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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Counts

The prophet Jeremiah is said to have had the ministry of opposition. Do you ever feel like when you take a stand for Christ all you get is attacked? Be encouraged God is with you, and if you are being faithful then you put a smile on His face. That is what counts. 

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest '? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. "Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.… John 4:34-36

Put your heart, mind, and eyes focused on God's Harvest. That's what counts. Amen?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Working Right

Bill Hybels is famous for saying that the local church is the hope of the world. The rest of that quote is "when the church is working right". The Bible talks about the relationship between God and His church.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. - Jesus (John 15:9-17)

Let's focus on being the church we are called to be by Jesus' definition not ours. Amen?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Changed


There are religious people sitting in churches every Sunday who are as lost as the man in the following passage, because they have head knowledge, but no heart knowledge. Many people get involved with church, but not with Christ. People need to understand that the church can’t save you – only a relationship with Christ can save you…


9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.  10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. John 3:9-13

There is no doubt that religion (the church) will clean you up… it’ll make you look real good, but that’s only head knowledge. If a person is to be saved, his heart has to be changed – and that comes only from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ…

That’s the message Jesus was preaching to Nicodemus… Nicodemus, the seeker, came seeking answers about religion & Jesus told him, “It’s not about religion – it’s all about a relationship…” Being born again is a God thing – It’s all about the grace of God, not the grace of man. Amen?

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Follow Closely

I was recently reading 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. Amen?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Prevails


Today let's review four attributes of Prevailing Church models:


1. A dynamic spirit of worship and servanthood that becomes a magnetic for people needing help. (God honoring purpose)



2. A church where insincere people tend to fall away and sincere people throng to belong. (Faith oriented commitment)



3. Where the leaders have a God given vision. (They follow the Great Commission found in Matthew 28.)



4. Well prioritized values and well defined mission. (Uses Clarity – Movement – Alignment - Focus to guide them)



Does this apply to your church, or your Christian walk?

Focus on God and pray for your leaders. Amen?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Basic Trust

God doesn’t want you to be confused, and he will never lead you into confusion. If you’re having trouble figuring out which way to go, get back to the basics and trust that God will give you the guidance you ask for. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Take these steps to know God’s direction for your life.

I admit I need God’s guidance to make any decision.

I ask in faith for direction.

I listen for God’s response.

I trust God when I don’t understand.

Always ask God to give you guidance and obey.

Follow God's direction and you will never be lost. Amen?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jesus Calling Us

We see in Matthew 16:13-19 where Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah. 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 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. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

The correct teaching of this passage is that it is not about Peter! It's about the confession itself, those making the confession, and the Christ of the confession Himself are all ingredients of a church that will be so potent that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. The church is described as "prevailing"!

Most churches tend to be precautious – lifeless, powerless, visionless, defeated. This term describes a church that is free from failure only because of its unwillingness to attempt great accomplishments for the sake of God and His kingdom. They believe that they have:  Everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Prevailing means – gaining the advantage or mastery, being victorious, effective, lasting, stronger. This is term Jesus used to describe the character of His church. Their mission believes that they have:  Everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Come on church let's be the prevailing entity (in Jesus' Name)) that we're called to be! Amen?



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Following Him


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. He does the same today 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). Meditate on these verses:

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.

Galatians 5:24-25 –Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since 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.

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. Amen?

Monday, January 23, 2017

No Matter

God is real, no matter how you feel. “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the Earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” Job 19:25-27

It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life – when he has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant. How do you praise God when you don’t understand what’s happening in your life and God is silent? How do you stay connected in a crisis without communication? How do you keep your eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears?

You do what Job did: “Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’” Job 1:20-21

And remember what God has already done for you. Jesus gave up everything so you could have everything. He died so you could live forever. That alone is worthy of your continual thanks and praise. Amen?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Coming Back

God wants us to remember but not to live in the past. Looking back can sometimes cause you trouble. Just ask Mrs. Lot! Jesus has called for us to look forward – even in hard times. Take a look at these Bible verses.
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”Genesis 19:17
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.Genesis 19:26
The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; - Psalm 114:3
What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,” declares the LORD. - Jeremiah 46:5

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”- Luke 9:62

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” - Acts 1:11
Jesus is coming back! What will He find you focusing on?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our Best

A couple years ago there was a commercial where the Dad can’t afford a dog as a pet so he gives his kids a possum.  It was hilarious – when they tell their Dad it’s dead, he says, He’s just playing possum. Just then it jumps up and snarls at them! It’s funny but sad. Especially when we know we are all guilty of not giving our best to God all the time. 

