Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31, 2007 - Sin Behind the Wall

Sin Behind the Wall

Do you get in to a fight with a lot of different people? How about your spouse or other members of your family? Do you get to the point that you want to win every time when you do? It is not natural to loose or win in every disagreement. The best that can happen is when both sides win.

What I am choosing to talk about today is those who seem to want to be in a fight all the time. The writer of Proverbs has words for you my friend:

Pro 17:19 GW
(19) Whoever loves sin loves a quarrel. Whoever builds his city gate high invites destruction.

If you are constantly bickering with those around you, it might be time to check your sin life. Do you have a secret sin that you carry with you that you let out when no one else is around? God knows about it. If you love that sin, that might be the source of your problems with others.

If that is the case, it is time for you to seek help. Get into a group of people that you can trust and open up where the problem is. Only by letting it go will you be free of it. Keeping it a secret never helped. By keeping it secret you are making the gates so high that people will not be able to get in to help you. You will keep that sin a secret, and show it love in stead of the love that you should show others.

Translation Information
Copyright © 1995 by GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society
P.O. Box 30699
Cleveland, Ohio 44130-0699

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May 30, 2007 - Ipods and God

Ipods and God

Ever think of an Ipod as spiritual? Other than I can download MP3 files of sermons and listen to them, neither did I. But take a look at it. On the outside it is sheer simplicity. So simple in fact that a computer geek like myself has to have his stepdaughter show him how to use one. As a geek I need it more complex to run. Underneath that simplicity, however, is something incredibly complex. The battery needs to be charged just so, the memory needs to function just right, the switches are touch sensitive. Everything, if the internal design is not right, will not work well.

We are like that as well. In fact the whole world is. What looks so incredibly simple on the outside is so carefully complex. Job tried to talk to his friends about it.

Job 12:7-13 NET
(7) Knowledge of God's Wisdom

"But now, ask the animals and they will teach you,
or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.
(8) Or speak to the earth and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea declare to you.
(9) Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
(10) in whose hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all the human race.
(11) Does not the ear test words,
as the tongue tastes food?
(12) Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
(13) "With God are wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.

While it is complex, it is not hard to understand that God has made what looks simple on the outside to be incredibly complex on the inside. Just like that Ipod has a manual how to use it and what you should do and not do with it, God has given us His Word, the Bible, to guide us in all we do. It is in Him that we will get the understanding to continue on.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May 29, 2007 - God watches

May 29, 2007
Wrapping up our look at Psalm 1, we find that God always has His eye on us.
Psa 1:6 KJV
(6) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

We know from so many other places in the Bible that God watches us. The Word says that His angels watch us. Jesus said that he watches over us with more care than he does for the birds or the flowers and they are here but a short time. God knows our ways. We may not, but as long as we are in His will, He knows what will happen to us.

While He knows the ways of the ungodly, He does not have an obligation to protect them. Remember we have free will. He watches over and protects those who follow after Him.

Monday, May 28, 2007

May 28, 2007

May 28, 2007

Psa 1:5 KJV
(5) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

I wondered about this verse a while. Will we not all, saint and sinner alike, have to stand in judgment? The NET Bible says it a little bit differently. 'The wicked cannot withstand judgment.' I am not a Greek scholar but a look at things with Strongs tells me that stand really means rise up.

A sinner will not be able to stand up when it comes to judgment. I do not know if they will fall to their knees and beg for mercy or just faint. I do know they will be judged and then the rest of the verse kicks in. They will not be able to enter in to where the righteous will be.

I know what my desires are, and I am sure that most reading these words do also. What are the desires for those around you? Do you see them being able to stand when judgment time comes?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

May 27, 2007 - Chaff

May 27, 2007

Jesus once said that if you did not understand the parable of the sower and the seeds, you would not understand much He was trying to teach. The whole Bible is like that I find. Even more so in today's verse.

Psa 1:4 KJV
(4) The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Yesterday, the Godly were like living water making whatever they did prosper. Today we find the ungodly are not like that. They are like chaff. What is chaff? Webster's on line dictionary says:

1 : the seed coverings and other debris separated from the seed in threshing grain
2 : something comparatively worthless

One would take the seed and throw it up in the air and the seed would fall and the chaff blow away. What was it good for? Nothing. It was not even worth burning. And it would get into your clothing and scratch up your skin.

