“…Praying to God Who Gives Me Life.”

8  But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. — Psalm 42:8 NLT

Psalm 42 NLT

This Psalm was written  by the descendants of Korah.  ( There were 4 Korahs mentioned in the Bible, likely the most remembered one is Moses’ cousin, the one who was swallowed up the earth, the sons of Korah that wrote the Psalms are a different bunch) Just as this Psalm begins with how much they long for the goodness of God, then it proceeds to alternately complain and remember the blessings of God.  When we are complaining to God, it is good to mix in a little worship with the whining.  It is good to recount the times He has blessed us and thank Him for those times.  The writers of this Psalm question themselves.  What reason do they have to be sad and discouraged ?  We need to ask the same question and arrive at the same conclusion they did.  If we put our faith and our hope in God, we won’t be sad and discouraged, but we will be filled with joy and praise for God and His goodness.   We will long for His presence just as a thirsty deer longs for a drink of cool water.  God’s presence is like an oasis in a desert of depression.  Spend time in that oasis, drink deeply from the healing springs and thank Him for His goodness.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“…Out of the Mud and the Mire…”

2  He lifted me out of the pit of despair,  out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along. 
— Psalm 40:2 NLT

Psalm 40:1-5 NLT

When we hit those rough patches and we all do at some point along the way, we need to remember passages like the one above.  There are times when friends can’t comfort us.  There are times in our lives when from all outward observations things are going fine, but inside we are in turmoil. There are times when what we feel is inexplicable because we don’t quite understand it ourselves.  How do we pray about things that we can’t even put into words?  How do we turn to the One who has lifted us out of the pit of despair when we don’t know what to say?  What do we do or say when being still and knowing that He is God is not enough.  How do we move from here back to solid ground and continue on our journey with Him? God has made a way for that to happen.  We bow before Him and tell Him that we are unable to pray.  He doesn’t get angry or upset, instead, as we wait before Him, He prays for us.  Just imagine God the Holy Spirit praying for us and through us, God the Son, Jesus, is at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us! God is listening to the 2nd and 3rd persons of the Trinity praying for us and He sees His own righteousness in Jesus Christ!  What more assurance do we need that whatever happens will truly be for our best?

Romans 8:26-28 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Stop Being Angry”

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8 Stop being angry!  Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm. — Psalm 37:8 NLT


Psalm 37:1-9 NKJV 

Considering all that is going on in this country and around the world, this is a very timely message.  Every day we see the wasteful results of those that choose to express their anger with violence and illegal acts.  God gave us our emotions and one of those is anger. There is an anger that comes from righteous indignation when we see the evil being done to others in our cities across the world.  But that anger must be controlled and pointed in the right direction.  Our response must be to hate the sin and love the sinner.  Unless we are expressing our feelings about sin and evil actions, we should never use the word “hate”. Jesus has set the standard.  We are not allowed to pick what we will love or hate, He has already shown us the right way.  We are all guilty of allowing our anger to control us at times, so we need to learn to pray before we react to any situation.  We must pray for those that have been deceived into thinking that violence is a solution to their issues.  Each of us needs to set aside a few minutes of each day to pray about this issue and for praying especially for the cities that we call home.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Does Anyone Want to Live…?”

12  Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?  — Psalm 34:12 NLT

Psalm 34:11-18 NLT

When I read this verse, my first thought is this:  Is there anyone who doesn’t want to live long and prosper?  Our bodies were originally designed in God’s image to last forever.  Then sin entered the world bringing decay and death with it.  Now, our bodies wear out and decay because sin still exists here on earth.  God designed a garden where man could live forever and prosper.  Sin entered that garden, seduced humankind, so God had to remove man and never allowed him to re-enter.  So, living long and being prosperous has taken on a whole new meaning.  Actually, it has taken on two meanings.  One is defined from the worldly point of view and the other from the Godly point of view.  We are bombarded on a daily basis with how the world defines prosperity.  As Christians, we can be very prosperous in the Kingdom of God and the world will little know or pay any attention to the wealth we have built up in heaven.  But God knows where we are laying up our treasures and He also knows  that where our treasure is, there will be our hearts also.  What is worldly will perish in the fire, that which is Godly will last throughout eternity.  A worldly long life of a hundred years or more is nothing but a speck of dust compared to eternal life with God.  We, as Christians, shall all live long and prosper!  God has promised and so shall it be!  So, let us join in the praise of thanksgiving!

Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! — Psalm 47:1

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Get Up and Go…”

10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’  “And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’.   — Acts 22:10 NLT

“Get Up and Go”

Saul used to sit at the feet of Gamaliel learning about the Old Testament and the Jewish traditions and laws.  He became very zealous in defending the Jewish customs even to the point of putting Christians to death.  I think we can be very sure that in those times, he never considered the fact that Jesus was training him for a specific purpose.  It probably never crossed his mind that he would be the missionary of the ages and the man responsible for writing most of the New Testament.  The transition from Saul to Paul took over three years.  Our salvation experience was probably not as dramatic as that of Paul.  Nevertheless, it is just as necessary as that of Paul for the spread of the Gospel and the increase in the Kingdom of God.  Let each of us look at our lives and experiences.  What do those things tell us about what God has trained us to do to add to His Kingdom here on earth?  We cannot come to the conclusion that we are trained to do God’s bidding, that would devalue the work of Jesus on the Cross and our value to God.  Every person God has called to salvation has a part to play in the Kingdom here on earth.  Ask God to show you what that part is and then, get up and go!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“…And You Forgave Me”

