Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Applying The Message

  Hosea 8:12
Even though I gave them all my laws they act as if those laws don’t apply to them. 

Do you find it easy to listen to a sermon? Do you sometimes think of people that you know who should be listening? Have you ever read the Bible and thought of someone who should do what the passage teaches?

The Israelites did this constantly, applying God's laws to others but not to themselves. This is just another way to set aside God's Word and avoid applying it to their lives. 

As you think of others who need to apply what you may hear in a sermon, or in your daily reading of God's Word, you might check to see if the same application could apply to you. Keep this in mind that often our own faults are the very ones we see in others. Israel was so busy sinning and pointing out others sin that they failed to stop and see their own sin. 

Today pray and ask God to help you as you listen to a sermon, that you would examine your own life. And as you read and study His Word. Before you question someone about their sin, make sure that you don't have the same sin in your life. Use good discernment when sharing your faith with others.

Monday, August 30, 2010


A Call to Repentance
Hosea 6:1-7

 1 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
   He has torn us to pieces;
      now he will heal us.
   He has injured us;
      now he will bandage our wounds.
 2 In just a short time he will restore us,
      so that we may live in his presence.
 3 Oh, that we might know the Lord!
      Let us press on to know him.
   He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
      or the coming of rains in early spring.”
 4 “O Israel[a] and Judah,
      what should I do with you?” asks the Lord.
   “For your love vanishes like the morning mist
      and disappears like dew in the sunlight.
 5 I sent my prophets to cut you to pieces—
      to slaughter you with my words,
      with judgments as inescapable as light.
 6 I want you to show love,[b]
      not offer sacrifices.
   I want you to know me[c]
      more than I want burnt offerings.
 7 But like Adam,[d] you broke my covenant
      and betrayed my trust.

  1. Hosea 6:4 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
  2. Hosea 6:6 Greek version reads to show mercy. Compare Matt 9:13; 12:7.
  3. Hosea 6:6 Hebrew to know God.
  4. Hosea 6:7 Or But at Adam. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Psalm 146

Praise the Lord
 Praise the Lord, I tell myself.

   I will praise the Lord as long as I live.

      I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

  Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
      there is no help for you there.

  When their breathing stops, they return to the earth,
      and in a moment all their plans come to an end.

  But joyful are those who have 
the God of Israel as their helper,
      whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
      the sea, and everything in them.
      He keeps every promise forever.

 He gives justice to the oppressed
      and food to the hungry.
   The Lord frees the prisoners.
   The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
   The Lord lifts the burdens of  
those bent beneath their loads.

      The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
      He cares for the orphans and widows,
      but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever.
       O Zion, your God is King in every generation.

   Praise the Lord!

If you keep in tune with Christ, you can sing even in the dark.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today we are looking at chapter five of Hosea....

Your deeds won’t let you return to your God.
      You are a prostitute through and through,
      and you do not know the Lord. vr4

Persistent sin hardens a person's heart and makes it more difficult to repent. If we deliberately choose to disobey God can and will sear our conscience; each time we sin makes the next time easier to commit. I believe today people have become blind to sin. We see it everyday and it does not bother us at all. Sin should break out hearts, it make us as Christians to turn away. If we see it in a movie, we should walk away. If we hear it in our music we should turn it off, the same goes for TV and our friends!! Don't allow sin to wear you down, building a hard path deep within you. We should steer far away from sinful practices as possible. We need to run and not look back.

Do you think sin breaks God's heart?

Would God want us to go on sinning?

I would like to encourage those reading this to follow up with this by reading Romans 6

Have a great day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NO HOPE.........

Then I said to her, "You must live in my house for many days and stop your prostitution. During this time, you will not have sexual intercourse with anyone, not even with me."   Hosea 3:3

After this, Gomer is no longer mentioned by Hosea. This is explained in verse four of chapter three.
Gomer's absence and isolation show how God will deal with the constantly rebellious northern kingdom (5:6,15).

I believe that it is very dangerous to rebel against God. Have you or do you know of someone who has rebelled against God? 

If we were to rebel from God, like Israel we withdraw from His love and mercy and we would be without hope. Without hope we are truly lost.

Can you recall the days without Christ, when you felt hopeless and lost. Like Israel and us we had to cry out for God's mercy and His love. 

Have you been reading Hosea? Why not? Anyway, did you like today's reading? Could you, would you please leave a comment!!

