Saturday, November 30, 2013

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!

Friday, November 29, 2013

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."

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.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Is Desiring To Be Rich Wrong?

9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a
snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men
in destruction and perdition.

This verse seems to warn against any desire to be rich.
Actually, as some other translations say, it is more of a
longing to be rich, or a supreme goal to be rich that is being

This is talking about more than a simple desire -- for every
normal human should desire to improve and increase.

It is talking about a driving desire that causes you to be
susceptible to temptations to do wrong, because you are willing
to do anything to achieve your goal of being rich. It is
talking about a person who is obsessed with being rich. Someone
who puts every other interest behind the primary goal of being
rich, no matter what it requires.

Do you desire to be rich? Let me ask it this way: "Would you
rather be rich or poor?" "Would you rather have more than you
need so you can share with others, or would you rather have
less than you need so others must help you?"

Unless their thinking has been warped by religious teaching,
every sane person would admit they desire to be rich, as
opposed to the alternative of being poor.

Yet at first glance, this verse in 1 Timothy 6:9 seems to
indicate that this normal and healthy human desire is somehow
evil and should be avoided.

The New Testament was written in Greek, and achieving a perfect
translation from one language to another is never easy. It
should be obvious that the word "desire" in 1 Timothy 6:9 is
referring to something much stronger than a simple preference
for prosperity.

So it is not being rich, or a preference for being rich, that
causes all the problems spoken of in 1 Timothy 6:9, but having
an uncontrolled, driving desire to be rich at any cost that
causes those problems.

Only a few verses later, we read verse 17 which says nothing to
condemn those who are rich.

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 has provided richly for us. His intention is that we enjoy
what He has created and provided for us.

God put within us the desire to grow and improve, to increase
and overcome obstacles, and also to enjoy beauty and order.
Mankind was created and placed in a garden of pleasure, the
Garden of Eden, a paradise. It is not wrong for us to strive to
return to that state. God made us that way.

It only becomes wrong when we are willing to mistreat and take
advantage of others in our quest to prosper.

It is not wrong for you to have nice things. But it is wrong to
have no concern for others, and be willing to mistreat them in
order to obtain what you desire for yourself.

SAY THIS: It is not wrong to desire increase. But it is wrong
to make that my primary goal in life, without regard to the
needs and desires of others.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Inner Witness

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.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

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.

Monday, November 25, 2013

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.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Be Willing To Suffer

5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that
Christ Jesus had,
6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard
equality with God as something to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by
looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature.
8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of
death – even death on a cross!

God's plan is to make you like Jesus (Romans 8:29). This does
not mean you will have the same hair color or be the same
height. It means having the same character, so you will act the

In order to help you, Jesus gave up the greatest privileges
imaginable, and was obedient to God even to the point of death.
Jesus was willing to suffer to help you.

It is God's highest ideal that you also be willing to suffer,
if necessary, in order to help people. We cannot save people in
the same way Jesus did. Yet we can show God's love by being
willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of others, so they
can know the love of Jesus.

We are not supposed to suffer what Jesus suffered in our place
as our Deliverer. We should not suffer what Jesus bore as our
Substitute. So suffering sin, sickness, or poverty is not God's
will for anyone.

But there is a suffering God approves and expects from us --
suffering so people can be helped. It is walking in love in a
world of people who are not always nice.

1 PETER 4:19 ESV
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will
entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

We live in the midst of selfish people -- who God loves -- but
are still lost in darkness and living in sin.

God loves the world and wants them to know the truth and be
saved. God wants us to also love them enough to be willing --
just like Jesus was -- to put up with inconvenience and
discomfort in order to touch them with God's love.

This type of suffering is the heart of Christianity. It is an
expression of the love of God. It is the kind of love that is
willing to pay a price to help others.

ROMANS 8:17-18 ESV
17 and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and fellow heirs
with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may
also be glorified with him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are
not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to

According to Romans 8:17, God's children are supposed to suffer
WITH Jesus. But we are not to suffer apart from Jesus.

What is Jesus suffering today? Not sickness! Not poverty! Not
separation from God! But He is still suffering rejection by
people. So we are called to suffer the rejection, ridicule,
persecution, misunderstanding, and disrespect the world gives

Being willing to suffer so people can be helped is proof of
God's love in our hearts, confirming that we are born of God
and allowing His nature to dominate us. Thus demonstrating that
we have matured to become like Jesus and are qualified and
ready to rule and reign with Him in His kingdom of love.

