to be tested, so that we will rely more on Him. When trouble arises, may we give Jesus all the praise, honor, and glory that He deserves.