Sunday, August 31, 2014

Accept Jesus As Your Righteousness

ROMANS 10:3 NLT
3 For they don't understand God's way of making people right
with himself. Refusing to accept God's way, they cling to their
own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.

It seems that humans are naturally intent on trying to prove to
God that we are worthy of His acceptance and favor.

All human religions are based on what we must do to please God.
But true Christianity is based entirely on what God did for us
through Christ Jesus. That is why it is called the Gospel
(which means Good News).

PHILIPPIANS 3:9 NLT
9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own
righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become
righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us
right with himself depends on faith.

God's way for people to be right with Him is based on the work
of Jesus Christ. It is not something any human being can ever
deserve or earn. It is purely a gift from God.

GALATIANS 2:16 NLT
16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in
Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in
Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because
of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For
no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law."

You can't have good standing with God by trying to be a good
person and living a perfect life. The only way to have good
standing with God is by being in Christ Jesus.

ROMANS 3:22 NLT
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus
Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter
who we are.

So don't try to establish your own righteousness. Accept Jesus
as your righteousness!

GALATIANS 5:4 NLT
4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by
keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have
fallen away from God's grace.

God made Jesus to be your righteousness. Accept that fact!

1 CORINTHIANS 1:30 NIV
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has
become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness,
holiness and redemption.

To now say that your righteousness is not good enough, would be
saying that Jesus is not good enough. Because Jesus is your
righteousness!

ROMANS 5:1 NLT
1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by
faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our
Lord has done for us.

Being right with God (righteous) not only gives us peace with
God, but also enables us to live in victory.

ROMANS 5:17 NLT
17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over
many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of
righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over
sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.

Righteousness is a gift! But for you to benefit as you should,
you must actively receive it. You must take it! (That is the
meaning of the word "receive" in Romans 5:17.)

SAY THIS: I accept Jesus as my righteousness. Because of Jesus,
I am in right standing with God right now. I am righteous in
Christ!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

You Are In The Army Of Love

1 JOHN 4:8 CEB
8 The person who doesn't love does not know God, because God is
love.

True believers in Jesus Christ are children of Love and
citizens of the kingdom of Love. The God of Love is our Father,
and He gave us His message of Love to share with all humanity
(2 Corinthians 5:19-20). It is Good News!

As God's children, He has placed His love in our hearts (Romans
5:5).

JOHN 13:35 CEB
35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples,
when you love each other."

Today every follower of Jesus Christ is called to manifest
God's love, just as Jesus did during His time on earth.

1 JOHN 2:6 NLT
6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as
Jesus did.

Jesus already defeated the devil. But the Church, which is the
Body of Christ, is still in a battle for the hearts and minds
of people.

2 CORINTHIANS 10:4-5 CEB
4 Our weapons that we fight with aren't human, but instead they
are powered by God for the destruction of fortresses. They
destroy arguments,
5 and every defense that is raised up to oppose the knowledge
of God. They capture every thought to make it obedient to
Christ.

This does not mean we can win people by arguments. Only when
people see reality in our lives will their arguments be
silenced.

There is only one way to win the hearts of people -- by Love.
If we don't show them Love, they won't know Love exists.

We are now earthly representatives of Love, called to join the
battle. We must always remember we are on Love's side -- not
against people -- only against what harms people.

EPHESIANS 6:12 CEB
12 We aren't fighting against human enemies but against rulers,
authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of
evil in the heavens.

People are not our enemy, but the devil tries to influence and
work through people. So they may mistreat us. But our response
to them should always be Love. We should always be patient and
return kindness, regardless how people may have mistreated us.

1 PETER 3:9 NLT
9 Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when
people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That
is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.

SAY THIS: I am in the army of God -- who is Love.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pray To Be Enlightened

EPHESIANS 1:18 NIV
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

There is much we don't know.

In fact, the most spiritual among us has only glimpsed a part
of God's plan. The Apostle Paul said that he only "knew in
part."

So, with the Apostle Paul we should pray that "the eyes of our
heart may be enlightened." For ourselves, and for others, too.

If study alone was the answer, those who have studied the Bible
the most would have the most faith, and would be doing the most
exploits in God's name. Often, the opposite is true.

Thank God for scholarship, but that is not the total answer.

The Bible is a living message given by a living Author.
Fellowship with God and illumination from Him are necessary for
true understanding of the Bible.

Our prayer needs to be that of the Psalmist.

PSALM 119:18 NKJ
18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.

You may have wondered why you see some things clearly in the
Bible that your friends or loved ones seem blinded to.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:4 NIV
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so
that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God.

The answer is that, somehow, our hearts and minds need opened
or illuminated by God. This is a reason, and a way, to pray for
your unsaved loved ones.

ACTS 16:14 NIV
14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia . . . The
Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.

SAY THIS: Lord, open my eyes and give me understanding of all
that you have for me to know.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mankind's Dominion

God did not create men and women to be puppets, robots, or
slaves.

GENESIS 1:26-28 NRS
26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image,
according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the
fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the
cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over
every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God
he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and
multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion
over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over
every living thing that moves upon the earth."

Humans have been given dominion over every thing that moves on
earth. That would include the devil and his forces trying to
operate here on earth. So we should not allow the devil to
operate here!

PSALM 8:4-6 NRS
4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals
that you care for them?
5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned
them with glory and honor.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,

Even though mankind fell, God has never changed His purpose for
mankind, nor His decrees.

