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Showing posts from September, 2018

Are You A True Believer?

Morning Inspiration! Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31–32 Jesus points out that while many claim to follow him, only those who are faithful to what he teaches are true Believers. We can read, & even memorize the Scriptures. We can have perfect attendance at church & serve in the community. Yet, if we aren’t faithful to do what the Word of God teaches, he doesn’t count us as his children. Learning who Jesus is & what he expects of us is very important, but our Savior makes it clear: That alone is not enough! Being his follower requires more than hearing what he teaches. We must consistently practice doing what he preaches! Faith in Jesus is not about a memorizing set of rules. His truth is all about loving God & loving others, more than we love ourselves. Learning about his teachings in the Bible is where it all begins.…

Appreciating Our Ancestors!

Morning Inspiration: Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. Romans 15:8–9 I don’t think most of us ever stop to think about, & appreciate our ancestors. We have amazing spiritual ancestors, through our adoption into the family of God! The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, who freed the Jews from slavery to the Egyptians, is the same God who sent Jesus to earth, to free all mankind from the slavery of sin. From Peter & Paul, religious Jews who were saved & transformed by their faith in Jesus, to the hundreds of millions of Gentiles who God long ago promised to bring into his family...we are ALL related! I suggest we take time to stop & think & pray...about all our spiritual ancestors sacrificed & suffered through, to keep our faith pulsing through our world to this very day! Thank you Jesus for what…

The Importance of Staying Connected

Morning Inspiration! “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 Back then, everyone was familiar with grapevines. So Jesus used them as easy to understand examples of the need for believers to stay constantly connected to him. The fruit he spoke of, represents the good works we will do in his name. Loving kindness & service to others, while sharing the Good News of his offer of salvation, are good examples of the ‘fruit’ God expects from his followers.
Today, we might use electricity, to highlight his main point. Unless we are constantly ‘plugged in’ to Jesus, nothing we attempt to do can produce lasting goodness in the lives of others. Try as we might, we can’t produce our own light. Staying directly connected to our Savior, is the only way we can make a difference in the darkness of this world.

No Place For Laziness In The Church

Morning Inspiration: If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at harvest. Proverbs 20:4 While most of us don’t actually plant & harvest our food these days, this time of the year reminds us of the eternal Truth of Scripture. All those who are able to work, should....period. Mankind was actually created to work, & scripture indicates we’ll even have ‘jobs & responsibilities' in heaven! Freeloading causes all kinds of problems, both in society & our relationship with Jesus. In 2nd Thessalonians 3:10, Paul teaches that those who don’t work...shouldn’t eat! This makes it clear that we are to pay our own way in life. However, the Bible also requires us to feed & provide for widows & orphans, the elderly & the disabled. Notice that this is all within the church, and government is not mentioned! Work is a blessing that we can learn to enjoy. Those who are able to work but won’t, cheat society. They also shortchange themselves &am…

When Your Own Family Won't Believe!

Morning Inspiration! After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, and Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world!” For even his brothers didn’t believe in him. John 7:1-5 As sad as this is, it’s one of my favorite passages of Scripture, for several reasons. Even Jesus’ very own family didn’t believe he was who he claimed to be! To make it worse, they cared so little about his well being, that they basically dared him to go to a place where leaders were plotting to kill him! So often I hear from those who are terribly discouraged, because they can’t convince someone they love deeply, to believe in Jesus as their Savior. I always tell them “Don’t give up! Continue to pray for them to…

The ONLY Way To Heaven

Morning Inspiration: “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” Jesus, quoted in John 17:3 Jesus said it. I believe it. The only way to have eternal life, is to know the One True God, by entering into a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord & Savior. The world tells you there are many different ways to get into heaven. The Word says there is just one. The world, or The Word: Who are you going to believe? (Did you miss a Morning Inspiration recently? Catch up at nccabq.blogspot.com)

Trouble Won't Last, Eternity Will

Morning Inspiration! And as God’s grace reaches more & more people, there will be great thanksgiving, & God will receive more & more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small & won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them & will last forever! 2 Cor 4:15-17 Even when it seems the world is falling apart, or we are going through great pain, or deep turmoil in our life, it’s important that we use our faith in Jesus, to keep things in proper perspective. When we endure our suffering in a way that is pleasing to God, we bring Him great glory from others in the world. He in turn shares His glory with us! Don’t sweat the small stuff, & in the big picture of life, it’s ALL small stuff! The eventual rewards, will be SO worth it! Keep your eyes on your eternal prize!

