Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Give Thanks In All Things - February 29, 2012

Psalm 100:1-5(New International Version)

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

As those who are redeemed, we must always stop to give praise to God. We need to continually have his praises on our lips, because everything we have is from Him. Who we are and whatever we may become are because of Him. Look around you. Look at the blessings that have been showered on you and your family. These are all because God loves you.

But are you faced with an obstacle that seems too much to overcome? Give thanks. Is what you are going through so overwhelming and that it seems as if it will overtake you? Give thanks. At times when things are at their most difficult, and you are at your wits end, give thanks. In each and every thing and in each and every situation, give thanks.

When you give thanks to God, who has given you life and breath, you will see and experience His goodness, mercy, and peace.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chosen By God; What's Next? - February 28, 2012

2 Peter 1:3,5-9 (New International Version)
3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Okay, God chooses you and you can be certain that you will enjoy living in God's favor and grace, because you have taken action and placed your faith in Jesus. He alone saves you from the evil world around you, as the one who has reconciled you to God. What happens next?

Many times people listen to an inspirational and evangelistic message in church, on TV, or during a crusade. Countless numbers then take that step of faith and "give their lives" to Christ. In this simple act of placing their faith in Jesus, they are "born again" into the family of God. But research into church trends will tell you, that this type of "faith" experience will not have lasting effect on most people. In our society in this day and age, it does not translate into any significant change in lifestyle, or increase in church attendance. Why is that?

I would say that these same people have no idea of what needs to happen next. Thankfully the Bible always offers great guidance. The verses from 2 Peter above tells us what must be done after the step of faith has been taken. If we are truly changed, God the Holy Spirit comes to reside in you, and He enables you to have the strength and the power to add to your faith. The same text from The Message says what we are to do best:

5-9 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

If you have undergone this significant and lifechanging experience, get connected with other Christians or a good bible teaching church, and be sure that you grow in your new spiritual life. Jesus offers life change. It is up to us to accept it, take personal resposibility and build on it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chosen By God - February 27, 2012

2 Peter 1:3-4,10-11 (New International Reader's Version)
3 God's power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life. All of that has come to us because we know the One who chose us. He chose us because of his own glory and goodness.

4 He has also given us his very great and valuable promises. He did it so you could share in his nature. He also did it so you could escape from the evil in the world. That evil is caused by sinful longings.
10 My brothers and sisters, be very sure that God has appointed you to be saved. Be sure that he has chosen you. If you do everything I have just said, you will never trip and fall. 11 You will receive a rich welcome into the kingdom that lasts forever. It is the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Life is certainly filled with uncertainty. We don't know what each day, week, month, or year will bring. Rumor has it that there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes! So we wake up each morning, not knowing whether it will be our last, and if it is, are we ready to face what happens next?

In 2Peter, in the face of false teachers and opposition, the author was writing to warn followers of Christ to be sure of what they believed. He makes it very clear in these verses that the Creator of the universe, our God, has chosen us because of His own glory and goodness. God is the one who gives us His power, through His Holy Spirit, to live a righteous and holy life.

All the good things that we are given are from Him, but we don't just inherit them because we are His children. We only receive them if we have faith in the One(Jesus Christ), who has chosen(given his life) for our sins, so that we might be reconciled (made right)with God. Our ability to have faith and live a godly life comes from God Himself.

Because God chooses us, we can be certain that we can enjoy living in this world and the next. But it does take action on our part. The action of placing our faith in Jesus as the only one that can save us. Has God appointed you to be saved? Have you done your part?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Having It All! - February 26, 2012

Luke 6:38 (New American Standard Bible)
38"Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

Luke 6:38 (New Century Version)
38 Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you."

Mark 4:24 (New Century Version)
24 "Think carefully about what you hear. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you, but God will give you even more.

Much has been said about giving these days, but for the believer the act of giving takes on a very spiritual meaning. God is aware of everything we do, and the attitude of our hearts during the act that we are doing. He seeks for us to have a generous heart, giving of ourselves in generosity, and with that same generosity it will be returend to us by God. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking just about material possessions or money.

Our giving can take many forms. Let's say that you spend your time serving in a homeless shelter or helping with the children in Sunday School. This is a gift of your time and service. After it is done and you reflect on it, don't you receive as much if not more benefit from your act and gift of serving others?

