October

 

1 Peter 1:6-9, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ: whom not having seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

 

Life is a matter of building. Each of us has the opportunity to build something -- a secure family, a good reputation, a career, a relationship to God. But some of those things can disappear almost overnight due to financial losses, natural disasters and other unforeseen difficulties.

What are we to do? Daniel Webster offered excellent advice, saying, "If we work on marble it will perish. If we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men's immortal minds, if we imbue them with high principles, with just fear of God and love of their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which time cannot efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.

Many times the world gets ahold of our attention, and it’s up to us if we dwell on it or not. However God wants us to keep our eyes on what is most is important things in this world, which is the spiritual. When we focus our minds and energy on these things we will obtain things more precious than gold.

October 1st

 

October 2nd

Romans 1:24-32, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
So often the Bible is a clear warning bell, yet, also so often our society doesn’t listen. It was a sad day when the Supreme Court made their decision on gay marriage, but regardless of what laws they want to change, Gods law is always the same. Homosexuality is an abomination unto God. What is marriage? Marriage is God binding one man, to one women. So is funny that the world is truly fighting for a Godly thing, but know this, even if the government wants to say they are married, they can’t force Gods hand, and truly they are not married, and never will be. Even if the world hates you for telling them that it is not right, this is not a time to back down. It is only out of love, and trying to save them from hell that we share the truth. That these relationships are evil and those that practice them will go to hell. Also not only them but anyone that condones them, no matter if they be the president. If they don’t turn away from their sinful ways they will be lost. The government is saying they reject Gods ways, so be ready for the wrath to come, all we can do now is pray for mercy.

October 3rd

 

Hebrews 13:5-6, “Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee. So that with good courage we say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: What shall man do unto me?”


In 1928 a group of the world's most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present: The president of the largest utility company, The greatest wheat speculator, The president of the New York Stock Exchange, A member of the President's Cabinet, The greatest "bear" in Wall Street, The president of the Bank of International Settlements, The head of the world's greatest monopoly. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to these men:
The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. 
The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. 
The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. 
The member of the President's Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. 
The greatest "bear" in Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. 
The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. 
The head of the world's greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. 
All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to truly live. If we count on money for happiness then we will never find it.

 

October 4th

Judges 16:13-17, “And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web. And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines are upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam, and the web. And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thy heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was vexed unto death. And he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon my head; for I have been a Nazirite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.”


Sin has a funny way of tempting us; on the inside it is full of death, tribulation, sorrow, and misery. This is the spiritual contents of sin, but just like Brussel sprouts, no matter how good you make the wrapper look, the contents are still nasty. These are just some of the effects that sin has on us, it takes, and takes, and when you are finally left lying on the ground in pain, and broken. Satan will laugh in your face and tell you how irresponsible you are. However, this is not on the billboard that sin portrays, sin does not appear to do this. At first it looks pleasing, something to be desired. Then it draws you in on your own lusts, until it can play with you, and even though you know something is wrong, you start allowing it. Then before you know it, sin controls you, and it can play with you like a child with play dough. Sin is an addiction, but like all addictions it has to start with you saying yes. If we never say yes to the first spark of sin, then you can never be trapped in it. 

October 5th

 

Matthew 3:7-10, “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy for repentance:  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”


When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to the river to see John, John called them out. He tells them; if you are going to be here, then make sure you are serious. Carry your sins to God, and leave them there. You see, where your soul is going to be for all eternity, is not a game to God, and He wants you serious about it too.  We do this by making sacrifices that are “worthy for repentance.” For example, if your spirit is full of greed, then you start to give until there is nothing to be greedy about. If you are struggling with addiction, then you remove the source of the addiction, till you don’t have access to your addiction. Whatever you may be struggling with, take action to do something about it. Something that will bring about such a change in you that the devil will no longer have anything to hold on to, to keep you down. When we remove the welcome mat away from our hearts door, then the devil will no longer have anywhere to stand to torment you.

October 6th

 

Acts 27:1-44 “….. they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius….. And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; …..(then they hit the storm)… Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, …. I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island………. And as the ship men were about to flee out of the ship, ……..Paul said …. Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off…… And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls….. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.”


As we go through life there will be storms, some bad, and some worse. Trials and temptations are just part of life, so we have to know how to deal with it. On this boat there were three different types of people. There were the guards, whose job it was to watch over the prisoners. If there was any chance of escape they were to kill them all. Then there were the prisoners, who had huge trouble in life already before getting on the boat. Their life seemed to just get worse and worse. Then there was Paul, who was the light in a terrible situation. Now, think about this, God wanted the boat to get to its location. God wanted Paul to talk to Caesar, so who do you think was reasonable for the storm?? Nevertheless, God took that storm, and used it to change the hearts of many. No matter how unwelcoming the situation may be, God has the power to use it to benefit you, and His kingdom. IF, and only if we cut the ropes of temptations let them fall away, and follow through to the end with our trust in God.

 

1 Timothy 4:6-11, “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach.”


What is godliness? There are three important steps to take in order to begin to have godliness? Having the attitude, duty, and fruits that show we live and serve a living and loving God. First is our Attitude. You can look at a person and within a few seconds you get an idea about who they are. This has to do with outer appearance and body language. We as Christian have these too, and all our expressions must to be showing Love. Next is our Duty. This is following His commands, both written and spoken. We need to seek the truth in all things and run with it. Lastly is our Fruits. These are the things that are produced by our life. God does not like anything that is not fruitful, just look at the fig tree in Matthew 11:12-25. A godly person is one who acts appropriately, reacts appropriately, and leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that they are a child of God.

October 7th

 

October 8th

Ephesians 2:4-10, “but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus: for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.”


How much are you worth?  In society we measure people by how much money they have and make. Their possessions like cars and houses, or how much power they have in politics, or even over other people (such as your boss). Nevertheless, God has a very different way to measure people. You see, God understands that all money, all positions, and worldly power is about to be burned up into nothing, and God can see clearly what is truly important, the richness of your spirit. It doesn’t matter if you are a 7 foot muscle filled body builder, or a 4 foot skinny granny, your spirit is truly what your worth. If you have Jesus in your heart, then you are spiritually richer than if you have all the gold in the world. If you serve Christ with all humility and faith than you are more powerful than all the kings put together. Yes, God’s way of seeing riches is very different from ours, but unless we are rich in his eyes, then everything we have is worthless.

 

October 9th

1 Peter 4:12-16, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”


From boyhood, one of my favorite stories has been the forty martyrs of Sabaste. These forty soldiers, all Christians, were members of the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome's imperial army. One day their captain told them Emperor Licinius had sent out an edict that all soldiers were to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. These Christians replied, "You can have our armor and even our bodies, but our hearts' allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ."
It was midwinter of A.D. 320, and the captain had them marched onto a nearby frozen lake. He stripped them of their clothes and said they would either die or renounce Christ. Throughout the night these men huddled together singing their song, "Forty martyrs for Christ." One by one the temperature took its toll and they fell to the ice.
At last there was only one man left. He lost courage and stumbled to the shore, where he renounced Christ. The officer of the guards had been watching all this. Unknown to the others, he had secretly come to believe in Christ. When he saw this last man break rank, he walked out onto the ice, threw off his clothes, and confessed that he also was a Christian. When the sun rose the next morning, there were forty bodies of soldiers who had fought to the death for Christ.
What is Christ worth to you? Think about it.

 

October 10th

James 3:13-18 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't boast and don't lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”


Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”


Proverbs 24:14 “Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”


The Bible makes a huge distinction between Godly knowledge, and worldly knowledge. Knowing that a #hashtag is really meant for links, so that way people to find out more on stuff that you are talking about, this is worldly Knowledge. However knowing that prayer is a direct connection to the maker of the universe, is Godly knowledge. We can learn all the lessons from every school in America, and still not have the knowledge to get us through this life. The reason is true knowledge only comes from God. It’s the type that will change you, it will make hopeless situations become clear, and will give you a battle strategy to take into your trials. It will even help you to avoid trials all together.

 

October 11th

1 Corinthians 15:53-58 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law: 57 but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.

 

Praise the Lord, this verse is so exciting! All the struggles, all the defeat, all the corruption in this world will one day all come to a stop and the victory of the lord will take over. This is our promise form the Lord that the devil is defeated and the outcome of the end is already decided. He has given us the power of his spirit and name. James 4:7 tells us “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. The devil has no power over you to make you follow after him, all we have to do is make the choice of following Jesus. 


One thing we know about Jesus is he loved to tell stories. He would take a regular life situation and relate it to something spiritual. These stories called parables, help us understand spiritual truths. So Let me tell you about a story of a loving father. 
Now, you have to try to get a picture in your head of what I’m about to tell you. Think about the mid 60’s driving in a car, no air conditioning, about the middle of summer. They’re driving down the road with the windows down, and the vent wide open. It is just the two of them in the car, the father in the front, and the daughter in the back. As they are driving down the road they hear something buzzing, and pretty soon they see a bee flying around the car. Now this girl is deathly allergic to bee stings, and she understands what it would mean to be stung by the big bee that is now in the car with them. So once she sees the bee she begins to scream, daddy, daddy there’s a bee, and goes into panic mode. The dad having nowhere to stop does the only thing he can do. The bee goes to the front of the car and lands on the front windshield. The father puts his hand out and covers the bee. The bee ends up stinging his hand and the father removes his hand. The bee then continues to fly around the car.  The girl seeing this begins to panic again, Daddy, daddy the bees going to get me. The dad gets her attention in the review mirror and says no he can’t, look at my hand. With the stinger in his palm, he says, he can no longer hurt you, all he can do is fly around and annoy you, but his power to hurt you is gone.
Jesus took so much more than a bee sting for us. He is standing in heaven and holding out his hands saying, look I have taken the sting of death for you, the devil can no longer hurt you, if you are my child I will protect you.

October 12th

Matthew 6:9-15, "After this manner therefore pray ye. 
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 
And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."


What is prayer to you, how do you pray? The Bible has over 650 different prayers in it, and it’s amazing to hear them and to think about why they were praying.  Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story:
"A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the girls responded. 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.' That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, 'If God sent that, I'm sure He also sent a doll!' And she was right! The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child's sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies' group to include both of those specific articles."

 
 

October 13th

Luke 17:11-19, "And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."


In this passage a few simple things are missed. I can guarantee you that all ten men were happy they were healed. Leprosy is a nasty illness that destroys your body (click here if you want to know more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprosy.) There is no one that would have this and want to keep it. So why would there be one out of ten say thank you. One possibility is they were trying to follow order and that took precedence over the act of worship of Jesus. They were obviously all traveling together, as Jesus sent them together to show the priest. They must have seen and heard  the one man turn around and leave the group to thank Jesus. The rest instead of following him follow the crowd to show the priest they were healed. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in doing our work, our daily living, enjoying our blessed life’s that we don’t stop to say thank you Jesus. When you woke up this morning, did you think I feel good today, Thank you Lord for that. Often times we only think about Gods gifts when we are in the valleys and trials of life and we think how great it would be to be rid of all these problems. But as soon as they are gone we continue on as if the problems never existed. Take time today just to be thankful for all the things Christ has brought you through.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. We can’t do much for God. He dosen’t need our help to get through his day. He dosen’t need emotional support or money 

October 14th

Romans 13:1-7, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”

 

For a long time now there has been a standard that the government, schools, and other worldly leaderships have been moving away from the God. This is not hidden by any means, and the press don’t mind to publish everything about it, but why is that. One big reason is that starting in the 1920’s the church begin to preach that Christian should not get involved with politics, or governing secular body. That we need to keep our focus on the mission fields, churches and families. In doing this we were the first ones to separate church and state. We stepped out of places of authority, and let worldly men take charge. So the problem, is not really why America is moving away from God, but more why are the Christian leaders are deciding to stop leading. Christians have a reasonability to be involved in governmental things in order to keep God in the Government. Ronald Reagan said it truthfully when he said “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Instead of staying out of politics, why don’t we try to bring God back into them? God is meant to be in all things even government.

 

October 15th

Proverbs 9:7-9, “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”


Proverbs 15:31-33, “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”


Criticism is always difficult to accept, but if we receive it with humility and a desire to improve our character it can be very helpful. Only a fool does not profit when he is rebuked for his mistakes. Several years ago I read a helpful article on this subject. It stated that when we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit. The article then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we are all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and that you need God's grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
When we are criticized, let's accept what is true and act upon it, thereby becoming a stronger person. He who profits from rebuke is wise

 

October 16th

Proverbs 6:27, “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?”


Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”


During the winter time, when the air is nice and frosty, we took the youth of the church to a Christian Concert called Winterjam. This was not a small concert by any means and the upwards of about 10,000 people showed up for it. When we arrived there, we walked around a large stadium to stand in line. If I would have to guess I would say we made it in at about the middle, with 5,000 ahead of us, and 5,000 behind us. As the time grew near for the concert to start they started releasing people to go inside. We started to make our way around the S-shaped line when something happened. People started to cross the ropes, and instead of following the path, cut right into the front. This caused a major rupture in the system, and we had a choice to make. Fight the crowd to stay in the unorganized line, or cheat and follow the crowd. Since following the crowd was much easier, and would guarantee us better seats, we did just that. We step over the fallen ropes and squeezed, and bumped our way into the exit. It was a good reminded to myself that even Christian groups and crowds can go astray, and we need to rely on what’s inside ourselves for guidance. Much repenting was followed because of the guilt felt about cutting off the people who had been waiting hours longer than us. However the thing I did learn was that even in situations where you are surrounded by Christians, wrong choices can be made. Even though the crowd was doing something wrong, it never gave us the right to do what we did. In hindsight I see that, no matter what situation presents itself we need to be aware of the spirit inside us, He is there to guide us in this life, and live the way we should live.

 

October 17th

Jeremiah, “29:11-14  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. And ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith Jehovah, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places wither I have driven you, saith Jehovah; and I will bring you again unto the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.”


In 1715 King Louis XIV of France died after a reign of 72 years. He had called himself "the Great," and was the monarch who made the famous statement, "I am the state!" His court was the most magnificent in Europe, and his funeral was equally spectacular. As his body lay in state in a golden coffin, orders were given that the cathedral should be very dimly lit with only a special candle set above his coffin, to dramatize his greatness. At the memorial, thousands waited in hushed silence. Then Bishop Massilon began to speak; slowly reaching down, he snuffed out the candle and said, "Only God is great." Sometimes we put ourselves in a higher place than God. We may not do this intentionally, but it happens more times than we probably realize. We become our own “great,” each time that we put our own needs and wants in front of what the Lord’s needs and wants. It is much like at our jobs that we all go to. While you are at work we spend 8 or more hours doing the bidding of our bosses. During this time it is not really what we would like to be doing, but rather what they want us to be doing. If for some reason we say, “Hey, I’ll do what I want,” then we probably won’t have a job anymore. God works in the same yet different fashion, God wants us to do His will, and follow in His direction that He leads us. However, the big difference with God is that unlike our workplace bosses, we follow God’s commands to find true peace and happiness in our own lives. Because even though we are working for Him, all the benefits fall back onto us.

 

October 18th

Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.”


 PC Pitstop buried a $1,000 prize deep in its End-User License Agreement to see if anyone actually read them. After 5 months and over 3,000 sales, someone finally asked about the prize. We normally don’t like long and drawn out reading. It normally gets complicated and burdensome to go through all of the fine print. Now the old law was so long and detailed, and so much tradition was implemented into the law it was hard to tell where the law ended and man began. This is why the religious leaders asked this question, they themselves could not answer this question, so they tried to trip up Jesus with it.  This short passage does not contain very many words, yet contains all the rules you need in order to fully serve God. There are three parts to follow; love the Lord with everything you got, Love everyone around you, and love yourself. If you have never caught on to that last part, here is your FYI for the day. If we can’t love ourselves then the other two will never happen.  God does not want people in his kingdom who thinks they are worthless, He wants you to know you are worth dying for. He put this in the second greatest commandment ever, so if God sees you this way, then He wants you to see yourself that way too. 

 

October 19th

2 Peter 1:5-10, "Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble."

 

One night while walking through a store my daughter asked me “how do I be a good Christian.” If I could ever pull a scripture to answer that, it would be this one. This powerful passage tells us “who lacks these things is blind,” that these things will make or break us, in both laziness and bearing fruit. Then at the end it says, “For if you do these things, you will never stumble.” Now one thing we need to do when following any list, is to start from the beginning and work your way down. For the next 8 days, we are going to use these spiritual building blocks to straighten out our walk with the Lord. Our building blocks are; Faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patience, Godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Now it’s important to note one more, before faith it tells us to do these things with all diligence. That means to bringing in all zeal or effort. It’s telling us we ought to make this a distinct and definite object, and to apply ourselves to it, as a thing to be accomplished. So prepare yourself, if you’re struggling, this application can fix it.

