Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The shepherds became very afraid....

The King's Address


Luke 2:8-12

That night, some shepherds were in the fields there watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord (God) stood before the shepherds. The glory of the Lord was shining around them. The shepherds became very afraid. The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid. I have some very good news for you. It will make all the people very happy. Today your Savior was born in David's town. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box."



Incredibly, when the angels of God announced the birth of God's Son, the King, they give His address as "lying in a feeding" -- or manger as we traditionally say. Luke wants us to grasp three powerful truths in this simple description.

First, God is tapping into the long line of imagery that ties Him and His work to shepherds.

 Second, even though shepherds were not respected in Jesus' day, God announces the birth of His Son to them first -- it is part of Luke's emphasis on God's desire to reach all kinds of people across every strata of life.

Third, the Savior enters the world in humble circumstances, born to an ordinary and otherwise unnoticeable family. The grand and the forgotten, the glorious and the abandoned, the promise and the hopeful are all combined into God's story of love, grace, and salvation. The needle that sews this tapestry of grace is God's love. His thread is the Holy Spirit. His good news is that Jesus, His Son and our Savior, has arrived at an address we can all find, knocking on the door of our hearts.



Holy and magnificent God… thank you for making yourself accessible and reachable through your Son. Most of all, thank you for taking away my greatest reason to be afraid by coming with your salvation for me in Jesus, in whose name I give you thanks. Amen.


Monday, November 29, 2010

The church is a pillar and a foundation of the truth

God's Chosen Instrument


Read from the Holy Scriptures: 1 Timothy 3:14-15

Key Verse


... the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth vs.15b.



Paul describes the role of the church in two dramatic words: the church is the pillar and the foundation of the truth. The great reason for the existence of the church is to introduce truth back into a world saturated with error and fantasy, a world that follows will-o'-the-wisp ideas that are paraded and exalted as though they were the acme of knowledge and wisdom. We live in a confused world, and it is getting more confused all the time.

In fact, if you are not confused, it is because you are not thinking clearly! The church is called upon increasingly to speak the truth in the midst of that confusion, to point out that the emperor does not have any clothes on, and to speak things that everybody thinks are heresy and radicalism because they are so different from the confusion of the society around us.

The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. You all know what a pillar is. The ancient temples had great pillars, several feet thick, supporting them. That is the idea: the church is the support of the truth. The uniqueness of the church is that God has made it to be the dispenser of the missing secrets that make human life function as God intended it.

These secrets are never found in secular authorities and writings. That is why every age makes the same mistakes, and every age repeats the same pattern. The world looks like it is going to go somewhere, but it always ends up wrestling with the same terrible problems, generation after generation, world without end.

The church is called to shed light on that confusion, to teach people who we humans are and what our relationship with the living God is.

Everywhere, on every side, you find people hungry for this. The cry of the world is, Who am I? I need to find myself. It is to answer the cry that the church has been sent into the world. The church is to tell us who we are and what God has created us to do. The church is the pillar and the foundation, the support, the defense, the stone wall, and the reinforced support of truth.

The church recovers truth when it is lost. That is why all moral recovery in a nation always begins with the church, with the people of God. Any hope that we in this country will ever recover from this downhill slide into degradation and despair lies in the presence of the church in our midst.

So the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. The apostle Paul understood that. He knew that the church was sent into the world to make a difference.

Prayer: God grant that we may learn again who we are and what, under God; we can do as a part of Your church.


Life Application: When the church fails to lovingly speak truth to bring light, the foundations of society crumble. Do our lives illumine the life of Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

God has for us a white hot burning love.



Reading from the Holy Scriptures:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV)



In the midst of all of Isaiah's prophecies of doom and gloom, he predicted a bright hope. He begins chapter 9 telling us the region of the coming Messiah's ministry will be humbled now but honored in the future. He says they will see a great light and have joy. Why this turn around? A child will be born. God will be incarnated. A son will be given to us, the Son of God. The government of the Kingdom of God is on His shoulders. One day all government will be on His shoulders.

We call Him our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Isaiah said we would call Him by those names, and we do. None else could dare to claim any of those sacred titles. The end of Judah was coming, but there would be no end to the government and peace of the Messiah's kingdom. We experience that even now. Two thousand years later the Kingdom of God has only grown. Though the world is at war, we have peace in our hearts.

