Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Praise - June 30, 2013

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.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Star Attraction (cont) - June 29, 2013

Isaiah 14:12 (New King James Version)
12 “ How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!"

Ezekiel 28:11-19 (New Living Translation)
11 Then this further message came to me from the Lord: 12 “Son of man, sing this funeral song for the king of Tyre. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord:

“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty.

13 You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone — red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, bblue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald— all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created.

14 I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire.

15 “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. 16 Your rich commerce led you to violence, and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire.

17 Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings. 18 You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.

19 All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.”

1 John 2:15-17 (New American Standard Bible)
15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Yesterday we talked about the fact that sometimes we begin to forget that nothing we do is done in our own strength and is because of our own efforts. We forget that God has given us our abilities and talents. But at times, we forget about Him altogether and take all the credit for ourselves. Our pride begins to take the best of us. So what is the root of what is really going on.

In the times before the time of mankind, God created a most beautiful creature, an angel of light, that was adorned with every precious stone found in the heavenly realm. He was an angel among the highest order and exalted, a cherubim like Michael and Gabriel. It has been said that he led the choirs of angels.

But the problem was that all of this exaltation caused him to be prideful and seek to set himself above God. He wanted to receive glory and praise for what he was. He forgot that everything he was had been given to him by God. In his pride he started a rebellion against God in heaven. For this, God cast him out of heaven along with one third of the angels(Revelation 12:7-9). Even now he and his company of angels roam the earth causing havoc and destruction.

He has a lot of influence on us, and his ways have incorporated themselves into every corner of this world. We as human beings have in the same manner become boastful and proud, and most of us choose to elevate ourselves and our efforts over God. We take credit for what we should be thanking God for; our abilities and talents that we use to accomplish things in this life. Do you recognize when you are doing this? Do you realize that all you are and all you have are because He who created you, He who should be your God, has blessed you beyond measure?

Satan wants to steal God's glory, and every time we are praised for something we do, or we fail to pass on glory and honor and praise to God for what we do, we are doing just as a prideful angel did long ago. We too become part of the rebellion.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Star Attraction - June 28, 2013

Proverbs 16:18 (New International Version)
18 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

Isaiah 14:12-15 (New International Version)

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,

you who once laid low the nations!

13 You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High."

15 But you are brought down to the grave,
to the depths of the pit.

We really can be very arrogant sometimes. We enjoy "tooting our own horn". We want to be the "center of attention", "all that", "the man(or woman)", the "bomb"; we enjoy the limelight, and when people place us on a pedestal. We like to be on stage, and if given the opportunity, everyone of us wants to be the "star attraction".

Whenever we feel that we have done something extraordinary, we like making sure the people around us at work or school, and even at home, really know about it. If we are not careful, and the more we do this, it ends up going to our heads. We start thinking that we have really done something special.

We begin to forget that nothing we do is done in our own strength or because of our own efforts. We forget that God has given us our abilities and talents, and the opportunities to use them. Most of the time, we forget about Him altogether, and we usually take all the credit for ourselves; our pride takes the best of us.

If this is beginning to sound a little like you, be sure you take a look at this tomorrow as I look at the root of what is really going on.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Stumbling Stone - June 27, 2013

Isaiah 8:14-15 (New International Version, ©2011)
14 He will be a holy place; for both Israel and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare.

15 Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.”

Matthew 21:42-45 (New Century Version)

42 Jesus said to them, "Surely you have read this in the Scriptures:

'The stone that the builders rejected became the cornerstone. The Lord did this, and it is wonderful to us.' — Psalm 118:22–23

43 "So I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who do the things God wants in his kingdom. 44 The person who falls on this stone will be broken, and on whomever that stone falls, that person will be crushed."

45 When the leading priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew Jesus was talking about them.

In the Old Testament it was prophesied that the coming Messiah would become a stone over which men would stumble, and he would aslo be the stone that would be rejected as the foundation upon which everything would be built. Jesus quoted these verses when He was confronted by the hard-hearted religious leaders, who had become so trapped in their religious rituals and traditions, that they failed to "see" the true Messiah when He made His appearance to them. They were trapped in their own works as the means of obtaining God's favor, or they simply dismissed that there would even be an afterlife, so they would not have to face and eternity.

