Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fellows Have You Caught Any Fish?

Fellows
Have You
Caught Any Fish?
Scripture
John 21
3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
We’ll come, too,” they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night.
4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it. 11b ...There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.
Observation

I have heard some pretty incredible fish stories from some of my fishing buddies and you probably have heard some pretty good ones too!
If you have ever fished any at all you probably have some stories too!
But you can't top the fishing stories or fish stories found in the Bible! Do you remember Jonah being swallowed by a great fish! God let him slop around 3 days in the belly of that great fish, while God worked on Jonah's heart that was full of prejudice, hate, and bigotry.
It was the first lesson God used to get Jonah's attention. You see God's servant Jonah had a serious heart problem. Jonah didn't want God to save the people of Nineveh. Jonah hated them, but God loved them. God had to deal with his servant Jonah's bigotry and hatred.
God had to work on fisherman Simon Peter's prejudiced heart too.
God has had to work on my heart in this area and it is still a work in progress. How about you?
Bigotry, Hate, Prejudice – These 3 evils have a way of creeping into our hearts and setting up camp. Don't let it take a Jonah experience to get your attention and change your heart! God loves everybody. He expects us to love them too!
Application

I will guard my heart against bigotry, hate, and prejudice! How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to guard my heart. I don't want to mistreat people. Give me a heart of love and compassion. Help me think more of others today than I do about myself. 
I pray for those that are sick and those that are taking care of loved ones who are sick. Give them strength. I pray for healing because You are the great Physician! There is no one like You! There is nothing too hard for you. I pray for those who are dealing with racial prejudice. Show them how to love instead of hate. Show them the value of the people around them.

Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 45,46,47; Psalms 105; John 21



Friday, August 18, 2017

I Won't Believe It Unless I See The Nail Wounds In His Hands, Put My Fingers Into Them, And Place My Hand Into The Wound In His Side.

I Won't Believe It Unless I See The Nail Wounds In His Hands,
Put My Fingers Into Them,
And Place My Hand Into The Wound In His Side.
Scripture
John 20
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Observation

When the disciples saw Jesus, after He came back to life, they went and told doubting Thomas that Jesus was alive but Thomas just couldn't believe it! He could not believe that Jesus actually came back to life after being dead and in a tomb for 3 days.

It was eight days later, eight days after Jesus had been seen by some of His disciples that Jesus made a believer out of Thomas. Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!

Are you trying to live your life without putting your faith in Jesus Christ?

If you are then I will echo the words of Jesus and say to you what Jesus said to Thomas, “Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Life and the crazy world that we live in is never going to make sense until we are connected to the Creator of life – Jesus Christ!

John 20
31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
1 John 5
11 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.
Application

I will continue to share this Good News – that Jesus Saves, with everyone that I can. How about you? Do you believe?

Prayer
Heavenly Father, what our country desperately needs is Revival. If and only if we turn from our wicked ways and turn to You, will we be spared the coming judgment and destruction. No ideology of man will save us. I believe that our only hope is in You. You have said in Your word, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 26,35,36; John 20






Thursday, August 17, 2017

Stop Being Angry! Turn From Your Rage! Do Not Lose Your Temper --- It Only Leads To Harm.

Stop Being Angry! Turn From Your Rage!
Do Not
Lose Your Temper --- It Only Leads To Harm.
Scripture
Psalm 37
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.

8 Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.

9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

10 Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them, they will be gone.

Observation

How should Christians respond to the wicked? Sometimes we act like God, our Heavenly Father doesn't exist. Trust me. He sees the evil. He sees the wicked.
And in Psalm 37 He lets us know that He sees it and He will take care of it! So … Don't lose your temper – it only leads to harm.
Psalm 37 This is a good word for all of us right now. We are living in a nation and in a world where hate seems to be boiling over!
David was surrounded by evil with King Saul tried over and over again to kill him. David probably wrote most of the Psalms while he was hiding from King Saul. Yet he had incredible faith in his God!
You and I should too!
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
Application
I will be still in the presence of the Lord, and I will wait patiently for Him to act. How about you?


Prayer

Heavenly Father, I put my trust in You. You see everything that is going on in our country and in our world. You know the hearts of all of those involved in all of this turmoil. Weed out the wicked. Deal with them. I will not worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. I will trust in You Lord. I will be still in Your presence.
Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 23,24,25; John 19




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I See Very Clearly That God Shows No Favoritism.

I See
Very Clearly
That God Shows No Favoritism.
Scripture
Acts 10
1 In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household.
3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said.

4 Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5 Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.”
9 The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12 In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.”
14 “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.

15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16 The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven.

