Thursday, July 31, 2014

El-gibbor


Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) - "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Italics added)

Do you recognize Jesus as אֵ֣ל גִּבֹּ֔ור? No, that isn't gibberish written here, it is the Hebrew for El-gibbor or as we see it in our passage - Mighty God. Wonderful things happen to those who recognize who He is. Those who refuse to recognize Him have shut the spiritual door of their life.

Jesus is the Mighty God to answer our prayers. He is the Mighty God to overcome our bad habits. He is the Mighty God to give peace in the midst of the storm you are going through. He is Mighty God to give strength to resist temptation. He is Mighty God to change us from the inside out. He is the Mighty God who takes our sins and gives us His righteousness. He is the originator of the extreme makeover - He will make us new.

Muse today over the fact that if you have received Jesus Christ as your personal savior, He has changed you from the inside out. How much of the inward change are you allowing to show on your outside? Let the Mighty God, the El-gibbor, the אֵ֣ל גִּבֹּ֔ור to shine through. Acknowledge Him as the Mighty God of your life.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Worthy!



Revelation 4:11 (HCSB) - "Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power,because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created." (Italics added)
Revelation 5:12 (HCSB) - "The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" (Italics added)

Worthy! Jesus is WORTHY!! Why? Well, He is the omnipotent Creator, the One who gave us life (John 1:3). He created us with life, purpose, and design. He is worthy to receive our praise and worship because He created, designed, and gave us the ability to live. Our life is a reason for us to give Him all the worship.

Worthy also because He is the One who sacrificed His life for me - and you. He died for all people to pardon all sin. He did not deserve to die, He did not need to die for Himself, He was not sentenced to death by God, He choose to die in my place. He choose to die in your place.

As Creator and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One worthy to receive all praise and worship. Today, muse over the fact that He alone is worthy. Do you treat Him as fully worthy? Do you even acknowledge Him as worthy? In words only, or in the way that you live your life?






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Name Above All Names


"For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name..." Philippians 2:9 (HCSB)

I was sitting here and thinking about how marvelous our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is. The Bible teaches that He "is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8, HCSB). What we read in the Bible about him in the New Testament holds true today - and into the future. He is unchanging and holds each of us in His hands.

The passage of Scripture above reminds us that His name is above every name, more excellent than any other name we could come up with. His name is above Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Paul - every prophet, priest, and king. He is the Messiah - the Anointed One. He IS the prophet, priest and king. He is the Prophet of all prophets, the Priest of all priests, and the King of all Kings. He is the one who called, empowered, commissioned, and used each of them. He is the One who defeated sin, death, and Hell. He died on the Cross so that we might live, and lives so that we never have to die. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings - in other words, HE IS!

His name is sweet to me because He saved me from my sins, set me free form the penalty that I faced, and keeps me in His hand.

Today, let us muse over the name above every name - focus on Jesus.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Faith is not Positive Thinking



Today, I am borrowing some thoughts from the late Dr. Adrian Rodgers. as I read these words, I felt inclined to share them.

Romans 10:11 (HCSB) - "Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame"

Many people think that faith is the same thing as positive thinking. But faith is a whole lot more than that.

Certainly, it will help you to think positively. There's nothing the least bit wrong with having an upbeat, optimistic perspective on things. In fact, it is healthy to do so. But there is no power inherent in positive thinking. It doesn't come with built-in authority and strength.

The reality of biblical faith in Romans 10:11 is that we are to believe on Him. Your faith is no better than your object.

Today, join me in pondering whether I work by Positive Thinking, or by holding faith in the right object - Jesus Christ.




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Prayertime



Dear God, Thank you for this new summer day. Thank you for the beautiful sunshine, fluffy clouds, and fresh rains. I am in awe of Your works. The thunderstorms that send lightning and thunder crashing, the wind that comes to dry up the heavy rain, the bumblebee that flies in spite of being too big and heavy for those little wings, the lightning bugs that flicker at night and send children chasing through the yard, the crickets that chirp, and the frogs and birds that sing, the oceans that roar and the mountains so tall, the ant that is so busy and the handicapped who smile and don't even recognize their inabilities. God, you are awesome and you are good. Thank you for happy memories and even the sad ones, for they have helped shape me and increase my trust and dependence on you. With love and faith, in Jesus' name, Amen.



