Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Praise! - June 30, 2012

Psalm 16(New International Version)
1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”

4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay (prophecy about Jesus Christ*).

11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

* Italics mine

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Mediator - June 29, 2012

1 Timothy 2:5-6(New Living Translation)
5 For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.

In the world of business the resolution of contract disputes is a huge concern. In most contracts, in order to avoid lengthy court battles and the spending of huge attorney's fees, a provision is made that the first attempt at resolving any dispute will be through mediation. Agreeing to mediation provides protection for both parties in case a dispute arises, and it allows for the resolution of a conflict for the least amount of difficulty and cost.

Typically both parties will agree to allow a mediator, a neutral party who assists in negotiations and conflict resolution, to be the one to reconcile any dispute. In mediation, and if both have agreed to and accepted mediation as the resolution in any conflict, both parties must abide by the final decision of the mediator. The mediator's word is the final authority, and if payment is required of either party, it has to be paid.

If on the other hand, the parties fail to accept and agree to mediation in their initial contract agreement, they will subject themselves to resolving any dispute in a court of law. This may end up costing the offending party, a heavy price in the attempt to placate the injured party. It is a difficult place to be, if one has to stand on their own and suffer the consequences of any injury that may have been done. Many have had their reputations and lives ruined as a result of not agreeing to the protection of mediation.

Through God's grace, He has provided us with a Mediator to resolve our dispute with God. Our sin has separated us from God and has caused us to be in dispute, created conflict, with Him. Nothing that we do on our own can resolve the conflict, because we are a party to our dispute with God. Jesus Christ has taken on the responsibility of mediating our conflict with our righteous God.

Our dispute, our conflict with God due to the offense of our sin, has been resolved by Christ's mediation. Through His death on the cross, the payment that is required for our sin against God has been made by the Mediator Himself! He has been given the final authority in the matter and His decision is final. Nothing can be done to alter the decision as long as we have accepted it, and agreed to Jesus Christ as our Mediator.

If you have not accepted God's offer of mediation, you will have to stand alone in God's court of judgement and suffer whatever decision is rendered. Why not accept Jesus Christ and assure that your will have a Mediator when you stand before God? Why not accept His payment in full for what you have done and will ever do as the offending party? Now is the right time for you to accept the decision and His provision as the resolution to your conflict with God.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blessings From Obedience - June 28, 2012

Leviticus 26:3-13 (New Living Translation)
3 “If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit.

5 Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.

6 “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land. 7 In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.

9 “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill my covenant with you. 10 You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest!

11 I will live among you, and I will not despise you. 12 I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people.

13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high.

The amazing thing in all human history is that our Creator, the God that made us has reached out to us and desires to commune with His people. Long ago as God was laying out the laws under which His chosen people would live under, He told them the blessings that would come from their obedience and the consequences of their failure to do so. What is special about His mention of the blessings is that He promised to live with them someday, and He longed to embrace them.

Centuries before God would send the Son to be our sacrifice for sin, due to our inability to keep the law, He made the promise of what our obedience would bring. In Jesus Christ, God walked among us to tell us what the future would be like with Him. He served as our example of the Way which would be available to all, and that would someday establish God's kingdom in Heaven.

As we accept the gift of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God looks upon us as being obedient because through the blood of Jesus, we take on the righteousness of Christ. In doing so, our lives will be truly blessed, and although circumstances may not always seem as such, God's promise will assure us that everything will work out.

Photo "Market Stall Fruit" by Scooterboy, 3-21-2007, from stock.xchng

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Living In Patience - June 27, 2012

Psalm 37:7 (New International Version)
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

James 5:7-8 (New International Reader's Version)
7 Brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord comes. See how the farmer waits for the land to produce its rich crop. See how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. 8 You too must be patient. You must stand firm. The Lord will soon come back.

We live in a very busy world. Our lives are full of busyness, and most everything we do has an urgency to it. To compound things, we are in a constant state of activity and communication, receiving texts, cellphone calls, e-mails, messages, and tweets. In all the busyness and activity we rarely take a few minutes to take a breath and relax. We usually want everything done yesterday, and today is not soon enough. The world becomes a place of anxiety and stress; no wonder many suffer from burn out!

Just because we are Christians, doesn't mean that we are immune from this. Many of us get caught up in the activity of the church, and just in case we have left a few minutes in our day, we quickly fill it up with the "good" work of our faith. In fact, many pastors and leaders of the church suffer from the same burn out as the world does. Soon the life of the church is just as busy, anxious and stressful as the world.

We are in such a hurry to do everything we think that God wants done, that we also get impatient because Jesus hasn't come back yet to bring relief! In the Book of James, we are called to live a life of patience, especially in waiting for Christ's return. We are called to act as the farmer does, who waits months after his labor of planting before the rains come and his crop begins to grow. In everything we do, we need to approach it with patience, knowing that He is in control of all things.

Since we already know what is going to happen, we should live lives that reflect patience, yet eager anticipation that our Savior will soon come back for us. If your life is full of busyness, why not take the deep breath of the Holy Spirit and wait on the Lord?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Lord All-Powerful - June 26, 2012

Isaiah 6:1-5(New Century Version)
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high throne. His long robe filled the Temple.2 Heavenly creatures of fire stood above him. Each creature had six wings: It used two wings to cover its face, two wings to cover its feet, and two wings for flying.