ROMANS 5:17 NRS
17 If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised
dominion through that one, much more surely will those who
receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of
righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man,
Jesus Christ.

Jesus came to redeem mankind from our fallen state, and restore
us back to the position of dominion God originally created us
to walk in. Now those who are in Christ are joint heirs with
Him (Romans 8:17).

Our dominion now is not to rule over other people. Jesus
perfectly illustrated for us during His earthly life how
mankind is supposed to live on earth and exercise our dominion.
But one day, those who are faithful will rule with Jesus over
the nations (Revelation 2:26).

SAY THIS: God gave me dominion -- not the devil.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Believe You Receive When You Pray

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.

Prayer is communication with God. It should be more than just
asking for things. But that certainly is a valid part of
prayer. In this passage in Mark 11:22-26 Jesus gave us
instruction on praying to receive things. You can't expect to
receive what you pray for unless you follow the Lord's
directions.

So what can you expect to receive in answer to your prayer?
Only what you believe you receive when you pray.

You don't have to believe you have your answer already in the
physical realm. But you must believe that God has granted your
request, that the answer belongs to you and is on its way into
your life.

Too many people approach prayer just hoping that something
might happen. But Jesus gave us clear instruction.

What did Jesus say you are to believe when you pray? He said
you are to believe that you receive what you ask for.

Jesus did not say you are to believe that God is going to give
you an answer sometime. You must believe God gives you the
answer when you pray, and that the answer is yes.

Jesus told you to "believe you receive when you pray."

This may seem strange to you. But this is what God requires of
us. It is called "faith in God."

What you believe will affect your attitude and your conduct.
You can't make God do something by acting like you believe. But
if you truly believe something, you will talk and act in line
with that belief.

When you believe you receive the answer, you will quit talking
and acting like you don't have the answer. You will begin to
rejoice and be glad. You will quit asking others to pray for
the answer. You will quit complaining about not having the
answer.

You may wonder how you can believe you receive the answer if
you are not sure it is God's will. You can't! This means that
you should not be praying about things you are not already sure
are the will of God.

So you need to go to God's written Word, the Bible, and find
out His will before you pray. Then you can pray confidently
knowing you are asking something that is God's will.

(Although the Bible does not provide specific details about
things like which person you should marry or which job you
should do, it does give guidelines so you can know God's will.)

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.

If you trusted me, and I told you I had deposited a large sum
of money into your bank account, would you keep worrying about
not having any money?

Even though you had not yet seen the money, you could believe
that the money was yours. You could believe you had the answer
to your problem even though your only proof was me telling you
I had deposited money into your account.

God is utterly dependable -- more than any human. God has never
lied, and never fails. So He expects you to trust Him.

SAY THIS: Jesus said I must believe I receive the answer when I
pray.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Future Begins Today

PHILIPPIANS 3:13 NKJ
13 ...one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

Today IS the first day of the rest of your life. And it will be
what you and God make it.

Your past does not have to dictate your future. You can begin
again. With God you really can have a fresh start.

God can forgive your past -- and help you to forgive yourself.
But most importantly, God can change you. He can make you into
the kind of person you know you should be.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17 NRSV
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:
everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Your life can be different. But don't think it will be
different if you continue to do things exactly the same as you
always have.

For your life to change -- you must MAKE changes.

If you want real change -- God's Word is the key. You must
immerse yourself in the Word. What you feed in determines the
output of your life.

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

God's Word will build you up. Jesus said it would make you free
-- if you continue in it (John 8:31-32).

The Bible is God's answer to man's problems. It gives life and
hope and instruction so we can walk in victory.

Prayer is also vital. Prayer is communication with God. All
relationships require communication to keep from growing cold.

So, actively involve God in your life. Consult with Him on
every decision. God is the best helper you will ever have.

JOHN 14:16 NKJ
16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another
Helper, that He may abide with you forever,

The future can be better. The choice is yours. If you invite
and involve God in your future -- it will be bright!

SAY THIS: I invite God into every area of my life and future.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Serve The Lord With Gladness

PSALM 100:2 NASB
2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful
singing.

When I was a young Christian I had the wrong mindset about
serving God. I didn't want to go to Hell so I wanted to serve
God. But really I saw God as a hard taskmaster, very difficult
or even impossible to please.

I hesitated to tell others about Jesus because I thought it was
so difficult to be a Christian.

I have since learned how wrong I was in my thinking. Jesus said
His yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is truly Good News. God is not a
hard taskmaster! He is the most loving, patient and kind being
in the Universe. Knowing Him and being loved by Him should
cause us to celebrate and shout for joy!

PSALM 100:2 CEB
2 Serve the LORD with celebration! Come before him with shouts
of joy!

Why did I previously think those wrong things about God?
Because I was focused too much on Scriptures in the Bible that
were designed to help me realize my need for a Savior so I
would turn to Jesus.

I didn't realize I was supposed to be trusting in Jesus for my
right standing with God instead of trusting in my own
performance. I was not looking at the verses telling me what
Jesus had already done for me.

Now after many years, I realize that God has worked in me and I
am no longer the same. Things that used to appeal to me greatly
(and were harmful for me) no longer appeal to me. But this was
something God worked in me as I grew in Christ. It was not a
struggle I went through by using my will-power to overcome.

