Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Words Will Judge You

MATTHEW 12:36-37 NKJ
36 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak,
they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words
you will be condemned."

ROMANS 10:9-10 NKJ
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and
believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with
the mouth confession is made to salvation.

The reason we are taking time to look at the importance of
words is because most believers have neglected this area of
studying what the Bible teaches. So we need to spend extra time
on this subject.

Looking at Matthew 12:36-37 we see that according to Jesus our
words will play a big part in judging us. You may wonder why
that is the case, instead of just being judged by our actions.
Because words precede actions. What you say indicates what you
are thinking -- what is in your heart -- and all action is
dictated by what is inside us.

Also, notice in Romans 10:9 the important part given to
confessing the Lord Jesus in salvation. It is not enough to
just believe in our heart -- we must also confess with our
mouth that Jesus is Lord. (Confess means to speak in agreement
with. In this case we are agreeing with what God has said, that
Jesus is Lord.) This is the way faith works in every area. You
must combine believing in your heart and speaking with your

This is not restricted to some future time of judgment. It is
working right now. Today "with the mouth confession is made
unto salvation (which means deliverance)." If you are in
bondage today, you can change it by the words you speak.

I did not say, "Just speak a word and you will be free." This
involves a change in what you believe in your heart. It
involves changing what is coming out of your mouth all day --
not just for a few minutes when you decide to "speak the Word."
But you have to start and now is the best time to get started.

SAY THIS: Lord, please help me to get started, and keep on,
speaking in agreement with Your Word.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hold Fast Your Confession

HEBREWS 3:1; 4:14 NKJ
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed
through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without
wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Your confession is what you say. You should persistently
continue speaking in faith, agreeing with what God has said,
regardless of circumstances. If it never seemed like it was not
working, there would be no need to hold fast, or hang on, to a
confession of faith.

Some people are surprised when they act on God's Word and it
does not immediately come to pass. But there is abundant
evidence in Scripture showing that is normal. God never
promised that everything would happen instantly. The time
period involved gives us opportunity to walk in faith and
please God.

Remember that authority is released through words. When we
speak in DIS-agreement with what God says, we are giving
authority in that area of our lives to our enemy. This is why
Scripture tells us to struggle (if necessary) to keep speaking
in agreement with God's Word.

Why does the Bible tell us to "hold fast" -- or you might say
"hang on tight" or "hang on for dear life." Obviously,
something or someone is trying hard to get us to turn loose.
Who or what do you think that is?

SAY THIS: With God's help, I will keep speaking in agreement
with the Word of God, no matter what the circumstances may say.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What You Say Is What You Get

MARK 11:23 NKJ
23 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
`Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in
his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to
pass, he will have whatever he says.

Jesus said that you will have whatever you say -- dependent on
believing and not doubting. Think of that. What you say
determines what you get in life. It did for the children of
Israel. And the Bible says the things which happened to them
are lessons for us.

28 "Say to them, `As I live,' says the Lord, `just as you have
spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:

2 you are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken
by the words of your mouth.

Words can get you in trouble. And words can deliver you (see
Revelation 12:11 and Romans 10:10). Words control your destiny.

All of us face trouble in life and it can sometimes be tempting
to wonder why God does not help us sooner and in greater
measure. While there is much that we don't understand, we must,
on the basis of what Jesus said, realize we are responsible for
what happens because of the words we have spoken.

SAY THIS: Jesus said I will have whatever I say if I believe

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Life Can Be Tough

JOHN 16:33 ICB
33 "I told you these things so that you can have peace in me.
In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have
defeated the world!"

Jesus never promised us that everything would be perfect here
on earth. He recognized that we would encounter trouble. But
His instructions were to be of good cheer -- not to let it get
us down.

As we encounter difficulties in life, it will help us to
remember the big picture. First, God is our Father and has a
wonderful eternal plan for us. We are His children and He loves
us. Second, this time is but a training period for our future
life with God. We are supposed to be learning to trust God and
to obey Him.

So, every problem we ever face is an opportunity to walk in
faith and please God. Every problem is an opportunity to
overcome with God's help. How can we expect to receive the
blessings promised to the overcomer if we never have anything
to overcome?

What is the answer when we seem overwhelmed with trouble? Look
to Jesus. He has already won the victory. He has overcome and
defeated the world. In Him is victory.

You may ask how you can look to Jesus. It is mostly a matter of
focus -- what you choose to think on. What God says in His Word
will set you free and give you peace. What the circumstances
say is not the final word.

So, go to God's Word. Cling to the promises. Speak them. Sing
them. Shout them. Rejoice over them. And thank God for them.

Also, you need to develop a closer relationship with the Lord.
That is His desire and it should be yours. All relationships
are based on communication, so you must talk to the Lord to
deepen your relationship with Him. Develop the habit of talking
with Him about everything. You can speak freely to Him -- after
all He knows what you are thinking anyway.

