Thursday, February 28, 2013

A poor but wise young man is better off than an old but foolish king. That king doesn’t pay attention to a warning anymore. The young man might have come from prison to become king. Or he might have been born poor within the kingdom but still became king. I saw that everyone was following the young man who had become the new king. At first, all of the people served him when he became king. But those who came later weren’t pleased with the way he was ruling. That doesn’t have any meaning either. It’s like chasing the wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:13-16)
Just being old does not mean we are wise. Holding down a prestigious position in society does not always equal out to wisdom either. Wisdom comes from God and by following His Word over the years, but it does not always equate to age. Many young people today have been through a lot and many are trusting God with their lives . . . at least they are making the efforts.Let us not be like the old foolish king and continue to learn from our youth even as we teach them!
We all can learn from one another as we learn to respect one another and listen to one another! Otherwise we are just spinning our wheels, or "chasing the wind" as Solomon wrote above.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mission Life . . . God Centered!

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5;16-18)
Challenging to rejoice when things are not joyous. Hard to pray when the heart is breaking. Hard to give thanks when feeling unappreciated. Yet it is God's will not mine. I live for Him! This is more of a prayer request than a devotional, but use it as you see fit.
You pray for me and I will pray for you!

Sincere or Simply Hot Air?

I will show no partiality, nor will I flatter anyone; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.(Job 32:21-22)
A lot of peeople have a lot to say these days. From preachers to politicians, much of what is said is said to be heard, not to really mean anything. Words are spoken to motivate. Speecehes are given to excite. Sermons are delivered to cause folks to smile and shout. How many today speak simply beause God has given them something to say? As we seek God and allow the Spirit to teach us and mold us into His image (Romans 12:1-2), we become His mouth piece and a tool in His hand. We worry more about what God thinks that how man reacts. We live and beathe to please God and not for the applause of man!
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters . . .(Colossians 3:23)
Only what we do for Christ will last!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Listening in order to know when to speak . . .

I’m full of words. My spirit inside me forces me to speak. Inside I’m like wine that is bottled up. I’m like new wineskins ready to burst. I must speak so I can feel better. I must open my mouth and reply. (Job 32:18-20)
Old or not so young, a big part of wisdom is knowing when to speak. many people have a lot to say, but their timing is often way off. Like Peter, we often speak or act out of emotion. (John 18:10) Yet even Peter learned later in life to wait before speaking and to speak what the Lord would have him to share.(Acts 2:14-41) The Holy Spirit urges Elihu to speak now after all the others had their say. He was so tense on the inside. He just had to speak the words bottled up inside him. What if we only spoke when the Lord directed us? Do we even attempt to listen to that voice inside of us? Are we too loud to even hear it? Are we too busy planning our next sentence to listen to others or to God? Do we even value the words of others? How can we ever learn(hear)if we always think we must always be doing the teaching (talking)?
We all must learn the art of listening in order to know if and when to speak. Being able to discern the loud noises of our lives from the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit is a sure sign of maturity and wisdom.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wisdom Comes from alll Ages

But the spirit in people gives them understanding. The breath of the Mighty One gives them wisdom. Older people aren’t the only ones who are wise. They aren’t the only ones who understand what is right. (Job 32:8-9)
Age is irrelevent to wisdom. Many of our youth today have a story to tell and much wisdom to share . . . with their peers but also with those of us who are older. Two things keep us from sharing; our lack of respect for their point of view and their lack of respect for their elders. There must be a meeting of the two in order for us to reach one another. We must realize that our yourh have some vital things to say. In fact, if we can take the time to listen, we may just be able to use this information to rech their hearts. However, our youth must also realize their place and respect their elders. In ths passage Elihu waits patiently, though anger may be burning inside him, for the proper time to speak. What he shared made all involved realize some truths not yet presented. When wisdom is shared in the proper perspective, we all benefit. As older mentors, we too must find the proper time to share. We must perceive those teachable moments in our children's lives and in the lives of those over whom we have influence. We cannot bombard them with correction and "do what I say" advice all the time.
Let's all take the time to listen, speak when the time is right, and respect one another! My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wisdom of Youth

