Monday, April 30, 2007

Apr 30, 2007 - Look close

Apr 30, 2007

Mar 5:22 KJV
(22) And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

I have a program that when it starts will throw out a random verse from the Bible. I will often try to meditate on that scripture a little bit to see what God will say to me through it. Of course the 'so and sobegat so and so' verses are a little hard to hang any thing on. And often I will have to stop and look at the verse in context to see what is going on. Then, there are the ones that are so familiar to use that we do not even look at the surrounding verses. I know the story so well I do not even have to really meditate on it, I know what it means. Or do I?

If you are like me you have read this verse a lot. And besides that you probably have had it preached to you from the pulpit a lot also. The story that follows we know so well. Jairus asks for his daughter to be healed, Jesus goes, the woman with the issue of blood touches Jesus, they have a healing testimony andJairus gets word his daughter is dead. Jesus says just believe, Jairus keeps his mouth shut, and the girl is healed. There is a lot that happens in the rest of the verses, so we often do not even look at this one. It says a lot.

Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue. He was a religious leader. These were the ones that were against Jesus. Lesson number 1: all those that are part of a group are not against you.

Jairus knew Jesus. The verse says "when he saw Him...". Jairus had to have followed Jesus, at least from a far distance. He was familiar with what Jesus could do. He knew Him well enough that he went looking for Jesus when his daughter needed help. Lesson number 2: People watch you. They will come to you when they need help.

Jairus knew where the source of power was. As leader of the synagogue he had people worshiping him. For him to worship someone else, they would have to be a greater authority. As a street preacher, Jesus would not have been such. Jairus saw much more inside Jesus and knew where He came from. Lesson number 3: Walk in the power and people will see the authority.

I have never heard anyone preach on those things, nor have I ever thought of them myself when rushing through that scripture to get to the meat of the story. Every verse in the Bible is put there for a reason. Take some time today to read one and figure out why.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Apr 29, 2007 - My redeemer lives

Apr 29, 2007

Job 19:25 (Amplified Bible)

25 For I know that my Redeemer and Vindicator lives, and at last He [the Last One] will stand upon the earth.

So often in our lives there is a great deal of discouragement. I do not know about you, but sometimes I wonder where God is in all of it. When I look at what I go through, I do not even think that I am anywhere near what Job went through. He lost his family, his crops, his herds, he had friend who were rotten at advice, and above all else, a wife who told him to 'curse God and die'.

Yet through all that her went through, through the great losses, through the bad advice, he held on to one solid truth. His redeemer, the one who would vindicate his life's problem, lives. It was not a I hope he lives. It was not a I wish he lives. It was a I know he lives. What was it in his life that could get him to be so locked on to God? I do not know.

I know that he blessed the name of the Lord. I know that he knew where good things came from. I know that I need to know those things for my myself. When you get into a stage of doubt know that your redeemer lives.

Translation Information
“Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified Bible."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Apr 28, 2007 - Lies

Apr 28, 2007

Exo 23:1 BBE
(1) Do not let a false statement go further; do not make an agreement with evil-doers to be a false witness.

Watching Veggies Tales with the kids one day we saw Larry Boy and the Fib From Outer Space. Junior breaks one of his dad's prize possessions He tells a fib so as to not get in trouble. That fib becomes another, and then another and then another. Each fib gets bigger and eventually he confuses them and cannot keep them all straight. Have you ever had that happen in your life?

God clearly tells us that if we know something is a lie, we stop it and not let it go any further. Obviously, that means not letting them happen in the first place. It can be a temptation, even as adult, to tell a fib. It could keep us out of trouble with a boss or a spouse. It is not good, it never can be. One of the major reasons for this would be that you will loose trust with them when it comes to light. Another is that each time you lie, it becomes easier to do so the next time.

Make sure what you say each day is honest. God tells us not to lie to anyone.

Translation Information:
1949/1964 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 fellimmediately and irretrievably into the Public Domain in the United States according to the UCC convention of that time.

Friday, April 27, 2007

April 27, 2007 - A High Tower

Apr 27, 2007

Pro 18:10 YLT
(10) A tower of strength is the name of Jehovah, Into it the righteous runneth, and is set on high.

In the times of the Bible, cities and towns would be surrounded by a wall with a tall tower on it. From the tower the people watching over the town could see any enemies approaching and sound the alarm to the people. Around the town would be farm and pasture land. During the day the people would go out and work the land and in the evening would they would return to the protection of the walled cities. During the day, if someone was attacking, the warning from the tower would sound and the people could run to the high tower and be safe.

Knowing these facts can help with an understanding of today's scriptures. The people would have understood the imagery that we miss today. God is a high tower. He will let us know when trouble is on the way. Like the people around the town we have two choices. We can pay attention to the warning and run for the cover of God, or we can ignore it and stay out and be uncovered. When we run for cover do we let God fight our battles for us. No.

The tower provided for fighting the enemies. You were protected by the stone, but you could fire arrows at the attackers. You had an advantage though. You were higher than they were. If they could see you well enough to get off a shot, they had to fight gravity to get it to you. You had the advantage of gravity to take your shot to where it needed to go.