Making better choices always involves doing it God's ways and giving your best. Check out what the Word says:

2 Timothy 2:15: " Do your utmost to present yourself to God, a workman with nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth aright."
Colossians 3:23; " Whatever you are doing, give your best to God, and not to men..."

Philippians 4:8: " Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.

In other words, always give your best! You’ll not regret it, and it will put a smile on God’s face.

Remember - Don’t give God a possum when He asks for a dog! (well you know what I mean...)

Friday, January 20, 2017

What's Due

I preached a Revival years ago titled, 99 1/2% Won't Do. I came across words to a song I wrote for that series recently. It is a good reminder that God deserves 100% - heart, mind, body, and soul.

We have an invitation, to be part of God's Plan,
 It's been His will, since time began,
Mediation, through the Way, Truth and Life,
Loved forever, and always by our side!

99 1/2% won't do,
God has so much more for me and you,
And I know, I know it is true,
So in my life, Lord make all things new

The Revelation that God can do all things,
 Through the power, that the Holy Spirit brings,
With new strength, on eagle’s wings we'll soar,
No limitations, He will show you more!

Our participation, in God's eternal plan,
Should be "Yes, Lord here I am”,
He works through His people - every woman every man,
Faithfully serving Him now, All praises to the Lamb!

There’s anticipation, in what God's going to do,
I'll keep on searching for Him, watch my attitude,
May it be to me, in Your perfect will,
The Spirit's leading me now, my life to Him I yield!

100% is what I'll give to You,
Cause 991/2% won't do,
And I know, I know that it is true,
So in my life, Lord make all things new

100% is what I'll give to You,
Cause 991/2% won't do.
Amen?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Give an Offering


Romans 12:1  shows all believers what their life goal and offering should be, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

What is your offering to God?

Take your ordinary everyday life and place it before God as an offering.

Worship is saying: “I trust you” even when our eyes don’t see it - “Thy will be done” even when our hearts don’t feel like it-“I’ll follow you” even when our minds don’t understand it.

No greater act of worship than giving God all of you. Open your hands (even if you have to pry them open), and receive and give as He desires.

Make this your prayer:

“Dear God,  take my ordinary everyday life, and make it an offering to You.”

Amen?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Offering Too


The word “Offering” is by Strong’s definition: The act of: bringing to; setting before; sacrificing; presenting; a gift. It is used 728 time in the Bible, most (over half) in Leviticus and Numbers. In the Old Testament it deals with the sacrificial system set in place by God and performed by the priest in the Temple. It is used only 23 times in the New Testament. Where it is about:

Giving

Mark 12:41-44 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Giving from your heart)

Involvement
Philippians 4:18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. (Involvement in ministry)

Relationship

Mark 12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Relationship with God)

Matthew 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Relationship with others)

Your Life

1 Peter 2:5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house [Or into a temple of the Spirit] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (Your life)

Be intentional about all you do as an offering to God. Amen?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Designs

I spoke about these three key teachings last week, but today let's read through them. The next step will be applying them as we serve God. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you study them.

The Great Commandment shows our obedience and desire to live for God, Matthew 22:34-40 - 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The New Commandment concerns our witness and true Christian fellowship, John 13:34-35
-
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The Great Commission is about evangelism and discipleship, Matthew 28:18-20 -
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

May we always follow Jesus' purposes and designs for our lives. Amen?


Monday, January 16, 2017

Be Strong

One song that has encouraged me time and time again is Strong Enough  by  Matthew West. I don't know of the circumstances in which he wrote the song, but surely it was inspired by what Paul wrote about his struggles.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:10 
So whatever "thorn" you are dealing with today (cancer, loss, depression, heartache, brokenness) remember to accept God's grace and strength. It is enough...

