Monday, June 30, 2014

Working for Our Good - June 30, 2014

Romans 8:28;37-39 (New King James Version)28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. ...37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What great news for today; to know that when we chose to love God through Jesus Christ that He will work things out for our good! Yes, this is sometimes very difficult to understand, especially when things in our lives seem to go badly. Many times when we see the circumstances close up or we are right in the midst of the difficulty we find it hard to see how God is helping us through it.

Paul wrote this letter to the believers in Rome from Corinth, just after the middle of the 1st century. The purpose of Romans was to preach the "good news" of salvation in Christ and to impart to the reader a gift of encouragement and assurance in all that God has freely given them. The 8th Chapter of Romans specifically addresses the favor, benefits and protections offered through believing, and living lives led by the Spirit of God, as we have come to know as the Holy Spirit.

Just as they were for the Roman believers, these words offer us encouragement, hope and a promise that God will help us. He will be in the life's most difficult situations and work them out for our ultimate benefit. Even better is that the this text emphasizes ALL things, not just some things working together for good. If at those times in our own lives, when things seem most hopeless and depressing, we will shift our focus away from the situation and onto what God might be trying to do through it, we can find greater peace and comfort. We may not see or know the results for some time, but the outcome will give positive results.

The best promise is at the end of the highlighted verses for today. That is that no matter what the circumstance, or the situation, whether it is in this life or the next, nothing will ever separate us from God's love once we place our belief in Jesus Christ. Now that is "good news"!

This post is a re-post of one of my past blog posts. I believe it is very appropriate for today as it was when I first posted it.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Praise! - June 29, 2014

Psalm 33
1 Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
2 Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Giving Sight to the Blind - Jun 28, 2014

John 9:25(New International Version)
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

2 Corinthians 5:17(New King James Version NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

There is something that every critic and every supporter of our faith in Jesus Christ is missing when it comes to the validity and truth of Christianity. To illustrate this I was prompted to look at the 9th Chapter of John in the New Testament, where Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath. After which the man was called into the temple and questioned by the religious rulers in an attempt to discount and disparage Jesus and the miracle He had just done.

The religious leaders focused more on trying to belittle Jesus in their own eyes that they failed to realize the spititual blindness they were under. They could not see the real Jesus as who He claimed to be because of their own religiousity; their exaggerated piety and religious zeal. This is no different than it is today; people are so zealous to take down anything having to do with Christianity that they fail to see and are blind to who Jesus really is. So too, many liberal theologians would rather defend their own interpretations of what they believe is the truth, than to come close to discovering the real truth.

All this to say that what those who are spiritually blind to the real Jesus fail to see are His true miracles. The religious leaders of His day could not see that Jesus actually restored sight to a lifelong blind man, and today's critics fail to see that the true miracle of Jesus is the changed heart, the change in a person's life that nothing else can accomplish. Their is nothing that can dispute this.

Only Jesus Christ can bring change to a life-long, down-and-out drunk, drug addict, thief, womanizer, etc., that is trapped in the bondage of sin. Only He can bring "sight" to those who once were "blind", and turn them into a new creation.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Perishable - July 27, 2014

Isaiah 51:6 (New International Version)
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.

But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.

It is difficult imagining what God is like. We haven't seen Him, yet billions believe in Him. How else would all of what is around us exist? Big Bang? No, I don't think so. Chance? That means having nothing times nothing equals something. The math doesn't support that one. No one can explain our existence without God. Many deny that, and they spend a lifetime trying to prove it, but they never will. True to form, the scoffers will do anything but believe in God. Must be what they have to face up to.

God has proven Himself by what is around us. The magnificence of His creation, from the smallest of organisms to the expanse of the universe, is proof enough. Yet for the wonder of what is around us, it will all come to an end someday. Everything is fragile and everything perishes(Even the scoffers do agree on that!). Everything dies; everything decays. With that prospect in the future of all of us, what then? Do we pass into nothingness? Many would hope so, but those with real hope in Jesus Christ know differently.

As the prophet Isaiah tells us with the words of God, everything will pass away, except God and His salvation. He provides the Way and will never fail His creation. So the next time you look into the heavens, and contemplate your existence, make sure that you have accepted God's salvation and have taken His Way. That will never pass away.