5 Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt.  I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. — Psalm 32:5 NLT 

Psalm 32:1-6 NLT

When we accept Jesus as our Savior we confess all of our sins up to that point.  But we still live in the flesh and all of the fleshly desires are not magically removed overnight. The Holy Spirit starts a process of sanctification in each of us.  This process is designed to change our hearts’ desires so that we no longer choose to live a lifestyle of sin.  However, there are times that we will fail and we will think, do or say something that is not pleasing to God.  Perhaps we will fail to do something that the Holy Spirit urges us to do.  Most of the sins that Christians are guilty of are sins of omission, not sins of commission.  We rebel against God in refusing to follow His leading in our lives.  The problem I have is agreeing with God that I am being rebellious and confessing it as sin.  But God does not negotiate, He will stand firm and I must agree with Him and confess.  We must get to the point the Psalmist got to — “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord” and He will forgive me.

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“…Let Your Good Deeds Shine Out…”

16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.  — Matthew 5:16 NLT

Matthew 5:13-16 NLT

Salt and light, two things that, in today’s world, we give little thought to. But in the first century, these things were not taken lightly.  In fact, salt was such a precious commodity that it was considered  proper to give salt as a gift to royalty.  Having light after the sun went down was not just a matter of flipping a switch or setting a timer on your cell phone (for you techies).  It required a lot of work to keep the palace garden lights burning.  And it was very costly since oil and tar were also precious commodities.  But it was even more costly to the Christians that Nero had dipped in tar and set on fire to use as lights in his garden.  So, when Jesus used these items as comparisons to what Christians must be to a lost world, the people in that time could really appreciate it much more than we can today.  With no refrigeration, salt was their major preservative. God’s mercy and grace are our only preservatives against evil destroying us.  Think of how much less time in each day that we could be productive without artificial light. But we have a light inside of us that lights up the world even on the darkest day.  Are we sharing our salt and light with those around us?  Why not? The supply is endless, it is always available and monetarily, it costs us nothing. We need to take the top off the salt shaker and the shade off the lamp and share our abundance with others regardless of the cost.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“O Lord, I Give My Life to You.”

1  O Lord, I give my life to you. — Psalm 25:1 NLT

Psalm 25:1-7 NLT


When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to abide within our hearts and minds.  God has sent Him to be our guide and our teacher.  If we are sincere about our repentance and listen to His teachings, we will soon discover that Jesus wants to be not only our Savior, but also our Lord. If we are going to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, there will have to be some changes made.  We are becoming new creatures and that requires tearing down the old.  We have new hearts inhabited by a new Master.  He also wants to renew our minds.  Jesus, better than anyone, understands that the true battlefield is the mind.  It is where our thoughts and ideas originate. We have to learn to control our thoughts and imaginations and bring them all into the obedience of Christ Jesus.  Once our thought patterns change, our words and actions will change and our words and actions will let those around know which God we serve. 

2 Cor. 10:3-6 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“…And Their Words to All the World”

3 They speak without a sound or word;  their voice is never heard.  4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,  and their words to all the world. — Psalms 19:3-4a NLT

Psalm 19::1-6 NLT

Before the advent of televisions, satellites, cell phones and all of the assorted high tech stuff that is available to us today, people would wonder how God would get His message out to the whole world.  How would the whole world be able to watch as the two messengers in the book of the Revelation lay dead in the streets of Jerusalem?  Now, we can see how easily that can be accomplished.  Yet, God had a plan before all of this came to pass.  Nature gently prods us with His story every day.  The stars, the sun, and the moon tell us His story every day and night.  We are even told that if we refuse to praise the Lord, the rocks will cry out.

 Luke 19:36-40 NLT

God had a plan from the beginning.  Even if there is an EMP that destroys all of the electronics, God can still get His message out to the ends of the world.  All of nature tells one story, one message that there is only one God who created and rules over the whole universe.  The old ‘gods’ are now known to be based on myths and one day, the whole world will see that all religions are based on deceptions and half-truths.  Only one story will survive and that is the story of Jesus.  Where we spend eternity depends on our relationship with Him.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“…Had A Powerful Effect.”

20 So the message about the Lord spread widely and had a powerful effect. — Acts 19:20 NLT

Acts 19:11-20 NLT

We are told in verse one that “God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles.”  In verse twenty, we see the reason for this was to spread the Good News about Jesus and the redemption story.  The spreading of the Gospel always has a powerful effect on all those that hear.  To those that hear and believe, it brings new life.  To those who hear but refuse to believe, it brings death.  Anytime the name of Jesus is spoken those that hear it must make a decision right then and there.  Either they will believe the Good News and receive life or they will refuse to believe and earn their way to hell.  When the name of Jesus is spoken with the intent to glorify God, it contains all of the power that was present at the resurrection of Jesus.  But when the name of Jesus is spoken with the intention of self-glory or for the mere purpose of gaining wealth, the result is confusion and chaos. Just ask the seven sons of Sceva.  God is a God of miracles and miracles are still being performed today.  Not all of us are given the power to perform miracles as Paul was.  God gives different gifts to members of the body of Christ so that it can be whole and bring glory to Himself. God doesn’t perform miracles on a whim or on demand.  Each time we witness a miracle we know that God has a purpose and a plan that requires a miracle to complete the plan.  Miracles always affect more than one person.   The person receiving the miracle is not the only one touched. Those seeing or listening that are already believers are encouraged and those who do not believe will be drawn to God.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous