Thursday, May 25, 2017

Do Not Let Sin Control The Way You Live


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Do Not Let Sin
Control
The Way You Live


Scripture

1 Kings 10

Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba realized how very wise Solomon was, and when she saw the palace he had built, she was overwhelmed.

1 Kings 11

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh’s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites.
 
The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, “You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.” Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway.
 
He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

In Solomon’s old age, they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David, had been. Solomon worshiped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites.
 
In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely, as his father, David, had done.

The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command.
 
11 So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.


Romans 6

12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.

Observation

King Solomon was the wisest person probably to ever to live on planet earth with the exception of Jesus Christ. Yet, he was so stupid!

God had personally warned Solomon not to worship other gods, but because of his love for his 700 wives and his 300 concubines, they influenced him and he began to worship their gods.

But as amazing as that seems I see men and women doing the same thing today. And if I am not careful I could do the same thing and so could you.

Do not let sin control the way you live … is not a suggestion!

The sin of King David and the sin of King Solomon had terrible consequences and our sins will too  … so let’s not give in to sinful desires!


 Application

I want to finish well. At the end of my life I want the Lord to be able to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, keep me away from stupid sins, sins that will destroy my life, my witness, and negatively impact those around me. Help me to be wiser than Solomon when it comes to sin. Don’t let me give in to sinful desires that come across my path.

I pray for anyone reading this blog that has allowed him or her to become involved in sin. Set them free Lord. Help them to confess it as sin and turn away from the sin and help them to turn to You. Help them to repent of the sin and turn back to You.


Daily Bible Reading:  1 Kings 10,11; 2 Chronicles 9; Romans 6





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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

We Can Rejoice, Too, When We Run Into Problems And Trials, For We Know That They Help Us Develop Endurance.


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We Can Rejoice, Too,
When We Run Into Problems And Trials,
For We Know That They Help Us Develop Endurance.


Scripture

Romans 5

1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
 
And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
 
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Observation

Trouble – Trouble – Trouble!

Maybe you have been running into problems and trials lately. Maybe you are overwhelmed at the moment because of all that you are facing or with all that is going on in this crazy world!


Read Romans 5:1-5 and let it sink in. The One who created this Universe and everything in it will one day let me share in His glory because of what Jesus Christ has done for me.

Because of my faith, Christ has brought me into this place of undeserved privilege. And He did that very same thing for you too!

Rejoice; all of these problems are part of the process of making us more and more like Jesus!

 Application

I will rejoice today with the troubles that I have because of my undeserved privilege of having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and what He did for me. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me the right perspective about life. Help me to see things from Your perspective. Help me to walk by faith and not by sight. I know that you are teaching me more and more everyday through the trials and troubles that come into my life. I know that You care about every detail of my life and I know that You are on my side.

Bless anyone that reads this blog this morning or today. Give them the strength and faith to endure everything coming at them today. And help them to grow closer to You.


Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8; Psalms 136; Romans 5




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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Abraham Believed In The God Who Brings The Dead Back To Life And Who Creates New Things Out Of Nothing


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Abraham Believed In The God
Who Brings The Dead Back To Life
And Who Creates New Things Out Of Nothing



Scripture

Romans 4

17 …Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”

19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
 
21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Observation

I have put my faith in the God of Abraham, the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. I, like father Abraham, am fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. 

How about you? Have you placed your faith and trust in the God that brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing? If not? Why not? 

This story is in our Bibles to show us just how important having faith and trusting in God is for us.
Abraham’s faith was not just for his benefit. His story is in the Bible for our benefit:

23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God. Romans 4:23-25


Application

I am fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I know that I must have faith. I know that when I cannot see Your hand in what is happening around me I must trust Your heart. I know from Hebrews 11:6 “… it is impossible to please You without faith …” Help me to be a man of faith. Give me faith like Abraham’s. Help me even when there is no reason for hope, to keep hoping.
   



Daily Bible Reading:  2 Chronicles 6,7; Psalms 135; Romans 4




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Monday, May 22, 2017

We Are Made Right With God By Placing Our Faith In Jesus Christ


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We Are Made Right
With God
By Placing Our Faith In Jesus Christ


Scripture

Romans 3

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Observation

My friend, what if the Bible is the very Word of God and every word in it is true. Why do you refuse to read and investigate what millions of people, including me have discovered to be true?

Inside the Bible you will find answers to all of your struggles. God didn’t intend for you and I to live life without a relationship with Him. He wants us to depend on and trust in Him. We find out how to have a relationship with Him by reading, hearing, and digging into the Word of God.


Unless you and I place our faith in Jesus Christ, faith in what He did for us on the cross we cannot be saved from the penalty of our sins. The next verse Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners and there is a gap between God and us. And it is a gap that only faith in Jesus Christ can fill.

Only Jesus can take care of that gap!

No matter how good you and I, no matter how hard we try to live perfect lives (which is impossible) there will always be a gap.

We will always fall short of God’s standard. God standard is perfection and only Jesus Christ met that standard.

Jesus wants to take our sinful lives and exchange them for His perfect sinless life and that is why He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross.

Have you been made right with God?