I am SO glad to be a Christian believer today. It is the most
wonderful thing that ever happened to me. It gives me
inexpressible joy to know Jesus and belong to Him.

But I am also sad because so many of my brothers and sisters
are still stuck with the wrong mindset I used to have. They are
not excited about God and glad to belong to Him. And that is
sad.

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 CEB
4 Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad!

SAY THIS: Knowing God is something to be glad about!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Have A Word Harvest

JOSHUA 1:8 NIV
8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;
meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do
everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and
successful.

When God first gave anyone instructions for success, the first
thing He said was to always keep His Word on their lips.

Jesus taught that God's Word was a seed (Luke 8:11). Seed
produces a harvest — if used properly.

The harvest that God's Word produces in your life is freedom
(John 8:31-32). Here are three steps to seeing a harvest of
freedom in your life:

1. Plant the seed of the Word by reading it, saying it, and
hearing it.
2. Water the seed by reading, speaking, and hearing the Word
some more.
3. Gather the harvest by speaking the Word (when you believe it
and know it inwardly).

Most people try to skip the first two steps. No wonder they
have not had better results! You cannot reap the harvest
without planting the seed and watering it.

Feed your faith, in every area you desire to be strong in, by
speaking God's Word that covers those subjects.

Remember — if you want to harvest a continuous crop of freedom
— you must plant the seed of God's Word continuously.

SAY THIS: I will read, speak, and listen to God's Word.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Take What God Has Given You

JOSHUA 1:3 NKJ
3 "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I
have given you, as I said to Moses.

God told Israel the promised land was theirs. Yet it was
possessed by others -- some were even giants (which made it
look impossible for them to possess.)

God had given them the land, but they had to go in and take it.
God would enable them to take possession, if they would only
cooperate by believing Him. Yet they focused on the seemingly
impossible circumstances and took their eyes off God's promise.

HEBREWS 3:19 NKJ
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Only one thing kept the people of Israel from taking possession
of all their promised land -- unbelief! Maybe they felt
incapable, but that was the devil's lie. Their capability was
God! God had spoken! But they chose not to believe what God
said to them.

Today it is no different with us!

The New Testament reveals many things which already belong to
us because we are joined with Jesus Christ. These are not just
promises, but statements of what is already ours because of
God's wonderful grace.

God has given us richly all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17, 2
Peter 1:3). Many of us are not enjoying much, but it is NOT
God's fault. We are the ones who need to change. We need to
change what we believe!

Many expect Bible promises to just fall on them. But you have a
part to play. Nothing automatically manifests in your life
until you believe and act on God's Word. You must actively
receive what the Bible says is yours.

Very often in the New Testament the word "receive" translates
the word "lambano," which means to actively receive. This word
is often translated as "take."

You must take possession of what God has given you. Without
actively taking what belongs to you, you will not enjoy all God
has provided for you.

You must possess by your faith what God has given you by His
grace. Remember that faith is the noun form and believe is the
verb form of the same word in the New Testament.

So if your beliefs don't line up with God's Word, then you need
to change them, for God's Word is truth.

What you believe makes a big difference in the way you respond
to something being taken from you. If you believe something
belongs to you, you will not readily allow anyone to take it
from you.

So when you truly know what belongs to you because of the great
price Jesus paid, you will quit allowing the devil to steal it
from you.

God's desire is that you take, and continue to possess, what
Jesus paid for you to have and enjoy.

SAY THIS: Because it pleases God, I will take what God says is
mine, which is all that Jesus paid for me to have.

Friday, August 22, 2014

You Can Do All Things Through Christ

PHILIPPIANS 4:13 NKJ
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

God often makes statements in the Bible that go against what we
feel like, or what it looks like to us at the time.

God is trying to move us to a higher plane of faith where we
depend on Him and not on what we feel like.

Others try to evade the issue by saying that a verse only
applies to someone else -- like the Apostle Paul -- not to
them.

Well, if you don't believe, you won't receive help. But help is
available. And that help and strength is just as available to
you as it was to the Apostle Paul, because the Lord does not
play favorites.

Paul didn't say, "I can do all things because I am an apostle."
No, it is "through Christ" that he was enabled to do what he
needed to do. And you, as a believer, are in Christ just as
much as the Apostle Paul was.

You choose. Either step out in faith in God and say you can do
it with His help, and watch God raise you up to that level. Or,
cower back in fear, and say you cannot do it.

SAY THIS: I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens
me.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How Do I Know When I Have Faith?

MATTHEW 17:20 NKJ
20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for
assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and
it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

I used to think it was hard to be certain about faith because
it was something like a feeling or state of being. But now I
understand that once we make the decision to believe, we are in
faith, no matter how we may feel, unless we make another
decision to stop believing.

Because at its heart, faith is always a decision. No one can
force you to believe in anything. The choice is yours.

(Remember that, in the New Testament, faith is the noun form
and believe is the verb form of the same word.)

A definition of faith is: a decision, based on some evidence,
resulting in some action.

Faith in God is a choice to believe what God says is true. It
is accepting God's Word as evidence worthy of acting upon.

LUKE 17:6 NASB
6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you
would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in
the sea'; and it would obey you.

(Jesus did not say "faith the size of a mustard seed" as some
modern translations say, but "faith like a mustard seed." The
size of a mustard seed is only one of its characteristics.)

Jesus said if you had faith you would say, so faith speaks.
Faith is not silent. We express what we believe by our words
and our actions.