24 I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am
participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his
body, the church.

When someone is willing to suffer so that God's will may be
accomplished, it shows they have died to self (interest). They
are putting God's will ahead of their own interest.

29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting
in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.

It is actually a great privilege to suffer for Jesus. And the
glory and reward we will receive for doing so is beyond compare
-- not only in Heaven but also here and now!

SAY THIS: Because of God's great love, I am willing to suffer,
if need be, to help people who God loves.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

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.

To truly worship God we must do more than just speak words --
our actions must agree with our words.

The word "worship" is a contraction of "worth-ship." It is
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.

In this life we trade our time for money. So our money
represents our time -- a portion of our lives.

Giving money is one way we can tangibly express the devotion in
our hearts.

Worship is an act of reverence. In the Bible it usually has the
idea of bowing down. To worship means to highly value, 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 God worth it?" is a worship question.

If you don't know God very well, or if you have been misled
about His character and nature, you may not think God is worth
much to you.

But when you actually get to know Him, you realize He is more
precious and valuable than everything else!

8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the
infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I
have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so
that I could gain Christ

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.
It is the greatest privilege to know Him and be loved by Him.

We cannot buy favor or love from God -- He has already given it
to us as His free gift. But we should not fail to respond to
His great love in a manner worthy of Him.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

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.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

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.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Christian Is Not Cursed Because Of Not Tithing

Tithe means tenth. So tithing is giving ten percent to God.

In Malachi 3:9 God told Israel they were under a curse. It was
because of their disobedience. Their covenant with God required
them to obey the Law of God, which included tithing, in order
to enjoy God's blessings and be free from the curse.

But we live today under a New Covenant which does not have the
same requirements. Our covenant is a better covenant
established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6).

The New Covenant is between God and Jesus of Nazareth, so it
does not depend on the obedience of anyone else. We are
included in this wonderful covenant only by receiving Jesus and
thus being in union with Him. The Bible refers to this as being
"in Christ."

If you are "in Christ," you get credit for all Jesus did. Now
the blessings Jesus deserved belong to you. And Jesus already
bore the curse you deserved.

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having
become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone
who hangs on a tree "),

Until you receive Jesus Christ you may be under a curse. And,
even as a Christian, you may allow curses to come upon you
through fear or your own negative words.

But you are NOT cursed because you don't pay ten percent of
your earnings to God, or to His representatives. You are also
not cursed because of your failure to be circumcised, keep the
Sabbath, eat kosher, or keep any other Old Covenant Law.

Some preachers do not yet realize that Malachi was directed
only to people under the Old Covenant. It certainly took me a
long time to understand.

When Jesus shed His Blood -- things drastically changed. A New
Covenant was established with God.

We must rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15) to
prevent confusion in our thinking.

Right standing with God under the New Covenant can only be
received as a gift (Romans 5:17). We receive this wonderful
gift when we receive Jesus.

You are blessed and in good standing with God because of what
Jesus did for you on the cross of Calvary -- not because of
what you do.

Giving money to God is not required in order to be loved,
accepted, and blessed by God. Jesus paid the total price for us
to be in good standing with God.

(But if you don't desire to give, I would question whether you
are truly born again. Having the love of God inside you causes
you to be a giver, just as God is. So a real Christian should
naturally desire to give.)

Giving is part of God's plan for His family. In fact, it is
part of our nature as His children to be givers. So we don't
need the fear of being cursed to motivate us to give.

Using fear to get people to give is not God's way. God loves a
cheerful giver according to 2 Corinthians 9:7. Fear cannot
motivate anyone to give cheerfully!

Some may say "God won't curse you for not tithing, but if you
don't tithe you won't be blessed. And without being blessed,
you will continue to stay under the curse."

No, this is not the truth. Jesus took the curse you deserved
and bore it away. When you receive Jesus you become an heir of
God and a joint heir with Jesus (John 1:12, Romans 8:17). "In
Christ" you have already been given all the blessings Heaven
has to offer (Ephesians 1:3, Romans 8:32).

Jesus became poor to make you rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus
took care of the curse. Jesus provided the blessing. It happens
in your life because you believe it, not because of your giving
-- or any other good works on your part.

