September 29, 2007
Often people want to appear to be spiritual. They want to be one way in front of others and another in private. How many times have you heard of a marriage that looked good on the outside to people but in private they were on the edge of divorce. Spiritually they want every one to think that they are the best, and they will speak out against things that they themselves do in private. They are hypocrites.
The problem is not new. Paul experienced it in the early church.
Gal 2:14 GW
(14) But I saw that they were not properly following the truth of the Good News. So I told Cephas in front of everyone, "You're Jewish, but you live like a person who is not Jewish. So how can you insist that people who are not Jewish must live like Jews?"
Be careful as you go through life that you yourself do not fall into this trap. In talking with someone one day, I tried to give him advice that I myself did not do like I should. How can I tell him what to do? I later worked on the problem in my own life and can now speak to fix that problem.
Work on things in your life, work with others. Do not ask others what you cannot do yourself. And especially do not put them down when they do not do what you yourself cannot do.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
September 28, 2007
Num 11:4 KJ2000
(4) And the mixed multitude that was among them had a strong craving: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
When the Israelites left Egypt they did not go alone. There were a bunch of others who left with them. They were some Egyptians, some of other nations, all poor that found that Egypt was a good place for a handout. All they really cared about was where the next meal was coming from. And now they were out in the desert and there was no food around. Notice who started the complaining. The riff-raff that had come along for the handout. The people of Israel became influenced by them and started the complaining as well.
Is that like your life? Do you walk with God? Then does someone come along and talk about how bad something is. You wind up wondering if they are right and let yourself get mixed up in it. Next you know, you are asking God why He is not fixing the problem. In reality, you probably had the solution and did not realize it cause the 'mixed multitude' was influencing you. Do not let them influence you. Do what God has you to do.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
September 27, 2007
The news today, as I am writing this, is full of racism. I think it ironic that as I found was reading Galatians today, that this verse came up:
Gal 3:28 BBE
(28) There is no Jew or Greek, servant or free, male or female: because you are all one in Jesus Christ.
As you read this, unless you know me or have looked at my picture, you are not aware of what color I am. Except for the fact that I have mentioned my sex several times in the writings, and my name is Bob, you probably would not guess my sex I would assume. You can not even tell my age. And that is the way it should be. That is the way that God makes us. It is us that makes the distinction. It is also, often our parents teaching us of one class of citizens is not as good as we are.
If God does not see us as different, why do we put walls between us?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
September 26, 2007
It is interesting how things can change. You see, In the Book of Isiah, Hezekiah King of Judah, was under attack by the King of Syria. And he knew he did not have a chance. And the servant of the King was just moving his mouth to get them even more downtrodden. So Hezekiah goes to Isiah and says:
Isa 37:4 BBE
(4) It may be that the Lord your God will give ear to the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria, his master, has sent to say evil things against the living God, and will make his words come to nothing: so make your prayer for the rest of the people.
Notice that, the 'Lord your God'. It was not the God of Hezekiah, it was the God of Isiah. Isiah tells them that he can Go in peace, God was going to take care of things. So he goes. But the mouth keeps telling them they are lost and Syria will take over.
So what does Hezekiah do? He gathers the reports and goes to the Temple to talk to God.
Isa 37:20 BBE
(20) But now, O Lord our God, give us salvation from his hand, so that it may be clear to all the kingdoms of the earth that you, and you only, are the Lord.
What happened? He went from the 'Lord your God' to the 'Lord our God'. There was a change of faith and with that the success that was to follow. The man making the threats was recalled home and killed by his own sons. Notice that the faith was no longer someone else;s faith, it was his own.
Where is your faith? Is it the faith in the God of your parents? Maybe the God of you pastor? How about your own God?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
September 25, 2007
My mom tells the story about when she first married my dad and moved from New Orleans that gets 1/4 inch of snow in a decade to Boston. They went to visit my dad's relatives in the mountains of western Massachusetts. While there in November, she saw her first snow. It kept coming and coming and coming. It was knee deep and she was out on the back porch just in love with the way it looked and seeing the animals come out of the woods in his back yard to find food in the yard.
Now, 50 plus years later she has seen enough of it and could care less about seeing one more flake of it.
Hos 6:4 GW
(4) "What should I do with you, Ephraim? What should I do with you, Judah? Your love is like fog in the morning. It disappears as quickly as the morning dew.
Like Judah and Ephraim my moms love had gone cold. Judah and Ephraim however had lost their love for God.
How much are we like them and my mom. When we first became Christians, everything was fresh and white and we loved they way it looked and felt. Now it is so common that our love has melted away to a muddy slush. That displeases God. We need to rekindle that love.