Elihu had waited before he spoke to Job. That’s because the others were older than he was. (Job 32:4)
How many of us would listen to the advice of someone younger? How many of our young people are respectful enough to warrant our attention? Here we have a perfect example of a respectful young man who indeed has wisdom yet waits his turn to share it . . . and share it respectfully! Elihu waited his turn as Job and his three friends spoke. Though he burned with anger and had some great advice to share, he waited for the elders to speak. His wisdom was simple: No one is beter than God! Strangely enough, right after Elihu finished, God the spoke.(Job 38) I know for a fact how much I am learning daily from our youth. They have so much to say and are in need to be heard. But many times they have not been taught how to respectfully speak to adults or even their own peers. As adults, we many times make them feel as though they know nothing! We all have so much to learn concerning communication. So let's not shut out our young people. Allow them a voice and take it into consideration. But young people . . . know your place and be respectful. Do your homework. Know the facts. Then speak with honor and respect to those older.
“I’m young, and you are old. So I was afraid to tell you what I know. I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak first. Those who have lived for many years should teach people how to be wise.’ But the spirit in people gives them understanding. The breath of the Mighty One gives them wisdom. Older people aren’t the only ones who are wise. They aren’t the only ones who understand what is right. (Job 32:6-9)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Foolish . . . We Will See!

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)
The Gospel is so misunderstood; So simple to those who have chosen to follow Christ, yet so complicated to the unbeliever. Life-saving to the believer but life-threatening to those who choose not to believe . . . the rich young ruler could not put his faith in the Savior when confronted by Jesus.(Mark 10:17-27) He trusted in his possessions. Many today suffer the same fate. They trust their bank accouts, their IRA's, their real estate investments or their stocks. But what about YOU? Can you put total trust in the Savior and leave the world and its riches behind? Is it possible for you to believe in the Gospel and not the promises of this world? Will we who believe care enough to let folks know?
One day we all will find out just how foolish the promises of the world really are . . . then it will be too late!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The example of true CHRISTianity

For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. (Colossians 2:5)
Paul is speaking as a father here to the believers in Colossi. Though he is not present with them, he has heard of their steadfast faith despite false teachings in the city. Can that be said of us today? Many of us face much in the way of false teaching, casusl christianity, and lack of committment to the teachings of the Bible. We rely upon others to tell us the Word rather than study it for ourselves. No wonder we stray! In a day when we may hear anything and everything, we must know His Word for ourselves! We may not always be around strong believers to keep us accountable. We may have to be the one to show the Truth! Can God count upon us to be faithful? Can He count upon us to be the example of true CHRISTianity?
We have the freedom to choose . . . the freedom to live out our faith for all to see!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge . . . (Colossians 2:2-3)
Man believes that he knows so much. Yet Paul lets us know that in Christ are all the mysteries of God revealed. What good is to have all the knowledge of the world and not know God?
Here is a very simple word to take with us this day: We really know nothing until we know God on a personal level. It is then that we begin to understand the real mysteries of life!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Smart or Wise?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. (James 1:2-9)
Knowledge or wisdom . . . smart or wise? What is the difference? Lots of folks have the education it takes to do well in tis world. Many have degrees and training to allow for greatness. But why do so many fall short? Why, if we are so advanced and so knowledgeable, are we so much in debt finacially, emotionally and spiritually in our nation and our world? The key is in verse five above: we lack the wisdom of God!
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.(2 Peter 1:3-4)
Peter tells us that we believers have everything we need in order to live a Godly life. We must apply the knowledge we have gained according to the will of God. We must use the experience God allows us in life to help others to grow and to keep us from dangers seen and unseen. You see, knowledge is not enough. School is not enough. Experience does not teach us all we need to know in life either. All we go through in life must be run through God's grid so that we are sure we are acting according to His will. When we properly apply our knowledge to what we are experiencing, along with God's Word, then we are acting wisely! Wisdom comes from God. Proper application of knowledge can only come from the Creator of all that is and ever will be. So as we go through life . . . learing, experiencing, failing and succeeding, know that God has our future in His hands. As we trust Him over time, we begin to experience His wisdom and eventually His peace and we trust Him. So we can press on . . .
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:14)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

a small reminder for parents and children alike

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in . . .(Proverbs 3:11-12)
Just a small reminder for parents and children alike . . . we have to do our part! Parents simply cannot neglect their duties to discipline thier children! God has given these children to us to raise them in His image. We are to represent all that God is to these young ones. Their image of God is formed initially from what they see in us, especially the fathers . . Do we nuture, protect, provide, and lovingly discipline in order to prepare these children to be sharp arrows to pierce the world for God's purposes?
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.(Psalm 127: 3-5)
Children, all you have to do is obey . . . because it is right! Godly parents really do have yor back! We want what God wants for you, not what we think is best. We would love to shower you with gifts, toys, clothes and all the other fun stuff, but God requires a disciplined lifestyle . . . one that is prepard for what life will offer.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise . . . “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)
It is not an easy life to live as a Christ-follower. We all need guidelines and boundaries. God has established them in His Word. So as we enter a weekend, let's be reminded to live as a family of God, not the world!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Is Your name Written Down?