I do not want to be worthless. I guess I need to stay in the Word.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

May 26, 2007 - River of water

May 26, 2007

Psa 1:3 KJV
(3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Yesterday we started on the progression of the faithful. Today we continue. As we saw, the believer gets into the word. Today we see the results. He is like a tree planted by water. This is not just any water. The Hebrew word for water is translated urine in other places in the bible. Why would that be important? Well, what is in urine? Nutrients. What is left over from what our body is used is passed out of us. Those nutrients in the water are what makes the tree grow stronger.

What do you have coming out of you? Do you have so much Word in you that the excess can come out of you? Not only will it make you stronger, you will be able to help others grow.

Friday, May 25, 2007

May 25, 2007 - Meditate the Word

May 25, 2007

Psa 1:2 KJV
(2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Yesterday we looked at sin as a progression. Today we look at spirituality as a progressions as well. It will take you time to do so, but just as one does not stumble into sin, one does not stumble in to faith either.

Our main thing is to meditate on the law of the LORD. This is just another way to say read the Word every day. Find out what it says. You do not need to be a Greek or Hebrew scholar to understand it. Get a couple of different translations and go to it. There are programs like E-Sword ( that are free and will let you read many different translations and come with Strong's concordance and commentaries built in. Want to listen instead go to Daily Audio Bible ( where you can download a rotating translation that you can listen to each day on your portable mp3 player.

Get yourself into the word. There are so many ways that you can do it these days, no one should have an excuse.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 24, 2007 - Progression in sin

May 24, 2007

Psa 1:1 KJV
(1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Did you know that sin is progressive. It starts one place and moves on to others. As we see here, the first thing that sin does in walk where ungodly council is. What does that mean? Well in the days it was written, it meant getting advice from people who were not wise in the way of God. It has not changed, it is the same today, but it has changed a great deal.

Think about where you get your advice. For example as I write this it is raining out. Where did I get the advice to not hang out clothes, to now plan to cut the grass, etc.? I got it from the TV weatherman. This is not the only advice that I get from the TV, or many other sources either. I am not saying bury your head in the sand and watch nothing but Christian TV but be aware of what you are viewing.

Next step in progression is the stand with sinners. What types of places that you go to are important. Lastly they sit in the seat of those who scorn people, or actually be in their place.

It is a slippery slope. Where are you on it right now?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May 23, 2007 - Serve Who?

May 23, 2007

Jos 24:14-15 KJV
(14) Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
(15) And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Even if our parents were Christians, we have another parent if we live here on earth. He is Satan, the god of this earth. He wants us to serve the gods of money, fame, good looks, and who knows what else. He does not want us to follow God.

Like Joshua here, we have a choice. We have had set before us blessing or curse, life or death, the LORD or other gods. Joshua tells them this and then he tells them what he will do. He and his house will follow the LORD.

Have you made a decision to do so, today?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22, 2007 - The Spark plug

May 22, 2007

My stepson came in to visit for his sisters graduation. About a week before we had our lawnmower break down. Now I am no mechanical person, I looked at what I thought it might be, but I could not figure it out. He had a lawn care business where he had lived, so I asked him about it knowing that someone whose company runs on small engines might have an idea how to fix them. He listened to what I said and how it happened. We went out to the garage, listened to me pull on the rope, and asked for a wrench. He then pulled out the spark plug. It was covered with carbon and could not fire. A little gasoline, a small pin and a little bit of fire and it was cleaned up. Put back into the lawnmower and with a couple of tugs the lawnmower came to life. That little spark plug, takes up maybe 1/100 of the size of the lawnmower, is what kept the lawnmower from working.

The Bible talks about something that is small like the spark plug, but it controls a large item.

Jas 3:5-6 CEV
(5) Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things. It takes only a spark to start a forest fire!
(6) The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person's entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself.

Unlike the lawnmower, where the spark is used for good, the tongue will light up a lot of problems. It might be a good idea to get something to control its spark like the dirt did my lawnmower. That thing would be the Word of God. Get it in there, do not let the devil clean it out. It can help to control that spark so that you will not be responsible for a large problems later.