He will reign on David's throne. The nation of Judah had forgotten righteousness and justice, but the kingdom of the Messiah will uphold and establish them. How will this come to pass? The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish it! It is not a work of man.


Consider: The miraculous birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was accomplished through the zeal, that white hot burning love, that God has for us.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving for our faith

God's Firm Foundation

Read from the Holy Scriptures: 2 Timothy 2:14-19


Key verse for today is 19
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: The Lord knows those who are his, and, Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.


Words of Ministry:

In other words, Paul is telling Timothy not to panic over the problems in the church. He acknowledges that there may be heresy in the congregation, there may be dissension among the members, and Timothy may have to do battle against it, but he should remember: God's solid foundation stands firm.

That is like a coin with two sides: God's side and the human side. On God's side is, The Lord knows those who are his, It is remarkable to recognize in the Gospels that Jesus knew that Judas was a traitor from the beginning. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus knew before He chose him that Judas was a devil. He knew those who were His and those who were not His. Paul reminds us that God's church is never going to be altered, shaken, or diminished, even by the heresies that may rage among us. God knows those who are His.

The other side of the coin is that people can know those who are God's when they see them departing from the wickedness of false doctrine and false teaching among us. We can be confident that those who really are Christians will ultimately see the error that is involved and leave it. That is where our faith can rest.

Both of those quotations in verse 19 are taken from the story in Numbers 16 about the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. During Israel's wandering through the wilderness, those three men challenged the authority of Moses, saying, why do you listen to Moses? He is no different than we are. We are men of understanding like Moses. What they were really implying was that the people should be listening to them. Moses took the problem to the Lord, and the Lord said, Bring them here. Let me give them an examination. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and their families all stood together. Suddenly, before the eyes of the whole congregation, the ground opened up, down they went into the pit, and the ground slammed shut behind them. God said any more questions?

Yes, God knows those that are His. He has His own ways of dealing with this kind of thing. The apostle says that those who are genuine will depart from iniquity. That is the test of true believers. There is a life in them that will not let them compromise themselves with evil and iniquity forever. But there may be a long-term struggle. I have seen that happen, sometimes over a period of years, but God will not let them go on. They must leave the false teaching at last because they cannot live with themselves any longer. The apostle John said, they went out from us, but they really did not belong to us. For if they had belonged to us; they would have remained with us (1 John 2:19). That is the mark that will encourage Timothy.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to remember that I can rest upon the assurance that You know those who are really yours.


Life Application: Is not the greatest thanksgiving for our faith, which by grace allows us to be in Christ? Those who are genuine will depart from iniquity in gratitude for that amazing grace.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

May You Have A Blessed Thanksgiving

Words of Thanksgiving From The Word Of God

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 9:1

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
Psalm 92:1

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
Psalm 97:12

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
Psalm 105:1-2

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

A Thanksgiving Poem













© 2003 by Sarah Berthelson

Monday, November 22, 2010

Offer to Him a thankful heart

The Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving

Reading the Scripture: Psalm 50

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, ...vr.14


Words Of Ministry

What does God want from us? He does not want mere hymn singing, although that is fine. Nor does He want only prayer, although that too is fine. He does not simply want our attendance, although that is fine. What He wants, first, is a thankful heart. That is what He seeks, a thankful heart. Each one of us is to offer to Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving. A sacrifice is something into which we put effort; it costs us. Have you ever asked yourself why the Scriptures stress thanksgiving so much?

Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize that above everything else, God wants thankfulness. “Give thanks in all circumstances,” says the apostle Paul, “for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Why is this? It is because thanksgiving only comes as a result of having received something. You do not give thanks until you have received something that comes from someone else. Therefore thanksgiving is the proper expression of Christianity, because Christianity is receiving something constantly from God.

Of course if you have not received anything from God, then you have nothing to thank Him for. Though you come to the service, you really have nothing to say. God is a realist. He does not want fake thanksgiving. I know there are certain people (and they are awfully hard to live with) who think that Christianity consists of pretending to be thankful. They think it means screwing a smile on your face and going around pretending that troubles do not bother you. That is a most painful form of Christianity.