Photo from

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finding Treasure - July 26, 2014

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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to Wait - June 25, 2014

Psalm 27:14(New King James Version)
14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Galatians 4:4-5(New Living Translation)
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

We are a very busy society, used to things happening at a fast pace. Every aspect of life around us is busy, and because of this we have become increasingly in patient with everything. Nothing can happen soon enough, and we want everything done yesterday. Because of this tendency that has ingrained itself in our lives, we have to have a solution to our problems and difficulties instantly. We can't wait for things to work themselves out; we want it fixed now!

One of the biggest lessons we need to learn from our Christian lives is "how to wait". When Adam and Eve fell, we would have expected that God would turn right around and resolve the issue. Unfortunately, if that would have happened, we might not be here today. He worked through generations and accomplished our salvation at just the right time; His time. God's timetable is not our timetable, and He will accomplish things in the time and manner that He sees fit.

I know that it is easy to be impatient during times of trouble, wanting God to take it away, but what we need to be asking is for God to teach us during this time. We need to learn to wait on the Lord, understanding that in His time He will set things right. In doing so, we will learn that our present circumstances are just temporary and that when we trust in God, He will work every situation out for our good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lighten Your Load - June 24, 2014

Psalm 68:19(New International Version)
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.

Matthew 11:28-30(New International Version)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Already this June the events both here and around the world, make it seem like there is no end to trouble in the future. Along with that, for many people it is still really tough out there, The economy remains in the pits, and the issues that confront our families are greater than ever. Watching the news, hearing from our loved ones, it feels like everything is heading downhill, and along with it, the weight we carry on our shoulders keeps getting heavier. In fact, it seems that at any moment the burdens, difficulties and struggles we are faced with will break us down.

Their is a way to lighten the heavy load we are carrying, because we have a God who is interested in giving us relief. He offers to carry our burdens daily, meaning that we don't have to carry our difficulties by ourselves. Jesus took it a step further, offering to pull alongside of us and to bear most of the weight. What faces us is easy for Him, and He wants us to find rest, internal peace, to make it all seem easier.

If you are heavily burdened and looking for help, why not turn in over to our loving God, who has carried our sins, and now offers to carry the weight of our burdens, difficulties and struggles. Just as a loving Father carries his child, our God will carry us and help us to find rest for our souls.

Photo from

Monday, June 23, 2014

Misplaced Confidence - June 23, 2014

Philippians 3:2-7 (New International Version)
2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:

5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.

These days when you ask someone whether or not they think they will go to heaven when they die, you often get answers like, "Sure! I go to church occasionally and I'm a good person.", "I'm not that bad...I'm better than that other guy!", or "If my good outweighs my bad, I think I will!". The answer to this question are as varied as the people who are asked. The problem is that in today's world, people have too much "Self-Confidence" when it comes their salvation.

Not that confidence in many things is wrong, but in terms of whether or not we will spend eternity with God, we can't make it with our own efforts. If you take time to study the wisdom of the Bible, you will began to discover that the Old Testament God reveals His divine Law and points to a future Messiah that will rescue us from mankind's in-ability to keep the Law, while the New Testament reveals the Messiah as Jesus Christ as the one who accomplishes the Law.

The Law(The Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Law)acts as a mirror, in which we look at ourselves to see whether or not we measure up to God's standards. How many of us have looked at another with lust? Yet, Jesus in Matthew 5:28 tells us that if we do, we have committed adultery. And how many have taken something that didn't belong to us, no matter how small and insignificant? Yet, that very act makes us guilty of stealing. Even looking at the guy across the street and being jealous of his new Porsche makes us guilty of coveting!

When we realize that as human beings we cannot get by without breaking God's Law, we should discover that we are hopelessly lost, because one single act of breaking God's Law makes us guilty of them all and condemns us to separation from God for eternity (damnation). It is not pleasant to read, and many of us just ignore it thinking that it will go away, but the truth is that someday we will stand before the judgment of God which will determine our eternal existence.

That is what Paul was pointing out in the verses in Philippians above. There were Jews that were persecuting new gentile(the common, non-Jewish person)Christians, because they were not following certain rules and regulations that had been imposed on the Jewish people. Paul was making a point that we can place no confidence in man's laws, rules and regulations for salvation.

