Friday, January 30, 2015

He Alone should be Worshiped

January 30, 2015

“Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker”– Psalm 95:6

Is a good song on Sunday morning enough?  Emotions rise up, heart beats a little faster and then you realize that you are going to lose control.  Your chin starts to quiver, eyes close and drops of water trickle down your cheek.  When the words of the song match your exact state of thinking at any given time are you drawn into a personal fellowship?  When you don’t care who’s watching, you are one in the spirit, you are enveloped in His presence and the rest of the world doesn’t matter.  This is as close as many have ever come to experiencing God, and I am here to tell you it is only scratching the surface.

God is unbelievably magnificent that no man has laid eyes upon Him.  My Sunday school teacher once explained it like this, “Have you ever seen a picture of the earth?  Yes.  Have you ever seen a picture of the sun? Yes.  Have you ever seen a picture of the Milky Way galaxy? Yes.  Have you ever seen a picture of the universe? Yes.  That is but a spec of dirt under the fingernail of God’s  pinky.” 

Man cannot fathom the real God.  He is and will always be.  We can read the scriptures about His creation, His commandments, His love, His jealousy and His wrath and try to relate it to our own emotions and experiences.  But we are incapable of comprehending Him, for He is not a man that we should worship a mere mortal being.  He alone is worthy because of His grandeur, His magnificence and His omnipotence.

Other religions worship idols, others worship men that have come and gone, others worship elements of nature – but we worship the Creator, because He has given us life and will take it from us one day.  We are all His creation.  Built with a unique purpose in this world.  The man who created the can opener we use today was named William Lyman, in 1870.  He also created the coffee pot in 1867.  He had a vision for these things in his mind before he ever actually created them.  He thought of a purpose for each that was completely unique from the other.  He didn’t create the can opener to boil water and he didn’t create the coffee pot to remove the lid from a can of soup.  The creator has a unique design and purpose for each of his creations.  Just like the Lord has for you.

You’ve wasted enough time on this planet trying to do the task of those around you.  Today is the day for you to earnestly seek and discover what it is He created you to do.  We are all here to worship and praise the One that created us.  We are created to love Him and love one another.  But, you were created for something much greater than that which you are doing this day, for the Lord is your strength, your wisdom, your courage and confidence.  Seek Him and ask that He make it clear in your heart and mind, then choose to pursue it without reservation.  Trust that He will see you through it.  After all He created you to do it, and He knows what He’s doing.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Testing the Lord

January 29, 2015

“Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken,  behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” – Judges 6:36-37

Prove it.  So many times we ask for proof in order to accept something as factual.  We look for evidence, for something physical or tangible in order to believe.  Where is the faith in that?  It is cliché by today’s standards to make the statement; “Faith is believing without seeing” but it is so unbelievably true.  We read text books about historical figures: Christopher Columbus, Maria Antoinette, Socrates, Constantine, Napoleon, Aristotle; just to name a few.  But, who of you reading this message today have ever met any of these historical greats?  None, not one of you.  Yet, you believe without question that they did what is claimed in the text’s without reservation.  Why?  Why do some of you believe what you read about these people, yet question what you read about Jesus Christ, Paul the Apostle, King David, Moses, or any of the other Biblical heroes?

It’s so common for us to turn against a belief in God because we don’t see Him acting in our daily life.  Loved ones die, jobs are lost, disasters happen, unspeakable evil exists and it causes us to question God’s presence and sometimes it causes us to question His existence.  We can quote the scripture from Romans , “If God is for us, who can be against us” but do we truly embrace it and believe it?

Gideon had to learn this as well.  He had an unbelievable faith in God and yet still questioned God’s ability to use him to deliver Israel from the hands of the Midianites.  If you are familiar with the story – Gideon asked the Lord to make it dew only on the fleece, but not on the ground around it.  God did this for him.  Then Gideon asked Him to cause dew on the ground and not on the fleece.  Once again God expressed patience and tolerance for his request and did this for him.  Gideon walked away from that experience without reservations to do everything the Lord asked him from that point on.  Gideon brought his army of over 30,000 men to battle the Midianites.  God reduced that army down to 300 men and instructed Gideon on when and how ever raising a hand.  They blew trumpets and revealed the light of torches and God caused confusion upon the Midianites who in turn rose and turned their swords upon themselves, killing one another.  God alone used this small band of 300 men, led by Gideon, to deliver Israel from the captivity of Midian and the Amalekites.