Not much has changed since the time of Jesus. The same attitudes about Jesus Christ that prevailed in the 1st Century A.D. exist today. Many today feel that their personal works will find them favor with God, and others deny the need for any religion because their is no God, no afterlife, no reason to have to worry about it. For everyone, Jesus Christ is a stone that either becomes the foundation of your personal faith, sealing your eternity with Him, or becomes a stone that gets rejected and becomes the very thing that will trip them up when they have to face God someday.

There will be a time in every person's life, when they will have to answer the question of who Jesus Christ is for themselves. Make sure you know the right answer!

Photo "Texture 30" by phelle, 5-14-2006, from stock.xchng

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Help for the Climb - June 26, 2013

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 be your guide, 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 committed 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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cold Hearts - June 25, 2013

Matthew 24:10-12 (New Living Translation)
10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.

Romans 1:20-21,29-32(New International Reader's Version)
20 Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I'm talking about his eternal power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So people have no excuse for what they do.

21 They knew God. But they didn't honor him as God. They didn't thank him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark.
29 They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. They want more than they need. They commit murder. They want what belongs to other people. They fight and cheat. They hate others. They say mean things about other people. 30 They tell lies about them. They hate God. They are rude and proud. They brag. They think of new ways to do evil. They don't obey their parents. 31 They are foolish. They can't be trusted. They are not loving and kind.

32 They know that God's commands are right. They know that those who do evil things should die. But they continue to do those very things. They also approve of others who do them.

Each and every day we read headlines and hear of stories of how cold-hearted the society has grown around us. Young women are no longer safe, young men care less about their responsibilities, and what was once inappropriate is now mainstream; what was once wholesome is now a joke. We read of the tolerance for things that devalue human life and morals, and anything pertaining to Christianity and faith is now deemed harmful and archaic.

It is amazing that the Bible is always so very clear about what is really going on. Those of you reading this that grew up when I did know that we weren't exactly angels, but we knew what was right and wrong, and we knew about being respectful to adults and each other, and being gentlemen and young ladies, and about consequences. We knew how to protect those weaker than ourselves, and helping those less fortunate, and how to serve one another.

What has happened? What's going on? Is it because progressives in our society think they have a better way, than the old-fashioned biblical values from the generations before and since our founding? Is it because our nation has decided that God has no place in public education and that modern scholars believe they know how to teach about morals better? Is it because education about human relationships has been taken out of the hands of mothers and fathers, and has been given to teachers and health clinics?

Is it because our children have now learned that what is right and wrong is relative, and what's wrong for you may not necessarily be wrong for the other guy? Is it because mothers and fathers now only have to look after their own personal interests, because now they only have to be accountable to themselves? Is it because it is now "my body" and "my rights" and having it "my way"? Is it because all that is important is money, and prestige, and position, and possessions, and politics, and power?

Is it because when you talk about God, "you can't be serious,...what God"? Or, "Jesus? Who's He?" Is it because, "Church? You got to be kidding me! Why should I go to Church?" Is it because, "We have football, or soccer, or swimming, or ice skating, or basketball, or"? And "There is no such thing as heaven, or a hell, or judgment"? Or, "You worship your way and I will worship my way!"

What is my answer to all this? The answer can be found in Psalm 37:39-40:39 The Lord saves those who do what is right. He is their place of safety when trouble comes. 40 The Lord helps them and saves them. He saves them from sinful people because they go to him for safety.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Problems? Pray. - June 24, 2013

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 consistent prayer life, you are really missing out. God is waiting to hear from you!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Working While You Wait - June 23, 2013

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 Christian. 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 assignment and do our part in accomplishing His work.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Simply Speaking - June 22, 2013

Psalm 1:1-2(New Living Translation)
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.

2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.

How great it would be if everyone would just follow the ways of God. Our world would be much more peaceful of we left it all to Him. He gives us the instructions, if we would just take them in and live by them. Then things would really be much simpler. Unfortunately, we are a stubborn and self-centered people, and the Word of God is contrary to our nature. We choose to go the opposite way, so our struggle is one of overcoming the consequence of our behavior.