In fact after the Law was given to the Jewish people, they went on to list 613 commandments in the Torah, and added to that additional traditions for Jewish living in the Mishnah, the halakhic Midrash, and the Talmud. But it is not only the Jewish religion, in fact every other religion out there require works on our own behalf to have a hope of salvation(ask any Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Muslim, etc. how they know whether or not they are saved). It is only because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, on the cross as the payment for our sins before a Holy God, that we have the assurance of being "saved".

I do not rely on my own "self", but I place my "confidence" of salvation in Jesus and Jesus Christ alone. Paul says it best, and it is easiest to understand in the New Century Version of the continuation of the text above:

8 Not only those things, but I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him, I have lost all those things, and now I know they are worthless trash. This allows me to have Christ9 and to belong to him. Now I am right with God, not because I followed the law, but because I believed in Christ. God uses my faith to make me right with him.10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11 (New Century Version)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What's Love Got To Do With It? - June 22, 2014

Romans 12:9-10 (New International Reader's Version)
9 Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.

Romans 12:9-10 (English Standard Version)
9 Let love (agape) be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection (philadelphia). Outdo one another in showing honor.

When I was young there used to be a fairly popular folk song, which was a written in 1968 by then-Catholic priest Peter R. Scholtes. They will know we are Christians by our Love was sung around many campfires at church camp to the strum of guitar, but I wonder how many of the young people understood what they were singing about, and how many then turned around and exhibited it in their lives.

In recent culture, Christians have earned a reputation, not for their love in action, but for being judgmental and legalistic. Even today society at large feels that all Christians want to impose a certain set of rules on everyone else, rather than being a loving group of believers of Jesus Christ, who want to live as His example by serving others. Although we sang about showing love to others, we really didn't live it out.

Paul calls us to show two examples of Christian love to others; agape, the self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love, and philadelphia, the love for brothers and sisters. He points out that we are to love each other genuinely, and treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. As Christians, this is not always easy, but if we will try to see each other as God sees us, then it will make it much easier.

If we as followers of Christ will love each other and our fellow inhabitants of this planet in genuine love, treating them as a brother or sister, we would make a significant impact on the world around us. It is up to us to show fellow believers that the true message of Jesus and the apostles is that God loves us genuinely, and in turn we are to love those in the world the same way. Let us make it a point to change the world's opinion of Christians, from one of judges and legalists, to one of being loving, caring, followers of Christ.

Photo "Forward Together" by hotblack, 9-29-2007, from stock.xchng

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What Are You Worth? - June 22, 2014

Matthew 6:25-27(New International Version)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

If you have studied the Bible or sat in a few church pews, you probably have read these verses or heard a sermon based on them. On the face of it is is very understandable; in the verses Jesus is illustrating how much God cares for those who love Him, and you were encouraged not to worry or be anxious about you life because God would take care of you. That is completely true, but I believe the real lesson to be learned is how God cares for you.

I like the picture above because it is a great photograph of how God shows His care. The verses state, "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them". Truth is though that just as the person above gives a helping hand by offering food to the bird, God uses various means at His disposal to provide and care of His children, including other people. Surrounding you are various opportunities and people that God has placed in your life. This makes it possible for you to receive God's care.

Many people wrongly expect that God will act like He did in the story of the Exodus with the Israelites in the desert, where He supplied manna and quail everyday for them to live on. They were to eat only enough for the day, because all of the leftovers wouldn't last through the night. The next morning there again was manna and quail for them to gather and eat(Exodus 16).

These days I don't suspect we will receive much manna from Heaven, although God does work miraculously in some circumstances. Instead God provides us with the ability and opportunity to receive His care through the things He places in our lives. The birds still have to go around and find what God has provided for them to eat. For us too, it is our responsibility to seek out God's provision, and then work and be obedient to His direction.

If we focus on Him, we will daily find those things He places in our lives. It is up to us to utilize them for our needs, and acknowledge the One who has given it to us.