SAY THIS: No matter what I face, the Lord is with me, and I can
overcome because Jesus already won the victory.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

They Laughed Jesus To Scorn

24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but
sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

Do others think you are crazy for being a follower of Jesus? Do
they think you are too extreme for believing the Bible
literally? Well, don't feel lonely. Jesus faced the same type
of problems. As we see in Matthew 9:24, sometimes people
derided Jesus. They did not just laugh at Him -- they laughed
Him to scorn. They made a big deal out of it.

It is the same today. When we believe what Jesus said, there
may be times when others think we are crazy. They may laugh at
us. They may even mock us for believing God's Word. That is
nothing new. But why should you let it affect you?

Often we are too concerned about what other people think. After
all, they are not our Judge. Nor are they our Provider. But God
is, and we should care what He thinks. That was the stance that
Jesus took.

We must remember that we are not in a popularity contest. Yes,
to some people the message we have to share will be received
with gladness and thankfulness. I am sure the parents of the
girl Jesus raised from the dead -- after He was laughed to
scorn -- were glad. But to others we are often not understood.

That really is the root of the problem. People are in darkness.
They do not understand what is really happening. They don't
understand there is a spiritual side of life. They do not
understand that the words we speak are important and carry
authority. They do not understand that with faith in God,
nothing is impossible. And people generally mistrust what they
do not understand.

So we must walk in love and be patient with people, knowing
that they are in darkness -- but someday they will see the
light. If we continue to walk in the light ourselves, we can be
the means of God's light beginning to shine into their lives
and bring understanding.

SAY THIS: I choose to believe the Word of God regardless of
what other people think. I am a believer, not a doubter.

Friday, January 26, 2007

God Gives You Ability To Get Rich

8 But remember the Lord your God! It is he who gives you the
power to become rich. He keeps the agreement he promised to
your ancestors. So it is today.

I don't want to sound critical, but I have heard so many preach
using this verse that God wants to prosper His people for one
sole purpose: so that we can give the money to God so He can
afford to proclaim the Gospel to all the world. But I just
don't buy it.

I do believe that God desires for His people to be givers.
Being selfish is the worst thing you can do. And it is true
that usually the biggest enjoyment you can get from something
is to give it away to someone thrilled with it.

But surely God is not waiting around to go ahead with His
operation till we get enough money to finance Him. And surely
God is not worse than a normal earthly parent. What earthly
parent would give their children some toys on Christmas, then
tell them that the ONLY reason they were given those gifts is
so they could give them away to the neighbor kids?

I already said that God does not desire selfishness. If you are
not a giver, you are not in God's will for you. But God does
not give you things just to require you to give them all to
someone else.

Deuteronomy 8:18 is simple: it is saying that God is the One
making you rich , and He is doing it because He had said that
He would -- not because we deserve it!

I especially like:

17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be
haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living
God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

God is not the kind of being who will make you just barely
scrape by -- He gives RICHLY all things to ENJOY. God gives to
us because He enjoys it and because He keeps His word!

SAY THIS: I trust in the living God, Who gives me richly all
things to enjoy. He gives me the power to prosper because He
said He would.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Holy Spirit Is Your Helper 2

JOHN 15:26 NKJ
26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from
the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
He will testify of Me.

Never forget that the Holy Spirit's desire and purpose is to
help you -- not to hinder you.

Also, remember that the Holy Spirit is a person, and should be
treated with the utmost respect.

Here are some ways the Holy Spirit desires to help you, and
will help you when you allow Him to.

Teaches Us All Things

JOHN 14:26 NKJ
26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send
in My name, He will teach you all things . . . .

Tells Us Things To Come

JOHN 16:13 NKJ
13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He
will tell you things to come.

Abides With Us

We are not facing life all alone -- as an orphan would. The
Holy Spirit is with us continually -- living with us. When we
need help He is never far away, but always right with us,
waiting for us to call on Him for His help.

Empowers Us To Be Witnesses

8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come
upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in
all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Brings Life And Healing To Us

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also
give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells
in you.

Encourages Us

16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God,

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

SAY THIS: Thank You Holy Spirit that You are my Helper! Thank
You for helping me!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Holy Spirit Is Your Helper

JOHN 15:26 NKJ
26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from
the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
He will testify of Me.

The Holy Spirit's desire and purpose is to help you -- not to
hinder you.

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity of God. It
is difficult for humans to understand how there can be only one
God, as the Scriptures teach, yet He can reveal Himself as
three persons. So do not let it be an obstacle for you.

The Holy Spirit is a person, not just a force. He should be
treated with the utmost respect and shown the utmost gratitude.

Following are a few of the ways the Holy Spirit desires to help
you, and will help you if you allow Him to.

In Prayer

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do
not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit
Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot
be uttered.

One weakness of humans, compared to God, is in our limited
knowledge. We do not even know what is happening on the other
side of a wall, let alone the other side of the country. We
also do not know what people are planning to do, but the Holy
Spirit knows everything. And He will help us to pray accurately
and effectively.