Faith is not a mystery. You never have to wonder whether you
have faith. You know what you believe by what you say and do.

SAY THIS: I can know when I have faith by what I say and do.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Speak God's Word

EPHESIANS 6:17 NKJ
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the
Spirit, which is the word of God;

The sword, or weapon, of the spirit is not the Bible laying on
a shelf, but God's Word being spoken by a believer.

You must take it. Your spiritual weapon is speaking the Word of
God. You must take the Word and speak it — just like Jesus did
(Matthew 4:4).

Our battle is not against humans, but evil spiritual forces,
which requires us to use spiritual weapons to prevail and
prosper. That weapon is speaking the Word of God.

Jesus defeated the devil for you. However, you must enforce
that defeat by speaking and standing in agreement with God.
Only then will you see Jesus' victory manifest in your life.

Of course, before you can speak the Word, you have to know the
Word. It must be fed in before you can expect it to come out in
a time of need. And you never know when you will be attacked
with something designed to steal, kill, and destroy you.

Keep on saying what God's Word says -- no matter what.

HEBREWS 10:23 NKJ
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without
wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hang on tight to speaking the Word, because the devil doesn't
want you to stick with the Word. Count on being tempted to NOT
say what God says. The devil does not want you to use your
spiritual weapon of speaking the Word.

Speak the Word of God:
1. To yourself first.
2. To God in thanks and praise.
3. To the devil.
4. To circumstances.

SAY THIS: I will say what God says. I will keep God's Word in
my mouth.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

High Priest Of Our Confession

HEBREWS 4:14 NKJ
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed
through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our
confession.

In the Bible, what is a high priest? Someone representing
others.

In the Old Covenant, the high priest stood between the people
and God, bringing sacrifices on behalf of the people so they
would be acceptable by God.

Now, under the New Covenant, Jesus is not only our sacrifice,
but also our representative. He is making our case before God,
interceding on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).

The Bible says Jesus is our Advocate (1 John 2:1). The word
advocate means a lawyer representing someone on a case.

Jesus pleads our case on our behalf. But Jesus uses our own
confession -- what we are saying -- to present our case. So if
we don't speak the right words, we don't give Him much to work
with.

HEBREWS 3:1 NKJ
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ
Jesus,

Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the High Priest of our
confession. That means He represents us before God on the basis
of what we say!

Please understand that God the Father is not a mean Judge who
must be convinced to be merciful and gracious. Not at all! But
He is also a God of justice, and cannot ignore or bless wrong-
doing.

So out of His great love for us, Father God has devised a plan
where He can still be just, yet bless us as He desires. Because
Jesus suffered and died as our Substitute, He already bore all
the punishment and bad things we deserve.

Yet we must agree with God's plan, and what He has said in His
Word, to receive all that Jesus died to purchase for us.

Jesus is our representative before God, the High Priest of our
confession -- what we say. He represents us before God with the
words we speak. So we need to give Jesus the right words to
offer in our behalf.

What then should we say? We should say what God has already
said about us in His Word, the Bible. We should agree with God.

SAY THIS: Jesus represents me in Heaven based on what I say.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Christ Died For Ungodly People

ROMANS 5:6,8 GWN
6 Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still
helpless, Christ died for ungodly people.
8 Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This
demonstrates God's love for us.

Let's slow down and think about what verse 6 above told us by
restating it. Christ died for:

terrible people.
for people who are most unlike God.
for people so bad no one thinks there is any hope for them.

Why!

Why did Christ die for ungodly people? What was the purpose?
What good did it do? Why did Jesus do such a thing?

The answer is given in the rest of Romans 5. It tells the story
of how one man (Adam) got all humanity living under a curse and
the dominion of the devil because of his rebellion and
disobedience to God. But through what another man did (Jesus
Christ, who was God and became a man), salvation and
deliverance and freedom along with a restored relationship with
God is made available to all humanity.

By choosing the Lord Jesus Christ we are delivered from the
kingdom of darkness in which we were held captive (Colossians
1:13). This is not just for a select few who deserve it. It is
available tor all -- even the most terrible, the most ungodly.
Jesus died to set us all free.

It would be good for you to read the entire fifth chapter of
Romans several times and let the message soak deeply into your
thinking. God's love for you (and all humanity) caused Him to
put into action a plan to redeem us and set us free.

Jesus died as a demonstration of God's love in order to set
humanity free -- even those who were most ungodly. Jesus died
for them.

So what should your attitude be toward ungodly, terrible
people? Should you hate them? Should you tell them to go to
Hell?

NO! Jesus loved them enough to die for them! So you should tell
them about how much Jesus loves them and the provision He has
already made to set them free from their sins.

You should tell them the Good News! They are loved by God! God
has forgiven them! (2 Corinthians 5:19) They can be free!

It is not God's plan that people remain ungodly. He
demonstrated His love at Calvary so people will turn to Him and
allow Him to give them a new nature, making them His children.

SAY THIS: My Lord Jesus Christ died for sinners, to set them
free.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Perfect Friend

PROVERBS 18:24 RSV
24 There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a
friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Would you like to have a perfect friend?

A friend who loved you no matter what you did.

A friend who would always be there when you needed them.

A friend who knew you intimately yet still loved you.

A friend who always encouraged you and never put you down.

A friend who was smart but not conceited.

A friend who had no personal problems to distract them.

A friend who was powerful and famous, yet down-to-earth and
approachable.