Photo from

Friday, June 20, 2014

In God We Trust? - June 20, 2014

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 of the Constitution. Due to Judicial precedence, it has become 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 has happened to generations of our 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 against the Bible and public exercise of one's 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 each year in school, and maybe a total of 2 days each 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 forefathers founded this country on Judeo/Christian principles for a reason. The reason was that they knew that mankind were "fallen creatures", and without the constraints and discipline found in following a faith in a just God, man would rather pursue their own worldly 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 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 our country restored to goodness, it is time that we put God back into the culture, and 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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Good Witness - June 19, 2014

Hebrews 12:14-15(New Century Version)
14 Try to live in peace with all people, and try to live free from sin. Anyone whose life is not holy will never see the Lord.15 Be careful that no one fails to receive God's grace and begins to cause trouble among you. A person like that can ruin many of you.

One of the saddest things about Christianity today is that many people have a bad impression about Christians. Non-believers have been soured by how many who claim the faith behave. These behaviors that turn others off fall into two groups.

The first group, although they have been saved by Jesus Christ, continue to behave as if their conversion has made no change in their lives. They still cling to the things of the world and they treat others just as they did prior to knowing Jesus. Their behavior is marked by doing the exact things as those around them. Non-believers question why they should embrace faith in Jesus if it doesn't make a difference in their lives.

The second group have changed their lives because of their desire to please God, but they exhibit that change by excluding others. Their behavior is one of legalism, and they set a bar that new believer have to reach to become Christ followers. They further exacerbate this characteristic by them judging others with a "holier than though" attitude. Non-believers are turned off, because they feel that all Christians do is point out their faults.

In the Book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul admonishes us to live at peace with everyone, meaning that we need to seek peace in any human interaction we have. We then need to try to live holy lives, seeking to be good witnesses of the change Jesus has made our lives. And most importantly, we need to be sure that we show the same "grace" that God showed to us in drawing us to Christ.

We all are sinners and we all deserve God's judgment. Who are we to criticize others who have not yet found Jesus Christ? Instead we need to lead lives that reflect the love of Jesus, and attract others to the faith through "right" living, love, and acceptance. Our outward witness of our inward change is the most important thing in drawing others to Christ. Make sure that your witness as a Christian is one that will win others to Jesus.

Photo from Lost Sheeo Finders' Digest

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Lightbulb Moment - June 18, 2014

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 light bulb 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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Forgive and Forget - June 17, 2014

Colossians 3:13(New International Reader's Version)
13 Put up with each other. Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.

What causes the most damage in relationships? It's un-forgiveness. No matter what has happened between people, lack of forgiveness has the affect of causing the most distress that we can ever experience in our lives. Not forgiving one who has hurt and wronged you can last your entire life; it can cause problems that are physical, mental, and spiritual. Nothing is sadder than seeing someone who has been "eaten up" by un-forgiveness; it is evident to all who gets to know that person.

The Christian community is not immune to this, although it probably can be much more damaging. Un-forgiveness can be harmful to someone's entire Christian life, because it affects the person's walk by keeping it from being genuine. In doing this their growth in the faith is stunted; they will be living against the main premise of their own salvation. Through Jesus Christ, God completely forgives us of all of our wrongdoing, when we accept His gift of salvation. The Bible says that "He has removed our sins as far as the East is from the West"(Psalm 103:12), and that "He remembers them no more"(Isaiah 43:25). For us to forgive another any less than God has forgiven us, will cause us to lose out on our own forgiveness(Matthew 6:14-15).

For us to truly walk in the image of Christ, we need to have a heart that easily forgives. Yes, we do get hurt, but we need to always remember that if Jesus could forgive those who crucified Him, who are we to not forgive an offense to us. True Christianity is exhibited by true forgiveness. And what is forgiveness? It is forgetting that we have been wronged; exhibiting love for those who hurt us and being Christ-like in our behavior towards them. This is not easy, and it can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in us.

Is there someone who so wronged you that you still can't forgive them? Surrender your un-forgiveness to God, embrace that person in Christ's love, and soon you will forget what has been done to you.

32 Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32 (New Century Version)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Not Losing Heart - June 16, 2014

Psalm 73:12-28(GOD’S WORD Translation)
12Look how wicked they are!
They never have a worry.
They grow more and more wealthy.