Why not simplify your life? Why not choose to read and live by God's Word instead of our own nature? Why not keep the good company of He who made you, and leave it all to Him? Let Jesus Christ be your guide and your life will be much simpler.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Benefits of Sharing - June 21, 2013

Romans 12:13 (New International Version, ©2011)
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

The key to receiving all the blessings from God this life has to offer is sharing. Nothing focuses your attention on the heart and Spirit of God better than when you give of yourself to others, especially others who believe in Jesus. In doing so you come very close to the nature and character of God.

If you find yourself lifeless in your faith, and just can't get it off dead center, if your interested in "going deeper" with God, then do something for someone else in the name of Jesus Christ. Give it your all, not begrudgingly or as if you had to do it, but do something without pretext or precondition. You will be the one most blessed for doing so.

Photo "For Us 2" by Spiz, 4-29-2006, from stock.xchng

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Limitless Love - June 20, 2013

Ephesians 3:14-19(New Living Translation)
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

For us living in modern society, it is hard to fathom how much God really loves us. He is unseen and intangible, so our understanding of His love is based on faith; our trust in His word and the example He gave us of Himself, Jesus Christ. Love for us in human terms has only one equal, that of our love for our children. It is that relationship that we can understand the unconditional love of God.

Sure, there are times that our relationship with our children is strained, but in most cases this is a love that endures, that is endless, from birth until death. Their is little else more important to us than our children, and for most of us, we would give our very lives to for them. In fact, for most of us, our very lives revolves around our children, and anything that happens to them can affect us deeply.

How could our Creator prove to us that He deeply loved us? In the Old Testament, God's love was spoken of, but not very easily encountered. Thank God that He stepped out of Heaven, and through Jesus Christ, who walked in flesh and blood, the love of God was demonstrated in His earthly ministry, and ultimately in His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. In that single act, just as we would die for our children, God gave His life so that we could live with Him for eternity.

Now that is endless Love!...If you are longing to experience the love of God, accept the gift that He offers. Jesus Christ has paid the price for everything sinful that you have done and will do; release yourself from the bondage of those sins, and allow yourself to be embraced by His love.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Evidence of Miracles - June 19, 2013

2 Peter 3:13-14 (New International Version, ©2010)
13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

For those who are believers in Jesus Christ, we have been given an incomprehensible gift; I mean that there is no way in our finite minds that we can truly understand what has been done for us. We are living almost 2000 years removed from the events and times that the apostle Peter is writing in. All we can do is accept it in faith as being true. For many around us, that is just too much to ask, so how can we be sure that if we go through living a faithful and righteous life that God will indeed bless us by sharing His kingdom with us?

I believe that for us the best way for us to know that what we believe are the existence of miracles. What do I mean by miracles? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines a miracle as "an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs, or an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment". I would add that these events occur without natural explanation.

Yes, there can be false miracles, but usually these will be found out, because we know from the experience of our own lives that anything but the truth will be revealed as a lie in time. In our country we don't hear much about miracles, because we live in a land on cynics, and anything attributed to being a miracle of God is quickly suppressed as something else. Contrary to that are the amazing things happening in third world countries, where there are documented cases of many miracles that are bringing many people to belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

That doesn't mean that they are "cornering the market" on miracles. A couple of years ago, I spoke with a friend who had just been released from being in the hospital for almost two weeks. He had a auto-immune syndrome that had left him paralyzed and unable to walk. For several days the doctors could not determine what he had. They tested and tested him and filtered his blood, but they still couldn't find his problem. Finally days later, they discovered the link to his paralysis. The news was dire, because my friend was told that they could not say when if ever he would walk again.

During this time, many people in my friends church were praying for him, and as he tells it, the news was not getting any better. Once the really devastating diagnosis was revealed, although many hearts sank at the news, it only led his church to pray for him even more. Finally one Sunday evening, many church members showed up at his bedside to pray. Joining hands they prayed for healing and a miracle in the name of Jesus. God heard their prayerful plea, and much to the amazement of the hospital staff, my friend regained his ability to walk. He is now a walking, talking testimony of the grace and mercy of God, and a real-life miracle.

Now this is a long story, and for some no matter what kind of miracles God might provide, they will never believe. It has been that way since Christ walked the earth and it will continue to be so. But for us, God reveals himself daily in the changed lives of those who reach out to Him and accept His gift to us. The true miracles are those once lost souls who are now walking, talking testimonials to the radical change of life found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation is real; since we know that, it is only fitting that we live lives that are testaments to it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Concert of Worship - June 18, 2013

Revelation 5:11-14 (New International Version, ©2011)

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

As I have mentioned before, I love participating in worship on Sundays. It is my favorite time of the week. There is nothing better than gathering with other believers in concert to worship and lift praises to our God and King. Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines concert as,"an agreement in design or plan:union formed by mutual communication of opinions and views".

