Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mar 31, 2007 - Why Can't I Go?

Mar 31, 2007

Luk 8:38-39 VW
(38) Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying,
(39) Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you. And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

I have often wondered why Jesus told this man to stay home and tell everyone about what Jesus had done for him. I mean, he told many others not to tell about how they were healed. He was always telling people to come and follow Him. So why tell this man to stay home?

A little background. This was a crazy man who ran around naked and they could not keep him chained. Jesus cast the demons out of them and they went into the pigs in the area. The pigs being smarter than the people in the area ran into the water and drowned, and the people came up and told Jesus to leave. I guess they wanted pigs more than salvation. This is where we pick up, the man wants to go with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to stay.

These people did not want Jesus. But Jesus wanted to get the message to these people. The best thing He could do was leave behind someone who, when they looked at him, would say Jesus was here and He healed me. This man was to be a walking billboard for Jesus. The people were never going to be able to get away from him.

Sometimes God puts us in places that we do not want to be so that we can be witnesses to those who need him. We need to be more like this man and be a witness for Him where ever we are.

Scripture verses from
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Friday, March 30, 2007

Mar 30, 2007 - Joy comes later

Mar 30, 2007

Psa 30:5 NET
(5) For his anger lasts only a brief moment,
and his good favor restores one's life.
One may experience sorrow during the night,
but joy arrives in the morning.

God is an jealous God. He will need to show that jealousy as what appears to be anger to us. When we are being corrected for what we have done wrong in our life, it may appear to us that God is angry. He is not really, He is showing His love for us. Correction never feels good to us. I never liked it when my mom or dad corrected me, much less a teacher or a boss. My kinds were no different. It is most likely a human trait that has been here for a long time, at least to David's day.

Why would God shows what looks like anger to us. As noted before, correction may appear like anger. Though it is painful to us, it is necessary. Why? Because we want to be on the good side of God. You see, that correction will only last a short time, but our life with God is going to be an eternity. Would you rather live eternity without being in the presence of God? Or would you be willing to take the correction.

The psalmist goes on to say that sorry will be like a night time of pain, but when the sun comes up, we will be able to walk in the joy of the Lord. When you are going through the darkness it is often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Years ago, just after I had come back from running away from God, I had a huge mountain of debt in front of me. I saw no way that I would be able to make my way through that. All I could seem to do was chip away it, little by little. Now 10 years later that debt is gone. If you had told me ten years ago that I would be out of debt, I would have looked at you like you had grown horns or something. I was in the darkness, the sorrow. God was having a time of adjustment in my life. The sorrow was so heavy on me I had a hard time praying and a lot of other things. Now 10 years later, while not rich beyond my wildest dreams, I have what I need and have advanced so much in my relationship with God. I would not go back and change that time of correction, it made me what I am today.

When you are in correction mode, remember there is light at the end of the tunnel, joy comes in the morning.

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. . All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mar 29, 2007 - Getting past the start..

Mar 29, 2007

Hebrews 6 (AMP)

1 THEREFORE LET us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,
I once heard a preacher say, 'when in the Bible you find a therefore, find out what it is there for.' While silly it makes a lot of sense. We can easily take some verses out of context when we go from chapter to chapter in the Word. One of the reasons is that there were no chapter and verse markings in the originals. Man added them later. Therefore at the beginning of a chapter means 'you better go find out what was said before.'

The writer of Hebrews had, at this point, just finished speaking about how these people were not passed the milk stage in their Christian walk. They were baby Christians when they had been in the Word a long time. They should have been feeding others the milk of the Word, in stead, they were consuming it all themselves.

So now, the writer of Hebrews says, let's get passed the early stages of Christianity. We do not need to keep going over and over the same things. These things are what every Christian should have laid down in his life.
  • Foundations of repentance - understand that once you ask for forgiveness of sins, you are forgiven. You do not have to ask over and over again, God forgives you.
  • Abandonment of dead works - works cannot get you in to heaven. If they could, why do we need Jesus. We are not under the law, bulls and calf's can not save us, neither can repetitive prayers over and over again. Jesus did it and we cannot add to it. As a side note, this does not mean we should stop doing good things for people, this does not say that.
  • Faith in God - Of all these, we do not need to keep going over this one. God is God, He is and will always be. We get to Him by faith and faith only. If you had faith for Him once, you still have that faith.

These three things should be burned in to the heart of any believer who has been one for very long. While pastors need to teach these to the congregations, they should be doing it Sunday after Sunday. They need to move on to the meat of the Word.

A humorous, though false, story should bring to light what I am trying to say. A congregation needed a new pastor and had heard of one that came with good reports about him so they hired him site unseen. The first week in the pulpit, he preached a hellfire and brimstone sermon about the evils of certain sins. The congregation was please and told him so as they left. The next week, after visiting with them all week, he preached the exact same sermon. As they left, they were polite to the new pastor. A third week goes by with the same results. As they are leaving, one of the board members pulls the new pastor aside and says, that is a good sermon, but you have preached it three times, don't you have any other sermons. The pastor replied, you have not got the first one right yet, why should we go on to number two.

Until we get these three things right and set in our mind, we can not move forward into the other things that God wants for us in our lives. Is it time to examine your heart for them?

“Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mar 28, 2007 - A path not taken

Mar 28, 2007

Yesterday we looked at the jealous nature of God. And while that is true, He is not one sided any more than you or I am. Moses has a lot to say about the nature of God.

Deu 4:28-31 BBE
(28) There you will be the servants of gods, made by men's hands, of wood and stone, having no power of seeing or hearing or taking food or smelling.
(29) But if in those lands you are turned again to the Lord your God, searching for him with all your heart and soul, he will not keep himself from you.
(30) When you are in trouble and all these things have come on you, if, in the future, you are turned again to the Lord your God, and give ear to his voice:
(31) Because the Lord your God is a God of mercy, he will not take away his help from you or let destruction overtake you, or be false to the agreement which he made by an oath with your fathers.

God is a God of Mercy. I can say that not only because the Word says it, but because I have experienced it in my life. I once strayed very far from God but at one point, I started searching for Him with my heart and soul. He did not keep Himself from me, He opened Himself up and said welcome home.

Years ago, before I ran from God, I went to a denominational church whose affiliation I will not mention here. One of their teachings I found a little bit quirky. They taught that when we become a Christian, we start down a straight path to God. As we take that path, there are paths that branch out from it. These are things that tempt us away from God. It was the receiving of the Holy Spirit at various times in our life when we were on those paths, that would turn us back towards the main path. As we went along we never could get back to the straight path, but we got less further away from it each time.