God does not fight our battles for us. He fights with us. We are expected to speak the words of faith to bring things to pass. We are to resist the devil so he will flee from us. Take time today to listen to the voice of God warning you and run to the tower ready to fight.

Translation Information
Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible by J.N. Young, 1862, 1898 (Author of the Young's Analytical Concordance)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Apr 26, 2007 - A time for grief

Apr 26, 2007

Jesus went to the cross so that we could have something. Jeremiah tells us what it is.

Jer 31:13-14 NET
(13) The LORD says, "At that time young women will dance and be glad.
Young men and old men will rejoice.
I will turn their grief into gladness.
I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow.
(14) I will provide the priests with abundant provisions.
My people will be filled to the full with the good things I provide."

God wants to provide for us. He wants to turn our grief into gladness and sorrow in to joy. That is not to say we will not have times of grief or sorrow. They are a natural part of life. We are not to live in them. I know of people who sorrow because of things that happened to them when they were young. God says to them, stop, that was then, this was now. Stop living in the past and go forward. Let me show you joy.

To often we just want to live back in the sorrow and grief. It is much easier to live with it. It takes work to move yourself out of those and into joy and gladness. There is a reward however. Verse 14 tells us that the priest will have abundant provision and the people will be filled with what He provides. God wants to provide for you but you have to work your way out of the situation. In business they say that you dangle a carrot in front of people to get them to work. This is God's carrot. If you live in the grief and sorrow it leads to depression. Depression keeps you from working to your full potential. If you do not work to your full potential you cannot get the jobs that you deserve. So even in the natural, this is true. It is so much more in the spiritual. If we move through the depression, and move on to what is good for us, we can receive all that God wants us to.

Take time to grieve in a situation. But know that the Lord will provide for you in all that you need when you work your way through it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Apr 25, 2007 - Covering a sin

April 25, 2007

1Sa 14:32-33 KJV
(32) And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.
(33) Then they told Saul, saying, Behold, the people sin against the LORD, in that they eat with the blood. And he said, Ye have transgressed: roll a great stone unto me this day.

A little back story here.
King Saul had made a vow in the morning that the first one who ate any food before evening would die by his hand. It was a stupid vow because even though it provided more time to fight the war, it made the men weak so that they could not fight well. Meanwhile, Jonathan , his son, had gone away from the camp to the enemy camp to look things over and found an opening to start a fight. He had not heard his father's vow. He started the battle, let his fellow men know where to come and fight so they could win and they were winning and he was considered a great warrior by all. That is, until the was leading the men back to Saul and they discovered a land where the honey just lay on the ground. Not knowing his father's vow, he grabbed some and ate it. All the men with them, weak with hunger, did not know what to do. Saul had said the first one who ate would die, now Jonathan had eaten. They told him, and Jonathan said, my father is making a big problem, see how much better I feel, take it and eat.

And that is where we open today. They saw how good Jonathan looked and they said, let's eat. Now God had made a rule about eating. You had to drain the blood out of what you ate. These people were starving. They did not wait, they killed the spoil they had collected from the war and started eating it. They did not follow the ritual rules of draining the blood. Why? Because Saul in his haste to get a victory did not consult the Lord on what to do. He made a vow that he should never have made. No solider can go the day with out food if he is fighting a battle. But as bad as this was, he made it worse!

1Sa 14:34-35 KJV
(34) And Saul said, Disperse yourselves among the people, and say unto them, Bring me hither every man his ox, and every man his sheep, and slay them here, and eat; and sin not against the LORD in eating with the blood. And all the people brought every man his ox with him that night, and slew them there.
(35) And Saul built an altar unto the LORD: the same was the first altar that he built unto the LORD.

It was bad enough that Saul made a stupid vow (and one that he would later not keep), it was bad enough that the people were eating meat with the blood in it, but Saul makes it worse. He tells the people to bring the animals to him and he will sacrifice them to God so they can eat them. Only one group of people could build an alter and sacrifice on it, the priests, and Saul was not one of them. Sure, people were no longer sinning by eating the blood. Instead, Saul was sinning by doing what the priest should do. You can not cover sin with another sin.

I read a true story the other day. A pastor was telling of a member of his congregation that had a friend who was thinking of divorcing his wife. Even though the person was not a member of his congregation, he was a Christian, so the pastor went to council with him. While they talked the man told of how unhappy he had been with his life with his wife. He spoke of the emptiness that had come in. He told of how he had met this beautiful woman and they had really connected. He knew what he was doing was wrong but he did not want to lose this woman. When the pastor told him that he was openly rebelling against God, and that God would help heal the marriage, he understood, but said that he prayed that God would give him grace to make it through it all.

Sin, added to another sin can not ever end in grace to make it through. Could this man be forgiven if he continued? I am sure he could. Was it God's best for him? Certainly not. At this point though, he was acting as Saul was, trying to justify one sin by doing another. I am sure that God could never give him the grace to continue in his sin.

You can not cover one sin, but doing another sin.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Apr 24, 2007 - Imagination

Apr 24, 2007

2Co 10:5-6 KJV
(5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
(6) And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Imagination is a wonderful thing. It can bring about wonderful inventions, great literature and any number of great things to bless our lives. It is also a dangerous thing as well. It can allow men and woman to see things they would like their spouse to be that they can not live up to. It can allow us to think the worst of things on our job or in our relationships with family and friends. It can make us believe that a simple symptom can be a cancer that will kill us. It may even make us question our salvation.

