Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are You A Pharisee?

6 Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven
of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."
12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of
the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and

Why did Jesus warn His disciples to beware of the Pharisees?
What did they do wrong?

(An entire chapter of the Bible (Matthew 23) is Jesus' teaching
against the Pharisees.)

The Pharisees were conservative, faithful "church" members.
They accepted the Bible as the written Word of God. They paid
tithes. They believed in miracles (at least in days past). They
wouldn't dream of stealing, committing adultery, or such
things. You would like living next to a Pharisee as they were
model citizens.

But instead of having a living relationship with God, the
Pharisees took the Word of God and made just another dead
religion out of it.

The Pharisee way of thinking is: keep up appearances. "It
doesn't matter so much what you are on the inside, as long as
you keep the rules (at least publicly)."

Notice that Jesus likened their teaching to leaven, or yeast.
Why? Yeast spreads easily and rapidly. Humans are very
susceptible to approaching God in this manner, "Keep the rules.
Just do these 10 things and you are OK."

Different groups may have different rules, but we all
accumulate them. It may be how many times each week you must
attend church meetings, or what kind of clothes you must wear,
or how you must wear your hair. Or, it may be a list of things
you cannot do. But, as long as you meet these requirements, you
are in good standing with your group (or denomination).

But, good standing with God is based on only one thing
according to the New Testament: faith in what Jesus did for us.
That alone is what makes us right with God. Not our works, but
Jesus' work.

1 ... He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of
the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

The Pharisees were hypocrites. That is, they put on an act.
What they pretended to be in public was not really what they
were like in private. They claimed to be perfect in keeping
God's law, but as humans they were all sinners, just like the
rest of the people were. Yet, in public, they insisted that
others keep the Law perfectly, or be condemned.

They were quick to pass judgment on others, and slow to extend
mercy or help. The Pharisees had a legalistic view of God's
Word and did not realize that God was merciful and wanted to
help people.

6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,
not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but
the Spirit gives life.

Using God's Word to "kill" instead of using it to minister life
is wrong. God's Word is meant to help people and lift them up,
not place such hard demands on them that they cannot ever
measure up. When we load people down with heavy loads of rules
to keep in order to be right with God, we are ministers of

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
2 "The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the
official interpreters of the law of Moses.
3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don't follow
their example. For they don't practice what they teach.
4 They crush people with impossible religious demands and never
lift a finger to ease the burden.
5 "Everything they do is for show. . . .

If your "Christianity" is nothing more than a list of "do's and
don't's" then you are missing real Christianity, which is a
living relationship with Jesus Christ.

SAY THIS: Jesus does not want me to act like a Pharisee.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take It!

24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and
ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be
granted you.

The Greek word translated "received" is lambano, which means to
actively receive. In English we use the word "take" to describe
actively receiving.

For example, the following scriptures contain the Greek word,
"lambano." This may help you get a better understanding of what
receive means when it translates this word, lambano.

8 "And they TOOK him and killed him and cast him out of the

6 ...Pilate said to them, "You TAKE Him and crucify Him, for I
find no fault in Him."

As the above passages show, sometimes lambano is translated as
take or took -- and is not at all passive, but very active.

MARK 11:24 Swann
24 Therefore, I exhort you, All things whatever you pray for
and ask, have faith that you have taken hold, and it shall be
for you.

So, this verse is saying to us that when we pray, we are to
believe we take what we are asking for, and then we will have
those things.

How can we do that?

We must take them by faith. How do we "take them by faith?" We
release words of faith based on what God has said in His Word,
the Bible.

We are not talking about forcing God to do something, but to
receive (or take) what is already offered.

How can you "believe you have received" something before you
see it? Easy! You just need credible evidence.

If someone you trusted told you they had deposited money in
your bank account, you would not need to physically go to the
bank and see the cash before rejoicing.

Well, God -- who cannot lie -- has told us many things in His
Word. When we pray in line with what God's Word already says is
ours, that is our evidence on which we can base our belief.

When God says it -- we can believe it. So that is our evidence
by which we can "believe we receive" something when we pray.
So, by our faith, we "take it."

(We are not taking it from God. He has already given it to us.)

SAY THIS: When I pray I am supposed to "take" the answer by

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

People Are Precious

16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only
Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to
destruction but have eternal life.

We may be too familiar with John 3:16 for its message to impact
us as it should. When it says that God loves the world, it
means the people of the world.

God loves people -- even the sinners. ALL the people of the
world are loved by God. (That does not mean He approves of
their behavior. But God loves them.)

People are created in the image of God. We are like God, His
children. (You must receive Jesus to be a true child of God,
but originally mankind was created in God's image, as His

Children are precious to their parents. No matter how many
children a parent has, every child is precious to them. They
are all loved.

So it is with God, who obviously has a huge capacity for love.

A parent may have a child who is a criminal, but that parent,
if they are a good parent, will still care for their son or
daughter and desire good for them. God is no less loving and
caring. He desires good for us -- every one.

When we deal with people who are acting terrible, it can be
difficult to remember they are precious to God.

LUKE 6:35-36 NLT
35 "Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without
expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be
very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the
Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and
36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is

People will last for eternity. People will live with God and
give Him pleasure in the ages to come.

Let's stay focused on what is really precious and worthwhile.
Material possessions are nice and have their place, but are
nothing compared to the worth of a human being -- even if that
human being is not perfected yet.

