Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1--23-18

Grace for your spirit
Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.  Revelation 2:10

When I was a kid running the streets, many times our group would face difficult, even dangerous situations.  We always had one confident guy who would lead the way and give us confidence that we could do it too.  Jesus is that guy for us.  As we look at all the challenges placed before us, we can see that He did it all first for us.  He was tested, tried, was faithful unto death, and received His crown.  Where He guides, He always provides.  May that give us confidence.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-22-18

Grace for your spirit
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; It leads only to evildoing.  Psalm 37:8

God warns us about anger that leads to wrath, revenge, and evil.  How many times can we count that if we could have controlled our anger, we would have stayed out of trouble.  The heart of a Christian should be loving, caring, and good works.  When our lives are filled with evil doing, we leave no room for the holy life to bloom.  As Barney Fife would say, "we need to nip it, nip it in the bud."  After it is nipped, it will not grow.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-19-18

Grace for your spirit
Go to the ant, O sluggard. Observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief, officer, or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.  Proverbs 6:5-8

Ants are considered to be a nuisance by most of us, but they certainly aren't lazy.  They can carry 20 times their weight and know how to work.  Without organized direction, they can get the necessary jobs done for survival.  They may be little, but compared to the person who is a lazy sluggard, they are mighty.  Whatever excuses we are making for doing nothing, it is time to get going.  Let's try to keep up with the ant.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-18-18

Grace for your spirit
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confessed and forsakes them will find compassion.            Proverbs 28:13

God does not need for us to tell Him our sins.  He already knows, but the cleansing becomes possible when we pour out our heart to Him.  Many times King David sinned and tried to keep them secret. He wrote that he felt the heavy hand of the Lord on him, and the heat cause him to swim in his bed.  When he repented and confessed, God not only cleansed his soul but also gave him a clean heart to do what was right.  There is a new start available for us all when we find the compassion of the Lord.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-17-18

Grace for your spirit
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I Will repay," says the Lord.   Romans 12:19

Put a thousand people in a room and say, "I don't get mad", and they will almost always answer in unison, "I get even."  Vengeance belongs to God. It does not ever belong to us.  The only way for us to get even, is by forgiving others as God has already forgiven us !

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Grace for your spirit1-16-18

Grace for your spirit
Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.  I Samuel 15:22

King Saul was given a mission to destroy all of the Amalekites.  Saul decided to modify God's command and bring back the king and the best of their flocks to sacrifice to the Lord.  Saul was told the rebellion is the same as divination.   Instead of being blessed for his sacrifices, his kingdom was taken away from him.  Saul, David, Solomon and many others discovered sacrifices to God never outweighs obeying His word. May we take note of that.  Sacrifice only works with obedience.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-15-18

Grace for your spirit
Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  I Corinthians 5:8

When the purity of Christ is the center of our lives, our worship  is a celebration every time.  When we wonder why our worship is empty, we need to reevaluate what is shaping our lives.  The church in Corinth were worshiping but tolerating wickedness.  When we push out the old leaven and incorporate the influence of Christ, our worship will be filled with His spirit. Christ must be first, last, and always.  Let's not settle for anything less.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-12-18

Grace for your spirit
Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.  Acts 4:36-37

Barnabas is mentioned many times in the New Testament, and he is always encouraging.  He was a builder and people who wanted to build up others gathered around him.  Have you noticed in our world that there are builders, and there are wrecking crews?  The wrecking crews need few skilled workers to tear down.  Which ever group we choose to be around will determine the kind of person we will be.  Thanks to all the Barnabas' in our lives who build us up.  Stay close.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-11-18

Grace for your spirit
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;  Proverb 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Proverbs 9:10

Sometimes the "fear of the Lord" can be standing of awe of His presence.  To respect Him totally and listen.
Sometimes the "fear of the Lord" could cause us to be afraid of His mighty power and judgment.
Since we all need knowledge and wisdom to serve Him and help others, which one would be the best source to supply them?  Would it seem to you that we need both.  Those two elements will force us into His word for the things He knows we need.  "Fear of the Lord".  We need lots more of it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-10-18

Grace for your spirit
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.   Ephesians 1:18

Many people accept the salvation in Christ Jesus but never see the riches of their relationship with Him.  When we see Him as Lord of our life, a whole new world can be ours.  We can see it in the eyes of others when they really understand what we are telling them.  The eyes focus and brighten.  Our prayer should be that everyone's eyes will focus and brighten in understanding all of God's will for their lives.  Do we have bright and focused eyes yet ?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-9-18

Grace for your spirit
Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God.  Isaiah 59:1-2

God's purposes never change, and He never lies.  Our purposes often change and we sometimes lie.  When God cannot reach us, it is because we have moved.  We need to repent and move back to where He can hear and reach us.  An old married couple were recalling the way they used to sit in the car.  When first married, they sat close together, and now they were as far apart in the seat as they could get.  Who moved and when?  Somebody did.  Are we willing to scoot back together?  We'll see.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-8-17

Grace for your spirit
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.  Hebrews 10:24

I fellow told me the other day that his church was in his basement with his television.  As usual, he claimed he could be just as good a Christian at home alone.  I encouraged him to count the number of times in the Bible where you can see the words, "Let us".  The church is not only meant to be a gathering assembly, but the word church actually means just that.  As we worship the Lord, we should be involved in both give and take.  Let us get together for forsake it not.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-5-18

Grace for your spirit
Elders are gone from the gate, young men from their music.  The joy of our hearts have ceased; Our dancing has been turned into mourning.  Lamentations 5:14-15

In Biblical times, elders at the gates of the city was a sign of authority and order.  It allowed people to enjoy themselves and live a joyful life.  With the destruction of Jerusalem, and the captives taken away to Babylon, all of these things had stopped.  No rule, no music, no joy, no dancing, only mourning.  This weeping prophet was mourning the loss.  He hoped in God for comfort and a day of restoration.  Their sins had caught up with them.  Now he was hoping repentance would come to them.  As the song says, "Weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen." 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-4-18

Grace for your spirit
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.  I John 5:3

What is the test for our love of God?  When we love God as we should, we also love children who are born of God, and we keep His commandments.  Those commandments are not a burden because we have overcome the world through faith.  Yes, faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Love God, love His children, love His commands.  It is all three or none at all.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-3-18

Grace for your spirit
For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall.   Ephesians 2:14

Before Jesus came, there was a wall between the Jews and Gentiles.  It kept the two groups separate and divided from God.  Jesus died to tear down all the walls and bring salvation to everyone.  Years ago, many business would "red line" their community.  Inside those red lines on the map were people they didn't wish in their business.  They were automatically excluded.  There is no place for such thinking in His church.  Let's be thankful that we are an "open range" fellowship, open and welcome to all. Let's not let anyone fence us in.  The gospel is for all.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Grace for your spirit 1-2-18

Grace for your spirit
I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

We have a song that says, "I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world's delight.  Things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight."  As we look ahead to the new year, and make our resolutions, could we look above the things of the world, and look to the Lord ?  When a faithful walk with the Lord is in our sights, He will allow all the good things we need to come to us as well.  See Him first.