A friend who is righteous yet merciful to others.

A friend who never makes a mistake.

A friend who enjoyed having a good time and sharing a laugh
with you.

A friend who had the knowledge and ability to help you with
everything.

A friend who is not too good to wash your feet or clean your
toilet, yet talented enough to be the best at everything.

A friend who puts your interests ahead of their own.

A friend who loves you more than you love yourself.

A friend who would be willing to die for you.

There is only one. His name is Jesus, and He wants to be your
friend.

SAY THIS: Jesus is my friend.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

You Are A Child Of God

JOHN 1:12 NKJ
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to
become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

If you have received Jesus Christ, you are a child of Almighty
God.

ROMANS 8:16 NKJ
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are
children of God,

1 JOHN 3:2 NKJ
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been
revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is
revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

The words in the Bible are meant to reveal to us truth so we
will picture it clearly in our minds. God used pictures of
things we understand to communicate how He looks at us, and how
He feels toward us. One of those pictures is that Father God
wants you to see yourself as His child. That means He wants you
to expect His protection, His provision, His training, and His
love. For God is a perfect parent!

No one expects a young child to provide for their own needs.
Instead, we expect a child will be loved and cared for by its
parents.

Parents usually are quite pleased when their child does
anything that shows they are making progress. Like when it
takes its first steps, or draws them a picture.

If you are a parent, I am sure you were excited when your child
first began to speak to you. To other people it may have
sounded like "goo goo" but to you it was wonderful. This is the
same way our Father God feels. He wants us to communicate with
Him. We may not know all the "right words" to say, or even how
to say them, but God is thrilled when we start attempting to
pray and communicate with Him.

At first we may not understand Him perfectly, but we can be
confident that He perfectly understands every thought of our
heart. And as we grow we can expect to learn to understand
God's communication with us more clearly, too.

So, don't hesitate to pray because you think you don't know
how. God your Father just wants to hear from you. He delights
in you!

Don't hesitate to begin walking in faith and love. Just like a
human baby's first steps, you will likely fall a few times, but
when you do, Father God will be there to pick you up and cheer
you on.

SAY THIS: God has delight that I am His child.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Give Attention To My Words

PROVERBS 4:20-22 NKJ
20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my
sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the
midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all
their flesh.

Giving attention to God's Word is not as easy as it once was.
Today we have a multitude of distractions. Busyness seems to be
a disease shared by everyone. We all have more than we can do.

Yet . . .

God doesn't change. His Word doesn't change. It still says the
same thing it did a thousand years ago -- and it will still say
the same thing a thousand years from now.

"Give attention to my words...."

We are confronted with a choice. What is most important? To
what shall we give our limited time? God, or....?

God makes promises no one else does -- or can. He created, so
He knows how things work.

Life. Life in its fullness. Life as God intended it to be. And
health. Isn't that what everyone would like? That is the
written guarantee offered by God to the human race -- for
paying attention to what He has said.

SAY THIS: I choose to pay attention to God's Word. I choose
life and health. I choose God.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Now Believe God Loves Me

1 JOHN 4:16 ESV
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has
for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him.

Although I have endeavored to walk with the Lord for decades,
only in recent times have I started to really believe God loves
me.

My problem was that I kept focusing on myself, instead of God.

I saw myself in my immaturity with all my faults and failures.
I was not looking at Jesus the perfect sacrifice, but focused
on myself and my shortcomings.

Even though I preached messages on the love of God, I never had
complete confidence that God truly loved me just as I was.
Instead I thought more in terms of God tolerating me, but not
being too happy with me.

I was trying my best to do what I thought God wanted, not
really realizing that I could never earn God's love.

Now I am realizing that God's love is not dependent on me, but
is entirely dependent on God alone. He does not love me because
I am lovable, but because by nature He is perfect love.

As long as I thought God's acceptance of me and good standing
with Him was based on my performance, it made it hard to
believe God loved me.

I could believe God accepted me, that He didn't want me to go
to hell. I could believe God tolerated me. But I did not
believe God was happy with me. I did not think He took any
delight in me.

Have you ever had a child? I can tell you, as a parent, that it
is a great delight! Every child, no matter how many you have,
is very special to you. You love them so deeply it is difficult
to express.

So I have decided to believe the Bible. God is my Father. He is
the perfect father, so He loves me! Nothing else needs to be
considered.

Why?

Because He said He was my Father, and every good father loves
their child.

There is another major reason I know God loves me -- what He
did for me through Jesus -- who was God living in a human body.
He died for me! No greater love can be shown than to die for
someone.

It makes a big difference in life when you truly believe God
loves you. Fear (of anything) has a much harder time scaring
you. Even when things seem to be going horribly wrong, you know
God is watching over you, and even if you have made mistakes,
He will be there to help you.

SAY THIS: I am so glad I finally accepted the truth that God
loves me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

God Is Good

NAHUM 1:7 NIV
7 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for
those who trust in him,

God is not a bad guy. He is not against you. God is not your
problem. He is the answer to your problems.

The Bible reveals who is responsible for all the bad things
that happen -- and it is not God! God is not guilty!

DEUTERONOMY 32:4 NLT
4 He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is
just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just
and upright he is!

God has never done anything unfair or unjust. Everything He
does is perfect!

LUKE 6:35 NLT
35 "Love your enemies! ... and you will truly be acting as
children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are
unthankful and wicked.