You must, You must think I'm strong,
To give me what I'm going through
Well, forgive me, Forgive me if I'm wrong,
 But this looks like more than I can do On my own
I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up, I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough, Strong enough
For the both of us
Well, maybe, Maybe that's the point
To reach the point of giving up
Cause when I'm finally, Finally at rock bottom
Well, that's when I start looking up And reaching out
I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up, I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough, Strong enough
Cause I'm broken, Down to nothing
But I'm still holding on to the one thing
You are God and you are strong, When I am weak
I can do all things, Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don't have to be, Strong enough, Strong enough
I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be, I give up
I'm not strong enough, Hands of mercy won't you cover me


Make this your prayer today - Lord right now I'm asking you to be, Strong enough, Strong enough

Greater and stronger is He that is in you!
Amen?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wise Advice

The Scripture portrays wisdom as something that doesn’t come easily. To have wisdom implies many struggles with understanding. It’s when we don’t understand why things are working a certain way, that we are faced with the journey toward wisdom. We need to turn our ear, apply our heart, cry aloud, look and search. These are the skill sets needed to understand the fear of the Lord and knowledge of God. These are the patterns that expand our perspectives and give us wisdom.

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2:1-5 (NIV)
Open your mind to knowledge, turn your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.
Amen?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Following Christ

God's House should be welcoming and transforming by the power of the Holy Spirit. When church leaders decided that it should be something other than that Jesus got mad. We see an account of this in Matthew 21:12-13: 

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.

Jesus calls all believers to be transformed.

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 Romans 12:2

Don't follow the culture - follow Christ. Amen?


Friday, January 13, 2017

The Word

God’s Word is the Bible. We must apply the whole Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 to our lives. We are treading on dangerous ground when we start pulling out things we don’t like or agree with. Sure there will be different versions, interpretations, and at certain times in your life the Scripture itself will mean different things to you.
The Word of God is the absolute authority in determining the faith and practice of God's people (II Tim. 3:16,”All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”). The sixty-six books of the Bible are inerrant, divinely and uniquely inspired, and are given to mankind written as they were inspired by the Spirit of God . These Scriptures are divinely intended for personal study and interpretation, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:12,”For the Word of the Lord is living and active. Sharper than a double-edged sword it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”). 

Use the Bible this year to let God speak to you. Commit to making more time soaking in God’s Word. In any relationship, to make it grow, you must give it time. We can spend time in meditation and prayer with the Creator of the universe. Isn’t that awesome?

Embrace and live God's Word. Amen?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

For You

Twelve days in to the new year seems like a short time but for some this year is already overwhelming. Too much or too little seems to be in our constant vocabulary.

Do you ever feel that way?

Then take heart in that God's Word says: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:31

The impossible is what God does best. Remember God is for You! Say it right now, "God is for me!"

So if you are feeling "outnumbered" these days turn to God. He is on your side, so that makes you a winner.
 
Always look up when you are feeling down - that's where true help comes from.
Amen?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Give Mercy

Jesus shared a great illustration on grace and mercy found in Matthew 18:23–33.

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be    patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’”
 
Don't miss God's grace and mercy. Give as you have received.
Amen?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pits

1 John 1:8 says: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”. What this is saying that if someone came before God and claimed that he had not sinned recently then he would be deceiving himself & God’s truth was not in him. We all sin, but God has provided a recourse to our sins.

 In John 14:6, Jesus says, “ I am the Way, the Truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That is our hope, and we have God’s promise that if we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, that He will never leave us.

John 10:9-13, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As Scripture says Anyone who calls on Him will never be put to shame. It makes no difference if you are Jew or Gentile. The same Lord is Lord of All, and greatly blesses those who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”

When we sin if we take it to God & confess it He promises to not only forgive us, but also to purify us from all unrighteousness. So why wouldn’t we run to God & confess our sins immediately? Maybe we’re afraid, embarrassed, ashamed, or a combination of all three?

We are creating a spiritual “pit” when we do not confess our sins. We keep blowing it again and again. It is a viscous cycle that eats you up spiritually and takes you further from God. Run to God He already knows all about it. Confess your sin. He promises to forgive.

Confess and stay focused on Christ this year - stay out of the "sin pit". Amen?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hand in Hand

In 1 John chapter 2 we see God’s protection - “If anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ, the righteous One." It is because of our relationship with Jesus Christ that we can stand before the Father and get to heaven. We would not stand a chance without Him.