May you be blessed this day.....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hosea 2:8

She doesn’t realize it was I who gave her everything she has—the grain, the new wine, the olive oil. Even the gold and silver she used in worshiping the god Baal were gifts from me!

Material possessions are success symbols in most societies. Israel was a wealthy nation at this time, and Gomer may have accumulated silver and gold. However Gomer did not realize that Hosea had given her all she owned, just as Israel did not recognize God as the Giver of blessings. Both Gomer and Israel used their possessions irresponsibly as they ran after other lovers and other gods.

How do you use your possessions? 

Use what God has given you to honor Him!!

What are your thoughts on today's devotional?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


As you read through chapter one of Hosea, you read about his marriage to Gomer. Yes that is her name, Gomer the prostitute.

You read about them having children and how some of children were from other men as Gomer continued her prostitution. Which now was seen as adultery because of her marriage to Hosea. Now as for me, as a married man I would not like the ideal of my wife having sex with other men! What are your thoughts on this? I wounder how Gomer felt? 

The book of Hosea is a love story, but it's not just about Hosea and Gomer, it's about God's love for His people. So Hosea and Gomer became the example to the people how God felt when He saw His people worshiping idols as gods. It was like Adultery in eyes of God. This will illustrate the way my people have been untrue to me, openly committing adultery against the Lord by worshiping other gods.” Hosea 1:2b

How many Christians are guilty of spiritual adultery? We claim to belong to God while we flirt with the world and spend most of our time in other pursuits. Imagine how rejected God must feel!! Don't just imagine it. Read  about the intimate look at how our unfaithfulness hurts God's heart. Chapter two is especially expressive as it depicts God as a wounded lover who wants desperately for His people to come back.

Again I really encourage you to read this story and as you read, put yourself in the story. Are you like Hosea? Gomer? Israel? Then decide to have a true love relationship with God. Be sure to share your comments....I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Monday, August 23, 2010


This week I will be reading the book of Hosea. This is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. If you like you can began to read it and get involved in some discussion.

Hosea purpose is to illustrate God's love for his sinful people.

Let us began by looking at Hosea 1:2....

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute (Or a promiscuous woman) so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”

OK now did I read that right, God wants Hosea to marry a prostitute? Yes that is exactly what God wanted him to do. It is very hard to imagine Hosea's feelings when God told him to marry a woman who would be unfaithful to him. He may not have wanted to do this, however despite his feelings he obeyed. 

If you were Hosea how would respond to God's request? 
What type of feelings would Hosea and or you have?

God often asked extraordinary obedience from his prophets who were facing extraordinary times. God may ask you to do something difficult and extraordinary, too. If God does, how will you respond? Will you obey Him, trusting that He who knows everything has a special purpose for His request? Will you be satisfied with the knowledge that the pain involved in obedience may benefit those you serve, and not you personally?

I can recall when God called me into ministry, it was something that filled me with fear. Instead of being obedient and following Him, I ran for many years before I turned and obeyed and followed His plan for me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

OPEN HOUSE·.......

Today's verse is...

“Son of man,” he said, “do you see what they are doing? Do you see the great sins the people of Israel are doing to drive me from my Temple? But come, and you will see even greater sins than these!” Ezekiel 8:6

A little nugget from the book of Ezekiel....
Ezekiel reminds us that no one can sin without punishment. Just as God loves us, He also loves justice. As you read stand in awe of the God who judges all sin. Then thank Him for providing a way (through Jesus) to escape the judgment that we all deserve for our sins.

A Reflection on Todays Verse

In scene after scene, God revealed to Ezekiel the extent to which the people had embraced idolatry and wickedness. Their heart was full of sin, and none could be hidden from God.
The Holy Spirit works with us in the same as God did, revealing the sin that lurks in our life (our heart). People will try to hide their sin from God.
How comfortable would you feel if God held an open house in your life today? What kind of scenes from your everyday living is God watching? What role are you giving sin? Are your friends seeing, is it different when you are alone, or at church?

A Closing Thought

Be honest with yourself and be honest with God in answering these questions. If you ever need someone to talk with, please just leave me a comment.

Be blessed today and may you find pease and comfort in the Lord today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Standards, The Worlds or God's?

Ezekiel 11:12

“For you have refused to obey me; instead, you have copied the sins of the nations around you.”