God wants us to live in abundance. He wants us to have it all. He demonstrated that to us by giving us the greatest gift of all; His Son Jesus Christ as the payment for our sins. In light of that, abundance in living is achieved through the transformation of our hearts, where we freely give everything in thanks and gratitude to God for His unquestionable love. Freely give because of what you have been freely given.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Praise! - February 25, 2012

Psalm 148 (New Living Translation)
1 Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens!
Praise him from the skies!
2 Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
3 Praise him, sun and moon!
Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
4 Praise him, skies above!
Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
5 Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
for he issued his command, and they came into being.
6 He set them in place forever and ever.
His decree will never be revoked.

7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
8 fire and hail, snow and clouds,
wind and weather that obey him,
9 mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all livestock,
small scurrying animals and birds,
11 kings of the earth and all people,
rulers and judges of the earth,
12 young men and young women,
old men and children.

13 Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
For his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14 He has made his people strong,
honoring his faithful ones—
the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

It its always important that everyday and in everything we do that it is done to worship and bring glory to our Creator and God. If you will meditate on the Psalm above, you will notice that it is the lifting of praise to the Lord from all things that God has created. All creation is a reflection of His glory, and in turn it should bring Him praise.

This is one a a series of "praise" psalms offered by David to God. Although David had a life that was not always praiseworthy, he ultimately pursued God's heart and he sought to surrender his entire being to his Lord. When you have time, spend time in the Psalms. They will bring uplift you and bring you peace.

God bless you as you praise His glorious name!

Friday, February 24, 2012

When We Fall Short - February 24, 2012

Psalm 51:1-4,10-12,17 (New International Version)

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

None of us are perfect, and yes, many times we do not measure up to what God expects of us. But sometimes, we hold on to something we have done in the past that seems so bad, that the guilt and weight of it keeps us from having a close relationship with God.

The verse above came from a Psalm written by Israel's King David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Here was a "man after God's own heart" who was a saint, an adulterer and a murderer. Here was God's chosen king of God's chosen people at a time when he was not worthy of God's favor and mercy. In his desire to make things right with God, David pleaded to God for forgiveness and mercy.

In his plea to God, we can find steps to help us make things right. First, David asked God for mercy. He asked for God's help in cleansing him from his great sin. God provides this to us if we will accept Jesus's sacrifice on our behalf for the forgivenes of our sin. Next he asked God to restore his relationship with him. God again provides this to us by providing his Holy Spirit to comfort us and lead us to righteous living.

David finally sums things up by telling us what is acceptable to God for whatever wrong we may do, that is a humble heart that looks to Him when we fall short. Let go of what might be holding you back from a right relationship with God. Let go and give it to God.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hungry for God - February 23, 2012

Psalm 119:17-24 (New International Version)
17 Do good to your servant, and I will live;
I will obey your word.

18 Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law.

19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide your commands from me.

20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.

21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed
and who stray from your commands.

22 Remove from me scorn and contempt,
for I keep your statutes.

23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
your servant will meditate on your decrees.

24 Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.

What do you hunger for? What drives you with an insatiable desire? It may be something in this world, a passion, a goal, an accomplishment. It could be a job or career, sports, children, even church. All of us are driven by something. It becomes an all-consuming appetite that needs to be satisfied.

In this portion of Psalm 119 the writer is driven by his hunger for God's word, and his desire to please God with his obedience. You can read the passion in his words and feel the emotion in what he is writes. If only we had the same hunger for the word of God, and an all-consuming appetite to please God!

How do we do this? As a Christian, we have help. We have the Holy Spirit that takes up residence within us. He helps us to have that all-consuming desire to please God, and to live in the light of His mercy and grace. If you truly believe and you are truly saved, no matter how bad it might get, and no matter how lost one might seem at times, there is no way that you can walk away from God.

If you have a new relationship with Jesus Christ or if you have been following the Savior for many years, get into God's word. Pray for the Spirit to inhabit your desires and give you a hunger for His will. Share what you learn and talk about it with fellow believers and with those that don't know God. You will find that God will give you an appetite for the things that truly satisfy.

32 Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven; it is my Father who is giving you the true bread from heaven. 33 God's bread is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
46 "No one has seen the Father except the One who is from God; only he has seen the Father.47 I tell you the truth, whoever believes has eternal life.48 I am the bread that gives life.49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but still they died.50 Here is the bread that comes down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give up so that the world may have life." John 6:32-33;46-51(New Century Version)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fire! - February 22, 2012

Proverbs 11:13 (New Living Translation)
13 A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

Proverbs 13:3 (New International Version)
3 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 16:28 (New International Version)28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 18:8 (New Century Version)8 The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food. People like to gobble them up.

