“What Have We Said Against You?”

14 “You have said, ‘What’s the use of serving God?— Malachi 3:13 NLT

Malachi 3:13-18 NLT

Have you ever experienced those feelings? You know, the ones where the devil comes to you and says something like this: “Look at that person over there, they don’t follow God’s commands and look how prosperous they are?” Or perhaps, he said: “Look how much fun they are having, they party all the time and indulge their fleshly lusts and it doesn’t look like God is punishing them? Been there, done that.  After committing my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I also know the feeling of watching others prosper while living that old lifestyle. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
But , you know what? I wouldn’t go back to that lifestyle. The view through the bottom of a glass might be great tonight, but what about tomorrow? You are still going to have the same problems plus a hangover. There is no relief in drugs or illicit sex. There is a perceived relief while you are participating in these things, but what about long-term? Aren’t you really looking for a Solid Rock to stand on? Aren’t you tired of walking on the slippery paths of deception? Do you really want to dig your way out of another mire of quicksand? Aren’t you really looking for long-term peace? The kind of peace that lets you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow every night? The kind of peace that causes you to look forward to tomorrow morning and every day thereafter? Isn’t that what your heart and soul desire?
Then talk with those who fear (have a respectful awe of) the Lord? They can tell you how to find it. If they don’t ask you, then you should ask them about Jesus. They can tell you how to break the chains of bondage and be set free from satan and his insatiable demands. They can tell you about a Savior that satisfies you instead of you having to meet his demands. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. So light, in fact, that most days it won’t even seem like a burden. Take the time to ask Jesus and He will set you free. Those that the Son of God sets free are free indeed!

9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.— Galatians 6:9 NLT

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

Post 06-22-2019

Stay Ready, Pop Quizzes Are Coming!

4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple;  the Lord still rules from heaven.  He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. — Psalm 11:4 NLT

Psalm 11 NLT

In Psalms 10-13, David seems to be more focused on those who are bent on doing evil than what God has done for him.  He questions God about why those people seem to be more successful than the righteous.  It is a question that many, if not all, of us have asked at sometime or other.  Why are bad things happening to good people while the bad people seem to be receiving blessings?   God doesn’t seem to answer David directly, but rather allows David to arrive at his own conclusion.  David never gives up on God, even though he questions why God allows such things and why they continue for so long. He also questions whether God can hear his prayers or not.  When we are going through those rough patches, it is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones to wonder where God is and what He is up to.  Because David is a man “after God’s own heart”, he arrives at the right conclusion.  God is exactly where He is supposed to be doing exactly what He should be doing. He always has been, He is and He always will be there watching over us and doing what is best for us even though at times, it doesn’t “feel” like it.  Those  are the times we have to ignore “feelings” and stand firm on the knowledge that God is always with us and we are never alone.  Those are the times that God allows so that we know whether or not our head knowledge has become heart knowledge.  If what we know in our heads has taken root in our hearts, then we will pass the test when God examines us.  Should we fail, God has no qualms about having us take the test again and again until we pass it.

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

Post 03-11-2019

“The Lord God Is My Strength”

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17 Even though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even if the olive harvest fails,
    and the fields produce nothing edible;
even if the flock is snatched from the sheepfold,
    and there is no herd in the stalls—
18 as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will find my joy in the God who delivers me.
19 The Lord God is my strength—  he will make my feet like those of a deer,
        equipping me to tread on my mountain heights.  
– Habakkuk 3:17-19​
 

Happiness and pleasure are worldly things and are dependent on our external circumstances.  They are fleeting and temporary.  But joy, true joy, comes from the Holy Spirit that abides in us.  It is dependent on our internal attitudes.  It is eternal and no one, not even satan can steal our joy.  If we lose it, it is because we give it away.  It is our strength that gets us through every day.  There are times when we may not be happy and our circumstances may not be pleasant, but how we respond to those times determines where we are on our journey with Jesus.  When these times come, do we blame God and sulk like spoiled children or do we respond like Habakkuk and rejoice in the Lord”?  When we don’t feel like praying, that is the time we need to pray the fervent, effectual prayers.  When we don’t feel like shouting with joy, that is the time when we need to clap our hands and shout with a voice of triumph.  Our joy is not based on feelings or circumstances but upon the sure knowledge that “God is our salvation and He has become our strength”.   All day, every day, all our life long.