13I’ve received no reward for keeping my life pure
and washing my hands of any blame.
14I’m plagued with problems all day long,
and every morning my punishment begins again.
15If I had said, “I will continue to talk like that,”
I would have betrayed God’s people.

16But when I tried to understand this,
it was too difficult for me.
17Only when I came into God’s holy place
did I finally understand what would happen to them.

18You put them in slippery places
and make them fall into ruin.
19They are suddenly destroyed.
They are completely swept away by terror!
20As someone gets rid of a dream when he wakes up,
so you, O Lord, get rid of the thought of them
when you wake up.

21When my heart was filled with bitterness
and my mind was seized with envy,
22I was stupid, and I did not understand.
I was like a dumb animal in your presence.

23Yet, I am always with you.
You hold on to my right hand.
24With your advice you guide me,
and in the end you will take me to glory.

25As long as I have you,
I don’t need anyone else in heaven or on earth.
26My body and mind may waste away,
but God remains the foundation of my life
and my inheritance forever.
27Without a doubt, those who are far from you will die.
You destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28Being united with God is my highest good.
I have made the Almighty Lord my refuge
so that I may report everything that he has done.

There are many good people out there that are doing the best to follow Jesus Christ, yet it seems that they can't catch a break during these tough times. When things are tough it is hard not to get bitter. We tend to get angry with God in that bitterness, when we see those that do evil prosper. After asking God, "why me?", we wonder why He let's those who are against Him get all the breaks in this world.

If you are doing your best, trying to follow Jesus and it just hasn't gotten any easier for you, remember that God does want you to prosper. He is just working out His plan in your life. Fine gold or silver are at their finest when the impurities have been driven out. Steel is only at its strongest when it endures the hottest of temperatures. The trials you are going through have a purpose, and those who seemingly laugh at your faithfulness to God will receive their just reward.

Don't lose heart! He will carry you through this, and at the end of your struggle, you will see His plan and experience His joy.

Photo from "OVERCOMING THE OBSTACLES TO YOUR VISION", by Coach Dan Foster, posted 3-9-2011

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father's Heart - June 15, 2014

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 that we parent. Let's give Him thanks, and ask for His divine guidance as we shepherd our children, who He has made us stewards of. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Just the Right Time - June 14, 2014

2 Corinthians 6:1-2(New Living Translation)
1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2 For God says,

“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”[Isaiah 49:8]

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

Many have taken for granted that their lives will take them to a "ripe old age". For many if you ask them what will happen to them when they die they will answer that they don't need to worry about it, because its a long time from now. No one believes that the present day will be their last, and we have to be thankful to the grace of God that we have not all been "vaporized" for our arrogance. It's interesting that they also often state that "life is to short", but talk to them about spiritual matters and they will simply give you the "brush off".

In addition, many Christians take their salvation for granted is well. Many believe that just because the go to church and have been baptized that they are "okay" with God. They wrongly believe that because they know a few bible stories and they are part of the Christmas and Easter crowd that their place in heaven is set. Their are also those who "religiously" go to church services week after week, and they truly believe that their membership will "open the door to heaven" for them. Are there those who are truly saved among these groups? Sure, but whether or not you are "saved" should not be taken for granted.

You need to be sure today, right now, that you are truly "saved". Salvation means that you admit to God that you have sinned against Him, broken His rules. You accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, as the One who out of His love for you, willingly died on the cross as payment for your sins that you have committed and will always commit. It is also believing that He stepped out of the grave, being resurrected three days after He died, and appeared to many witnesses to prove that He was God. And that Jesus Christ then returned to heaven and is at the right hand of the Father, where He waits for you right now. This is a free gift that you cannot earn because of your "good works". God is the One that has redeemed you, made you right with Him solely out of His love for you.

If you are unsure of your salvation, or if you have been putting off embracing the love and redemption that God is offering you, today is the day to make sure. It is the "right time" to accept Jesus Christ and make yourself right with God. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. Make sure of your eternal destiny before it is too late.