An article in Christianity Today a couple of years ago, published an article about Johnathan Edwards, a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans, who was widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian[1] and one of America's greatest intellectuals, where he stated. in a sermon entitled "Praise, One of Chief Employments of Heaven," -"Let it be considered that the church on earth is the same society with those saints who are praising God in heaven".

The article further states that, "This means that when the church gathers for worship it engages in heavenly activity. The worshiping church does not merely imitate what goes on in heaven. It participates in heaven's worship. ...We take up a theme that was begun by others before the throne of God, adding our voices to theirs."[2]

This really caught my attention, and gave me a much greater appreciation for that time we Christians spend in corporate worship. It pointed to the real responsibility we have as followers of Christ that we have proper focus in our praise and worship. As was mentioned also in the article, we are joining in on the worship that is always occurring before our holy God. It is more than just our personal expression and sign of our devotion that originates from us here on earth. We are merely participants in the greater worship that comes from heaven and extends down to us.

Jesus hinted at this when he rebuked the Pharisees for criticizing his followers that began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen, He said in Luke 19:40, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” And again its mentioned in the passage above from Revelation 5:13, that "every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them" will worship and praise God.

If you enjoy worship as much as I do, you are part of a universal chorus praising our Lord and Maker, and the Lamb who is worthy of all our praises, in concert before the throne of Heaven. If you don't enjoy worship, or if you have yet to believe in the One who can save you from this world and bless you with eternity, someday everyone will bow their knee in worship Him who sits on the throne. Everyone worships something; make sure you focus on the right object of your worship.

[1]Stanford Encycolpedia of Philosophy,Jonathan Edwards
First published Tue Jan 15, 2002; substantive revision Thu Aug 6, 2009
[2] Christianity Today, March 2011, Page 21

Photo from the website, 2-21-2008

Monday, June 17, 2013

Can't Take It With You - June 17, 2013

Psalm 49:16-17 (New International Version, ©2011)
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases;17 for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.

1 Timothy 6:7 (New International Version, ©2011)
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

You have heard it said that, "You don't see a U-Haul behind a hearse". How true that is. When we die, everything earthly thing we have will be left behind. This points to the foolishness of accumulating houses and cars, and anything else we try so hard to earn in life. The verses from the psalm above makes it clear that we shouldn't even be impressed by the worldly goods of others, because they will all be left behind as well.

Our focus needs to be on what we do of eternal value. First, we need to accept Jesus Christ and make sure of our future address. Next, we need to take advantage of every good work that God directs us to do. Then we need to live lives obedient to what God has required of us in His word. Finally, we need to make sure our life focus is on sharing with everyone around us what we ourselves have learned about eternity.

Serve God, not man and make sure that your investments are in the right place.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Heart of a Father - June 16, 2013

Psalm 127:3-5(New International Version)
3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.

4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

By now most of the dads are winding down their day of honor, and getting ready for a new week providing for their families. In their rush, it might be forgotten how very important the responsibility of being a father is. It is the closest reflection of the heart of our heavenly Father. He has blessed each one of us dads with the children we parent. Let's give Him thanks, and ask for His divine guidance as we shepherd our children that He has made us stewards of. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Obedience and Blessings- June 15, 2013

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

Friday, June 14, 2013

Alongside the River - June 14, 2013

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (New Living Translation)
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

If you have driven along the highways and farm roads on the prairies of Texas, you will notice the tree lined paths that seem to break up the rolling grassy landscape. These delineate the many rivers that flow across Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. Along these rivers are lush green stands of firs and hardwoods that receive the much needed moisture that sustains them in the dry southwest climate of our state. If they did not grow close to the river, they would quickly wither under the summer heat, and you will notice that that the trees do not grow too far from the riverbank.

Much in the same way that the trees stay close to the river for its live-giving water, properly placed trust keeps us close to the life-giving spirit of God. As we stay close to Him, we receive everything we need, and we will grow deep roots that will provide us the strength through the times of "drought" in our lives.