Testimonies of people who seem to have been blessed for tithing
or cursed for not tithing are not giving us the whole picture.
The vital heart of the matter was what they believed. If they
believed they would be blessed or cursed, and talked and acted
accordingly, that largely explains the result they got.

Voluntarily giving to support the work of God as an act of
love, honor, and worship is the New Covenant ideal.

There is nothing wrong with giving ten percent of your income
to support the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ. But it
is wrong to do it because of wrong motives, such as fear.

Tithing is also wrong if you are doing it in an effort to gain
good standing with God. That is a work of the Law, and it
cannot produce right standing with God (Romans 3:28, Galatians
2:16, Galatians 3:10).

SAY THIS: Thank you Lord Jesus for taking the curse for me and
setting me free to enjoy the blessings of God.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Giving Is Not The Main Ingredient In Prosperity

8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it
day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in
it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

There are Bible passages (such as 2 Corinthians 9) that connect
generous giving with reaping a generous financial harvest.

But prosperity requires more than giving!

Someone may say that "buttermilk makes good pancakes" but we
understand there are other ingredients that must also be used
to make pancakes. "Buttermilk makes good pancakes" may be a
true statement, but it's not the whole truth.

Being a generous giver, (as opposed to being a selfish, self-
centered person) is part of prosperity in God's kingdom, but it
is not the complete picture.

God is a giver, and as His children we should be like Him.
Giving is something Christians will do naturally when we are
not bound by fear and doubt, for it expresses our true nature.

So I am not against giving. The Bible does teach that our
generosity affects our prosperity. But it is not the only
ingredient -- not even the most important one.

The primary ingredient in prosperity is faith (Romans 4:16, 5:2).
Faith is what you believe, and therefore directs how you speak
and act.

The second main ingredient in prosperity, and just as
important, is obedience to God (Hebrews 5:9). We must follow
God's instructions.

Giving cannot cancel out or make up for disobedience. If God
has made it clear to you that you are supposed to do something,
yet you refuse to do it, and think that you can just give an
offering, and everything will work out great in your life, you
are mistaken.

Your mother may love you very much and give you her favorite
recipe for some food, along with all the ingredients and
utensils needed to make it. But if you refuse to follow her
recipe instructions you cannot expect it to turn out well, no
matter how much your mother loves you or how much it cost her
to provide you with everything you needed to make it.

You can give until you have nothing left to give, but unless
you walk in faith and obey what you know God has told you to do
-- you will not live in the measure of prosperity God intended
for you to enjoy.

I am not saying you have to be mature and perfect in all you do
in order to prosper. We do not have to earn God's blessing by
our performance under the New Covenant. Instead we receive it
as a gift based on what Jesus did for us. But if we refuse to
follow God's instructions we still cannot expect things to turn
out good in our life.

We also need to understand that there are different levels of
faith we can operate in. As a child of God it is possible for
you to walk in faith and receive financial provision without
you having to give something in order to receive.

Someone might object and say that nothing happens on earth
without a seed being sown. While that may be true, Jesus our
Head and joint-heir has already sown His all and we are
partakers of His grace. We got credit for what Jesus did!

However, we still can choose to release our faith by an act of
giving in order to receive a harvest of provision. But when we
do that we still need to speak words of faith over our gift.
When you give you must also mix faith with your giving for it
to work as it should.

We all desire to be blessed and prosperous. The Good News
includes the fact that our great and generous Father God has
already blessed us in Christ Jesus.

As joint-heirs with Jesus, we already have been given
everything by God (Romans 8:17, Romans 8:32, Galatians 4:7,
Ephesians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3, 1 Corinthians 3:22).

So our giving should really be a response to God's love -- not
something we must do in order to get God to bless us.

Many people do need to be instructed and encouraged to give
because they are bound by selfishness. Fear has trapped them
and prevents them from expressing the love of God in their
hearts by generous giving. So the Lord has directed many
preachers to talk about giving, because it has been necessary.

But we don't have to give in order to earn God's blessing, for
we are already blessed in Christ. So we can freely and
cheerfully give because we know our Father God is our never-
ending source of supply. We can support every good work, as the
Lord leads us. (2 Corinthians 9:8, Colossians 1:10).

5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do

John 2:5 actually gives all the instruction you need to prosper
(not only in this life, but throughout eternity). Whatever
Jesus tells you to do -- do it!

SAY THIS: Lord please help me to understand all the ingredients
of the prosperity that pleases You.