How is your love for God today?
Monday, September 24, 2007
September 24, 2007
As I sat at a stoplight and waited impatiently today, God reminded me of a scripture:
Isa 40:31 KJV
(31) But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
We live in an instant society. We eat fast food cause it takes to long to cook normal food. We have TVs that turn on instantly. Even our cell phones are instant push button to talk on awalkie-talkie. We can even download sermons on the Internet to listen to when ever we want to at the click of a mouse.
But God is not instant. God wants us to wait. God wants us to trust Him. We do not get thinks in an instant from Him. We need to take the time to talk to Him and then we need to shut up and wait on Him to speak to us.
Learn to wait.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
September 23, 2007
I helped out in the 5th and 6th grades service at my church this morning. They get the meat of the word, just like the adults do in big service, but they get it in ways that they can understand. The verse we looked at was:
2Co 5:7 AUV-NT
(7) for we live by faith, not by what we see.
The example that the minister used with the children was to blindfold one of the members and have another one give instructions to him so that he could do them. The one giving instructions represented faith and the person walking around was obviously 'walking by faith.'
One interesting thing happened. The minister had to keep reminding the other members in the group to be quiet so the blindfolded child could hear the instructions.
I thought to myself as I saw this happen that what a real example of the world this was. Each day there are thousands of voices that cry out to get our attention. They try to drown out the voice of faith that is trying to guide us. If that child had stopped because he could not hear the voice of faith, or even worse, listened to the instructions someone else gave, he could have been hurt.
We need to listen to that voice of faith in our lives. Focus on it and not what the world is trying to do to us.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
September 22, 2007
Est 4:11 ASV
(11) All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law for him, that he be put to death, except those to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
What a perfect picture of how we are to approach God. Think about it.
The world thinks about God as the King. No one can approach Him unless he calls Him. If a person does it is to be absolute death.
We on the other hand, believers in God, know, that we can come to God at any time. He holds out the Golden Sceptre to us. That Golden Sceptre has a name of Jesus. Anytime we want to approach God, we know that we will see Jesus reaching out to us.
Go to God any time and talk to Him. He will listen to you.
Friday, September 21, 2007
September 21, 2007
God's method for teaching is not hard. It is so simple it has been stolen by the world and used for illegal money raising.
2Ti 2:2 CEV
(2) You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others.
If each one of us finds several people and tells and teaches them about Jesus, we could cover the earth with believers if they
The world calls this a pyramid scheme. The first one in sells products to the second one. Each one after that makes money from the ones they bring in. It does not take a rocket scientist to see the math in this. If everyone got two people in this, then there would soon be no one left to join.
Likewise, we are to do this. The reward in our case is that we will see the earth covered with believers and get our eternal reward in heaven.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
September 20, 2007
Reading the Bible all the way through can sometimes be taxing, though the benefits are tremendous. I say that because no body I know loves the read the 'begats.' You know what the verses where some has a child named something that has a child that is named something else. Do you know that there are little nuggets in them?
Rth 4:21-22 KJV
(21) And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,
(22) And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
From the book of Ruth there is a small genealogy that says a lot if you know the story. Ruth was from Moab, a nation that the Hebrews were not to take wives from. She had returned to Israel with her mother-in-law who had left Israel with her husband and sons during a drought. They all died and she left for home, Ruth following her.
When she gets back, we find that Boaz is a kinsman-redeemer, who who could marry the widow of a dead relative so that a child could be raised up in the name of the dead man.
Now look, Boaz, who married Ruth, from Moab, had Obed, who had Jesse who had David. Make that King David. Some one was in David's blood line who should have not been there, a woman fromMoab. And from David, Jesus came.
The next time that you think that you can do nothing for the Lord, remember Ruth, a Moabite woman. She should not be there, but she is.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
September 19, 2007
2Co 12:10 KJV
(10) .... for when I am weak, then am I strong.
In reading to my youngest children, this verse came up. Annie, my girl, looked up at me and said, 'Dad, I just do not get it.' A quick prayer to God gave me just how to answer it and I share it with you.
A little boy was given a task to do by his father. He did every thing he could to accomplish the task but was not having much luck. No matter what he tried he just did not have the strength to do what was required and told his father so.
You have not tried everything the dad told him.
Huh, what do you mean?
You have not tried everything!
I have to, you have been standing there watching me.
You have not tried everything.
What have I not tried?
You have not asked me to help.
The son had to admit he was weak, and when he did, then he could get the strength from his father.
