Sunday, December 10, 2017

If You Stay Away From Sin You Will Be Like One Of Those Dishes Made Of Purest Gold – The Very Best In The House

If You Stay Away From Sin
You Will Be Like One Of Those Dishes
Made Of Purest Gold – The Very Best In The House
2 Timothy 2 New Living Translation
20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 

21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.


2 Timothy 2 Living Bible
20 In a wealthy home there are dishes made of gold and silver as well as some made from wood and clay. The expensive dishes are used for guests, and the cheap ones are used in the kitchen or to put garbage in.

 21 If you stay away from sin you will be like one of these dishes made of purest gold—the very best in the house—so that Christ himself can use you for his highest purposes.

22 Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right.
Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts.
Observation

If you and I will just stay away from sin then God can use us just like the special dishes that we might use when we are serving special guests in our home.
We will be like the “fine china”. God wants to use us for His glory!
The only thing that can mess up God's plan for your life and my life is “us” and the sin that we allow to derail us from God's best!
Run from sin!
1 John 1:9
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Psalm 119
9 How can a young person stay pure?
    By obeying your word.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

Application

I will hide God's Word in my heart to keep me away from sin. How about you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, it is so easy for me to be drawn away and so easy to yield to temptation. Help me to say “no” to sin. Give me the strength to run from the temptations that still come my way. I want to finish my life well. I pray for those who seem to be caught in addictions that are destroying their marriages and that will destroy their lives. Give them victory over those things that have them as slaves. Help them to walk in victory today. Help them to give You the credit and You the glory for their success in their sobriety.
Daily Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 1,2,3,4



Saturday, December 09, 2017

You Have Made My Life No Longer Than The Width Of My Hand. My Entire Lifetime Is Just A Moment To You;

You Have Made My Life
No Longer Than The Width Of My Hand.
My Entire Lifetime Is Just A Moment To You;
Scripture
Psalm 39
4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
    Remind me that my days are numbered—
    how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
    My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
    at best, each of us is but a breath.”
Observation
Kathy and I went to visit one of her cousins yesterday who shared with us that she is now 88 years young! 
As Kathy and her cousin Ann talked about family and brought each other up to date, there were lots of great memories shared, memories that spanned a bunch of years, but to our God all of those years are like the blink of an eye! 
In fact, our life is compared to the width of one of our hands. I don't know about yours but my hand is not very wide! 
They talked about what was most important in life – FAMILY! 
I was reminded yesterday with that visit with Kathy's cousin and I am reminded again this morning by reading this passage that we need to make great memories with our kids and grand-kids and the rest of our extended family while we can … because in a blink of an eye, in one short breath, or a fleeting moment and our lives are over!
Application
I will enjoy making memories with my kids and grand-kids as I have the opportunity! How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, I know that I am on the short end of life. It has been a great 66 years but I realize that I am getting close to the other side of my hand. Life is short and I am on the short end of a short life. Help me to finish well. Don't let me mess up. Help me to focus on what is important – on people and not on stuff. I pray for my kids and my grand-kids. Help them to walk close to You. Help Kathy and I be godly examples to them. I pray for Kathy's cousin Ann. Give her strength. Bless her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren!
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 5,6; Titus 1,2,3; Psalm 9, Psalm 39; Proverbs 9



Friday, December 08, 2017

“Christ Jesus Came Into The World To Save Sinners” – And I Am The Worst Of Them All.

Christ Jesus Came Into The World To Save Sinners” –
And
I Am The Worst Of Them All.
Scripture
1 Timothy 1
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 
16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 
17 All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
Observation

When I am praying and thinking about family members that are still living like they have never heard of Jesus Christ or His claim on their lives I remind myself that if God saved and changed me then God can save and change anybody!
He can surely turn my family members around and save them just like He saved me.
I never pursued God. God pursued and caught me! I look back on my life before I trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior and I was a mess.
I am still broken. I am still a sinner. But God has rescued me from myself and from an empty life and He has given me a life full of purpose and meaning .
I hate to think about what my life would have been like without Christ.
And that is why I continue to pray for my family asking God to change the direction of their lives and I will never stop praying for them.
If you are a follower of Christ then I think you understand exactly what I am saying!
How about you? Are you tired of living the empty life?
Application
I will continue to pray for my family and I will never give up! How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me. Thank You for saving me from a life of emptiness and destruction. Thank You for giving me purpose and meaning for each day of my life. I pray for my family. I thank You for each one of them. I realize how important it is to pray for them and never give up on them. One day they will call you Lord. One day they will make the decision to turn their lives around in Your direction and follow You. Protect them until they do. Pursue them Lord. Please do whatever it takes to get them to make that U-turn and recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior. For their sake … do whatever it takes!
Daily Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 1,2,3,4



Thursday, December 07, 2017

Don't Lie To Each Other

Don't
Lie
To Each Other
Scripture
Colossians 3
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 

6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.

 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.
8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 
9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 
10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Observation

God wants you and He wants me to be persons of integrity. People need to be able to trust us. It is very sad when people can't trust what we tell them.

Isn't it interesting that followers of Christ have to be told not to lie to one another! It is a sin that is listed right up there with anger, rage, slander, sexual immorality, lust, and greed.

