Monday, May 29, 2017

Every Day is Memorial Day

1 Timothy 3:16 (CSV) - "And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."

In April 1863, in Columbus, Mississippi, after decorating graves of her two sons who died representing their beloved southland, an elderly woman walked to two mounds of dirt at the corner of the cemetery to place memorial flowers there also. "What are you doing?" friends shouted, "Those are the graves of two union soldiers." Softly that compassionate mother said, "I know. I also know that somewhere in the North, a mother or a young wife mourns for them as we do for ours."

That loving deed set in motion our celebration which has become known as Memorial Day. We honor the war dead once a year, but their sacrifice is evident every single day of the year! 

Today, I do not want to diminish the sacrifice and service of those men and women who have served our nation so faithfully and so valiantly, but I want to talk about one great Soldier. This great Soldier stepped onto a harsh battlefield one day. He took up arms and entered the fight knowing that it would cost Him everything. This Soldier bravely entered that battlefield and won a great victory, but at a terrible price. This Great Soldier gave His life, not for a nation, but for all humanity. His was not a life given in vain, but the sacrifice of His life served to set free the captives of sin. 

For the child of God, Every Day Is Memorial Day. We need to remember the sacrifice of Heaven’s Greatest Soldier. Today, let us remember a man named Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us all.

Prayer: On this day we set aside to remember those who gave the most precious gift they had - their life - that we may have the freedoms we enjoy in this land today. Yet, as a believer, I am reminded of the One who gave it all for me, that I might live in freedom from sin, death, and Hell for all eternity. I give praise and thanks to my precious Savior - my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Proverbs for Living - 20

Proverbs 20:27 (CSB) - "The Lord’s lamp sheds light on a person’s life, searching the innermost parts."

What is a taboo? One definition I read said that it is a rule against doing or saying something in a particular culture or religion. Today, as we ponder the truths that are in this chapter of the book, see eight taboos that we are warned about.

  • Taboo #1 is Chemical and Alcohol Addiction in verse 1.
  • Taboo #2 is Disobedience to Civil Law in verse 2.
  • Taboo #3 is Violation of the Work Ethic in verse 4.
  • Taboo #4 is Lack of Business Integrity in verse 10.
  • Taboo #5 is Lack of Prudence in Business in verse 16.
  • Taboo #6 is Participation in Gossip in verse 19.
  • Taboo #7 is Disrespect for PArents in verse 20.
  • And, Taboo #8 is Vengeance Against Your Enemies in verse 22.

So, as we read these verses today, meditate upon the importance of God selecting these 8 things. How many do we see in the culture around us? How often do we run up against these each day? And, most importantly, how many of these am I guilty of?

DId you notice #6? God often includes this sin with many of the more hideous sins. Some of my old-timers that I talk with say about a gossip - "A talebearer who will bring a bone, will also carry one." Gossip is addictive. God hates it. Jesus can deliver. 'Nuff said.

Prayer: Holy and Righteous God, give me a heart and mind that seeks to live in a way that pleases You. Help me to leave these taboos behind me, and take up the lifestyle that radiates You to those I come in contact with. May I shine Your light into this world. Amen.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Proverbs for Living - 19

Proverbs 19:1 (CSB) - "Better a poor person who lives with integrity than someone who has deceitful lips and is a fool."

This chapter of Proverbs could be titled "Getting Rid of Bad Habits." It shows the proper attitudes we should have in the areas of business (vss. 1-5), government (vss. 6-10), family (vss. 11-16), the poor (vs. 17), and our personal habits (vss. 18-29).

As we read this chapter today, muse over the habits that you display in each of these areas. I have been convicted in a number of areas. We are all guilty of doing something wrong everyday (and if you feel this doesn't apply to you, well, you just were mistaken). 1 John 1:9 (CSB) reminds us, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

In the realm of business, the writer talks about our attitudes toward integrity, adversity, knowledge, and recklessness. In the area of the proper attitude toward our personal habits, he addresses discipline, self-control, seeking counsel, the sovereignty of God, diligence, and honoring our parents.