One way the Holy Spirit helps us in prayer is by giving us
utterance in a language for prayer which we have never learned.
Thus we can bypass our minds with their doubt and lack of
understanding of what is best, and pray according to the
perfect will of God.

Guides Us

The Holy Spirit will, if allowed, guide you in every area of
life; from the words you should speak, to the spouse you should
marry, to the investments you should make.

JOHN 16:13 NKJ
13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will
guide you . . . .

SAY THIS: Thank You Holy Spirit that You are my Helper!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

God Is A Father

EPHESIANS 3:15 Amplified
15 For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
[that Father] from whom all fatherhood takes it title and
derives its name.

I have included these different translations, with the notes
from the margin, to show that the Bible says that all
fatherhood derives from God. In other words, God is the
original Father. Everything good that fathers are, was in God
first. All earthly fatherhood is but a replica of what was
first in God.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives
its name.

NIV NOTE: Or whom all fatherhood

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its

NRSV Note: Gk fatherhood

One mission of Jesus on earth was to show us what God was like,
to reveal Him to us. Jesus introduced the concept of God as
Father. The Jews did not know God as Father because the Old
Testament does not teach it. No other religion had looked to
God as a Father. Instead God was generally thought of as a
judge at best, and often as a despicable character who could
only be trusted to let you down; someone who would play tricks
on you just for his amusement, and delight in disappointing

Concepts of God haven't really changed much, have they!

But Jesus revealed to humanity that God was not like they
thought -- He was a good Father. Not someone who would do them
wrong, but someone who would take care of them with their best
interest always at heart. Someone who would love them more than
they loved themselves.

How do you think of God?

SAY THIS: God, I am glad to know You are a Father. Please help
me to always remember that.

Monday, January 22, 2007

God Really Does Love You

1 JOHN 3:1 NIV
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we
should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The
reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Yes, you have heard it before. No, you don't understand it yet.

Ephesians 3 mentions praying that believers would know the love
of Christ -- which is really beyond knowledge. In other words,
you need a divine revelation to understand God's love for you.

19 Christ's love is greater than any person can ever know. But
I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be
filled with the fullness of God.

Yes, you know that Jesus died for you, that God watches over
you, protects you and provides for you. But that does not
really give you insight into how God feels about you. He could
do all that just because He felt obligated to take care of you
because He created you.

No. That is not the whole story. God LOVES you.

"But why would God love me? I don't even love myself" you may
say. Well, pray for a divine revelation -- that is really the
only way to know.

However, for those of you who are parents, this may help give
you a little insight. Think about the love you have for your
children. Can you adequately communicate how you feel to them?
Well, our human love for our children is just a shadow of God's
love for you, as His child.

SAY THIS: Father God, please help me to understand how much you
love me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

God Has Already Forgiven You

19 It was God (personally present) in Christ, reconciling and
restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and
holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them];
and committing to us the message of reconciliation -- of the
restoration to favor.

A popular idea is that God is really mad at people and can
hardly wait to punish them for their sins.

The truth is that God has already forgiven people. Now you must
accept His forgiveness to enjoy a restored relationship with

What a shame it is that people are estranged from God and go
without His help and blessing -- simply because they think God
is against them and would have nothing to do with them.

1 JOHN 2:12 NKJ
12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are
forgiven you for His name's sake.

No matter what you have done -- God has already forgiven you!
More than forgiven -- you are loved!

Forgiving you was God's idea -- you do not have to convince
Him. You must believe God forgave you and thank Him.

Jesus Christ already paid the price for all your sins -- and
God is no longer holding any sin against you! You have been

SAY THIS: Thank You Father God for forgiving me! Thank You Jesus!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

God Loves You

You may find it difficult to believe -- but it's true -- God
loves you. His love for you is not based on your appearance or
your performance -- but on the fact that you are His creation -
- His child.

Just as a good parent loves their children, so God loves His
children -- and even more so. You will not be able to make God
stop loving you, no matter what you do or don't do. You can
displease Him, you can disappoint Him, you can anger Him -- but
you can't make Him stop loving you.

What are the practical consequences of God loving you? First,
it means you can trust Him. No one who truly loves you will
mistreat you. Second, it means God is doing all He can to help
you and bless you.

"Then why am I not more blessed, if God wants to bless me?"
Because you must cooperate with God to receive His blessing.
That is why we need continuing instruction from the Bible -- so
we can know how to receive all that God has for us.

The promise of Jesus is that if we continue in His Word it will
reveal the truth to us and make us free. That is the blessing
which God has provided for you through Christ because He loves
you: true freedom! Freedom from fear, freedom from confusion,
freedom from lack, freedom from sickness, freedom from strife,
freedom from sin.

SAY THIS: God loves me and desires the very best for me. That
is why He gave me His Word, so I could know the truth and be

Friday, January 19, 2007

What Does God Want From Me?

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who
comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder
of those who diligently seek Him.

You may be working yourself to a frazzle trying to be perfect
so you can please God.