There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.(Daniel 12:1)
Is your name written down in The Book? No I am not talking about someone's little black book or a famous literary's compilation. I am not taling about a Who's Who in Business or some record book either. I am asking a serious and life-determining question: Is your name in God's Book of Life? This, my friend, will determing your eternity! Thos who have professed Christ and lived a life dedicated to Him will be found there. Those who re not will be turned away when we all face God one day. Will you be judged by your efforts for God or by the sins you have committed? There is a diference! Woe to anyone who faces God's wrath! Today is the day to choose to follow Christ. There is no other way and no other alternative. It is an exclusive club! Sorry; God's way or no way! Choose today before He comes and opens the books . . .
Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. (Revelation 20:12-15)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines's Day 2013

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command . . .(John 15:12-14) I wanna know what love is . . . I want you to show me . . . These were the lyrics from a hit song of 1984. We still cry out the very same words in 2013 as folks did all throughout history. yet the Bible tells us clearly what love is . . . Love is God!
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)
No one can really experience love or even say they truly love someone unless they have first experienced the love of God. God is the definition of love from when he first created the world for us! He showed us love by sending Jesus to suffer and die for each of us to have the opportunity to be with Him forever in heaven. He sent us His Spirit to allow us to be able to walk in love as we live out our lives.
Never take these verses for granted . . . because God loves us we can know love Him and others! For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)John 3:16)
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY 2013. . . . now let's love one another!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Caught Up In Ourselves

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs. The simple believe anything,but the prudent give thought to their steps. The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.(Proverbs 14:12-16)
What great and timely advice for each of us today! How many of us, young and old alike, can look back and recall how we made a decision that we believed to be the best, and even though others warned us against it, we did it anyway? We soon realized we were wrong and they were right? We suffered the consequences . . . maybe we still suffer from the decisions!
Solomom warns us to take wise counsel to heart. We get all caught up in ourselves at times.
Even today, the fools believe that there is no God (Psalm 14:1-7)or if there is, He dosn't really care what we do. But the truth is that there is a God and He cares. He loves us so much that he sent His beloved Son to save us all from our foolishness! (John 3:16) If we know Him it must show in our lives; in the decisions we make and in the life we live. When we love someone, it shows. it shows in what we say and the things we do for them. Others can clearly see how much we love our spouse, our children and our friends. It should be clearly visible how much we love our God! Love is not about me, but about others!
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why are They so Confused?

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.(1 Peter 4:7-11)
After having many deep conversations with our own adult children and the teens we serve in ministry, it is becoming more and more evident to me why young people are falling away from the Lord and living lives on th edge. They do not see believers living any differently than the world lives! We are setting a bad example! We say one thing and do another. We tell our kids not to do the things we do. Are we willing to sacrifice our own pleasures not just to set an example for them, but to please God? As we look around our world and our own personal lives, what do we see? . . . Compromise! We skip our devotional time. We do not spend time opening the Bible at home and teaching our own children. We do not pray with ur families. We do not sacrifice for others as a family. We do not participate in tithing as a family. What we do we keep in secret as if we are ashamed of our faith.We mocjk others we see on the streets. We love what the world loves and join in making light of those who are less fortunate; the less talented, the physically challenged, those not like us. We show little concern for the poor and act as though there is nothing we can do about the suffering in this world.
And we wonder why our young people are so confused?
Peter warns us in the above passages to pray. it is getting late! We should be known for our love and compassion, not our ignorance and pride. Love for others can and will overcome sin . . . our sin and others' sin. We have been gifted to serve, not become fat and lazy! We are to serve the Body for sure, but we are also to serve the lost sinner . . . the one's the world has rejected, or should I say the Church has neglected? You see, the world accepts the liar, the cheater, the drunkard, the drug user, the pornographer, and the homosexual. Yet we shun them. They feel uneasy in our presence. We must work at welcoming them in to the household of faith so they too may become saved by the grace of God . . . the exact same grace that rescued you and I from our wretched state! Our light is not shining and our salt is lodsing its stength. It's time to take an assessment of our faith and become re-charged and re-committed to live it out for all to see, especially our young people. They are crying out for a real and vivid example of Christianity. Let's show them! To God be the glory!
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." (Matthew 5:13)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Does HE Show in Us?

Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.” (1 Kings 17:24)
Elijah's faith was evident in how he carried himself. He trusted God to the things God would do and he lived a life in obedience to God's will. His words backed up his walk. The woman witnessed this in her interaction with him concerning her son.
I wonder how many can say the same about us? Does HE show in us?
Do we live out our faith for all to see or do we hide it in a bushel basket and bring it out on Sunday mornings, or at funerals, or when it is convenient? Is our faith evident at work, in our neighborhoods and within our homes? Do others call us a man or woman of God or just another phony Christian? Do we live out God's will for our lives as a witness for others to see and expereince? Do we trust Him with our lives? So many questions . . . Jesus is the only way to heaven(John 14:6), but we who believe may just be the only way people get to know Him. We must be living epistles . . . Jesus with skin on, so others may experience His grace, His forgiveness, His love. We are His messengers and we have been instructed to go . . .
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Different Crowd . . . A Different Way of Living

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,(Psalm 1:1)
God calls His children to a different way of living that is contrary to the world's way of thinking. We are not called to be everyone's BFF or to always be politically correct. God asks us to make the hard decisions, not the ones that will please everyone else. We must many times take the hard road, not the easy, straight, and narrow. Yes, we are the misfits! So how does God call us to be blesed, or happy? We must hang with a rather different crowd and be known for a rather different way of living! Rather than cursing, we are to bless. Rather than complaing we are to encourage. Rather than stepping all over people we are to have mercy upon others and sacrificially give . . . even to those who offend us. We are to yearn for a better way . . . God's will for this earth and all people. We are to seek the Kingdom of heaven here on earth, rather than the earth's riches. We must be available and useable by God!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek,for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:3-13)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

God Provides Just Enough

The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. (Judges 7:7-8)
Do we really trust God to provide? How is it we continually ask for more . . . continually seek more, need more, want more . . .when maybe God has said that I have already provided you with just enough? I believe we are unaware many times how much we still try to do things by the world's standards and forget that God still does the impossible for those who really trust in Him! Gideon was told by God to trust Him. David trusted in Him. I have seen Him work in my life. I leave you with these comforting words from the psalmist:
Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:6-7)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Plenty of Opportunities . . .

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Boy does the Lord provide plenty of opportunities to show His love, grace, and to witness for Hi. My family and I witnessed that just yesterday while attempting to celebrate the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl victory in Baltimore City. Leaving just after 8:30 a.m. for a 10:45 a.m. parade and celebration (and just 30 minutes from Baltimore), we ended up re-routed on trains, stranded on a broken down train for 30-some minutes, and finally told we had to get of and await word on further train service at BWI airport! The city was basically off-limits due to the unexpected crowds! Needless to say, our plans were changed dramaticallyas we watched the events from a sports bar TV and never did get back on a train! My dad had to pick us up near 5 p.m. and take us back to iur vehicle! Plans to mingle with a celebratory crowd while distributing football-themed Gospel tracts were changed. I must admit I had to work at being a good Christian witness at times as people cursed, complained, and even went through panic attacks. My wife had to remind me this was a great opportunity to show Christ . . . one which I did not plan! Thank God for her! Ahh, the power of the Holy Spirit! He gave us plenty of opportunities to witness right there . . . waiting for train tickets (when others were simply getting on without paying),admist the crowded train (with cursing, shoving, and complaining), and eventually at the airport. We realized how we handled ourselves would be an excellent change of pace compared to the others around us. Asking folks to watch their language, be patient, give a seat to the elderly,children, and females . . . all these simple tasks could show Christ. . . All right here in my little Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria! Did I do my best . . . no. Yet he allowed me grace to regroup and then share His character with others who maybe needed to see it!
Maybe not our timng or our plans, but plenty of opportunities to do His work.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Win!