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

Post 10-12-2018

A Purpose and a Reason

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8 The Lord will work out his plans for my life—    for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. — Psalm 138:8 NLT

Do you ever have those days when you feel like you have never accomplished anything significant in your life? Most of us have had days when we wondered why we were even here on earth now. But God had a plan for us before the earth was created and He still has a plan for us today. God has never made a mistake and it wasn’t a mistake when He chose us. Even if we mess up over and over, as long as we sincerely repent, it is God that devised the plan and it is God that will carry out the plan. So, wherever we are right now, either God led us here or He allowed the circumstances that brought us here. So, look up, focus on Jesus and expect God to do something wonderful in our lives today. He knows when a hair falls from our heads, so you can be sure He is interested in everything we do. So, let’s take His outstretched hand and walk with Him today.

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

Post 01-05-2017

Repentance Restores Joy

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12 Your help made me so happy.    Give me that joy again.
    Make my spirit strong and ready to obey you.  — Psalm 51;12 ERV


Have you ever had those times when you didn’t “feel” saved? I certainly have. But we have to remember that salvation isn’t about feelings, it is about a decision. Sometimes those feelings cause us to feel separated from God. When we realize that we have sinned, we do feel alone and far from God just as David in this Psalm. Our reaction needs to be the same as David’s. We need to ask God to make us pure and loyal to Him so that we can hear those sounds of joy again. Ask God for His forgiveness and He is always ready to restore us. Some people have the idea that God is just looking for reasons to punish them, nothing could be further from the truth, It is His joy to restore us and bless us. We, as human parents, want our kids to have everything they need and be happy and joyful. God loves us and our children much more than we can ever imagine. He is faithful to forgive and His mercies are new every morning. God promises us in Romans 8:37-39 that “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing means no thing, no person, no creature in heaven or on earth. So, if something is bothering you, just practice the three Rs–Repent, Relax, Rejoice!

Romans 8:37-39 ERV


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

Post 12-28-2016

Don’t Fail the Exam

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4 But the Lord is in his holy Temple;  the Lord still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. — Psalm 11:4 NLT

 
 
In Psalms 10-13, David seems to be more focused on those who are bent on doing evil than what God has done for him.  He questions God about why those people seem to be more successful than the righteous.  It is a question that many, if not all, of us have asked at sometime or other.  Why are bad things happening to good people while the bad people seem to be receiving blessings?   God doesn’t seem to answer David directly, but rather allows David to arrive at his own conclusion.  David never gives up on God, even though he questions why God allows such things and why they continue for so long. He also questions whether God can hear his prayers or not.  When we are going through those rough patches, it is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones to wonder where God is and what He is up to.  Because David is a man “after God’s own heart”, he arrives at the right conclusion.  God is exactly where He is supposed to be doing exactly what He should be doing.  He always has been, He is and He always will be there watching over us and doing what is best for us even though at times, it doesn’t “feel” like it.  Those  are the times we have to ignore “feelings” and stand firm on the knowledge that God is always with us and we are never alone.  Those are the times that God allows so that we know whether or not our head knowledge has become heart knowledge.  If what we know in our heads has taken root in our hearts, then we will pass the test when God examines us.  Should we fail, God has no qualms about having us take the test again and again until we pass it.
Post 07-13-2016

Words, Too Many, Too Often

even-smaller-bug-light19 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. — James 3:9-12 NIV