Friday, November 15, 2013

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

Thursday, November 14, 2013

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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You Can Live In The Kingdom Of Love

1 JOHN 4:8 GWN
8 The person who doesn't love doesn't know God, because God is

Wouldn't it be nice to live where every one loved and was loved
with a perfect love? A place where there was no selfishness,
where everyone put the interests of others before their own

The good news is that there is such a place! It is where Jesus
is Lord. It is the Kingdom of God, which could also be called
the Kingdom of love, because God is love. Everyone is invited.
All are welcome. There is room for everyone.

There is just one problem. If you are allowed in -- while still
a selfish being -- you would ruin it for others.

So you can't enter until you are changed, made right, made into
a person of love, a person who is not selfish.

"But all humans are born selfish! We can't help it! It is who
we are."

3 Jesus replied to Nicodemus, "I can guarantee this truth: No
one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above."

Yes, humans are selfish. That explains why in order to enter
the Kingdom of Love, you MUST be born of God and receive a new
nature. John 1:12 tells us how we can be born again as God's
child -- by receiving Jesus Christ.

5 We're not ashamed to have this confidence, because God's love
has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has
been given to us.

When we receive Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit instantly changes
us on the inside and fills us with God's love. Then we must
believe that God loves us, so we will not live in fear. Fear is
the reason people are tempted to act selfishly.

1 JOHN 4:16 GWN
16 We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love.
Those who live in God's love live in God, and God lives in

People act selfishly because of fear. God's perfect love (which
guarantees God's perfect and abundant provision), casts out
fear (1 John 4:18).

5 and from Jesus Christ, the witness, the trustworthy one, the
first to come back to life, and the ruler over the kings of the
earth. Glory and power forever and ever belong to the one who
loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
6 and has made us a kingdom, priests for God his Father. Amen.

All sin is selfish. We sin only when we think it will benefit
us. To be freed from our sins means we must be freed from

Jesus died not only for the forgiveness of our sins, but also
to set us free from them. That can only happen as God's love
displaces the selfishness inside us. And that can only happen
as we are born of God, filled with God, and trust in God's
goodness and abundant provision for us.

SAY THIS: I choose to live forever in God's Kingdom of Love.

Monday, November 11, 2013

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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

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.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

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.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Some More Truths About Money

* People who are generous givers are blessed.

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap
sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap

25 The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will
also be watered himself.

These verses reveal truth, but not all truth. So we cannot
ignore all the rest of God's instruction and expect to prosper
just because we give something.

* God does not require everyone to give away everything they

But He does tell all those who are rich to be generous givers
and not trust in their riches (1 Timothy 6:17-18).

Jesus told one specific man to give away everything, but did
not require this of everyone. As Jesus' disciple, we must be
willing to give our all (Luke 14:33). But Jesus does not
require that be done before we can enter His kingdom.

* God is pleased when His servants have an abundance.

27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous
cause; And let them say continually, "Let the LORD be
magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."

17 Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid
well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and

* Jesus became poor to redeem humanity from the curse of
poverty, so everyone could always have an abundant supply.

9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though
He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you
through His poverty might become rich.

* Because of all Jesus Christ has done for us, we should put
Him first and live for Him.

15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no
longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose

9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the
firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will
overflow with new wine.

SAY THIS: Thank You Lord for showing me what the Bible teaches
about money.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Some Truths About Money

* Money is not true riches.

LUKE 16:11 ESV
11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous
wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

Money cannot buy lasting happiness and fulfillment. If money
guaranteed happiness all rich people would be happy -- but
they're not. Money will never love you back. Money is only a
tool to use on earth.

LUKE 12:15 ESV
15 And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard
against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in
the abundance of his possessions."

* You cannot serve money and God.

LUKE 16:13 NLT
13 "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and
love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the
other. You cannot serve both God and money."

You can serve God and have money. But you cannot serve two
masters at the same time. Only one can ultimately control you.

* Loving money leads to evil.

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for
which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and
pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

* Where your money is, there your heart will be also (Luke 12:34).

So if you want to know where your heart is, just look at what
you do with your money.

* God is not against His people being rich. But God is against
us being covetous, proud, and selfish.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be
haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches,
but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

11 God will make you rich enough so that you can always be
generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God
because of us.

SAY THIS: Thank You Lord for teaching me truth about money.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Ministers Should Teach The Truth About Money

15 Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and
who correctly explains the word of truth.

Teaching about money is not easy.

Preachers know that people do not like to be told what to do
with their money -- especially if it involves giving it away.

No preacher wants people to think he has selfish motives, so
preachers often shy away from preaching much on money. They
know people might suspect they are preaching about money only
in order to raise funds.

You must also first know the truth about money in order to
preach it. Unfortunately, our level of knowledge on this
subject in the church has been very low.

We are all learning and God is endeavoring to teach us and give
us a balanced understanding. (But God's balance may seem
extreme to many people!) You may also be surprised -- as I have
been -- to find out that some things you have been taught were
not right.

The truth is that God gave us revelation in His Word that must
be understood and obeyed if we are to walk in the fullness of
blessing Jesus Christ paid for us to have. We need to hear
preaching on these truths. So we need preachers with the
courage to preach truth, with no fear of people.

I realize -- for your sake -- I should be more bold to preach
more on what the Bible says about money and prosperity.

Yet we don't want to go to the other extreme and preach only
about money, as if money is the only thing that matters. For
that is certainly not what Jesus taught!

We must present truth to people as accurately and fully as we
can, regardless of whether it is popular or not. For only the
truth will make people free. And we must never forget that none
of us knows it all yet. So we should stay open to further
instruction the Lord may send our way.

SAY THIS: Lord, please help me to understand and to teach the
truth about money.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

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

A thought from God may also come through another person. God
lives in other believers, not just in you. Or it may have been
recorded previously, either in written, spoken, or pictorial

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.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Stop Condemning Other Christians

10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down
on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the
judgment seat of God.

Many Christians seem to have the idea that their job is to
evaluate others and point out errors and shortcomings. But our
job is not to condemn other Christians!

4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is
before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be
upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

We can share truth with an attitude of humility, respect, and
concern for other's well-being, pointing out areas where we
think they may not yet have a correct understanding of
Scripture. But name-calling, fighting, and public ridicule
should never happen among Christians!

Privately correcting someone in humility is quite different
from arrogantly condemning another brother or sister publicly.

We can teach truth without mocking, ridiculing, and condemning
others. Those who resort to such tactics often do so because
they cannot convince based on the facts.

Whatever we do should be done in the spirit of Christ, to help
people, not condemn them.

Jesus said the world would know we are His followers by our
love. So our enemy tries to stir up strife between believers.

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

We are all in the same family. Instead of attacking our
brothers and sisters, love should protect them and defend them.

ROMANS 14:1-3,13 NLT
1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue
with them about what they think is right or wrong.
2 For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat
anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will
eat only vegetables.
3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on
those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not
condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.
13 So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live
in such a way that you will not cause another believer to
stumble and fall.

There are many differences among Christians. We are all growing
and learning. Not one of us knows everything. Even Paul, who
wrote down much of the New Testament, said he only knew in part
(1 Corinthians 13:9).

We all have much to learn. So we should be slow in telling
others how wrong they are. The Lord may have taught them
something He has not yet taught us.

Many are too quick to label all those who do not agree with
them on every point of doctrine as a cult or some other name to
put them down.

Usually, those who are in the habit of putting down others do
so in an attempt to elevate themselves. But God has already
elevated us in Christ, so we don't need to fall into this trap.

19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to
build each other up.

SAY THIS: My job is not to condemn people and call them bad
names, but to bless them, help them, and pray for them.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

God Raises The Dead

8 "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises
the dead?

Note the present tense of this verse. It does not say God
previously raised the dead or God will only raise the dead in
the future.

Our God is "I AM" -- not "I WAS" or "I WILL BE" (Exodus 3:14).
In other words, God is always the same and He can raise anyone
from the dead at any time without breaking a sweat.

21 "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them,
even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-22) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:32-35) both saw
the dead raised.

Even after his death, touching the bones of Elisha caused a
dead man to come back to life (2 Kings 13:21). This caused the
word of Elijah to be fulfilled that Elisha would have a double
anointing, enabling him to do twice as many miracles as Elijah.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others
were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might
obtain a better resurrection.

Included in the faith "hall of fame" in Hebrews 11 are women
who received their dead raised to life again. So it was a
choice made by these women to press in and receive something
extraordinary from God.

Surely this includes the women mentioned in the above accounts
with Elijah and Elisha. But there could have been others!

