“Abba, Father”

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.  — John 13:23 NKJV

In a society where “real” men don’t show this kind of affection for each other, this verse can cause some confusion. We must remember that this occurred in a time and place where men greeted each other with a holy kiss. So, get past the first impression and see the picture as it is really meant to be seen.  See it as pure love with no lust involved.  Try to put yourself in John’s place and feel the comfort and joy that he must have felt right then. Remember the times in your early years when you would be frightened about something and your Dad would pick you and hold you against his bosom.  Do you remember the safety, and in a few minutes, the peace and the joy that you felt?   Or maybe, you were ailing and your Mom would hold you against her bosom to comfort you.  Isn’t it wonderful that we can still have that kind of relationship with Jesus?  We can run to Him, sit in His lap and He will wrap His arms around us to comfort and cheer us.  Get this picture in your mind and focus on it until it becomes real to you. Then, in those trying, difficult, scary times, run to Him with your arms wide open and simply say “Abba”, I love you!  He will be thrilled and you will have a time of peace that passes understanding and joy that overflows your heart.

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” — Romans 8:15 NKJV

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-28=2019

“By Our Testimony”

11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb  and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. — The Revelation 12:11 NLT

The Revelation 12:7-12 NLT

Oftentimes when I read this verse, I am reminded of summer revivals out in the country.  The revival services were usually scheduled for a week but would often times run longer because there would be a move of the Holy Spirit and God kept adding people to His Kingdom.  The thing that I remember most about these revivals were the testimonies of the good people that came. There was a testimony service every night of the revival. Since the people usually gave pretty much the same testimony, I wondered why they did this night after night.  Now I know there were at least three good reasons.  First of all, it is very encouraging to other Christians to hear a brother or sister testify about the saving grace of Jesus and all of its benefits.  Secondly, it is good practice for learning to talk to others about Jesus in a public setting.  Thirdly and most importantly, our testimonies, not just the spoken ones but the way we live every day, are a huge part of our overcoming satan and his demons.  We defeat satan by reminding Him daily that Jesus shed His blood for our redemption and we do that with the spoken word and our actions.  Brothers and sisters, you may have never stood up all by yourself in a public setting and declared your love for Jesus and thank Him for all that He has done for you.  But, believe this, we testify to what we believe every day.  The outsiders are watching and they see our testimony every where we go every time we go.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-27-2019

Divine Protection

5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. — Acts 12:5 NLT

Acts 12: 5-11 NLT

Jesus had instructed Peter to feed His sheep. He was basically appointing Peter as the leader of the church after His ascension.  He had also told Peter that satan desired to “sift him as wheat”.  That is a metaphor meaning that satan wanted to separate Peter from the others like a farmer separates the chaff from the wheat when he winnows it.  By stirring up King Agrippa to have Peter arrested and put in jail, satan was attempting to sift Peter.  The leaders of the Jews were recruited by satan and joined by encouraging Agrippa in his acts of persecution.  Peter was chained in prison with sixteen guards assigned to do nothing but watch him.  God sent an angel to free Peter from his chains and they walked right past all of those guards.  Peter thought it was a dream or a vision until the gates to the city swung open of their own accord and the angel left Peter.  I can imagine that about the time Peter realized that it was for real, he probably remembered that Jesus also said “but I have prayed for you”.  Jesus  had prayed, was now at the right hand of God praying and the whole church was praying late into the night.  God had a plan for Peter and Jesus had prepared Peter for that plan.  The enemy’s plans to thwart God’s plans were defeated because of prayer. All the demons of hell and the earthly recruits were not enough to overcome the prayers of a handful of saints.  We need to be prayer warriors and spend more time praying fervently for God to rescue our nation and keep our families safe. God is able to protect us and provide for us when He selects us for Kingdom work.  We will not be defeated!

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-26-2019

“Invite the Son Shine In Every Morning”

9  In the night I search for you;  in the morning, I earnestly seek you.  My soul wants to be with you at night,  and my spirit wants to be with you at the dawn of every day. — Isaiah 26:9a NLT

Isaiah 26:7-12 NLT

Do you remember the first person you were infatuated with or really in love with? Do you remember how often and how much you thought about them?  From morning to night to morning, they were the last person on your mind before you went to sleep and the first person on your mind when you woke up. You couldn’t wait to get to school just to see that person.  Do you remember walking down the hall carefully watching to see that person and to see if they were looking for you?  If they smiled at you, do you remember that feeling you got?   As that relation grew and liking turned into loving, do you remember never wanting to let a day go by without telling that person that you loved them. That is what God wants from each of us.  He wants us to go to sleep talking to Him or thinking about Him and wake up in the morning with our hearts and our spirits longing to spend time with Him. Do you imagine God watching you sleep and smiling?  We should because He really is a “good, good Father, that’s who He is”.  We should make sure that we speak to Him early and often. We need to tell Him out loud that we love Him and thank Him for all of His goodness throughout the day. If we practice doing this, we will have that “peace that passes all understanding” and the joy way down deep inside that no one can take away.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-25-2019

“Written On His Nail-Scarred Hands”

15  I will make you and the woman enemies to each other.Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies. One of her descendants will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.” — Genesis 3:15 NCV