Do you require a sign from God to believe that He is for you?  Look back over your life and identify those times when God was present in your life.  Use those times to remind you that God is with you, He is your strength, and He will always be here for you as you pursue His purpose.  If you are not pursuing His purpose and the growth of His Kingdom, then you may not see His presence as visibly as you would like.  If you are questioning His presence, you might want to look inward to see that you are pursuing His plan.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Content Christian

January 28, 2015

“Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” – Matthew 11:24

If He stood before your church or joined you at your dinner table, would He recognize the heart of a repentant son or daughter?  I am sorry if it offends you, but He is the Holy God of the Universe and will not accept the sluggard, the self-centered and the convenient Christian.  He is Holy, Righteous and above all things.  There is nothing over Him, that He should ask approval.  There is none other who can provide your salvation from the eternal Hell that exists and will for all eternity. 

I find myself this morning questioning the sincerity of my faith and love for the Father.  I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior.  He died for my sins and provided the sacrifice for my transgressions.  But, do I really consider Him Lord of my life?  This means that I follow His direction, His commandments and His will in my life.  Almost daily I struggle with given up the gluttonous, self-centered desires of this world and serve Him and only Him.  I spend time in earnest prayer every morning, and I know right from wrong, good from evil.  I focus my heart on the good and step out to do those things each and every day.  Yet, amidst it all I find myself coming before the Lord each night asking for the same forgiveness as days gone by.

By most I’m considered a nice, upstanding and good guy.  I was raised by loving parents, and I’ve gone to church my entire life.  I work hard, I do the right things for the family and I tithe at church.  I avoid the big no-no’s in life and I believe I’ve taught my children to love God with all their heart, mind and soul.  But, though all of that is true, if I am not in a right relationship with Jesus Christ and turning from my sinful actions each day, it’s all for naught. 

The Bible is a the word of God and when it says “you must . . . “ it is not a suggestion, it is a directive from the only true God of the Universe.  Do we have any right to twist it to fit our comfort zone?  No, we don’t.  If you want to believe that God exists, that Jesus Christ is our Messiah, and that He alone is your salvation, than you must take the entire word of God just as seriously and abide in it.  You don’t get to make the rules for God to follow.  He does.  You don’t get to argue your case and try to justify your actions, He’s already stated the outcome clearly.  It’s not a game with “instant replay” it is your eternal salvation.  Don’t you think you should be thinking carefully about where you and those you love stand on these topics?  He is a God of love, but He is also a God of unbelievable wrath like you have never seen.  Honor Him, give Him the glory, Thank Him for every breath that He alone has allowed you to take.  He is your King and Lord, it’s about time we treat Him the way He deserves to be treated, and get off our own high horse.


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Excerpt from a Dream

“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.” – Joel 2:28

It was a dark scene.  The skies were grey and the earth looked scorched.  Those around were standing in clothes that were torn as rags, and dirt covered their faces.  The men were in one line and the ladies were in another.  Children couldn’t be seen anywhere.  Then the line started to move forward, and I looked down.  My feet were shackled together which made walking nearly impossible, but those behind me were pushing and shoving.  I wasn’t really sure why we were in this line, but some behind me seemed anxious to move along.

As we neared the building, attitudes changed and people became very fearful to enter the room.  Stairs led up along the wall to our right and there was a smell in the air.  I struggled to step up the stairs, and lost my balance a few times.  As I reached the summit I looked across the big room to another staircase, where I saw my daughter in a similar line. 

She was with friends, dressed in rags like the rest of us, but laughing and smiling with that unbelievable joy she always presented to the world.  As I moved along the platform, she saw me out of the corner of her eye and waved.  I motioned her over and she came within a few steps.  As I reached out to take her hand, she was told to get back in line.  I yelled across the room, “Don’t give up the faith.  Whatever you do, don’t give up the faith.”  Just then I was pushed through a small door into a 3 foot by 3 foot box, and I could no longer see her.

I had heard stories about these boxes in other areas of the world, but only now did I realize what was going on.  The box started to fill with water and I realized within 5 minutes I would be dead.  The instructions from the voice outside simply said, “Deny Him.  Deny Him and it will stop.”  I screamed louder, “Don’t give up the faith” as the water rose to my chin.  I held my breath, prayed for God to receive me into His Kingdom and prayed that my wife and children would be spared this torturous death.  I could not stop thinking of my daughter in the line just on the other side of the room, let her be given a chance to live her life.  Please don’t take her at such a young age.  I closed my eyes, and felt the water consume me, and then it was over and light filled the blue skies above me.