God does not want you to go around shouting, “Hallelujah! I've got cancer!” But there is something about having cancer to be thankful for. That is what He wants you to see. There are aspects of it that no one can possibly enjoy, but there are other aspects that reveal purpose, meaning, and reason. God wants you to see this--what He can do with that situation and how you can be thankful. Thanksgiving is the first thing He wants in worship.

The second thing is an obedient will. “Fulfill your vows to the Most High.” Notice the kind of obedience it is. It is not something forced upon you; it is something you have chosen for yourself. A vow is something you decide to give, a promise you make because of truth you have seen. You say, “I never saw it like that before. I really ought to do something about it. God helping me, I'm going to do such and such.” That is a vow. God says, “I'm not asking you to do things you have not yet learned are important. But when you have vowed something, then do it."

Act on it. Obey it.


Prayer: Lord, I offer to You right now the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thank You that You are at work for good both in me and through me. Grant that I might obey your truth out of a heart of gratitude.

Life Application: We can expend much energy complaining, blessing no one. How can we re-focus our thoughts so that we have an attitude of gratitude no matter our circumstances?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Poem

You’re Always There for Me

When the world comes crashing in

And chaos rules my mind,

I turn my heart to you, Lord,

And pure, sweet peace I find.

You lift me out of trouble

You comfort me in pain;

You nourish, heal and cleanse me,

Like cool, refreshing rain.

In times of joy and bliss,

When things are going right,

You lift me even higher,

And fill me with delight.

You listen to my prayers;

You hear my every plea;

I’m safe because I know

You’re always there for me.

By Joanna Fuchs

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let us fall before our God, and...

Kiss the Son

Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:12


Psalm 2, verse 12 gives us both a warning and a blessing. We are warned to kiss the Son and we are reminded of the blessings we receive by putting our trust in the Lord. Why does the Psalmist say, Kiss the Son?

It seems a rather strange way to tell us to love and serve Christ, does it not? Think of the state of Israel when this Psalm was written. The heathen nations surrounding Israel worshiped idols, often falling down before the idol, kissing its feet.Yet, what could that idol do? Not a thing!

The heathen put their trust in their man-made idols. We do not do the same thing today, do we? Of course we do--anything we put before the Lord Jesus Christ is an idol. What idols do people kiss in our day? Money, power, and popularity or fame, are just a few.

Let us, by the grace of God, fall before our God, and kiss the Son. May our hearts, our lives, and our very souls be focused on our service for Him. He has given so much, and we are asked to give so little in return.

What an amazing God we serve!

God Bless You

Thursday, November 18, 2010

...and He healed him

A house divided against itself cannot stand

A man possessed with a demon, blind and mute, was brought to Christ; and He healed him, so that the man could see, and speak. The witnesses were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard about it, they said, "This man cannot cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of the demons."

Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself cannot stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how could his kingdom exist?"

"If I drive out demons by the power of Beelzebub, by whose power do your sons cast them out? They will be your judges. But if I, by the Spirit of God, cast out demons, then the kingdom of God is upon you. For how can one enter a strong man's house to steal his goods, unless he first ties up the strong man; and then, he can rob his house."

Matthew 12:22-29


Comment on the Scripture

In this passage, Christ asks questions, and the answers to the questions disprove a contention by reducing it to a contradiction. This is a formal method of argument that scholars generally associate with Greek philosophy. He first shows the logical flaw in a criticism that he was using Beelzebub's power to defeat Beelzebub.

The second question, "by whose power do your sons cast out demons?", is a little hard to follow, and especially the phrase "they will be your judges". (We must remember that we are dealing with an account several thousand years old.) Christ seems to be saying that the Pharisees must admit that their sons are in the service of the prince of demons, if they want to accuse Christ of the same thing. They would then have to admit that their judges were servants of Satan rather than God (and to the ancient Hebrews, a "judge" was even more important than a judge in modern Western civilization, with enormous religious significance). But if they are going to claim that their sons are serving God, they must also admit that Christ's power comes from the Spirit of God. And if Christ is serving God, then they must believe Him when He says that the Kingdom of God is upon them.