Paul clearly states here that we need to take every thing that puts itself higher than God, and put it down. Do you have a fear that your job is the source of your income and they do not want to pay you any more than they have to? Replace that with God is my provider and he will provide all that I need. Does that symptom have you feel like you are going to die? Replace that with 'by His stripes I was healed'.

Even with that, our human nature is one that wants to find the problems in life. We need to do as verse 6 says. The wording here is a military term. It meant the soldiers were to seek out any part of rebellion and destroy it till it was gone (obedience is fulfilled). We are to find those little pockets of resistance to what is not of God and destroy them. For a married person that might mean not to look at a member of the opposite sex and say to yourself, 'I wish my spouse was more like them'. It is just an innocent thought right? No, it is an imagination that is not of God and it will grow into the bigger ones. Kill it while it is small. Those little things can add up and become huge baggage that you have to carry around with you.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Apr 23, 2007 - I got the power

Apr 23, 2007

Joh 19:11 KJV
(11) Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

It is so important to know where the power comes from in your life. So very often we want to blame others for what are our own faults. We can say that our spouse forced us to do something because our needs were not being met, giving them to power. We can say that the company we work for limits our income by paying us so little, which takes away our responsibility of finding a better job. It can even be said by children that parents control them, as well as parents can say that children control them.

In reality, there are only people that control you. One is yourself. Wow, that is a unique concept. I control myself. I am responsible for everything that goes on in my life. I make the decisions that allow others to control or not control me. I make the choice to read a devotional like this. I make the choice to read my Bible each day. I make the choice to get a new job or stay put. I make the choice to get a better education.

The other person that has control over you is God. Wow, another unique concept. The one who spoke the world into existence has control over my life. He allows the sun to shine on me or the rain to fall. He controls someone running out of gas 10 miles before they were going to hit my car. He allows me to have the brain cells I need to kick in for the test I am taking or the job that I am doing. Jesus clearly states here that the only way someone can have power over us is that God has put them in a position of power over us.

Notice one other thing though. Jesus was equal to the Father. He did not have to stand there and be spoken to by Pilate that way. He could have waved His hand and the universe would have unraveled. He chose to be where He was. He submitted to authority. We can look at this and say He submitted to Pilate's authority but that would not be quite right. He had submitted to the authority of the Father. Jesus did not want to be where He was but the night before He told His Father, 'thy will be done'.

So even though we may look at things and say there are two, God and ourselves, that control us, only one really does. While God can control what goes on around us, we are the ones who choose to submit to Him and let Jesus be Lord of our life. Something to think about today, who controls your life?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Apr 22, 2007 - Giving Praise

Apr 22, 2007

It is amazing what a person can go through. How different people can view the same thing in different ways. For years some people would tell me that I could not carry a tune in a bucket even if it had a radio in it. Others thought that I could sing well enough to lead impromptu worship service. If I had listened to either one, I would have been confused. Fortunately I listen to one source:

Psa 92:1 GNB
(1) How good it is to give thanks to you, O LORD, to sing in your honor, O Most High God,

Each day that we are alive is a day to give thanks to God. It is good to do so. Not only that, but it is good to sing to Him as well. We are not to sing of what we do for Him. That is not being thankful. We are however to tell of what the Lord has done for us.

An interesting twist on this is what many translations say about this Psalm. It is a psalm for the Sabbath. Think about that. Though it is good to do these at any time, God signals out the Sabbath. If we have gone seven days without taking the time to praise Him and give thanks, then it is important that we do it on the Lord's day.

Spurgeon said of this Psalm; "Devout praise is always good, it is never out of season, never superfluous, but it is especially suitable to the Sabbath; a Sabbath without thanksgiving is a Sabbath profaned." Of all the days that we are to worship, the most joyful of them should be the sabbath.

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

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Apr 21, 2007 - Hearing from Jesus

Apr 21, 2007

Joh 10:27-30 LONT
(27) My sheep, as I told you, obey my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
(28) Besides, I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any one wrest them out of my hands.
(29) My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all; and none can wrest them out of my Father's hand.
(30) I and the Father are one.

Several years after I received Jesus, I set about to memorize verses from the Bible. The first set that I attempted to learn was John 10:28-29, the middle of today's verses.

Verse 28 tells us of the powerful fact, that Jesus gives us eternal life with Him. Once we have accepted Him, no one can steal us from Him. This verse by itself is enough of a promise to rejoice on if you believe it. But then, verse 29 follows it up. God the Father gave us to Jesus. If they could get us out of Jesus' hands, then they would have to face God the Father, and He is so powerful, no one can take them from Him. If you ever had any doubt to your salvation, those two verses should take care of it all.

But that rose sits between two other flowers. Verse 27, "My sheep hear me," Jesus clearly states. And they follow Him. Do you hear from Jesus. Do you listen for Him in the still small voice in side you. Oh, I know, that still small voice is supposed to be God, or the Holy Spirit. Well Jesus takes care of the in verse 30. He clearly states that He is equal and one with the Father. Now, when you hear that voice, who is speaking? If it is any part of the triune God, it is God, be it Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.