If you want to make sure of your salvation or you want to learn how to be saved, just follow the link and you will find what you need.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beyond the Rules - June 13, 2014

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 many 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 are many people, that are going through the motions and making the claim that by doing so,they are making themselves acceptable to God. Even some so-called Christians make themselves sick 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 abandon going through the motions and accept God's plan for you?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hear My Plea - June 12, 2014

Psalm 17(New Living Translation)
A prayer of David.
1 O Lord, hear my plea for justice.
Listen to my cry for help.
Pay attention to my prayer,
for it comes from honest lips.
2 Declare me innocent,
for you see those who do right.
3 You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.
You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.
I am determined not to sin in what I say.
4 I have followed your commands,
which keep me from following cruel and evil people.
5 My steps have stayed on your path;
I have not wavered from following you.

6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
Bend down and listen as I pray.
7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
By your mighty power you rescue
those who seek refuge from their enemies.
8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
from murderous enemies who surround me.
10 They are without pity.
Listen to their boasting!
11 They track me down and surround me,
watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—
like young lions hiding in ambush.

13 Arise, O Lord!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!
14 By the power of your hand, O Lord,
destroy those who look to this world for their reward.
But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.
May their children have plenty,
leaving an inheritance for their descendants.
15 Because I am righteous, I will see you.
When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.

When you feel down and out and at the end of your rope, surrender your problems to God and He will bring you relief. Our Bible is rich with the pleas of God's people for His help. When we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we have someone who intimately cares for us and who knows our needs. He has gone through what we have and far worse, and He understands when we cry out. He will stand up when we are down, and at the end of our troubles, God will be there with us.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Searching for Utopia - June 11, 2014

Acts 2:42-47 (New International Reader's Version)
42 The believers studied what the apostles taught. They shared life together. They broke bread and ate together. And they prayed. 43 Everyone felt that God was near. The apostles did many wonders and miraculous signs.

44 All the believers were together. They shared everything they had. 45 They sold what they owned. They gave each other everything they needed. 46 Every day they met together in the temple courtyard. In their homes they broke bread and ate together. Their hearts were glad and honest and true.

47 They praised God. They were respected by all the people. Every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.

People are always looking for the perfect place, free of want, strife, hunger, pain, that can fulfill all the needs of the human spirit. To many that place, that state of society is called Utopia. This title was derived from Utopia by Sir Thomas More, written in 1516, about an imaginary island representing the perfect society. In the book More describes the ideals in this land pertaining to all manner of society, life and religion.

Today, there are many political ideologues that think they can create the perfect utopian society, based on a socialist governmental system. Unfortunately, the perfect society requires perfect individuals to live perfectly, before all of the ideals of can be met. This is totally unrealistic, because mankind can never be perfect. Inside all of us exists selfishness, greed, contempt, malice, and many sorts of characteristics that would make a perfect co-existence with other impossible.

There is one way that we can almost get there. A way that we can live in peace and harmony, caring for each other and sharing everything to the mutual benefit of each other. The only way is if we all believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and base that society on living the way He would expect us to, by always following His example. It would only be possible if we fully surrender ourselves to His leadership.

This was how the early church existed as recorded in the New Testament book of Acts. We read that "they shared life together, broke bread and ate together, they prayed, and everyone felt that God was near. They shared everything they had, sold what they owned, and gave each other everything they needed. Their hearts were glad and honest and true".

Someday soon God will restore everything to the way he originally intended, but until then we need to live out our Christian faith and strive to live like the early church. Not only with our fellow believers, but with everyone we come in contact with. By our example, we can hope to add to our group of fellow believers, and help many to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, while we wait for His return.

Photo from Living Word Fellowship, Ilhas, Goa, India, where they live out their faith in fellowship with other believers in Christ. It is lead by Michael & Shvetha Fernandes, and you can read their story in their "About Us" section of the website.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On That Day! - June 10, 2014

Isaiah 2:2-5 (New International Reader's Version)

2 In the last days
the mountain where the Lord's temple is located will be famous.
It will be the most important mountain of all.
It will stand out above the hills.
All of the nations will go to it.

3 People from many nations will go there. They will say,

"Come. Let us go up to the Lord's mountain.
Let's go to the house of Jacob's God.
He will teach us how we should live.
Then we will live the way he wants us to."
The law of the Lord will be taught at Zion.
His message will go out from Jerusalem.

4 He will judge between the nations.
He'll settle problems among many of them.
They will hammer their swords into plows.
They'll hammer their spears into pruning tools.
Nations will not go to war against one another.
They won't even train to fight anymore.