If you need hope and confidence to make it through this life, place your trust alongside the One who will provide life-giving "water" for your soul.

John 7:38-39 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
38As Scripture says, ‘Streams of living water will flow from deep within the person who believes in me.’ ” 39Jesus said this about the Spirit, whom his believers would receive. The Spirit was not yet evident, as it would be after Jesus had been glorified.

Photo "Riverside" by RedVari, 9-17-2009, from stock.xchng

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Working With Purpose - June 13, 2013

Ecclesiastes 2:22-25(GOD’S WORD Translation)
22What do people get from all of their hard work and struggles under the sun? 23Their entire life is filled with pain, and their work is unbearable. Even at night their minds don’t rest. Even this is pointless.

24There is nothing better for people to do than to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in their work. I saw that even this comes from the hand of God. 25Who can eat or enjoy themselves without God?

We have spend forty or more hours working; to what end? For what purpose? Work for the sake of working really has no purpose at all, so our work has to mean something. The richest man on the planet in his day, King Solomon, asked this question. He wondered why he was doing his work. It frustrated him to think that he would do all this work, only to have someone else to come after him and reap all the reward. After his death, the one who inherited the benefit of Solomon's labor would not appreciate what it took to get there.

What Solomon soon realized was that without God as the focus of our work, the work would have little meaning; it would serve no purpose. God is the one that first enables us to work, He is the One who gives us something to work for, whether it be our families or another, and He is the One who tells us to work as if we are doing it for Him. Our ultimate purpose in our work is to serve our God, and in doing so we serve our families, others and ourselves as well.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24(NIV)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Living Water - June 12, 2013

John 7:37-39(New Living Translation)
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

When you are truly saved and know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you will certainly know it. That is when the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within you and your joy and excitement about following Jesus will flow from you like a river of water. That is what Jesus meant in the verses above. You can't help but talk about the change He has made in your life.

Yes, there are times of difficulty and stress in our walk with Him, but there are far more times when our life in Him will flow to all that surround us. If you haven't yet, why not taste the living water today?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Living Word - Jun 11, 2013

Hebrews 4:12(New International Version)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Have you ever been "pierced" by the word of God? Have you ever read or heard a passage that cut you to the heart and guilt welled up inside of you? Have you ever heard a sermon when the pastor's message seemed to be about what you were going through at the moment? Have you ever read a Bible passage multiple times, yet this time in seemed to come alive and answer a question you were thinking about?

All of these experiences with the word of God are how the Holy Spirit of God communicates with us. That is why it is said that the word of God is "alive and active", or "living and breathing". There is no equal to what the Bible can reveal and tell you. What is important though is that you have accepted God's gift of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Only then can it truly come alive to you.

There is no other religious text that can compare. To test this, especially if you are already a Christian, just pick one up and start reading through it. Then, pick up an Bible and start reading through it. You will notice that there is a difference. The Bible speaks to you, even though it was written by many different authors, over thousands of years, almost two thousand years ago. In reading it, God's word speaks to you as if He is writing directly to you.

Thank God for His marvelous love letter to us, and that God for the living Word of God, Jesus Christ, who has made it all possible.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Critical People - June 10, 2013

Luke 6:41-42 (New Century Version)
41 "Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your friend, 'Friend, let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye' when you cannot see that big piece of wood in your own eye! You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend's eye.

Are you a critical person? I mean do you find fault with those around you? Do you always see a better way that someone else could be doing something? Do you tend to be a little judgmental with those closest to you? All of these questions pertain to the person that is hyper-critical; that person that is always finding fault with others.

I really believe Jesus was talking about a matter of the "heart and soul" when he made these comments about finding fault with others. In fact he pointed out that usually the person finding fault will pick at the most insignificant thing, while they have a huge problem themselves. What Jesus is pointing out is that unless we are without fault, we should not be pointing out the faults in others.

Often those that are hyper-critical are not looking at the other person in love. If you are exhibiting the true love of Christ, the kind he showed us by dying for our faults, you will see past the faults and problems of others and see the good in them. If you have the "heart and soul" of Jesus, you will build people up and overcome their fault with your overwhelming love. Jesus saw past our significant problems and faults and gave himself to us anyway. Isn't it time we did the same?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Praise! - June 9, 2013

Psalm 105:1-4(New International Version)
1 Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Look to the LORD and his strength;
seek his face always.