Proverbs 20:19 (New International Version)
19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.

Proverbs 26:20 (New Century Version)20 Without wood, a fire will go out, and without gossip, quarreling will stop.

We all like to "stir it up". From the time we were in school we all have been involved in talking about other people. Now as adults we all take part in the what goes on in the office. Maybe not maliciously, but a "juicy" and "scandelous" story is sometimes too hard to resist. Some of us though say things about those we want to hurt.

Maybe they took our position, or they attained a something we wanted very hard to get. Maybe they even hurt us before, and we feel it is "high time they got what is coming to them". This thing can really burn, and it can do extreme damage. It can even ruin someone's life. And I am sure that we do not want to be the center of it.

God has a lot to say about that little "fireball" gossip. Here are just of few statements about it from Proverbs. God calls this destructive activity by its more revealing name "sin", and as believers in Jesus Christ, we are supposed to avoid this like the plague. We are to run as far from gossip as we can. And if we find ourselves in the middle of a malicious conversation we should pretend like we haven't heard a thing.

The key to putting out the "fire" of gossip is to be the end of it. Don't let it spread any further, and encourage others not to go there. Your life will be much happier and you will have many more friends if you become known as the "firefighter" rather than the "arsonist".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

His Dwelling Place - February 21, 2012

Psalm 84 (New International Version © 2010)
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

12 LORD Almighty,
blessed is the one who trusts in you.

There is a longing in the heart for every believer. If you are a Christian, you long for the day you will be with Jesus in the courtyard, the dwelling place of God. This is a psalm written by a Levitical priest who spoke about his delight serving in the temple of God. It was his prayer to God of thanksgiving and devotion. He so cherished being in God's presence that he compared one day with Him better than a thousand days being somewhere else.

We too need these verses to be our prayer, We need to have a longing as intense as that of this priest. If we expose our hearts to cherishing the presence of God such as this, we will be much more devoted to serving Him and being the servants of Jesus Christ. We too need to see this as a description of being truly blessed in our lives. As the verse says in another translation: "My whole being cries out for the living God."

Monday, February 20, 2012

The How to Be Attitudes - February 20, 2012

Matthew 5:1-12 (New Living Translation)
1 One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes
3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.

6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.

7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.

9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.

10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

When we make the decision to be part of God's Kingdom, there are certain behaviors, characteristics, and attitudes that He blesses. His hope is for all of us to approach the world with our hearts and hands wide open. He is looking for people to be in His Kingdom that have the "right stuff". We are to realize our utter need before Him and as life's struggles and problems weigh in on us, He will be the rewarder of those who seek Him.

Jesus set out to help those around him understand who God really was. He was not an unapproachable Creator, that looked upon mankind to purely administer His justice, but He was also intricately involved in all that people would go through. Ultimately He would make the supreme gesture of love, mercy and blessing, by allowing the Son, Jesus, to be crucified on a wooden cross as payment for our sins.

In thanksgiving, we need to take on the right attitude, and be examples of God's goodness and mercy. We need to truly be His subjects and be ambassadors for the King.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

True Wisdom - February 19, 2012

Proverbs 9:9-12 (Contemporary English Version)
9If you have good sense, instruction will help you to have even better sense. And if you live right, education will help you to know even more.

10Respect and obey the LORD! This is the beginning of wisdom. To have understanding, you must know the Holy God.

11I am Wisdom. If you follow me, you will live a long time.

12Good sense is good for you, but if you brag, you hurt yourself.

Proverbs 9:10-11 (Amplified Bible)
10The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning (the chief and choice part) of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight and understanding.

11For by me [Wisdom from God] your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased.

All of us can use a little wisdom, but true wisdom comes from God. If we are to live lives worthy of our calling, we must always seek Him without reservation. Many of us lack wisdom because we do not ask for it. We need to continually seek God's wisdom in everything we do, and not rely on our own knowledge of things. If in the busyness of your work week you have failed to take all of your questions to Him, it probably was not as productive as you would have liked.

Read this from Solomon's life, as He asked God for wisdom and understanding: 1 Kings 3:7-12 (New Living Translation)

7 “Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 8 And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have!

This week, try something a little different. Seek Him in prayer over the week and dedicate your first few minutes each morning to seeking His wisdom for each day. You will be amazed how much better your week will be.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Praise! - February 18, 2012

Psalm 136 (New International Version)

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

As you prepare for Sunday worship, give thanks to the Lord for His goodness. Give thanks for His love and His blessings, and thank Him for what He has done for you.

Friday, February 17, 2012

On Auto-pilot - February 17, 2012

John 14:26 (New International Reader's Version)
26 But the Father will send the Friend in my name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you.

1 Corinthians 12:3 (New International Version)
3Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (New International Version)
13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

Philippians 1:4-6 (New Living Translation)
4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

What happens to us when we become followers of Jesus Christ, when we accept his sacrifice on the cross, his death to pay for our sins, and believe that he rose again, will return again? How do we find the ability to change our lives for the better and clean up our act? For that matter, how are we able to become Christians anyway?

The wonderful truth is that God from the beginning provided the way for His creation to be reconciled, eternally reunited with Him. He worked His plan by engaging mankind through the three persons of the Trinity. As the Father, He called out Abraham and the nation of Israel, to be His people through which He would demonstrate the need for God, and the Law to define how we should engage Him.

Because we could never fully keep the Law, God the Son, Jesus Christ came into the world to fulfill and take on the punishment for disobedience of the Law, and to show us God in the flesh in which we could identify. Finally, God comes to us as the Holy Spirit, who comes to live within us and bring us the knowledge of God's plan, when we accept God's provision for reconciliation. It's almost as if our lives start operating in auto-pilot, with God directing each and every aspect of life to ultimately fulfill His plans in and for us.

As a Christian believer, the great thing is that if we accept the knowledge, instruction and direction of the Holy Spirit that resides within us, God assists us in doing what we need to do to live the right way. The passages above illustrate the how we were given the Holy Spirit and how He works. These things were confirmed in my life when I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

The very things that I once desired and thought that I could never give up, became the very thing that I no longer wanted any part of in my life. The Bible which I found difficult to read and understand in the past, suddenly came "alive" and gave me wisdom with which I could overcome my daily problems. I no longer avoided being around church and other Christians, but I developed a hunger to share with fellow believers and others around me. My entire world-view changed to one that followed after things that were good and pleasing to the God that saved me.

What happens next? Well, we are promised that the Holy Spirit, the deposit and seal that marks us a follower of Jesus, will help us complete the journey and the plan that God has marked out for us. Have you heard the saying, "let go and let God"? That is our lives on auto-pilot. As long as we surrender our lives into the hands of the Spirit, He will make sure that we will do the right things. Not that we become perfect and never again do anything wrong, but now when we do wrong, the Spirit will convict us of our wrongdoing and guide us back into God's plan.

That is what is so amazing about being a Christian: our eternal Salvation and the ability to live life too!

Philippians 2:12-13 (New International Version)
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pinocchio Nose - February 16, 2012

Matthew 5:33-37 (New International Reader's Version)
33 "Again, you have heard what was said to your people long ago. They were told, 'Do not break the promises you make to the Lord. Keep the oaths you have made to him.'

34 But here is what I tell you. Do not make any promises like that at all. Do not make them in the name of heaven. That is God's throne. 35 Do not make them in the name of the earth. That is the stool for God's feet. Do not make them in the name of Jerusalem. That is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not take an oath in the name of your head. You can't make even one hair white or black.

37 "Just let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes.' Let your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more than this comes from the evil one.

James 5:12 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
12Above all things, my brothers and sisters, do not take an oath on anything in heaven or on earth. Do not take any oath. If you mean yes, say yes. If you mean no, say no. Do this so that you won’t be condemned.

Lately I have heard various East Coast newspapers awarding "Pinocchios" to politicians and their campaigns for stretching the truth or telling lies in their campaign ads and the things they say in speeches. As we all remember, Pinocchio was the puppet whose nose grew every time he told a lie. If you listen to many current politicians running for political office, there are plenty of "Pinocchios" to be passed around.

Telling the truth and keeping promises have been in very short supply, in our political system, and in our world in general, but God has placed a very high value on being truthful and making promises. Jesus even brought up the topic during his Sermon on the Mount.

As noted above, he cautioned all to not make oaths or promises. Later in the Book of James we learned that breaking them could lead to our being condemned by God, but it sure seems that many people in our world are very unfamiliar with these passages in the Bible. If they were, they would be far more careful in what they say and what they promise.

God has made it simple for us to be truthful at all times and in all things, and it would be wise if we would pass this on to our children and all those we have influence over. It is simply this, "Let your YES be YES, and your NO be NO". In other words, if you say something, mean it. If you say you will do something, do it. Make it a habit, a character trait or yours, to always be truthful in anything you do.

We all need to be men and women of honesty and integrity by building the foundation of our lives on the truth. God is truth, and our world would be far better if we all followed His lead.