You may have tried so hard and become so frustrated that you
are about ready to give up. Well, maybe you should quit trying
to be perfect on your own -- because none of us will ever be
perfect through our own efforts, anyway.

God knows you are human. He does not expect perfection out of
you. If you were perfect you would not even need a Saviour.

God loves you and accepts you because He made you. And He is
able to make you into what He desires for you to be -- if you
will trust Him and allow Him to work in you.

God wants you to trust Him. He wants your love and respect. He
has certainly earned it and deserves it. Don't let the devil
keep you from giving to God what He really desires: your love
and faith.

What does God desire from you? Not perfect performance -- but
total trust. God wants you to believe that He is good -- a rewarder!

SAY THIS: I trust You Lord God. Thank You for loving me. I will
rest in your love, instead of worrying about my performance.
Work your will in me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Be Who You Are

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am....

ROMANS 12:2 Wuest, An Expanded Translation
2 And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come
from within you and is not representative of what you are in
your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change
your outward expression to one that comes from within and is
representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your
mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of
God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having
found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.

God is a brilliant Creator. He only makes originals -- not
copies. According to Ephesians 2:10, you are God's work of

God made you unique. So be all that God created you to be.

Don't try to be someone else. Don't try to be an ear in the
Body of Christ, if God made you a foot. Just be yourself.

This does not mean that you cannot improve, or grow. Growth is
part of God's plan. And we can certainly learn from others, and
imitate excellent actions and attitudes.

But too many people are insecure and hope to gain acceptance
from others by conforming to what they think will make them
popular or successful -- even though they hate it and know they
are not being real.

ROMANS 12:2 Phillips
2 Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own

Don't let the world pressure you into conforming.

Express the originality that God put within you. God made you
the way you are for a purpose -- His purpose.

This is not to encourage rebellion, of course. But it is not
God's plan for us all to be identical and do everything in the
same way.

I am not saying you have to try to be different. Just be who
God made you -- without fear.

Not everyone may like you, or what you do. But that is normal.
You can't always please everyone. Make it your aim to please
God by expressing what He made you.

2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let
God transform you into a new person by changing the way you
think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you
will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

The Bible reveals many truths about who we are once we receive
Jesus Christ. We actually receive new life, a new standing with
God, and new ability. As you feed the Word of God into your
thinking, that new life will be able to manifest more and

SAY THIS: I am what I am by the grace of God. I will be what
God made me and fulfil His plan for me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Is Looking A Sin?

28 "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for
her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

This Scripture seems to indicate that even seeing a woman, and
having the slightest thought of her attractiveness, could be a
serious sin.

We must remember that the New Testament was written in the
Greek language, and all English versions are translations done
by people who are fallible. Whenever a difficult verse
confronts us, it can often be helpful to consult those who are
expert in the Greek language. One way is to examine how other
English translators have rendered the verse. Another way is to
consult Bible commentaries.

R. C. H. Lenski, in his commentary on Matthew 5:28 says, "The
present participle characterizes the man by his act of
continued looking. The construction with the infinitive denotes
purpose (not result), it is somewhat like our phrase, 'with a
view to,' . . .

"Jesus does not say that by the accomplished lusting or by and
during the act of looking at the woman the man in question
commits adultery. The aorist, emphasizing the feature of the
time, precedes these acts. The man who casts lustful looks is
an adulterer to begin with. The sin is already "in his heart"
and only comes out in his lustful look. If the heart were pure,
without adultery, no lustful look would be possible."

Jesus confirms this interpretation in Matthew 15:19, showing us
that adultery, like other sins, begins on the inside.

19 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders,
adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

To clarify: the verse does not say that looking is committing
adultery. Instead, it says if you look lustfully, it is because
you have already made the decision to commit adultery.

The Jewish New Testament Commentary states, "The believer has
'the mind of the Messiah' (1C 2:15) and is not to nurture and
cherish improper sexual feelings, desires, urges and lusts. If
he does, then, for reasons explained at James 1:12-15, he will
succumb to the temptations they raise, give sexual fantasizing
undue control in his life and finally engage in wrong sexual
behavior such as adultery, fornication and homosexuality."

Just having a bad thought cross your mind is not sin, and is
not proof that you have it in your heart. It is only when you
embrace it and nurture it that it becomes yours and can get
into your heart.

William Barclay's translation reads, "But I tell you, if anyone
looks at a woman in such a way as deliberately to awaken within
himself the forbidden desire for her, he has already committed
adultery with her in intention."

In his commentary, William Hendriksen states, "Upon closer
examination we notice that there is nothing innocent about the
man described in verse 28. He is not one who, without any evil
intentions, happens to see a person of the opposite sex. No, he
is looking, gazing, staring at a woman in order to lust after
her, to possess and dominate her completely, to use her for his
own pleasure."

It seems safe to conclude that just looking at someone, even if
you notice their attractiveness, is not a sin by itself.

We do, however, need to be wise, and as the Bible instructs,
avoid temptation as much as possible. We should also cast down
thoughts that are not in line with God's Word and will for us.