3 Each creature was calling to the others:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord All-Powerful.
His glory fills the whole earth."

4 Their calling caused the frame around the door to shake, as the Temple filled with smoke.

5 I said, "Oh, no! I will be destroyed. I am not pure, and I live among people who are not pure, but I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful."

Have you ever imagined the God that you serve, and if you don't serve Him, have you ever imagined what God is really like? I believe that in our compalcency and pride, we have forgotten how truly "All-Powerful" God really is. We have become so self-absorbed by our own efforts, that we rarely think about who God is.

Our world has become so arrogant at times that we casually use His name to even curse people, and because of our high towers and wealth, we seldom give Him the credit for any of it. One need only travel throughout many parts of our own Nation, to see how we have turned our backs and ridicule anything He stands for. We think that we can make it without Him around, but it is interesting how often we call on Him when times get tough.

Imagine for a moment that you are the prophet Isaiah; God has allowed you to have just a glimpse of Him, because He wants you to speak for Him. None of the television preacher stuff, but really speak the words He gives you. You see Him on His throne in Heaven, surrounded by the angelic forces, and the vision scares you so badly that you feel like your going to die.

At that very moment, you realize how you have lived your life, and how it hasn't been up to God's standards, and you shake for fear that He might vaporize you. It is as if you are in the middle of a terrific thunderstorm and earthquake at the same time. You realize that you and all who have ever been associated with you are doomed, because He is so Holy and you are so Unholy that you would disintegrate if it where not for His mercy.

Now that is how we need to see God, and at the same time we need to see just how merciful He is that even though we are the way we are, He loves us. How much? Enough to come to earth and step into our flesh and into our shoes and want to get to know us. Better yet, because of His grace, He does what is necessary to make us Holy, just for believing in Jesus. We no longer have to fear Him.

Have you ever imagined the God that you serve? Maybe it's time you did.

Monday, June 25, 2012

God's Retirement Plan - June 25, 2012

Proverbs 27:23-27 (Amplified Bible)
23Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds;

24For riches are not forever; does a crown endure to all generations?

25When the hay is gone, the tender grass shows itself, and herbs of the mountain are gathered in,

26The lambs will be for your clothing, and the goats [will furnish you] the price of a field.

27And there will be goats' milk enough for your food, for the food of your household, and for the maintenance of your maids.

When you first read these verses in Proverbs, it may seem a bit confusing. It deals with things that involves farming and raising animals, and you may ask yourself, "what does it have to do with me?". As is with many topics in the Bible, these passages were written many centuries ago and are associated with the culture of that time, but if you examine it closely and apply the ideas to today, these truths from God begin to make a lot of sense. His wisdom is timeless, when you understand what is being said and use the principles for in your life today.

What Solomon is talking about in this wisdom given to him by God, concerns our personal or family finances. Here we are encouraged to always examine our financial state of affairs, and our position in our work for the future. It warns that just because we have been able to earn and build up wealth at one time, doesn't mean that it will last forever. We must diligently pay attention to what we have been blessed with and saved, making sure it is invested wisely. If we will do so, we will reap the rewards of our diligence by having provision in our later years.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Don't Be the Lone Ranger - June 24, 2012

Proverbs 27:17 (New International Version)
17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (New International Reader's Version)
24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25 Let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us cheer each other up with words of hope. Let us do it all the more as you see the day coming when Christ will return.

Many of you reading this remember the Lone Ranger. Although he was a hero of the old west, he didn't go very far without his sidekick Tonto. Tonto was there to support him when he got into a jamb, and he was always good for a little Indian sage advice when the Lone Ranger was trying to figure things out. Where would our hero have been without his trusty friend?

The same goes for Christians. We really have a tough time if we try to be a "lone ranger" when it comes to our faith. We are at our most vulnerable when we are alone; that's when Satan really tries to mess with us. Nothing brings him more delight than to pick off lonely Christians one at a time.

What's even more problematic is when we don't have other like minded people around when we are in need of advice and guidance. Christian men need other Christian men, and the same is true for Christian women. If we are married, no one is more important in our relationship with God than our spouse, but there are times when we just need the company of someone of the same gender.

So I would encourage you to seek out other believers, and make sure you get together often. There is nothing better than to have a strong Christian friend behind you that you can trust, It will help you become the hero of the faith that God means for you to be.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Praise! - June 23, 2012

Psalm 111(New International Version)

1 Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

2 Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Help with Heavy Lifting - June 22, 2012

Psalm 127:1-2(GOD’S WORD Translation)
1If the Lord does not build the house,
it is useless for the builders to work on it.

If the Lord does not protect a city,
it is useless for the guard to stay alert.

2It is useless to work hard for the food you eat
by getting up early and going to bed late.

The Lord gives food to those he loves while they sleep.

What does it mean to be a self-made man, or woman for that matter? Just how can anyone claim that what they have accomplished has been entirely on their own efforts? Truth is that no one "makes it to the top" without help. If it is not from God, it is because of others around the person that allowed them to be successful. No one can accomplish anything alone unless they live in a vacuum. All the statement means is that the one saying it is arrogant, full of pride, and headed for a fall. There will be a time in their lives when they will be "taken down to size".