We also in our lives, when we come up against problems in our lives that we can not handle ourselves, have to stop, say we are weak and ask God for help. Only in our weakness can we get the strength we need from God to do the task, or beat the problem.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
September 18, 2007
Job 16:4-5 CEV
(4) If I were in your place, it would be easy to criticize or to give advice.
(5) But I would offer hope and comfort instead.
Job for all his problems has some very good advice to give.
Have you ever had a friend that has a problem? Maybe one that you had talked with him about before. You most likely want to say to them, 'look I told you how to fix it before, no don't bother me again till you do what I told you to do.'
That is not the way of Job. Job says, I could criticize, or tell you what to do, but what I will do is to tell you about the hope we can have if we do what God asks us to do. Then he would try to give comfort, maybe even help physically if that was necessary.
Maybe, just maybe, we need to learn to be more like Job.
Monday, September 17, 2007
September 17, 2007
Isa 2:22 CEV
(22) Stop trusting the power of humans. They are all going to die, so how can they help?
Human beings are not to be trusted. Now that is a general statement. Of course you trust your parents, your kids, your spouse. But your real trust is to be in God. Your parents can fail you. They may die before they get to help you raise their grand-kids. There are a number of things through no fault of theirs, or maybe by their fault.
God wants us to know, that no matter what, people breath air and they die. Do not have trust in them. Only put your trust in God. He is the one that you will always have with you.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
September 16, 2007
Years ago, in raising my children, I always knew when they were lying. They would ask how I knew. I would tell them that God spoke to me through the Holy Spirit. I was not lying. There was no real reason for me to know.
Would you like to have that power also. It is available to you.
2Ki 6:12 KJVR
(12) And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
Israel was not even following God at that time. If He would do that for them, what will He do for those of us that follow Him. But be like Elisha. Do what God tells you to do with life.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
September 15, 2007
Gen 46:3 KJV
(3) And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
What kind of legacy do you hand down to your children. Jacob had as his God, the God of his fathers.
Have you taken time to talk to your children about God. If they are young do you take them to church? Better yet, do you take time to read to them the Bible and teach them what it means.
Will you children have the God of their father?
Friday, September 14, 2007
September 14, 2007
Psa 57:7 NET
(7) I am determined, O God! I am determined!
I will sing and praise you!
The opening of this psalm says it was a prayer of David when he was being chased by Saul and was in a cave. Think of that. The man who was his best friend's father was out trying to kill him and he is hiding in a cave. I think that would probably have me questioning if God was around or even real. I had been to the top and now I was at rock bottom.
But here is David, at the lowest point in his life and what does he do?
He tells himself, he is determined to praise God.
No wonder it was said if him that he was a man after God's own heart. We would do good to copy his actions.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
September 13, 2007
Do you know when you are going to die. Ahab the King of Israel felt he was safe enough to go into battle but for protection, he had the King of Judah go with him in Kings robes while he went in a regular soldiers clothing. He felt this way that he would have double protection for the enemy soldiers would go after the royal figures and leave the common solider alone. Well they chased after the King of Judah and recognized him, then stopped the chase. Then an interesting thing happens:
2Ch 18:33 BBE
(33) And a certain man sent an arrow from his bow without thought of its direction, and gave the king of Israel a wound where his breastplate was joined to his clothing; so he said to the driver of his war-carriage, Go to one side and take me away out of the army, for I am badly wounded.
Can you believe that? Ahab had been avoiding death but it wound up looking at him straight in the face. He died that day, by sundown.
We do not know when the end is coming. We may say that we can stop this habit or that, but the truth is, we do not know if we will have enough time. Maybe we need to stop doing those things that grieve God when we do them. Get a Christian friend and have them work with you as an accountability partner. Stop offending God, the time is short.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
September 12, 2007
The other day I was watching a TV show where two of the characters were talking. The first one said to the second, 'I forgive you,' and the first replied, 'Did I ask for your forgiveness?'
It hit me kind of funny. Do we have to get permission from a person before we forgive them. If they do not ask for it or receive it, has my forgiveness not happened.
As a Christian, I thought about the words of Jesus:
Mar 11:26 KJV
(26) But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
We are required to forgive others. If they do not know it or accept it, the forgiveness is still there.
This day after 9/11 we need to forgive those who have done wrong to our country. We are not to forget. Forgetting is not the same as forgiving. We must remember what we lost and not let it happen again. But we are to forgive those who would do us wrong, even if they do not ask for it.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
September 11, 2007
On this day in 2001, people felt that they wanted to force their lifestyle on us. They felt that Christianity was not a good thing and wanted to remove my freedom to decide if it was right for me or not. They wanted to not only remove my choice but that of everyone in the world, you included.