We say that we are going to do something but then don't follow through with what we told that person we would do for them. Sometimes that is unavoidable and sometimes it is just a lie. Let's let our yes be yes and our no be no.

When we don't keep our word we lie!

Do we lie to our children? Do we lie to our parents. Do we lie to our Christians brothers and sisters?

For Kathy and I, probably our deepest pain and our worst hurts have been at the hands of a few liars!
John 8:44
For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Proverbs 12:19
Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed.
Proverbs 13:5
The godly hate lies; the wicked cause shame and disgrace.
1 Peter 3:10
For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.
Ephesians 4:25
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
2 Corinthians 1:17-19
17 You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”?

 18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” 

19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.

Application
I will be a person of integrity. How about you?
Prayer

Heaven Father, it is easy to tell a lie. Sometimes or maybe many times it is easier to tell a lie rather than to tell the truth. But I know that You want me to be a person of integrity. You want me to be transparent. You want me to be honest with people. Help me to be a person of integrity. Help me to always let my Yes be Yes and my No be No. I want people to be able to count on me. I pray for anyone that is reading this blog that may struggle in this area. Help them Lord. Help them. Give them the strength and the courage to change their behavior.
Daily Bible Reading: Colossians 1,2,3,4



Wednesday, December 06, 2017

I Can Endure All These Things Through The Power Of The One Who Gives Me Strength.

I Can Endure All These Things
Through The Power
Of The One Who Gives Me Strength.
Scripture
Philippians 4
13 I can endure all these things through the power of the one who gives me strength.
Philippians 4
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.
Observation
Philippians 4:13 … I think sort of gets misused a lot by us followers of Christ!
We quote it, like so many translations have it written, “I can “do” all things through Christ … when I think the phrase is more accurately translated … I can “endure” all things through Christ who gives me strength.
For me “endure” gives a more accurate meaning of this verse that “do”.
The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in us and He gives us the power to endure all things!
Whatever comes our way we can endure it through the power of the One who gives us strength. What difficult thing are you dealing with today?
Memorize Philippians 4:13 and hold on to it's promise!
Isaiah 43
1 … “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Application
I will hold on to all of God's promises as I face today's challenges. How about you?
Prayer
Heavenly Father, everyday has new challenges and a new crisis! Help me to be like the Apostle Paul and help me to learn to be content. I want to have the Apostle Paul's perspective on life. He was able to see things from Your point of view. Help me to see my life in light of Your Kingdom and from the perspective of being one of Your children. Help me not to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. Help me to remember to thank You for all that You have done for me. Remind me that I can ask You for anything. And I know that when I keep my focus on You I will experience Your peace, which exceeds anything that I can understand.
Daily Bible Reading: Philippians 1,2,3,4



Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Husbands, Go All Out In Your Love For Your Wives, Exactly As Christ Did For The Church – A Love Marked By Giving, Not Getting.

Husbands, Go All Out In Your Love For Your Wives,
Exactly As Christ Did For The Church –
A Love Marked By Giving, Not Getting.
Scripture
Ephesians 5
22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
Observation

Smart guys know how to love their wives!

Men, don't you realize that everything that you and I do to show love towards our wives actually benefits us?

Once we get married we are “one” in Christ!

Every sacrifice that you and I make for the woman in our life makes our lives better!

What a fools we are if we are mistreating our wives!

Misery -- is two selfish people trying to live together!

Come on guys … you want a great marriage … then go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church!

And wives you can help by building up your man and praising him every chance you get!
Application
I will love Kathy the way that Christ loved the church. How will you love your spouse?
Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to be smart enough to always remember that loving my wife is loving myself too. Don't let me be selfish Lord. Help me love Kathy with Agape love. It is so easy for me to be selfish. I don't even have to work at it. So help me Lord to put Kathy's needs above my own. Show me how to love her. I pray for those reading this blog today. Show them how to love their spouse!
Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 5,6; Psalms 119:1-80




Monday, December 04, 2017

Do Not Bring Sorrow To God's Holy Spirit By The Way You Live.

Do Not
Bring Sorrow To God's Holy Spirit
By The Way You Live.
Scripture
Ephesians 4
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own,  guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:30 NCV
And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.
Observation
God wants us to live differently than the rest of the world lives.
He wants us to get rid of all types of evil behavior! Why?
One big reason not to sin is that our sin makes God sad.
Another excellent reason not to continue in sin is that God promises that there will be severe consequences!
So we need to stop doing what we know grieves God's Holy Spirit.
Stop it! Lets not continue to sin!
You and I, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, should live our lives to make God smile! Our lives should bring Him glory and honor.
Do we know Him? … Then lets act like we know Him!
1 Corinthians 6
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Romans 6:13
Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
Application
I will strive to live my life today in a way that makes God smile. I will stay away from stupid sins that mess up my relationship with Him.
How about you?
Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me today make You smile by the way I live. Don't let me do things that make You sad. Help me honor You in my thoughts and my actions. Give me strength to say No to sin when I am tempted. Help the person reading this blog to stay away from sin too. Give them the strength to honor You with his or her body. Keep them away from all sexual sin and help them to walk in victory today!
Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 1,2,3,4
> 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.