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

Monday, May 21, 2007

May 21, 2007 - Love and repect

May 21, 2007

1Sa 1:6-8 GW
(6) Because the LORD had made her unable to have children, her rival Peninnah tormented her endlessly in order to make her miserable.
(7) This happened year after year. Whenever Hannah went to the LORD'S house, Peninnah would make her miserable, and Hannah would cry and not eat.
(8) Her husband Elkanah would ask her, "Hannah, why are you crying? Why haven't you eaten? Why are you so downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"

It would be so easy here to talk about not having two wives, or any number of several other things. I will focus on the husbands reaction here. In his response to Hannah, Elkanah did not take it to consideration the one thing that his wife needed. She did not need him to fix the problem and tell her that he was better than 10 sons. No, she needed him to love her. Instead he did what men all over the world do, he tried to solve her problem. In doing so, her need for love went unmet.

In his excellent book, Love and Respect, Emerson Eggerichs gives men the needed tools to provide for what their wives need. It so easy for men like myself to say that we would have hugged her and comforted her with words of love. If so, do a check up on what you do in your own marriage when your wife comes to you with problems.

Woman, you do not get off so easy here. Hannah did not read the book either. She goes on and makes vows to the Lord about her child and does not consult her husband. The other side of a man giving you unconditional is that you have to give him unconditional respect. She did not respect him when she did as she did with her vows. Just like in talking to them men, it would be easy to say that you would never do that and consult your husband first. Time for you to do a check up also.

What a man needs is not what a woman needs and we need to see what the other needs and meet it in order to get our needs met. In the end it is God that both of you should be coming to.

Translation Information
GOD'S WORD Copyright © 1995 by GOD'S WORD to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

May 20, 2007

May 20, 2007

Psa 16:8-9 KJV

(8) I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

(9) Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

There are going to be problems in life. When they happen the thing to do is to remember that the Lord is the top priority in your life. Why? Because you need to remember the good things that He has done for you. You do not need to focus on what the devil has done for you.

When you do, what happens. You can enter into a rest. You can rejoice, you can be glad.

Remember the good things from God every day.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

May 19, 2007 - Child like faith

May 19, 2007

Luk 9:48 KJV
(48) And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

Jesus spoke to His disciples to explain a very simple statement that should have been easy to understand. When someone accepts a child and helps them, then he helps Jesus and by association he also helps God.

But is it just a child. Personally I do not think so. Do not take it as Gospel, I do not know. But I would think that it is anyone who has child like faith. What do I mean by that? Have you ever watch a dad with a young child up on a jungle-jim or something like that. Daddy will tell the child to jump and though they may think about it a moment or two, they will jump in to dad's hands. They have faith in a dad who will not let them get hurt. We need to have that faith, the child like trust, that God will not let us get hurt when we jump into His arms and do what He asks. When someone helps us to do what He asks, then they also are helping Jesus and by association, Jesus. We also need to look for thoseopportunities to help those who are doing God's will.

Friday, May 18, 2007

May 18, 2007 - Justice

May 18, 2007

Job 34:16-17 NET
(16) God Is Impartial and Omniscient

"If you have understanding, listen to this,
hear what I have to say.
(17) Do you really think
that one who hates justice can govern?
And will you declare guilty
the supremely righteous One,

Job fully understood where he was in God's system of justice. He may not of been clear as to why he went through what he did, but he understood God's justice.

Even in our earthly state we know that you cannot have a judge who thinks justice is bad. Even if he is a bad judge, he will be judging by some standard. Now take that up a notch. If God is the one to judge us, how much more will that be true. God cannot judge us with a standard that will change. It is true and steady. If it were not so the world would be in a chaotic state that we could not live in.

Now we need to think about what else v. 17 says. Can you declare God guilty? If He establishes the law, do you think He would break it.

When God judges us, He does it by one standard. It is by the blood of Jesus. It is the one law that is there that we can know. Jesus blood washes away our sin so that God cannot see it anymore. If you have not, wash yourself in the blood of Jesus today.