While I still do not agree with its teaching, I see that it is a reality in our lives. We will stumble off track as we move towards God. I personally think that if we want to we can get back on the path. Does that mean I will not stray a little bit off the path in the future? As long as I am a living breathing human being I will. Does that give me a right to stray off the main path? As long as I have Jesus as Lord of my life, the answer is no. When I do, and those gods of my life have me off track, if I turn back to Him, he will forgive me. People in my life do not need to forgive me, but God does, it is His nature. All I need to do is search for Him for He is a God of Mercy.

Scriptures from the Bible in Basic English. The Bible In Basic English was printed in 1965 by Cambridge Press in England. Published without any copyright notice and distributed in America, this work fell immediately and irretrievably into the Public Domain in the United States according to the UCC convention of that time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mar 27, 2007 - False Gods

What sort of gods do you put before God. I am sure that many will say that they have no other God but God. Is that really the truth. I am not here to judge, just put out what the Lord puts on my heart. It is quite clear that God wants no other gods around.

Deu 4:23-24 BBE

(23) Take care that you do not let the agreement of the Lord your God, which he has made with you, go out of your mind, or make for yourselves images of any sort, against the orders which the Lord your God has given you.

(24) For the Lord your God is an all-burning fire, and he will not let the honour which is his be given to any other.

In that day it was a little easier to tell if you had a false god. Of course you may not have thought that it was a false god cause God did not seem to be answering you. Best to go with the other gods. So you went to the temple of Molech or who ever was in fashion at the time and did your thing. None of us do that today do we?

I am all for getting an image of yourself in front of you to get your dreams. Put an image of that house up so that you can see yourself in it. At what point does image become a god to us. When we look at TV each day and see the images of the stuff we want (not need) and desire them, are we putting another god before God? How about those shows we watch with good looking men or woman that bring up desire in us?

I think you get my point. At some point, we have desire for things and they crowd God out of our lives. It can be things, but it can also be people. A need to have a mate love you, or maybe a need for friends. Whatever that need can be, always remember to put God above them. He is after all a jealous God, an all consuming fire. He does not want anything else before Him. Take some time today and look to see what other gods you have in front of you.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mar 26, 2007 - How thirsty are you?

Mar 26, 2007

How much do you desire God in your life. We can say that we want Him by our actions can so often conflict with what we say and do. The writer of this Psalm tells us at least how much he wants God in his life.

Psa 42:1 CEV
(1) (A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader.) As a deer gets thirsty for streams of water, I truly am thirsty for you, my God.
We can look at that and see someone that takes in God like a deer would drink water from a brook and get this wonderfully serene picture of peace and tranqulity. Barnes commentary on this verse paints a different picture. Thirst here, or pants in many other translations brings into mind more of a parched dryness. He talks about being able to get so close to the dear that they only run when you are just upon them. They have no extra energy to expend on getting away if they do not need to. The dry season is here and there is no water to be found. Now they are drastic for a taste of water.

That is a different picture for me than some senic forest. Here we have a person who goes without God for a short time has such a need to get God back into his life. I know with my job that I need to take time away from church because we rotate a weekend shift amongst us. Those weeks that I cannot go, I have to be careful to take time to listen to tapes and CDs and read my Bible even more. It is so easy to get dry and then think that is the normal way it is. To just be getting just enough of God's to sustain life.

How thirsty are you for God right now? Are you truly thirsty for Him?

Scriptures marked as "(CEV)" are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mar 25, 2007 - Do we sin?

Mar 25, 2007

I John 1:8-10 MESSAGE
If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.

We live our lives each day and we do something wrong. There is no getting around it. We get cut off in traffic and we get angry. Or we know we should put 100% into our job but there is something that holds us back. Maybe the kids ask a question that is better answered with a 'white lie'. These all happen every day and if we tell ourselves that they do not, we lie to ourselves. If we keep doing that, then we start to believe that the things we are doing are OK. "After all , others do them, and they are basically good people, I must be a good person to. It is OK to do those things." Though we may say them to ourselves, the word says differently.

The word tells us that when we make statements like that we are just fooling ourselves. Sin is sin. There is no way in getting around it. The good part is that we have a simple fix, confess the sin to God and He will forgive us. When we confess it, the sin in our lives is wiped clean. It is not there any more. We are washed of it and it is no longer there.

Can we then say that we have not sinned at all. Nope, we have sinned and we will sin. The difference is that we are forgiven. Saying we have not sinned says that God never had to send Jesus for us and we can do it all ourselves. We are a sinful people and need to walk in the forgiveness each and every day. Each day take some time to do a check of what you may have done wrong and make a note of it to ask God to forgive you and He will. In fact, you will get to the point that when the Spirit tries to tell you something in wrong, you will stop yourself from doing it.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mar 22, 2007 - Keeping Your Word

Mar 22, 2007

Keeping your word when you make a vow is important. Of course, knowing what you are saying when you make a vow is even more important.

Mat 14:1-11 WNT

(1) About that time Herod the Tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,

(2) and he said to his courtiers, "This is John the Baptist: he has come back to life--and that is why these miraculous Powers are working in him."

We see here that Herod is kind of confused. He knows that he has done harm to John the Baptist so how can this be him that he sees. But this is the only way that he can figure that Jesus can do his miracles.

(3) For Herod had arrested John, and had put him in chains, and imprisoned him, for the sake of Herodias his brother Philip's wife,

(4) because John had persistently said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."

You know that when you plan on telling people what they do not want to hear, they will want to do damage to you. It is no different today. Tell people that sex out of marriage is wrong, especially in a school, they will ride you out of town on a rail. People do not want to hear the truth when it disagrees with what they want.

(5) And he would have liked to put him to death, but was afraid of the people, because they regarded John as a Prophet.

We think that people taking polls and doing what they people want is something new in politics. It has been around since at least Jesus time. We now see the character of Herod. He is a person that wants to please. This will be his downfall. It can be our downfall as well. Let's see what happens.

(6) But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before all the company, and so pleased Herod

(7) that with an oath he promised to give her whatever she asked.

If you are not prepared to follow though on your promises you had better not make them. This is such an open ended promise that it is sure to lead to trouble.

(8) So she, instigated by her mother, said, "Give me here on a dish the head of John the Baptist."

(9) The king was deeply vexed, yet because of his repeated oath and of the guests at his table he ordered it to be given her,

(10) and he sent and beheaded John in the prison.

(11) The head was brought on a dish and given to the young girl, and she took it to her mother.

What a sad ending to such a great man. A little girl gets a drunk man to follow through on a promise that never should have been made. The promise was there and to save face he had to follow up. John the Baptist, one who Jesus said was one of the greatest men that had walked the earth, was now dead because a man did not know he should have kept his mouth shut.