The sinful thought precedes the sinful act. If we refuse to
entertain wrong thoughts, we will not commit sinful acts.

Whatever the exact meaning intended by Jesus, I am quite sure
He did NOT mean: (1) It is just as bad to think about adultery
as to do it, or (2) It is a sin to look admiringly at a
beautiful woman -- or a handsome man.

But if, while you continue looking, you are also planning how
to seduce her (or him), clearly you have now made the decision,
and all you lack is the opportunity to fulfil the act. So, you
are guilty of the intent to commit adultery -- you have already
committed adultery in your heart, as Jesus said.

SAY THIS: Lord, thank you for making my heart pure, and helping
me keep my mind pure. Thank you for all the beauty you have
created and helping me to enjoy it as you intended.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lack Of Knowledge

6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

People wonder why Christians experience so much trouble in
life. The reason, according to the Bible, is a lack of

The Bible tells us the devil is out to destroy us, but it also
makes clear that we can overcome his attacks. The real problem
lies with our ignorance.

Real knowledge produces faith. When we really know something,
we have faith in it. Then we will act on that knowledge.

The reason God's people are hit with calamity is not because
God doesn't love us, or because God is not able to help us. It
is simply that we don't know the truth. If we really knew the
truth, we would act on that knowledge. Acting on true knowledge
makes you free -- not destroys you or puts you into bondage.

JOHN 8: 31-32 NKJ
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you
abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you

God's Word is our instruction book. When we act on it, things
will work for us. God allows us to make choices. When we make
the right choices, we will be blessed.

Don't let the devil condemn you with this message. Instead, let
it give you hope. You can learn God's Word and act on it more
accurately in the future -- and be blessed!

SAY THIS: God gave me the knowledge in the Bible so I could
know the truth, act on it, and be blessed.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Honor Your Parents

2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first
commandment with promise:
3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the

Think about this: God himself promises that if you will honor
your parents you will have a long and blessed life.

(Note that no exceptions are listed. Even if your parents were
terrible, this is still God's Word to you.)

What a promise!

So we need to learn from Scripture what God means by "honoring"
our parents, so we can do it and be blessed.

4 For instance, God says, `Honor your father and mother,' and
`Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to
5 But you say, `You don't need to honor your parents by caring
for their needs if you give the money to God instead.'
6 And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct
commandment of God.

Here we have Jesus telling one way that people are to honor
their parents: by caring for their needs.

So honoring your parents is not just speaking politely to them,
or telling others that they are great parents. If your parents
have needs, you should help them. In this way, according to
Jesus, you are showing them honor.

Here is Mark's account of the same speech:

MARK 7:10-12 NLT
10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: `Honor your
father and mother,' and `Anyone who speaks evil of father or
mother must be put to death.'
11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their
parents, `Sorry, I can't help you. For I have vowed to give to
God what I could have given to you.'
12 You let them disregard their needy parents.

Obviously, letting your parents go with unmet needs, when you
could meet them, is the opposite of showing them honor.

Of course, the words we speak and the attitude we have toward
our parents, also indicates how we honor them.

The word translated honor means to value or prize. God is
telling us we should value our parents highly. When you
consider something valuable you take care of it, and speak well
of it. This is how you should treat your parents -- if you
desire God's blessing.

SAY THIS: I will honor my parents and God will bless me.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jesus Prayed

16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

But why?

Jesus prayed and He is our example. If prayer was necessary for
Jesus -- how much more so for us.

JOHN 13:15 NKJ
15 "For I have given you an example. . . .

12 . . . He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all
night in prayer to God.

35 . . . a long while before daylight, He went out and departed
to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

Jesus obviously impressed His disciples with His prayer life,
and the importance of prayer. They asked Him to teach them to
pray -- the only thing recorded that they ever asked Jesus to
teach them.

1 And it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place,
when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord,
teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."

SAY THIS: Jesus knows more than I do, so I will follow His
example and spend time in prayer with my Father God.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Believing Prayer Changes Things

We have authority in our domain and can choose to invite God's
involvement -- or not.

30 "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and
stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should
not destroy it; but I found no one.

JOHN 16:23-24 NKJ
23 ". . . Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the
Father in My name He will give you.
24 "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you
will receive, that your joy may be full.

JOHN 14:13-14 NKJ
13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the
Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Christ has delegated a certain amount of His authority in the
earth to His Body, the church. Our decisions as believers --
which we can express in prayer -- make a difference in our
lives and others' lives.

MARK 11:24 NKJ
24 ". . . whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that
you receive them, and you will have them.

3 `Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and
mighty things, which you do not know.'

15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and
you shall glorify Me."

SAY THIS: God invites me to pray and believe, so His will can
be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Cursed By Blessings?

22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no
sorrow with it.

What we might consider "blessings" don't always help people.
Sometimes they hurt.

We don't always know what is best for us. Often, what we think
we want turns out to be a big mistake.