The wisdom of this psalm from the Bible tells it like it truly is. Anything built apart from the support and blessing of God ends up as sheer folly. As the Creator of the universe, He has set everything in motion, and as we know though a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, He is intimately interested in what we do. If you want to succeed in life, what better place to start than entrusting the effort to God? He is truly the One you want in your corner to guide you.

Starting a new job or business? Beginning a new project or just moving to another phase in your life, why not assure your success? Start our with turning it over to God, and letting Him help you through the "heavy lifting". Only when it is committed to Him will your plans succeed.

Photo "Heavy Lifting" from Travelpod,
Day 3: Ghermu to Tal-640m/2112 ft Ascent (4/24/10)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Motion Sickness - June 21, 2012

Colossians 2:20-23(New Century Version)
20 Since you died with Christ and were made free from the ruling spirits of the world, why do you act as if you still belong to this world by following rules like these:

21 "Don't handle this," "Don't taste that," "Don't even touch that thing"?

22 These rules refer to earthly things that are gone as soon as they are used. They are only human commands and teachings. 23 They seem to be wise, but they are only part of a human religion. They make people pretend not to be proud and make them punish their bodies, but they do not really control the evil desires of the sinful self.

Many people go through the motions in trying to be religious. Other than Christianity, most of the other religions require people to do something in order to gain favor with God. These "works-based" systems of faith all think that if we only will do certain things then we might make it to heaven or some equivalent. The problem with this is, "how do you know that you have done enough before you die to win God's favor?

What if you do alot of good things, but happen to do something bad on your deathbed; will you make it to heaven, or is it not enough? One religion even perverts this to make zealous followers believe if they kill themselves in the name of that religion and take those they hate with them, that they will gain salvation. How does their god, if he is supposed to be merciful, accept that suicide or the killing of others is justified? How nuts is that?

What you have here is many people "going through the motions" and claiming by doing so that they are making themselves acceptable to God. Even some so-called Christians give themselves "motion sickness" trying to do all they can to please God. What a waste of time and energy! Don't they realize that all the our God requires is the acceptance of the work that has already been done? Don't they know that Jesus Christ did the work and paid the price with His own life to make us right with God?

The only way to lead a godly, faithful life is to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Once we do, the Holy Spirit indwells us and helps us to live righteous lives. Our own efforts are futile, unless they are directed by God. He will never let His own fall(Romans 8:38-39); He alone provides us what is necessary to make it to Heaven. Nothing that we do on our own will save us. Knowing that fact, why not abondon going through the motions and accept God's plan for you?

This is a reposting of a blog post I made earlier; it is as relevant today as it was the day I originally posted it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Under Control - June 20, 2012

John 14:27 New International Version (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33 New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Are you restless in your spirit these days? Are you scared about what is happening around you? Does it seem that nothing is getting any better in your life? You read the papers, or posts online, or watch television and it seems that there are nothing but troubles in the world.

When it gets close to home, you really start to question what is going on with you and God. What did you do? Is there some hidden sin in your life that you don't know about? Is it something you should have done but didn't? All these questions flood your mind and spirit, and you ask God, "Why is this happening God? Why can't I get any relief? Things only seem to be getting worse and I don't know what to do about it."

For every believer the answers are different, and all you know is that you long for the embrace of Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. You long for God to tell you the answers and let you know that everything is, and will be okay between you. He has promised you that everything will work out for good, but you want to see the "good" come much more quickly.

You wait to hear that voice from Heaven tell you that "I hear you my child, and I am watching out for you!" What can you do? What will break you free from your troubles and distress? Place your trust in the One who made you; Jesus Christ offers you the confidence that He has handled it all under control.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The "Far Off" - June 19, 2012

Acts 2:36-40 (New International Version)
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

Ephesians 2:13 (New International Reader's Version)
13 At one time you were far away from God. But now you belong to Christ Jesus. He spilled his blood for you. That has brought you near to God.

I remember the time before I really new and accepted God's plan for me how difficult I made reading the Bible. It seemed difficult and the verse I heard had very little meaning to me. For me many of the stories in the Bible were just that, stories. Sure I knew about Adam and Eve, Moses, David and Goliath, and heard the stories about what Jesus did, but they really made very little difference in my life. The only thing I knew for sure was that somehow I would have to please God if I wanted to make it to Heaven when I died.

When I speak of my past, I am sure that I am speaking about many of you. You may have attended a church of all of your life, participated in its activities, maybe raised your whole family in the church, sat in the pew each and every Sunday, yet deep in your heart you are only going through the motions to look good. When someone asks you if you have been "born again", you may think that they are one of those "holy rollers"; a religious zealot. You say to yourself its alright for them, and "no thanks", because you are comfortable with where you are, but do you really don't understand what its all about.

Then one day something special happens in your life. God has been pulling on your heart, and you realize that you need to find out what it all means. Your tired of not knowing, and you start to seek out who this Jesus really is, and what "born again" really means. Then one day you hear a word from the preacher and it cuts through your once hardened heart, and you realize your condition. You finally realize that only what Christ has done can really make you right with God. It's as if the preacher is calling your name, and you find yourself giving it all to Jesus. It is at that moment that it all comes rushing in and it all makes sense to you for the first time.