Even with rough edges, people are valuable. You are precious to
God! So is everyone else.

SAY THIS: Every person is precious to God.

Monday, April 27, 2009


4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall
have them in derision.

13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is

8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all
the heathen in derision.

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a
time to dance;

21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken
spirit drieth the bones.

God laughs. So should you!

SAY THIS: I will laugh with God today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Gospel

18 Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but
Christ's one act of righteousness brings a right relationship
with God and new life for everyone.

Gospel means good news. It was not originally a religious word,
but meant good news which makes people happy and excited.

If what you have heard about Jesus Christ does not make you
happy and excited, then you have not yet truly heard and
understood the Gospel as it is meant to be understood.

The basic outline is that Jesus of Nazareth, who was God in a
human body, took your place in judgment, paying the penalty
for all your sins, and gave you the blessing He deserved
because of His perfect sinless life.

God, the Creator, and Sustainer of the universe, loves you
enough to die for you. That's good news!

Jesus took what you deserved, and gave you what He deserved!
That's good news!

And this is not limited to just you. Jesus died for all
mankind. Deliverance from sin, its effects and penalty is
available to anyone and everyone who will believe and receive
Jesus Christ as Lord.

16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is
the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes -- the
Jew first and also the Gentile.

God is on your side -- not against you. That's good news!

If you do not get so excited you can hardly contain your
excitement, you have not fully understood the Gospel.

4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of
those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious
light of the Good News. They don't understand this message
about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

If you can keep yourself from telling others about Jesus, you
have not yet understood the Gospel.

SAY THIS: The Gospel of Jesus Christ is GREAT news!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Witness Of The Spirit

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

God has a plan for guiding His children in all the questions of

God's primary method of leading us in matters the Bible does
not specifically address, (such as which job to take or which
person to marry), is the inner witness, which is a knowing
communicated by the Holy Spirit to our spirit. It is not a
voice, but an inner knowing.

15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their
conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their
thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

Another term for the witness of the spirit is "peace."

COLOSSIANS 3:15 Amplified
15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ
rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and
settling with finality all questions that arise ....

An umpire is responsible for making decisions. Our "umpire" is
the inner peace, or witness in our spirit.

1 JOHN 5:10 NKJ
10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in

One way Scripture describes the "inner witness" is "it seemed

This was the Scripture phrase God showed me as I sought Him
concerning how to be led by the Spirit. I realized that had
been the way I had determined which message God would have me
preach. I would pray and seek God until, on the inside of me,
it just seemed good to preach a particular message. I couldn't
really explain it, but I knew it was how God was leading me in
what subjects to preach.

I saw in Scripture this was also the same "leading" Luke had to
write down the Gospel of Luke. And also how some important
decisions were made in the early days of the Church. They
described it as "it seemed good."

3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding
of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly
account, most excellent Theophilus,

ACTS 15:25,28 NKJ
25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to
send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay
upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:

Obviously, an immature believer could easily use this as an
excuse for their behavior, saying it just "seemed good to
them." But we are not talking about something seeming good to
your flesh or your mind, but to your innermost being, your
spirit where God dwells (if you are a believer in Jesus

And we must always remember that the Holy Spirit will never
lead us to do anything that is not in line with God's written
Word, the Bible. So, being familiar with God's Word is vital.

SAY THIS: God is helping me understand being guided by the
inner witness.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Get Answers To Prayer

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

Jesus says we must believe we receive our answer WHEN we pray,
not wait until we see it.

But no one can believe they receive without evidence. God's
written Word is our evidence.

MARK 11:24 Amplified
24 For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in
prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to
you, and you will [get it].

Whenever we ask the Father for anything we really desire, we
must believe that we receive our request granted to us when we
pray. Then we act like we already have it, and the thing we
prayed for will eventually show up.

But we must pray in line with God's Word. We cannot just
"believe" anything out of thin air -- if it does not agree with
God's Word -- and expect to receive it.

1 JOHN 5:14-15 NKJ
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we
ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know
that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Bible-based prayer that works is not getting God to do
something, but receiving by faith from God based on what He has
already said and done.

In other words, we do not need to change God's mind or get Him
to do something. We just need to enter in by faith to receive
what God has already decided and provided.

So, find Scripture that promises what you need or want, then
take that to God in prayer and believe you receive it when you

SAY THIS: I will base my prayers on God's promises, and believe
I receive my answer when I pray.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Inner Witness

COLOSSIANS 3:15 Amplified
15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ
rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and
settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds,
in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one
body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful
(appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

God has revealed His will to us in many areas through His
written Word, the Bible. But there are many things the Bible
does not specifically tell us, such as what person to marry,
what job to do, or where to live. (While the Bible gives us
some principles, it does not tell us individually and
specifically what to do in these types of things.) But God has
made provision to guide us in these areas of life also.

The peace of God is the umpire to determine our direction.

Understanding the "peace of God" (which I also identify as the
"inner witness") can sometimes seem difficult. Inexperienced
believers can mistake feeling good or comfortable in their
flesh for the inner witness. But, just like everything in life,
we learn, even when we make a mistake.

While this may be open to misunderstanding and abuse, it's what
Scripture teaches. God desires a growing relationship with us,
and obviously is not too concerned about us never making a
mistake while we grow spiritually and learn by experience how
to better discern the "inner witness."

We are not talking about having "peace" in your flesh, but an
"inner" peace deep within your spirit. It is not fleeting, but
grows stronger the more we draw near to God by spending time
focused on Him and His Word.

Normally, with the inner witness, thoughts will just come to
you. But thoughts can come from sources other than God. We need
a way to judge which thoughts are from God and which ones are

There are two criteria by which we can determine whether a
thought is from God. The first is a knowledge of the written
Word of God, the Bible. God will never lead us contrary to His
written Word.

The second criteria is the inner witness.

15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their
conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their
thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

How can you determine the inner witness?

First, it is important to realize that it is not usually a
voice, but a witness. Some words to define it are intuition,
impression, idea, hunch, knowing, or peace.

The inner witness is something we learn to recognize better as
we grow in our relationship with the Lord. It is best to learn
on things that are not life-and-death issues. God is interested
in every detail of our lives and will help us in everything. He
will even lead us in things we would consider small things,
such as locating misplaced objects.

The inner witness (along with Scripture) is also how God
confirms the most important thing in this life: knowing we are
a child of God.

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

To be sensitive to the Lord's leading, we must look to the Lord
and spend time focused on Him. Prayer, praise, giving thanks,
and acknowledging God in all our ways are part of it. The
better we know the Lord, both through His Word, and through
walking with Him, the easier it will be for us to discern the
inner witness of the Spirit, and know God's will for us.

We must walk in the light we have, and make our decisions
prayerfully and humbly, always being ready to change and admit
we were wrong.

God promises that if any of us lack wisdom, we can ask Him and
He will give it to us (James 1:5).

SAY THIS: I will follow the leading of the Lord, through the
inner witness of His peace, in line with the Word of God.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Learn To Use Your Faith

MARK 11:23-24 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 be done,
he will have whatever he says.
24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you
pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

There is spiritual growth as well as physical growth. We don't
start out strong and mature. The Bible, and all creation,
teaches gradual growth.

28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade
pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally
the grain ripens.

The Bible is full of great promises. We must receive them by
faith. Faith is not trying to believe, but knowing that you
believe. So, you must start using faith at the level you are
at. If you don't have faith for a new car then believe for a
bicycle. Then believe God for a motorcycle. Keep using your
faith and feeding it on God's Word and it will continue to

Eventually, you will get to where you can believe God for large
things as easily as you did for small things.

It requires feeding your faith on God's Word as well as
exercising your faith to cause it to grow strong.

The mistake many make is trying to believe God for a jumbo jet
when they really don't have enough faith for a bicycle. Yes,
the Word says that all things are possible, but only for those
who truly believe. Most people are just trying to believe and
hoping something will happen.

What if you have a need now, but don't have enough faith to
cover it? Get someone else to agree with you, using their faith
on your behalf.

19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth
concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by
My Father in heaven.

But don't expect to go through life depending entirely on
someone else's faith. God will require you to eventually grow
up and use your own faith. So you might as well get started

God knows our needs. The Bible is clear that God does not want
us to be in lack. Then why doesn't God just meet our needs,
without us having to ask?

One answer is God wants us to grow in faith. Our faith can only
grow strong as we use it. So, every need is a faith
opportunity, and thus an opportunity for growth.

God wants us to be specific in our asking, so that when the
answer comes, we will know it was from God and came in response
to our faith in Him.

Don't wait until you have a large crisis in life to start
learning to use your faith. Start now!

Don't try to start praying for something big. Start small. Your
faith will grow as you use it.

SAY THIS: God will help me to learn to walk in faith.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leave Your Case With God

19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the
righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take
revenge; I will pay them back," says the LORD.

When people do us wrong, not taking revenge is difficult. It
seems natural to fight back when someone attacks us.

But the Bible tells us to let God judge them.

This is not saying you should never defend yourself, or what
belongs to you. But do not seek revenge after you have been
wronged. Instead, let God handle it.

People who try to take revenge, usually end up committing more
injustice. Often a deadly cycle develops. Instead of taking
revenge, God's Word tells us to bless our enemies.

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is
thirsty, give him water to drink;

44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse
you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
spitefully use you and persecute you,

God is aware of every injustice. And God promises to right
every wrong, eventually. God is a righteous judge, but all
judgment is not instant, or even in this life.

1 PETER 2:21,23 NLT
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering,
just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you
must follow in his steps.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten
revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.

SAY THIS: I will not take revenge but trust God to bring

Monday, April 20, 2009

If You Have A Need, Plant A Seed

38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed
down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your
bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be
measured back to you."

The natural response to having a need is to focus on getting
instead of giving. And to hang on tightly to what we have.

But God does not bless selfishness. He is a giver, and desires
for us to become like Him. So, God's Word tells us to give.

(Some preachers may have tried to exploit these truths to
enrich themselves, but that does not nullify God's promises.)

God is trying to raise us to a higher level of thinking, where
we trust in His faithful provision, and express our faith by
blessing others.

24 One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy, but
another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty.

It requires faith to give when you don't have enough to meet
your own needs. But remember that faith pleases God, and
nothing is too hard for God.

Faith acts on God's Word. Fear hesitates.

To help us understand how giving can enrich us, instead of
impoverishing us, Scripture pictures a farmer planting seed for
a harvest.

6 Remember this--a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get
a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a
generous crop.
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then
bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase
your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity
in you.

Plant whatever seed God has given you, and God will give the
increase through a harvest of blessing, and your needs will be

7 You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You
will harvest what you plant.

You are never without seed. Anything of value can be a seed.
Your time is valuable, so if nothing else, you can give time to
pray for others as a seed.

SAY THIS: Whenever I have a need, I will plant a seed.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Worship God With Your Money

18 At the moment I have all I need--more than I need! I am
generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with
Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is
acceptable to God and pleases him.

Our money represents time -- a portion of our lives. We trade
our time for money. To truly worship God requires our money --
our treasure -- not just our voices.

The word "worship" is a contraction of "worth-ship" --
something we do that demonstrates how valuable we think
something is.

We show how valuable we think God is by what we give to Him.
True worship offers our whole being to God, all we are and all
we have. Money is a tangible expression of the devotion in our

Worship is an act of reverence. In the Bible it usually means
bowing down. (One Greek word in the New Testament translated
worship means to adore or reverence.)

But true worship always costs something. In true worship you
always give up something: sacrifices in the Old Testament,
sovereignty in bowing down, dignity, reputation, time, etc.

"Is it worth it?" is a worship question. "Is God worth it?" is
a worship question.

How much is God worth to you?

When you are a young person interested in dating someone, do
you begrudge the time, effort, and money you spend on them? Why
do you do it? Because you think knowing them, and being with
them, is worth it. That shows worth-ship, or worship.

God is a Person. He is great beyond description in every way.
What is it worth to you to know God, and be with Him?

It is not enough to say you love God more than anything. To
please God you also need to demonstrate your love.

SAY THIS: I will worship God with all I have, including my

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Do Not Worry

6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Worrying can't accomplish anything. So why do it?

25 "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your
body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and
the body more than clothing?
26 "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor
reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds
them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his
28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies
of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
29 "and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
30 "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which
today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not
much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or
'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your
heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.
34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own

LUKE 10:41-42 NKJ
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you
are worried and troubled about many things.
42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good
part, which will not be taken away from her."

What did Mary choose that was better than worrying? Spending
time with Jesus hearing His Word. You would do well to follow
her example.

SAY THIS: I will trust in God and not worry.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Expect Favor

12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround
them with your favor as with a shield.

If Jesus is your Lord, then He is also your righteousness (1
Corinthians 1:30, Romans 5:17). So, you are righteous in Christ
and qualify for this blessing.

Favor is the blessing of God causing people to like you and
treat you well.

Why expect favor?

Because God is your Father. He loves you. And He responds to
faith. When you walk in faith you expect blessings.

7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his
enemies live at peace with him.

Some people always talk of how badly they are treated and how
things always go wrong for them. Should we be surprised? After
all, Jesus told us in Mark 11:23 that we would have what we

Why not begin to say that God surrounds your life with favor?

SAY THIS: I expect God's favor in my life.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

None Of These Things Move Me

ACTS 20:24 NKJ
24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life
dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the
ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to
the gospel of the grace of God.

Some believers are tempted to give up on their faith in God
whenever the least thing seems to go wrong in their lives.

The apostle Paul suffered many things: beatings, stoning, and
shipwreck -- yet he called them "light afflictions."

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is
working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of

8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed --

We are in a battle for the hearts and souls of men. The devil
is against us. While we know our victory is sure, we should not
expect to never face obstacles or difficulties.

3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus

If this life was all there was, this would not be a wise way to
live. But there is a life in heaven and a future world. We
would be foolish to live as if this life is all there is.

So we should not forget eternity and focus only on the present.

We must hold on to our faith in God, no matter how things seem
to be going at the present. Because of our limited
understanding, our ability to evaluate things accurately is
limited. Our wonderful Lord Jesus can be trusted. He loved us
enough to die in our stead, so we could go free. Why would He
lie to us?

We must be determined not to be moved by things our enemy does
to get us off our faith in God's Word.

SAY THIS: I'm not moved by what I see. I'm not moved by what I
feel. I'm moved only by what I believe, and I believe the Word
of God.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Does Jesus Care?

MARK 4:37-40 NKJ
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the
boat, so that it was already filling.
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke
Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,
"Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great
40 But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that
you have no faith?"

All of us have questioned whether God cares for us when we have
faced difficulties. It is easy to wonder why things are so
tough, if God truly loves us, as the Bible says.

What is the answer? Why don't things go better for us,
especially when we are trusting in God?

Mark 4 gives us a glimpse into how God looks at this.

When the disciples thought they were going to sink in the storm
-- even though Jesus was on their boat -- they cried out to
Him. And Jesus did deliver them from danger.

But then, Jesus rebuked His disciples because they were fearful,
and didn't handle the situation themselves.

Why didn't the Lord take care of the dire situation sooner? Why
did Jesus let them nearly sink before He intervened? The answer
is simple. Jesus was expecting His disciples to exercise
authority over the storm.

God has confidence in His children. He desires for us to grow
up, to learn to take responsibility, and to exercise the
authority He has given us.

LUKE 10:19 NKJ
19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and
scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing
shall by any means hurt you.