5 People of Jacob, come.
Let us live the way the Lord has taught us to.

The world is a very troubled place these days. Although we hear mainly about the unrest in the Middle East, and the rumblings of trouble in our own country, there is much more going on than we even know.

Earthquakes, plagues, hunger, murder, war, all of these things go on somewhere on the earth every minute of the day on our planet. It is difficult to know how we fit into the scheme of things. Each day we wake up to one more overwhelming incident after another, and it is enough to cause fear for ourselves and those we love around us.

That said, God expects us to be His "light among the nations", to be that representative of His hope in this very troubled world. Not that we are expected to do something global for the Kingdom of God, but in our own little world that God has given us stewardship over, we must do our part.
We must fearlessly and boldly move forward towards the goal He has set before us.

It is not mere coincidence that you are doing what you do, in the place in which you are, at the time in which you find yourself. It is not by your own efforts that you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and if you are not, it is not by chance that He is drawing you to Him this very minute.

There will be a day when God will make all things right again. On that day, He will bring about justice and peace, and those who chose to turn their backs on Him will be dealt with. As for now, we are to "live the way he wants us to".

Photo "Up in the Mountains" by rolve, 7-8-2009, from stock.xchng

Monday, June 9, 2014

Is He There? - June 9, 2014

John 14:15-17(New International Version)
15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

Are you waiting to hear that voice from Heaven tell you that God hears you and is watching out for you? You might be wondering, what must you do to break free from the troubles and distress of your life? What assures you that God is listening and working through your difficult situation?

If we want to always have God's favor and know that He will work everything out for us, we need to walk in obedience. We need to follow His instructions found in His word and do what He asks us to do. As Jesus says above, the act of our obedience and keeping His commands, shows that we love Him. Great thing is, God helps us to be obedient, and His Spirit guides us and convicts us when we do wrong.

Our love for Him, demonstrated by our obedience, guided by the Holy Spirit, will give us assurance that God will work out our troubles for us.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Psalm for Bedtime - June 8, 2014

Psalm 4(New International Version)
1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.

4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD.

6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.

7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

For many of us its bedtime, and as we settle down to sleep we need to settle our minds. The stresses of the day have a tendency to keep us thinking as we try to sleep, and if we are going through difficulty, sleep becomes a real commodity. So what are we to do? Leave everything to God by presenting it to Him in prayer. If you do so, you can sleep peacefully because God will keep you in His care.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sing A New Song - June 7, 2014

Psalm 40:3 (New International Version, ©2010)
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

Psalm 98:1 (New Living Translation)
1 Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power!

Some time ago, I heard a great message about praise and worship. In it I heard that when you study the Scriptures, its hard to find where praise and worship as singing is done by anyone other than mankind. If you read carefully, most of the time when we think that the angels are singing in praise and worship, they are actually speaking the words. Only in Job 38:6-7 is there a vague reference to the angels singing.

The message went further to explain that God has put the "song" in the hearts of those that He has redeemed. They then express their love and thankfulness to God through lifting up His praises in songs of thanksgiving. Singing praises and worship to our God has become such a part of the faith experience, that one can't imagine what it would be like without it.

If you are a committed Christian, its hard not to be joyful and to lift up praises in song to our God and Savior Jesus Christ for what He has done for us. Some day soon though, God will put a new song in our mouths, no longer about the suffering Servant who laid down His life for our sins, but a new song for our worthy and conquering King who will bring us with Him into His kingdom.

Revelation 5:9-10 (New International Version, ©2010)
9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Photo "Praises 5" by Martin, 7-30-2007, from stock.xchng

Friday, June 6, 2014

"I Am My Neighbor's Bible" - June 6, 2014

1 Peter 2:12 (New Century Version)
12 People who do not believe are living all around you and might say that you are doing wrong. Live such good lives that they will see the good things you do and will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again.

You never know who is watching you. You never know what you do as a witness for Jesus Christ might make the difference to whether or not someone comes to know the Lord. When we take on the mantle of "Christian", our lives no longer are our own. We need to remember that we now work for the Creator of the universe. We now are the hands and feet of Jesus to a dying world around us, and we need to be His example.