According to Jesus, God even shows love to His enemies!

PSALM 145:8-9 NLT
8 The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and
filled with unfailing love.
9 The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all
his creation.

God is kind and merciful, gracious and generous. He desires the
best for everyone. Every good thing we have or enjoy is because
of God and His love.

JAMES 1:17 NLT
17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our
Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never
changes or casts a shifting shadow.

1 JOHN 4:8 NLT
8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is
love.

God is love, and love is defined by giving. God puts the
interests of others first. He is not selfish. He is willing to
suffer so you will not have to suffer.

If you want to know what God is like -- look at Jesus Christ.
He perfectly revealed God to us.

JOHN 1:18 NLT
18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself
God, is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us.

PSALM 86:5 NLT
5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of
unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

JEREMIAH 9:24 NIV
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have
the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises
kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I
delight," declares the LORD.

EXODUS 34:6 NLT
6 The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, "Yahweh! The
LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and
filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

PSALM 107:1 NLT
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love
endures forever.

SAY THIS: How wonderful it is to know that God is good!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Choose Life Words

DEUTERONOMY 30:19 NLT
19 "Today I have given you the choice between life and death,
between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to
witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so
that you and your descendants might live!

You have a choice. You can choose life and blessings. Or you
can choose curses and death. You make that choice when you
choose the words you speak.

PROVERBS 18:21 NKJ
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who
love it will eat its fruit.

Life and death are in the power of your tongue, so to choose
life -- choose to speak words of life.

JOHN 6:63 NKJ
63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

Jesus spoke words of life, and when we speak in agreement with
His Word, we are speaking words of life.

But the world trains us to speak words of death. Our culture
(influenced by the devil) has conditioned us to speak words of
doubt, fear, and death. Here are some examples.

I'm afraid not!
I can't believe it!
I can't believe he did that!
This is about to drive me insane!
This heat is just killing me!
I'm dying to go there!
That thrills me to death!
I laughed till I thought I would die!
I'm so embarrassed I could just die!
That scared the life out of me!
That just blows me away!
That is so sickening!
That just makes me sick!
I'm so sick and tired of that!
Well, I'll be damned!

If you desire life and blessing, then you should not speak
these kinds of words. When you speak you are expressing a
choice. If you desire to choose life and blessing, then you
should speak (only) words of life and blessing.

Jesus defeated the devil for you and stripped him of all
authority. So the devil tries to get you to speak negative
words, and thus give him an opening to bring destruction into
your life. So be aware of the words you speak!

SAY THIS: I choose the kind of life I will have by the words I
choose to speak.

Monday, August 11, 2014

God's Word Acts Like A Seed

LUKE 8:11 NKJ
11 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

A seed is much smaller than what it produces.

The problem you face may seem huge. In comparison, a scripture
may seem very small. But when planted, that Word will grow in
you and overcome the problem.

A seed always produces after its kind.

Whatever you need, or desire, find scriptures relating to that.
Then plant those scriptures inside you in abundance. Those
seeds will grow up and produce a harvest of what you need or
desire.

A seed is alive: it contains life.

Your physical senses are incapable of judging whether a seed is
alive or not. You cannot see, feel, hear, smell, or taste the
life in a seed. There is only one way to prove a seed is alive
-- plant it.

A seed does nothing until planted.

Seeds do not grow sitting in a sack on your shelf. They must be
planted in the proper place.

If you desire the Word of God to produce in your life, you must
decide to plant the Word in your heart and mind.

The best way to plant the seed of God's Word in your life is by
speaking the Word. Hearing others speak the Word is good -- but
will not produce as bountiful a harvest as speaking the Word
yourself.

Speaking God's Word with your mouth is essential. As we speak
God's Word we are planting the seed in our heart for the
harvest of results we desire.

ROMANS 10:10 NKJ
10 For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with
the mouth confession is made to salvation.

Whatever you need to be saved or delivered from, confession
(what you say) is essential.

SAY THIS: God's Word is a seed that will produce blessing in my
life, so I will plant it in my heart and mind by hearing it,
reading it, and speaking it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fear Of The Lord

PROVERBS 9:10 NKJ
10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the
knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

I look at fearing God like a young child would look at a good
father: He is not going to harm me -- but He won't permanently
let me get away with anything, either.

While God's wisdom may cause Him to not always immediately
respond to our wrong-doing, we can be sure that eventually God
will deal with us.

We can be confident that we do not have to be afraid of God
because He has revealed His nature to us through the Lord Jesus
Christ. Yet, God is all-knowing and powerful beyond our
imagination, so we should not think we can rebel against God
and get away with it, either.

ISAIAH 8:13 NLT
13 Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is
the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else.

God has never been wrong, and you won't succeed at being the
first to outsmart Him. God's way is perfect, so when we scorn
God's wisdom and go another way, we are destined to fail. We
should be afraid of that!

Think of fearing God as respect, but extreme respect of the
most powerful Being, and you will have the meaning.

We need not be afraid of God, for He will not harm us. But if
we are wise, we will be afraid of going any way but God's way,
because it will not work.

SAY THIS: To fear God means to highly respect Him, not to be
afraid that He will harm us.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

To See God, Look At Jesus

Do you want to know God? Get acquainted with Jesus through the
pages of the Bible.