The last analogy, also presented in the form of a rhetorical question, is easy to understand and rather charming. Christ is tying up Satan/Beelzebub, so that He can rob his house; but He isn't stealing gold, but rather men's souls, actual people whom Satan has possessed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Therefore, we must walk by faith

Reflecting on the Extensive Consequences
of Walking by Faith

By faith Noah…By faith Abraham…By faith Sarah…By faith Moses…By faith the harlot RahabDavid and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith…And others…Still othersall these, having obtained a good testimony through faith. (Hebrews 11:7-8, 11, 24, 31, 32-33, 35, 36, 39)

God wants us to live by His grace. "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Therefore, we must walk by faith, since faith accesses grace. "Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2). In a series of meditations, we have been considering the extensive consequences of walking by faith (and thereby drawing upon the effective grace of God). Reflecting upon the broad and diverse dimensions of these consequences brings encouragement and edification.

"By faith Noah" undertook an amazing task (building an ark) to prepare for an event never before experienced (a worldwide flood). "By faith Abraham" obediently left his familiar homeland for an uncertain destination. He also counted on God to do all the great things He had promised (including, blessing all nations through him). "By faith Sarah," miraculously (in her old age) bore a son for the fulfillment of God's plan. Later, by faith, Abraham laid the promised son upon the altar of God. All along the way, he lived as a pilgrim journeying toward an eternal, heavenly home.

"By faith Moses" forsook the privileges and pleasures of the world to lead God's people out of bondage. "By faith the harlot Rahab" helped the Israelites, identified with the true and living God, and was rescued from judgment. "David and Samuel and the prophets" (and others like them) "through faith" conquered nations, grew in godliness, experienced God's fulfilled promises, survived the den of lions, withstood the fiery furnace, were spared death by the sword, experienced God's strength in weakness, found courage on the battlefield, caused enemy armies to flee, and received resurrected loved ones.

"And others" (also by faith) endured tortures. "Still others" experienced mocking, beatings, bonds, prisons, stoning, severing, painful enticements, deprivations, impoverishments, general tribulations, and cruel torments. "All these…obtained a good testimony through faith."

Through these testimonies, God is showing us the limitless extent that His grace can work in our lives. Through these examples the Lord is encouraging us to trust Him to work comprehensively for us, as He has faithfully done for others.

Lord God of all Grace, my heart is stirred as I consider the great extent to which Your grace can work in lives that humbly trust in You. Father, I ask You to make of my life a growing testimony of Your abounding grace, through Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Does Your Heart Look Like?

The Divided Heart

“The people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners, making themselves as worthless as a half-baked cake! Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it. Their hair is gray, but they don’t realize they’re old and weak. Their arrogance testifies against them, yet they don’t return to the LORD their God or even try to find him. “The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves, first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help. But as they fly about, I will throw my net over them and bring them down like a bird from the sky. I will punish them for all the evil they do. Hosea 7:8-12



The Israelites of Hosea’s day were trying to worship both pagan idols and the one true and living God. So the prophet Hosea used three colorful figures of speech to describe their divided hearts.

First, they were like a half-baked cake—palatable neither to God nor the pagans (7:8).
Second, they were like a proud man who can’t see the signs of his aging—they were unaware of their spiritual decline (vv.9-10).
Third, they were like a senseless dove—flying from one pagan nation to another in a vain quest for help (v.11).

Today, we as Christians are often afflicted with the same divided-heart syndrome. We believe on Jesus but are reluctant to commit every area of our lives to Him. We go to church but don’t want to live out our faith each day if it deprives us of worldly success or pleasure. A divided heart, though, results in some serious consequences.

First, we don’t please God or attract nonbelievers to Christ.
Second, it may take a crisis to show us our true spiritual decline. 
Third, we live unfulfilled lives, even though we flit from one worldly pleasure to another.

Let’s pray each day, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” Psalm 86:11

A divided heart multiplies our problems.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Praise is simply giving God the honor due Him

What is Praise and Worship?

Today's Scriptures:

“You shall have no other gods before Me. ”You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…” Exodus 20: 3 – 5

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul.” Matthew 22:37


“I will never bow down and worship anyone.” Do you feel the same way or are you shocked by this statement? You might want to know more about what worship is and why God asks us to do it. Part of the word worship comes from the word worth. Of what worth is God to you? Everything and every person in your life have a certain amount of value to you.