Little did you know that you were one of those Peter was speaking about in this passage in the Book of Acts. You were one of those "far off", who would hear and receive the promise of God. It would be you that God would call and fill with the Holy Spirit, so that you finally understood that the promise of God was for the salvation of all those who call on the name of Jesus Christ as Savior. Peter through the inspiration of that same Holy Spirit, spoke of what God had set into motion through Jesus Christ the promise that would bridge across all generations.

That same revelation of God that occurred in the hearts of the Jews on that day and the same Holy Spirit that made it real for them is for you, and your children, and for all of those who will come after you. If you have not yet given yourself to Him, He knew that you would be reading this, and He knew that you would be one of the "far off". Are you ready to answer His call for you today? Are you ready for the Holy Spirit to make it all real for you?

This is a reposting of a past blog post; it seems as relevent today as when I first wrote it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Santuary in the Desert - June 18, 2012

Psalm 63:1-5(New Living Translation)
1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

There are times in our lives when God seems absent from our day to day lives. You seek Him in prayer, yet it is difficult to find Him. You lift up your concerns, yet the answers don't come. You grow weary as you cry for help, only to feel more disappointment as it fails to come. You wonder what is going on? What did you do? Why hasn't He rescued you?

David had very much the same thoughts as he was fleeing from his enemies. Here was a man that it was said, "was a man after God's own heart", yet he too had many "desert" experiences. He too longed for rescue from his difficult circumstances. If you study the Psalms, you will find many times when he lifted up prayers to God, wondering why God has abandoned him, and wondering when God would free him from his troubles.

It's at these times when our faith needs to lift us up. It is our faith in the truth that we know which will sustain us. You know that God is on His throne, in His santuary, and He knows what you are going through. It is at these desert times in your life, when you need to give Him praise. You know what He has done for you in the past, and it is in that knowledge that you must give Him praise for what He has yet to do for you.

Nothing that you go through is wasted. God does have a purpose, and He has promised that He will never leave to forsake you. He will never turn away or abandon you. It is up to you to rest in the promise that He will turn your difficulties into joy. It may not be on our timetable, but our history with trusting Him should give us the confidence that it will end for our benefit in mind.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In Praise of Fathers - June 17, 2012

Proverbs 23:22,24 (New International Version)
22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
24 The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.

Proverbs 1:8(New Living Translation)
8 My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.

Psalm 68:4-6a (New International Reader's Version)
4 Sing to God. Sing praise to his name. Lift up a song to the One who rides on the clouds. His name is the Lord. Be glad when you are with him.

5 God is in his holy temple. He is a father to those whose fathers have died. He takes care of women whose husbands have died.

6 God gives lonely people a family. He sets prisoners free, and they go out singing. But those who refuse to obey him live in a land that is baked by the sun.

Ephesians 6:1-4 (New International Version)
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Being a father is a huge reponsibility. There is no greater impact on the life of a child than the example of a good father. God has set up the earthly father as His example of His love for the jewel of His creation. He tells us who do not have fathers that He will take the place of the earthly father. With that responsibility from the Lord, we need to mindful that we are always to be godly men of integrity, humility, and love. We set the course of the life of our family.

As we celebrate godly fathers today, let us give them the honor and respect they rightly deserve, and at the same time let us lift up all fathers in prayer, that God will direct their paths and help them as they lead their families. May God bless and guard their hearts, and keep them in His loving care. Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Praise! - June 16, 2012

Psalm 145 (New International Reader's Version)
1 I will honor you, my God the King. I will praise your name for ever and ever.

2 Every day I will praise you. I will praise your name for ever and ever.

3 Lord, you are great. You are really worthy of praise. No one can completely understand how great you are.

4 Parents will praise your works to their children. They will tell about your mighty acts.

5 They will speak about your glorious majesty. I will spend time thinking about your miracles.

6 They will speak about the powerful and wonderful things you do. I will talk about the great things you have done.

7 They will celebrate your great goodness. They will sing with joy about your holy acts.

8 The Lord is gracious. He is kind and tender. He is slow to get angry. He is full of love.

9 The Lord is good to all. He shows deep concern for everything he has made.

10 Lord, every living thing you have made will praise you. Your faithful people will praise you.

11 They will tell about your glorious kingdom. They will speak about your power.

12 Then all people will know about the mighty things you have done. They will know about the glorious majesty of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is a kingdom that will last forever. Your rule will continue for all time to come. The Lord is faithful and will keep all of his promises. He is loving toward everything he has made.

14 The Lord takes good care of all those who fall. He lifts up all those who feel helpless.

15 Every living thing looks to you for food. You give it to them exactly when they need it.

16 You open your hand and satisfy the needs of every living creature.

17 The Lord is right in everything he does. He is loving toward everything he has made.

18 The Lord is ready to help all those who call out to him. He helps those who really mean it when they call out to him.

19 He satisfies the needs of those who have respect for him. He hears their cry and saves them.

20 The Lord watches over all those who love him. But he will destroy all sinful people.

21 I will praise the Lord with my mouth. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

Photo "Enlightened Praise" by lumix2004, 7-26-2005, from stock.xchng

Friday, June 15, 2012

Broken Hearts - June 15, 2012

Joel 2:12-14(New International Reader's Version)

12 The Lord announces to his people,

"Return to me with all your heart. There is still time. Do not eat any food. Sob and cry."