When we speak, we set in motion things that we can not stop. It is even worse when we do not think about what we say before we say it. Make sure that your brain is engaged before you put your mouth in gear.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mar 23, 2007 - Walking in Love

Mar 23, 2007

As we looked at yesterday, sometimes trying to look at the problem can be difficult. We want to look at people being the problem. I reality, it is we who are the problem according to God's Word. We need to learn to walk in love.

Gal 5:14-25 CEV
(14) All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself.
It is real simple. It is covered in the law in the book of Leviticus. (Lev. 19:18) We are to love others as much as we do ourselves. Paul reiterates it to the Galatians. It is probably the simplest law in concept. It is also the hardest one to do. Why if it is so simple to love others, do we tend not?
(15) But if you keep attacking each other like wild animals, you had better watch out or you will destroy yourselves.
It is clear that if we do not know how to react in love to others what will happen to us. We will be totally destroyed. We might as well go in the woods and get mauled by a bear.
(16) If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires.
So, if I let myself be guided by the spirit I will not be animalistic in nature. I will not tear apart myself or others around me. How can that be?
(17) The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should.
The Spirit, and what my body wants are two different things. Remember that like God, man is three parts. We are a spirit, that has a soul, and lives in a body. The body wants what the body wants. It wants its needs met. While some of these needs are necessary, not all of them are good and even some of the good ones can be made bad. While it is not bad for me to want to fulfill, the desire to eat, left uncontrolled I can become a glutton, and tear my body apart from inside. The Spirit knows better what is necessary to put the body under control. It will, if we listen to it, helps us control our desires so that there is no damage. Is it hard to do? You bet. The body is letting you know that your needs are there and not being met. It will gnaw at you and your desire will be to give in. When you do, you start the process of tearing yourself apart.
(18) But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.
(19) People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds.
(20) They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are
(21) envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.
And here is the things that the body will lead you to doing, and also they payoff. If you do them, while you will satisfaction for the short term, you will not have the Kingdom of God in your grasp. Why? Because if you give in to the body all the time, you can not have the love of God in your life. Am I saying you will loose your salvation. I can not say that. Only God know that. Anyone who tells you that he knows one way or the other does not really know. I do know that if this is what you practice on a regular basis, and you enjoy it, you will really hate living in heaven.
(22) God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful,
(23) gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.
(24) And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires.
(25) God's Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit.
The reward is clear. If we want the things that will be good for us, we need to take time to listen to the Spirit and let it help us lead our lives. That is for all areas. Do not do something expecting a reward from others, it defeats what you are doing because the flesh is getting in the way. Take the flesh out of the way and let love flow through you.

Go, walk in the spirit.

Scriptures marked as "(CEV)" are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mar 22, 2007 - Who is your enemy?

Mar 22, 2007

When someone is playing a sports game it is quite clear to know who the enemy is. It is the team playing against you. In Baseball if you are the Red Sox, it is the Yankees. Other sports have the same sort of rivalries. What about our own life??

1Sa 17:26-32 KJV
(26) And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
David here clearly points out who the enemy is. Goliath is the one that is defying not only the Hebrews, but also their God. He wants this man taken out. Why is everyone standing around. He needs to be defeated.
(27) And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.
(28) And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
(29) And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
David at this point could have started to fight the wrong battle. He could have fought with his brother Eliab. Elaib was part of the problem, a solider that would not go to battle. He was even doing a little smack talking to his brother. David knew that the enemy was not Eliab but Goliath and he would waste time fighting his brother. He needed to focus on Goliath.
(30) And he turned from him toward another, and spoke after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
(31) And when the words were heard which David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
(32) And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
David was the only one in the camp that could focus on where the problem was. Everyone else wanted someone else to solve it and made that other person the focus. David kept his focus where it needed to be, on the true problem.

What do you do when you face a giant of a problem. When others make suggestions do you get into battles with them. We all need to remember that the giant is the problem, not the one that is facing us at the time. They may try to talk you out of using God's power to get through the problem. Remember that they are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy and he is defeated. Like David did, you need to come against him with the power of God's word.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mar 21, 2007 - God's love or life?

Mar 21, 2007

Psa 63:3-4 KJV

(3) Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

(4) Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

Psa 63:3-4 NET

(3) Because experiencing your loyal love is better than life itself,

my lips will praise you.

(4) For this reason I will praise you while I live;

in your name I will lift up my hands.

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. . All rights reserved.

David here is making a comparison. If I could choose between the the love of God or my life, which would I choose? Do we have to make this choice? Thankfully no we do not have to. If we had to though, David had made his choice. We would choose the love of God as the better choice. Not only had he made that choice but he had made the decision to praise God to show this. He would praise God with his voice and let every one know the decision.

Was this decision to bless God a one time event that would pass. No. For in verse 4, David says that he will bless God for as long as he lives. He will lift up his hands to God.

David was at a point in life that no matter what happened he was going to praise God. Very often I wonder if I myself will ever get to this point. I am not at the point of Job's wife when she told Job to curse God and die. I do have thoughts from time to time why I have to go through the situations that I am in. I know God does not send the bad, but I wonder why He is stepping aside and letting the devil has his way. Is it a time of learning for me? Is it a correction for something I did wrong? Is it just the devil doing it. No matter what though, like David I should praise God, for his love for us, sending His own son to redeem me, is better than life itself. I will get better at it, it comes with practice and time. It comes with wisdom. It comes.

I pray that you all have the ability to praise God in all situations. Maybe you can provide me with hints on how you got there.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mar 20, 2007 - Do you have breath

Mar 20, 2007

Psa 150:1-6 KJV
(1) Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
Once again, the Word says that we are to Praise the Lord. Here it tells us just when and how. Praise Him in the sanctuary or in church. We are the church. When we leave the building we meet in, the church goes with us. If two or more are gathered, we have church. Praise him in church but also outside the church.
(2) Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Here is what we are to praise Him for. He does mighty things for us. He is great. What mighty thing Has God done in your life?
(3) Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
(4) Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
(5) Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
We are to praise Him with all of the different instruments that we can use. If you can do it with a stringed instrument, a horn or even a voice (high sounding cymbals). You can say that you do not play an instrument but you can always sing. God wants to hear your praise.
(6) Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Lastly, if you can breathe, they you had better be praising God

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mar 19, 2007 - Rocks praise?