Consider the case of two girls: one extremely beautiful -- the
other quite plain looking. Because of her natural beauty, the
one becomes totally self-absorbed. Thinking herself superior,
she grows haughty and proud, and, although rich and famous, has
no true friends.

She selfishly only seeks her own welfare and gives no thought
to other's desires or happiness.

As she grows older and less attractive, she cannot live with
not being the center of attention. Lonely and depressed, she
finally takes her life.

The other girl, not being endowed with any great natural
beauty, is not tempted to be proud and haughty. She is forced
to develop in other ways.

She, being humble, is willing and ready to help others and
gains many friends. Because she could not rely on her natural
abilities in life, she was forced to turn to God and seek His
help. With God's life and love manifesting through her, she was
able to marry a godly man, and they raised a fine family
together and enjoyed a long and happy life.

Which girl was really blessed?

Just remember: what you think you want is not always what you
would really want. Be thankful for what you have and who you

SAY THIS: Thank you Lord for my life.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pride and Humility

4 By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and

Humility is the opposite of pride.

Humility does not think it is better than anyone else. "I am
what I am by the grace of God."

5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your
elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be
clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives
grace to the humble."

A humble person is one who follows God's instructions, instead
of leaning to their own understanding.

Being a humble person does not mean being a loser. A humble
person is one who has the proper relationship to God and grasps
reality, which is: without God, we can do nothing.

Humility will cause a person to remember their need to pray.

A humble person is one who prefers to suffer wrong rather than
do wrong.

Pride will bring you low. Humility will cause God to exalt you.

LUKE 14:11 NKJ
11 "For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted."

God cannot exalt proud people without it harming them.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift
you up.

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that He may exalt you in due time,

SAY THIS: Lord, please help me to beware of pride.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines
their motives.

Motives are important to God.

God is interested in WHY we do things, not just in WHAT we do.

Why do you do what you do?

Is it to help others? To please God? Or do you live focused
totally on yourself?

These questions are important to ask ourselves. As 1
Corinthians 11:31 says, "if we would judge ourselves, we should
not be judged."

However, we must use caution when trying to judge other people.
We don't know their motives.

2 We can justify our every deed, but God looks at our motives.

We often justify ourselves, but judge others harshly. We may
judge ourselves based on our good intentions, but we are only
capable of judging others by their actions.

So, we must be very cautious about judging others in a
condemning way.

5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till
the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in
darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that
time each will receive his praise from God.

One main reason we are not qualified to judge others is because
we don't know their thoughts, intentions, and motives. Only God

SAY THIS: Lord, please help me to be aware of my motives.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Are You In Trouble?

13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone
happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

The Greek word translated as trouble in this verse means to
suffer trouble, be afflicted, or to endure hardship or evil.

The best thing anyone facing trouble can do is pray. You don't
have to know how, just pour out your heart to God and discuss
the situation with Him.

We are tempted to do many other things: cry, complain,
criticize others, but Scripture says we should pray when we
face tough problems.

Notice it does not say you should ask everyone else to pray for
you. It says you should pray.

There is nothing wrong with having other people pray for you.
But there is something wrong with expecting others to pray,
while you never pray.

By praying, we do not mean begging God for help. God loves you,
and always desires to assist you.

What is needed is not twisting God's arm to get Him to help.
Usually a part of the answer is God getting us quiet enough for
long enough so He can speak to our hearts and show us what
needs to be done.

Sometimes we have missed it, and that is why we are in trouble.
Other times, we may face trouble just because we live in a
fallen world. But always, when we are in trouble, we need to
know God's direction as to what to do.

Discuss your situation with the Lord. Lay it out in detail.
Often just telling Him honestly about the situation will cause
you to realize what should be done. Pour out your soul to the
Lord, but also wait in His presence with thanks and praise. Let
your heart and mind get quiet. Let God's peace overcome your
turmoil and worry.

God tells us that if we will draw near to Him, He will draw
near to us. This is why you should pray. You need God's help.
He has the wisdom and knowledge to get you out of the trouble
you face.

Direction may not come the first time you determine to seek God
and pray. You may not seem to get the answer while you pray.
But know this: God is working, and the answer is coming. So
keep praying. Keep on drawing closer to God. Help will come.

JOHN 16:33 NIV
33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have
peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I
have overcome the world."

SAY THIS: When I face trouble I will pray and draw near to God,
and He will help me.

Monday, January 08, 2007

You Are Important!

22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be
weaker are necessary.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

There are NO unnecessary parts in the Body of Christ.

The devil wants you to think your part does not matter, so you
will slack off.

But your part IS important. Your prayers are important. Your
giving is important. Your witness to others is important.

It is easy to believe a famous person who ministers to
thousands is vital in God's plan. But we need to be
reminded that every member of the Body of Christ is needed --
including you!

Don't condemn yourself because you aren't doing a job that puts
you in the spotlight. Don't worry that no one knows what you
are doing. God knows.