God told us to resist the devil, and all his works -- which is
everything that would steal, kill, or destroy. Why should God
interrupt and do things for us that He has already told us to
do, using His authority?

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee
from you.

Yes, Jesus cares for you -- enough to die for you! Don't judge
His love by your circumstances.

If it seems Jesus is not stilling the storms in your life, He
has not abandoned you. He is just expecting you to overcome, by
using your faith and the authority He has given you.

SAY THIS: Jesus cares for me, and I will be delivered out of
all the storms of life!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Giving Is Planting Seed

6 Remember this--a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get
a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a
generous crop.
7 You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should
give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For
God loves the person who gives cheerfully.
8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will
always have everything you need and plenty left over to share
with others.

God is love. Love gives and helps others. God wants you to be
like Him -- to be a giver.

God, knowing human nature, gave incentives to encourage us to
be givers. Not only does giving makes us feel good, but God
promises whatever we give will be multiplied back to us -- the
same way seed planted by a farmer produces a larger harvest.

38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you
in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for
more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving --
large or small -- it will be used to measure what is given back
to you."

God's plan is to develop you into a loving, giving person who
trusts God.

Faith and love -- the two primary attributes God is working to
develop in us -- are both exercised by giving.

It takes faith to give. It seems safer and more prudent to hold
on to everything we have, just in case we might need it. But
God encourages us to be generous and give to others -- trusting
Him to multiply our giving back to us.

Someone has well said that whatever we give does not leave our
life, but just enters our future, where it will be multiplied.

SAY THIS: Whenever I give, I am planting seed for a harvest of

Monday, April 13, 2009

How Do I Get God To Do What I Want?

Sorry, you have it backward. God is trying to get you to do
what He wants, because His way is perfect, and yours is
obviously not.

30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is
proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

You don't need to get God to do anything. God knows what to do.
You are the one who does not know what to do.

Imagine a two year old child telling his parents what they
should be doing. It is even more crazy to think we know more
than God about what is best for us, and that we need to tell
Him what to do.

This attitude indicates immaturity.

If we were so good at figuring out things, we should be running
the universe instead of God. But look at what our decisions
have produced -- a mess. What we need is new management, not
just to get God to do something for us.

Even if we were to get God to do what we think He should do for
us, would it really fix our life?

For example, many people think getting a lot of money would
solve every problem, but the facts show differently. Just look
at the record of people who won the lottery. Some people think
getting a spouse would fix everything, but don't think about
how half the people who do get married then seek a divorce.

What you need is to let Jesus be Lord of your life. You need to
learn of Him and follow His directions. You need to learn His
ways. Your ways have gotten you in a mess. You need to change
your ways so you can have a change in your life.

God has already done what He needs to do. Now we must learn how
to receive His provision and walk in victory.

If you are on the road to destruction, why should God give you
a new car and gas money to go down that road? Your decisions
have produced wrecks in your life. What you need is a new
driver. Let Jesus take the wheel.

You don't need to argue with Jesus or tell Him what to do. You
just need to trust Him.

God knows more than you do, and loves you more than you love
yourself. He desires the best for you. You can trust someone
like that!

SAY THIS: Lord Jesus I trust You. Please take over management
of my life.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jesus Rose From Death

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be
afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
6 "He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the
place where the Lord lay.

Jesus Christ's resurrection is either the supreme fact in
history or a gigantic hoax. If Christ's resurrection is true --
we ignore its implications at our own peril. If not, then
Christianity is the biggest fraud in the history of the world.

Christ's resurrection forces the question of Christianity's
validity from being merely a philosophical issue to being a
historical one.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a fact verifiable from
history. No one can challenge Christ's resurrection -- if they
take an honest look at the evidence.

Only those who never study the evidence -- or who refuse to
listen to its testimony -- could deny the resurrection of Jesus

Many learned men have tried to disprove Christ's resurrection --
only to become believers instead!

Some people refuse to examine the evidence, because they do not
want to believe in Jesus Christ and submit to Him as Lord.

The facts remain. Confucius' tomb, Buddha's tomb, Mohammed's
tomb, and Lenin's tomb are all occupied.

But Jesus Christ's tomb is EMPTY!

18 "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive
forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."

SAY THIS: I believe that Jesus Christ rose from death.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jesus Understands

15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with
our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet
without sin.

Whatever you face, Jesus Christ has already faced it.

Jesus knows what it is like:

to be hungry
to be tired
to be lonely
to be hurt
to be hated
to be beaten
to be persecuted
to be misunderstood
to be mistreated
to be mocked and laughed at
to be betrayed by a friend
to be tempted to sin
to be responsible for employees
to feel forsaken
to feel hopeless
to have no spouse
to have no earthly father there to help
to have lost a loved one
to have to pay taxes
to have money stolen from you
to have the responsibility to provide for a family
to live under an oppressive government
to experience extreme pain

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we
may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Don't be afraid to talk to Jesus about anything. Not only does
He understand, but He knows how to help you so you can overcome
and have victory.

Remember, Jesus loves you -- enough to die for you. And He also
ever lives to intercede for you.

So Jesus not only understands what you face, but He is able and
willing to help you.

SAY THIS: Jesus understands what I am going through and is
leading me to victory.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus Died For Sinners

6 . . . Christ died for the ungodly.