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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 17, 2007 - Lessons from an herb garden

May 17, 2007

Once a month, the Home Depot has a Kids Workshop day. The parents and kids come in, are given a project free of charge and get to build it together. This month, in honor of Mother's Day of course, the project was an herb garden. We made our project, and brought them home and my youngest gave his to mom, complete with the seeds planted in the pot.

We watched each day to see if the seeds were growing. I though he had planted them down to far and would never reach the top. One day we looked and there they were, one set of plants had made it through. He wanted to take it out and look at it but I explained that the plant would be killed if he did that. We could not replant it back down. After a few more days we could take the plants and use them as herbs in cooking, but for now, give the herbs time to grow.

How much is our faith like that though? Don't we want to harvest when we see the blade sticking through. Jesus warns about this though:

Mar 4:28-29 KJV
(28) For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
(29) But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

The time to harvest is not when the blade sticks through, it is when you get to the fruit stage. So many times I have wanted to thank God for the first return I got. That killed any others from coming. Know when to harvest.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 16, 2007 - What's in a name?

May 16, 2007

Php 2:9-11 ALT
(9) And so God highly exalted Him [or, put Him in the most important position] and gave to Him a Name, the [Name] above every name,
(10) so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of heavenly [ones] and of earthly [ones] and of [ones] under the earth,
(11) and every tongue [fig., person] shall confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord to [the] glory of God [the] Father! [cp. Isaiah 45:23]

You have a problem. It has a name. Poverty, illness, whatever, it has a name. If it does not have a name, make one up for it.

Why? Because at the name of Jesus, every thing that has a name is lower than Jesus, the name above all other names. It will have to bow its knee to Jesus name.

But do not forget, you will have to bow your knee as well. Jesus' name is above your name as well. Too many times, we win the battle and then put ourselves back up on the throne.

Make sure that you have Jesus and that you confess Him as Lord.

Translation Information
Scripture taken from the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1999-2001 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May 15, 2007 - Do you have needs

May 15, 2007

Php 4:19 EMTV
(19) And my God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I am sorry that this is getting out late today. Normally I try to get them out by lunchtime. I had a call this morning from my boss. I have been laid off from my job. I do not tell you that for sympathy. I tell you that as a testimony. I have been laid of 3 times in 30 years, this being the third. Each of the two previous times it happened, it did not happen at the best of times. But you know what. I had all my needs met. I may not have had my wants met, but my needs were met.

The same God that did it for me twice before will do it again this time. More importantly, what ever your needs are today, God can meet them as well. Of that I am confident. Whatever needs you may have, come to Him confidently and He will provide what you need.

Translation Information
English Majority Text Version (EMTV) of the Holy Bible, New Testament. Copyright © 2002-2003 Paul W. Esposito.

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 17, 2007 - ... deliver us from evil

May 14, 2007

Luk 11:4 KJV
(4) ... but deliver us from evil.

Unlike temptations that Jesus just talked about that can come from God Himself, evil can only come from one place. Satan is the one responsible. Jesus is teaching us that God keep us from evil.

There is only one way that God can keep us from evil, if we ourselves keep ourselves dwelling in His word and fellowshipping with others. How does that fit in with God delivering us from it? There are times when God will put a church in your path and say go there. Or He may put people in your life and say you need to listen to them. If you do not listen to God, these people who come along will be just that people. You will not see them as God's way of keeping you from doing wrong.

Has God put people in your path today?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

May 13, 2007 - lead us not into temptation

May 13, 2007

Luk 11:4 KJV
(4) ... And lead us not into temptation; ...

God does not want to lead us into temptation. There are times when he must though. The prayer here is not for God necessarily but for man.

Man if he is going to prove that he is not going to sin needs to be tempted once in a while. God will allow for the temptation to take place. If we sin and fall is He mad with us. No. If it happens it shows us where we need to be stronger.

When temptations come, look on them as times to succeed, not fail.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 12, 2007 - Forgive us sins....

May 12, 2007

Luk 11:4 KJV
(4) And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. ...

A very hard thing to do. We want God to forgive us our sins. How often are we wanting to forgive others their sins against us?

Having that sin against us and not forgiving them allows us to have the trump card. When ever they do anything we can play that trump card and say 'You never change, you are always going to be the same.' Do you realize that God could do the same. He could carry that baggage of what we have done and say 'you will never change'. God does not play the trump card, at least not to us. He gave Jesus to trump Satan, but he will not play it against us, He so loved the world that he sent His Son.

