Thursday, April 19, 2018

Seek The Kingdom Of God Above All Else, And Live Righteously, And He Will Give You Everything You Need.


Seek The Kingdom Of God Above All Else,
And Live Righteously,
And He Will Give You Everything You Need.
Scripture
Matthew 6
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’
33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Observation
If you are going to memorize any verse in the Bible to add to the verses that you might already know then I would suggest memorizing Matthew 6:33 and putting it into practice.
Here's why: When you and I put God first in our lives, when He is our #1 priority, then He promises to take care of everything that we need in this life. Is that a huge promise or what!
People come to Mission Tampa's food pantry for help because they do not have enough food and as I counsel and talk with them I almost always share with them this wonderful promise!
If you are struggling in your marriage or with a relationship, or with finances and you came to me for advice, one of the first things I would share with you is Matthew 6:33.
Life only works right if we do life the way that God designed it to work and that is always making sure that God has first place in our hearts!
How do we put God first? We pray and surrender our lives to Him. If you have never surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, then do that right now.
If you know that you are a child of God but you have allowed other things to take God's number One spot in your heart then confess that right now to the Lord and ask Him to retake the number One spot in your life again.
And yes, get back (or start for the first time) going to church. Church attendance doesn't save us but it helps us keep God where He should be ... in that #1 spot!
Application
I will make sure that God is in the #1 place in my life. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, You are a jealous God. You created me. Everything that I have comes from You. And You want the #1 place in my life. Lord, make sure that I keep You in that spot. Don't let me allow anything to take Your place. I want You to always be number One and Kathy to always be in the number 2 place in my heart!
Give anyone reading this blog today the courage and boldness to pray and yield their lives to You. Bless them Lord as they make You #1!
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 22; Psalm 17; Psalm 35; Matthew 6



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

If You Are Kind Only To Your Friends, How Are You Different From Anyone Else? Even Pagans Do That.


If You Are Kind Only To Your Friends,
How Are You Different From Anyone Else?
Even Pagans Do That.
Scripture
Matthew 5
46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 
47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
Observation
Random acts of kindness … If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? It is easy to love people that love us back, but what about someone who hates our guts, or who is mad at us, or someone who we don't even know.
Jesus says that we are to love them and shower them with kindness.
Matthew 5 has so much good stuff in it that it is hard to pick one verse or even two to write about but the word “kind” jumped out at me this morning.
So I need to look around and see who needs to receive an “Random act of kindness” from me.
Why don't you look around and see who needs one from you?
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Psalm 41:1
Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
Psalm 116:5
How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!
Proverbs 3:3
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
Proverbs 16:24
Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Ephesians 4:32
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
Application

I will look for the opportunity to be kind to someone today. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, it is so obvious to me that we live in a world filled with hate and violence and meanness. I guess that is why You command us to love one another and to show kindness to one another. Help me to always see the best in people. Help me to love them with Your love. Give me Your heart for those around me. Show me someone today that needs to be encouraged.
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 20,21; Psalm 34; Matthew 5



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

People Do Not Live By Bread Alone, But By Every Word That Comes From The Mouth Of God.


People Do Not Live By Bread Alone,
But
By Every Word That Comes From The Mouth Of God.
Scripture
Matthew 4
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.
3 During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,
People do not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Observation

Too many of us Christians are way too dependent on the physical food that is available to us. If you are like me the stuff that I like to eat the most is the stuff that helps my body the least.

I don't know about you but fat seems to be attracted to me!

So Kathy and I are once again disciplining ourselves and watching carefully what goes into our bodies via our mouths.

God does want me to be F.A.T., but He does not want me to be fat! God wants me to be Faithful … Available … Teachable! And I think that He wants you to be “F.A.T.” too!

God wants us to load up on His Word so that we can withstand all the temptations that Satan brings our way. So while we wean ourselves off of all of the junk food that is prematurely killing us and that makes our clothes fit so tight lets devour the Word of God, the food that feeds our souls.

I just walked into the kitchen and told Kathy that I was writing my blog about “FAT” people and her reply was, “Eddy, do you think that is a wise thing to do!” If she reads my blog she will see what I was talking about!
Application
I will work on being more of a “F.A.T.” person with less fat. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, help me to be more disciplined. Give me an even bigger desire to devour Your Word and help me to have less of a desire for junk food. Thank You for all of Your promises in Your Word. Thank You for speaking to me as I read my Bible every day. I pray for any one that may read my blog today. Give them a hunger for Your Word. Give them victory over the temptations that Satan brings their way. Help them to be strong men and women of God.
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 19; 1 Chronicles 7; Psalm 59; Matthew 4



Monday, April 16, 2018

Prove By The Way You Live That You Have Repented Of Your Sins And Turned To God.


Prove By The Way You Live
That You Have Repented Of Your Sins
And Turned To God.
Scripture
Matthew 3
8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
Observation
On Sunday morning we can fool just about anybody! We smile. We greet. We can put on a show and fool people.
But it is how we live Monday through Saturday that counts, not the one hour on Sunday.
You and I need to prove by the way we live all 7 days of the week that we have repented of our sins and have turned to God.
Of course, coming to church and being a part of a small group is important, but living a godly life 24/7 that is what God has called us to do.
How are we doing with that? What is your life like when you think that no one is looking?
Application
I will strive to live a godly life 24/7. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, don't let me be a hyprocrite. I want to live for You every moment of every day. Don't let me get sidetracked. I want my children and my grandchildren to see Jesus in me. Help me to live this week in a way that makes You smile.
I pray for my friend Hugh Roberts today on his birthday. Bless Hugh and his wife Millie today. Meet all of the needs that they have. Bless their family and their ministry. Thank You for bringing them into our lives.
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 18; 1 Chronicles 6; Psalm 11; Matthew 3... I added Psalm 16, Psalm 36; Proverbs 16