The person or things you value the most you tend to spend the most time with and think or talk the most about. You are giving that thing or person great worth, which is a form of worship. We were created to worship, so we will worship something. If God is to be the one you value most or has the greatest worth in your life, then you need to show Him by the amount of time you spend with Him. You can also show Him by your obedience and your attitude.

So where does God rate? Is He number 1, 2? Does He even make it on your top 10 list? How much time do you really spend with Him? Exodus 20 gives us the Ten Commandments. Verses 3 - 5 tell us where we should rate God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37 what the greatest commandment is.

One of the ways we can show how much we value God is by praising Him. If we say we are going to spend time praising God we usually end up spending time thanking God for the things He has done for us. Thanksgiving is good, but it is not praise. Praise is simply giving God the honor due Him for whom He is. We have a tendency to put more value on what someone does than in who they are. God says we should love the LORD our God with all our hearts, soul and mind.

He does not say love all the things the LORD does but love Him. Sometimes it may appear as if God is not doing anything or is silent in your life. Especially, if you are going through some difficult circumstances. When we learn to praise Him for who He is and not for what He does then we can praise Him even in the difficult times. It is only then that we find that praising God and our relationship with Him does not depend upon our circumstances.


My Personal Reflection on Today's Lesson

Circle key words or phrases in today’s Bible reading. Then reflect on the following:

• What message do these words or phrases have for me?

• What new or re-newed insight did I gain from the readings or today’s thought?

• What encouragement does God have for me today?


My Response to God Today

Write out a prayer to God, telling Him what you learned today and asking Him to meet a specific need in your life.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Living As A Resource For Others

Be A Resource

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2



Paul was training Timothy, and in doing so, teaching him to teach others. Timothy was called to “entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others”, or to invest in those who would move from mere consumption to a deliverer of the Gospel. In the church today we know that those “who teach will be judged with greater strictness” James 3:1, or in the least understand the sentiment that leaders should be held to a higher standard.

Often though, we of the congregation misuse this truth as a shield against the scrutiny of Scripture in our own lives. We focus on the supposed “higher calling” of leaders to the exclusion of the “heavenly calling” Hebrews 3:1 of every believer. Yes, the mantle of training and teaching was here laid upon a leader, Timothy, but there also exists a calling upon the “faithful men” to be trained, and be taught.

There exists then a unified calling, applicable on both sides of leadership; a calling upon the leader to train, and a calling upon the follower to come forth, count the cost, and pay it. Is it time for you to live as a resource for others instead of constantly consuming investments poured into your life? Consider then,

the “land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned” Hebrews 6:7-8.

Are you guilty of living as parched ground that greedily swallows the life giving rain, but never yields a useful crop for others? Do you continually bear the “thorns and thistles” produced by bondage to your sinful flesh? Quit living as a leech, and become a resource for others.

“Is it time for you to live as a resource for others instead of constantly consuming the investments poured into your life?”

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christ is in us because......

How Can Christ Be In Us?

Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will comfort you and always be with you. The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you.
John 14:16-18, 20



How can Christ be in us? Christ is in us because of His resurrection. Because Jesus is resurrected and because He is now in the Holy Spirit, He can be in us… If Jesus were not resurrected and had only lived once on earth, He then would be Himself forever, while I could only be myself forever. There would be no way for us to receive Him. It would not matter how holy and lovely Jesus of Nazareth was; there would be no way for us to receive Him, because He would only be a man.

However He is not only a man today; He died and is resurrected. He is in the Holy Spirit; He has become the Lord whom we all can receive.The Holy Spirit is the Lord’s coming in another form. Another name for the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Jesus.” He is also called “the Spirit of Christ.” When Jesus put on the Holy Spirit, He became “receivable”.

If He had not become such a Lord, we would not be able to enjoy Him. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive Christ; in the same way, when we receive the Son, we receive the Father. Christ has been resurrected and He is in Holy Spirit. Therefore, we can receive Him into us to be in our life and to give us life.