13 Don't just tear your clothes to show how sad you are.

Let your hearts be broken.
Return to the Lord your God.
He is gracious.
He is tender and kind.
He is slow to get angry.
He is full of love.
He takes pity on you.
He won't destroy you.

14 Who knows? He might turn toward you and have pity on you. He might even give you his blessing. Then you can bring grain offerings and drink offerings to the Lord your God.

How often God pleads for us to return to Him! Throughout the Bible we read of times when despite their disobedience and gross sin, God gave them opportunity after opportunity to return back to Him in faith and obedience. He had no joy in allowing His people to go through trials and suffering, but if it turned their hearts, and helped them to once again follow God, then it was worth it.

God's desire is to be with those He has created. In His love for us, He longs for us to follow Him. He doesn't want us to just go through the motions of being religious; He expects us to be broken hearted over our disobedience to Him, and to turn back to Him. He has even taken it a step further with us by having Jesus pay the debt of our sins.

Let's face it; it is in our nature to be disobedient to God. So much so, that we have invented countless ways to justify the bad we do, taking it so far as to form "religions" that give us permission to sin. One day we will all come to the realization that the One true God is unchanging, and He expects a "contrite heart"(Psalm 51:17), a heart that breaks when we disobey Him. And in that brokenness we reach out to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and redemption.

Then and only then, He will bring us back to Him. Then and only then can He bless our lives.

This is a reposting of an earlier post; it is as applicable today as the day I first wrote it. I hope you don't mind seeing it again. Thanks!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Heavy Lifting - June 14, 2012

Romans 12:12 (New International Version)
12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Hebrews 10:32,36 (New International Version)
32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.
36You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

It takes more than a day and a few platitudes to work ourselves out of difficulty, especially if you are overwhelmed by persecution, or searching for ways to overcome problems. Sometimes what you encounter weighs so heavily on you that it leads you into deep depression. Or it might create within you so much anxiety and worry that it becomes difficult to function in everyday life. I have had those times in my life, especially before I gave it all to Jesus Christ. These times are very real, and at times you almost feel hopeless.

There is a real solution for what you are going through and cure for the fear that you are encountering. First you need to regain your trust that God will take care of you, and not lose hope. You need to allow God to do the "heavy lifting" for you, and help you through what you are experiencing. You need to focus on remaining joyful despite the circumstances, knowing that what you are going through will come to an end. You need to also learn to be patient in your suffering, and be confident that your troubles are temporary. Finally, as I have stated before in this blog, you need to commit everything to prayer. Prayer is your way of communicating your concerns to God. He likes hearing from you, and if you feel like He is not hearing you or answering your requests, stay with it.

There is an old adage that I have heard many times: You can't enjoy the mountain top until you have come through the valley. But you need to also remember this; once you have commited yourself to walk with God in Jesus Christ, He will be with you through it all. He is there waiting for you to call on Him, and He will lift your every burden. Stay with Him just as He is always with you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

About Giving - June 13, 2012

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (New International Reader's Version)6 Here is something to remember. The one who plants only a little will gather only a little. And the one who plants a lot will gather a lot.

7 You should each give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn't give if you don't want to. You shouldn't give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver.

There are many in this world and in the church that have the wrong idea about the subject of giving. Many refuse to go to church or have even quit attending church because they feel that the church is just after their money. Yes, some are, and that is why it is important to be very discerning when choosing a church to attend. The bigger problem though is that the "world" leads those who are of the world to believe that churches only exist for the money.

Let me share an interesting side note, while we are talking about this. I have several family members who are German citizens, and they have grown up in a very secular, post-Christian environment(which could be our future if we do not get more involved in the culture). Just as our government requires the withholding of monies from our paychecks for Taxes, Social Security and Medicare, the German citizen is subject to a special Church Tax that goes to maintain the country's churches. (Most of these churches have ended up just being Museums really, but there is a small remnant of believers who faithfully attend services.) Because of this special Church Tax, many Germans are very resentful of church, Christianity and religion in general. All this to say, that forced giving never does anything to help others or further sharing God's love for this world.

Paul, writing under the inspiration of God's Spirit, sought to clarify God's heart on giving, in his second letter to the Corinthian church. He sought commend them for their past giving and to encourage them to continue to give more to less fortunate believers. He was not ordering them to give, but he was revealing to them that God believes that good gifts are those that are freely given, from the compassionate heart of the believer. We are to give whatever we want to give, making sure it is done willingly and cheerfully.

If we reflect on our own lives, God has showered us tremendously with good gifts, not only the gift of His own Son, but also everything else that we have. While we consider giving as a part living for God, let us joyfully consider giving to others as an appropriate response to what He has generously given us.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Overcoming Darkness - June 11, 2012

Matthew 13:15 (New International Version, ©2011)
15 "For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them."(Isaiah 6:9,10)

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (New Living Translation)
1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

5 You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

I often wonder why it is so hard for so many people to not understand what Christ offers us. I wonder why God allowed me to finally "see the light" after living so long in darkness. I have often said, "it was as if a lightbulb went on", when I realized and understood the good news of Jesus Christ. The transformation of my life started dimly at first, kind of like those new CFM bulbs that take a while to get bright, but nonetheless it illuminated the darkness I had lived in for many years, and changed me.