Not only did Jesus raise someone from death three times during
His earthly ministry (Luke 7:14, Luke 8:54, John 11:41-44), but
in John 14:12 Jesus said those who believe on Him would also do
the works that He did.

We assume that raising the dead is not in exactly the same
category as healing the sick, for Scripture mentions only three
people Jesus raised from death, while multitudes were healed by
Him. Notice also that most of the people raised from death in
Scripture were young.

During His earthly ministry Jesus also commanded His disciples
to raise the dead as part of their ministry.

8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out
demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Then in Matthew 28:18-20 (what we call the Great Commission),
Jesus told His disciples to teach others to do everything He
had commanded them -- even to the end of the age. So our
calling today is to do exactly what Jesus commanded His first
disciples to do.

MATTHEW 28:18-20 NKJ
18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority
has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit,
20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded
you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

After the resurrection of Jesus we find both Peter (Acts 9:40)
and Paul (Acts 20:10) raising someone from death.

So eight individual people are mentioned in the Bible who were
raised from the dead. This does not count Jesus or the "many"
mentioned in Matthew 27:52-53 who were raised after His death.

Abraham, whose faith we are to imitate (Romans 4:12,16),
believed God would raise his son Isaac from death (Hebrews

In our day, as people have begun to literally believe what the
Bible says, there are numerous testimonies from around the
world of people being raised from death.

Certainly, not everyone will be raised from death during this
present age. Jesus did not raise every dead person to life
during His earthly ministry and we are not supposed to raise
everyone either. But why should we think it is a thing
impossible for God to do?

Death is an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26), and at the Name of
Jesus every knee must bow (Philippians 2:9-10). As believers we
have been commissioned to use the authority of Jesus' Name.

So, if you believe the Lord is directing you, use the authority
of Jesus' Name to speak life to a dead body. If they don't come
back, rejoice that they are in a better place, but at least you
acted in faith -- which pleases God.

SAY THIS: I am a believer! I believe God can, and does, raise
the dead. He is the Great I AM!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

What Is Bible Hope?

24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not
hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?

When the word "hope" was used in the New Testament, it meant
something different than the word "hope" as we use it today.
Today when we use the word "hope" we usually mean something
which is only a desire or a wish -- not something we are
actually expecting.

Most Bible teaching on faith and hope uses this modern meaning
of hope, instead of the Bible meaning. And that has made it
difficult for us to understand the Bible teaching on hope and

In the New Testament the word hope means "a positive
expectation." It is a positive image of what we actually expect
in the future. Hope always deals with the future, never the

Because what we hope for is always in the future, that means it
cannot be seen yet. Remember, Romans 8:24 says, "hope that is
seen is not hope."

The only way humans can "see" anything that has not yet
happened is by using our imagination. So there is no
possibility of Bible hope without involving our imagination. To
hope, we must use our imagination.

Fear is actually the opposite of Bible hope. Bible hope is a
positive expectation based on and supported by a belief in
God's Word. Fear is a negative expectation based on and
supported by a belief in something bad. Both involve the
imagination, the seeing part of our thinking, the ability to
visualize something before it happens.

Faith in God produces Bible hope – expecting good to happen.
Faith in bad things produces fear – expecting bad to happen.
Faith is the support, the foundation, the underlying thing
under both hope and fear.

You cannot have hope (which is a positive vision of what you
expect) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in
something. You cannot have fear (which is a negative vision of
what you expect) without faith (which is a choice to believe)
in something bad.

Our beliefs are the foundation, the solid footing which support
our hopes or fears, and enable them to exist. So when your
beliefs change, your hopes and fears will also change.

All your beliefs are a choice you made at some point in time,
allowing them to become part of your belief system, which
provides the basis for your hopes or your fears.

Many think Bible faith is an attitude, outlook, or state. But
those describe Bible hope. Faith is primarily a decision, based
on evidence we judge worthy of being acted upon.

A literal meaning of Hebrews 11:1 is "Faith (in God) is the
support for our hoping, a refutation of things, not coming from
the senses." (Hebrews 11:1 does not give a definition of faith,
although it seems like it in our English translations. It
simply tells us something faith does, which is to give support
for our positive expectation of the future.)

So our faith in God undergirds our hope. The foundation upon
which our hope rests is faith in God. We expect (and imagine,
of necessity) good things to happen because of our faith in

SAY THIS: Bible hope is a positive expectation based on a
decision to accept God's Word as truth.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Be Who You Are

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

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.

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.