Take some time to think about that when you want to hold something over someone else.

Friday, May 11, 2007

May 11, 2007 - Our Daily Bread

May 11, 2007

Luk 11:3 KJV
(3) Give us day by day our daily bread.

Mathew's version of the Our Father, the one that we most often pray, differs from the one in Luke that we have been exploring. In place of 'Give us this day our daily bread," Luke says to 'give us day by day our daily bread'. Not much difference really, is there? Well I think there is a little difference. You see give us our daily bread means we have food for each day. It would be compared to us going in to the market when we get paid and buying enough food for the month. We have our daily bread. But the prayer in Luke is much different. It says give us day by day what we need. Each day we are to believe God for what we need for that day. If you do not think that this is much of a difference, try being poor and having to live day by day, not knowing where the next bit of money will be coming from.

The point here is that we need to get our eyes off of our jobs, our inheritance, what ever we believe it is that will provide our income. We need to focus on God to give it to us, day by day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

May 10, 2007 - On earth as it is in heaven

May 10, 2007

Luk 11:2 KJV
(2) ... Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

God's will be done. Interesting. Why if God wants His will to be done does He not do it? For the same reason that He made man in the first place is the reason. Man was made to worship God freely. If He wanted us to turn to Him automatically then He would have made us angels. While angels must have some degree of free will (Satan did try to do things his own way), they were made to serve God. Man was meant to have free choice in what He did. He could turn to God or turn away.

That does not mean however that God does not want what is in heaven here on earth. He put Adam in a perfect place to start with. It was only when Adam turned to Satan that earth lost its perfection.

We can have heaven on earth, at least in our little corner. We just need to love one another as He loves us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

May 9, 2007 - ...Thy Kingdom Come ...

May 9, 2007

Luk 11:2 KJV
(2) ... Thy kingdom come. ...

God's kingdom is what Jesus prayed here that would come. Here on earth. How is that possible?

How can something so holy come to this earth? In the end of time there will be a new heaven and a new earth, then it could come to a pure earth, but as long as the earth has sinful people it could not be established.

Maybe Jesus was referring to the end time coming quickly. Lets get the earth changed and get it done. We are still here 2000 years later. I guess we can throw out that idea.

In another part of the Bible, Jesus states that the 'kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy'. In other words, the kingdom of God is in us. We need to have these qualities and then the kingdom of God will be here on earth. When we have those qualities, others will see it and want to be members of this kingdom as well.

Strive in your life to bring it into righteousness, peace and joy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

May 8, 2007

May 8, 2007

Luk 11:2 KJV
(2) ... Hallowed be thy name. ...

Hallowed. There is another interesting word that has fallen out of use in this day and age. Strong's concordance says: " to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:". Do you make holy the name of God. This means more that just not using it as a cuss word.

Growing up in the Catholic church skewed how I look at a lot of things. I used to think that the Bible could not touch the ground or it would have to be burned because that is what I was taught. I learned that the words inside is what made it holy, not the book itself. I was taught that the sanctuary was a holy place where God lived and there should be no running around. I later learned that people make the place holy not the place.

I was taught reverence but not for the right things. The thing that we should be making Holy is the name of God. How do we do that. We need to be careful of how we speak of God to people. We should not just use the name flippantly. When we speak of God we should not joke about His name.

How do you revere the name of God?

Monday, May 7, 2007

May 7, 2007 - ..which art in heaven...

May 7, 2006

Luk 11:2 KJV
(2) ...which art in heaven, ...

What a strange little phrase. In the King James times, it meant a lot more that it does to us today. 'Which art' would be better translated if I am reading my concordance right, 'the one who is". So a better translation would be the one who is in Heaven. Why would Jesus direct us to pray to the Father in heaven? I would guess it would have to do with who you think your Father is.

Jesus will go on to talk about forgiveness and providing for us as things to pray. If your image of God (see yesterday's devotional) is one of a vengeful judge who is going to hammer you down if you get out of line, you might be praying to the wrong god. To me that sounds more like Satan. He is a deceiver and will let you pray to a false image of the real God.