Asking Others to Forgive Us!

Morning Inspiration! “Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way.”
Abigail, quoted in 1 Samuel 25:28 Even when we are clearly in the wrong, very few are willing to ask those we have upset, to forgive us. It seems relatively easy to ask God’s forgiveness, but our pride often keeps us from humbling ourselves to other humans. Abigail set a beautiful example, that continues to shine through the ages! She did absolutely nothing wrong, yet she apologized anyway! In asking David’s forgiveness for the bad behavior of her husband, she calmed everyone down, & averted senseless violence & death. Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement for our friends of the Jewish faith. For thousands of years, this holy day has been set apart for repentance (changing our ways) & seeking forgiveness for the wrongs we have done.
I know from personal experience, that amazing progress towards healing almost any relationship can be made, by starting with Abigail’s simple but powerful apology: “…

Be A Light In This Dark World!

Morning Inspiration!  “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.” Mark 4:21–22
After a long hike up a mountainside at our Men’s Retreat, we bent down at the waist & sloshed through icy, knee deep water inside a cave for 800 feet. It opened up to a large room at the end, where our guide asked everyone to turn off their flashlights. After a few minutes in absolute darkness, where no one could see anything at all, he held up a tiny light. It illuminated the entire room! Putting his light away, the cave went completely black again. He was making the same point as Jesus in this powerful Scripture: No matter how small, the light Jesus has placed in your life, can make it a brighter world for those around you! Yet even a powerful beam does no good at all, if you hide it away. By speaking openly about your faith, & more importantly, living it out for all to clearly see, you are being a…

What 'God Bless' Really Means

Morning Inspiration!
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.
Numbers 6:24–26 I’m as guilty as anybody about saying “God bless” to someone, without stopping to realize what it really means. This ancient prayer was given to Moses & Aaron by God Himself, to help us know what to ask for & what to expect from the blessings of our Lord. These words help us each to recognize our personal need & desire for the divine favor, grace & peace of God in our lives. As Jesus brings these gifts & more to us, our hearts should overflow with gratitude, & the strong desire to have a part in sharing these blessings with everyone God places in our pathway.

Failing To Pray

Morning Inspiration: As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 1st Samuel 12:23 Samuel disagreed with the Israelites he was dealing with, but he prayed for them anyway. We should do the same for others in our lives today. Simply having different opinions doesn’t make someone an enemy, even when their ideas are in direct conflict with what God teaches us. Realizing they are also God’s children, and lifting them up to Him in prayer is both a gift to them, and an act of submission to our Creator. We can’t change them, but Jesus can. He often initiates that change, as they observe our actions & attitudes. Jesus taught us to love & pray for others; even our enemies. We can do a better job of praying for God’s children, even His misguided ones, who we interact with every day. Not doing so is a sin against God.

Our World: Brand New & Coming Soon!

Morning Inspiration! I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:3–5 Yes, it’s true, God will make everything that exists, brand new! All indications are that Jesus is coming back very soon. This should bring us both great concern & wonderful hope! Are you ready to meet the Lord face to face? Do you know him personally? Have you done everything you possibly can to share his truth with others? If so, you should know you are good, & ready to go! But don’t even think about ‘coming home’ alone! Use the time we have left to share the Good News of Jesus with everyone you meet! (Read recent Morning Inspirations you may have missed at…

Things To Do? There's Really Only Two!