Just something about the book of Ezekiel:
If you were to read the book of Ezekiel, (which I would recommend) you would see that the main message is, God allowed the nation of Judah to be destroyed because of the people's sins, but there was still hope-- God promised to restore the land to those who remained faithful to Him.

Let us now reflect on today's verse....

From the time they entered the Promised Land, the Israelites were warned not to copy the customs and religious practices of other nations. God wanted them to be firm in their faith and to be a wittiness for Him. Disobeying this command and following heathen customs instead of God's laws always got them into trouble.
Read about the Israelites and their relationship with God, I think you will agree with me that in our relationship with God, we act the same way.
Today, believers are still tempted to copy the ways of the world. However we must get our Standards of right and wrong from God, not from the popular trends of society.
Our life should reflect Christ in all we do, say and think.
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you'd think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is. Romans 12:2

May God's Grace be with you, and may you always rejoice in Him and Him alone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ONE AND ONLY........

Ezekiel 6:14

Ezekiel given the task of giving an important message of, “God never forgets those who faithfully seek to obey Him. They have a glorious future ahead.”

The phrase “then they will know that I am the Lord” (or a variation of this phrase) occurs 70 times in the book of Ezekiel. I would then believe that this phrase as some importance for the people and for us. Allow me to share my thoughts from this phrase.

In reading the book of Ezekiel, we see God punishing the sins of the people, (not the people but the sins of the people).  The purpose of God's punishment was not revenge, but to impress upon the people the truth that the Lord is the only true living God. Many people in Ezekiel's day were worshiping man - made idols and calling them gods. How about us today? What types of idols have you made? Are you calling them gods? Today we have idols like, money, sex, power, and our time. God's punishment will come upon all who put other things ahead of Him. Have you put something ahead of God? It's easy in our secular world to forget that the Lord alone is God, the supreme authority and the only source of eternal love and life. Remember that God may be using the difficulties of your life remind (or teach) you that He and Him alone is God. There is not and never will be another god.

Let us today examine ourselves and make sure that God is the Lord of your life and there is no other. Also let us pray for those who may have turned from God and may have built themselves an idol, or idols.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Ezekiel 2: 4-7

They are a stubborn and hard-hearted people. But I am sending you to say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ And whether they listen or refuse to listen—for remember, they are rebels—at least they will know they have had a prophet among them.
 “Son of man, do not fear them or their words. Don’t be afraid even though their threats surround you like nettles and briers and stinging scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls, even though they are rebels. You must give them my messages whether they listen or not.

Ezekiel - the son of Buzi, a Zadokite Priest

Ezekiel was given the difficult responsibility of presenting God's message to the ungrateful and abusive nation of Israel. They had turned away from God and had become hard-hearted and stubborn.
You know anyone like that? Maybe someone has been hurt and they blame God, they no longer trust Him. People turn away from God for many different reasons, however we are called to be an example of Christ to those who have become hard-hearted and stubborn towards God.
We are also called to share our faith (The Good News) with people who may be unkind to us. Just as the Lord told Ezekiel not to give up on them, God tells us not to give up on them. God also warns Ezekiel not to join up with the rebels, we too are to stand firm in our faith and not join up with the hard-hearted stubborn people. Instead of joining them God wants us to share the Good News whether it's convenient or not.
For the Word of God says, Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not.  2 Timothy 4:2a

So I challenge you then to Pray and Seek God's guidance, then GO to those who have rebelled against God. Don't go on your own, but go in the Power and Strength of the Holy Spirit. And remember, You can do everything through Christ who gives you strength.  Philippians 4:13

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Time to Face It....

Ezekiel 33:10-16 (NLT)

10 “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ 11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?

12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. 14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. 15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. 16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.

In this passage we find the exiles were discouraged by their past sins.  They fought heavy guilt for living in rebellion against God for so many years.

This was an important turning point - elsewhere in Ezekiel the people had refused to face their sins.  However, God assured them of forgiveness if the repented.

You see God wants everyone to turn to Him.  God looks at what we are and what we will become, not what we have done.  When God looks at us He doesn't see our sins, but sees our potential.

God gives every person the opportunity to turn to Him, so take it.  His gift of forgiveness is free!!

Sincerely follow Him, with all your heart, soul and mind.  When you fail Him, seek His unending forgiveness. We all fail Him along our journey, we must realize this and not dwell in our failures, but look to the future with God.