Jesus Christ did not come to earth to help perfect people, but
to help ungodly sinners.

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we
were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus already paid the price for the forgiveness of all sins
through His death.

7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
of sins, according to the riches of His grace

The devil tries to make people think God does not love them
because of their sins. But nothing could be further from the
truth. God loves sinners! Jesus died to save sinners.

15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am

God is against sin because it is harmful to people, but He is
not against sinners.

If God could not or would not help a sinner, then He would
never help any human. The Bible tells the opposite story. We
have all missed the mark of perfection so we all need a Savior.
And we all have a Savior if we will but receive Him.

26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die
again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for
all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin
by his own death as a sacrifice.

The sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient to deal with all sin. You
have been forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Turn away from
going your own way and walk with God.

SAY THIS: Jesus died because He loved sinners, including me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Forgive Yourself

1 JOHN 2:12 NLT
12 I am writing to you who are God's children because your sins
have been forgiven through Jesus.

13 . . . Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your
neighbor as yourself."

For many people, the hardest person to forgive is themselves.

If God can forgive us, then we can, and must, forgive
ourselves. Not to forgive ourselves is to exalt ourselves above

If God can decree that we are forgive-able, but we say we are
too bad to be forgiven, we are saying we know more than God.

Should your standards be higher than God's standards? He
forgives. Why won't you forgive yourself?

The devil wants you to stay focused on your past and your
failures, so you will not receive God's blessing.

God wants you to believe His Word and focus on His victory so
you will have a better future.

Which one will you choose to follow?

SAY THIS: Because God has forgiven me, I forgive myself.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

No Poor Among You

4 "There should be no poor among you, for the LORD your God
will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a
special possession.

The Word of God states there should be no poor among us.

"But wait preacher," someone might say, "that was written to
the Jews under the Old Covenant."

Yes! And we have a better covenant!

6 But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry
that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one
who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on
better promises.

Some people seem determined to reject Good News from God, so
they say, "Our covenant is only better because of spiritual
blessings, not financial blessings, which were just for the Old
Testament saints."

Really? Where does it say that in the Bible? I have never seen

No! The Bible is written to mankind -- in our language -- so we
can understand God's message. When the Bible says we have a
covenant that is far better, it has to include every blessing
from the Old Covenant as well as additional blessings. And it

20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen,
to the glory of God through us.

Every promise -- old or new testament -- is yes in Christ.

3 Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in

While God's blessing may be in spiritual form, as we
appropriate it by faith it will be manifest physically on

EPHESIANS 1:3 Laubach
3 I praise God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ because He
sent Christ to bless us. And Christ has blessed us with
heaven's every blessing.

One translation of this verse says "has blessed us with every
blessing that Heaven itself enjoys." The idea is that God gave
His best -- without holding back any good thing from us.

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for
us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all

God gave His best when He gave us Jesus. What does God's best
cover? Everything!

3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for
living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to
know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his
marvelous glory and excellence.

Do you realize what it means to live a godly life? A god-like
life! Can a life marked by lack and poverty be described as
god-like? Do you really think the Creator God lives in poverty
and lack?

According to Scripture, God HAS already given us everything we
need so we can live a godly life. Certainly, that cannot mean
starve or be homeless.

Do you really believe it is God's will for any of His children
who love Him to be poor and lack basic necessities? If you do,
you don't know God very well.

Then why are so many believers struggling with so many unmet
needs? There may be many reasons, but the primary one is not
knowing the will of God in the matter.

If we don't know God's will, we can't have faith. Without
faith, we will not receive God's blessing.

(If you are poor, be encouraged. God loves you and desires good
for you. Begin to expect it and thank God for it.)

SAY THIS: God's plan and provision is that there be no poor
among His children.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It Is Written

3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the
Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
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.' "

When tempted, Jesus did not use any supernatural powers to
resist the devil. Jesus simply quoted the written Word of God
to the devil.

You must do the same thing. Jesus was our example, showing us
how to overcome the attacks of our enemy.

Notice how the devil came to tempt Jesus -- with a thought -- a
thought contrary to the written Word of God.

Then after Jesus quoted the Bible, the devil also quoted the
Bible but twisted the meaning. Jesus responded only with
another verse from the Bible.

6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself
down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over
you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you
dash your foot against a stone.' "
7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt
the LORD your God.' "

If you read the whole passage in Matthew 4:1-11, you will see
that quoting the written Word was the only defense Jesus used
against the devil. Nothing else.

If you are going to overcome temptation and walk in victory,
you must follow Jesus' example and quote the Bible to the
devil. There is no other way.

God's Word in your mouth is your spiritual weapon. If you
neglect to use it, you will be overcome instead of walking in
all the victory and blessing Jesus has provided for you.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the
Spirit, which is the word of God;

Obviously you must know what the Bible says to quote it to the
devil. So it is evident how important it is to read and study
the Bible for yourself.

Yet it is not enough to just read the Bible or study it. When
thoughts come that are not in agreement with the Bible, we must
speak the Word to the devil who is behind those thoughts.

SAY THIS: I will resist the devil with what is written in God's

Monday, April 06, 2009

God Is Your Source

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his
glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

God can use any avenue or any means to provide for you, but He
is the ultimate Source behind every blessing.

Your job or occupation is one avenue God can use to bless you.
But, your job is not your source.