Mar 19, 2007

Luk 19:37-40 WNT
(37) And when He was now getting near Jerusalem, and descending the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began in their joy to praise God in loud voices for all the mighty deeds they had witnessed.
(38) "BLESSED IS the King," they cried, "WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: in Heaven peace, and glory in the highest realms."
(39) Thereupon some of the Pharisees in the crowd appealed to Him, saying, "Rabbi, reprove your disciples."
(40) "I tell you," He replied, "that if *they* became silent, the very stones would cry out."

Based on the devotional from yesterday, these people were doing exactly what they should have been doing. Praising God with all that they could. When you start to praise God with all you have, something interesting will happen. The religious people will tell you to be quiet. They will tell you to stop 'playing church.' They will tell you that you do not need to sing and dance before the Lord, that a quiet time of reflection is the way to do things. God's word says otherwise. When we want to worship God we are to do so with the string instruments and other musical devices.

The religious people told Jesus to make the praisers stop praising. And what did Jesus say? If the people stopped praising then the rocks would have to come alive and praise Him. I do not know about you, but I do not want to be out done by a rock. I have a will and it is up to me to do it. It does not say that I can do it if I want. It does not say that I can use quiet time. It does say that I should praise.

Many times when I have been down, singing some praise songs will lift me up. Many times I go to church on Wednesday night and I am worn out from hard work. The time of praise and worship often is renewing to me. Take some time to praise God today. Not because you want to, but because the Word says to.

Mar 18, 2007 - Praise God, its a command

Mar 18, 2007

Psa 33:1-3 CEV

(1) You are the LORD's people. Obey him and celebrate! He deserves your praise.

(2) Praise the LORD with harps! Use harps with ten strings to make music for him.

(3) Sing a new song. Shout! Play beautiful music.

Scriptures marked as "(CEV)" are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

We as Christians are not asked to, suggested to or even given an option of giving God praise. So many verses including this one tell us to praise God. Why? Because plain and simple, He deserves it. He has given us life and all that we need to sustain it. He has placed the earth just far enough from the sun to provide us the temperatures that we need to survive life. He created an environment that would hold the air that we would need to survive. He has provided the liquid that we need to be refreshed in the form of the earth's water.

And what does God ask from us in return. Only that we praise him. Can you play a stringed instrument, then play it for Him. Some have said that the 10 strings instrument is your fingers being put together in a clapping form. If nothing else, all of us can sing a song to Him. We can shout. Does it have to be perfect? No, in fact God is not looking for perfect. He is looking for us to obey the commands and do them from the heart.

Take time today and praise God with what ever you have that you are able to.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mar 17, 2007 - Where Is your trust

Mar 17, 2007

Eze 27:32-36 GNB
(32) They chant a funeral song for you: 'Who can be compared to Tyre, To Tyre now silent in the sea?
(33) When your merchandise went overseas, You filled the needs of every nation. Kings were made rich By the wealth of your goods.
(34) Now you are wrecked in the sea; You have sunk to the ocean depths. Your goods and all who worked for you Have vanished with you in the sea.'
(35) "Everyone who lives along the coast is shocked at your fate. Even their kings are terrified, and fear is written on their faces.
(36) You are gone, gone forever, and merchants all over the world are terrified, afraid that they will share your fate."
Scriptures marked as "(GNB)" are taken from the Good News Bible – Second Edition © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Ezekiel in this verse is doing what God is asking him to do. He is speaking to Tyre. At the time, Tyre was the place to be. It was rich beyond compare. It had a huge amount of commerce going on. Trees were sold to other countries. Metal ore was refined so it could be sold. They had a large population of men that could row the ships. Even solders from other parts of the world came and served in their army as it was one of the best.

So what happened? Like all other countries that view themselves as superior to another, they soon found staying on top was not as easy as getting there. Slowly they lost all that they had depended on. One by one it was all gone. The other nations were sad about what had happened. They lamented the fact that Tyre had lost it all. Why? Wouldn't they want to be on top?

They were concerned that they would have the same fate. In a way the Godless people of that day had a lot more smarts than many who are a live today. They realized that if you trust in your riches, they will soon be gone. What they did not realize was they needed to trust in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. All of us who try to live a life that will keep us on top by trusting in our riches or our ability will find that they will come to a rude awaking soon. There is a need to trust in Jesus as your savior. But even those of us who do will find that we often put Jesus to the side and try to do things ourself. How about you? Is there something that you put your faith in other than Jesus. Let others not chant a funeral chant for you.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mar 16,2007 - You want me to do what?

Mar 16, 2007

Jer 32:24-27 VW

(24) Behold, the siege mounds have come to the city to take it; and the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword, the famine, and the pestilence. And what You have spoken has happened; and behold, there You see it.

(25) And You have said to me, O Lord Jehovah, Buy the field for money, and take witnesses; yet the city has been given into the hands of the Chaldeans.

(26) Then the Word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying,

(27) Behold, I am Jehovah the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

VW-Edition 2006

A Voice in the Wilderness

Box 9531

Spokane, WA 99209


At the time that Jeremiah wrote this his country was being laid waste by the people that God had sent because Israel would not stop following other Gods. He had preached time and time again against the evil the people were doing and it had done no good. He was in the middle of a hopeless situation and God told him to go buy a piece of property.

He tells God off at this point. He basically says to God: Are you blind? They have us surrounded and built hills that they can shoot at us with and be safe. They are holding us out till the food and water stop flowing. We are going to be taken over by these people and we will be slaves and you want me to go buy a piece of property?????

And God replies: I made you and I made them. I can do anything, nothing is impossible

God had a plan. He wanted to bring the people back in a future time. To be able to get people like Jeremiah to see it he had to get them lined up with what he saw. The only reason one would buy property is to be able to live there. God needed Jeremiah to see that He had a plan to return the people to Jerusalem. It may take a while. Jeremiah may not even see it happen. But it would happen and his descendants would be able to see it.

God does not necessarily have to show us what his plan is. We just have to be able to listen obediently and say, 'I am a servant of the Lord.'

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mar 15, 2007 - Be like Mary

Mar 15 2007

Luk 1:34-38 NET
(34) Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?"
(35) The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.
(36) "And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age — although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month!
(37) For nothing will be impossible with God."
(38) So Mary said, "Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. . All rights reserved.
Do you realize that Mary could if she wanted to, have said no to God? She could have said, no, I do not think this is a very good idea, what will the neighbors think. But she said I am a servant of the Lord. She chose to do what God asked her to do. God is a gentleman. He will never force His will on anyone.

How about you? Are you as brave as Mary. Do you have the desire to say to God, I am a servant of the Lord. Or are you afraid of what he might ask you to do?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mar 14, 2007 - Under whose law?

