Monthly Archives: May 2016

Memorial Day

Today,  we remember all of those who died in service of the United States of America. It is a day of reflection and a day of hope. It is a day in which we say, “Because of your sacrifice, we are free.” It is a commitment to continue on so that their deaths are not in vain.

Actually borne out of the Civil War, a time when our country was nearly torn apart, General John Logan proclaimed May 30, 1868 a day for strewing flowers and decorating the graves of those who died in defense of the United States. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. It wasn’t until after WWI, that it was observed in every state on the last Monday in May.

When I think of the enormity of war and the sacrifice of losing a loved one for freedom, it humbles me. Every man and woman who has perished in defense of our great country deserves our respect, remembrance, highest regard.

Take the time today to appreciate the life you have here in United States. Pray for the families of those through out history who lost loved ones for our benefit. Participate in the remembrance of those who died for us. Reflect on their lives, their sacrifice, their service, and their loyalty to our country.

 


Our Core Being

Matthew 12:35-37, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

In this scripture, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees; even though they can quote scriptures, their hearts are not good. God is more interested in our core being, our inner self, and our hearts than in our memorizing scriptures. In these verses, Jesus is pointing out the importance of our words. Words matter to God. Words are significant to Him because words reveal our heart. There are other scriptures which point out the importance of what we speak.

Ephesians 5:3-4, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

James 1:19, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

NEVER underestimate the power of words. Words can cause you to ruin your marriage; separate you from your children; lose your job; break up your friendship; and cost you your reputation. Winston Churchill said of words, “By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.”

Your words can also be a source of good. They can encourage someone who needs to hear a kind word. Words can offer hope, strength, compassion, and love. Words can change a person’s life and impact God’s Kingdom.

How do you use your words? Consider carefully what you say for Christ tells us we will be judged by the words.


Trust in Him

Psalm 91: 4 – 6, “He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

My grandmother had a down comforter that I loved to crawl under in the winter and cuddle up and fall asleep. I often think of that down comforter when I read this scripture. The idea of being under His wings, covered by His feathers gives me such security.

God tells us that there is NOTHING – no terror by night, no arrow by day, no pestilence in the dark, nor any destruction that He will not protect us from. It is like having every Avenger by our side 24/7 and then some. Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, and all those other fictional characters tied into one and still His power is greater.

So, why do we fear and fret? Why do we lay awake at night and worry? Why do we hide in the corners as if we are defeated?

Keep your focus on Him no matter what you are facing. Every problem has a solution with Him.

Today, make a commitment that you will trust in Him to handle those things which scare you in the night; which attack you in the day; which try to destroy you. Trust in Him.


Alabaster Jar

Luke 7:37-38, “A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

Misjudgment. It happens routinely and unfortunately daily in our lives. We judge people based on their past. In this scripture Mary Magdalene, a woman with quite a sordid past, anoints Jesus’ feet with a very expensive perfume. People who witness the gesture find that it is wrong – erotic in nature – inappropriate. The Pharisees can’t understand Jesus even allowing a former prostitute and demon possessed woman to touch Him.

The Pharisee comments to Peter about Mary indicating his astonishment that Jesus would even allow “this kind of woman” near him. Jesus hears the conversation and asks Peter, “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.” Luke 7:41-43

When Mary rubs the perfume on Jesus’ feet, He does not see a prostitute. He does not see the stain of sins. When Mary rubs the perfume on His feet, Jesus sees her heart – not her past.

Some of you are dealing with sin you do not believe Jesus can forgive. It is difficult to talk with Him about it because you are so ashamed. Not only is He willing to forgive – He is willing to forget. Today, talk to God about the sin in your life. Put it in your past and move on to a glorious future in Christ.


Difficulties and Tumultuous Days Ahead

There are days, and we all have them, when we do not understand life. Questions flood our minds. We carry the burdens of every day; and some of us carry even heavier burdens. Maybe it is divorce or a death of a loved one. Maybe it is a financial struggle or a health issue.

We look around at other people and often it seems their lives are good. Why me? Why am I suffering while he prospers? What did I do wrong?

Job found himself in a similar situation. Life for Job had been good. He was prosperous, well-educated, a righteous man. In fact, according to Job1:1-3, “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.”

Sometimes we become complacent in our lives; in our relationship with God; in our every day activities. Sometimes we are doing everything we know to do to have the right relationship with God. Sometimes we are not living the way we should. And trials and struggles come our way. Matthew 5:45, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

It is something Jesus prepared us to have. He did not sugar-coat life. Jesus warned us of difficulties and tumultuous days.

John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

At the most unexpected times, trouble and tragedy can find us. Whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, tall or short, male or female, life can deliver some rough blows.

But there is an answer in 1 John 5:4, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

Whatever you are facing, know God will overcome it. Trust in Him. He alone holds the victory.


Your Vote Counts

 

Today, many of you have the opportunity to elect leaders in our government. It isn’t something to take lightly or disregard as trivial. No matter what – VOTE!

While the Bible does not tell us to vote – mainly because the authority of the day were not chosen by democratic vote – it does tell us to be good citizens. A good citizen assists in guiding his or her nation by casting a vote. I’ve often heard, “My vote doesn’t count. Why make the effort?” Statistically, many elections have been chosen by a handful of votes. As Christians, we need to cast our vote with thoughtful prayer; otherwise, we are allowing the non-Christian to do it.

It is our responsibility to vote intelligently, to understand the candidates and what their views are on issues that are important to our community, our state and our nation.

Today, stand up for what is right. Bring glory to God with your choices. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord! “ Psalm 33:12

Today is your day of opportunity. Exercise your right to speak your voice.

VOTE…It counts!

 


According to Jesus

The Character and Integrity of God according to Jesus.

1. God  is dependable. Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

2. God is a giver. Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”

3. God is merciful. Luke 6:35-36, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

4. God is faithful. Luke 12:29-32, “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek His Kingdom and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom.”

5. God is good. Luke 18:19, “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good except God alone.”

6. God is to be respected. Luke 12:4-5, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear; Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.”

7. God is just. Matthew 7:12, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

8. God is trustworthy. John 14:1-2, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

9. God is forgiving. Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

10. God is LOVE. John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Today, reflect on who God is to you and how He participates in your daily life. Pray and ask God to help you to know Him as Jesus has described Him.