God's plan for mankind is that we labor. So God will usually
provide for us by giving us a good job, good health, and the
ability to do that job.

However, God is not limited to providing for you through a job.
Even if you lose the job -- God is still your Source, and He
will still provide for you.

Even if you lose your health, God can and will still provide
for you. (And He will also heal you, if you let Him.)

God can bless you through friends and relatives, but they are
not your source. Even if they fail you or forsake you, God will

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will
take care of me.

5 Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with
such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never
leave you nor forsake you."

God deserves credit and thanks for everything good that has
ever happened to you. He was behind it. God was the source of
it. Was it a mother's love? God put that love in her for you.
Was it the love of a spouse? God created that love.

Every good thing in life owes its existence to God. We should
thank God for every good thing, no matter how it seems to come
to us.

God moves on people and influences them to bless you. God
causes situations to work out for your benefit. God is behind
every blessing.

So keep your eyes on God. Thank Him for every blessing, no
matter how it comes to you, because it is from Him.

SAY THIS: God is MY Source.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Saved By Grace

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't
take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done,
so none of us can boast about it.

Being saved, and in right standing with God, is a gift! It is
something we don't deserve, but is freely given to us anyway.

We cannot earn it no matter what we do. Deliverance from the
curse, and right standing with God, is available only as a free

6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works,
otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

It is not what we have done that matters, but what Jesus did
for us. He was our Substitute, suffering what we deserved, so
we could receive what He deserved as a gift.

God Himself has done what is necessary for us to be saved and
be in right standing with Him. Now we must believe in what God
has done, and thank Him for it.

5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their
work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.

People all over the world try to be right with God by what they
do: rituals, sacrifices, and devotion. But the Bible reveals we
cannot be right with God by our own actions -- it is a gift we
must receive.

20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the
law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

By keeping the law it is impossible to be right with God,
because no human being can keep it by their own effort. We have
all sinned, according to the Bible.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious

God does not grade on a curve. All have sinned and come short.
So we all need a Savior.

ROMANS 10:9-10 NLT
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe
in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be
10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right
with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are

So salvation is a free gift. Anyone can receive it. It comes
wrapped up in a person -- the Lord Jesus Christ. Receive Jesus
-- no matter who you are or what you have done -- and instantly
you are saved (which means delivered) and put in perfect right
standing with God, as if you had never sinned. What a gift!

SAY THIS: I am saved by God's wonderful grace.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

How To Get Rich

20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever
they get.

The Bible teaches us how to get rich, and it is not by winning
the lottery. It is by walking with God and being diligent and
disciplined to do what God guides you.

Wise people wait and enjoy the fruit of their investments.
Foolish people eat all their "seed" now, instead of investing
any for a better future.

If you are reading this, then you have enough of what it takes
to become rich.

It is simple, really: just spend less than you make. Take the
money you don't spend and grow it by prayerfully investing
as God guides you.

Even if your annual income is not very high, over your lifetime
you will earn a large amount of money. Think how much money you
would have now if you had saved and invested ten percent of all
you have ever earned.

(If your life is about over, you won't get the full benefit you
could have by starting when you were young. But the principle
is still valid, and you may live longer than you think.
Whatever you do, be sure to teach this principle to your

You may not be able to save a large amount each pay period from
your present earnings. But God can take even small amounts and
multiply them when you look to Him in faith.

The devil is the one who wants us to spend all (or more) than
we make, so we will always be in bondage. To have financial
freedom, you MUST consume less than you make.

Modern advertising is a big culprit in tempting us to spend
more than we should. Its purpose is to convince you that you
cannot live or be happy without their product. Don't buy that lie!

Not everyone will earn a huge income. But everyone can
discipline themselves to save and invest from whatever they do
make. If they walk with God and prayerfully invest their
savings, over time, God will cause those investments to
multiply into riches.

SAY THIS: I will not eat all the seed God gives me.

Friday, April 03, 2009

4 Main Keys To Abundance

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that
you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an
abundance for every good work.

No matter how little you make, acting on these 4 keys will
insure a brighter financial future. Neglecting them, no matter
how much you make, will eventually cause a financial crash.

1. Believe God desires to prosper you.

True belief requires evidence. God's Word has the evidence to
convince you: God's will is abundance for all. The world system
constantly shouts a different message, so we must continue to
feed on the truth of God's Word to keep our faith strong.

2. Worship God with a portion of all your income.

You need God's blessing in your finances. Put God first. Don't
neglect this.

3. Spend less than you make.

"If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be
your downfall." Consume all you make and you will never have

Discipline yourself to never spend all your "seed." Always save
some to invest for a future.

4. Invest the rest, prayerfully.

God knows the future. Let Him guide you where to put your
money. Don't jump into things that seem like "sure things." Be
patient and pray. If you are not sure, don't do it.

God knows what's best for you, and He will guide you, if you
seek Him. Over time, with God's blessing, your investments, no
matter how small they start, will grow and be a great blessing.

Don't make excuses. Just act on these 4 vital keys and see what
God will do. Start today.

SAY THIS: I will act on God's wisdom and God will bless my

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Love Gives

16 "For God so loved the world that He gave . . . .

20 ". . . I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and
gave Himself for me.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ
loved the church. He gave up his life for her

Love is only expressed through giving. If there is no giving,
there is no evidence that love exists. The only proof of love
is giving. Giving is the action that demonstrates love.