Image "Frightened Pinocchio watches his nose grow" from Walt Disney's, Pinocchio, 1940

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Majestic! - February 15, 2012

Psalm 8 (New International Version)
1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

These days we find it hard to realize that the Creator of the universe cares for us mere human beings. Because of this, for most of us God gets relegated to the "back seat" in most people's lives. What we all will find out sooner than later though is that the more we place Him in the background, the more we will need Him, because of what we will get ourselves into. We can't make it by ourselves, and life comes quickly crashing down around us when we live it without God.

Like it or not, God expects to have a significant place in all of our lives; He does care for each and every one of us. Why else would Jesus come to live among us and give us a way out of our sin and despair. Today, why not take time in the busyness of life, and take a few moments to yourself to give praises and thanks to God for what He has done for you? When as David you recognize the wonder and majesty of God in your life, you will soon find it a lot easier to live.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

True Love - February 14, 2012

John 3:16-17 (New International Version)
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

As we celebrate this Valentines Day, we need to first remember the ultimate gift of true love that God has given us. we need to also remember that love is a word of action; love requires that it be given before it can ever be returned. It is the greatest gift, and the surest discipline. Let's pass on what God has given us and love one another.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Who's at the Door? - February 13, 2012

Revelation 3:20-21 (New Living Translation)

20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. 21 Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

Do you like being invited out for a meal? When I was growing up, going out for a meal, or being invited to someone's home for dinner was something special. As a child, I looked forward to those opportunities. During my college years, I had the chance to travel often to Europe, and I always enjoyed the times spent with relatives and friends dining and conversing for hours on end. As an adult, times such as these are still special to me, and it remains one of my favorite things to do. Ask me out to eat and I will be right there!

In our culture and the many cultures around the world, an invitation to share a meal with someone is the ultimate gesture of hospitality. It is an opportunity for closeness and intimacy. Imagine the many intimate times you have enjoyed, sharing time with loved ones, friends and aquaintances, over a meal, and how good and memorable those times have been in your life.

These words from the Book of Revelation are an invitation from Jesus to everyone, to share time with the Savior. In this passage, Jesus is the one who initiates the relationship, because he is the one who comes to the door of our hearts and calls for us. All that we need to do is accept the invitation. Jesus then looks to future times, and he encourages us to live life victoriously, because in doing so, we will be able to share more intimate times with him, sharing in His kingdom eternally.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Picture of Heaven - February 12, 2012

Revelation 21:10-14;16 (New International Reader's Version)
10 Then he carried me away in a vision. The Spirit took me to a huge, high mountain. He showed me Jerusalem, the Holy City. It was coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God. It gleamed like a very valuable jewel. It was like a jasper, as clear as crystal.

12 The city had a huge, high wall with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates, one at each of them. On the gates were written the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three on the north. There were three gates on the south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had 12 foundations. Written on them were the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.

16 The city was laid out like a square. It was as long as it was wide. The angel measured the city with the rod. It was 1,400 miles long. It was as wide and high as it was long.

Do you ever wonder what heaven will be like? Do you wonder where you will exist when you go to heaven? The Bible tells us that those who believe and call on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will exist as "his bride" with him in the New Jerusalem. In John 14:1-4 (New King James Version) we are also told by Jesus that in his Father's house the are many dwellings or mansions, and that we will dwell with God in His glory.

In the Book of Revelation, we are given a glimpse of the New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven in all of its beauty and splendor. I have noted a few verses of its description above. In our terms, the holy city will be huge. The Bible tells us that it will be 1400 miles square and as high as it is wide. That means if you travel from Houston, Texas to Ensenada, Mexico to Vancouver,Canada to Winnepeg, Canada and back to Houston, you would travel the same distance as is the circumference around the city. Also, you would need to take a rocket into a low orbit of the earth above our atmosphere to get to 1400 miles, which is the height of the city. That would be equivalent to quadrupling the thickness of the earth's atmosphere.

In terms of volume, the New Jerusalem would consist of approximately 2,744,000,000 cubic miles or 1,756,160,000,000 cubic acres! That is alot of space and alot of room for mansions! Bottom line is that just the holy city will be plenty large enough to house every believer in God's redemptive plan for as long as mankind has and will exist. Have you placed your reservation by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior today?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Praise! - February 11, 2012

Psalm 30 (New Century Version)
1 I will praise you, Lord, because you rescued me. You did not let my enemies laugh at me.