So how can Christ be in us? Christ can be in us through the Holy Spirit.
Have you invited Him in?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Erecting Altars In Our Life

Where Are the Altars Now

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. Genesis 12:7-8

A memory from the past can be very powerful in our lives. Bad relationship years earlier can affect the way we deal with others of the opposite sex. A teacher encouraging us in our endeavors can keep us going when we fail years after the encouragement. We might remember these memories through physical tokens we carry or even emotional baggage. We witness here that whenever Abram had an encounter with God or needed his help, he built an altar. Generally, in our day, we aren’t taught to erect an altar at church, but they are important to have an appreciation for. Altars served as a testament and a reminder for what God had done. It was a physical representation of God’s constant work in the lives of His people. Maybe we should start erecting altars in our life whenever God moves. It doesn’t need to be made of stone, but maybe a special journal, a piece of art, or even a paper weight we can look to and remember what a great God we serve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Challenge To Communicate

The Gift That Gives Life

And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what He is doing through me.
Philippians 1:26


Thoughts On Today's Scripture

The Readers' Digest had a story of a little girl a few years ago who was eating an apple in the back seat of the car. "Mommy," said the little girl, "why is my apple turning brown?" Her mother explained, "Because after you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came in contact with the air that caused it to oxidize, thus changing its molecular structure and turning the apple into a different color." The girl pondered for a moment and then said, "Mommy, what are you talking about."

It can be a real challenge to communicate to a young child. If you can appreciate that challenge, then you can appreciate the challenge of the first Christians who had to communicate
to others the image of Jesus Christ.

It may not be easy to share a meaningful understanding of who Christ is in our world today, but we are nonetheless called to share with others our relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not an option but a command. Something that we need to put on our "to do list", our "bucket list". Sharing Christ can be done by words and or our life example. A true model of who Christ is in us and through us.
When we do, we will give away the greatest gift anyone can receive.
The gift of life!!

Dear God, help me to effectively share your Son to someone who really needs Him today. Amen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

That’s the power of the Cross

I recently listened to a CD by Natalie Grant. One of her songs spoke to me and I felt lead to share my thoughts and the song. May you be blessed....


What does the “POWER OF THE CROSS” mean to me?

See my chains fall off…

I once was in darkness, but now in the light, I once was blind, now I see, I once was a sinner, now I am a saint, I once was bound in chains of sin; now I’m free, I once was a stranger, now a child of the King, I was empty, now I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, I once was condemned, now I am reconciled, I was Broken, now I’m healed, I once was a prodigal, now I have a Home, I once was lost, now I am found, I once was God’s enemy , now I am His friend, I once was poor, now I have a crown, That’s the power of the cross, See my chains fall off… The Cross, God’s amazing grace

For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. Romans 6:6

Then He said to them all: Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen. Galatians 6:14-18

NATALIE GRANT, Power of the Cross

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boasting about God

Boasting in God

This is what the LORD says:

“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,

or the powerful boast in their power,

or the rich boast in their riches.

But those who wish to boast

should boast in this alone:

that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD

who demonstrates unfailing love

and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,

and that I delight in these things.

I, the LORD, have spoken!

Jeremiah 9:23-24


Thoughts On Today's Scriptures

Boasting seems to be in every body’s blood. A parent never fails to inform us that his or her child is an honor student by the bumper sticker on their car. An athlete does a dance or spikes the football after scoring a touchdown. A man will boast of his wealth by the clothes he wears and the car he drives.

This boasting will almost always point others toward the person; the created rather than Creator. And just as often, this kind of boasting is an affront to God. The Bible tells us there is a boasting that is not sinful and that would be boasting in the Lord Himself. Unfortunately people can still make this sinful.

We are told to boast in “that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD.” For some this becomes a boasting of one’s superior understanding of God, or being intellectually skilled enough to know the Truth. Again, this is an attempt to point others to our glory instead of God’s.

Boasting about God isn’t simply bragging about our knowledge of God, but boasting of His flawless character. Like His grace, His steadfast love toward us and His justice and righteousness.

When we boast of who God is to us, others will come to boast of this great God. However if we boast only of our superior understanding of who God is, then others will only see us and not God. So how is your boasting? Are you pointing others to God, or to yourself?

Glorify the King of kings by boasting in His greatness instead of your great knowledge of Him today.