March 14, 2007

Gal 3:22-25 AUV-NT
(22) But the Scriptures indicate that everything [i.e., everyone] is under the control of sin, so that the promise [of never ending life] could be available [only] to those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
(23) But before faith [in Christ] became available, we [Jews] were kept in bondage under [condemnation for not obeying perfectly] the law of Moses. [This condition existed] until the faith [i.e., the Gospel message] was made known [to people].
(24) So, the law of Moses became like our “transportation to school,” bringing us to [the school of] Christ where we [learn how to be] made right with God by faith [in Christ].
(25) But now that faith [in Christ] has become available, we are no longer in need of this “transportation to school.”

The New Testament: An Understandable Version, © 1994 by William E. Paul,
Impact Publications,
Post Office Box 30526
Seattle, Washington 98103
We as human beings have two choices. We can live under the law or live by faith in Jesus. If you try to live by one, the other cannot come into play. You either live under the law or you live by faith in what Jesus did for us. The law needs to be kept, every jot and tittle of it. It is obvious that we cannot please God by keeping the law. We never will be able to do everything that it asks. That is why Jesus came. He fulfilled every bit of the law that we could never do. The law points us to the fact that Jesus would come. It brings us, like a school bus would bring a student to school, to Jesus as the way to get to God.

As a Christian, I am no longer under the law. There is nothing I can do to make Jesus' sacrifice any better that it is. Does that mean that I do not have to keep the law any more. In reality it means that I do not. In reality it also means that I want to. I want to follow the laws that are important. Jesus points them out to us. Love God will all your being and Love one another as you love yourself.

So why do we try to put the law on others? Why do we try to make them fit our mold of what a person should be? And even more important why do we put ourselves under the laws that other people put on us. I am not talking about laws from society, they are good and needed, otherwise I could not drive my car through and intersection with out the risk of getting hit. I am talking about the laws that people put on other people. If you want to be a Christian, you must not do something (or have to do something). Even worse, if you want to prove that you love me, you will do things this way. We tend to put those laws on our spouse so that they can be manipulated into what we want them to do. And of course they do the same.

But Jesus comes and says the law is no effect. The law points to me and I have done it all for you. So if Jesus has done it all for us, and we are not judged by Him, why do we put these laws on others, or even take them on ourselves? We are right with God, do we need to get right with man, or force others to get right with us?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mar 13, 2007 - Who is the judge

Mar 13, 2007

1Co 4:3-4 KJV
(3) But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
(4) For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Judging is something that goes on in every day life. We judge if our service was good enough to leave a tip. We judge if our children are misbehaving. We even judge if someone loves us or not. We may even be called to do jury duty and judge if a person is guilty or innocent.

I once read a quote, have lost the author, but it had deep meaning to me. It was:

"What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, so deeply tinge what we think of ourselves."

You see, while others may think ill of us, if we do not know if they do, then it does not really hurt us. It is when someone tells us that we are stupid, or not up to their standards, or even that they do not love us that the pain starts to creep in. Paul here is telling us though that what anyone else thinks of us is not important, even if we do know that they do. In fact, what Paul says in verse 3 is that what we think about ourselves is not important.

What we know about or do not know about ourselves is unimportant. What is important is that we are to be judged by God one day. It is what He thinks about us that matters. Do you know what God thinks about you? Are you good in His eyes? How does He see you?

If you do not know how to answer those questions, then take some time in God's word, particularly the Gospel of John, to see what God thinks about you.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Mar 12, 2007 - Eye agreement

Mar 12, 2007

Job 31:1 KJVR
(1) I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
So often I have heard this voice as it was thrown out in response to men looking at other woman when the have a wife, or worse yet, men looking a pornography. Is that what this verse is really about? If so, why are there not similar verses in the Bible that talk about the problems woman would have with their sexuality? Is all this directed at just men and not woman?

So much of the culture was male dominated that it would make sense for the writers of the Bible to aim there topics in the area of men. When one looks under the surface, is there more here then meets the eye. To begin with, Job made a covenant with his eyes. Covenant here is the same covenant used with Abraham, an agreement where the stronger would come to the aide of the weaker when it came time to go to war. Job starts by making an agreement that his will power will kick in when his eyes want to go looking at stuff that he does not need. The fact that he tends to follow it up with looking upon a maid tends to lead to the assumption that the agreement was sexual in nature. Was it really? Was it just a covenant so that he would not desire sexual permissiveness or was it for anything that he should not have?

If we assume that this verse is just sexual in nature, what is in it for woman? Do the claim that they want men to be like Job's (Curse God and die) wife? Or could there be something deeper here God is trying to tell us. Job wanted to keep his heart pure. He did not want images in front of it that would lead to him failing God in some way. He wanted not to receive destruction from God (v. 3) but wanted God to count his steps (v.4).

The real facts here are that people in general should not look at things that are not healthy to them. It can be a sports car that they would have to put their family in debt to get. If we insist that men should not look at woman in a sexual way (and yes I agree with that), they woman should not look at men in an unhealthy way. How many marriages have been destroyed because of romance novels and 'soap operas?' Do these paint just as unhealthy an image of men as porn does of woman. The facts are, all of us have problems with our desires. All of us have to learn to not look after things that are unrealistic in our life.

Go, make an agreement with your eyes.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mar 11, 2007 - What is in your hands?

Mar 11, 2007

Exo 4:1-4 KJV
(1) And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
(2) And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
(3) And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.
(4) And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
An earlier devotional mentioned what I refer to as a 'Moses Moment'. This one explains it as best as I can. In the early 80's I worked for a local Christian Radio station. One song that I like was not one of the 'hits' that got a lot of air play. I do not remember the name of the song or the artist, but it had a large impact on me. In it, Moses is stepping on Holy Ground and God tells him to take off his shoes. God then tells Moses:

Moses, you are gonna be my man,
Moses, way down in Egypt Land,
Moses, you are going to work for me,
Moses, I have chosen to set my people free....

And of course Moses replies...


It goes on with the story we know so well, and then God says,

What's that in your hand Moses?
It's a rod.
Throw it down Moses..
On the ground?
Throw it down Moses..
Lord, you have not lived here long, this is my only protection..

Moses threw the rod on the ground and it became a hissing snake.
Moses started running...I know I would run,
He was running from a Hot Rod, running from a hissing snake..
Running scared of what God was gonna do, Running from...
And the Lord said: Pick it up Moses!

Lord you got the whole thing wrong , Lord you have not lived here very long,
Don't you know that you never pick up a hissing snake by the tai....PICK IT UP MOSES!

It's a rod again..

