Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Problems Go From Bad To Worse. Oh, Save Me From Them All!


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My Problems
Go From Bad To Worse.
Oh, Save Me From Them All!



Scripture

Psalm 25

17 My problems go from bad to worse.
    Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
    Forgive all my sins.


Observation

King David, even though we tend to think of him only as the victorious giant slayer, experienced one problem right after another.

Some of course were his fault but most of them were not.

Life for you and me is not problem free either and on some days those problems just go from bad to worse!

David did what you and I need to do when we are overwhelmed with life and everything that it throws at us, he prayed! He confidently asked God for help! David prayed, “Feel my pain Lord and see my trouble and forgive all my sins.”

That my friend is a very good prayer for you and me to pray when life is about to take us under!


Application

I will take all of my problems to the Lord. He will save me from them all.

Prayer

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-7


Daily Bible Reading:  Ezra 2,3; Luke 8; Psalm 25, Psalm 125; Proverbs 25





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Saturday, September 24, 2016

“Your Sins Are Forgiven”


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“Your
Sins
Are Forgiven”




Scripture

Luke 7

41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said.  

44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Observation

Anger… Rage… Hate… Violence…It is all we read about and all we hear about when we read the newspaper or turn on the television. Brokenness … Humility …  Peace .. and Forgiveness … and Love is what I hear about when I go to church, and everyday when I read my Bible! 

I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the latter two! I know that I could do without the newspaper and the television! Forgiveness is a gift. Have you received God’s gift of forgiveness?

The woman that was kneeling at Jesus’ feet was a sinner. In brokenness she humbled herself wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair and with the tears of a repentant heart, then she anointed his feet with expensive perfume. Nothing was going to stop her from showing her great love for Christ!

Our love relationship with Jesus Christ – Is it hot or cold? – Is it lukewarm?  – Are we just going through the motions? Maybe even playing church? … Or do we really love our Lord? How are we showing it? What are we doing (because in doing it we bring glory and honor to Christ) or what have we decided not to do (because by doing it we bring dishonor or by doing it we bring no glory to Christ)!

I used to drink alcohol when I first became a Christian and I used to chew 2 packs of chewing tobacco (Red Man) a day. Neither of those 2 things brought any honor or glory to the Lord and the Holy Spirit let me know it. It has been over 45 years ago since I let those 2 things go and you know I have done just fine without them.

“But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”  

“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

 Application

I will try my best to show my love for Jesus by the way I live my life. How about you?


Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for gifting me forgiveness and giving me Eternal Life. I am a sinner. I don’t deserve Your love. Thank You for loving me. Thank You Lord for allowing me to experience the abundant life that You promised Your followers in John 10:10.

I pray for those that do not know what they are missing. Those who are close to me that just struggle and struggle with life when all they need to do is humble themselves and seek Your forgiveness.

I pray that their spiritual eyes would be open so they can enjoy life like I have been able to enjoy it. Help them to humble themselves and turn to You. Whatever it takes Lord for them to have a relationship with You I pray … whatever it takes!



Daily Bible Reading:  Ezra 1; Psalms 84,85; Luke 7






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Friday, September 23, 2016

What You Say Flows From What Is In Your Heart


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What You Say
Flows
From What Is In Your Heart



Scripture

Luke 6

45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

Observation

Have you ever had someone say to you, “Oh, I know they said that but they didn’t really mean it”? Or maybe someone has said to you, “I know they said that but they are not really like that.” 

Baloney! 

What is in your heart and what is in my heart comes out through our mouths! 

That is why we need to learn to say these 3 phrases: I love you. I am sorry. Will you forgive me? 

Put this verse on your refrigerator, “Careless words stab like a sword, but wise words bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” Psalm 19:12

“Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.” Psalm 51:10

Application

I will guard my heart. I will ask for forgiveness when ugly, hurtful things come out of my mouth because of my sinful heart. How about you? 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to guard my heart. Help me to be careful with the words that come out of my mouth. Create in me a new clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.    May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Proverbs 12:18 Psalm 51:10, Psalm 19:14 (Personalized)



   

Daily Bible Reading:  Daniel 11,12; Luke 6




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Thursday, September 22, 2016

But If You Say So


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But
If
You Say So


Scripture

Luke 5

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”  

And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

Observation

I love this story!

Take a minute and read Luke 5 maybe it will become one of your favorites too!

Obedience is the key to living a victorious Christian life.

This was a test for Jesus’ followers. Would they be obedient to His Word?

They were the fishermen and He was a carpenter. … But He would show them that He was more than a carpenter – He would show them that He is God!

Last night some of the guys in our men’s small group came straight from work. They were probably tired and hungry. They didn’t have time to change out of their work clothes.

They didn’t have time to go home and get a shower and clean up. One of them has to fight traffic from his work place in St. Pete and yet he never misses a Wednesday!

These guys are modeling what Jesus wants all of us to learn! Obedience – whether we feel like it or not! It is the key to living a victorious Christian life!

What step of obedience is Jesus asking you and me to take? 

 “…Blessed are those who hear God’s word and obey it.”  Luke 11:28

Application

I will strive to be obedient to what I know God has asked me to do. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You more than anyone else know how selfish I am. You know how easy it is for me to do what I want to do rather than seek Your guidance. Help me to pray first. Help me to be obedient. Help me make You smile!