God doesn't want us to be negative, cynical, defeated, bitter, or malicious. He desires that we are positive, loving, kind, gracious. He desires us to be instruments of blessing to others around us.

Prayer: Our Father, teach us from Your Word today. Help us to look at ourselves, and see how we can live more like You want us to live. Make me a blessing to others. May You have free course in my heart and life. Amen.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Proverbs For Living - 18

Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) - "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

In one commentary I read the following:

The acquisition of friends is dependent upon the ability to demonstrate friendliness toward others. He who is a friend himself will always meet others eager to reciprocate his kindness and interest. Friends, however, will often desert or fail you in the time of need. This reality should not lead to pessimism for there are true friends whose commitments will never waver. The true friend is rare and his devotion even surpasses that of a brother by birth." (Liberty Bible Commentary)

As Christians we understand that the second part of this verse is a reference to Jesus Christ, for Jesus truly is a friend who will never desert us, betray us, or cause deep hurt.

Today, muse over the fact that friendliness is contagious and this is one germ that we should be seeking to spread. Actively look today for someone who you can infect with the "friend germ."

Prayer: Most Glorious Spirit of Devotion and Love, infect me to be a friend that others can see You in me. Help me have open eyes to infect others with this germ of love and friendship. May I be used by You today to introduce someone to You. Amen. 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Proverbs for Living - 17

Proverbs 17:22 (CSB) - "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

we are aware that we can affect our health by diet, nutrition, exercise, exposure, and sleep. But are we aware that we can affect it by more than this? We can affect it by our attitude and spirit. A happy and cheerful spirit will improve your health, but a wounded and negative spirit can ruin it. So, as we muse over this verse, consider how is your attitude today? Do yourself a favor! Consider the wisdom here and choose to be cheerful in the Lord! Do it now!

The proverb’s simile, “like a medicine,” and synecdoche, “drieth the bones,” should not be perverted to ridicule antibiotics or explain the cause of leukemia. They are not to be taken to mean that we do not need the medicine and medical profession. They are figures of speech teaching the general health and value of a happy outlook and attitude toward life. There is a great lesson here, but understand that the proverb is not teaching a panacea for all sickness.

A merry heart or broken spirit is a choice we can make! They are not results of Fate, temperament, genetics, or health. And they are NOT the result of circumstances, for a cheerful person can choose to be happy in horrible difficulties, and a sad person can ruin a wonderful event. You can have a continual feast through life, if you have a joyful heart; but a person with a negative attitude can find something wrong with every day (Pr 15:15). Stop and ponder this truth.

Sin destroys a merry heart, for a child of God cannot be happy out of fellowship with His Father. So the simple first step to a merry heart and good health is to live a holy, blameless life happy in the Lord. Discontentment will ruin health, for all you can think about is what you do not have, even when you have much. If you allow envy, bitterness, lust, resentment, or anger in your life, you are begging for the judgment of God and serious health problems. These wicked thoughts will pursue you day and night; they will not let you even sleep in peace. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you, and you will dry up your health by such an evil, wicked disposition.

However, if we are joyful, loving, thankful, peaceful, forgiving, and full of praise, we will find the blessing of God and a therapeutic balm for our body. If we make the Lord the joy of our life, we will have a constant reason to be merry, regardless of circumstances. Our nights will be peaceful and pleasant, because our heart, soul, and mind are relaxed.

There is nothing more refreshing and healthful for us than to examine ourselves, confess our sins in private prayer, and then offer Him the sacrifices of praise and singing, either alone or in the assembly. So, step up and take our medicine today.

Prayer: Great Physician, I come to You to seek Your medicine, Your prescription, Your Divine Guidance to have a body controlled by Your great Power, Love, and Grace. May I walk in Spiritual Health today and every day henceforth. Amen.

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