JOHN 12:44-45 NKJ
44 . . .Jesus. . .said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in
Me but in Him who sent Me.
45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

JOHN 14:7-10 NKJ
7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also;
and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."
8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is
sufficient for us."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you
have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the
Father; so how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father
in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own
authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

Why am I stressing this point? It's simple. Most people think
highly of Jesus of Nazareth. After all, there is not anything
to fault with Him. But when it comes to God, most people blame
Him for a lot of bad stuff.

The truth is: looking at Jesus gives you a perfectly clear
picture of what the invisible God is like. Any other picture is
a lie and a distortion.

SAY THIS: God is like Jesus, and I find no fault in Him.

Friday, August 08, 2014

The Coming World Ruler

Would you like for me to reveal to you the name of the coming
world ruler?

One of His names is Jesus Christ.

ISAIAH 9:6-7 NKJ
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the
government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be
called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no
end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it
and establish it with judgment and justice From that time
forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will
perform this.

If you thought this article would be about the Antichrist, it
reveals that you need to change your focus.

DANIEL 2:44 NKJ
44 "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set
up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom
shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and
consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

REVELATION 19:11-16 NKJ
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He
who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in
righteousness He judges and makes war.
12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were
many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except
Himself.
13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is
called The Word of God.
14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and
clean, followed Him on white horses.
15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He
should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a
rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness
and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING
OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

SAY THIS: One day the entire world will be under the dominion
of my King Jesus!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Supernatural Way To Pray

MARK 16:17 NLT
17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe:
They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in
new languages.

Jesus has made available for every believer a supernatural way
to pray.

It is normally referred to as "speaking in tongues" because
tongues is the old English word that was used for languages. It
is simply a Christian believer speaking normally, in full
control, but speaking in a fluent language unknown to them.

You might wonder how that could be possible. Without God, it
would not be possible!

It works this way. The Holy Spirit dwelling in you will give
words to your spirit (which is the real you, the inner person),
and your spirit will speak those words, bypassing your mind
entirely.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:14 NLT
14 For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don't
understand what I am saying.

Your mind will not formulate the words, or decide what to
speak. Yet you will always remain in full control, just as when
speaking in your native language. You can start and stop at
will. You will never be forced by the Holy Spirit to speak.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:15a NLT
15 Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit, and I
will also pray in words I understand.

Note that praying in the spirit (which, from the context,
obviously means praying in tongues), is subject to your will in
the same way as praying with your understanding in your native
language.

The Holy Spirit does not speak in tongues for you. You will
have to speak the words given to your spirit by the Holy
Spirit. Speaking in tongues is your spirit speaking in a
language you never learned, as the Holy Spirit inside you gives
you the words to speak.

The words do not come through your mind, but directly from your
spirit out of your mouth.

Because your mind is not directing this kind of prayer, there
is no question whether it will be answered, for it will be a
perfect prayer, free from all doubt, unbelief, and fear.

This wonderful gift allows us to pray for things we would not
otherwise know about or know how to pray for. Our knowledge and
understanding have limits, but the Holy Spirit knows
everything, even the future, and will guide us in prayer
accordingly. This way every one of us can pray perfectly.

This gift is freely available for everyone who believes in
Jesus Christ. It is not something you have to earn or achieve.
But like every gift of God it must be actively received by
faith. For God never forces His gifts on anyone!

If you have questions about this, but want to know the truth,
ask the Lord. Don't ask someone to explain it who does not
practice it, and therefore does not really understand it. Don't
let anyone use human reasoning to talk you out of this
marvelous, miraculous gift from your loving Father God.

You can understand why the devil would not want any believer to
pray in tongues because it is a way to pray perfectly. Every
perfect prayer is always answered and that answer always sets
back the devil's program.

So we need to emulate Paul who spoke in tongues more than all
the believers in Corinth.

1 CORINTHIANS 14:18 NLT
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.

Just as you cannot pray "too much" in your native language, you
also cannot pray too much in your spiritual language. For that
is what it is, a language selected by the Spirit.

When you first start praying in tongues it may seem difficult
and you may not be very fluent. Don't worry! You didn't start
out speaking your native language fluently, either. As you
continue it will get easier and you will grow more comfortable
doing it. Just boldly continue speaking in faith and you will
become more fluent.

Like doing anything new, it can seem awkward at first, but once
you start it, it is so easy and natural.

Experts tell us there are more than 5,000 different languages
used on earth. No one knows them all. So don't hold back and
hesitate if your supernatural praying does not always sound
like a great language to you. After all, you are probably not
an expert on languages. And remember that you are not speaking
to yourself, but to God, so it doesn't really matter how it
sounds to you.

Just speak out boldly in faith whatever sounds the spirit gives
you and as you continue to do that, it will become very clear
to you that this is not something you could do on your own.

It is supernatural! It is real! It is a gift that has already
been given to you. All you have to do is receive it. And you
can do that right now, wherever you are.

SAY THIS: I am a believer so I can pray supernaturally in
languages I have never learned. Jesus said I could -- so I
will!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Jesus Perfectly Pleased The Father

God not only approved of everything Jesus did -- He was very
pleased with everything Jesus did.

JOHN 8:29 NKJ
29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me
alone, for I always do those things that please Him."

Why is it important for us to look at this?

Many people are unclear what God's will is in many areas. There
is much confusion over what many call "acts of God" which bring
destruction. But if we understand that Jesus always did God's
will perfectly, and that God was thrilled with everything Jesus
did, then we can examine what Jesus did and see what God's will
is.