Jesus will speak to you if you listen. If you have accepted Him as saviour of your life, there is no reason that He will not speak to you. Conversely, if you do not hear Him, do you belong to Him.

Take some time today to listen to that voice and know without a doubt that you will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus.

Translation Information
Alexander Campbell's Living Oracles,
The Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, Commonly Styled the New Testament. Translated from the Original Greek.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Apr 20, 2007 - Giving Life

Apr 20, 2007

Luke 6:37-38 (The Message)

37-38"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

So often we look at Luke 6:38 and take it out of context. While it is a spiritual law that giving of finances will gt you a harvest, it can be found many other places in the Bible, this verse does not amplify finances. The focus on this verse deals with forgiveness. Plain and simple, if you want forgiveness you will have to give it to others.

Watch two young children at play. If one will share a toy with another, both get enjoyment out of it. If one takes a toy and keeps it for himself, while he will get some enjoyment out of it, it will not be as much fun as if it was shared.

Our grown up lives are like that also. If you cannot forgive someone, then you have cut them off. Remember that the word says that if a man walks alone he will stumble, but two can help each other. Forgiveness means giving your life away. Only then can some one come along side of you and help you. The power comes from giving up your self. Only then can you get back from the other and the two combined can make things It makes no sense to make yourself weaker so that you can make your self stronger. Try it today.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Apr 19, 2007

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (Amplified Bible)

55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
56 Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law.
57 But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can overcome any problem that presents itself to us. How, through the Blood of Jesus. No matter what problem we may face, Christ has also faced it as well. Satan tempted him with every temptation that he could and Jesus did not give in. While we are not Christ, we have Him in us and we are given power over Satan.

The problem is that many people do not want to use that power. It is so much easier to walk in sin and not have to be good. In the end, every time that we sin, we loose a little bit of life as we die to Christ in us. Sin stings us. Each time we do we loose a bit of our life.

Walk in life with Jesus and not in sin with Satan.

Note: I am sorry that this did not get out earlier today. I had my computer die and between work, teaching and rebuilding it, I have had no time to get it out. At least I will have it out before midnight so I have not missed a day. Hopefully we will get it out earlier Friday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Apr 18, 2007 - Love life

Apr 18, 2007

My dad had a problem when I was growing up. He smoked heavily and drank to an excess. Later on the drinking became alcoholism and the sugar intake caused diabetes. He eventually had to have 2/3 of his stomach removed and yet he refused to quit drinking. Doctors told him that if he would quit smoking and drinking he would be able to live a long healthy life. His reply was, "I am not going to give up living to live."

Joh 12:25 KJV
(25) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

In my father's haste to enjoy and hold on to the life he loved so much, he threw away so much. First, threw away the chance of grand-kids and great-grand-kids to ever know him. This was a selfish thing on his part as he thought more of himself than anyone else.

Most importantly he threw away the chance for eternal life in heaven (though he could have accepted Jesus at the last moment, his lifestyle was not such that he would have). His is a classic example of throwing away eternal life with God so that he could enjoy this life current. Make no mistake about it, we all have eternal life. It is where we will spend it. Will we spend it in heaven or hell.

Over the years I have fought with this. I have wanted the things of the world. I have come to find out that they are no where near as rewarding as opening my Bible to get fresh insights on how this world functions and what I can do for it. I have enjoyed rare moments with my children in teaching them the word.

I guess it comes down to have the world, loose it all; have Jesus, gain it all.

correction: In yesterdays devotional I made an error in one sentence. The sentence:

In fact there are so many of them, the chances of them all coming true are high.

Should have read:

In fact there are so many of them, the chances of them all coming true are low.

It was clarified in the next sentence so I am sure that most everyone got the meaning. Thanks to my son Gabe in pointing it out.

Please pass the information about this list on to others you may think could use it. Out group is small at this time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Apr 17, 2007 - The Shepherd

Apr 17, 2007

Eze 34:23-24 KJVR
(23) And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
(24) And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

The Old Testament is full of prophecies of Jesus. In fact there are so many of them, the chances of them all coming true are high. You would have a better chance of winning the lottery than all of them happening. And yet they did.

One of the most clear prophetic utterances comes from the book of Ezekiel. In it, the savior is referred to as a shepherd. This was a common image that the people would know and understand. Shepherds are not that clear of an image today, so we need to understand what the people knew.

A shepherd was usually a unmarried man. His whole emphasis was on tending to the sheep and that could not be done if he was married. Sometimes several shepherds would come together for one large heard, but this was not the usual case. He would be the one to guide them and make sure they had food to eat. Since valleys were places that grain could grow for people consumption so the shepherd was usually on the more mountain areas. This is where the more wild animals would live, so he was constantly having to watch that they did not get to the sheep. He was a hired hand but a trusted one. He could be a family member He would be responsible for any lost sheep. His job was to return them back to owner, all of them.

This is a clear picture of Jesus that the religious leaders should have seen. He was a single man with a single purpose. He was to deliver us to the heavenly Father, as a son of the owner. He did not wish that any of the sheep would be lost. He nourishes us and watches out for the beast Satan.