2 Lord, my God, I prayed to you, and you healed me.

3 You lifted me out of the grave; you spared me from going down to the place of the dead.

4 Sing praises to the Lord, you who belong to him; praise his holy name.

5 His anger lasts only a moment, but his kindness lasts for a lifetime.
Crying may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

6 When I felt safe, I said, "I will never fear."

7 Lord, in your kindness you made my mountain safe. But when you turned away, I was frightened.

8 I called to you, Lord, and asked you to have mercy on me.

9 I said, "What good will it do if I die or if I go down to the grave? Dust cannot praise you; it cannot speak about your truth.

10 Lord, hear me and have mercy on me. Lord, help me."

11 You changed my sorrow into dancing. You took away my clothes of sadness, and clothed me in happiness.

12 I will sing to you and not be silent. Lord, my God, I will praise you forever.

A psalm of David. May you be blessed as you meditate and give thanks to God. Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Where Will You Be In 100 Years? - February 10, 2012

Psalm 39:4-5 (New International Reader's Version)
4 I said, "Lord, show me when my life will end.
Show me how many days I have left.
Tell me how short my life will be.

5 You have given me only a few days to live.
My whole life doesn't seem like anything to you.
No man's life lasts any longer than a breath.

James 4:14 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
14You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.

Do you ever stop and think about your future? Are you consummed about trying to live as long as you can? Our whole society is built around the young and staying young. How many commercials have you seen lately that have older people in them, except for the ones selling "little blue pills"?

It has almost become an obessession with our society these days. We try to diet and excercise, workout and lift weights; we have our bodies pulled and tucked and prodded, all for the sake of holding on to a few more years of youth. Is trying to hold on to youth and look young the issue, or are we afraid of what awaits us 100 years from now?

I have always thought that it is a good approach to discuss the Gospel by asking someone where they will be 100 years from now. It causes people to stop and think about where they might end up when they die. Bottom line is that God has limited our lifespan, and everyday we live is one day closer to when we will die. Not that I want to be morbid here, but it is something we really need to think about.

The Bible speaks alot about how brief our lives are. What God is trying to tell us is that "life is short"! Our focus needs to be on the answer to the question of where we will be in 100 years from now, after our life on this earth has ended. Our prayer to Him should be this:

12Teach us to number each of our days so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Heart For Lawbreakers - February 9, 2012

John 1:16-17 (New International Version)
16From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 (New International Version)
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

2 Corinthians 9:15 (New International Version)
15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

We can't help ourselves. No matter how much we try, we can't seem to do what is right. We stretch the truth a little bit here; go a little over the speed limit there; talk about someone we dislike behind there back; linger as we stare at someone on the beach. We borrow a few things from work that we never return; decide that church can wait another Sunday as we go the lake; focus on how much money we can make day in and day out; have no problem disobeying our parents; think that we should have the car our neighbor drives; and join in as our buddies curse without a thought.

If we can see ourselves in any of the things that I have mentioned above, we will find that we have disregarded and very blantantly broken every one of the laws of God given to Moses, the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). If we care anything about what happens to us after this life, there will be a day when we finally realize that we cannot keep from doing such things unless we get outside help. We don't like who we are anymore, because the Law of God acts like a mirror showing us how much we really disobey God. By then we have accumulated so much junk and carry so much bad stuff in our lives, that we one day the burden becomes too much for us to bear.

Thank God that He has a heart for lawbreakers! Thank God that His love extends beyond what we have done! Thank God that in His grace and mercy that he has given us a way out; someone to carry the burden of our wrongdoing; someone who took them upon his broken body as he hung on the cross; someone who shed His blood to cover our sins; someone who stepped out of the grave to show us the way back into the love of God. Thank God for giving us the gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior, our peace and our comfort.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You Should Pray! - February 8, 2012

James 5:13-18 (New International Reader's Version)
13 Are any of you in trouble? Then you should pray. Are any of you happy? Then sing songs of praise.

14 Are any of you sick? Then send for the elders of the church to pray over you. Ask them to anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer offered by those who have faith will make you well. The Lord will heal you. If you have sinned, you will be forgiven.

16 So admit to one another that you have sinned. Pray for one another so that you might be healed. The prayer of a godly person is powerful. It makes things happen.

17 Elijah was just like us. He prayed hard that it wouldn't rain. And it didn't rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Then he prayed again. That time it rained. And the earth produced its crops.

Romans 8:26 (New Century Version)
26 Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain.

