Monthly Archives: July 2014

Is Your Bible Collecting Dust?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105

The Bible is the best seller that many people buy, but never read. You can find at least one copy in most homes, just sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Yet, no book is richer or more timeless than the Bible. It is filled with story after story that are not only amazing to read, but once you get involved in it, you’ll find how God uses it to teach and guide us and how most of all, God uses it to help us know His mind and heart.

All Scripture is inspired by God.
It’s also profitable for:

Teaching–about God, man, and life.

Reproof–it tells us when we go wrong and need to get right.

Correction–it helps us get on the right track. Like a good doctor, it points out the problem and tells us the cure.

Training in right living–it’s a manual for living in a way that’s pleasing to God.

Scripture shows us how we can face every challenge with wisdom and strength. The Bible is a great read. I hope you’ll read it with the faith that God wants to speak to you through His Word. You just may find the answers to your life.

Love Others

“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36

Jesus was our example. For over two thousand years people have heard the story of His amazing Love. Jesus commanded us to be loving, full of compassion, mercy and pity for a lost and broken world just like He and His Father are. Love is more than a duty, it is our calling. It is the result of knowing Christ. It is the byproduct of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul defined this kind of love when he wrote, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”

Today, ask Christ to fill you with that kind of love and compassion. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to live a life of love.

Father, I am helpless to live the life of love you have called me to without You. Fill me with Your Spirit. Convict me, forgive me, empower me to love the way You love. AMEN

“Fear Not” Scriptures

Almost every book in the Bible has a “fear not” in it.  The enemy uses fear, but God would have us to have faith in Him.

As you read through the verses, ask yourself the question, “Why should I not fear?”

Genesis 15:1 “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

Genesis 21:17  “And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.”

Genesis 26:24  “And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.”

Genesis 46:3  “And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.”

Exodus 20:20  “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.”

Deuteronomy 1:21  “Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 20:3  “And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them.”

Deuteronomy 31:6  “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

Deuteronomy 31:8  “And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”

Joshua 8:1 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land.”

Joshua 10:25  “And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.”

Judges 6:10  “And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.”

Ruth 3:11  “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.”

I Kings 17:13  “And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.”

II Kings 6:16  “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

I Chronicles 28:20  “And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”

II Chronicles 20:17  “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”

Isaiah 35:4  “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.”

Isaiah 41:13  “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

Isaiah 41:14  “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 43:1 “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”

Isaiah 43:5  “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west.”

Isaiah 44:2  “Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.”

Isaiah 54:4  “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.”

Jeremiah 46:27  “But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.”

Daniel 10:12  “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.”

Daniel 10:19  “And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.”

Joel 2:21  “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.”

Zechariah 8:13  “And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

Matthew 1:20  “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”

Matthew 10:28  “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Luke 1:13  “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”

Luke 2:10  “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

Luke 5:10 “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

Luke 8:50  “But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”

Luke 12:7  “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Luke 12:32  “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

John 12:15  “Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.”

Acts 27:24  “Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.”

Revelation 1:17 “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.”

God Is Faithful

Genesis 12:1-7

The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

God told Abraham to go to a new land that God would show him. I can’t assume that Abraham never wavered, never doubted, but he trusted and followed God’s instructions. And God was faithful and gave Abraham and his descendants a new home.

God asks us to believe, to be obedient, and to trust that he will always be there for us. When we face transitions and times of uncertainty, we can be encouraged by the story of Abraham. When we have faith and act in obedience, God will see us through. God will never fail us.

Free At Last

So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law Galatians 5:1.

We all seek freedom. With our very first breath, we come into this world kicking and screaming for freedom. The desire to be free was tucked into our very soul by God Himself as He formed us in the womb. Because freedom is a God-given need, our Father promises to provide a right way for that need to be met and the longing for freedom to be filled.

Freedom comes through truth. In John 8:32 we find the promise, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (NIV). To know truth, we must know God because He is truth. In John 14:6, Jesus says that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one can come to the Father except through Him. When we come to Jesus Christ in a personal relationship, we will experience true freedom for the first time – freedom from sin, freedom from condemnation and death, and freedom to really live. Without truth, there can be no freedom.