And the song ends with a wonderful few lines about how what ever is in your hands, God wants you to use.

Four weeks ago today, I obeyed God. I had put it off, but God said you have what you need in your hands. I had argued with Him, but it nagged at me. He wanted me to start to write these devotionals. I have a skill to write that I have had since high school (got drummed into me by a nun in my junior year of high school). I have a computer and I have an Internet connection. I know how to set up a mailing list and I know how to make a blog. I had the tools to do what He wanted me to do and He was telling me to do it.

And I kept saying not me Lord. You see, 4 weeks ago, I would not have thought that I could come up with one devotional much less twenty-eight. Yet, here I am, 28 messages later and I have found that there is a lot more in me. Have all of them been easy to write. No, not at all. Sometimes I do not get the inspiration till after I have started my job in the morning. Sometimes I just want to open my Bible and point to a verse and write about it, though I am sure that I could not write too much on such and such gave birth to so and so. I have had one case where my Internet connection went down and it did not get out till late afternoon. God has come through each time.

In all of it though, I have found just how much of a wealth of knowledge of the Bible that I have in me. I often write about stuff and end up preaching to myself. It has been a rewarding experience. Not because of the mailing list, there are only four people on it at this writing. Though I wish there were more, I know that I blog these as well and because I can see how people get to the blog, and see that they are searching for specific topics that I have written about. Long after I stop writing these, people will still be able to search out these words for comfort and wisdom. And it is all because I took the things I had in my hand and I used them. My computer is like Moses' rod. With it I hope to part the Red Sea of people's needs. Because I overcame my 'Moses Moment', you are reading these words.

Question: What do you have in your hands right now?

Mar 10, 2007 - Red + Red = White

Mar 10, 2007

Isa 1:18 GW
(18) "Come on now, let's discuss this!" says the LORD. "Though your sins are bright red, they will become as white as snow. Though they are dark red, they will become as white as wool.
Copyright © 1995 by GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
What makes the God of Christianity different than so many other religions? While there are so many that I could not discuss them all here, I will discuss one. God wants us to discuss things with Him. He wants us to talk about what we have in our life and what He can do for us. A discussion? With God? God talks back to us? This what the whole book of Job is. Job wants to talk to God, to argue his case before God, to see what he has done and plead his case. Here God wants to talk with us and tell us what is in His plan.

So what is in His plan? Very simple. He will take our sins and wipe them out. Red means blood in most cases. Red fresh blood and dark red old blood. Now I have tried to wash blood out of fabric before. It is not an easy stain to get out with our modern conveniences . I can imagine that in Isiah's day it most likely was a lot harder to get out. God clearly takes the stain of blood from the fabric of our lives and washes them out so clean that the white is as bright as snow.

God will not do this for us automatically. We must talk to Him about it, request it of Him. It is not an automatic thing as some would like to teach. It is quite clear that there is only one way for this exchange to take place. That way is clear in both sections of the Bible. The Old Testament points to a person that was to come and be a sacrifice though He was sinless. The New Testament shows us who that person was. Jesus came to wash away our sins and He did it with His own blood. How can red added to red make white? I will never know. I do know that it is real and my life is an example of it.

Are you sins washed out with the Blood of Jesus?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Mar 9, 2007 - Live in peace

Mar 9, 2007

Rom 12:18 ISV
(18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in peace with all people.
International Standard Version v1.2.2 Copyright © 1996-2001 The ISV Foundation.
One if the hardest things to do each day is to live at peace with all people. Notice that Paul is telling us, that as much as it is possible in our selves, to live in peace with all people. Some people are going to be having a bad day, they will be angry with you, they will want to start a fight with you or maybe push your buttons so that you will start one. Those people's actions are beyond your control. There is only one person that you are responsible for, that you can control. That person is you.

I cannot be responsible for another person cutting me off in traffic, but I can be responsible for how I react to them. I can try to control my anger and not react. When my spouse does something to upset me do I go off with both guns blaring or do I try to work with them to resolve what is getting me upset. When someone takes credit at work for something that I did, do I plan my revenge for that person?

God does not call us to make the other person perfect. He does call us to be at peace. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit that we are to try to obtain. Is it easy? No, especially when you want to call down fire from heave and make the other person into burnt toast. Is it reachable? Most definitely.

Like most other things that you achieve in this earthly body, it will have to be archived in stages. You cannot just say one day, I will not get angry any more, I live at peace with everyone. As soon as you say that, all the demons of hell will be let loose to make you break that vow.
There are two things that you can do to help:
  1. Make small steps and progress towards them. God has only given you the now. In a sermon I recently heard, the minister spoke about loving someone the rest of their life when you cannot stand them now. Can you love them for one day he asked. Yes. OK, then do it today and let tomorrow be tomorrow. Break up your goals into weekly, daily, or even hourly goals if you have to.
  2. Find a good person (not a spouse) that you can confide in. Find someone whose council you can trust. When the problems seem to be getting to be too much, turn to them for help. Talk to them and seek out their wisdom. God will put someone like that in your life if you ask Him.

Now go and live in peace, at least for the next 24 hours.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Mar 8, 2007 - Me give God a Sacrfice?

Mar 8, 2007

Psalm 50

23 Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me."

Scriptures marked as "(GNB)" are taken from the Good News Bible Second Edition 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Earlier in this chapter, God makes the point that He does not need what they sacrifice to Him. If He was hungry, he asks, could I not just kill one of the many Cattle I own? This is interesting since He spends so much time in Leviticus detailing how the sacrifices were to be done. Do we have a God with a split personality here?

No we do not! This people never understood what God wanted front them. They were not giving because they loved God; they were giving because they had to. They saw little difference between God and a king who demanded a payment.

So God clearly states here what He wants. You want to truly honor me, I only require one things. I require you thank me. In our world today do we truly give thanks in every day life? Or is it just a couple of words we matter because we have been taught to be courteous to all.

I know as a father that when any one of my children say thank you, from the oldest to the youngest, it brings so much happiness to me because I see that they recognize what I have done la them and appreciate it. I can only begin to wonder how God feels.

So, have you honored God with your heartfelt thanks today? Why not take Some time to do it now?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mar 7, 2007 - A peculiar people

Mar 7, 2007

1Pe 2:9 AUV-NT
(9) But you people are especially chosen [by God]; you are a royal body of priests; you are a nation especially set apart for God’s use; you are a people who belong exclusively to God, that you may express the virtues of the One who called you out of darkness [i.e., of sin and error], and into His marvelous light [i.e., righteousness and truth].
The New Testament: An Understandable Version,
© 1994 by William E. Paul,
The King James version of this verse does us a great dis-service. It states that we are a 'peculiar people.' I remember for years saying to myself that I am odd. I am a Christian so I am different from the world, I must stand out. I must make people take notice of me because I am weird. Even a Christian song of the time, said that we are peculiar and if society does not agree, well that is OK.