One of the most important and powerful tools we have in our relationship with God is prayer. It is our direct line to our Father in heaven, and even when we can't find the words on our own, the Holy Spirit helps us communicate with Him on our behalf. Much of Jesus' time was spent in communication with his Father through frequent and intense prayer.

It is the way to get answers and effective results to anything that might trouble us. It is effective and powerful in healing our physical and spiritual ills. If you have not started a frequent and consistant prayer life, you are really missing out. God is waiting to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

While Your Waiting - February 7, 2011

Jude 1:17-25 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
17Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you to expect: 18“In the last times people who ridicule God will appear. They will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the people who cause divisions. They are concerned about physical things, not spiritual things.

20Dear friends, use your most holy faith to grow. Pray with the Holy Spirit’s help. 21Remain in God’s love as you look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life. 22Show mercy to those who have doubts. 23Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives.

24God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. 25Before time began, now, and for eternity glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

What should we do then while we wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus for his people, the church? Are we to get what some call "bunker mentality"? Should we cloister ourselves within our own Christian community and wait?

The problems of our society and the world today are because people did not follow the directions found in the Bible. Unfortunately, most actually decided to not be concerned with the world, but to focus just on being a good little Christain. Fact is that Jesus did not say "wait for me", he said "go into all the world"(Matthew 28:19,Mark 16:15)

We need to be active in our society, focused on doing the work of God, by being the ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven. We are to be the image of Jesus Christ to the dying world, building and strengthening the faith of those who have doubts, and teaching those who have not heard, the life-saving message of the Savior.

It will be a difficult assignment, and we will encounter our share of criticism and ridicule. But the promise is clear, God will help and equip us through the work of the Holy Spirit, and someday He will bring us to Himself. Our job is to accept the assigment and do our part in accomplishing His work.

Monday, February 6, 2012

How To Be Happy - February 7, 2012

Psalm 1:1-3 (New Century Version)
1 Happy are those who don't listen to the wicked, who don't go where sinners go, who don't do what evil people do.
2 They love the Lord's teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night.
3 They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don't die. Everything they do will succeed.

Our culture has turned this world upside down, but if you still desire a good recipe for being happy, this Psalm says it all. It is amazing how many of us don't learn the wisdom given here until we start turning gray, but it is never too late. Best of all, if we can pass this tidbit of wisdom to our children and the younger families around us.

The "don'ts" mentioned here cover who and what we listen to, what we involve ourselves in, and whose example we follow. This verse encourages us to avoid the wrong things in our lives and we will have richer and happier lives. The key to helping us do this is to consistently meditate on God's word. The result of this will be lives that are deeply rooted in God's wisdom, producing a plentiful crop of good things for those around us, and true success on God's terms.

As you begin a new week, decide to spend time in God's word. You will be the better for it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Who Is Worthy of Our Glory? - February 5, 2012

Psalm 115:1 (New International Reader's Version)
1 Lord, may glory be given to you, not to us. You are loving and faithful.

Revelation 4:9-11 (New International Reader's Version)
9 The living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to the One who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever. 10 At the same time, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the One who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns in front of the throne. They say,

11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You are worthy because you created all things. They were created and they exist. That is the way you planned it."

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and many have gathered with family and friends to celebrate the big game. It is the most anticipated and watched televised sporting event each year.

Days and days of media hype have only added to the build up of this event. Though there are many disapponted fans from the results of the NFL Football Season that has just passed, all has been forgotten as sides are chosen for this single, annual festival of football, that praises and gives glory to the last two pro-football teams still standing!

But, are we missing something here? Do we give God this same amount of attention? Do we anticipate and discuss, prepare and setup, just as much for the King of Kings as we do for the kings of football? Do we take time out of each and every day to celebrate what He has accomplished on our behalf? Have we given Him the glory He is worthy to recieve?

Revelation 1:6 (New International Version)
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Praise His Name - February 4, 2012

Psalm 96 (New International Version)

1 Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.

3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

4 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.

5 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.

6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.

9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of his [a] holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;

12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;

13 they will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.

Welcome to another weekend, when we take time out to rest and do those things our busy live don't allow us to do during our busy week. In today's society, regular church attendance takes a back seat to many other activities, from kid's sports, to spending time with family and friends, to fishing and hunting, or to just watching TV. In fact, many of us spend much more time worshiping atheletes and games played with leather balls than we spend with God.

We need to remember to take time in worship and praise to our Creator, the One who alone is worthy of our praise. It is difficult to worship and praise our Lord at home by ourselves. Many people make the excuse that they don't like "organized religion", but I would challenge you that things have changed. Today's many non-denominational churches are very far from what we might have grown up with, and no longer are church services focused mainly on mundane liturgies and tired traditions.