Be blessed in all you do, as you walk, talk, and spend daily quality time in His Word.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Ezekiel 33: 30-32

Many people think of church as entertainment. They enjoy the music, the people, and the activities, however they don't take the message to heart.
Have you reduced church services to the level of entertainment, or does your worship truly have an impact on your life?

My prayer is as you go to worship that you would first prepare your heart for worship. Pray and seek after Him. Allowing yourself to hear God throurgh the Word and spoken message.

Be blessed, Be over filled through the Holy Spirit, Be willing to change, and Be ready to move out of your comfort zone.

Go now and truly experience God in all of your Worship!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From the Heart

A question for God...

God how do we protect our heart?

Let us take a moment to see what the Word say's about protecting our heart.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God's place in your hearts. 1 John 5:21

Christ will make His home in your heart as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. Eph. 3:17

My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course. Proverbs 23: 19

The human heart is the vital organ that pumps blood and oxygenates our bodies. When it doesn't function properly, the body doesn't function properly. Doctors encourage exerise and a nutritious diet to keep our heart fit and healthy. In the Bible, the heart is also considered the center of thought and feeling. It is so important that God cautions us to guard it above all else, because our heart filters everything that happens to us. When we neglect the heart, it becomes filthy and clogged with all kinds of foulness that settles inside - bitterness, rage, impure thoughts. “Garbage in Garbage out” A dirty heart full of junk can no longer tell the good from the harmful and allows hurt and heartache to take the place of God. When we keep our heart pure and clean, allowing God to be in the center of our heart. By doing this it can block the toxins (junk) of sinful desires and thoughts that threaten our spiritual health. So to protect our heart from becoming clogged with sin, we must give our heart to God and allow Him to shield us with the Holy Spirit. Letting God be in center of our heart at all times. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

A Divine Promise from God...
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.  Matthew 5:8

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Psalm 34:1-7

I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart. Come let us tell of the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together. I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me, freeing me from all my fears. Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. I cried out to the Lord in my suffering, and He heard me. He set me free from all my fears. For the angel of the Lord guards all who fear Him, and He rescues them.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thoughts on Prayer

Daniel 6:10

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Forbidden Prayer

Many people are familiar with the story of Daniel in the lion's den, having heard the story from the time they were a child in Sunday school.  This is the lead up to the lion's den and the cause for Daniel's trouble.

Because some bad men were jealous of Daniel, they sought to get him into trouble by tricking the king into issuing a decree that people may only pray to him.  This did not frighten or deter Daniel from praying to God however and he continued to do so just as before, knowing the consequences of his actions.

There are many places in the world that even if it is not illegal to be a Christian, it is dangerous.  Christians face threats from other religions and many have been beaten and even killed. Odds are good if you are reading this that you don't face similar danger.

We must never taken our faith or our ability to pray for granted. Lord willing, we will never face a time when it is illegal or dangerous to pray to God. If the time does, hopefully we will stand firm like Daniel and continue to remain strong in our faith. 

While we pray that this freedom will never be taken from us, we should remember that there many Christians around the world who pray in fear that someone will arrest them or do something even worse like kill them.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


1 Samuel 3 (abridged)

The Lord Speaks to Samuel


The boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision. 

Eli, whose eyesight had dimmed so that he could hardly see, had lain down for the night. The lamp of God had not yet gone out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was kept, and Samuel was also lying down, when the Lord called, "Samuel!" He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me". But Eli told him, "I did not call you; lie down again." So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called him, and again he went to Eli, who sent him back to bed. For the Lord had not yet revealed his word to Samuel.

When the Lord called Samuel a third time, Eli told him, "Go, lie down. And if He calls you, you shall say, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening." And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel answered, "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening."

The Lord told Samuel, "I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of all who hear it shall burn. Soon I will do all that I have warned concerning Eli and his house, from beginning to end. I will judge and punish his house forever. He has tolerated iniquity; his sons cursed themselves (blaspheming God) and he did not restrain them. Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that their iniquity will not be purged with sacrifice or offering; never shall it be be atoned or purged."

Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the Lord's house, afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and asked him: "What is it He told you? Pray do not hide it from me." So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing. And Eli said, "It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him."