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday Prayertime


God, as I reflect on Proverbs 23:12, "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge," I'm trying to examine myself in light of that Scripture. Do I respond to you and your Word with my heart...or do I do what I do for you out of a sense of duty or obligation? I'm sorry for the times I have done good things only because someone needed to do it. I pray that I will always have the right attitude and the right motives. I pray that whatever service I give to you from this day forward will be out of love and as a result of my relationship with You. In Jesus' name. Amen.



Friday, July 25, 2014

Seeing Things God's Way


Proverbs 3: 13 - 14 (AMP) - "Happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) is the man who finds skillful and godly Wisdom, and the man who gets understanding [drawing it forth from God’s Word and life’s experiences], For the gaining of it is better than the gaining of silver, and the profit of it better than fine gold."

God appeared to Solomon in a dream and gave him the opportunity to ask for anything that he wanted. How many of us would love to have that opportunity. What would you ask for? Be honest. Money, fame, prestige, power, houses, boats...... The list could go on and on.

Solomon, faced with taking the throne of his father David, asked for a discerning heart. For wisdom. He wanted to be able to listen to the truth and apply it in his life and in his kingdom. He asked for wisdom, because wisdom understands what is true and right.

He received this gift from God, and then he used it. He added to it. He became legendary in his wisdom.

God has given each of us a measure of wisdom. What have we done with it? Have we let it sit and sour, or have we added to it? We have access to the fullness of wisdom today. Where? In God Himself. And this is available in His Word - the Bible. I have often taught and said - "Two things you need to do every day, Read your Bible and Pray."

Ponder today over how you have looked at life - through your thoughts and eyes, or though the thoughts and eyes of God? Get into His word today and see things His way.




Thursday, July 24, 2014

Duct Tape?



1 Corinthians 3:7 - 9 (GNT) - "The one who plants and the one who waters really do not matter. It is God who matters, because he makes the plant grow. There is no difference between the one who plants and the one who waters; God will reward each one according to the work each has done. For we are partners working together for God, and you are God's field. You are also God's building."

Do you ever feel like duct tape? You wind up doing all sorts of tasks, but you never really feel like you know what it is that God wants you to do?

Paul told the Corinthian church that God has created each of us with specific roles in His kingdom. He then supplies us with the talents and gifts to achieve what He has designed us for. So, how do I narrow down what He has called me to do?

Take some time to ponder what ways you most impact other people. I had a friend who used to say after thinking on this - "I know what God has called me to be - the hangnail of the Body." He always seemed to manage to  irritate others. I can guarantee you - God does not create "hangnails."

Ask yourself some questions today - where do you find the most pleasure in serving God? Who do you most like to be around? What skills do you know you possess? What gives you energy to do? Answers to some of these questions can often define the direction that God has called you to.




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Giftedness


"Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision. If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service; if it is teaching let us give all we have to our teaching; and if our gift be the stimulating of the faith of others let us set ourselves to it. Let the man who is called to give, give freely; let the man who wields authority think of his responsibility; and let the man who feels sympathy for his fellows act cheerfully." Romans 12: 6-8 (Php).

I read the story of a farmer who was plowing his field one day, and he looked up and saw the letters PC in the clouds. Assuming this meant "Preach Christ," he left the farm and enrolled in seminary. After many struggles and frustration in his studies, he turned and told his advisor about the vision he had. The wise advisor looked at him and said - "Son, did you ever think that the PC might have meant "Plant Corn?"

God has gifted and created us differently to do the work He is calling us to. As Paul said to the Romans, some are called to preach, some to serve others, some to teach, some to encourage others, some to give generously, some to manage, and some to comfort. each gift is important in the body of Christ. Each gift is necessary in the body of Christ.

God has gifted you with special talents, insights, wisdom and passions. He created you to accomplish something special, exactly as he desires. Today, ponder over what has God gifted you with - and are you using it for His honor and glory.