Someone witnessed to Billy Graham. Someone prayed for Oral
Roberts to be healed of tuberculosis. Do you know their names?
God does. What if they hadn't been faithful and obedient to do
their part?

What if the person who brought you the Gospel hadn't been

So, when you are tempted to be discouraged and think what you
do doesn't matter -- resist those thoughts!

No one but God may see what you are doing, but it is

Have confidence in God. He knows what He is doing. God placed
you where you are. God has a plan and a job for you to do
there. Be faithful and do it. When it is time for you to do
something else, God will arrange it and lead you out.

Don't try to be somebody else. Just be faithful and obey God
where you are.

Too many Christians think preachers are supposed to do all the
work in the Body of Christ. Preachers may be likened to a
mouth. A mouth is important. But a mouth is not more important
than our hidden, internal organs. We don't see the liver and
kidneys working. However, you could live without a mouth
capable of speech, but not without functioning kidneys or

22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least
important are really the most necessary.

A body may exist without some of its parts functioning, but it
cannot accomplish as much as it would otherwise.

Do your part! God thinks it's meaningful. Don't let the devil
convince you otherwise.

Maybe all you can do is pray, but that is most important.

Obey God and be faithful where you are. You are needed or God
would not have placed you there.

SAY THIS: God says I am necessary and important.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Meeting Together

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the
manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the
more, as ye see the day approaching.

While the Bible does warn us, in the above verse, not to
forsake meeting together with other believers, it never tells
us how often we should meet. Neither does it say when or where
we should meet.

When we meet together, God did not intend for it to be just a
ritual, but something beneficial.

It should be a time of fellowship, learning, sharing, giving,
receiving, and spiritual encouragement. A time to build one
another up by what the other members of the body supply.

26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one
of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a
revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto

Although nothing is more important than receiving teaching to
help us understand and act on God's Word, that should not be
the only reason we meet together.

When the Bible was written, the only way to hear anointed
teaching of the Word was to physically gather together when a
Bible teacher was present. But today we are not limited to a
time or place, because of recorded media.

The reason for meeting together as believers is more than just
to listen to someone else "preach" to you. You need to become

A true "church meeting" does not require a large number of
people. In fact, a smaller group is often best, as it is easier
to share what you have and offer spiritual encouragement to
others, as well as receive it yourself.

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.

Even two believers discussing the Word during their lunch break
is a valid expression of a "church meeting" according to this
verse. Jesus promised us, as individual believers, He would
never leave us. So, clearly this verse must mean Jesus
expresses Himself in a special way, as members of His body meet
together in His Name.

The New Testament refers often to believers meeting in their
homes. There is no reason believers cannot meet anywhere: on a
commute to work, at a restaurant, at an office, or even in a
church building. The Bible sets no limitations.

Of course it is absolutely vital to regularly feed on teaching
from God's Word to stay built up spiritually. But today, that
can be accomplished anywhere and anytime.

But too many believers stop with only being fed the Word. They
never share and interact with others. So they don't grow and
develop as they should. You always learn better and receive
more when you share what you have already received.

No one knows everything. But we all have something to
contribute. You don't have to be a super-saint to be involved
with others. You can meet with another believer (or maybe a few
others): a friend, neighbor, or family member. Just discuss the
Word. Ask a question if you have one. Share an insight if you
have one. Maybe pray for one another. Things like this are the
reason to not forsake meeting together.

If your church-going is just a ritual, and all you get out of
it is no more than what you could get at home, then changes
need to be made. But please, do not fall into the trap of
criticizing others for what they do, or do not do.

SAY THIS: I will regularly meet with other believers.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Feed Your Faith Daily

4 But He answered and said, "It is written, `Man shall not live
by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth
of God.'"

You may neglect the Word of God and still exist, but you will
not enjoy life -- really live -- as God intended, without
feeding regularly on God's Word.

Just as you need physical food to remain strong physically, you
also need spiritual food to stay strong spiritually.

God's Word -- the Bible -- is the food that feeds our faith,
and gives us spiritual strength.

Every day you need to feed, at least some, on God's Word.

A helpful key is to develop good habits, such as reading the
Word every time you eat food, or every morning when you awake,
or right before you go to sleep. The time is not important,
just that you remember every day.

There are many ways to feed on God's Word available to us
today. Reading, or listening to, teaching from the Bible is one
way. Speaking the Word -- especially when you personalize it,
can really build your faith fast. Of course, nothing can
replace your own reading of the Bible, or having it read to

Most of us have busy schedules. Time is scarce, and we must
invest it wisely. Nothing will benefit us more -- both in this
life and in the one to come -- than feeding on God's Word.

All of us can find time for God's Word, if we want to. You can
write Scriptures on cards to read and meditate on whenever you
stop in traffic, or whenever you have to wait for someone.
Maybe listening as you travel, or as you prepare for work, is a
good plan for you.

The important thing is that you have a plan, so you don't let
this most important habit slip.

Seeing the Word. Hearing the Word. Speaking the Word. Thinking
about the Word. This is what builds our faith and keeps us
strong spiritually.