I was reading a book in my "library" today, and I came across a short little poem that really brought the point I have been trying to get across over the last couple of days:

"I Am My Neighbor's Bible"

I am my neighbor's Bible:
He reads me when we meet,
Today he reads me in my house,
Tomorrow in the street;
He may be a relative or a friend,
Or a slight acquaintance be;
He may not even know my name,
Yet he is reading me.
- Author Unknown

Each and everyday someone is searching for something different than the troubled world in which we are living. Someone out there wants to have something that they can believe in that will bring change to their lives. If we are Christians, we have that life changing difference. But others will never know it, unless we live like we do.

It's not easy, but we were never promised it would be. It is important that we understand this point, because it is a matter of life and death for many. It is time we stepped out of our comfort zones and made a difference in the lives of other people. Time for us to be the examples that God has called us to be.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Lone Ranger - June 5, 2014

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.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't Get Eaten - June 4, 2014

1 Peter 5:8(New International Version)
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Imagery is very important, because it gives us a visual understanding about what is happening. Often Satan is compared to a stalking, hunting, voracious predator intent on "eating us". Satan is the lord of the earth, banished from Heaven to prowl the earth, and He is intent on upsetting God's plan for as many people as he can. He knows that we are God's most loved possession, and because of His hatred for God, he wants us take us away from being one of God's own.

Often we give him help by putting ourselves into situations where he can trip us up. He sets his trap where we shouldn't be, and he attacks us when we are most vulnerable. Another tactic he uses is to make us feel secure in what he is offering, suddenly catching us when we have let our guard down. For many this can be when we are away from home, away from the safety of boundaries that have been set for us. For others this can be when we are out on the "Serengeti" of the world, exposing ourselves to its lusts and pleasures. And for some it can be right at home, when we open ourselves to the digital world. Whatever the situation, we are cautioned to be alert, aware of our weaknesses, and sober-minded, or clear headed.

If you don't want to get eaten, be sure you are grounded in Jesus Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit, obedient to God at all times. Don't allow yourself to be "out in the open", alone and exposed to where Satan can most easily lure you. And finally, surround yourself with like-minded Christians, who can offer you protection and strength in numbers. Fix your mind on your Savior, and you will defeat the devil's plans.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Contemplating Our Existence - June 3, 2014

Isaiah 51:6 (New International Version)
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.

It is difficult imagining what God is like. We haven't seen Him, yet billions believe in Him. How else would all of what is around us exist? Big Bang? No, I don't think so. Chance? That means having nothing times nothing equals something(0 X 0 = 0). The math doesn't support that one. No one can explain our existence without God. Many deny that, and they spend a lifetime trying to prove it, but they never will. True to form, the scoffers will do anything but believe in God. Must be what they have to face up to.

God has proven Himself by what is around us. The magnificence of His creation, from the smallest of organisms to the expanse of the universe, is proof enough. Yet for the wonder of what is around us, it will all come to an end someday. Everything perishes(Now that, the scoffers do agree on). Everything dies; everything decays. With that prospect in the future of all of us, what then? Do we pass into nothingness? Many would hope so, but those with real hope in Jesus Christ know differently.

As the prophet Isaiah tells us with the words of God, everything will pass away, except God and His salvation. He provides the Way and will never fail His creation. So the next time you look into the heavens, and contemplate your existence, make sure that you have accepted God's salvation and have taken His Way. That will never pass away.

Photo from

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Word Lives - June 2, 2014

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.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Praise! - June 1, 2014

Psalm 108:1-5(New Living Translation)
1 My heart is confident in you, O God;
no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!

2 Wake up, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.

3 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.

4 For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.

This is the time of each week to sing God's praises. God's desire is that we set aside a day for praise and worship, and for most Christians this has been Sunday, or in some circles Saturday. Why praise Him?

He created us all and in our day-to-day lives we can quickly lose sight of Who is the real source of everything we are and have. Let us take the time to give Him praise, and to especially give praise to Jesus for the indescribable gift He has given us. May the Holy Spirit bring to your mind God's countless benefits that He has blessed you with.

Photo from "The Year of Living Thankfully", posted 3-3-2008, from As For Me and My Haus