So, the measure of your giving is the measure of your love. The
more you give -- of yourself, your time, your attention, your
affection, your patience, your treasure -- the more you love.
This is what Jesus meant in John 15:13.

JOHN 15:13 NKJ
13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's
life for his friends.

Why did Jesus say there was no greater love than to give your
life? Because you can't give any more. That's total commitment!

So, whenever you see "love" in a sentence, you may substitute
"giving" and express essentially the same meaning.

JOHN 13:35 NKJ
35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you
have love for one another."

By understanding that love results in giving, we see that Jesus
indicated His disciples would be known for their giving. We are
to be famous for our giving! This is the way Jesus indicated
people would know His true followers: by their giving. (Not our
fighting, our preaching, or even our correct doctrine.)

We see in the early days of the church, this is exactly what

ACTS 4:34-35 NKJ
34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were
possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the
proceeds of the things that were sold,
35 and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to
each as anyone had need.

Don't think that your gifts should only go to churches and
preachers. Jesus made it clear that giving to any believer was
the same as giving to Him.

40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say
to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My
brethren, you did it to Me.'

But God has not called us to give to others just so we could
end up poor, also. NO! God has promised to multiply what we
give, so we will have more to give in the future.

38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed
down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your
bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be
measured back to you."

6 Remember this -- a farmer who plants only a few seeds will
get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a
generous crop.
7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And
don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God
loves a person who gives cheerfully."
8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will
always have everything you need and plenty left over to share
with others.

So, based on God's promises, we can give to others in faith,
with confidence that God will continue to supply all we need.

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor,
working with his hands what is good, that he may have something
to give him who has need.

(This verse gives us an idea of how giving was paramount in the
thinking of early Christians.)

JOHN 15:12 NKJ
12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have
loved you.

If you desire to follow Jesus, love (giving) is not optional.

SAY THIS: As a disciple of Jesus, I will be a giver.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

God Communicates

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make
me full of joy with thy countenance.

Of course, God can communicate in any way He chooses, but it is
very rare for Him to speak so that our ears hear a voice.
However, God communicates all the time.

God normally communicates by thoughts which are whole ideas,
not just individual words.

Sometimes God may communicate through individual words
(especially if they are a quote from the Bible). But usually it
is much faster than that and comes as a complete thought, not
just one word at a time.

God lives inside the believer in Jesus Christ. As a believer,
you are joined with Jesus in your spirit.

17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

So when you are having a conversation with God, it will usually
seem like you are having an inward conversation with yourself.
Don't expect it to be coming from "outside of you."

So talking with God can sometimes seem like just talking with
yourself, because God lives inside you. 1 Cor 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16

The thought may also come through another person. God lives in
other believers, not just in you. It may have been recorded
previously, either in written, spoken, or pictorial form.

It is not unusual for God to communicate with someone through
another person without them even realizing they have been
involved in a message from God.

God can communicate through a sermon. But that does not mean
every sermon, or every idea it may contain, is from God -- no
matter who preaches it.

Of course, every thought you have is NOT from God. Some
thoughts originate with the devil. Some thoughts are just your
flesh trying to control you. Some thoughts are the ideas of
other people you have picked up.

So you have to learn to discern which thoughts are from God and
which ones are not.

There are two criteria by which we can determine whether a
thought is from God. The first is a knowledge of the written
Word of God, the Bible.

God never changes. What He has said in the past is still what
He would say today. Truth must be consistent. So when God
communicates, those thoughts will line up with the written Word
of God. They will never contradict the Bible.

The more familiar we are with the Bible, not just the letter of
it, but the spirit of it also, the easier it will be for us to
"know God's voice" and determine when a thought is from God.

Every verse of the Bible is inspired by God and can therefore
be trusted. That does not mean it is a direct statement from
God, but that even if it is telling history or a genealogy, God
meant for it to be recorded. Thus, in that way, every verse is
a thought of God, and therefore carries a message. This does
not mean everything said in the Bible is the truth, for
the Bible even records some lies of men. But everything in the
Bible is truly recorded, and in that sense is the truth, and
therefore a message from God.

The second criteria is the inner witness. We will say more
about the inner witness on another day.

Sometimes it is said that God communicates through nature. In
the sense that God's creation gives the message of His great
power, wisdom, and brilliance it is true. We can look at all
God has created and know He is a genius.

However, God actually communicates directly with us through
thoughts. Those thoughts can be about nature, but they are
still thoughts.

God desires for you to communicate with Him, also. You should
"talk" to Him about everything. Ask Him all the questions you
want. (You won't always get an instant answer. But God doesn't
mind you being curious. And when you are ready and capable of
understanding the answer, God will get it to you.)

You can "talk" to God by actually talking out loud, or by an
inward conversation, just in your thinking. God will hear you
either way. And He will respond. Again, it may not always be an
instant response. There could be many reasons for this. But if
you will stay alert, you will realize when God responds and you
will know He did.

The more you cultivate a relationship with God, the more you
will understand this and enjoy it. Remember that all
relationships are nurtured and deepened by communication.

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship
of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

SAY THIS: Thank you God for communicating with me. Help me
learn how to know what you are saying and help me to be alert
to your communication.