Clearly a picture of what Jesus was. Clearly a fact that the religious leaders ignored. Clearly, if we wish to understand what is meant, we need to look at the times they were written in. Take some time to research the shepherd today.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Apr 16, 2007 - The Holy Spirit is a gentelman

Apr 16, 2007

Act 16:16-17 KJV
(16) And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
(17) The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.

You know that there is a little bit of the truth in most of the lies Satan uses on us. If they were so outrageously false, why would we believe them? In this case there was a lot of truth, but it was being used for the wrong reason. Years ago, I learned a statement in church that I was confused about. It was ' the Holy Spirit is a gentleman.' It confused me because I was always thinking that we needed something big happening in the church to bring the sinners in and get them saved. What I did not realize is that God will not come up against Himself. The Holy Spirit will not interrupt a church service where the word (Jesus) is being given to do something to bring salvation.

That is what was happening here. Satan was using this woman to interrupt the Word being taught. Paul dealt with it for a while, but as the woman drew more and more attention to herself and the Word could not be heard, he did what any good preacher of today would do. He dealt with the situation and went on.

Act 16:18 KJV
(18) And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Paul knew it could be the Spirit doing this, it had to be the work of Satan. So he did what he had to do. Get out of her Satan. And then he moved on, doing what he was suppose to do, telling people about Jesus. If that was the end of the story, all would be OK. Satan was not done though. If he could not silence them by out talking them, he would find another way.

Act 16:19-24 KJV
(19) And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
(20) And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
(21) And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
(22) And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
(23) And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely:
(24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Governments and businesses (which are made up of people) are OK with people telling other people about Jesus. The problem comes when they loose the ability to make money. This spirit was now gone out of the girl and they could no longer make money off of her. Before anything else got wrecked in their ability to make money, they needed to get rid of these two.

When you do something for God, expect opposition. It may come from a number of places. Satan may even be able to use a close friend or family member to try to stop you. Why will you get it? Because you take people out of their comfort zone. They only can see one way to do things, even when you try to show them a better way.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Apr 15, 2007 - In the mouth of a fish

Apr 15, 2007

Mat 17:24-27 KJV
(24) And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
(25) He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
(26) Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
(27) Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Years ago, I heard a fairly prominent preacher tell how he went fishing every chance he could because if Jesus could put a coin in the mouth of a fish for Him and Peter, then God could do the same for him. That statement ignores a few things. The first being, if God does something for someone, you can not live of of what God told them. You have to hear from God clearly for yourself.

Jesus and Peter did not have the money. Jesus did not really have to pay this, it was a tribute to Him and His Father. But they needed to keep up appearances. Jesus was not ready to let people know that He was the Son of God. Since they needed money (Judas must have been off somewhere else) the Son of the God who knows everything sent Peter on an errand. Jesus knew where that fish was to be and when it would be there. So it was a short trip, catch the fish and pay the tribute.

Jesus knows what you need when you need it. He will tell you what you need to know when you need it and not a moment before. It can be difficult to wait for that time, but it is God's time.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Apr 14, 2007 - Take what God gives you

Apr 14, 2007

Sometimes we try to get out ahead of God and bad things happen. It is not a good idea to get out in front. When you are doing that you are trying to help God. Something that we know we should not do.

Years ago I felt God call me to go to Bible School. When out for a walk one day I heard God in my spirit say 'Logos'. I knew Rhema meant the spoken word of God and Logos was the written word so what was it to mean? I lived in the Tulsa area, home of Rhema Bible Training Center, so I felt God was not telling me to go there. Then I heard of a school in Dallas. It was Christ For The Nations. I though that God wanted me to go there. Was I correct or not? I will only know when I get to heaven. I do know that I spent many years trying to make it happen. God never does want us to 'make' anything happen.

Deu 7:22 KJVR
(22) And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

The Lord will prepare our way for us. He will take care of all the problems. Like He said He would do for the Israelites, He will do for us. Then did not possess all the land at once. If they did, before they could move in they would loose it to the wild animals. God will not give you all you are to do at once. If He did, Satan would move in and steal it before you could do it.

As for me, Logos is the written word of God. I wonder if that word in my life has come to pass now!

What has God said to you? Time to walk in the little part of it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Apr 13, 2007 - A friend

Apr 13, 2007

Psa 55:12-13 BBE
(12) For it was not my hater who said evil of me; that would have been no grief to me; it was not one outside the number of my friends who made himself strong against me, or I would have kept myself from him in a secret place;
(13) But it was you, my equal, my guide, my well-loved friend.

It is so painful when some one that you truly love, that you think is your best friend, turns on you. When someone you know does not like you or whom you barely know turns against you, that is not great loss. You knew already that they were not looking out for your well being. Someone who you trust is another story. They might as well have stuck a knife in your back.

Psa 55:22 BBE
(22) Put your cares on the Lord, and he will be your support; he will not let the upright man be moved.

Know that the Lord is your support. He is the one that you can turn to when ever there are problems. He is the one that will never stab you in the back.

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.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Apr 12, 2007 - Helping God

Apr 12, 2007

Yesterday we talked about the clear cut answer that we can not do a work to gain god's favor. Today, when someone did, the disastrous results that happened.

1Ch 13:9-10 KJVR
(9) And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
(10) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.