I opened my eyes to see the face of Jesus, smiling with His arms opened wide to accept me into His Kingdom.  I couldn’t help but fear for those I loved, those I knew from my entire life.  Before my mind flashed every person I had ever known: from my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother, sister, nieces, nephews, friends in school, friends at work, my wife, my children and grandchildren, and even brief acquaintances from around the globe.  Had I done enough in my life to reach them, to help them and to share the gospel with them? It was too late now, there was nothing more I could do, and I wept bitterly.
I woke this morning panicked for those I love and care about.  Please don't miss the opportunity to tell those you love about salvation through Jesus Christ.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Am His Creation

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”– Jeremiah 1:5

I work in the Technology sector for a Fortune 50 technology company.  I am privileged to work with some of the most brilliant people in the industry.  As such I have visibility to some very amazing innovations and ideas for future technology that will absolutely change the landscape of how we use computers and electronic devices.  I personally hold multiple patents on technology innovation received over the last 10 years.  I have discovered that when someone creates something they have a vision of it long before it ever becomes something tangible that you can hold in your hand.  Taking their vision, their imagination and putting it down on paper is the first step, then determining what it will take to develop, manufacture and sell the product completes their ability to bring a new technology to market.

Consider Bill Gates, Founder and previous CEO of Microsoft Corporation.  Do you think Bill Gates envisioned that his computer operating system that, created in the 1980’s, would evolve into Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office?  Maybe not, but he absolutely knew that the world needed something to run the home computer, and with Microsoft DOS, the PC business has evolved into the Tablets, Smart Phones, Internet, Wi-fi, and Laptops connected around the planet and communicating at unbelievable speed.  He created something to run on IBM and Compaq computers that has literally changed the world to what we see today.  He knew without a doubt that his Operating System would simplify computing for everyone long before he ever wrote one piece of code for the Microsoft DOS O/S.  So, we agree that Bill Gates could see the success of his vision (his baby) long before it ever actually served it’s purpose in the world.

If we can see it in mankind; Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Arthur Fry and countless others that have changed our world; than why can’t we see it in our Heavenly Father.  Before you were conceived, before you were formed, the God of the Universe knew exactly why He was creating you.  We are Spiritual, with a flesh and bone skeleton that was formed in the womb.  The Spirit was there long before the flesh ensued and God knew you in that Spiritual form.  He loved you then, He gifted you with a purpose that only you can provide in this community of fellow sinners, to bring them closer to His Kingdom. 

He didn’t all of a sudden realize that your mother conceived and then had to go figure out what to do with this new being #10 Billion 230 Million and 2.  You were planned by God the Creator.  You were gifted before you were formed.  You are not a random person born on this revolving planet.  Take what He created and do something with your life that is worthy of His creation.  He doesn’t make mistakes and there is no way He created you as a mistake.  You are valued, loved and purposed – no go do something with it.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Quenching Your Thirst

January 19, 2015

{Jesus says to the woman at the well} “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” – John 4:14

We made a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas a few years back.  It was so cool to see the springs of water bubbling from underground and continuously pouring down the rocks to the pools at the bottom of the hill.  There was no man made pump, no syphon, no well and bucket; just the purity of God’s creation bubbling forth from far beneath the surface of the earth.  These sort of springs are all over this planet and provide a natural resource that our lives are dependent upon - Water.

Many of the bottled water companies have tapped into natural springs to supply their manufacturing process.  The drill deep into the earths substrate until they hit water and then they simply draw from it, apply different minerals and preservatives and bottle it.  You and I then go to the store and pay for it, just as we would the other produce and food supply.  At what point did we decide, me included, that we should pay for water.  It is essential to human life and all around us.  Granted the water bottles we purchase have been purified and flavored to remove some of the bacteria or bitter taste, but boiling water can have the same effect.  We have simply conditioned ourselves to pay money for something that the Father has given us for free.