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Commitment


Joshua 24:15 (NLT) - "But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 made the now famous statement - "Give me liberty, or give me death." He had come to a decision that would shape the remainder of his life, and the history of our nation. His fiery statement still rings out in the ears of Americans today. 

Joshua had come to a similar place in his life. Israel had reverted back to worshipping the false gods around them. He reminds them of God's central position in their nations history, and in their lives. He challenges them to throw away their idols and to return to their god. His statement not only challenged the Israelites, but also millions since to rededicate their lives to following God's will and ways. No matter what it might cost.

An idol is something that man has created in his mind that stands between him and the one true God.

Today, muse over the concept of any idols that you have created in your life. Now pause and destroy them and their hold over you. Return to God, and commit to him.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Overcoming the Obstacles


Romans 8:31 (MSG) - "So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?" 

Caleb in the Old Testament faced pressure that could cause him to despair after his spy mission into Canaan. 10 of the spies panicked when they saw the inhabitants of the land, and only he and Joshua had a different perspective. The ten saw the giants and felt that they couldn't defeat them - they were too powerful. Caleb - he saw the giants, but he also had witnessed the power of a God who could hold back the waters of the Red Sea. He didn't fear the armies of the Anakites or the Amalekites, when he had watched first hand how God had brought the mighty Egypt to their knees.

Caleb viewed the obstacles in front of him, and then concluded that nothing was a match for his God. Paul in our verse today echoes this same sentiment.

Have you reached the same conclusion regarding the obstacles in your life? Today, muse over which is bigger - your obstacles (problems, etc.) or your God. Then focus on the right choice.





Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Prayertime


Dear God of Hope and Promise, I pray that You will give me the patience I need to wait upon Your will and plans for me. Give me the inner peace and understanding to know your will, and the boldness to step out in faith and to do Your will. I thank You for Your promises to give wisdom, to always be there for me, to forgive me, to receive me into Your kingdom and grant eternal life through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Thank You my Lord, full of grace and truth. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Prayertime




I read the following prayer for the day - and thought it might help.

"Dear Lord,
So far today, I am doing alright. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, cursed, or even eaten chocolate.

However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot of help after that.
Amen."

Hope that helps for today. Enjoy your weekend.



Friday, July 18, 2014

ICTC


Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. "

I have taught many young people a shortened form of this - "I Can Through Christ" or ICTC. It is a reminder that we are capable of doing a lot. We are capable of doing more that we do. It reminds us that this is through the power that Jesus Christ living inside of us allows us to do. His power is far greater than mine, and when He is doing it through me, I am more powerful than I think I am.

Saint Francis of Assisi tells us a way to accomplish more than we might otherwise. He challenges us to "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

So today - do what is necessary. Then challenge that which is possible. In no time you will be doing the impossible.

Hey, let's become the possible people doing the impossible. Are you up to the challenge?



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Right worship



John 4:22 - ""You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know....""

I recently read a book (comes as no surprise does it) in which the following statement is made.

"You cannot have good doxology without good theology."*

I believe one of the fallacies of today's churches is that we have substituted man's idea of worship for  a real knowledge of God. Some Christians really do not know much about God. And because of this, they are quick to adapt any teaching that is out there. They worship - but who or what are they worshiping? Do they have any idea of the grandeur of God? Do they have any concept of the infinite nature of the One they are worshiping?

Our God is personal, He is transcendent yet immanent, He is creative, He is holy, He is -- well He is!

Begin today to study God. Go past the basic relationship phase and seek to have an intimate knowledge of who He is, what He likes, what He hates, and you will be moving into true worship.


*From Why Churches Die by Mac Brunson & Ergun Caner. © 2005 B&H p.182.



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Where's your luggage going?





Paul in Romans 12: 10b (HCSB) says "Outdo one another in showing honor." We need to give respect to everyone we come in contact with.

I read of a man watching a well-dressed businessman berating a Porter at an airport. The businessman kept getting louder and and more irate. The Porter kept his cool and was very professional. The businessman left in a huff, and the man watching told the Porter how impressed he was with his actions.