A little back story here. The Ark of God was not where David was and so he wanted to bring it to the capital city of Jerusalem. David made the plans to move it. Did he consult the rules Moses had told the Israelites while they were still wandering around the desert on how to move the ark? It is obvious that he did not. The rules were clear. It was to be carried by the Levites . They were to carry it by the poles sticking through the rings on its side. It was to be carried! David put it on an ox cart, I will grant you it was a new one, but it still was not the Levites, it was an ox cart.

So now we are at the beginning of these verse. The ox stumbled. If men had been carrying it, when one stumbled the others could have held it up, but an ox stumbling, it upset the oxcart, and sent the Ark tipping. And poor Uzza. I am sure he was a good man, paid his tithe, prayed reverently and all the other stuff he should do. He was most likely not a Levite or a Priest. Remember, only they could touch the Ark. He was put in a bad spot. His leader had not followed the rules and now the Ark of God was going to fall off the cart. What was he supposed to do?


What, let the Ark hit the ground? Look, don't you think that the God of the universe could keep the Ark from hitting the ground? Uzza , though well intentioned, was trying to help God, to do a work for God. Can you imagine if he had lived to talk about this. He would have been a hero, he helped God.

Years ago, when I would look at this story I would try to figure out how God did what He did? Was the Ark just a big radio transmitter like I read, or a static electric charge builder? I should have stopped looking at the how and tried to figure out the why?

Why did he get killed? Because he tried to do a work to get him into God's favour. He tried to help God, and God does not need help. The Old Testament and the Gospels are littered with people who tried to help God. From Abraham telling Sarah to tell the rulers that she was his sister to Peter cutting off the high priest servant's ear, it is all there. And how often today do we ask God for something and then try to help it along. Problems will happen when you try to help God. It is time to step back and see what God can do with you and not what you can do for God.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

April 11, 2007 - Works

Apr 11, 2007

Rom 4:4-5 WNT
(4) But in the case of a man who works, pay is not reckoned a favour but a debt;
(5) whereas in the case of a man who pleads no actions of his own, but simply believes in Him who declares the ungodly free from guilt, his faith is placed to his credit as righteousness.

I have had a few jobs in my time. In every one of them I did not get paid the day I did the work I got my pay at a time that was convenient for the company to distribute checks the all the workers of the company. When I got my pay I did not say 'thank you for giving me this money, I do not deserve it.' Nope, I said to my self I worked for it and it is mine. My pay was not a favour, it is something that I worked for.

Becoming a Christian though is a different matter. It is a favour to me from God. I cannot do anything to earn it. I can only ask God to forgive me of my sins and except Jesus as my Saviour. It was strange to me because I came from a denomination that taught that certain prayers at certain times were the only way to heaven. If you died when you had not done the ritual, you were in hell. I had to work for it. So, in my early years of being a Christian I usually tried to tie my salvation to the things that I did. If I was not doing good works I was not saved.

Now I am not saying that you should not do good things, James tells us that doing such is a outward display of our internal commitment. Paul, however, makes it clear that I cannot do anything to get my salvation except to have faith in the blood of Jesus. For people like me, we have to learn to rest in His work, not our own. We do not need to wonder why, just know that God loves us and if He loves us so much He sent His Son, we need to learn to love ourselves like that as well. No work, just love.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Apr 10, 2007 - Anger

Apr 10, 2007

Pro 14:16-17 CEV
(16) Only a stupid fool is never cautious-- so be extra careful and stay out of trouble.
(17) Fools have quick tempers, and no one likes you if you can't be trusted.

For years as a teen and adult I was an angry man. I was not the type that would beat you up or something like that. In fact, one person told another in my hearing, that you will not know Bob is angry at you till a half hour after he tells you.

I had a good reason to be angry I thought. I had an alcoholic father who left home when I was 13, a time I needed a man desperately for guidance. I was left home by my mom who had to work 2 to 3 jobs to make ends meet and had no real friends. I had trouble putting myself through college, which I never did in those early years. I had trouble getting a career. When I did get one, I did stay with it, but then I had family trouble.

Through all of that, I learned that my public face could never display the anger that was seething inside of me. Like the writer of Proverbs 14:16, I was a cautious person who stayed out of trouble (for the most part). Only those who lived close to me knew about the anger that dwelled inside of me, and how to push the buttons to get it to come out. Because of that anger I have to live with the results. Verse 17 shows us the results. Someone who gets angry quick is not someone that can be trusted. With the aide of a councilor and friend, I have been able to channel that anger into a better way of life. Do I still get angry, yes, very often. The trick is that I will not let a quick temper come out. I live with the results of what I was, but I can change the future. I have learned to teach my children how to funnel their anger into appropriate ways. We are, as adults, to teach our children the right ways to do things according to God's word. Let's not raise another generation of angry people, let's help them learn the right way. Anger is a good thing in our life, if it is properly controlled. It cannot be something that goes on and on forever.

I pray that any who have anger in them, reading these words, will be led to someone that can help them. Touch their hearts God and minster to them today, In Jesus name. Amen

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

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Apr 9, 2007 - What part of the body are you?

Apr 9, 2007

Rom 12:4-5 KJV
(4) For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
(5) So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

We are all so different, we all have skills and experiences that no one else has. What makes you unique? Have you taken stock of what you can do? Is there a need for that skill in your church? If you do not have a skill (I really doubt that), do you think that you will be able to let yourself be used of God how He wants to use you?

