November 20, 2017
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of our lips that openly profess His name.”
Has it ever occurred to you that no Americans were more underprivileged than that small handful from the Mayflower who started the custom of setting aside a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God? They had no home and no government agency to help them build homes. They had no means of transportation, other than their legs. Their only food came from the sea and the forest, and they had to get that themselves. They had no money and no place to spend it if they had any. And they had no amusements except what they made for themselves.
However, God richly blessed them because of their faithfulness to Him. It often takes faith to express an attitude of thanksgiving. Jesus once took five loaves of bread and just two small fish, lifted them up to God and gave thanks for that small lunch and then miraculously fed over 5,000 people with it (John 6:11).
Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He prayed, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me,”
(John 11:41). God the Father honored that prayer and Lazarus was raised from the dead.
In spite of some great trials and difficulties many of us are experiencing this week, we still have many reasons to express gratitude to God. God will honor and bless your spirit of thankfulness.
It’s not what we say about our blessings but how we use them that is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
May we also continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
November 13, 2017
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path,” (Proverbs 3:5,6)
If I were to ask you individually, most of you would say without hesitation that you trust God. However, if you were honest, you will have to admit that there are times when trusting is not so simple. Sometimes, life gets very difficult, with no end in sight. Many times we cannot see what lies ahead and feel helpless and alone in our struggles. However, God is reminding us today that even when we don’t understand, when the future seems very uncertain, and you may feel like you cannot go on, trust Him anyway.
- Trust Him When the Way Seems Difficult
“Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble,” (Job 14:1). Job certainly had his share of life’s difficulties, yet he remained faithful to
God, and God restored back to Job double what he had lost.
- Trust His When the Way is Long and Tiresome
“And let us no grow weary while doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart,” (Galatians 6:9). Sometimes it does seem like
we’re going to faint but, “Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary?”
Keep trusting in Him!
- Trust Him When the Way Is Lonely
As we travel through life, sometimes it does seem to us like no one cares, no one is there, and no one understands. David once said, “Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me, no one cares for my soul,” (Psalm 142:4). But we all know that God never left David. God restored David’s soul and relationship.
And God is reminding us today that He’ll do the same for us. So, don’t give up! Don’t focus on the storm. Focus on the one who can calm the storm.
Trust God today!
November 6, 2017
Did you remember to turn your clocks back one hour last Saturday night, or did you realize you forgot to when you awoke Sunday morning? We’re back on Eastern Standard Time. The days are getting shorter. Winter is not too far away.
We sometimes say, “Time flies,” but a wise person observed that “time stays and we fly.”
When I was very young I was told that time seems to go by more quickly the older you get. I’ve found that statement to be very true. Each day I’m reminded of just how short our lives on earth are. This truth motivates me to really trust God with my time and my life.
How have you been spending your time recently? A better question would be, “How have you been investing your time recently?” Could it be that someone you know would benefit by you spending a little of your time with them? Could it be that God wants you to invest some of your time with someone today?
This day is a gift from God. May we all strive to make the best of it and invest our time wisely. Time is the deposit each one has in the bank of God and no one knows the balance. “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is,” (Psalm 39:4).
October 30, 2017
“And there is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:7b).
The tongue – what a powerful organ. Without the tongue, no mother could sing her baby to sleep. No teacher could stretch the mind of students. No attorney could defend the truth in court. No Pastor could comfort a troubled soul. Our entire world would be reduced to unintelligible grunts. Seldom do we pause to realize just how valuable this strange muscle in our mouths really is.
But the tongue is as volatile as it is vital. “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell,” (James 3:6).
Did you ever open your mouth when you should have kept it shut, hmmmmmmm? Did you ever keep your mouth shut when you should have opened it, hmmmmmmmmmmmm?
I want to share with you three Biblical truths concerning the tongue.
- The tongue contains an awesome power for good or evil.
- No person can control his/her tongue by their own power.
- We must submit our tongue to the power of the Holy Spirit.
May our prayer be, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” (Matthew 12:34-37)
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips,” (Psalm 141:3)
October 20, 2017
“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3a)
Did you ever feel like just “running away?” Did you ever feel like giving up on life? I’m sure we all have had that feeling at one time or another. Sometimes we just want to run away from it all.
In the Old Testament we read of a man named “Jonah” who “ran away.” He was running from the will of God for his life. Often times the reason for our unhappiness is that we somehow got of the will of God. Jonah said, “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction. I remembered the Lord and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple.”