​ ​These verses come at the end of a passage that speaks of the tongue and how our inability to control it causes us some many problems.  No human can tame his or her tongue. We can pray about it and we can strive to do it, but it is an impossible task for a human.  Only one man was able to do so and that was Jesus, the God-Man.  Nevertheless, that does not relieve us of the responsibility of asking the Holy Spirit to help us do better every day.  Our goal is to be that person who would never say or do anything to hurt someone else and that is the mark at which we should be aiming. Words that we speak without any intention of hurting anyone are often taken in the wrong way and cause pain to others.  Our prejudices, and we all have them, sometimes lead to a “slip of the tongue”.  Our thoughts lead to words and actions that show our true feelings and attitudes about others.  We need to always pray this prayer:

 
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,  Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14
The things that we talk about most are the things that are truly important to us. The words and actions that we say and do are the fruits of our mindset and our hearts’ desires.  Just as a tree produces fruit after its kind, we will produce like fruit, be it good or evil. Our tongues were made to give praise, glory and honor to our Father in heaven.  Just as He spoke creation into existence, we have the power to speak words of life or death.  Let us always speak the words of life.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” — John 6:68, 69

Post 11-18-2015

Hope Springs Eternal

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12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.—Romans 12:12 NIV

​Too often, we confuse pleasure and happiness with joy. Pleasure and happiness are temporary. They are based on feelings, external situations and how others treat us. Joy is internal and is a fruit of the Spirit. It is a gift from God and once we have received His joy, no one can take it from us. We can fail to access it, but it is always there. In those times of affliction, it strengthens us to carry on. 

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.—Psalm 94:19  NIV

We must be faithful in prayer.  As Paul says, “pray without ceasing”.  We are able to do that because prayer is dependent on our thought patterns and our attitude. We can pray all the time, in any situation. A prayer can be a thought that goes through your mind, It does not have to be spoken.

10 “I the Lord search the heart  and examine the mind,to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”—Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

​A prayerful​ attitude keeps us focused on God and not on our problems or our situation. When we are focused on God, we are filled with joy because of the hope we have in Him. 
Post 07-03-2015

We Must Believe

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us—1 John 3:18-23 (NLT)
​We are saved by grace through faith. Faith requires that we believe that Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God. If we truly believe this, then we know that our sins are forgiven and that we are children of God. This knowledge will be reflected in our lifestyle and how we treat others. When we fail, and we all do, satan will try to condemn us using false accusations and condemnation. The Holy Spirit does not condemn, it convicts. When we are convicted, we must confess and Jesus is always sure to forgive us of our failures. Remember that salvation is based on knowledge and believing that Jesus died for our sins. Although, some do get emotional when they are saved, it is the knowledge and believing (faith) ​that saves us. As long as we live in these tents of flesh, our emotions are going to run the gamut of highs and lows. If we allow our emotions to control us, life will be just one long roller coaster ride and, no, it will not be fun and thrilling. It will be scary and depressive. No matter what satan accuses us of doing, we have to STAND on the Rock of Ages. Submit to God, resist the devil and he has to flee. Then we can have the joy of the Lord because God will never leave us or forsake us.
Post 10-01-14

Times, Seasons, and Roller Coasters

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSV)

​As we travel on our journey with Jesus, we all have seasons that we go through, some are short, others longer. Some are joyous, others are sad. Some are lonely, others seem so crowded that we lose touch with our Master. Some are stormy, others calm and peaceful. God allows these seasons in our lives for His own reasons and purposes. But, always remember, we are just passing through on our journey to spend an eternity with Him. And we are never alone, He is always with us. Take a few moments to consider what you are going through right now. Are you allowing your emotions and feelings to rule your life? If so, it probably seems like you are on a roller coaster that never stops. All year long, but particularly now, let the peace of God rule in your life and enjoy His presence. Do you want to get off that roller coaster of emotions and feelings? Accept Jesus into your life as your Savior and Lord and He has promised:
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:5,6 NRSV)

Post 12/16