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.(Matthew 6:33)
We have the opportunity today to celebrate a rare occasion in sports, for a city, and as a family. Twelve years ago we went with our children to baltimore to celebrate a Super Bowl victory with the baltimore ravens. Today, we again embark on my hometown to celebrate another Super Bowl championship . . . this time with our youngest son Michael (not born yet in 2001). Sports is a major part of my life since I was five years old. I grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, street hockey, anything with a ball, glove, or stick! I participates in three sports in high school, and basketball for two years in college. Even into my 50's I am still coaching and enjoying sports! It is a lifestyle and victories are to be celebrated and embraced.
But God comes first . . .
Many lessons are learned on the field of sports; sportsmanship, dependence upon others, brotherhood, learning from adversity, overcoming odds, and on and on. Paul used several metaphors to sports in his writings; running the race, boxing, and fitness, and others. I am so proud of how my Ravens were so vocal about their faith in comparison to their on-field victories. So today we take Gospel tracts to my hometown and prepare to celebrate our God and our football team! Sharing the victories of our faith and our football team. fter all, we all have one thing in common: the game will end and we all will be face to face with God one day! Will we each hoist the victor's crown of salvation or taste the bitter defeat of hell.
We play to win the game . . . we claim victory in our Field Leader and General . . . Jesus Christ!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Honor God and He will honor you among men

But no weapon that is used against you will succeed. People might bring charges against you. But you will prove that they are wrong. Those are the things I do for my servants. I make everything right for them,” announces the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
This has been the battle song for Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens throughout the 2013 playoffs. Many have disliked him refrencing the Bible before and after his games. However, God (I believe) has honred his confidence and his faith. These words from the prophet do not guarantee victories. They do nor preddict wins. They do however assure the believer that God walks with his children into battle and protects them from harm. He honors their character even though others may try to destroy us with words or other "darts". As we honor the Lord, He honors us. many other biblical verses and stories were used by the ravens throughout 2012-13; iron sharpens iron, David vs. Goliath and the like. I have heard the testimony of many of the players including the coach. They stuch with their faith . . . they stuck with their brothers in the faith and on the team . . . God has allowed them to taste a piece of heaven!
Honor God and He will honor you among men!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

like a genie in a bottle?

Suppose I close up the sky and there isn’t any rain. Suppose I command locusts to eat up the crops. And I send a plague among my people. But they make themselves low in my sight. They pray and look to me. And they turn from their evil ways. Then I will listen to them from heaven. I will forgive their sin. And I will heal their land. After all, they are my people.(2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
Even if God is about to discipline us or even a nation, there is still chance to repent. He may still hold back His hand if even on just a few. God's desire is to see us walking in His will and to bless us. He wants others to see His glory among His peope. The key is walking in His will and asking for things within the guidelines of His will for us! We simply cannot live the way we want and expect God to grant our wishes like some genie in a bottle!
"Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. In fact, he will do even greater things. That is because I am going to the Father. And I will do anything you ask in my name. Then the Son will bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name. I will do it.(John 14:12-14)
Let's notice the key words in the message from John above: Anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. Jesus did nothing but the Father's will. All His actions were done to bring glory to the Father. We all need to remember that the key to God's blessings is obedience. It is also important to remember to be obedient to honor the Lord, not to receive blessings.
We must simply trust God to provide all we need to accomplish His will in our lives. It's that elementary!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Leave some things up to God . . .RESIST and RUN!

The serpent was more clever than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat the fruit of any tree that is in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)
Take my advice . . . leave some things up to God! Do not try to fight or bargain with Satan by yourself. In fact . . . RESIST and RUN! Just ask Eve and her husband Adam! The devil is no match for you and me! He has been around a long time and seen and heard all there is to know about how to fool us! As evil as he is, he can look so good to our limited understanding.
That comes as no surprise. Even Satan himself pretends to be an angel of light.(2 Corinthians 11:14)
But there is good news! The devil has already been defeated. Since Adam and Eve, God has a solution for oue salvation (Genesis 3:15)and Satan's demise. If we will just concentrate on following God and keep our heart set upon Him. We cannot seek an easier way or a more better way as our young ones might say! As Scripture tells us . . . RUN from every form of evil! Let God battle the enemy. We simply have to follow Him . . . no one else. We have victory in JESUS!
The devil, who fooled them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. That is where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will all suffer day and night for ever and ever.(Revelation 20:10)

one stable foundation,

Then  as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings  are here! ” ...