Morning Inspiration: Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. Philippians 4:6-7 As well as I know this verse, & as much as I lean on it...I need to put it into action more often! The Peace of God goes beyond all human understanding, & is just the opposite of how most of us live day to day. I find myself making a mental inventory of ‘All The Things I Have to Do’, or worrying about how I’m going to provide all that is expected. It often seems impossible & overwhelming. When all I really HAVE to do, is worry less, & pray more! “Lord Jesus, please remind me that YOU are in control, & will provide everything I need, to accomplish all that you desire for me to do in your name today.”

Love Is The Ultimate Sacrifice

Morning Inspiration: “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Jesus, quoted in John 15:12–13 On this date in 2001, almost 3,000 Americans lost their lives. Many perished in acts of selfless service to others who were lost, terrified, severely injured, & near death. In this powerful Scripture, Jesus gives us a clear command, that many of those modern day heroes were following, but that others of us too often ignore. Loving others, in the same way Jesus loves us, makes their lives more important than our own. Learning to actually live-out his extreme love, is not easy. ‘Laying down your life’ should certainly translate into at least giving up much (or even most) of our personal time & money, to help those in need. It may come at a much higher price, that could include the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus gave up his life willingly, setting the perfect example, in order to set us f…

Believe It-Share It!

Morning Inspiration! If you openly declare 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 openly declaring your faith that you are saved. Romans 10:9–10 Saving yourself is deceptively simple! Believe that Jesus told the truth, & then tell the truth to others!
He said “I am the way, the truth & the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.”
Believe the truth. Tell the truth. Share the truth. Anyone who believes in Jesus will not be disappointed.

What Kind Of Fruit Will You Produce?

Morning Inspiration! “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Jesus, quoted in Luke 6:43–45 To illustrate his lesson, Jesus tells you & me, to decide which type of tree, we are going to be! The ‘fruit’ Jesus speaks of, is what we produce in this world through our actions & words. He teaches that all we do & say, comes from what we have inside our heart. Those of us who have invited Jesus into our heart as Lord & Savior, will learn to be continuously guided by his Holy Spirit. He will lead us away from doing or speaking, or even thinking evil. Elsewhere in Scripture (Galatians 5:22) we learn that “the Holy Spirit produc…

Chosen In Spite Of Who You Are!

Morning Inspiration! Just think! Though I did nothing to deserve it, and though I am the least deserving Christian there is, I was chosen for the special joy of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. Paul, in Ephesians 3:8 Paul was filled with joy at being used by God, in spite of his lack of qualifications. If you allow Him to, God will also use you! Jesus doesn’t select only the best & the brightest to accomplish His purpose, and this Scripture should encourage us! We can’t focus on our personal limitations, or the world’s expectations. Feel unqualified? Unprepared? No worries, we are All That way. Just look to Jesus, and pursue whatever assignment He places in your path, with everything you have. Know that you have been chosen to share the Good News of Jesus with others, & that in doing so, you will experience a joy the world can’t possibly understand.

You Have A Direct Line To God!

Morning Inspiration! “I tell you the truth, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”
Jesus, quoted in John 16:23-24 Jesus willingly sacrificed his life, to allow us direct access to God! Before that, a believer could only approach the Lord through intercession by a priest. Now, through our faith in Jesus as our Lord & Savior,
we are allowed to take our requests directly to God the Father! Why in the world would we choose instead, to pray to a ‘saint’ or Jesus’ mother Mary? They were all wonderful examples of faith to us, but the bottom line is...none of them are God! Jesus died to give me the ability to use his name! He paid a very high price & I honor his amazing sacrifice, when I use the name of Jesus to ask God Himself to hear & answer my prayers.

Your Job Is Working For Jesus

Morning Inspiration: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
Colossians 3:23–24 Whether it’s a job we are paid for, duties centered around our family & home, or even ministry, our tendency is to complain about the work we have to do. Scripture encourages us to look at work in a different light, & helps us set the proper attitude. See whatever you are given to do, as an opportunity to work for & honor God. Mankind was created to work, & most of us are much more satisfied when we are busy with a variety of chores & duties to perform. Working as if everything we do is for Jesus, helps each of us understand that we have an important purpose in this world.