Samuel grew; the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground (i.e. Samuel never spoke falsely). All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was a true prophet of the Lord. And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh and reveal Himself to Samuel through his word.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


How does faith in God affect how I live?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I tell you the truth; whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24

Reflections from the question…

Faith is more than just believing; it is trusting your very life to what you believe. You can believe that someone can walk across a deep gorge on a tightrope. However are you willing to trust that person to carry you across?

 Faith would say yes!! Faith in God means that you are willing to trust Him to carry you across the tightrope of life. You are willing to follow His guidelines for living outline in the Bible because you have the conviction that this will be best for you. You are even willing to endure ridicule and persecution for your faith because you are so sure that God is who He says He is and will keep His promises of salvation and eternal life in heaven.

The Divine Promise

In fact, it says,
“The message is very close at hand;
it is on your lips and in your heart.”

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10: 8-10

What thoughts do you have about this devotion? Was it helpful, was it a blessing? I would love to hear from you. Your comments does not need to big long, simple is great...say something like, cool, liked it, helpful, and so on. You could just say Hi !!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Proverbs 22:7-8 NIV
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. He who sows wickedness reaps trouble, and the rod of his fury will be destroyed

Proverbs 22:7-8 NLT
Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end.

Proverbs 22:8 The Greek version includes an additional proverb: God blesses a man who gives cheerfully, / but his worthless deeds will come to an end. 
Compare 2 Cor.: 97.

Thoughts for the Day
These verses in Proverbs tell us how the power of wealth 
gives people an advantage over others, and that vanity 
will be reaped by those who sow iniquity.                
Verse 7 tells us that those who are rich will rule over 
those who are poor and that people who borrow money 
are in servitude to those who lend it. Having 
wealth is not sinful, as there were many people in 
the Bible who were very wealthy, such as David, 
Solomon and Abraham. All of these men had hearts
toward God and God used them to bless others.
However, being rich or poor in this world does not define 
our relationship with God. Some rich men are very poor 
in the eyes of God, because they do not serve Him; while
some poor men in this world are very rich because they 
are in right standing with God and have what the Bible 
calls "the true riches." The true riches of God is having 
His love, faith, peace, joy, protection, favor, etc. 
However, how we use money, or mammon, is one of
the ways in which God tests us, before He entrusts 
His kingdom riches to us.
Luke 16:10-11
10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be 
trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very 
little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have 
not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who
will trust you with true riches?
One of our spiritual tests is how we deal with the small 
issues in this life. The Bible tells us that if we are not 
faithful over the small things, we will not be faithful over
larger things. I have observed this truth over my lifetime,
and it has never proven to be wrong. I have watched 
people's lives and when they fail to come through in 
the small issues, they also fail to come through on larger 
issues. People who say they will call right back and fail 
to do so, will also fail to send that check they said they 
would send. People, who tell you they will take care of 
a small matter and do not do so, will not take care of a 
larger matter. 
I am not referring to occasional oversights, of which we
all fail to do at times, but am talking about habitual 
I had a friend, when I was in college, who always excused
his messy apartment on the fact that it was just too small,
so he couldn't keep it clean and picked up. He would always complain that if he would just get a bigger house, he would 
be able to keep it clean and straight. He finally got into a
nice big house with three other roommates and instead of keeping it nice and straight, as he claimed he would do, he 
just ended up with a bigger house and a bigger mess. 
If we are not faithful in little, we will not be faithful in much. 
When I was in ministry I never give a big job to someone, 
until I first see how they will handle a small job, 
because I have found this scripture to be absolutely true.
This is true with our finances, as well. Some people are 
waiting to give their tithes and offerings when they have 
more money, but they will never have more money to give, 
until they give out of what they have. 
The Bible speaks of giving a "tithe" or ten percent, as our 
portion to the Lord. We can give this to the Lord's work, 
whether we have little or much. If we have a dollar that 
we have earned, we can give a dime to the Lord's work; 
or if we earn $100.00, we can give $10.00. 
Giving is one way that we will work our way toward getting
out of debt because it releases the favor of God and man
toward us. It is wise to get out of debt, because as long 
as we are in debt, we are servants to those who have lent
us the money. It also limits us when we are in debt, in
regard to heeding the call of the Lord. We must stay and discharge our debts, instead of being free to go and 
serve the Lord.
Verse 8 talks about the unrighteous man who is a sinner 
and is continually doing evil deeds. The Bible says, he will 
reap what he is sowing. He will come to calamity and futility. Bad things are bound to happen to people who continually 
use threats with angry words, to get people to do things. 
These kinds of people are manipulators; however, in time, 
their angry words will fail to get them what they want, and people will finally leave them to their own evil devices.