As this Sunday nears its end, let us not forget in the quite of the night to give Him praise. Many times I awake at night and offer up prayers to God, and then fall back to sleep, sure that no matter what, we are protected. He watches over our household, and we place our total trust in His care. If you do not have that quiet assurance, be sure that you "seek His face, always" and you can have confidence that He will hear your prayers.

Take a few moments and give Him your praise right now!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crying Out to God - June 8, 2013

Psalm 77(New International Version)
1 I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted.

3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked:

7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

13 Your ways, God, are holy.
What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

16 The waters saw you, God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.
17 The clouds poured down water,
the heavens resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.
19 Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

When it seems that you have no place else to turn, cry out to God for help. Remember what He has done for you in the past. Remember His gift of Jesus Christ for you. His greatness can be seen in His caring for you, and every person is important to Him. Remember that He knows you, He loves you, and He wants to help you. Make your plea to the One who made you, and He will show you His mighty deeds.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Growing Towards Purity - June 7, 2013

2 Corinthians 7:1 (New International Reader's Version)
1 Dear friends, we have these promises from God. So let us make ourselves pure from everything that pollutes our bodies and spirits. Let us be completely holy. We want to honor God.

Much is being written these days about the number of young people leaving the church after they leave home. The author of one such book, Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults Are Leaving the Faith. . .and How to Bring Them Back, Drew Dyck said in an interview "I think there has been a lot of evidence that they are dropping religion at a greater rate than the younger adults of yesteryear," said Drew Dyck.

In his book Dyck examines the reasons for this through interviews he conducts. Reasons can be varied, from those who leave because of a negative experience, to those who rebel, and those who just get bored and drift away. There has also been other research from everyone from Focus on the Family to Pew Research that seems to concur with this significant falling away of our young people.

I am concerned for Christian youth of today, because today there is more pressure from the world around them than ever before in the past. Once they are out of our care and the safer surroundings of a church family or youth group, they are like "lambs thrown to the wolves". The god of this world will do all he can to trip up everyone of God's children he can. Many of us need only to look in the mirror to identify someone who has gone through this. So what do we do to help them from becoming another statistic?

First, our youth must know without a doubt what they believe. They need to be able to standup for it, and to defend it. As there parents, we need to know what they do believe, and if their is doubt, help to point them to someone that can help them work through those doubts (Of course we need to be sure of what we believe first). They can only be strong against opposition if they do this.

Next, once they leave the home, they have to have a lifeline back to their church and their family of believers. This may mean that your church or its youth group leaders need to be actively connecting with these youth on a regular basis, providing a resource upon which they can depend on. Nothing makes a young person more vulnerable than when they feel that they are alone.

Knowing what they will be held accountable to when they are in the world is the next step. The passage above makes it clear what God expects from them and us. There are many passages in the Bible that help support this. Find them yourself, then pass them on to your kids.

I believe many young people fall away because their parents have in the way they live. Many times the "empty-nest" syndrome drives once church-going parents to themselves fall into leading lifestyles that result in break up and divorce. Our bad examples forces our young adults to question their own personal faith, and many times the results are catastrophic. Get you own "house of faith" in order before you expect your kids to.

Finally, before your young person leaves home, discuss what will happen when they do go away. Be very honest and clear that what the world offers is not what they have been accustomed to. They need to know how to face things such as relationships, drinking, drugs and sex. Don't be afraid to talk about it, and yes, its okay to be honest about your past mistakes. Nothing is more important than to know that God can restore broken people, just in case they do mess up.

Photo "Water 4" by NKZS, 8-21-2008, from stock.xchng

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nowhere to Hide - June 6, 2013

Jeremiah 23:23-24(New King James Version)
23 “ Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,

“ And not a God afar off?

24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;

“ Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:23-24(GOD’S WORD Translation)
23“I am a God who is near. I am also a God who is far away,” declares the Lord.

24“No one can hide so that I can’t see him,” declares the Lord.“I fill heaven and earth!” declares the Lord.

There are many in our world, that think that they can live their lives as they'd like without any repercussions. They constantly comment that they have plenty of time left to think about their future, and that they will think about God when they need to. You also hear them comment on their personal behavior and have the false assumption that God can't really see them, or that He isn't paying attention to them. What they say that what they do in private is their own business, and what He doesn't see won't matter in the long run.