There is a story about a poor boy many years ago who had heard that the great evangelist, Dwight L Moody, was going to be preaching for one night at a church way across town. The boy so wanted to hear him that he took off bright and early and it took him the whole day to get to that big church across town. When he got there he saw a big staircase leading to a big door. He made it up the stairs and as he was walking in the door a big hand came down and grabbed him, and said what do you think your doing? He explained that he had taken all day to get there a and he was there for the services. The big man said you cannot come in here looking like that so be gone!
The boy was crushed, but decided he had not come all this way to be turned back out to the street. So he tried the side doors, the windows, and all around the building, but could not find a way inside. He walked back to the bottom of the big staircase sat down and began to cry. He did not notice but another big man was standing in front of him. “What’s  wrong son?” he asked. The boy still sobbing explained what had happened. When he was through with his story the big man put out his hand, and said, “Take my hand and come with me”. He did and climbed the big stairs again, but this time the big door was opened and he was allowed in. He walked hand in hand with the man to the front of the church where the big man and him sat on the front pew. A few minutes later the service started , and the big man walked up to the pulpit as Dwight L Moody was introduced.

Jesus Christ will do the same to us. We just have to put our hand in His! Amen?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Provision

We all appreciate new beginnings and starting off with a clean slate. In our relationship with God He calls us to obedience in following His standards. We all fall short but praise God He has made a provision for forgiveness.


 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

What if you’ve violated God’s standards? What can you do?
1. Repent – agree with God and change
2. Receive forgiveness – restoration and release of your sin
3. Refocus and replace sinful activities with Godly ones
4. Request help daily – God is faithful
God’s way is always the best way!

Start every day with a clean heart. Amen?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

No Neglect

Consider God’s instruction in Psalm 119:1-16 (NIV)
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— they do no wrong but follow his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Take this to heart and follow God's plan. Always live the Word. Amen?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Stay Faithful

I love this saying: "If God can keep a fish from getting salty, He can keep us morally pure!" In today’s world it’s hard to stay faithful to His plan for our life. We’ll take a look today at two ways that you can keep the standard and stay morally pure.

Make a commitment to God’s standard. - We need to publicly affirm God’s moral standard.

2 Timothy 2:22 - Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Manage your mind. - Immorality starts in the mind before it becomes an action.

Proverbs 4:23 - Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.

Be and stay faithful. Amen?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Following Commands

Jesus made three very clear commands while He was with us in his earthly ministry. These (3 Jesus Commands) are the life-blood in the life of a servant. Our purpose as God’s body is to serve God in the way He has called us to serve Him. The mission has not changed. But the approach to accomplishing that objective has changed. Time marches on yet God’s plans are timeless.

His desire to fulfill His word is the same now as it has been from the beginning that He created. And He has given you everything you need right here in His word. Take time to read and meditate on:

I. The Great Commandment, Matt 22:34-40

II. The New Commandment, John 13:34-35

III. The Great Commission, Matt 28:18-20

We as God’s church must together strive, to find God’s purpose for us, so that we may be obedient to Him in fulfilling His call to serve Him, One another, and Our neighbors.

You can make a difference, you must make a difference. God is counting on you to make a difference. Amen?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Service

A great question to ask ourselves at the beginning of a new year is, What does God want from me, and How do I know I am doing what Jesus wants me to do?

I am reminded of the following story. A little girl had been trying for months to learn the art of tying her shoes. She finally grasped the knack and could do it by herself. Her parents expected the child to be delighted, but were surprised by her disappointment. Her father asked why she was crying. She sobbed, "I just learned how to tie my shoes." He said, "That’s wonderful, Honey, but why are you crying?" She replied, "Because now I’ll have to do it all by myself for the rest of my life."

Christ followers are like this little girl in that, now that you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you have the responsibility to serve Him. His body of believers exists solely to serve the Lord our God, and to follow His command to “Go and do likewise”.

Spend time today talking with God about what steps you need to take to serve Him better this year. Amen?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Business

In the Scripture today we see the boy Jesus at the Temple. It is a story most parents can relate to. The Mom and Dad were separated and each one thought Jesus was with the other! They found him days later in the Temple! They were rightly upset, but His answer astounded them.
    41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”  49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.  51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. - Luke 2:41-52

“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Wow! They didn’t see that coming; did they? I think people would be surprised by that answer from us as well, but aren’t we to be constantly about God’s work?

I want to encourage you to think like that this year. Ask the question every day, “What does God want me to do today?” It’s good to be at work when God is your boss! Follow His directions and you'll never go wrong.
Amen?