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Showing posts from November, 2018

Why Are We Afraid?

Morning Inspiration:"For God has not given us a spirit of fear & timidity, but of Power, Love & Self Discipline. So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord." 2 Timothy 1:7 I’m afraid! So are you. It’s a strange thing about we Christians, but it’s true! When it comes to sharing our faith, truth be told, we are much more likely to be shy, rather than bold. Scripture says we have been given a spirit of power, love & self discipline. So why do we fear a negative reaction? Years ago I began praying for boldness & courage about sharing my deeply held beliefs. I asked Jesus to help me care more about their hearts, than I did about their responses. It works...because our faith is true! Pray for boldness, & opportunities to tell others what God has done for you!

Great Wisdom from Simple Scriptures

Morning Inspiration! After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.”
Acts 15:36 This simple verse contains great wisdom, that we should pay attention to. Paul instinctively knew the keys to spiritual stability & growth for new believers: Follow-up, encouragement, additional teaching, & if necessary, correction. They forget, or misunderstand important basics of our faith. Often mislead by those they try to share with, they can swerve off in dangerous directions. Spiritual vultures swoop down to blur the truth & steal the seeds of salvation you planted. Always be sure to follow up with anyone you share Jesus with. God will bless them through your care & concern, & you will be rewarded in powerful ways.

Am I Rejecting His Light?

Morning Inspiration! I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. Jesus, quoted in John 12:46–48 Jesus came to show us the way out of our own darkness! His Light leads towards fulfillment now, & eternal life with God in the very near future. Jesus didn’t judge when He came the first time, & we are not to judge others now. Yet all must realize that judgement IS coming soon. Do I really accept Jesus & His message? Before I say yes, I need to pray that I’m not fooling myself! Jesus said “If you love me, do what I say.” Almighty God, help me to learn your Word, to love your Word & to truly live your Word.

Don't Speak Poorly Of Leaders

Morning Inspiration! Those standing near Paul said to him, “Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?”
“I’m sorry, brothers. I didn’t realize he was the high priest,” Paul replied, “for the Scriptures say, ‘You must not speak evil of any of your rulers.’” Acts 23:5 The High Priest acted horribly, breaking the law with his command for Paul to be slapped. Paul’s verbal assault in reaction was natural, but wrong. As soon as he realized Ananias was the High Priest, he apologized, calmed down & did his best to follow the teachings of Scripture. We all benefit by following his example today. Whether it’s a boss at work, a pastor at church, or a high ranking political leader...God does not want us speaking poorly about those who rule over us. Even when they are wrong, even if you feel they are evil. The teachings of Jesus are clear, two wrongs never make things right. We are not to fight evil with evil, but to overcome evil with love. Pray today that we could all do a better job of contro…

Thanksgiving Continues!

Morning Inspiration! Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts. Psalm 107:21–22 Even though the designated celebration has gone on it’s way, our Thanksgiving to God should continue every single day. I suggest keeping a list of things you are thankful for. Add to it, as you become more & more aware of the blessings Jesus brings to your life. Then tell everyone you meet! That’s a fulfillment of what we see later in this Scripture: V 31–32 Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation and before the leaders of the nation.

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Morning Inspiration!
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness. 
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Psalm 100:1-5

Watching Our Words At The Celebrations

Morning Inspiration!
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing, but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness. The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:1–3 As we head into the holidays, these Scriptures are critically important! Family dinners & special gatherings often bring out inappropriate comments. Pray, that we don’t say things that are offensive to others. Well meaning Christians often fall into the trap of trying to preach the gospel at the dinner table, with folks we only see a few times a year! Or we slip into making critical comments about lifestyles & choices we see as wrong. Living & acting in total love, as Jesus did, are much more effective (& may just give us an opening to share the truth with them at a later time). On the other hand, we must restrain the natural urge to respond sharply to the harsh words & actions of others…

The Best Time For Thanksgiving

Morning Inspiration! On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord:
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him; yes, sing His praises.
Tell everyone about His wonderful deeds.
Exult in His holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
1st Chronicles 16:7–10 For a Christian, every day should be filled with thanksgiving & gratitude. Take a deep dive into all there is to be thankful for, & let Jesus know you understand every good thing comes from Him. Then tell everyone you know, of what God has done for you.

What You 'Wear' Affects Your Power To Share

Morning Inspiration! Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12–14 The holidays bring lots of special gatherings, so this Scripture is an timely reminder! We are God’s chosen children, & represent Jesus in all we do & say! We are nowhere near perfect; just forgiven. We must humbly forgive others, realizing that we too have hurt & offended at times. As sinner ourselves, we can’t judge anyone either; that is God’s job. To ‘clothe ourselves’ in the wonderful characteristics listed, means we have to ‘put them on’ daily. That’s only possible when the love of Jesus, covers us so completely, that anyone we see, will witness His mercy, ki…

Are You Ever Stingy?