Peculiar here means that we are unique, not weird. In fact, a better definition would be purchased. You have been purchased by God through the blood of Jesus. So what have you been purchased for?

  • You are a royal priest. You do not need to go through the priesthood to get attention from God for you are a priest, a high level priest at that, a royal priest. You have the ear of the King of Kings. You do not have to bring asacrifice to the King, Jesus was that sacrifice. There is no wall between you and God, you can talk to Him like you do your own father.
  • You are set apart for God's use. God has a purpose for your life. It may be to council someone. It may be to be a minister. It may be something small, it may be something large. God has set you apart for a job. Time to ask Him what it is.
  • You are to tell others how you were called out of darkness and into His kingdom of light. That is the most important job and if you do not know what you are set apart for, at least you know this. Every believer has been called for this. If nothing else, tell someone of what He has done for you today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mar 6, 2007 - A Sacrifce

Mar 6, 2007

Malachi 1:7-8

7By offering polluted food upon My altar. And you ask, How have we polluted it and profaned You? By thinking that the table of the Lord is contemptible and may be despised.

8When you [priests] offer blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Present such a thing [a blind or lame or sick animal] now to your governor [in payment of your taxes, and see what will happen]. Will he be pleased with you? Or will he receive you graciously? says the Lord of hosts.

Amplified Bible

By the time this was written, the Hebrews were not really doing as they should. God had demanded of them in Leviticus that when a sacrifice was brought to Him that it should be blemish free, no sickness, not lame, no blindness, you get the picture. They would not be accepted as a sacrifice to God because they were not the best. Only the best were to be put before God.

Can you imagine having to offer a sacrifice to God? Years ago your ancestors heard from this God and were told to follow his rules. You have read about Him in ancient texts and how He appeared as a cloud during the day to shelter the people from the sun and a fire at night to keep them warm. You work all day to raise the animals, and you have no shade. Does this God really exist? All we get are some wacko nut jobs saying 'gloom and doom' as they say they speak for the Lord. Why should I be giving this God my best. I can get top money for them at the market. Look, that one has a sore on its leg you can barely notice.

A year later he says, that one is blind, no one will notice

Once you stop giving your best in anything, you start a slippery road downhill towards just giving. This is true in marriage, ministry, work, and friendship. It is most important in your relationship with God. Remember as a new Christian that you wanted to spend all your time with Him. Now is just a devotional that someone emails to you? Do you read your Bible each day, or just pull a verse or two out of the promise box just before you go to bed? Do you listen to Christian music mostly or mostly the world's music?

Are you giving your best sacrifice to God each day.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Mar. 5, 2007 - The 5th peg on the south side

Mar 5, 2007

Num 3:36-37 CEV
Their duties included taking care of the tent frames and the pieces that held the tent up: the bars, the posts, the stands, and its other equipment. They were also in charge of the posts that supported the courtyard, as well as their stands, tent pegs, and ropes. The Merari clans were responsible for setting these things up and taking them down.
Scriptures marked as "(CEV)" are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.
It is so easy to read chapters like Numbers when you read through the whole Bible (you have read the whole Bible haven't you?) and just skip over chapters like the one that this verse came from. The beginning of Numbers does not lead to easy reading. What reason did God have for putting a count of the tribes of Israel in the Bible. Then He adds a count of the Levites and what their chores are. Why do I care that the Merari clan was responsible for taking down and putting up the tent pegs and ropes.

God is a God of order. When the tribes moved out they had an order they were to follow as we find out about in Chapter 2 of Numbers. Then we have the Levites and their jobs in chapter 3. The people had a job to do and they had to do it. Do you have a job to do and do it? I know sometimes I get the the job and I just want to say, why do I have to do this? Who is going to notice if I do not do real well today? What is going to happen to the world if I do not put all the effort in to the job.

So here we have the Merari clan. Some guy has a job to do every time the tabernacle moves. He has to go to the 4th tent peg on the south side. He has to pull it up after he takes off the rope and puts them away. But today, he has hard time pulling it up. He hammered it in good last time. Now it does not want to budge. Who is going to notice if he just leaves it there in the sand, maybe cover it up a little bit. So he leaves it behind and the crews load up things and they head out.

At the end of the day, they go to set things up again. The Ark cannot be set up and God move in till the tent is done. So our man moves to 4th peg on the south side and tries to figure out what to tie the rope to. There is nothing and they Ark can not be set up. Why? Because one man did not do his job to the best of his ability. Every job that every man was assigned was important. God did not assign any job that was unimportant.

Are you involved in church work? Do you feel that your job is unimportant? Guess what? You are the tent peg man on the 4th peg on the south side. Do not do your job and things will not progress they way they should in your church.

How about your job in everyday life. It too is important. If you do not do it like you should, then some how or another someone else will have to do the job. And if someone else does the job, do they really need you?

No job is unimportant and all should be done to the best of your ability.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Mar 4, 2007 - Loving Your Life

Mar 4, 2007

Rev 12:11 BBE
(11) And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness; and loving not their lives they freely gave themselves up to death.
Bible in Basic English
There are three things that will give use the ability to overcome Satan. And if we are to be good Christians we need all three.

  • The blood of the Lamb - Today, if you do not know Jesus as your savior, now is the time. You are only promised today, not tomorrow. Throw away your past, it is gone. Jesus came so that you can have life more abundantly today. It is your choice, it will be the start of the testimony to others that you truly love Jesus.
  • The word of your witness - a witness tells what they have seen or heard when they are asked. What have you seen in your walk with Jesus. Have you seen peace in your life? Have you seen miracles happen? Have you heard the Word preached to you? You can tell others about your life.
  • Loving not their lives - this has to be the hardest one. Our bodies want what will satisfy them and will often do things to just take it. How much the body wants things will lead to addictions that make it harder to stop us wanting to love our bodies more. You can use the blood of the lamb and the witness to take care of the third, but you have to want to do it.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Mar 3, 2007 - Its only words....

Mar 3, 2007

Pro 29:20 MKJV
(20) Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Modern King James Version, copyright © 1962-1998 by Jay P. Green, Sr. All rights reserved.

The writer of Proverbs clearly thinks that a fool is one of the worst people in life when it comes to the social ladder. So if he marks someone as lower on the list, then it might be time to take notice of it.