Prayer for the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You, God, for Your abundant blessings! Lord, I am grateful that I am rich with Your 
many spiritual blessings and I also appreciate the material blessings You have given me. You take good care of me, 
and I am grateful. Lord, I do ask that You help all of
Your people to get out of debt and stay out of debt. I pray
this personally as well. I want to do what Your scripture 
says, in that I do not want to owe anyone anything, except
the debt of love, and I will gladly pay that debt. Help me to show integrity in all my dealings in regard to money and finances. Lord, may I be generous and always give to the 
work of the Lord and help others as well. I ask this in the 
name of Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time With God

Be still, and know that I am God-Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Spend two minutes in silence today, not praying but listening.

Loving God, thank you that you want to speak to us. Help us to listen for your voice, even when it's only a whisper.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Study of God's Word

Psalm 1

 1 Blessed is the man
       who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
       or stand in the way of sinners
       or sit in the seat of mockers.

 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
       and on his law he meditates day and night.

 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
       which yields its fruit in season
       and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.

 4 Not so the wicked!
       They are like *chaff
       that the wind blows away.

 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
       nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
       but the way of the wicked will perish.

*Chaff….debris separated from grain / something worthless

Thoughts on Psalm 1

One of the most wonderful things about Psalm 1 is the multiple meanings of the images in the first sentence. You can see a real person walking with a group who do not believe in God. Perhaps he is experiencing the natural human desire to be accepted by the group. Certainly, since he is walking in their "counsel", he is being influenced by them. The psalm reminds us of the power (and danger) of peer-pressure. Trying to fit into a group can lead us into terrible mistakes, and yet, the desire to be accepted can feel overpowering.

In a second, more poetic sense, "walk" can mean "act" or "live". The phrases "walk in the counsel of the wicked " and "walk the walk" don't refer to the way someone puts one foot in front of the other; it refers to the way they act, the way they lead their lives. In this sense, the psalmist warns us not to live our lives based on the advice of the ungodly.

Next, we get a physical description of a man or woman standing in a certain way. You can almost see a gang of juvenile delinquents slouching in a doorway or a gaggle of girls gossiping. The immediate message is: We will be blessed if we do not look like that. Today, the spectacle of sin on parade is more visible, more seductive, and more widely accepted than ever. Drunken teenagers in Cancun are convinced to strip nearly naked and simulate sex for the amusement of spectators. Dad salivates when he sees a new Mercedes, Mom "has to have" that outrageously expensive purse.

The advice not to "stand in the way of a sinner", however, mainly concerns a more abstract meaning of "stand". We say we "stand" somewhere when we take a position, as in: "where do you stand on that?" A common call to action based on our beliefs is the term, "stand and be counted" — this rarely means that we should stand up so that somebody can count heads, but it is a vivid image of taking action based on a moral principle. So when the psalm urges us not to stand with sinners, it reminds us not to compromise our moral stance, just because other people are doing it. The greatest example: Christ himself was so violently unpopular that his own people killed him. And know that God understands how powerful others' influence can be; even Peter could not stand with Christ.

The third phrase, "sits in the seat of mockers", gives a sharp picture of a person sitting high in a chair with a sneer on his face. He is contemptuous and resentful of somebody else -- a cynic. Such people often gain approval and even adulation for their wit, their cleverness, their sophistication. We must remember Paul's words in Ephesians 4: “As a follower of the Lord, I order you to stop living like stupid, godless people. Their minds are in the dark, and they are stubborn and ignorant and have missed out on the life that comes from God. They no longer have any feelings about what is right, and they are so greedy that they do all kinds of indecent things.”

God therefore is delighted in the one who meditates day and night on His “Word.” We then are blessed are like a tree planted by the river. This represents us growing deeper in our relationship with God. And in doing this we are to bear fruit (Colossians 1:9-11) and the fruits of the spirit which are found in (Galatians 5:21-23) is to be evident in our lives. The sinner, the ungodly does not grow and their roots are shallow and are worthless. We should then go and bear witness to them.

How is your personal relationship with God? How much time are you spending in God’s Word? Are you in the world and acting like the world, or are you different?  Are you separated from the world and bearing good fruit?