Morning Inspiration! “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?” 1 Samuel 25:10–11 Reading the full story, shows Nabal made a terrible mistake. He was a very wealthy man, who had the opportunity to help someone in need. He not only said no, he made rude & uninformed comments against those asking for help. He showed himself to not only be judgmental & stingy, but mean! If we are completely honest, we often do the same thing! We have much to be thankful for, & more than we need. Pray that Jesus gives us eyes to see those needing help, ears to hear their requests, & hearts to give generously as often as possible. Like Nabal, without ever realizing it, we may be given the chance to assist a future …

Our Response To Pain Gives Glory to God

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. 2 Cor 4:15-17 For a true Christian, giving up is never an option. Yes there are troubles, obstacles, defeat & possibly even death. Yet we are renewed & refreshed by God’s Holy Spirit daily, if we only stay connected to our source of power...Jesus Christ. No matter what you face, realize you are actually giving glory to God Himself when you respond as Jesus would. As this scripture continues on to say: “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!”

Do You Know All That Jesus Did & Does?

Morning Inspiration! This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:24–25 The Apostle John personally witnessed an incredible array of encounters, interactions, & miracles that Jesus orchestrated. He wrote about many of them, in what we call ‘The Book of John’. As much as there is to marvel at, John says his writings barely scratch the surface! Jesus did SO much more than could be told. Today, He continues to do more than we can possibly imagine! Read the Book of John to learn what Jesus did for others...then ask Him into your heart, so He can begin to do amazing things in you.

Proving Your Love For Jesus

Morning Inspiration! After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
John 21:15 In this well known passage, Jesus repeatedly instructs Peter to prove his love for God, by ‘feeding & taking care of His sheep’. This clearly shows that loving our Lord is much more than just saying it, or even feeling it. In God’s vocabulary, love is a verb! Truly loving God requires action. Be helpful to those unable to take care of themselves! Encourage others to become better, through your generous words & deeds. Now is the perfect time to show the world you love Jesus

Time To Produce Spiritual Fruit

Morning Inspiration! Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’ ” Luke 13:6-8 Are we guilty of taking up valuable space & resources, while wasting time & not producing anything valuable? Unfortunately for many, from a spiritual standpoint, the answer is yes!
Like the gardener in this story, God is patient, but can’t be expected to hold back much longer. Why wait, until it is too late? Pray today for Jesus to help you begin producing spiritual fruit for His Kingdom.

How Much Do We Trust God In Our Giving?

Morning Inspiration! Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41–44 When it comes to our financial gifts & offerings, God’s eyes have a very different way of looking at their size! Rather than be impressed with a large number, Jesus is looking for a huge heart, willing to give until it hurts. Other Scriptures remind us it’s impossible to out-give God. Whatever we give, always returns in even greater amounts. The poor widow knew this, & humbly gave away all she had. Her beautiful example is a goal we must each strive for. She trusted in God to provide all that she…

Why We Tell Others About jesus

Morning Inspiration! For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 2 Corinthians 5:10–11 Paul explains why Christians are compelled to tell others about Jesus. We know we will face Him on judgement day, & our deepest desire is that He will be pleased with our obedience to His teachings. His amazing grace comes with the responsibility to share it with others, so they too may be saved. Our fear is completely sincere, & double edged: We’re concerned those we know & love, will be left behind if they don’t hear the truth about Jesus; and we never want to disappoint our Savior.

What's Wrong With Your Heart?

Morning Inspiration! Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.” “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
Matthew 15:15–18 Jesus made it clear, that holiness is not about following man-made rules on food or rituals.
Those can’t make us unworthy of God...but our heart can! “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you” He said. In other words, once we get our hearts right with Jesus, everything else takes care of itself & falls into place.

How To Tell If You Love Jesus

Morning Inspiration: “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me.
John 14:23–24 Sadly, there are many who say they love Jesus, but don’t ever come close to obeying Him. In this Scripture, Jesus makes it clear that if we truly love Him, we will do what He says. What does that include? Among other things: Have mercy. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Visit those in prison...& love others more than you love yourself. Loving Jesus is not a feeling, it is a commitment to the life of service He clearly describes. When you love Jesus enough to do what He says, He & Father God make their home in your heart.

We Die To A New Life

Morning Inspiration: Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:42–44 No matter how well we take care of ourselves, our bodies will eventually decline downward into death. True believers aren’t defeated by this knowledge, because we understand this body is not our permanent home. While our physical bodies are sure to decay, we know that a glorified & healthy body is on the way. Our death in this world, is the birth of our new life, which lasts forever, in paradise with Jesus.

What We Do With Our Time

Morning Inspiration! “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.” Psalm 39:4 This weekend, many will make a big deal about ‘gaining time’, by moving our clocks back an hour. This attempt by mankind to manipulate time, can be a great reminder; Time just may be our most precious resource. We all have the exact same number of minutes in every day, but we are each given a different number of days to live. Our time is very limited, & once it’s gone, we can never do anything to get it back. Yet most of us waste huge amounts of it on things that are not beneficial to us, nor pleasing to God. Let’s use those ‘extra’ 60 minutes, to think & pray about better use of the precious time granted to us by Jesus.

The Problem with Putting Yourself First

Morning Inspiration! After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
Mark 9:33–35 Even though they lived with Jesus, the Disciples were slow to pick up some of His most important principles! Their natural tendency was to promote themselves, to be seen as better than all the others. Jesus gently taught that if you want to be first, you have to make yourself last! The world tells us to ‘take care of yourself first’, to ‘look out for number one’, & to ‘be all you can be’. The Word says “Make yourselves last, & you’ll become like Me.” Putting the needs of others above our own needs & desires, is one of the key things our Lord requires.