The Porter responded, "Oh it was nothing. You see, that man's going to Miami and his baggage - well they're going to San Francisco."

When we show disrespect to others, we often only hurt ourselves. God calls for us to show respect to others - they are created in His image - although it may be tarnished.

If we want to earn respect ourselves, go out and show someone else what it is like. Try it, it might just make you smile.



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Praise the Lord!





"Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord!" Psalm 135:1 NLT

Psalm 135 begins with ""Praise the Lord"" and it ends with ""Praise the Lord."" I have read about a man named Billy Bray, and that was the way that he started and ended things, too. Let me share some of his story with you today.

In the early 1800's Billy Gray was known as a no-good drunken miner in the village of Twelveheads in Cornwall, England. Then, through the reading of a book by John Bunyan, Billy was converted to Christ, and he was never the same again.

"I can't help praising God," he once said. "As I go along the street, I lift up one foot, and it seems to say, 'Glory,' and I lift up the other, and it seems to say, 'Amen.' If they would put me into a barrel to keep me quiet, I would shout, 'Glory' out of the bunghole. Praise the Lord."

Billy would often say about the Lord, "He has made me glad and no one can make me sad; he makes me shout and no one can make me doubt; he makes me leap, and no one can hold down my feet."

Shortly before his death, Billy was asked if he was afraid, and he answered, "My Savior conquered death. If I was to go down to hell, I would shout, 'Glory, glory' to my blessed Jesus until I made the bottomless pit ring again, and then old Satan would say, 'Billy, Billy, this is no place for you; get out of here.' Then up to heaven I should go, shouting, 'Glory, glory, praise the Lord.'"

Today - seek to ""Praise the Lord"" with every step and action you do.




Monday, July 14, 2014

Shoot for the Moon




The last few days I have been thinking about shaping the future. God has given us a wonderful opportunity to make a difference. However, often this entails working through situations we would rather not face. One of my mentors used to say, "God gives us beautiful opportunities brilliantly disguised as problems." We just need to take the time to unwrap them and find the present inside. This takes faith.

Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB) says: "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." And a few verses later, the author states: "Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him."

God gives us the opportunity to serve Him, and when He does, He challenges us to stretch to our full potential. We often need to challenge ourselves to reach beyond what we think is our limit - so God challenges us the same way. Are you up to the challenge? Are you ready to reach farther than you have before? As the writer says - "I would rather shoot for the moon and hit the streetlight, than to shoot for the streetlight and miss everything."

So---- go ahead and shoot!




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Prayertime - July 13



Dear God, I want to thank you for being such a loving father. You know the challenges of parenting. You know the needs of children. I pray that you will help every parent have the right balance of love and discipline. I pray that you will give wisdom in parenting skills and problem-solving. While every child needs love, each one needs correction to fit them and their offenses, according to their actions, their unique personalities, and their ages. I pray for biblical values and guidance in each parent's heart, mind, and spirit. I pray an extra special touch for single parents who must parent alone. They have their own unique battles to face. Thank you for hearing my prayer on behalf of parents everywhere. And thank you for being such a great father. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Prayertime - July 12



Dear God, I worship you and lift up my praise to you, my Creator and Sustainer. Thank you for showing me the things that bind me on this earth. Open my eyes that I may always be mindful of what may hold me in bondage. Help me to resist the things I should. Help me to steer clear of hazards and to draw strength from Your Holy Spirit when temptations are enticing me. Please help me to break free...and to experience total freedom in you. Thank you, my gracious God. In the name of my Savior I pray. Amen.



Friday, July 11, 2014

The Work of the Holy Spirit - Counsels



John 16:5-15 (NKJV) - “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 
12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."

We have looked at two of the three works of the Holy Spirit that Jesus speaks about in this passage in the Gospel of John. He tells us that the Holy Spirit comforts, convicts, and today ponder that this Holy Spirit counsels. Consider what Jesus said in verse 13 above - "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come" (bold mine). Jesus promised His disciples, and us today, that the Holy Spirit will guide one into truth - all truth. He is working to help you understand God's Word and  to live for the Lord.