Think about it. Can you pray to God to bless you if you think He will squash you? A stream can not have bitter and sweet water. God can not be like two different personalities. If God was like that he would be of two minds.

Where does your God reside?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

May 6, 2007 - Our Father

May 6, 2005

Luk 11:2 KJV
(2) And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father ....

Our Father. Conjures up some images in your mind, doesn't it? A few years ago a trusted friend had me picture what it would be like if I were to crawl up into my heavenly Father's lap. Be there asking Him for what ever I needed. It was hard for me to do. I felt small, like a piece of sand on His lap, like he hardly noticed me and I was an irritant to Him.

Many of us have these problems because we had earthly fathers who were far from perfect. In my own case, my biggest memory of my dad was when he took a belt to my bare bottom and kept hitting me till I had let loose my bladder all over the floor, and then made me clean it up. Why, because I had yelled at my older two brothers. We had gone to the Red Sox game that afternoon, and for some reason my brothers teased me. I did not know it yet, but I had the German Measles , and was running a fever and had a headache. When they started teasing me, I got upset real quick and started yelling. That is when dad came down the stairs and you know the rest. For years, that has been my memory of my dad. That could be why I had, and sometimes still have, a bad image of God.

Did you notice something about that story? God called my attention to it when I was thinking of it the other day. I told you my dad took me to the Red Sox game. Why do I focus on the bad things, when there was a great afternoon of baseball, ice-cream, pop corn and a trip into Boston to think about? You see, like many of us, I remember the negative so much more clearly. God pointed out to me that I choose to live in those memories of my father and it affects how I think of Him as Father. He wants me to look back at the good stuff that my dad did for me. Does that mean I will forget the bad things? Nope! They will always be part of my memory of my dad. But I can choose to start looking for the good as well.

Do you have a father that hurt you? Can you find something good in him to remember him about? If your dad is still alive, try making good memories with him while you can. Learn to focus on the good and I am sure your image of 'our Father' will improve.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

May 5, 2007 - Behind the verse

May 5, 2007

Psa 96:4 KJV
(4) For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.

I always wonder about people who do not want to do praise and worship. They say that God wants us to praise Him quietly and in reverence. My Bible says He is 'greatly to be praised'. Strongs concordance says that it would be better translated vehemently. What does vehemently mean? One definition from the dictionary is 'Characterized by forcefulness of expression or intensity of emotion or conviction;'. That does not sound like the 'I will sit in my chair and quietly hear from God' type of praise. We need to get up and worship Him.

There is a time to stop and listen to the still small voice, but that is not what Praise is about. Praise and worship is giving of ourselves fully in a way that glorifies Him. When you stop to listen to Him, that should be a time of quiet prayer later.

The rest of the verse was not translated well either. When it says feared, it should say revere or show respect. I have taught all my children not to touch a hot pot or they will get burned. Do they fear that hot pot and that is the reason they do not touch it? No, they respect the fact that a hot pot can burn and hurt them. So I fear God? No, I have a deep respect for Him. I know He has the power to snuff my light out in a second if He wished. But I also know that He is my Father and would not do so.

Sometimes you have to look behind the verses to see what they really say.

Friday, May 4, 2007

May 4, 2007 - Fire

May 4, 2007

I may have left some confused yesterday as I know God is a God of love, but it would seem that I painted Him as a God of vengeance. God forgives the sin when we ask but there will be a punishment. Let's start with some facts from First Corinthians:

1Co 3:10 KJV
(10) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Paul, and we when we lead others to Christ are masterbuilders. We lay a foundation in their life. Likewise in our lives a foundation was laid for us.

1Co 3:11 KJV
(11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

That foundation is Jesus Christ, our rock. We are responsible for what gets built on it. That is where our reward and punishment system comes in to play.

1Co 3:12 KJV
(12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

The works that we do can be transferred to one of six items as Paul writes it. We need to break these down into two groups because of the next verse. Gold, silver and precious stones are in one group. Wood, hay and stubble are in the other. Notice that they go in order from the most valuable to the least. While we know what most of them are some may not know what stubble is. Stubble is the rough part of the plant that is left behind and dries out. You might put it in bricks like the Hebrews did in Egypt, but it has little value. Think of the things that you have done as a Christian. Which ones are gold, silver or precious stones? Which of those works are wood or hay? Now which of them is stubble?