Sunday, April 15, 2018

You Come To Me With Sword, Spear, And Javelin, But I Come To You In The Name Of The Lord Of Heaven's Armies – The God Of The Armies Of Israel


You Come To Me With Sword, Spear, And Javelin,
But I Come To You In The Name Of The Lord
Of Heaven's Armies – The God Of The Armies Of Israel
Scripture
1 Samuel 17
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!
Observation
Giants – we all have to put up with them! What giant are you facing this morning?
David didn't stand a chance against Goliath, at least that is what everybody on both sides of the fight thought. After all it was a young lad armed with a sling shot standing up to a 9 foot tall giant who wore a bronze helmet, a two-hundred-pound coat of mail, bronze leggings, and carried a bronze javelin several inches thick, tipped with a twenty-five-pound iron spearhead. Goliath even had an armor bearer who walked ahead of him with a huge shield.
Well David wasn't alone either. Goliath didn't realize it but David had a giant slayer that walked ahead of him.
Feel tired and defeated? Then it is time to quit trying to fight the giants in your life in your own strength. Turn them over to the giant slayer!
If you and I have a personal relationship with the Lord of Heaven's Armies then there is no giant that can stand up against us either. We have the giant killer of all giant killers on our side.
And just as David said to Goliath, “The battle belongs to the Lord”, you and I need to turn our giants over to the Lord.
The giants we face will always be too big for us. If we try to fight them alone without God's help we will be defeated, but with God's help there is no giant too big!
Psalm 3
I lay down and slept,
    yet I woke up in safety,
    for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
    who surround me on every side.
Psalm 37
39 The Lord rescues the godly;
    he is their fortress in times of trouble.
Application

I will leave all of my “giant fighting” to the Lord. How about you?
Prayer

Heavenly Father, please remind me every time I face a giant that the battle is not my own. You are the giant slayer … not me. Thank You for taking care of everything that comes at me. Thank You for fighting my battles. Nothing is too hard for You.

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 9; Matthew 2



Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Lord Doesn't See Things The Way You See Them. People Judge By Outward Appearance, But The Lord Looks At The Heart.


The Lord Doesn't See Things The Way You See Them.
People Judge By Outward Appearance,
But The Lord Looks At The Heart.
Scripture
1 Samuel 16
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lordlooks at the heart.”
Observation
God has sent Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel to replace King Saul.
God tells Samuel to go the house of a man named Jesse and God says that He has selected one of Jesse's sons to be the next king. Samuel looks at the first son Eliab and thinks, “this must be the guy”, but the Lord says “no”. Every son in the house gets turned down by the Lord, and Samuel asked Eliab, Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”
David's dad Jesse did not see the potential in his son David, but God sure did!
There is a lesson in this story for me. Maybe for you too. I need to invest my life into the people that God brings my way because I am not God and I can never see the full potential of the person in front of me.
During my lifetime I have been totally surprised how God has radically transformed the lives of some of the people that I thought had very little potential. They are now some of God's best. And I have also been deeply saddened and I have had my heart broken and shattered over the years by the moral failure of some of the ones that I thought had the brightest future and had the most potential.
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Guard your heart above all else,  for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23
Application
I will continue to invest my life into the men and the couples that God brings my way. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, give me Your eyes so that I can see what You see. Give me Your heart so I can feel what You feel. Help me to concentrate on those around me and not focus on myself. I pray especially for the men and women at our church. Help them to grow and be all that You have meant for them to be. Don't let them get sidetracked by some stupid sin. Help them to live pure and holy lives so they can be used by You. Don't ever let me give up on anyone no matter had bad the sin, no matter how bad they have messed up. I am a sinner too, saved by grace.
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 15,16; 1 Chronicles 5; Matthew 1



Friday, April 13, 2018

Be Joyful. Grow To Maturity. Encourage Each Other. Live In Harmony And Peace.


Be Joyful.
Grow To Maturity.
Encourage Each Other. Live In Harmony And Peace.
Scripture
2 Corinthians 13
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
Observation
The Apostle Paul's final words to the church at Corinth are good words for you and me as we get ready for this weekend. All four of these commands are choices that you and I need to make. They don't automatically happen.
Joy is a choice. Spiritual growth is a choice. Being an encouragement to someone is a choice. Living in harmony and peace is most definitely a choice.
Four choices that should keep us busy this weekend!
Lets look around and think about all that God has done for us and may it fill us with joy!
Lets make sure that we attend church this weekend and dig into God Word so we can grow!
Lets think of someone who needs to be encouraged and lets encourage them.
Is there someone that we have been unable to forgive or maybe they have been unable to forgive us … lets take a step in their direction. Lets let them know that we care about them.
Four choices that you and I need to make for a great weekend! Lets do it!
Application
I will work on all four of these choices this weekend. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, as I write this I am aware that their may be someone reading this blog who is not experiencing joy right now. Circumstances may have robbed them of Your joy. Show them that they can make the choice to choose joy and they can rise above their circumstances and in spite of their circumstances they can still choose joy. Help all of us grow in maturity. Don't let us miss the opportunity to grow.
I pray for that person who needs to get back into the habit of attending church. Give them the courage and boldness to start again. Help us to be an encouragement to someone today. Show us if we have offended or hurt someone and help us to get things right with them. Thank You for Your Word. Every day it encourages me.
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 14; 1 Chronicles 4; 2 Corinthians 13