34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.
35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
Observation
Peter was prejudice. He, like most Jewish people in his day thought that they were God's favorites. Peter had to learn that the message of Good News is for everyone!
There is peace with God through Jesus Christ for anyone and for everyone that places their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
God got Peter's attention and Peter's heart was changed!
As prejudice and hate are boil over in our country this passage in Acts 10 is a good reminder to us what God thinks about it!
God is love! God shows no favoritism.
Application

I will try hard not to be prejudice. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, it is easy to hate and dislike. It is my old nature. I belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to walk and act like I am one of Your children. I pray for those who are leading our country. Give them the backbone to stand up against hate and prejudice. I pray for hearts to be changed. I pray healing in our country. May it start with me. Remove anything in my heart that is not pleasing to You. Show me each and every time that my attitude towards any person is not right.

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 24; Jeremiah 22; Psalms 112; John 18; Acts 10




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

And This Is The Way To Have Eternal Life --- To Know You, The Only True God, And Jesus Christ, The One You Sent To Earth.

And This Is The Way To Have Eternal Life ---
To Know You, The Only True God,
And Jesus Christ, The One You Sent To Earth.
Scripture
John 17
3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.
Observation

John 17 is the Lord's prayer for us. Jesus' prayer should help remind us that this world is not our home! Someone said to me yesterday, “I don't have a country”. He was lamenting over the direction he sees our country heading. 

I don't like the direction that our country is going either but I see things from a different perspective. This country and this world have never been my permanent home!
I hope that you take time to read John 17, but start at John 16:33 as it sets the context for the Lord's prayer for us in John 17.
John 16:33
33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Hebrews 11
10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 13
14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
1 Peter 3:18
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5
1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.

Application
I will look at current events through the lens of God's Word. How about you?
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
Prayer

Heavenly Father, Your Word is so true. In this world we will have trouble! I am holding on to Your Word because it is the only way that life makes sense. Purpose and meaning to life come with a relationship with You through Jesus Christ. You are in control. You are the Good Shepherd and we are Your sheep. Help me to depend and trust in You when my world seems out of control.


Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 18,19,20; Psalms 93; John 17





Monday, August 14, 2017

Whoever Claims To Love God Yet Hates A Brother Or Sister Is A Liar.

Whoever Claims
To Love God
Yet Hates A Brother Or Sister Is A Liar.
Scripture
1 John 4
20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
Observation
God is love. Every person on this planet is made in the image of God including you and everybody else. Anytime we choose to put down, anytime we choose to put ourselves above, anytime we choose to marginalize, or anytime we choose to discriminate against people because of the color of his or her skin, we are living out 1 John 4:20.
I grew up with a very, very prejudiced Dad.
One day one our church buses broke down and I asked my Dad to help me get it back to our church. This was back in the early 1970's when our country was dealing with a lot of civil unrest, lots of riots, it was the time of school integration, etc.
At this very moment in time our church's bus ministry was reaching hundreds of children, teens and adults from all over our city.
As we drove to get the bus my Dad said to me, “Why is your bus in this part of town?” I immediately replied, “Dad, these people in this part of the city need Jesus too.” “Well”, he said, “You should build them a church on their side of town.”
1 John 4:20 comes to my mind when I think of the hard heart that my Dad had towards people that simply had a different color to their skin!
Red and yellow, black and white, they are all precious in God's sight! I am so glad that I am a part of a church that is very color blind!
Friend, I am not interested in, or concerned about, the color of your skin. I am very interested in and very concerned about, the condition of your heart! God's love transcends and outshines prejudice!
Application

I will support people and stand up for people when they are discriminated against because of the color of their skin. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, it is so easy to hate. It comes natural for us. Our old nature loves to hate. Don't let me judge someone simply because the have a different color of skin than me or speak a different language than me. Help me to guard my heart. I want to love people the way You love them.

Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 16,17; Psalms 96; John 16; 1 John 4



Sunday, August 13, 2017

You Must Influence Them; Do Not Let Them Influence You!

You Must Influence Them;
Do Not
Let Them Influence You!
Scripture
Jeremiah 15
19 This is how the Lord responds:
If you return to me, I will restore you
so you can continue to serve me.
If you speak good words rather than worthless ones,
you will be my spokesman.
You must influence them;
do not let them influence you!
Matthew 5
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Observation

As followers of Jesus Christ you and I are to be godly influences on those around us.
We are to be salt and light! God was telling Prophet Jeremiah to influence those around him and not let those around him influence him!
Running with the crowd, the wrong crowd, can and will mess us up!
And that is why finding and being active in a good church is so important!
I heard Kathy tell someone the other day who has not been able to get victory of alcohol addiction, “Buddy you need to change your friends and you need to change your playground!”
You and I are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world! We must be a positive influence on those around us. Let's not let those around us be a negative influence on us.
Application
I will let good friends hold me accountable in my walk with Christ. How about you?
Pray

Heavenly Father, I know how easy it is to be influenced in the wrong direction. I am bombarded constantly with messages from the evil one tempting me to sin. I don't need friends that will influence me to sin too. I need good friends that will keep me heading in the right direction. Help anyone that may be reading this blog today to find some good friends to hang out with. Show them the danger of hanging with the wrong people. Give them the strength and the courage to find new friends.

Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 13,14,15; John 15