August 12, 2017
“No man is more pathetic than he who is in great need and is not aware of it,” wrote Billy Graham. That was the problem with the lukewarm Laodicean Church that Jesus Christ rebuked: “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17 NKJV). LORD, I am nothing, I have nothing, and I can do nothing without You; I need You…all the time.
August 11, 2017
“Nothing is better for a man than that…his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God” (King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:24). If you are a worker, you do one of five basic lines of work: make something, fix something, clean something, serve someone, or perform a skill. It is possible to do two or more of these. What’s your line of work, and what’s your attitude about your work? LORD, today, let me not ENDURE my work; let me ENJOY my work as a gift from Your hand!
August 10, 2017
“…by one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s (Jesus’) obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19 NKJV). People try to obey God’s law in order to earn His blessing or escape His punishment. Sometimes they succeed but only for a season; then they find themselves breaking God’s law again. God, by His grace, solves the problem of seasonal obedience by making the obedience of Christ our escape from God’s wrath and our access to His blessing. Thank You, Jesus! I trust in Your perfect obedience which makes me forever righteous; God is pleased with me.
August 9, 2017
Positive emotions can be seeds of better health and quality of life. “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret— it only causes harm” (Psalms 37:8 NKJV). Billy Graham said, “Many diseases of both body and mind are self-inflicted. For example, ulcers are often caused by worry and anxiety. Heart attacks are caused many times by overexertion. Unjustified worry, fear, prejudice, hatred, and envy can contribute to mental stress, which could lead to mental illness.” LORD, I choose to feel good for good health and a good day.
August 8, 2017
You have been disappointed and will be disappointed. So, how do you handle disappointment? In 1 Chronicles 17, God shut down David’s plan to build a temple, but instead of getting upset or angry, David responded by being humbly thankful. He prayed, “Who am I, O Yahweh God? And what is my family, that You have brought me this far” (1 Chronicles 17:16)? Try responding like that the next time your plan fails, when things don’t go your way. Then wait on God and watch Him turn your disappointment into a brighter future built on His promise.
August 7, 2017
“It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian” (1 Peter 4:16). As a child you may have suffered for the choices and actions of others. As you grew up you began to suffer for your own, mistakes, bad choices and actions. You may even suffer for saying and doing the right thing. Perhaps most painful is suffering for who you are, suffering for being someone, not for doing something. When you suffer for your identity, you have no reason to feel ashamed, especially if it is for BEING a follower of Jesus. LORD, encourage Christians who are persecuted solely because they are believers in Christ.
August 5-6, 2017
The first two of God’s Top Ten forbid idol worship: “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” (Exodus 20:3-4 NKJV). Literally, an idol is the image of a god, goddess, angel, saint, or guru. Figuratively, an idol is any idea, anything, anyone that competes for the place, time, attention or loyalty that God deserves. Any religion that keeps people from worshiping the true God through Christ is idolatry. LORD, l will let no idol of religion, mindset, habit, busyness, convenience, pleasure, or entertainment hijack my commitment and service to You!
NOTE — Message for this Sunday, August 6, 2017, at Church For All: The Heavy Weight Lifter (Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Peter 5:6-7).
August 4, 2017
Some of the most dramatic scenes in the Bible are where people found, rounded up and destroyed idols: Moses grinding the golden calf to dust (Exodus 32:1-21), Gideon tearing down a statute of Baal (Judges 6:22-32), Josiah going on a rampage against all idols, idol worshipers and their places of worship (2 Kings 23:1-20), and new Christians in Ephesus burning their occultic books (Acts 19:11-20). LORD Jesus, let me be so fired up for You that I burn up every idol in my life that comes between You and me.
August 3, 2017
Esau’s need for food turned into greed for Jacob’s stew, and he traded his birthright for one meal (Genesis 25:29-34). Esau failed to see that by selling his birthright he also forfeited the blessing that would empower him to exercise his privilege as the firstborn (Genesis 27:30-38). When NEED becomes GREED, we: (1) are blinded to the consequences of our decision for short term gain; (2) wastefully overpay for momentary pleasure; (3) live with regret, as we’re unable to undo the damage (Hebrews 12:16-17). LORD, help me to control myself before I lose my “birthright” and “blessing” over one “bowl of soup”!
August 2, 2017
Often when the body thirsts we give it artificial drinks instead of water, the natural desire of the body. Similarly, when the soul thirsts, we may give it liquor, drug, sex, sports, entertainment or some other form of fleeting pleasure. But these substitutes will never satisfy the soul for long. What the soul hungers for is worship of our Maker, meditation on His words, hearing His voice, feeling His touch. “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God” (Psalms 42:2 NKJV)? Feed your soul living water, God’s presence; you will be filled and deeply satisfied!
August 1, 2017
Jesus tells us “…do not worry about your life…” (Luke 12:22). There are four things the Bible encourages us not to worry about: food, fashion, future, fears. For the first three, see Matthew 6:25-34. On the 4th one, say with David, “I will fear no evil, for You are with me”; “…the LORD… delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 23:4; 34:4). LORD Jesus, I fully trust in You; I refuse to worry anymore about anything!
July 31, 2017
“Faith is not a distant view, but a warm embrace of Christ”, said John Calvin. Faith bridges the gap between Earth and Heaven and pulls us up to be so close to God that we can talk with Him and walk with Him as we go through life. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). Thank You, LORD, for letting me draw near to You by faith; let me walk ever close to You.