1Co 3:13-15 KJV
(13) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
(14) If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
(15) If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Now if someone has not accepted Jesus, none of this matters. They will go to the lake of fire. But as Christians, what we do will bring us our reward (or punishment) in our life in heaven. What we build on our foundation will have fire put to it when we get to heaven. What happens to gold, silver and precious stones? The fire takes them and purifies them even more. What happens when the fire is put to the wood, hay and stubble. I can tell you that I had two ricks of firewood at one time. One cold winter I burned them all to help stay warm. Two ricks is a good size, but when I cleaned out the fireplace, all of that wood got taken out in a small box. Those works, for all purposes, have gone.

Our reward will be based on the good and the bad we have done. We as Christians will survive even if all we have left is the ash from the fire. The fire will not take out the gold, silver and precious stones, they will be our reward. It has been suggested by one person I read, that what is left is what our home in heaven shall be built of. What type of building do you want?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

May 3, 2007 - Punishment

May 3, 2007

Col 3:25 CEV
(25) But Christ has no favorites! He will punish evil people, just as they deserve.

I read a sad news story today. A woman gave birth to a child in a bath tub and then proceeded to drown the child. She wrapped it in a plastic bag and then put her other children in the car, drove to a trash receptacle and threw the newborn out. The reason she did all this, her husband had a vasectomy seven years before. She was covering up her sin.

What she did was no different than what David did to Uriah the Hittite when he stole Bathsheba. Someone else paid to cover up a sin. Someone who was Innocent in the matter. When we read about it in the Bible, it is a story. When we hear about it in real life, we shake our heads about the tragedy.

It made me sick to read that story. I wanted to say, put that woman in jail and throw away the key. Then I thought about what David did. I thought about how he was able to redeem himself before God. God is a loving God. David did get punished. They lost the child. Later, because he was a King of War, David was not allowed to build the temple. How much of that 'war' was because of the death of Uriah? I do not know. I do know this. God has no favorites. Punishment will come. It came for David, it will come for that woman as well. We get what we deserve. Even as Christians, punishment will come. (More tomorrow)

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

May 2, 2007 - Rain

May 2, 2007

Jer 15:16 NET
(16) As your words came to me I drank them in,
and they filled my heart with joy and happiness
because I belong to you, O LORD, the God who rules over all.

What are God's words to you. As I write this, there is a steady rain going on outside my window. The ground which had been dry and the grass which had been wilting have become alive and I will have to cut the grass soon. Why? Because the ground took in the rain and fed the nutrients in them to the grass. When the ground was dry, it could not give.

God's word is like that. You need to drink them in like the ground drinks in the rain. Only then can you give back the life it gives you to others around you. You should, however, not feel like it is a drudgery to read it. It should fill you with joy and happiness to do so. If you struggle to read the Bible each day, then you may need to change the way you do things. You may need to look to your relationship with the Heavenly Father. You need to know that you belong to Him. Then, as you read, the Holy Spirit can speak to you and you can listen and learn. Then like the scripture says, you will have joy and happiness.

Translation Information
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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

May 1, 2007 - What do you posses?

May 1, 2007

Jer 3:8 KJV
(8) And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.

Recently I listen to a sermon where the speaker tried to explain that you can profess something and not posses it, and if you posses it you can profess it. Before you scratch your head and say "HUH?" let me give you an example. I can profess to you that I am a computer repair person. If I come to your house and cannot even figure out how to open the case, you have reason to doubt what I have professed to you. If on the other hand, the skills that I posses become obvious to you buy the speed and professionalism I have then you would say that I was right in my profession. Profession does not always equal possession.

In the time of today's scripture Judah was professing to be the one close to God. Israel was the one that was running around like the bad sheep of the family doing all the evil things. But Judah had its skeletons in its closet as well. While it looked to the world as God's darling child, it was no better than the rebellious one.

In our lives it can be so easy to look at others and say that they are getting what they deserve. Maybe we need to look at ourselves. Maybe we need to see, like Judah should have, if what we profess is what we posses.