 God’s love and salvation is the water Jesus refers to when speaking with the woman at the well.  His comparison of salvation to water (mayim in Hebrew) suggests the importance of what He is offering.  Even in those days, water was essential to their life.  It was required for drinking and cooking, and woman would go to the well frequently to collect water.  At some point though the well would dry up and they would have to find another source.  Jesus words to this woman were profound, even though she did not fully grasp the meaning.  She was thinking of the liquid water from the ground, and He was speaking of the spiritual water of salvation.  Both are provided by the Father, and both are free to anyone who wishes to partake.  One will quench your thirst for a period of time (generally 8 – 10 hours) and the other for an eternity {Chayei Olam in Hebrew}. 

Once again we see the use of water referred to in a very spiritual way.  The deep meaning will never fully be understood by mankind, but the importance of water is evidenced throughout the scriptures.  I encourage to consider this the next time you pick up your water bottle to take a drink.  It will only quench your thirst for a short time.  Pick up your Bible and study, and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; and quench your thirst for an eternity

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stay Thirsty My Friends

“And the earth was tohu vavohu (without form, and void); and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Ruach Elohim (spirit God) was hovering upon the face of the waters.” – Genesis 1:2 {OJV}

Those of you who have been reading my Daily Thoughts for a few years are familiar with my wonder and amazement at the spiritual and deep importance of water.  The simple reality that it represents over 70% of the earth’s surface and averages over 65% of every human being on earth is not just coincidental. If you have ever contemplated this fact and the importance it represents in life, than you have come to the realization that water cannot be created.  It is, it always has been and it will forever be.  Sure, you can create water droplets through condensation and hydration processes, but in reality all you are doing is drawing existing water vapors from the air and bringing the molecules together to form larger masses of an existing element.

Water recreates itself through the process of reversible change.  Glaciers form and melt again; snow falls (many of you in the North are experiencing this wonderful element as we speak) and then melts away again pouring it’s nutrients into the earth so plant life can grow.  Through the hydration cycle, water evaporates into vapor, is drawn upwards, and reforms as water droplets which in turn fall back to the earth.  This cycle was not created by man, or by happenstance.  It was created on the first day of creation, when God separated the heavens and the earth.

You can read through the Hebrew texts, the KJV, the Greek texts and they all introduce water in the second scripture of the entire Word.  It is introduced as already existing, not something created within the context of the scriptures.  Read carefully the text of this verse in the New American Standard Bible “..
the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Gen 1:2  Where does it state that God created the waters?  It doesn’t.  Therefore we must assert that the waters existed before any of His other creation.  Water is mentioned over 750 times in the Bible.  If this is the case, than don’t you believe there is a Spiritual and Eternal significance to water?  I do.    

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Trust and Obey

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” – Psalm 9:10

I trust my father, my family, my pastor and a few close friends.  Most everyone else has a personal agenda in mind when they are giving advice or counsel.  It’s not that they don’t care about me or aren’t trying to help, but it is a natural tendency to reflect on ourselves when we give advice to another.  Often times they tell you what they think you want to hear, what they think will make you happy, rather than telling you the truth.  Difficult advice is the hardest advice to ever give someone, I don’t care how close your relationship is.  But someone who truly loves you will press through that awkwardness and share the truth, even though it may hurt.

What does it mean to put your trust in someone?
It means you rely on them to be there when you need them.  It means you know that what you will get from them is sound, wise advice.  It means that you can go to them with your deepest problems or secrets and you know that their opinion of you will not change.  It comes from a strong relationship, knowing the other individual, sharing and caring for one another through the good and the bad.  Trust is earned it is not something that can be given. 

And so it is with the Father, God Almighty.  It’s easy to say you trust Him.  We even put the words on our currency in the U.S.  “In God We Trust”.  I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I believe less than 50% of the population of the United States actually believe that statement to be true though.  Oh, they may say the words, but the moment something goes wrong, or the moment they feel cheated, rejected or hurt; it becomes very easy to no longer “Trust” in God. 

Just like any relationship you have with another here on earth, you must have a strong relationship with the Almighty in order to trust Him.  You must be willing to study, learn and grow in your knowledge, wisdom and understanding of who He is and how much He cares for you in order to state with sincerity, “I trust in God.”  It requires you to understand the relationship between you and the Father.  He is God, He is the Almighty, He is Sovereign and has complete authority over all things.  You are His child, you are His creation, you are a servant of the Most High God and nothing more.  Trusting in God means accepting the good and the bad that comes from that relationship. 