If you aren’t sure where you would spend Eternity when you die why not make it a sure thing right now and surrender your life to Him. You could pray something like this:

Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know that you died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I know that my sins have separated me from God. I know that there is a gap that only You can fill. Forgive me of all of my sins. I put my faith and my trust in You. Come into my life and be my Lord and my Savior. Thank You for giving me Eternal Life. Amen.

Have you ever prayed a prayer like that? I would love to hear your story! If you haven’t then today is a perfect day to make this life changing decision.

It is the biggest decision of your life! There will never be a decision more important than this one. Don’t put off surrendering another day!

 Application


I will walk by faith this week, trusting in God to take care of me and guide me. How about you?


Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me that Your Word is 100% reliable and true. I am so grateful that You brought people into my life that challenged me and explained to me the Word of God. 

I pray that You do that very same thing for each and every person that may read this blog. Open up their hearts. Give them courage to investigate the Bible. Put a desire in their hearts to seek out the truth that can only be found in the Bible. 


Daily Bible Reading:  1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5; Psalms 99; Romans 3




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Sunday, May 21, 2017

When Did We Ever See You Sick Or In Prison And Visit You?


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When Did We
Ever See You Sick Or In Prison
And Visit You? 


Scripture

Matthew 25

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.
 
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?
 
39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

Observation

Kathy and I are very grateful to the several hundred people who let us know via Facebook that they were praying for us while I was in the hospital dealing with that painful kidney stone. Nothing is more important than taking time to pray for someone! 

It was during my 3 day stay in the hospital that I was reminded by my younger brother Rick how special it is to have someone come see you while you are in the hospital. I told him not to come, after all a kidney stone is not life threatening, but he was going to come by to see me no matter what. 

I think He made Jesus smile!

We do live in a social media world where our relationships are made and lived out via cell phones, text messages and the internet. 

Rick’s visit reminded me once again of the importance of taking time with people face to face. 

I don’t know about you but it is a lesson that I need to be continually reminded of, that we are Jesus’ hands and His feet and when we minister and touch people’s lives and meet people’s needs Jesus says that we are doing it to Him!


Application

I will make the effort to take time with people in need. How about you?


Prayer

Heavenly Father, give me a more sensitive heart with the people around me. Help me to be Your hands and Your feet. Show me needs that I can meet with the people in my circles of influence. Help me to be a good neighbor to the folks in my neighborhood. Open up doors of opportunity for me to help someone in need. Thank You for everyone who prayed for us while I was in the hospital. Bless them Lord. May Your face shine on them with favor!


Daily Bible Reading:  1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 4; Psalms 98; Romans 2; Matthew 25


> I have made it a habit to pray for those who read this blog! I enjoy lifting you and your family up to the Lord in prayer.


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

I Took My Troubles To The LORD; I Cried Out To Him, And He Answered My Prayer.


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I Took My Troubles To The LORD;
I Cried Out To Him,
And He Answered My Prayer. 


Scripture

Psalm 20

In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
    May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.


Psalm 121

I took my troubles to the Lord;
    I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.


Observation

Wednesday afternoon just after I had gotten back home from a prayer/accountability lunch meeting with a group of pastors that I meet with every Wednesday at noon, I started having pain in my left lower abdomen.

I tried to wait to see if it would go away, but before long I was doubled over in pain and told Kathy that I had to go to the ER.

I would put the pain of a kidney stone right up there with the pain of my massive heart attack, only with my heart attack I went unconscious and didn’t have to deal with the pain for very long.

But I am home finally.

Not sure why Kathy and I had to go through this experience, but I can tell you that I did cry out to the Lord and He did answer my prayers.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me. God is good. All the time!

We had the opportunity to get to know some great nurses while we were at St. Joseph Hospital. Hopefully one of them will visit our church soon!

 Application

In times of trouble I will cry out to the Lord. How about you?


Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing our prayers. I know that my kidney stone didn’t catch You by surprise. Thank You for taking such good care of me. You are good. All the time. You are worthy of praise. Thank You for the caregivers at the hospital. Thank You for the good doctors and good nurses. Bless them Lord. Help them as they serve.


Daily Bible Reading:  1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3; Psalms 97; Romans 1; Psalm 20, Psalm 21





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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

So We Keep On Praying For You, Asking Our God To Enable You To Live A Life Worthy Of His Call


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So We Keep On Praying For You,
Asking Our God
To Enable You To Live A Life Worthy Of His Call


Scripture

2 Thessalonians 1

11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.

Observation

Here are two prayer requests that I have for you and they are wrapped up in this one verse: First  … that God would enable “you” to live a life worthy of His call. 

And second … that He would give “you” the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts “you” to do.

I want to see you live a life worthy of His call. I want that for my life too. And I want you to be empowered to accomplish all of the good things that the Lord puts on your heart to do!

You can pray those two things for me too! 

 Application

2 Thessalonians 1:11 will be my prayer for everyone that the Lord puts on my heart today and for everyone that reads this blog:

 Prayer

Heavenly Father, I am praying for anyone that reads this blog today. Help them to live their life worthy of Your call and give them the power to accomplish all the good things his or her faith prompts them to do.


Daily Bible Reading:  1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Psalms 95; 2 Thessalonians 1




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