The Holy Spirit will not take center-stage. when we see Him held up to the lime-light, it probably isn't Him. You see, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. And then in verse14, Jesus goes on to say, "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." We must remember that Jesus spoke very decidedly when He proclaimed in John 14:6 - “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." He left no wiggle-room. He left no gray area. Jesus is all truth. Jesus is the only way. Jesus is the abundant life. And, today, the Holy Spirit glorifies and speaks of Jesus.

Ponder today, the full impact of Jesus' statement in John 14:6. There is no room for any truth other than Jesus. There is no allowance for any other way except Jesus. There is no living without the Life - Jesus.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Work of the Holy Spirit - Convict



John 16:5-15 (NKJV) - “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 
12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."

Yesterday we pondered verse 7 - "the Helper" or the Holy Spirit comforts/encourages us. Today, let us muse over verse 8 where Jesus says, "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment..." (bold mine). This is the work of the Holy Spirit among those who do not know Jesus Christ. He is the One who reveals God's existence to a person. 

In verses 9 to 11, Jesus goes on to explain what He is speaking about in verse 8. Jesus states that the Holy Spirit will convict the unbeliever - "of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." In other words, the Holy Spirit shows lost people the reality of their sin and the impending judgment. And, He shows them their need to believe on Jesus Christ.

So, today, muse over this second work of the Holy Spirit that Jesus speaks about in this passage. The work of convicting lost and dying unbelievers. 







Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Work of the Holy Spirit - Comfort



John 16:5-15 (NKJV) - “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 
12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."

For the remainder of this week, let us ponder what Jesus had to say about the work of the Holy Spirit. We will come back to this topic again in the future. The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is one of the most misunderstood teachings in the Bible. Some deny Him, others attribute too much to Him. We must keep our focus on the Father, but not neglect the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Today we will ponder on what Jesus said in verse 7 - "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you " (bold mine). Jesus first says that the Holy Spirit comforts. He called him "the Helper" which comes from the Greek word paráklētos which means to encourage or comfort. [To get a little technical for a moment, this word is a singular, masculine noun. In the question that arises is the Holy Spirit a "He" or an "It" - we see that Jesus recognized Him as a He.]

Jesus is saying to His disciples in this passage that it was necessary for Him to go away so that they could get something special - the Holy Spirit. The comforter, or encourager lives in us when we receive the Son. This encourager works to help us live a proper spiritual life. The Holy Spirit is a "cheerleader" who lives in us, encouraging us through the trials and temptations of life. He is there to help us live the way we should.

Muse for a moment on whether you are living a life that is truly pleasing to God. If not, could it be that you are holding back the Holy Spirit from guiding and leading you? Today, let go and let Him take control. Listen to His words of comfort and encouragement. And see what kind of adventure He will take you on. Trust Him - He's always right.







Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Our Resurrected Body - Not Weakness, But Power


1 Corinthians 15:42-43 - "So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power."

It is the task of every believer to be prepared for the Return of Christ.

We conclude this brief time of musing over the two verses in 1 Corinthians 15 speaking of the exchange of our bodies - worthless, not held in esteem for those that are considered important, never ending. We will no longer be in a state of continual degradation, we will be in an eternal state of perfection.

Muse today over the fact that our weak bodies will be changed to those of power.The Greek calls this our bodies of infirmity. The word infirmity means a bodily ailment or weakness, especially one brought on by old age, a condition or disease producing weakness, a failing or defect in a person's character. If we stop and consider this, our bodies fall into this category. I am continually aging. What I could do 20 years ago, takes greater effort. I often joke that I have a 20 year old mind trapped in a 62 year old body. Aging makes us weaker. Slowly, but it is guaranteed. 

Paul tells us that our bodies here are weak, but when exchanged for the resurrected boy - they will be strong. The Greek word used here means power, strength, efficiency, ability and energy. While I am in this body, I grow a little weaker, a little less efficient in the use of my body, I start to lose some of my abilities, and my energy. But, one day, because I have accepted Jesus Christ, this body will be replaced with one that has power and energy that is unlimited.