Freedom comes through obedience. Obedience calls us to challenge and lay aside anything that hinders our walk with God. Instead, we sometimes refuse to forsake cherished sin, allowing wrong attitudes to take root and prosper while harmful habits hold us prisoner. The writer of Hebrews offers compelling direction for the captured soul longing to be free. “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Obedience brings freedom.

Freedom comes through understanding. Until we understand who we are in His eyes, we will never truly be free. Our value and worth rest solely in the fact that we were created, chosen and pursued by God – for God. We belong to Him. His unconditional love sets us free to become all He created us to be, and more than we ever dreamed we could be. In Romans 5:8, the words of Paul celebrate our identity in Him, “But God showed His great love for us by sending Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners.” Recognizing our worth and value to God sets us free from the chains of human expectations and earthly demands. Understanding brings freedom.

Christ really has set us free. The question is – are we living in that freedom? Don’t live another day chained to your old ways. Seek His truth, walk in obedience, and celebrate your God-created identity! Free – free at last!

Heavenly Father, I long to be set free in You but I have to admit that the idea of total freedom in You frightens me. I am not sure what it will require. I have allowed old habits, sins, and attitudes to keep me in bondage. I know that is not Your will or Your plan. Right now, I lay down everything that keeps me from the freedom You have for me. Help me to walk in that freedom. Amen

How Do You Smell Today?

We need to remember that our attitudes and conversations give off a smell. The apostle Paul said, Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.

Does your attitude give off an aroma of Christ?  Are those around you drawn to Him as a result of the love and peace you display? Do your conversations consistently honor God, embody the fruit of the Spirit, and expel the fragrance of life…or are they sometimes laced with bitterness, resentment, anger, complaining and gossip? 

Imagine what message it will send to our loved ones, our neighbours, our co-workers and our communities when we intentionally locate and throw away our bad attitudes and seek God for renewal of our minds and actions. Let’s smell good today, friend! Let’s run the race before us as people of honor who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, give off an aroma of Christ.

Holy Father, please forgive me for all of the times I’ve allowed sinful behaviour to creep into my thoughts and conversations. I ask that you will now, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

Earthly and Spiritual Water

“He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” – John 4:16-19

We’re back with the woman at the well. She met Jesus and was astounded that He would even talk to her. Still, as she started to get Him a drink of water, He tells her that it’s not that kind of water that she needed and told her if she drank Living water, she would never thirst again. (Remember that Jesus uses earthly things to parallel spiritual things). So, what did she do? Did she have this powerful “ha-ha” moment and the band comes out and she made her way forward and her life was changed forever? No. She said, “So can I have a bottle of this water so I won’t get thirsty again? Just give me a sip of that.”She did what we all do – we bring it back to earthly things. But Jesus didn’t stop there.

Remember that Jesus was tired and worn out. He initiated this spiritual conversation, and she brought it back to earthly things. So, Jesus said, “You want to talk about earthly things? Let’s talk about earthly things. Let’s talk about your life.”  Jesus said, “Go call your husband.” “I don’t have a husband,” she said.  And I can just imagine that she was ready to move on past that conversation!  She says, “Let’s change the subject.” But Jesus did not change the subject.  In fact, Jesus pressed on with the subject.  He said, “No, let’s stay here for just a minute.  Let’s talk about your life. You are correct – you did tell the truth. You don’t have a husband. You’ve been married five times.” She must have been overwhelmed, not only by his knowledge, but that somehow, He came across as kind to her. How could this man know about her life?

Jesus was actually saying, “I bet by the fifth time you didn’t feel very valued.” You see, to Jesus, all women are valued. He wasn’t saying to her, “I think you’re a failure.” I think He was saying, “Yes, you’ve certainly failed. Everyone has failed many times. But you’ve also been failed.”

So, she stated the obvious  – “I think You’re a prophet.” The woman herself turned the conversation back to spiritual things, without even realizing it.

Today, let’s remember that Jesus understands and cares about our earthly needs, but we need to learn from Him that, regardless of the need, it always points back to what is truly spiritual – HIM!