For many this is a difficult concept to grasp, how God can take someone who is lost and transform him into a new person. Jesus quoted Isaiah when he was describing the hardened hearts and closed mindedness of the Jewish leaders of his day, and Paul writing to the Corinthians, described this as a "veil" from Satan that "blinded the minds of those who don’t believe".

We see this today as we see a world around us doing all it can to ridicule, disparage and remove Christianity from the daily lives of people. It is easier for many to accept ridiculous New Age concepts or religions that behave contrary to civilized society, than to accept the grace and mercy of God providing mankind with a way to be redeemed from their sin. And the world does all it can to believe in anything but Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

It took awhile before the veil was lifted and God's bright and shining light revealed to me that I could be made clean, that I could be redeemed and start over again, because of the gift of Jesus. I am thankful for it, and I try to do my part in sharing Christ's love with others. As the world looks to an uncertain and dark future, I have the knowledge of the hope that gives me certainty. That knowledge is the light of the message of Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that we who call ourselves followers of Christ can shine that light of Jesus, and do our part in overcoming the darkness.

Photo "Creepy Basement Light" by Hortongrou,11-18-2005, from stock.xchng

This is a reposting of an earlier posting; it is as relavent today as it was the day I wrote it. I pray you are blessed by it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finding Godly Wisdom - June 11, 2012

Proverbs 10:1-10 (New Living Translation)
1 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise child brings joy to a father;
a foolish child brings grief to a mother.

2 Tainted wealth has no lasting value,
but right living can save your life.

3 The Lord will not let the godly go hungry,
but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

4 Lazy people are soon poor;
hard workers get rich.

5 A wise youth harvests in the summer,
but one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace.

6 The godly are showered with blessings;
the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

7 We have happy memories of the godly,
but the name of a wicked person rots away.

8 The wise are glad to be instructed,
but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

9 People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.

10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble,
but a bold reproof promotes peace.

As the wisest and richest man that ever lived, King Solomon was reported to have written over 3000 proverbs at the direction of the Spirit of God. These "Proverbial Sayings" written by him span from Proverbs 10:1-22:16. To explain and comment daily on all of them would probably take almost a year, and if we added those written by someone else on behalf of Solomon, we would be well into the half of another year.

These godly proverbs have been used for instruction for thousands of years, in Jewish and then Christian households. Today, they carry as much relevance, wisdom and good sense as they have since their writing. It is interesting that the first proverb in this section is comparing and contrasting a wise and foolish child. This serves to frame the comparisons and contrasts of right and foolish living in the many proverbs to follow.

If you have never done so, this would be a good time to grab your Bible and share these proverbs with your children and grandchildren, no matter what age. As you begin reading, you will find many gems that will help resolve everyday problems, or bring encouragement in times of distress. God has blessed us with these "pearls of wisdom". It is time we revive them in our hearts, our homes and our nation.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Searching for Paradise - June 10, 2012

Philippians 3:18-21 (New Living Translation)
18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.

20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

Having lived in California for some time, and now that I live in Texas, I love to read a magazine called Sunset. This magazine is all about California and "Living in the West", and when I read it it reminds me of the times that I enjoyed living and vacationing there. I can get all kinds of tips on places to see, foods to prepare eat, ways to garden, and other things that I really enjoy. I really look forward to getting this little reminder of the West each and every month. One thing struck me a little differently as I was reading an issue I received. What struck me is how the magazine tries to promote "paradise on earth" for its readers, and the thought came into my head that "everyone's looking for paradise".

You see, all of us are constantly being bombarded by the world's attractions that really leads us to distraction. There simply is no way that anything here on earth will ever match the ultimate destination of true Paradise, Heaven itself. The things of earth are constantly breaking down and being corrupted. Yes, God did create these places and things for us to enjoy while we are here, but we should never let it take the place of the "real thing" in the heart of a believer.

What Jesus Christ did for us is serious stuff; our acceptance of His work on the cross allows us to know that someday we will be in a new heaven and a new earth that will be as God initially intended for His creation before the fall. Our focus should not be on what is here on the earth, but on what we will ultimately attain through Jesus in eternity. He provides all of the blessings both here and in eternity, but don't get too caught up on what we will eventually leave behind.

So enjoy the life that God has given you, and the opportunity He allows you to partake and enjoy the beauty of His creation, but be certain that each and every day you remember to yield you heart to the Giver and make your main focus to serve Him while we are here. In doing so we can be assured of the fact that "we ain't seen nothin' yet"!

Colossians 3:2 (New King James Version)
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saturday Praise! - June 9, 2012

Psalm 89:1-15(New International Version)
1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
4 ‘I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

5 The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
7 In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.
8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

9 You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
you founded the world and all that is in it.
12 You created the north and the south;
Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
13 Your arm is endowed with power;
your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Treasure Hunters - June 8, 2012

Philippians 4:12-13 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
12I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when I’m hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. 13I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

We live our entire lives hunting for treasure, that secret stash that will relieve us from every burden. When we were young, I am sure all of us day dreamed of being pirates searching for buried riches, and as we grew older, we thought long and hard about how we could grab that "brass ring" and become wealthy and successful. When you ask teenagers what their goal is for going to school and college, most say it is to make a lot of money, and sadly that has become the goal for most of us as we have grown up.