Ponder today that God has promised us a body that is without decay, with great honor, and unlimited potential and energy. You have this, if you have repented, and called upon Jesus to come and be your Savior. If you haven't, take time to ask Him in today.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Our Resurrected Body - Not Dishonorable, but Glory




1 Corinthians 15:42-43 - "So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power."

It is the task of every believer to be prepared for the Return of Christ. 

Jesus IS coming again. It may be soon, it may be years down the road. Since no one knows the exact time that Jesus will come again - it is vital that as a believer we live our lives in anticipation and readiness. I thought about the Minute Men in our history. These were farmers and other men who went about their daily tasks but were ready at a moments notice to grab their weapons and fight the battle for freedom. As believers, we need to go about our daily tasks, but be ready to answer the call of God and not be ashamed before Him.

Yesterday, we said that the believer's body will be incorruptible. Today, muse over the fact that Paul says we will be "sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory." The Greek word for honor, time, means to value something, to honor, to esteem it. Here Paul adds the negative to it, and says that in our earthly bodies, they are without value or esteem. I always laughed at the writings about what our bodies are worth chemically - usually every account I have seem to be around $5.00. And that is if all the parts are there. Not worth much are we? Yet we are of so much value to God, that He would send His own precious Son to die for us, pay our price, redeem us back.

And, when He has redeemed us, we gain infinite worth. We now have doxa - glory! The word means to have value because of a good opinion. It is what we ascribe to God. Because we have exchanged our lives for His life, our sinfulness for His righteousness, our penalty for His provision - we share in that which belongs to God - glory.

Muse over the great news that when we receive Christ, our decaying bodies will be with out decay, our lack of esteem is exchanged for His glory! Now, go shine for Jesus - and tell someone else what they can have.



Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Prayertime



Dear God, Today I'm thinking of marriages. Father, You started out putting one man and one woman together to help each other through life and to begin a family to love and nurture and replenish the earth. This is the traditional family as You intended. I pray for those who seek to redefine marriage as any other union, that You will open their eyes and show them the truth. I pray that the Truth will set them free. I pray for couples who are married, that You will anoint their marriages and help them to have good communication and to think of each other's needs first and to always lift each other up. The world is there to knock us down. Above anyone else, spouses should lift one another up. I pray that my relationships with family and friends will be healthy and will honor You. Thank You, Father, for loving me and accepting me into Your family through the atoning blood of Jesus. In His name I pray, Amen.






Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Very Special Day




Today is a special day. 

As a Minister, I have had the privilege of leading my three daughters to find Christ. I have had the privilege of baptizing them. I have had the privilege of conducting the Wedding Ceremony for Deborah and Joy.

Today, I have the privilege of conducting the Wedding Ceremony of my third daughter Grace - to a nice young man - Chris Straight. It is an honor to be a part of this Ceremony. At about 5:00 pm today, in Solomon's Island, MD, Grace and Chris will commit to each other and to God to spend their lives together.

So, Linda and I are excited, we are praying for them, and looking forward to our new relationships that are going to be formed today. I want to close this day's musing with the word's of the Apostle Paul - 

Ephesians 5:21-33 (NLT) 

"And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. 

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."



Friday, July 4, 2014

A Fourth of July Prayer






We lift up our hearts, O God, on this day of celebration in gratitude for the gift of being Americans. 
We rejoice with all those who share in the great dream of freedom and dignity for all. 
With flags and feasting, with family and friends,we salute those who have sacrificed that we might have the opportunity to bring to fulfillment our many God-given gifts. 
As we deny all prejudice a place in our hearts, may we also clearly declare our intention to work for the time when all people, regardless of race, religion or sex, will be granted equal dignity and worth. 
Come, O gracious God,who led your children Israel from slavery, keep us free from all that might hold us in bondage. 
Bless our country and join our simple celebration that we may praise you, our Source of freedom, the One in whom we place our trust. Amen.

Today, pause and reflect upon all the wondrous blessings that God has granted us. May we as a nation return to obedience and worship of our Creator, Defender, and Deliverer.