I pray for the guys that are coming to our men’s group. Help these men live godly lives. Help them make good choices this week. Give them a desire to be in Your Word. Help them to be the best husbands, the best fathers, and I pray that people will see Jesus in them.

Daily Bible Reading:  Daniel 9,10; Psalms 123; Luke 5




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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jesus Was Tempted By The Devil For Forty Days.


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Jesus
Was Tempted
By The Devil For Forty Days. 



Scripture

Luke 4

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’

Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God
    and serve only him.’


Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 For the Scriptures say,
‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.

11 And they will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’


12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’

Observation

Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan for 40 days and probably most days after that!

Don’t kid yourself if you think Satan and his demons are going to leave us alone. You and I are going to be tempted to compromise our faith.

When you and I are tempted and when we yield to that temptation and sin, sadly, we then often times try to justify our action by saying to ourselves and even to others “this is not a problem for me.” I can handle it!

What a lie straight out of the pit of Hell!

Jesus used scripture to respond back to each temptation that Satan put before Him and we had better do the same thing.

Let’s quit trying to justify and/or hide our sin. Let’s memorize scripture that will help us withstand the fiery darts of the devil.

He is coming to mess you up. He wants to destroy you and your family.

Let’s arm ourselves with the Word of God!

 Are you struggling with a temptation and it is constantly on your mind? Check these verses out:

1 Peter 5:6-9

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
 
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.


Application

I will fight the devil’s temptations with the Word of God. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I know that greater is He that lives in me than he that is in this world. Even knowing that fact I am still tempted to sin. Give me strength not to yield to the temptations around me. Don’t let me compromise my faith. Help me to stand firm and help me to be strong in my faith!

I pray for others who are struggling with temptation and are trying to justify yielding to the temptation. Open their eyes so that they can clearly see the destruction that yielding and sinning will bring. Open their eyes Lord. Open their eyes and give them strength. Help them to stand firm and to be strong in their faith.


Daily Bible Reading:  Daniel 7,8; Psalms 137; Luke 4



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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Am Counting On The LORD; Yes, I Am Counting On Him. I Have Put My Hope In His Word.


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I Am Counting On The LORD;
Yes, I Am Counting On Him.
I Have Put My Hope In His Word. 




Scripture

Psalm 130

I am counting on the Lord;
    yes, I am counting on him.
    I have put my hope in his word.


I long for the Lord
    more than sentries long for the dawn,
    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.


Observation

Totally helpless! Have you ever felt like that?

I don’t know about you, but there are times, lots of them, when I feel this way as I try to help people. I feel totally helpless.

And maybe you have felt this same way too!

God knew that we would feel this way. He has the solution for us and it is called “intercession”.

God doesn’t expect us to fix everyone’s problems, but He does expect us to pray for them. He has given me and He has given you if you are a Christ-Follower the ministry of intercession.

He wants us to rely on Him and He wants us to pray for those that He brings into our lives.

During the night last night I was constantly praying for a couple who desperately need God’s help. I can’t fix them, but I can lift them up to my God who can.

I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His Word. I long for the LORD …

You and I are not helpless. We have direct access to the King of Kings! Nothing is too hard for Him! 

 Romans 8:11 “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. …”

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. 1 Timothy 2:1 (MESSAGE)

“And you are helping us by praying for us. …” 2 Corinthians 1:11a

Application

I will not give up praying for those that God places on my heart. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, when things look really gloomy for those around me I know that I can lift them up to You in prayer. I know that You hear me. I know that nothing is too hard for You. I can’t do it. I can’t fix people, but I know that You can. Please do what I can’t do. Bring healing into broken relationships. Bring people back to a right relationship with You and with each other. Don’t let Satan get the victory in their lives. Transform them Lord. Transform them. 



Daily Bible Reading:  Daniel 5,6; Psalms 130; Luke 3



> If you are reading this simple blog this morning you are an encouragement to me!



> 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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Monday, September 19, 2016

I Bring You Good News That Will Bring Great Joy To All People.


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I Bring You Good News
That Will
Bring Great Joy To All People.


Scripture

Luke 2

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”


Observation

Good News! You will not find much Good News these days watching TV or reading the Newspaper! 

No, the News, the Headlines are all filled with news of terror bombings, murders, storms, or idiotic statements from our so-called leaders running for president. (Was that too harsh?) 

Do you want some really good news this Monday morning? “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11) 

The Bible is full of Good News! It is full of hope! 

You and I just need to read it. 

We need to hold on to every promise that God has placed in His Word for us. 

Let’s take time today to read some of God’s Good News! 

Let’s let it change our lives!

Application

I will focus on the Good News I find in God’s Word. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I never get tired of the Christmas story. It is filled with awe and wonder. It is amazing to think that You would leave Heaven and come down to live as a Human being and die a sinner’s death on a cross for someone like me. It is amazing. Thank You for allowing me the opportunity to hear the Good News about Jesus and for allowing me to become one of Your children. I don’t deserve Your love. I don’t deserve Your forgiveness. You are a God of mercy and grace to save someone like me!


Daily Bible Reading:  Ezekiel 47,48; Luke 2; Psalm 20, Psalm 120; Proverbs 20



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