I do not I have a ministry to children. But, the minster to children in my church has a need with my abilities in running sound. I am willing to help him with the skills that I have. You know what else though? I was willing from the first week to help out even though it scared me to do it. He had told me there was times I was going to have to come out of the sound booth because they may be short handed. Isn't that sad? All the kids there and not enough parents willing to help. I was not wanting to come out of the sound booth, that was my comfort zone. But I knew I might have to and I told him I could. The second service I worked I had to come down out of the booth and help the minister that day. I quieted kids, picked kids for games, signed kids out to the bathroom and ran back and forth to the sound booth. And I developed a way of working with that man that day. Was I perfect, no. Was I willing, yes. Do I think I could lead worship or preach to theses children, yes. Do I want to, no, it frightens me. I do not know that God will need me to, but I have a willingness to go do what he tells me, to get out of my comfort zone.

I am not telling this to lift me up at all. I am saying that you have a unique ability that no one else has. And if you are willing then you can be used in places you do not think you can.
We are all not in the same office in the church. We all have a job to do, and when we do, we then mold together to be one body. What is your job in the church? Is it time to be doing something else? Are you where you need to be doing what you need to be doing? I pray that all who read these words will be blessed in knowing what they are to do. But I also pray that those who read them will be doing what they are to do.

Apr 8, 2007 - He is risen...

Apr 8, 2007

Luke 24

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

When growing up, I used to think why where the apostles were so afraid? Didn't they live three years of their lives with him? Didn't they understand He would be bringing in a new kingdom reign? Yes they did, but they also did not understand that He would die and rise again. They did not fully understand. With our sanitized version I am not sure that we would either.

This weekend, my kids and I went to see ‘He’s Alive’ at Victory Christian Center in Tulsa. One of the things that they did was to display Jesus being whipped and taking His cross across the town. I was close enough to have taken a picture of it and I did. Victory did not try to sanitize anything here. They showed the raw skin of Jesus (or at least it looked that way). You can see the photo at: . My 10 year old daughter actually grabbed my arm as he passed. When I told her that the real thing was much worse, she had a hard time believing it.

Not only had the disciples gone through seeing this horrible site, but they could not understand why, when He was the son of God, did He not do something to bring about His earthly reign. He was doing, it, but not the way they were expecting it. So, their hopes of Jesus doing what He said he would were now gone. And He was dead, and the body stolen. Yes, they had heard the reports that day of people saying that they had seen Him. They must have chalked it up to wishful thinking.

When Jesus walked in, they did not understand. They thought they were seeing His ghost. They were afraid. Jesus had to bring peace to them. Now think about what they went through. Now think about the problems that you are going through. Do you think yours are worse than the disciples? If Jesus brought them peace, do you think that He can bring it to you today? Will you let Him?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Apr 7, 2007 - A choice

Apr 7, 2007

Deu 30:19 KJV
(19) I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

There is one plan for all of us. It is a choice. We can have blessing, or we can have a curse. It is all in what we choose. If we choose Jesus, we choose life. If we do not we choose death. That is it.

Jesus had a choice too. He could have chosen death or life. He choose death. He choose a curse. He choose all this so we could have the choice to choose life.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Apr 6, 2007 - When someone talks...

Apr 6, 2007

Gen 31:11 CEV
(11) Then God's angel called me by name. I answered,

Years ago there was a commercial, general chit-chat going on and then one person says, "well my broker is E. F. Hutton and he says..." and the room gets silent. The premise was that when E. F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens.

Our verse today talks about a time that God's angel talked and Jacob listened. When the angel spoke, Jacob replied. He gave the angel of God his undivided attention.

We could all take an example from Jacob. When someone talks to you, do you give them your undivided attention, or are you watching the TV. Maybe you are playing on your computer or balancing a checkbook, or who knows. When someone is talking to you, you need to give them your undivided attention.

I used to say to my kids when they were growing up, if you cannot listen to me, who you can see, how can you listen to God. The same is true here. If you cannot pay attention to someone talking to you, how can you hear correctly from God.

My $.02 worth anyway.

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

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Apr 5, 2007 - Time

Apr 5, 2007

As noted yesterday, I grew up loving Science Fiction. One of my early exposures was to a program called Time Tunnel. In it, two people get stuck going back and forth in time trying to change history, but never quite succeeding. From stopping the Titanic from sinking, to stopping Little Big Horn and Peal Harbor, they never can seem to get things changed. Another series, Quantum Leap, has the hero jumping into people's bodies in an effort to fix what went wrong. He changes, for example, Jackie Kennedy from dieing with her President husband. He is sent in time by, as the series says, "God, Time or Someone".

Can we actually change time? Can we go back and change what has happened? Will man be able to travel in time to see the events of the past? Are they here among us now?

Heb 9:27 CEV
(27) We die only once, and then we are judged.

It is not possible for us to travel back in time. We can only travel forward, and then only one second at a time. We cannot change the mistakes that we have made. We cannot set right what once was made wrong. We cannot make multiple attempts to fix something, only once, the time it happens.