Treasure, riches, wealth, money, none of these things are bad, as a matter a fact, very little could be done in this world without having them. I would venture to say that many good things for God's kingdom have been done by those who have possessed these things. But the truly great treasure of life does not have much value if you were to ask those in the world. In God's currency though, it is a valuable treasure.

God' great treasure, His secret to true wealth and extraordinary living is Jesus Christ. He is that "pearl of great price" that if we have him in our life, we will have everything we will ever need. You see, through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our eternal future is set. We really need nothing further from because living in and for Jesus is truly the way for us to live.

If your are in need of true treasure, if you want to learn how to live no matter your circumstances, surrender yourself to Jesus and He will take care of the rest of our needs.

Photo "Treasure Trove 3" by bjearwicke, January 8, 2008.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

While We Wait- June 7, 2012

Titus 2:11-14(New International Version)
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Each and every day we get up and face the onslaught of the world around us. The pressures and cares of this life are there for us to face head-on as we try to make the day worth living. It is almost impossible, if your not a Christian, to handle life's challenges and retain a certain measure of happiness and sanity. Try tuning into the latest television or radio broadcast, or bringing up the news on your computer without being overwhelmed by the grief, turmoil and anxiety that bombards society every day.

Thank God that He has taken care of this problem. If you are a Christian, you have a "Hope" to look forward to. You know that every new day will be one day closer to being with your Savior. Because Jesus stood in your place and paid the penalty for your sin, you have the opportunity to wake up to this "Hope". All you need to do is accept the free gift of Jesus Christ. What makes it even better, in addition, once you give your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God takes up residence within you. He will equip you to withstand everything the world throws at you, and He will bring you comfort and "Hope", while you wait for the day you finally meet Him.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In God We Trust? - June 6, 2012

Psalm 20:6-9(New International Version)
6 Now this I know:
The LORD gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 LORD, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

There has been much debate over the last couple of decades about whether or not we should use "In God We Trust" as our national motto, and have that motto appear on our currency and in public places. There has also been a misuse of a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association in the state of Connecticut, concerning their concern about a state sponsored church (i.e. The Anglican Church in England), in which he mentioned that there should be a separation of "church and state".

Somehow this statement made it into the courts and was used to twist the Supreme Court's interpretation of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, and due to Judicial precedent became a practice where the courts have done all they can to discriminate against religion in the public square. Unfortunately that has been at our peril. One need only look around to what happens to generations of children who have not had the benefit of Biblical teaching to help them set a "moral compass".

Too often these children do not learn, until they are adults(and I am one), that the way of the world and the prohibition of the Bible and faith have dire consequences on the way one grows up. Parents do all they can, but once children reach the age of five, they spend a quarter of their waking hours a year in school, and maybe a total of 2 days a year in church (if they go). Then they are off to college and are immersed in the world's secular, hedonistic culture. No wonder they come home very changed from when they left, and usually they have to go down the wrong track before they finally straighten up and discover the wonderful life available in following God.

Our forefather founded this country on Judeo/Christian principles for a reason. The reason was that they knew that man was a "fallen creature" and without the constraints and discipline found in following a faith in God, man would rather pursue their own worldy way. This often leads to self-interest and pursuit of selfish gain, and ends up creating chaos within a community. Have you ever heard of the "me generation"? When the focus is on ME rather than THEE, one will usually end up causing alot of self-damage and damage to others before they come to their senses.

If you want to live a life worth living, and if you want to see you country restored to goodness, it is time that we put God back into the culture, and finally follow the admonition of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust"!

Photo by Kevin Dooley, 9-1-2007, Village of Gila Springs, Chandler, AZ, posted on flickr

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Being Just Like Jesus - June 5, 2012

Romans 8:28-30 (New Century Version)
28 We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. 29 God knew them before he made the world, and he chose them to be like his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters.

30 God planned for them to be like his Son; and those he planned to be like his Son, he also called; and those he called, he also made right with him; and those he made right, he also glorified.

As parents, we are always mindful of who our children are looking up to. When we were growing up, there were plenty of heroes and it was easy to find an example of someone we wanted to be like. It's not as easy today, because many of the atheletes or politicians or movie stars tend not have the character traits that we would like our children to exhibit. In most cases, the best heroes for our children are their parents. We need to lead by being the best example of holiness that we can.

That was part of God's overall plan for the lives of those who would believe in Jesus. He gave us the example of His Son, so that we would know what character traits would be pleasing to God and good for His people. God wants us to be like Jesus; our behavior, habits, and how we treat others need to be a reflection of Jesus Christ. God planned what would happen in our lives in advance for us to be able to be so, Everything that happens in our life has the purpose of making us more like Him.

With this in mind, we need to make sure that our pursuits in life are to be more like Jesus Christ. We need to try to reflect Christ in every thing we do, and to everyone we come in contact with. It isn't always easy, and there are many times when behaving like Jesus is very hard to do, but we need to be always intentional in our actions to try to be more like Him.

Photo "Just Watching" by emuman, 7-21-2008 from stock.xchng

Monday, June 4, 2012

He Rescued Me - June 4, 2012

Psalm 18:6; Psalm 18:16-17 (New International Version, ©2011)
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.

Psalm 136:23 (New International Reader's Version)
23 Give thanks to the One who remembered us when things were going badly for us.- His faithful love continues forever.