In John 16:33, Jesus tells us,
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.””  There is no promise that life will be easy or smooth sailing after your salvation.  Trusting in God though is where we draw that strength from that gets us through the hardships.  Throughout the Psalm’s we find numerous scriptures from David and the other writers stating without reservation that they put their trust in the Lord, not in mankind.  We are reminded throughout the scriptures no less than 100 times to Trust in the Lord, yet most of us have a really hard time trusting Him when things aren’t going our way.  We are trusting in our perception, in our friends and families perception rather than in His sovereignty.

I beseech you today, to begin this journey of trusting in the Lord for He alone is good and worthy of your trust.  Every other will at some point fail your trust and leave you with pain.  He alone will remain constant and ever loving, despite your foolishness and folly.  He alone can provide the strength and courage to overcome that which has stolen your peace.  He will not forsake those that have trusted in Him.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

An Act of Futility

January 12, 2015

"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”– John 14:6

I get it.  I understand why so many people are anti-religious.  If it is perceived as a straight jacket discipline which requires perfect action, words and emotions; it would be most unappealing to all.  In reality though it’s not the requirement of being a Christian.  Sure, perfect holiness and righteousness is the requirement to enter into eternal heaven with God the Father, but this is impossible for mankind.

If we are keeping score (of righteousness vs. unrighteousness) the average person will perform no less than a few hundred unrighteous acts in a given 24 hour period.  Let’s face it through our thoughts, actions, and words we are seldom in a state of holy righteousness, and abiding in His holy word.  As hard as we try, we cannot will ourselves to stop these things from happening.  With this in mind, there must be a way to overcome our instinctive unrighteous behavior.

How many “good” righteous acts must one commit each day, each hour, each minute to overcome the plethora of unrighteousness that overwhelms us?  Is it a 1 for 1 trade off, or does it take more good to overcome each unrighteous act?  Does one extremely good thing overcome multiple unrighteous acts?  In a given lifetime, can we do enough good things for the world to balance the scales with the evil or unrighteous things?  The obvious answer is no, we cannot.

So, if holy righteousness is required to enter heaven, and we cannot achieve that on our own, despite how hard we attempt to control ourselves, how can we achieve it?  This is the reason Jesus Christ came to the earth and endured the wrath of God upon the cross.  His righteousness was pure, holy and perfect in every way.  He became the propitiation for your sins and my sins before we were even conceived.  Through his death and sacrifice on the cross we, who accept and believe in Him, are washed clean.  Our soul takes on the image of Christ forever more, and though our flesh continues to sin, our spirit is holy and righteous.

Have you ever looked into one of those funny mirrors at a State Fair or Carnival?  You know the ones that either make you look extremely tall and skinny, or very short and rotund regardless of how you actually look.  The image you see is definitely you, but it is altered, it is transposed into something different than reality.  I imagine standing before God on judgment day will be similar.  I will stand before His perfect holiness in rags of sin and unrighteousness from every act ever committed.  But, in my imagination, Jesus Christ is standing between me and the Father, and the Father sees me through the image of Jesus as perfectly holy and righteous.  My sins are covered by His holiness and thought I am guilty of transgressions, I am forgiven completely because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.

Without His coverage, I am left to stand before the Father to justify my actions good and bad, in an attempt to convince the Almighty that I am perfectly holy enough for heaven.  This indeed is an impossible task, and if you are running from religion because you see it as worthless to even attempt, than I fully understand your opinion.  You are correct in your assertion that it is impossible so why even try to achieve it.  What you need to realize is that there is a way, and only one way to overcome this reality.  That is through Jesus Christ. 

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Don’t Turn Away

January 8, 2015

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

John C. Maxwell is one of my favorite authors.  He has written classics like “5 Levels of Leadership”, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, & “Sometimes you Win, Sometimes you Learn”.  One of his golden gems of advice through his leadership tutoring is

“When your mind-set is to give more than you take, it forces you to think of others more than of yourself. You have to pay attention to others and what they want. You have to figure out how to give it to them. These things shift your focus from yourself to others. That very fact makes you less selfish.”

By focusing on this I have found it to be invaluable in my walk with Christ.  When my eyes are on others, and helping them it is extremely difficult to be concerned about my own problems.  The world is full of individuals facing dire straights.  We need not look far in order to find another who is in need of your help and support, regardless of your current position. 