Ed Hays
A Pligrim's Almanac:
Reflections for Each Day of the Year, p. 111

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Our Resurrected Body - Not Corruptible, But Incorruptible



1 Corinthians 15:42-43 - "So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power."

Paul in the 15th chapter of his letter to the Corinthian Church speaks about the Gospel and the Resurrection of believers. The Bible teaches in a number of places that those who have accepted Jesus Christ will be a part of His return. There will come a day and a time that all who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus will exchange this frail earthly body for one that is just like His - an eternal body in which we will spend Eternity with God.

We just finished a series of musings over abiding in Christ. We covered many important thoughts about our abiding in Him. The purpose for our abiding in Christ is so that we may have confidence and not be ashamed at His Return. Consider what the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:28 - "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." We are guaranteed that Jesus is coming again - consider Matthew 16:27 where Jesus says, "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." And what the Angel said in Acts 1:11 - "This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

The task of a Believer is to be prepared for the Return of Jesus at any moment.

When Jesus calls us to Him, we see three things that will happen to these frail bodies. First, today muse over that, "The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption." Paul reminds us that when a person dies, the body deteriorates in the ground. The Greek word phthora means to being brought into an inferior or worse condition, to be destroyed or corrupted. When we die, our bodies decompose, we go back to the earth from which they are made from. But, for a believer, their true bodies are raised in corruptible. They are beyond decay, they cannot ever decay, they are beyond destruction, they cannot be destroyed. We are corruptible here, but incorruptible there. We are slowly decaying now, but will never decay there. we are facing our mortality now, but we will gain immortality there.

Consider and muse over the blessing that one has by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. What we will gain when He comes again for us. 




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Abiding in Christ - Anointed



1 John 2:27 (HCSB) - "The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as He has taught you, remain in Him."

We are finishing the study of what Abiding in Christ means today. Over these thoughts, we have come to the understanding that abiding in Christ means that a person walks and is in fellowship with Him. We already noted the words of the prophet Amos - "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" If we are in fellowship with God, we are walking with Christ in an intimate and continual way. 

Today, we finish with the thought that when we are abiding in Christ, we experience the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Anointing in the Bible was done to sanctify (set apart) a person or object for special service. In the Old Testament, the anointing of the Holy Spirit came and went from individuals. After the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came and indwelt a believer permanently. He never leaves us. However, when we fail in some of the ways we have spoken about, a believer can lose the anointing, the abiding, the fellowship with God. We can never lose our salvation, but we can lose our power and fellowship.

When we are abiding in Christ, we experience His presence in a strong way. We know He is there, we know He is leading, we know we have the power to accomplish His will in our lives.

Today, ponder over the presence of Almighty God living inside of you. Consider what He wants you to do for Him. Muse over the plans and strength He gives you. As we close this study, are you abiding in Christ? If not, what needs to be hanged in your life to make this reality prosper you.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Abiding in Christ - Just Do It


1 John 2:17 (NASB) - "The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

We are continuing in the study of what Abiding in Christ means, we have come to the understanding that abiding in Christ means that a person walks and is in fellowship with Him. We already noted the words of the prophet Amos - "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" If we are in fellowship with God, we are walking with Christ in an intimate and continual way. To abide in Christ, a person does the will of God.

The Nike slogan has inspired many an athlete - "Just do it." It has been used in business slogans, in encouraging emails, to students, to anyone who needs that gentle (sometimes not so gentle) nudge to accomplish something. It is a great reminder when we tend to procrastinate. Just do it. Don't hesitate, don't hold back, don't question. 

The Scripture reminds us, that when it comes to abiding in Christ - we need to just do it. And we do this by obeying Him. we first accept Christ, then we obey Him. The verse above says - "but the one who does the will of God lives forever." James told us to "Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like." (James 1:22-24 MSG).

Ponder today, what has God been leading you to do, and you are putting it off? What is He showing you in His Word? What has He been teaching and challenging you? Today is the day to do it. Don't wait, don't rationalize, don't try to figure it all out - just do it.






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