In our fast world that we live in we want everything instant. Where our previous generations would have to squeeze the orange juice by hand for breakfast, we can get it out of a can to mix up, or even just pour it from a bottle. Where they would measure ingredients to make waffles or pancakes, we just pop them into the toaster oven. In years gone by, a long distance romance was one that meant 3 to 5 days for the next mail from your sweetie to arrive. Now it means getting to a computer so that we can IM, email or chat with person. Am I advocating going back to the good old days? Not at all.

What we need to stop and take a look at is the fact that we are often, in this fast paced world, to quick to say things. Often those things can be hurtful. I remember receiving a compliment not to long ago. I do not receive compliments well so it was a miracle that I just accepted it and went on. I felt I had turned a corner in my life. When I told someone close to me about it, the reaction was, well, anyone could do that. That is no great achievement. The words were said so fast that this person did not realize what they were saying.

Once a word has left your mouth, it can never be pulled back in again. It is out there and it is a seed planted in that other person. Have I forgiven this person for their words? Yes. Are the feelings of hurt still there? Yes. Once the pain is inflicted, the mark will be there for a long time to come. As a child I got a scar on my finger. Now nearly 50 years later I can still see the mark it left behind. Your words will leave a mark behind for years to come.

No wonder the author of provers puts a man with hasty words on the bottom of the social ladder.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Mar 2, 2007 - Why Salt?

Mar 2, 2007

Continuing from yesterday's theme:

Mat 5:13 WTNT
(13) ¶ Ye are the salt of the earth: but and if the salt be once unsavory, what can be salted there with? It is thence forth good for nothing, but to be cast out at the doors, and that men tread it under feet.
William Tyndale New Testament
Why are we the salt of the earth?

Did you know, that even though we have thousands of smells we can smell, we only have four tastes that we can taste. The taste buds are on thetongue and it is basically divided up into four regions: bitter, sour, sweet and salty.

God could have made us the bitter of the earth. Objects that when people hear the Gospel will not like it and spit it out. I do not think that would be a good idea. Anything that is bitter is usually a sign ofpoison that needs to be spit out. I guess we could have been the poison of the world.

God could have made us the sour of the earth. Guess some people did not get the message with their sour expressions. Something sour is usually something you do not want to eat or drink. If it is especially sour it can bring a strong man to his knees. Ever play with the candies 'Warheads.' While I do not like the sour taste, I can withstand it because once you get past the intense sour taste there is a nice tasting candy inside. I saw someone try to eat one after I did and there was tears in his eyes because being a big strong macho guy he did not want to admit that little old me could handle something better that he could not. In the end he wound up spitting it out of his mouth. And very ofter that is what people do with sour stuff.

God could have made up the sweet of the earth. Sounds good doesn't it. Where ever we go people will love us because we taste so good. We are also empty calories that add weight to a person while providing no nutritional value. Stuff that if left to eat too much of can cause a chemical imbalance calleddiabetes which left untreated can cause the body to loose important parts (the body of Christ is a good comparison).

No, we are the salt of the earth. What are the properties of salt. I could be a little silly and say to look at salt under a microscope and see that it looks like little cubes. Are we the squares of the earth? Maybe. Salt has some interesting qualities:

  • It is a preservative - It is used to keep meat from spoiling. By salting the meat, it can last a much longer time that if there was no salt added. Without it meat would corrupt. With out us as salt, what would happen to the world?
  • It is a healer:
    • Smelling salts help to revive someone knocked unconscious - do we revive an unconscious world?
    • Muscle relaxant - Epsom salts help to revive a worn out body - do was act as a place where the world can relax with us so we can spread the word?
    • A cleanser - salt in the wounds - cleanses and disinfects - Do we act as a disinfectant or are we so much like the world that we are no good as salt? Yes it hurts, but anything good for you may have to hurt a little.
  • Seasoning - It adds flavor to food. Too much and it is not able to be eaten, too little and the food is bland. Salt can season the world but must be careful of thebalance that it uses.
  • In order to be used it must be broken. Ever see salt get clogged in the salt shaker. By nature salt wants to bind to other salt (a picture of the church) but in order to be used it must be broken apart from the chunk and then put where it will do most good.

So, some thoughts on what salt is and does? Are you the salt of the earth today.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Mar 1, 2007 - Can Salt Loose Its Saltiness

Mar 1, 2007

Mat 5:13 WTNT
(13) ¶ Ye are the salt of the earth: but and if the salt be once unsavory, what can be salted there with? It is thence forth good for nothing, but to be cast out at the doors, and that men tread it under feet.
William Tyndale New Testament
Sometimes in putting these together I get a verse and I know what needs to be said about it. Other times I have to look it up and study it a lot. Today's falls in the later category. How can salt loose it's saltiness? The answer is that in today's way of looking at salt, it cannot. We look at salt as a white granular substance in a pure state made up of Chlorine and Sodium. It is not possible to loose its saltiness without it breaking down to its individual elements. There is a old statement the Rabbi's once said:
How can one re-salt salt after it has lost its flavor?
You can salt it with the afterbirth of a mule.
But a mule is sterile, how can you get an afterbirth?
Can salt loose its saltiness?

In reality, we can never loose our saltiness, we are in the world to flavor it.

In Jesus day though, salt was a lot different. It would be mixed in with the ground when it was mined. They would try to purify it as much as could be done, but in the end it would be a cake that they would grind off the salt from to flavor the food. It was through a process of exposure to moisture and sunlight that the salt would leech itself out of the cake. At this time, though it would look the same, the salt flavor was gone, and with that the usefulness of the block of salt.

So what does that mean to us today? If we have lost our saltiness, we are no longer influencing those around us and have become not much good for anything. When we do not do the things that make us stand out as Christians, we loose the saltiness and become like the world. In fact we become equal to the earth in the sight of man. Look at the scandals that have hit the great men of God over the years and see what the world thinks of them. Look at the scandals that we ourselves can get ourselves into and how it influences our fellow man. Big or small, we all will fall. God is there to restore the salt.

The good news is that God has 'the afterbirth of a mule' to re-salt us. Just like it would be a miracle of science to have a mule give birth, we have a miracle of faith that can restore us to where we need to be. That miracle is Jesus. Confess your sins and turn back to God and He will forgive you and let you be a witness again.

I know these to be true. Years ago I ran from God. I wanted nothing to do with Him because my life was not the way I wanted it to be. During that time I had lost my saltiness. A few years later I realized I was wrong, so I turned back to Him and asked forgiveness through Jesus. Now, I still have lost my saltiness to some people, but God is using me in many small ways, like this devotional you are reading.

So, are you salt? Or, do you need the 'afterbirth of a mule?'