Problem is, God gives us freedom. They claim that in the name of God, supposedly the same God that we worship, that they were trying to take my choice away because that was what God wanted.
Problem is that the Bible I read, the word of God, says that we have freedom to choose between worshiping God or walking away from Him. Furthermore, the Bible clearly states that if I follow Jesus I am free:
Joh 8:30-32 KJV
(30) As he spake these words, many believed on him.
(31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
(32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
To those who died on 9/11 I pray that your deaths were not in vain, that people will never give up their freedom to decide. I also pray that people will know the same freedoms that I do.
Monday, September 10, 2007
September 10, 2007
Isa 46:4 BBE
(4) Even when you are old I will be the same, and when you are grey-haired I will take care of you: I will still be responsible for what I made; yes, I will take you and keep you safe.
God carries us through all things. In the grey desolate days we may seem to think that God is so far away. We seem to be handling things on our own. We cannot sense His presence. Loneliness seems to surround us and no one seems to be there.
Yet through it all, the prophet Isiah tells us. he is carrying us through the problems. He is there beside us wanting to reach out an comfort us in our loneliness, we just have to sense Him and receive Him.
I know all this takes faith, but didn't your salvation also take faith. Understand the God is with us. Reach out and touch Him.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
September 9, 2007
Judges 16 (KJV)
8 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
We all seem to look at Sampson as a great man of God. He destroyed so many Philistines and freed God's people. Was he really that great? No. He was a skirt chaser, he was a glory seeker.
Our verse today shows what I am talking about. What so many people see as his greatest achievement was really his biggest most selfish act. Look at what he says.
Let me destroy them so that I can avenge them of my eyes. He wanted to destroy them not for the glory of God. He wanted to destroy them for his own selfish needs.
How much do the jobs that we do for God really glorify us? Think about it and take steps to fix it.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
September 8, 2007
Jer 29:12 KJV
(12) Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
God is as near as we need Him to be. All we have to do is ask Him a question and He will listen to us.
Does that seem right? The God of all the universe is going to pay attention to me. He is going to pay attention to me even when others all around me need to talk to Him as well? How can that be?
We do not think of things the way that God does. God does not exist in the same plane that we do. He can hear us all. How do I know. I know because His word says He will pay attention to me when I speak to Him. I have taken time to speak to Him and I can tell you, when I speak, He speaks back to me.
Need to talk to God, talk to Him, He will hear you.
Friday, September 7, 2007
September 7, 2007
Mar 8:38 CEV
(38) Don't be ashamed of me and my message among these unfaithful and sinful people! If you are, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Have you ever tried to avoid letting people know that you are a Christian. I am not talking about not telling them, if you told everyone that you met that you were a Christian that could be annoying. It is possible to let people know you are a Christian by your actions. It is also possible that you can work it into the conversation.
As an example, my pastor has a love of quality cars. He has several older cars that have been restored and will have one of the staff take one of them to car shows in the area. They are quality jobs and people will come up and look at them and ask the person about them. A lot of times they will ask about who owns it and they will mention that our pastor owns it. 'A Christian owns that???' It is amazing the responses that it will get. They can now tell about Jesus and how God wants us to be happy. It is amazing how they see Christians in a better light and may even be heading to our church soon.
Take your time and see where you can talk about Jesus in what you do each day. Do not push your Christianity on others but do not hide it either.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
September 6, 2007
In our recent readings from Job I have talked about how Job got it all wrong. He did not know that Satan was the one that was doing things to him. Let's see if the Bible will support that it is Satan that brings problems.
Joh 10:10 KJ2000
(10) The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Well, some might say that the scripture from John does not say God does not send problems. It just says that the thief (Satan) does. Got anything better Bob? In fact I do!
Jas 1:17 KJ2000
(17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
This verse clearly tells where the good things come from.
Now I can hear it, where does God's discipline come from? I may choose to explore that deeper in a few days but know this. Discipline is not the same as punishment. God does not beat us over the head with a big hammer to teach us a lesson. That would be called child abuse. Discipline takes the form of teaching. Like opening your email and getting a verse in a devotional that your pastor just taught on the day before. Could be that God is trying to get your attention and tell you something.
King James 2000 Version of the Holy Bible
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
September 5, 2007
3Jn 1:2 AUV-NT
(2) [My] dearly loved [friend], I am praying that you will do well in everything [materially ?] and that you will have [good] health, just as your soul [i.e., your spiritual life] is doing well.
Is that an amazing thought. John tells us that we are to have a direct proportion between our health and finances and our how our soul is involved in our spiritual life. As we get more spiritual and our soul gets in line with God's word, then we will become more healthy and more prosperous.