The remembrance of some traditions are still important, but many churches are now focused more on praise and worship, and time to connect with God. Many of today's best church leaders teach us how we can apply God's truths to our daily lives, and how we can live out our relationship with Jesus through touching others around us.

If you find your life a bit empty of meaning and if you are seeking something else, try to encounter the love of Jesus through the love of His people. Take the time, pack the family in the car, and visit a good local church this Sunday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Trivial Pursuits - February 3, 2012

Matthew 6:24 (New International Reader's Version)24 "No one can serve two masters at the same time. He will hate one of them and love the other. Or he will be faithful to one and dislike the other. You can't serve God and Money at the same time.

How often did you think about Money this week? You worked for it. You spent it. Maybe you saved it. You gave it as an allowance, or a present. You made some, you lost some. I am sure that you were constantly bombarded by the pursuit of Money. Why does it take so much Money to live in this day and age! Almost everything has a "price tag" on it; homes; cars; food; entertainment; education; everything. From our earliest recollection we have been trapped in a "material world", in pursuit of riches and money.

Even if we try to not focus on Money, we focus our energies and efforts to make sure that our personal and household fianances are in order before we do anything else. Jesus spoke about this subject while he was delivering his sermon on a Gallilean mountainside, called The Sermon on the Mount in our Bibles. He rightly points out that money and finances can become the "Master" of our lives, and he cautions us against serving both God and Money.

Living a life dedicated to heavenly purpose focuses on the other Master, God. We need to make a conscious choice and effort to focus on the pursuit of God rather than money. In his statements right after this verse (Matthew 6:31-33), Jesus points out that we should not worry about the material things of this world, but if we seek the things of God first, everything else will be taken care of for us.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

True Faith = Actions - February 2, 2012

James 2:14-17 (New International Reader's Version)14 My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people claim they have faith but don't act like it? Can that kind of faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or sister has no clothes or food. 16 Suppose one of you says to them, "Go. I hope everything turns out fine for you. Keep warm. Eat well." And you do nothing about what they really need. Then what good have you done? 17 It is the same with faith. If it doesn't cause us to do something, it's dead.

How do we express our love for God and our belief in Jesus? Has it made a difference in the lives we lead? Can your old friends tell that there is a change in you now that you have gotten involved in following Christ? Is there a change in the way you see the world and those that are in need around you? As followers of Jesus Christ we all need to ask ourselves these questions and examine if we are truly that are living lives of faith.

James, the brother of Jesus, was a leader of the Jerusalem council, and he expresses to us in his letter(said to have been written before 50 A.D)that as Christians, we need to live lives that are consistent with our faith in Jesus Christ. This means that if we truly are trying to follow God's heart, and the example of Jesus, we will show the world that we are Christ's followers by the way we serve and treat others. He charecterizes this using the example of how we treat the poorer believers around us.

If we are truly saved by Christ's sacrifice, our actions for others will show it. It is impossible for us to look upon human suffering without it moving us into action. That doesn't mean that we don't sometimes try to ignore the Spirit of God pulling on our hearts, but we cannot go very far before we are compelled to take action. As we consider lives of giving be sure that we examine our faith, attitudes and actions on behalf of others. As the old Christian folk song goes, "They will know we are Christians by our love".

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Matters of the Heart - February 1, 2012

Proverbs 14:21 (Amplified Bible)21He who despises his neighbor sins [against God, his fellowman, and himself], but happy (blessed and fortunate) is he who is kind and merciful to the poor.

Matthew 25:37-40 (New King James Version)37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

What breaks your heart? Are you moved to tears when you see video of the devastation of an earthquake or catastophic storm? Are you stirred into action when you see the poor and suffering in this world? Does the thought of many millions without food and shelter move you? What is our responsibilty to those we are seeing? Do we focus on the world's needs or should we be more focused on the people around us? Where does our day to day labor for our own needs end and we start to work to make a difference in the lives of others?

Jesus spoke a number of times about the poor and the humble, and he kept the company of many that were hurting in his time. As we consider how we live lives dedicated to our heavenly worth, we need to keep in mind that we need to serve those that are hurting around us. God has a heart for the poor, and as His followers, we need to have the same heart that He does. We must always keep in mind, that someday we will have to give an accounting of the opportunities He gave us, to follow after His heart.

Photo from the Blog "Dreams of Arcadia"