It reminds me of a story of a homeless man who was walking the streets on one cold, snowy December eve.  He was looking for something warm to cover with for the evening.  As was his normal path, he walked along the alleys and back streets past the dumpsters and back doors of many restaurants and stores.  On occasion a kind soul would hand him a warm cup of coffee or a plate of left overs from the kitchen.  But on this night he found something different.  He found a young pregnant woman laying against the wall, with nothing more than a suitcase.  She had no coat, no gloves and was bleeding from her lip and a few cuts on her arm and knees.  He approached her, which caused her to cower closer to the wall with fear in her eyes.  He proceeded to remove his coat and gloves, and pulled an old worn handkerchief from his pocket.  He handed them to her gently and stepped back.  He pounded on the back door of a familiar restaurant and asked the owner if he had anything to spare for this young soon to be mother.  The owner provided a warm plate of food and a cup of coffee. 

One of the waitresses stepped out and approached the girl.  Putting her arm around the young woman, she escorted her into the restaurant and helped her clean the cuts and scrapes.  She discovered that the woman was from another state and was dumped here in this alley by her boyfriend before he drove off.  The waitress gave the girl her tips for the night and made a few calls until she found a woman’s shelter with an open bed.  The homeless man escorted her to the shelter and ensured that she was secure before leaving on his way.

We all have compassion inside of us.  We must choose to do something with it to help others, despite the troubles we are facing at the time.  Loving other people is a characteristic that will have amazing results if we choose to act.  Take this opportunity to think who you might be able to help today, tomorrow and in the coming weeks.  What do they need and how can you help provide it?  Be a blessing to those in need.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Forgiveness for All

January 7, 2015

“Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty— he is the King of glory.  Selah” – Psalm 24:10

Carrying guilt, shame and a feeling of rejection is so unbelievably common in today’s world.  There is a myth that God will not accept us, if He knew what we had done.  NEWS FLASH:  He knows, and He still loves you.  We cannot outrun our past.  There is something strange about the human mind – it can’t forget everything.  All of those times when sin crept through the door of your life and captured your mind, your heart and your actions.  Are you still holding onto them, using them as a scapegoat to claim your unworthiness before the Lord?  So many of us can’t let go and accept the peace and loving forgiveness of the Father.

I heard a Billy Graham quote and it has stuck with me for years now.  “God has the unbelievable ability to forgive everything you have ever done.  From the moment you were born to the moment of your death, every sin is washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Because if even one sin remained He could not accept you into His perfect heaven.”   To me this crystallized that Jesus Christ death on the cross was for all mankinds sins.  There is no list of forgivable sins and a subsequent list of unforgiveable sins.  If His blood is strong enough to redeem one, it must be strong enough to redeem all.  Otherwise, Jesus death and resurrection is not sufficient for the salvation of mankind.

I am often reaching to the Lord to give me peace and the ability to overcome my own guilt and shame for my daily transgressions.  Do you ever find yourself in this same boat?  Take this time to lift your prayer to the Lord and seek His peace today.  Ask Him to wash it from your memory so that you might live fully for Him.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Man Named Ananias

“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”” – Acts 9:10

Obscurity and humbleness.  Two characteristics we should each be striving for.  It is not about how great we are, how much we have done and how successful we have become.  It is all about how much we have lifted up His Kingdom, His presence and His purpose to those around us.  We are not here to create a lofty appreciation of our accomplishments, but rather to emphasize His glory and His love for mankind.

It is wonderful that you have done kind and loving things for others, for this is righteous and demonstrates the love of the Father.  But, even the wicked are kind to others at times, yet do not have the Holy Spirit within.  Seek His Kingdom first, and then let His love pour out from your actions, and indeed your actions will be even more plentiful and bring others to His side.

Ananias was here for one purpose (as captured in the scriptures); to lay hands upon Saul and impart the Holy Spirit upon him, charging him with his new life mission.  He made himself available to the Lord and the Lord used him for this single purpose.  We hear nothing of Ananias from Damascus throughout any other reference in scripture.  He was called, he responded with willingness to serve, and he launched the ministry of Paul into the world.  This ministry would impact billions of people over the last 2000 years; because a man named Ananias took the word of the Lord and executed upon it.

You are a servant of the Lord and He has a purpose – grand or small – in the Lord’s plan for this world.  Seek without abandon, that which the Lord has planned for you.

© Sondove Enterprises, 2015
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