Is there something in your past life you would like to change? You cannot. You can only change the future that is coming. As you go through life you can ask yourself, if I was caught doing this, would I want to go back and change it? If so, you can not go back and change it, maybe it is better that you do not do it in the first place.

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

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Apr 4, 2007 - Are we alone in the universe?

Apr 4, 2007

I have loved Science Fiction since I was a child. I have loved the thoughts of being able to visit other planets and meet new life forms, learn to be able to talk with them, etc. The concept was just interesting to me. When I became a Christian, someone recommended a book series by C. S. Lewis, his so called 'Space Trilogy'. Of that I only read one, 'Out of the Silent Planet,' but it would forever change how I looked at space travel again. In it, the story teller is kidnapped and taken to Mars (though it has a different name in the book), by fellow humans that want to mine Mars of its riches. The Martians are pure beings and have no 'sin' in them. Man of course infects them with the idea of greed and sin follows. My question then became, if there is life on other planets, did Jesus have to die for them also? Was Jesus death here on earth good enough for them, or did He have to die multiple times for each planet's people? In my search I turned towards what should be the ultimate answer to all, the Bible.

Joh 3:16 KJV
(16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I have looked at many translations of this verse and all say God so loved the 'world', not worlds. One commentary says an early translation for Persic people makes the translation to be all men. Even with that it still would mean people of this world.

As we approach this time of Easter, I again have started to think these same thoughts and I have again come to the same conclusion. While not being dogmatic about it, I believe that we are along in the Universe. We are the reason that God put every planet where it is and that He did it for us. And when the problems came from Adam, he was willing to send Jesus to be a sacrifice for us.

Remember that God loved you so much, that He sent Jesus for you. God loves you. How do you feel about yourself?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Apr 3, 2007 - I'm swimming with fishes ....

April 3, 2007

Mat 12:38-40 KJV

(38) Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

(39) But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah:

(40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

We Christians so often want to see signs that prove we are on the right path, doing what God wants us to do. We point to Gideon and how he asked God for a sign and received it. God does not want us to trust in signs, He wants us to trust in Him.

In my own personal life, I can honestly say that I very often seek a sign. I want to see that those around me believe in me before I can start to trust them. This tends to lead to loneliness. Jesus does not want this in our life, he wants us to trust Him that all will work out.

That can be so hard to us. How are things going to be fixed? When will it happen? We tend to want to put things in our own hands because then we have control over it. I am sure that when Jonah was in the belly of the whale, he wanted to find a knife and cut his way out. He had already messed it up so bad in trying to do things the way that he wanted to do them. While in the belly of the whale, he had to learn to trust God.

I pray that you never have to go through the belly of the whale to get God's best for you. But remember that if you do, there is a mouth that will open and let you out when it is God's time for you to get out. In the meantime, trust in Him.

Monday, April 2, 2007

April 2, 2007 - Within or Without

April 2, 2007

Ezr 4:2-6 KJVR
(2) Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days ofEsar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.
(3) But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.
(4) Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,
(5) And hired counselors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
(6) And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

When you take on a task that God has provided to you, there are two groups that you need to focus on. The first is the people that will try to help you but are really against you. When they were trying to rebuild the walls the people of Israel that had returned were offered help by the people of the area that had moved into area. They were not really interested in getting the wall done, they were interested in the status quo. Though these people were descendants of Israel, they had come from the area of Samaria and not interested in the true God of Israel.

The other group are ones that will just stand against you. The other Samaritans in the area were also interested in the status quo. And they would do what they could to destroy the wall from going up. They sent letters to the rulers of the land. And it succeeded.

Rick Renner talks about his pioneering work in Russia and how they all felt like one happy family, the Russians and the Renners as they tried to reach their country for Jesus. Eventually more people were needed and people from the USA that had been in contact with the Renners asked to be allowed to come. He said yes, they could use the help. The people came and they really were not expecting the conditions to be the way they were. They griped and complained. The family relationship turned sour. What happened next though shocked people. Death threats started appearing to people inside the ministry. When the KGB investigated, they found that it was from within their own ministry, one of the Russian people. When asked why, he just said he wanted things to go back the way they were. Destruction came from within.

Satan will use who ever or what ever he can to get you out of the will of God, even people who want to help you. And if that does not work he will send those outside, but that is what we expect. What are you doing for God? Who is trying to stop you?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April 1, 2007 - What is the difference?

April 1, 2007

Two different groups, separated by a lake with two different reactions to Jesus

Luke 8

37 Later, a great many people from the Gerasene countryside got together and asked Jesus to leave—too much change, too fast, and they were scared. So Jesus got back in the boat and set off.

From yesterday we learned this group had lost a group of pigs. They also had gotten a sane man in place of their demonic person. And what did they do? They told Jesus to leave!

40 On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him.

41 A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his home

This group welcomed Him; He even had the head of the synagogue come to him to ask a favor.

What is the difference between the two? Why was one group sacred and the other worshiped him? He had done miracles on both sides of the lake.

My only thought here, and I welcome opposing views, is that one group wanted a messiah to come and believed it. The other did not know what to believe. They were raising pigs, some thing that no believing Jew would do. They must not have believed a savior was coming and when Jesus came and did his healing of the man, it scared them.

What group would you like to be in?

Scripture quotes from the Message Bible.