It happened when I was "at the end of my rope". I had been lost in my life for so long that I finally had enough, and I was at the lowest point in my life. I didn't think I could take it anymore and I needed help. Just at the time when the pain was so overwhelming that I had not way out, God showed up. He remembered me; He remembered my distress. He remembered that I was His child and He rescued me.

This probably sounds very familiar to you, and if you are reading this, you have already "been there", or you are in that difficult place in your life, and need to be rescued from your deepening distress. In the years that I have been a Christain, I have heard this story many times, and yes, God did reach out to me in my distress as well. For me, He touched my life and set it on the right track. He helped me to find "the Way".

As the man and woman were driven from the Garden, God's plan was already in motion. He would find away to rescue His creation from the depths they had fallen into. As we read through God's word, we find the common thread woven through the many Chapters, written by many authors, inspired by His Spirit. It is the thread that recounts the redemption offered to all, but not to be accepted by all. It is a loving Father reaching out to pick-up His falling child.

You might just be at the lowest point in your life. You might be in need of His rescue. Reach out to Him and accept His offer. Cry out to Him in your distress, and He will hear from heaven and rescue you.

Photo "Lifebelt Near the Coast" by Cruinneog, 7-14-2004, from stock.xchng

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Goodness - June 3, 2012

Proverbs 11:5-11 (New Century Version)
5 The goodness of the innocent makes life easier, but the wicked will be destroyed by their wickedness.

6 Doing right brings freedom to honest people, but those who are not trustworthy will be caught by their own desires.

7 When the wicked die, hope dies with them; their hope in riches will come to nothing.

8 The good person is saved from trouble; it comes to the wicked instead.

9 With words an evil person can destroy a neighbor, but a good person will escape by being resourceful.

10 When good people succeed, the city is happy. When evil people die, there are shouts of joy.

11 Good people bless and build up their city, but the wicked can destroy it with their words.

Proverbs 11:10-11 (New Living Translation)
10 The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the wicked die.

11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

Do you know what is missing in our society today is "goodness"? When was the last time you heard that your child's school was teaching about "goodness"? When was the last time you had a seminar at work about "goodness"?

Moral charater, righteousness, right-living, "goodness" is all relative these days, meaning that it is in the "eye of the beholder". You can especially see and hear that in our media and in the orations of our politicians, but I don't only site them. We need only to observe what happens in our normal day, to see how "goodness" is lacking in much of what we do.

What has caused our world to abandon "goodness" for the most part is an unknown, meaning that in society's terms, you can't point to a single factor. Is it because of political correctness that has robbed us of our sensibilities? Is it because what was considered vile and vulgar in the past, is now seen as acceptable? Is it because we have developed a tolerance for wrong and now call it right? Is it the fact that we relegated God to take on a very minor role in our lives? Or is it something else?

I maintain that with good people, there is still alot of room for "goodness", and the result of "goodness" is a better world to live in. The problem is that in the past we did not have to wonder whether or not "goodness" and good things were being passed on to our children. Today, we need to first teach "goodness" at home, by living it out in our families, and extending that to the communities we live in. At the same time we need to hold our educators and our politicians to emulating "goodness" in their teaching and governance.

It is time for good people to stand up for "goodness", and expect it in everything we do. If we set a new standard for a society based on "goodness", we can expect that the world around us will change.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday Praise - June 2, 2012

Psalm 75 (New International Reader's Version)
1 God, we give thanks to you.
We give thanks because your Name is near.
People talk about the wonderful things you have done.
2 You say, "I choose the appointed time to judge people.
And I judge them fairly.
3 When the earth and all of its people tremble,
I keep everything from falling to pieces.

4 To the proud I say, 'Don't brag anymore.'
To sinners I say, 'Don't show off your power.
5 Don't show it off against me.
Don't speak with your noses in the air.' "
6 No one from east or west or north or south
can act as judge.

7 God is the One who judges.
He says to one person, "You are guilty."
To another he says, "You are not guilty."
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup.
It is full of wine mixed with spices.
It is the wine of his anger.
He pours it out. All of the evil people on earth
drink it down to the very last drop.

9 I will speak about this forever.
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.
10 God will destroy the power of all sinful people.
But he will make godly people more powerful.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sacrifice of Praise - June 1, 2012

Hebrews 13:15-16(New International Version)
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

What is our greatest reason for being here? Why has God placed us on this planet, in this country, at this time? What is the meaning of our lives? Is it the pursuit of riches or fame? Is it to live out our days and enjoy life as much as possible? What is our true mission in life?

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God has made that all possible, and His instruction for us is to tell as many people as we can about Him. From the moment of our birth, God's ultimate goal for our lives was to be a living, breathing, telling witness to the love of Jesus. It is a Divine Assignment that everyone who calls themselves a Christian is to undertake.

It brings God pleasure when He sees us living out our assignment, forsaking everything else in life to give it all up for Him. It pleases Him when we boldly take on our assignment and tell everyone we know about the love and sacrifice of Jesus. So, as long as we have breath we need to be about praising God and telling about our lives with Jesus. Anything less than that is a waste of what God has equipped and appointed us to do.

Photo from The Family International, Photo Gallery: Relief-Disaster

This is a reposting of a previous blog post; it is as relevent today as it was the day I first posted it.