Genesis 3:13-15 NCV

God made satan a promise before He cast him out of the garden.  God always fulfills His promises.  That descendant of woman that God spoke about was Jesus.  When Jesus died on the cross and said “It is finished”, the final blow was dealt to the head of all evil at the foot of the cross. It was crushed by the weight of the love of Jesus as He died for all mankind.  We need to bring all of our sins, doubts and fears to the foot of the cross and allow Jesus to crush them for us.  Lay them down and leave them there, Jesus will take care of the rest.  But there are some good things that we need to bring to the cross and ask Jesus to watch over them and protect them.  When we bring these things to Jesus we don’t leave them at the foot of the cross, we place them in the palm of His hand.  When He receives those things from us they are placed under the loving care of the Father and legions of angels.16

 “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. — Isaiah 49:16 NASB

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-24-2019

“Love Him…..Trust Him”

14  The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.  — Psalm 91:14 NLT

Psalm 91:14-16 NLT

What  an encouraging thought to know that God has promised to rescue those that love Him and protect those who trust in His name.  No other entity of any kind can make such a brash claim and then live up to it without ever failing.  There will be times in our lives when our parents can’t rescue. our friends can’t protect us but God will be there to deliver us from every evil.  Nations have trusted in other so-called gods only to find that they have no power.  Man-made idols have hands but they can’t touch or feel us, they have feet but they can’ run to your assistance in times of need. They have mouths but they can’t speak to us., they have ears but they can’t hear us. Only our God, the Creator of the universe and every thing in it is able to do exactly what He says He will do and nothing or nobody can stop Him from fulfilling every promise.  So, let us run to Him and allow Him to protect us and provide everything we need.  He is waiting with open arms.“

The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-23-2019

Fervent, Powerful Prayer

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b NLT

James 5:13-18 NLT

As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word.  There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night.  These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal.  We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them.  Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now.  Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds.  Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome.  But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith.  We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God.  Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ.  So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and  that our prayers do have great power.  Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross.  We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-22-2019

“It’s Impossible For Us to Be Alone”

21 I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.
22 For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return. — Job 16:21,22 NLT
Here and in other verses in this book, it is as if Job gets a glimpse of the future and the plan that God has in place to redeem fallen man.  Job realizes that it is useless for a man to argue with God.  We need a mediator and God had a plan in place to provide one for us.  We are certainly free to state our case in any situation.  When we are speaking to God, we should always be as honest as both Job and David.  They were not afraid to pour out their disappointments to God.  They did not blame God.  However, just as we do, they questioned why God allowed certain things to happen in the life of His children.  But when we do this, we must realize that we are in the presence of the Almighty God.  We can be bold but at the same time, we must be humble and ready to accept His answers.  God listens carefully, but He does not negotiate.  In the end, we, like Job and David, must come to the conclusion that God is God and He truly knows what is best for us. We all must go through the valleys and the dark nights.  But the key thing for us to remember is that we are going through, we are not going to be there forever.  For every valley, there are two mountains and for every dark night, there is light on both sides.   As the McKameys sing, “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley and the God of the daytime is still God in the night”.  Do not be discouraged nor dismayed, our God will never leave us alone and He will never forsake us.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 01-21-2019

“It’s Neither Chance Nor Circumstance”

30 Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  — Acts 8:30 NLT

Acts 8:30-38 NLT

When the persecutions of the Christians started in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.  Philip had  been preaching and teaching about Jesus in Samaria.  When Peter and John arrived, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip and told him to go south along the road to Gaza.  On his way, he met an eunuch from Ethiopia.  This eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship.  He was reading aloud from a scroll of the Old Testament.  This particular scroll contained the book of Isaiah.  Since he had been to worship in Jerusalem and was in possession of a Biblical scroll and reading it aloud, we can safely assume two things.  He was familiar with the Jewish religion and he was searching for something.  So God had been preparing the heart of this eunuch to receive the Good News for some time.  I think we can safely assume that God had big plans for this eunuch when he returned to Ethiopia, but whether God had big plans for the eunuch or just wanted to save the eunuch is not the point.  The point is that God’s plans for Philip and the eunuch intersected at this point.  The eunuch was seeking understanding of the Scriptures and God sent a man to him who could explain those Scriptures.  Every day, our live intersect with other lives.  This was, is and will always be God’s plan for spreading the Good News.  Are we prepared to instantly obey?  Are we prepared to explain God’s plan of salvation to those whose paths we cross?  If not, why not spend some time today preparing to do just that?  There is a heavenly reason that you are where you are today.  It didn’t just happen.  Look around you, there are lost people that you have been sent to speak to. God has prepared their hearts to hear and He has given you the words of life to speak to them, therefore speak.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-20-2019

“Joy and Peace In Abundance”

7  And though you started with little,  you will end with much.. Job 8:7 NLT

Job 8:1-7 NLT

Bldad also wrongly assumes that Job has committed some transgression and God is disciplining Job for  that sin.  But Bildad is correct in the statement that he makes.  “But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, and if you are pure and live with integrity, He will surely rise up and restore your happy home”.  And his statement in verse 7 above turns out to be a prophecy for Job.  Job definitely ends up with twice as much as he had in the beginning.  If we faithfully persevere in the times of testing, we will be blessed here on earth.  The greatest of these blessings is not material possessions or anything that money can buy.  It is the peace and the joy that comes from knowing that we are pleasing our heavenly Father. From my own personal experience, I can testify that there is a peace that each of us can access that is different from what the world knows as peace. It is a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds.  It is a peace that keeps from thinking those thoughts that satan would use to destroy us. It is a peace that assures us that we are not alone now and we will never be alone.  Although the peace you have now may be little, focus on Jesus and you will have abundant peace and joy that is truly unspeakable.

Phil. 4:4-8 NLT

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-19-2019