 

October 20th

2 Peter 1:5-10, "Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble."

 

One night while walking through a store my daughter asked me “how do I be a good Christian.” If I could ever pull a scripture to answer that, it would be this one. This powerful passage tells us “who lacks these things is blind,” that these things will make or break us, in both laziness and bearing fruit. Then at the end it says, “For if you do these things, you will never stumble.” Now one thing we need to do when following any list, is to start from the beginning and work your way down. For the next 8 days, we are going to use these spiritual building blocks to straighten out our walk with the Lord. Our building blocks are; Faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patience, Godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Now it’s important to note one more, before faith it tells us to do these things with all diligence. That means to bringing in all zeal or effort. It’s telling us we ought to make this a distinct and definite object, and to apply ourselves to it, as a thing to be accomplished. So prepare yourself, if you’re struggling, this application can fix it.

 

October 21st

Matthew 14:27-33  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters. And he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were gone up into the boat, the wind ceased. And they that were in the boat worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

 

So many times we fail, because we stop following the truth. Jesus says he is "the way and the truth and the life". If we are going to succeed in life we have to keep our eye focused on the way, lay our hearts open to the truth, and live a life that will make our heavenly father proud. Doing these thing will help keep us from losing faith and drowning. Although peter sank he knew where to turn to, and that is the same place we need to run when we need help in our overwhelming situations.

 

October 22nd

2 Timothy 4:9-18, “Give diligence to come shortly unto me: for Demas forsook me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee; for he is useful to me for ministering. But Tychicus I sent to Ephesus. The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, bring when thou comest, and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works: of whom do thou also beware; for he greatly withstood our words. At my first defence no one took my part, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their account. But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might me fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

 

This may seem like a strange passage, but when you read these words you begin to see the human side of the people who wrote it down. They are no different from you and me, they had Likes, Dislikes, desires, struggles, pain, friends and family issues, etc. Sometimes we forget that the people in the Bible were really people. However, in knowing this, we can use it. We can know that obstacles can be overcome. That God will always be there for His people. Times have changed, but God never does.

 

2 Peter 3:3-7, “knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God; by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

 

The world has, and will continue to fall away from God. They use the media, and any form possible to mock and degrade Christians. They do this to try and persuade you to turn away from God. To make you feel foolish for following a religion that does not fit in the modern world. However, remember this, this is exactly what God has said will happen. The reason the great tribulation is going to happen is because the world has once again become full of wickedness. We as Christian need to guard ourselves from falling away and being seduced by these “mockers.” No matter what the cost, always follow God. In the end you will always be grateful you did.

October 23rd

October 24th

Genesis 4:1-7, "And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah. And again she bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door: and unto thee shall be its desire, but do thou rule over it."

 

Is it possible to have your sacrifices rejected by God? This fact has been true from the begging of time. If our coming to God and asking for forgiveness is not done in the right heart, then God will reject it. It is like a child that is not supposes to get into the cookie jar, and tries to say sorry, while his hand is still in the jar. Now, God made it clear that he does not want to reject our asking, but if you are still harboring sin then you cannot change. We may desire to change, but if our actions are the same, then our hearts are to. Even though we ask, it is still waiting for you when you turn around. More than anything God want to see change in you, he even calls true change “a new man”. That means to turn away from sin and leave it behind. Your heart must leave behind what stumbling blocks were in your life, turn to him and follow him 100%.

 

October 25th

Luke 15:1-7 “Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him to hear him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake unto them this parable, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and his neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.”