Truth is though, God sees everything! He is omnipresent, meaning that He is everywhere at the same time. We may not see or "feel" His presence, but He is there. When Jesus Christ stepped into the world, He made this fact known when He told his disciples, “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”(Matthew 28:20b)Once we accept Christ as Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us, to guide and impart godly wisdom upon us. Once He is within us, there is no place to hide. Everything we do is under His caring eye.

Since God already knows everything about you, why not bring it out in the open? He sees your secrets, so why not turn them over to Him? Why not surrender and confess all that has you in bondage? Through Jesus Christ, you have been redeemed and He has taken your punishment upon Himself. If you still are waiting to turn your life over to Him, there will be a day that everything about your life will be laid out before God and judged. On that day, there truly will be nowhere to hide.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Worth Your Salt - June 5, 2013

Matthew 5:13(New International Version)
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

For many centuries salt has been one of the most important commodities in the world. It has been used for preserving foods, for currency, for balancing the blood, for adding taste to foods, and many other things. Our world and our bodies could not function without salt. In fact four-fifths of the world is covered in oceans that are full of salt; it adds to our lives in countless ways.

Jesus used this very important compound to speak of how followers of God need to be engaged in the world around them, while being different from the world. As Christians, this is the directive we need to follow, engaging others by living Christ-like lives, and making a difference in the world around them.

If we fail to be any different from those in the world, then we can no longer represent the difference that Jesus brings into people's lives. We will lose our ability to help bring effective change in people's lives that only belief in Jesus will. He is the Savior of the world, and a person's acceptance of His work on the cross as payment for personal sins changes lives.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, don't lose your effectiveness by becoming a part of the world and diluting your witness. Instead, stand upon He who is mighty to save, and be living examples of Christ worthy of your calling.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

God's Heart for the Poor - June 4, 2013

James 1:9-11(New Century Version)
9 Believers who are poor should take pride that God has made them spiritually rich. 10 Those who are rich should take pride that God has shown them that they are spiritually poor.

The rich will die like a wild flower in the grass. 11 The sun rises with burning heat and dries up the plants. The flower falls off, and its beauty is gone. In the same way the rich will die while they are still taking care of business.

There is a huge place in God's heart for the poor. Many times in the New Testament, whether in the Gospels or in the following books of letters, we are confronted with the fact that those who may be poor in material wealth are usually rich in God's kingdom. In contrast, the opposite is said for those who are rich in material goods.

In the Western world, and especially in the United States, most of us have been so blessed in possessions, that our pursuit of just keeping up with each other materially has made us spiritually poor. When I read these verses, I think that it is speaking to us. For most of us, our spiritual experience with God is relegated to a few short prayers and maybe an hour of church on Sundays.

In the Third World, believers in Christ are consumed in their desire to be close to God. I saw a great example of this on a mission trip I took to Mexico. We were visiting the poor in a shanty town of tin and cardboard homes on barren slopes and surrounded by trash. The pastor that was our guide introduced us to a poor man that was "on fire" for the Lord. The man greeted us with a beaming smile on his face.

He eagerly invited us into his ramshackle home to show us around; his little cardboard shack was decorated with bible verses and images of Jesus, and you could easily tell that the dirt floor would turn to mud whenever it rained. He pointed out his meager possessions, and then expressed to us how blessed he was to have been given such a wonderful home. In his joy, he began to sing songs of praise in a beautiful baritone voice; I can still remember his joyful songs and gracious smile to this day.

We are super wealthy as compared to this man, and yet we have a very hard time being joyful about our circumstances, and the things that we have. Each and every thing that we have has been given to us by God, yet we rarely give Him praise for doing so; we have a hard time giving Him the little praise that we do. Because of this we are spiritually very poor, and if we are not careful, our richness can lead us away from doing the things of God.

If your focus is on material pursuits, rather than on becoming a follower of Christ, it is time that you gained the wealth that can only be found in Jesus. If you are already a Christ follower, but you are so pre-occupied with worldly pursuits that you have strayed away from Him, its time you came back. There will be a day when we all will be judged, for what we have done, with what we have been given by God. I know that the joyful poor man in Mexico will be richly rewarded and happy on that day. Be sure that on that day you are too.