At times we need to be reminded of how much God loves us. He wants to bless us, have fellowship with us and He wants to use us to advance His Kingdom. Sometimes advancing His Kingdom requires us to go places that we don’t that we’d rather not go and talk to people that we’d rather not talk to. So, when you feel like giving up or quitting on God, do what Jonah did – Cry out to God!
I guarantee you that God will strengthen you and also give you the wisdom and the courage to accomplish the task He has for you to do.
Trust Him today!
October 17, 2017
“Your outcome in life doesn’t depend upon your income, but on how you overcome.”…..Miguel de Unamuno
There has been and always will be a constant battle or struggle between good and evil, between the works of the flesh and the Spirit of God. Even the Apostle Paul talked about his struggles in the seventh chapter of Romans.
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:14,15)
He then continues to talk about his “struggles” and finally concludes, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
In other words, Paul did not and could not experience victory in his life as long as he relied on his own strength and will power. Only when he completely yielded his life to the Spirit of God did he experience victory over sin and self.
How about you? Are you experiencing victory in your daily walk with God? Have you been relying too much on your own strength and power? Have you completely surrendered your will and life to the Spirit of God? That is a personal choice and daily decision we all must make. Rely on self, or rely on the Spirit of God? What will you do?
October 10, 2017
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; having dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:27,28).
As I read these verses, I believe God wanted Adam and Eve to be successful. God expected Adam (man) to be successful (vs. 28)and God equipped Adam (man) to be successful (vs. 27). God expected Adam and Eve to do that which was right and pleasing in His sight and so God gave them instructions. The only way failure could enter Adam and Eve’s lives was for them to disobey God.
I believe we can then define success as “being obedient to God.”
- KNOWING God and His desires for me.
- GROWING to my maximum potential.
- SOWING seeds that benefit others.
How do you define “success?” Are you “successful” in God’s eyes?
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness,” (Psalm 84:10).
October 3, 2017
Have you ever experienced the emotion and pain of feeling broken? We all have experienced brokenness or weakness at one time or another. Our nation today is experiencing brokenness due to the terrible tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas recently. Our hearts and prayers are certainly with the many families who had loved ones senselessly murdered or critically wounded.
The Bible often speaks of “broken” objects and then highlights something positive that came from the brokenness.
*Broken pitchers (Judges 7:18,19) – And the light shone out.
*A broken box (Mark 14:3) – And the ointment was poured out.
*Broken bread (Matthew 14:19,20) – And the hungry were fed.
*A broken body (I Corinthians 11:24) – And the world was saved.
If we give the Lord Jesus our “brokenness,” He will cause good to come from it. We often can’t understand why certain things happen to us, but always remember that God loves you and desires to work through your life.
Trust Him today!
September 28, 2017
I’ve learned over the years that of all the things we wear, our expression is the most important. Our attitude is the outward expression of our inward feelings.
*Is our best friend or our worst enemy.
*Is the mouthpiece of our present.
*Is the prophet of our future.
*Is the thing that draws people to us or repels them away.
The good news is that we can choose our attitude. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
Recently, as I was enjoying the clear blue sky and the warm weather, I commented to someone standing next to me, “Isn’t this a beautiful day?” That person responded by saying , “Yeah, but did you hear what they’re calling for this weekend?”
Some people are making such thorough preparations for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine. I don’t know what pain or heartache you may be experiencing today, however I do know that in spite of any troubles you may have today, you do have many reasons to be optimistic. Think on those things! Attract someone to the hope that is within you!
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (I Peter 3:15).
September 22, 2017
As I entered a local business establishment recently, a man standing in the check out line caught my attention. “That guy looks familiar to me,” I thought. “Is he a doctor? A salesman? Does he attend a local church where I ministered?”
As I go nearer to him he looked directly into my eyes. Immediately I remembered who he was. He and I attended Bible College classes together nearly thirty years ago. We chatted for a few minutes, sharing some of our recent life’s experiences. We also commented on how quickly the years have gone by and how we both have matured, or aged.
All of God’s children should be “maturing” spiritually as the years go by. There should be a noticeable difference in our attitude and conduct as time marches on. We should becoming more and more like the nature of Christ. That will only happen by simply having a desire to have an intimate relationship with Christ.
- Separate ourselves from the attitude of the world. ( I John 2:15)
- Have a hunger for more of God. (Matthew 6:33)
- We must be willing to learn and listen to obey God’s voice. (John 10:27)
Don’t allow past failure and mistakes to keep you from maturing in Christ. If God has forgiven you, learn to forgive yourself and move forward with Him. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. However, He needs your cooperation. Allow Him to transform you into the person He created you to be. Mature in Christ. Look to the future with confidence and expectation. Celebrate each day!