12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. — John 1:12 NLT
Anytime of any day is a good time to bring our requests before the Lord, He is always awake and waiting to hear from us. No, more than waiting, He is waiting expectantly wanting to hear from each of His children. We have such a great honor bestowed upon us to be called “the children of God”. We should never be hesitant to talk with Him about any subject that is on our mind. After all, He already knows what we are thinking, but He created us for companionship and worship. We should talk with Him daily. Morning is the best time to talk with God because our minds are not yet cluttered with all the worldly stuff. It is truly amazing how smooth a day goes when we start it with directions from our Father, our King, and our Friend. We have plans, but they might not be the same plans He has for us. His will be much higher and better than ours. Before you leave home today, spend some time with our best Friend.
Psalm 5:1-3 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.— Isaiah 55:8 NLT
It is impossible for humans to know all of God’s thoughts and plans. Just as He created the whole universe by His spoken Word, He holds it all together by the power of His Word. How could our finite, human minds even begin to understand the intricate details of how nature works? Our scientists fit a little piece here and a little piece there, but they can’t put it all together. Just as the people of Babel thought they would build a tower to the heavens, we may think that we can figure it all out. But just as God confused their language and made it impossible for them to work together, He will confound our human plans. The wisdom of humans is foolishness when compared to the wisdom of God. As Job could not answer God about the intricacies of nature, neither can we answer Him. We, as Job did, can come to only one conclusion and that is this: “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. Job 19:25 (NLT) Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The question is not “Will I do this?” The question is “When will I do this?”
Accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord today and enjoy spending an eternity with
Him. He is the One who made it all possible by dying on a cross for our sins.
4 May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. — Psalm 20:1 NLT
When we read verses like the one above and others throughout the Bible, what thoughts go through our minds? Does this mean that we can ask God for anything and expect to get it? Is there any requirements for prayers to be of a certain form or prayed in a certain way? Is God like a huge dispensing machine where we deposit a prayer and out comes everything we asked for? Is/are there some particular thing(s) we must do before this is true? Suppose a non-Christian reads the Bible, reads these verses and prays? What answer could that person expect? Is God obligated to answer every prayer? if so, why? if not, why not?
There are two categories of people that pray; the unsaved and the saved. I believe it could easily be proven that the only prayer from an unsaved person that God is obligated to answer is a prayer of repentance. None of God’s promises besides salvation apply to the lost or unsaved. Those of us who have prayed the “sinner’s” prayer and are now the redeemed are in a different place entirely. Tomorrow a deeper look at some of these questions.
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
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.
6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” — Acts3:6 NLT
God has a plan for each of us and following that plan, we will intersect with the plans He has for others. Every minute detail of every plan is laid out and weaved into the patterns of our lives. The lame man was laid by the Temple gate every day. No doubt, Peter, John and even Jesus had passed him before on their way to worship in the Temple. Why did God choose this particular day to demonstrate His power? We could say that we don’t know the specific reason and that would be true. But we can assume without doing any injury to the Scriptures here that there was at least one person present in the crowd that day that needed to see this miracle occur. Probably more, but at least one, needed to see a lame man made whole. God doesn’t waste miracles. He has His reasons for when, where, and why. We have no idea of how big the impact of this particular miracle became as time passed. When reading the Bible, it is important to remember that the acts we read about are only a small sampling of what was going on at the time. One of the people in the crowd may very well have become a church founder or maybe just a missionary to his own family. Either way, it was necessary for this miracle to happen at this exact moment on this day in front of this crowd. God excels in doing the extraordinary in ordinary places and times. Listen for the small, still voice. He is asking some of us to allow Him to take our ordinary lives and do something extraordinary with them today. At least one of us, maybe more.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. – Romans 12:1 NLT
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
We spend the majority of our time working to make money and another good portion of our time figuring out how we are going to spend that money. Plans, goals and budgets are good things. Our goal is to make it to heaven, but Jesus understood that it takes money to make the trip. After all, Judas was the “treasurer” for Jesus and His disciples. But Jesus also told the rich young ruler to sell all that He had and give it to the poor. So, the question is how much is enough and how much is too much. The writer of Proverbs put it this way:
8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me;
9 Lest I be full and deny You, and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God. — Proverbs 30:9 NKJV
Jesus taught us to pray “give me this day my daily bread”. When God sent manna from heaven, He instructed the Israelites to collect only enough for each day (except for the day before the Sabbath when they collected enough for two days). If they collected more, it rotted and was of no use. How much is enough is a question each of us should ask the Lord. We just need to remember who we are serving and be sure we allow Him to be Lord of our lives. Then, when the bank account is overflowing, it won’t be too much and when it is empty, it won’t be too little. He has promised to provide and if we are obedient, He will do just that.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. — Eph. 4:22-24 NIV
Jesus laid aside His glory, came to earth and clothed Himself in flesh for one purpose. That purpose was to redeem the earth and its inhabitants from their fallen state. He lived a life here to set an example of how we should live. He died and rose again to fulfill His purpose of redeeming us. We remain in the flesh, but we now have the opportunity to be clothed in His righteouseness.
10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. — Isaiah 61:10 NIV
Think of the time the couple spends together getting to know each other and planning their wedding. Think of the hours, effort and money that earthly brides spend in preparation for their wedding. Consider the excitement of the wedding party, the family, friends and acquaintances as the big day approaches. Then compare that to how much time we spend in preparing ourselves spiritually to meet our Bridegroom. Not only has our Bridegroom paid for the wedding, He has furnished us with the wedding clothes, prepared the wedding feast and has the home all ready to move into. That kind of love should behoove us to spend time every day getting dressed for the wedding. Spend some time each day with the Groom, get to know Him and put on the wedding garments He has given to each of us. You can’t wear them out, they will always be clean and ready.
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. — James 4:13-17 NIV
We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May. Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting. That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans. We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives. As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure. Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle. Since we don’t have the boxtop, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV
So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength. Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.
God is waiting to show you the Way.
33 Then Pilate went back inside the palace and called Jesus to him and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 Jesus said, “Is that your own question, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not one of you. It was your own people and their leading priests who handed you over to me. What have you done wrong?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If it belonged to this world, my servants would have fought to keep me from being given over to the Jewish leaders. But my kingdom is from another place.” 37 Pilate said, “So you are a king!”—John 18:33-37 (NCV)
”Are you the King of the Jews?” The question that Pilate asked or similar questions are still being debated today. Jesus answers with a question of His own. “Is that your question or did others tell you about me?” It is almost as if Jesus is asking Pilate, “do you care or are you just curious because others have asked that question?” Do you really want to know who I am? Pilate avoids answering the question by saying he is not one of the Jews and asks Jesus another question. “What have you done wrong?” Jesus answers by telling Pilate about His kingdom and His servants. He explains that His kingdom is in another place. Pilate responds with “So you are a King!” What is our response today? We may say, “Of course, Jesus is the King of the Jews!” But that answer avoids the real question: “Is Jesus the King in our lives here and now?” He is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. He will not accept being the Number One God in our lives, He will only accept being the only God in our lives. Jesus died for our sins, how could we offer Him anything less than everything we have and everything we are. Please take the time to listen to this song.