This is not a 'name it and claim it' philosophy. It is a live it and claim it style of life. We can not just say what we want, we have to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God.
How is your soul prospering today.
The New Testament: An Understandable Version,
© 1994 by William E. Paul,
Post Office Box 30526
Seattle, Washington 98103
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
September 4, 2007
My daily readings of the Bible have taken me through Job of late. In most other years it was the drudge part of my reading. It always seemed that Job complained, his friends tried to say he was wrong, and on and on. It was really a depressing book. I do not know why but this year as I have been reading through it, it seems that I am finding a lot of nuggets to feast on.
Do not get me wrong, some of what Job complained about was wrong, for example he had it wrong when he said God had done this disaster on him. But there is a lot of truth in what he and his friends say if you can say if you separate the wheat from the chafe.
One thing that God gets wrong is his repeated claim that he has not sinned. For one sentence that he says shows that he has sinned.
Job 3:25 KJV
(25) For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
Fear is a sin. I am not talking about having a fear of flame or spiders, that is just healthy respect. What I am talking about is the fear that Job lived in. While he does not explain if it was his kids dieing, his crops being destroyed, his herds stolen or his sickness (or maybe all of them), he lived in fear and what he was afraid of happened. Fear is the opposite of faith, and we all know, 'without faith it is impossible to please God.' We know that if we do not please God we are in sin, so fear is sin.
Job's sin was he feared what would happen to him. Sometimes in my day to day struggles I to begin to fear. I begin to wonder where the next bill will be paid from, I wonder if my kids will grow up right, I wonder if .... well you get the idea. I am sure you also do the same. It is time to take those fears and put them where they belong. Away from us.
Monday, September 3, 2007
September 3, 2007
Psa 89:45 KJV
(45) The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.
Do you realize that Jesus' life was shortened. Even in His day people usually lived into their 40's or 50's. He could have had a life much longer. Why God chose to end it when He did I do not know. Perhaps the temptation for Jesus to not go through with it would have been to great had He gotten older.
And He was covered with shame. He was spit on. That made Him unclean by Jewish law. It is still the ultimate insult today to be spit upon intentionally by another person.
He gave up so much more than the pain on the cross. He gave His life time so that you and I could live all of ours. He gave up His pride so that we can stand in our pride.
Why then can we not sacrifice for Him? Why do we struggle to read our Bible each day. Why does it take so much effort to be in prayer to Him and His Father?
Sunday, September 2, 2007
September 2, 2007
When I first became a Christian, I remember a preacher joking about about the length of time some believers had been following Jesus. "I have been in 'The Way' for 50 years." "Well get out of the way so we can all get something done!"
Paul faced those same issues in past times. There were Christians that were in the way and would not get out of it. Only he did not use those terms. You might say that he called them babies.
Heb 5:13-14 KJV
(13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
(14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
As we grow as Christians we need to move off the baby food and get on the steak. We do not need to be getting stuff fed to us by the pastor, we need to reading and discovering things in the word on our own. We need to be feeding others.
I go to a fairly large church. It is pretty easy to tell when Pastor is wanting to get people to eat meat. Or when other churches are doing the same. If our pastor is doing it, the attendance goes down. If others are, then the attendance will go up. People do not want to commit, the do not want to grow up, they do not want to eat the 'meat'.
What is your diet like today?
Saturday, September 1, 2007
September 1, 2007
How are you in the presence of the wicked. I do not mean the truly wicked like killers, murders, etc. I mean the person that you work with that maybe tells an off color joke, wants you to cheat on an expense report, you know, the stuff that all sorts of people will do because no one will catch them. King David had that problem one time, and he tried to deal with it like a lot of us today do.
Psalm 39 (NLT)
1 I said to myself, "I will watch what I do
and not sin in what I say.
I will hold my tongue
when the ungodly are around me."
2 But as I stood there in silence—
not even speaking of good things—
the turmoil within me grew worse.
3 The more I thought about it,
the hotter I got,
igniting a fire of words:
As a true Christian, works that the Lord would not want you to get involved with should not be participated in. But even if you are in the presence of them, you can not keep quiet about them. Years ago, I had a boss who wanted me to go out with the 'guys' and have a few beers. I never have had a drink, not for my Christian beliefs, but because my father was an alcoholic . I made the decision to say no. I would not even enter the bar to have a coke because as a Christian I did not feel comfortable in the bar. I was told that if I not become a team player (by joining the guys), I would get a bad review. I would not stay silent about it and I said no. I faced the bad review and was later laid off by the company.
What about you? Do you stand up for God, or do you remain silent? What would God have you do?