Photo from "Mighty Men Are Going to Zambia!", 9-12-2010,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Quest For Godly Character - June 3, 2013

Psalm 15 (New Living Translation)
A psalm of David.

1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?

Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?

2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,

speaking the truth from sincere hearts.

3 Those who refuse to gossip

or harm their neighbors

or speak evil of their friends.

4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,

and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,

and keep their promises even when it hurts.

5 Those who lend money without charging interest,

and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.

Such people will stand firm forever.

In the verses above, David asked of God what kind of person could worship God and be in His presence. The psalm above is the reflection of what God revealed to him. These are great character qualities with which to conduct our daily lives. From cover to cover this is the common theme in God's word, living good and righteous lives and treating others better than ourselves. This is right conduct and His pattern for how best to honor Him and bring Him glory.

But in the course of daily living it is not easy to always keep God's rules. I thank Him that He has provided us a way to always be right with Him; accept the truth of the gift of Jesus as the author of our forgiveness and hope. As we pattern our lives after Him, it will make it a lot easier.

Photo of the book The Quest for Character, by Charles Swindoll

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Who Is He? - June 2, 2013

Amos 5:8(New International Version)
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the LORD is his name.

Since mankind has been on the earth they have gazed into the heavens and wondered, "Who is He?" Who is He that made the heavens and the very earth on which we stand? Who turns the night into day and back again? Who cycles time through the seasons as the earth changes before our eyes, turning everything into Winter, causing the world to grow cold and lifeless, and yet before we know it brings it back to life again? Who causes the tides to ebb and flow, and cause the sea to rage, before it calms into gentle laps upon the sand?

Who is it who's creative genius caused Orion to watch over the night sky, and who has flung every star into its place, yet cares for the smallest of His creatures? Who is He who has given Himself to us in the person of Jesus, who cared enough to rescue us from our own failure and sin? Who is He who want to someday bring us to Himself to love us throughout eternity?

If you haven't answered that question for yourself, look up into the sky tonight and wonder as men have since long ago, and then discover the answer; it is the Lord.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Light of the World - June 1, 2013

Isaiah 26:9-13(New Century Version)
9 My soul wants to be with you at night, and my spirit wants to be with you at the dawn of every day. When your way of justice comes to the land, people of the world will learn the right way of living.

10 Evil people will not learn to do good even if you show them kindness. They will continue doing evil, even if they live in a good world; they never see the Lord's greatness.

11 Lord, you are ready to punish those people, but they do not see that. Show them your strong love for your people. Then those who are evil will be ashamed. Burn them in the fire you have prepared for your enemies.

12 Lord, all our success is because of what you have done, so give us peace.

13 Lord, our God, other masters besides you have ruled us, but we honor only you.

John 3:19(GOD’S WORD Translation)
19This is why people are condemned: The Light came into the world. Yet, people loved the dark rather than the light because their actions were evil.

Have you ever been up very early in the morning, just before the sun comes up? Especially on a moonless night, it can be pitch black, and just before dawn a faint sliver of light begins to illuminate the darkness. You realize how little light is needed to begin to light up the darkness. It starts out very faintly, but as the minutes pass, the sliver soon begins to fill the sky. The sun hasn't risen yet, but the sky begins to warm up in beautiful hews of purple and red, then orange, and soon yellows. It is a beautiful and amazing, and each day is different from the last.

So it was when Christ came into the dark world, and so too it is in many parts of the world today. The love of Christ begins ever so faintly, in the life of a believer or two, but soon it is illuminating many hearts as the light of Jesus begins to light up the dark souls of many it encounters. Even so, there will be those who choose to stay in the darkness, those who are blinded by the light, and would rather hide where it's dark. If only they allowed a little light to shine in, they would soon feel the warmth of Christ's love.

Many of us may have been in that same situation at one time in our lives, and some reading this might still be there. Although they know of the light of Jesus Christ, they choose to run away from it, and go hide where it's dark. They are so deep in the darkness of their sinful lives, that when Christ's light begins to shine, they would rather not face it. They are happier in the darkness than they are in the light. Darkness hides their true selves, and they fear what the light of day will show.

The Light of God, Jesus Christ, has come into the world. We need to embrace it and allow it to warm our souls. Otherwise we may be trapped in the darkness forever, and find out that we don't want to end up there.