SAY THIS: I will feed my faith daily on God's Word.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jesus Took A Nap

23 On the way across, Jesus lay down for a nap, and while he
was sleeping the wind began to rise. A fierce storm developed
that threatened to swamp them, and they were in real danger.

So many people are driven -- feeling and acting like the
responsibility for running the whole world is on their

But Jesus was able to relax. Arguably, He had an important job
to do. Yet He had balance in His life. He knew when it was time
to take a nap.

Jesus also spent whole nights in prayer. So, His example does
not encourage laziness or apathy. Just balance -- and trust in
God, instead of worry.

Some may think it would be a sin to "take a nap" because we
should always be working. But Jesus never sinned, and we may
safely follow His example, and keep our lives in balance.

SAY THIS: I will relax and trust God.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Read The Bible

13 Till I come, give attention to the reading of the holy
Writings, to comforting the saints, and to teaching.

12 For the word of God is living and full of power. . .

There is no substitute for the basics.

The words of God recorded in the Bible are containers. They
contain ideas from God. They contain life. When those words
enter us through our eyes, ears, or our thinking, they impart
life and faith.

Even if we don't understand everything, we are still receiving
a deposit of life from the Word.

63 . . . The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are

Many Christian believers are weak in their faith simply because
they do not take in much of the Word of God.

If you spend hours each day listening to, watching, and
thinking about the news and views of the world, but you only
listen (half-heartedly) to a twenty minute sermon on Sunday --
you should not be surprised if your faith is weak and the
influence of the world is great in your life.

The choice is yours. Yes, you are busy, but you can, and do,
make time for what you think is important.

Fortunately, today there are many aids we can take advantage
of. You can read the Bible online, and be reminded each day by
an email. You can obtain recordings of Bible translations to
listen to while you drive or exercise or work.

"But what should I read? The Bible is so big."

All of the Bible is instructive and worthwhile. However, the
New Testament, and specifically the letters to the Church, is
written directly to us and is most applicable for us today.

If you want to get acquainted with the Lord, read the four
Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I would recommend
starting with John. Mark is the shortest.

If you want to understand redemption and what has happened to
you as a result of receiving Christ, and how to live in
victory, then you need to read the letters in the New
Testament, which are all the books except the Gospels I just
mentioned, and the book of Revelation.

Always remember that the Bible is faith food. So if you want
your faith to be strong, you need to feed it on the Bible. It
does not matter if you feel any different, for faith is not
something that you feel. Faith is of the spirit, not of the
feeling realm.

SAY THIS: I will read the Bible and it will help me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

God's Word Will Build You Up

ACTS 20:32 NLT
32 "And now I entrust you to God and the word of his grace--his
message that is able to build you up and give you an
inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.

Many shy away from the Bible because they think it's just a
bunch of rules to keep them from enjoying life.

Although many have misused the Bible -- to tear people down,
its true purpose is to build people up.

Tradition makes us think a good sermon should "skin 'em alive"
and make the listeners feel guilty.

But God is on your side and He loves you. So He gave you His
Word for your benefit, to build you up and give you things --
not to take anything good away from you.

Certainly God's Word can, and will, correct you. But primarily,
if you understand it correctly, the Word will build you up --
not beat you down and make you feel guilty.

Yes, there are passages in the Bible that will not encourage
you. They are needful at certain times for certain people who
need to be corrected and called to repentance. But for those
who love God and are His children, there are words of
encouragement to build you up.

Feed on the Word of God's grace -- His favor, His love, His
goodness. It will build you up.

If what you are feeding on is not encouraging your faith, check
to see if it really lines up with the Word.

Don't spend all your time meditating on a passage from the
Bible that's not written to you. All the Bible is profitable,
and we can learn from it. But you should concentrate on what
God is saying to you, as His child: a member of the Body of

The message God has for His family, the church, is primarily
found in the letters (epistles) in the New Testament. These are
written directly to us, the church.

God is never interested in just cutting you down, or hurting you.
His intention is to build you up, to encourage you, to make you

SAY THIS: The true message of the New Testament will build me
up. It is good news.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Watch Your Words

2 You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by
the words of your mouth.

MARK 11:23 NKJ
23 "For assuredly, I say to you . . . he will have whatever he

Words are powerful. They are the way humans express their
decisions. Words carry authority, even in the spiritual realm.

God created the world with spoken words. Humans are created in
the image and likeness of God. Therefore our words also carry

The words you speak are important and carry more weight than
you may realize.

Words can get you into trouble. And words can deliver you.

The most powerful and life-giving words in the universe are
those spoken by God the Creator.

Fortunately for us, some of what God has said has been written
down, for our benefit, in the Bible.

So, we can, and should speak words that are in agreement with
what God says. When we do, the power of God is released,
because it is God's Word we are speaking.

Remember: whatever God says never loses its power.

SAY THIS: Please help me Lord to watch my words and speak in
agreement with Your Word.