 

So many times we would like to quote 2 Corinthians 6:14 in order to get out of being around people that may make us uncomfortable, “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?” However, that is not the example Christ set for us. Jesus was often found to be eating and talking with sinners, very well-known sinners at that. He knew that in order to reach the lost there had to be in contact. There had to be one on one interaction. Without interaction the lost would never hear about Jesus, and therefore never get saved. So it is important to mingle more with those who may make you uncomfortable and share Jesus with them. He did not keep them as best friends, instead Jesus outlined himself with the 12 apostles, these people he kept close, and in doing so upheld the words of 2 Cor. Jesus’ mission and ours was one and much the same, to win the lost, but to do that we must meet them where they are.

 

October 26th

Galatians 5:19-25 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk.”

 

When we talk about the Fruits of the Spirit, we are talking about the things we can see produced from the Christian life. Some of these things are easy; love, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness. These seem to be easier because we do them for other people. When you are walking the Godly life, much of the time this is where our focus goes, into serving and fulfilling others. However, there are three more fruits that has to do with ourselves more than anything; joy, peace, and self-control. These 3 things are sometimes neglected because we are too busy to think about ourselves. God makes it known to us here that our own happiness, stability, and focus in our own lives are also equally important, and the fruit of our lives should bear evidence of it. So if you are missing the joy, peace, or self-control in your life, it is time to take a step back, and figure out how to start producing these things again.

 

October 27th

Mark 4:3-8 “Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.”

 

Sometimes we are discouraged when we don’t see instant results from our works and efforts. This parable gives the example that only one-fourth of the work the sower did bore any fruit.  That means that 75% of the effort he put into it was wasted. Nevertheless, when the harvest came in, the focus was not on the 75% lost, but rather the 30, 60, and even the 100 times what he planted. When we minister we may not get a lot of people to listen to us. However, for the few that do, a ripple effect will happen spreading and multiplying past what we could have imagined. God’s blessings are awesome, but many times we have to wait to see what He has in store.

 

October 28th

James 1:2-10 “Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord; a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways. But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate: and the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.”

 

Why do we go through trials and temptations in this life? Well, there are many reasons, though one is that the Lord wants to strengthen us. Think about it as our spiritual weight lifting. The heavier the trial, the stronger you can become if you endure through them. Working out is never a relaxing thing, it is what we do to strengthen our bodies. Trials make us stronger by building up our endurance. I often think about the movie “Rocky,” Rocky had to train his body by working on strength and stamina. Then he also had to train his body to take a blow. This training was the trail, but not the battle. We get stronger through the trials, to be ready for when the real battles come.

 

October 29th

Romans 5:6-11 “For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life; and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

 

How hard is being kind? Or, better yet, how hard is it to sacrifice for someone else? Maybe even for someone who does not care that you are sacrificing for them. Also you know, that if you give to this person they will mock you for doing it. That was the place that Jesus was in, only a billion times grander. The Bible tells us He emptied Himself, to come to this world. To sacrifice himself, for a people who would mock and hurt him. Plus, He did this when we were at our worst. This is how much He loves us. To die for a world that at the time hated him. But he knew we could change, he knew it so strongly that he died for it. Sometimes it takes sacrifice on our end of a relationship, to open the eyes of the one who makes your life hard.

 

October 30th

Philippians 2:1-5 “If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus”

 

The Body of Christ is put into many different scenarios throughout the Bible. We are seen as one whole   body yet many members, a family, a bride, a temple, and a lamp stand. Although they are different illustrations, they all have something in common; Unity, Godliness, and Love. The church as a whole should love and care for each other, and work together to grow the Kingdom of God. It is important to have these aspect in our home church, but we should be able to see all Christians as our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. When this world passes away and we get to live with Christ forever, there will be no more denomination or sanctioned bodies of believers, but only one complete body and bride of Christ. If we believe this to be true, then why not have this slice of heaven now.

October 31st

Romans 12:1-2 we read, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

 

 

Let’s apply this to our lives. Do we accept things that have to do with the wickedness of this world? God makes it very clear that there is a separation between what is evil and what is holy.

 

 

Ephesians 5:11, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

 

1 Corinthians 10:21, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.”

 

Do keep this in mind on this day called Halloween, are we going to join into the spirit of the world, or be separate, proving what is good, acceptable, and perfect in the sight of God. This goes far beyond the one Holiday though, all year we can include ourselves with worldly things or Godly things. We make a choice to partner ourselves with wickedness or holiness. It is our choice, but we must decide wisely, absolutely, and daily.