Did Jesus ever make anyone sick -- even to teach them
something? Did Jesus ever tell anyone it was not the will of
God for them to be healed? Did Jesus ever tell anyone that God
would not love them and help them? Did Jesus ever destroy
anyone's property or steal it from them? Did Jesus ever kill
anyone's family member?

No. Never! Jesus did what was pleasing to God. Those things are
still not pleasing to God, and He should not be blamed for
them.

Is God pleased when people are helped? Is God pleased when
people are healed and delivered from bondage? Is God pleased
when people's needs are met? Is God pleased when people have
their sins forgiven? Is God pleased when people know that God
loves them?

Yes! Those are the things Jesus did, and He perfectly pleased
God.

SAY THIS: God is pleased when people are helped like Jesus
helped them.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Thy Will Be Done On Earth

MATTHEW 6:9-10 NKJ
9 "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in
heaven.

LUKE 11:2 NKJ
2 So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in
heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be
done On earth as it is in heaven.

These verses make two things clear.

1. God's will is not automatically done unless we pray.
Otherwise it is pointless for Jesus to tell us to pray that
God's will be done.

2. It is God's will that things be done on earth as they are in
heaven.

By understanding these verses we can see that those who tell us
God is sovereign and everything that happens on earth is God's
will, are clearly wrong.

It is true that God is sovereign. He can do whatever He wants
to do. No one is higher than God and can tell Him what to do.
But God voluntarily and freely, without any rush or pressure,
chose to speak words expressing His sovereign choices. And now
He will not do anything contrary to what He has already spoken,
because that would make Him a liar, which is against His
nature. So we can trust God's Word, the Bible, and know that it
expresses His will.

Jesus told us to pray that God's will be done on earth, as it
is in heaven. That means some things happening on earth are NOT
God's will. Just because something happens does not mean it is
the will of God. The way we can know God's will is from the
message of the Bible.

In heaven God's perfect will is always done.

Is there sickness in heaven? No! Then clearly it is not the
perfect will of God for there to be sickness on earth either.

Is there poverty or lack in heaven? No! Then clearly it is not
the perfect will of God for there to be poverty or lack on
earth either.

Is there sadness in heaven? No! Then clearly it is not the
perfect will of God for there to be sadness on earth either.

God's Word reveals that believing prayer makes a difference. We
do have a part to play. Our prayers are not just vocal
exercise, but make a difference. (Matthew 21:22, James 5:17-18)

SAY THIS: God's desire is that it be on earth as it is in
heaven.

Monday, August 04, 2014

God Is Like Jesus

If you want to know what the unseen Almighty God is like --
look at Jesus Christ in the pages of the New Testament.

Everything Jesus said and everything Jesus did was the exact
will of God -- and perfectly revealed God to us.

JOHN 1:18 TEV
18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as
God and is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

COLOSSIANS 2:9 PHILLIPS
9 Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete
expression of himself in bodily form.

Don't be satisfied listening to what someone else believes God
is like -- read the New Testament and see for yourself. Watch
Jesus of Nazareth in action and know that everything He did
perfectly pleased the Father God and perfectly revealed the
Father God.

JOHN 14:7-9,11 NKJ
7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also;
and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."
8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is
sufficient for us."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you
have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the
Father; so how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or
else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

JOHN 12:44-45 NKJ
44 . . .Jesus. . .said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in
Me but in Him who sent Me.
45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

SAY THIS: Jesus fully and completely reveals God to me.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

The Unjust Judge

Jesus told a parable about a widow and an unjust judge which
some have misunderstood. We need not harass God until He
finally gives in and answers our prayers.

LUKE 18:1-8 NKJ
1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to
pray and not lose heart,
2 saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear
God nor regard man.
3 "Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him,
saying,'Get justice for me from my adversary.'
4 "And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within
himself,'Though I do not fear God nor regard man,
5 'yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest
by her continual coming she weary me.'"
6 Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said.
7 "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and
night to Him, though He bears long with them?
8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless,
when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the
earth?"

In verse one Jesus revealed why He told this story: to
encourage us not to give up on prayer.

The idea that we must keep on begging God for the same thing
until He finally answers -- instills no confidence and gives us
no encouragement to pray!

God is not like the unjust judge. You do not have to come to
Him repeatedly asking for the same thing until you finally
convince Him.

Jesus is teaching persistence in prayer, but not persistence in
praying for the same thing over and over.

The literal meaning of the word translated "lose heart" in
verse one is "not give in to evil." It means giving up in view
of difficulty.

Jesus' purpose in telling this parable was to impress on us
that we must continue to pray to God and not give in to the
evil we see around us. We should not be cowards who lose
courage and quit praying. Jesus told us that was His purpose,
so we should not try to extract another meaning from this
parable.

Jesus' message is that God is nothing like an unjust judge, but
infinitely better. So, if a poor widow can get help from a
human judge who has no regard for what God thinks, much less
what people think -- HOW MUCH MORE can we expect our wonderful
Father God to provide help for us when we come to Him.

After telling the parable, in verse eight Jesus gives us His
interpretation: God will answer quickly! So we don't have to
approach God like this widow did the unjust judge!

It may seem to us that God is not answering our cries for help
speedily. But Jesus said otherwise. God is working!

Although God actually answers speedily, from our human
viewpoint the answer may seem delayed. I think Jesus is saying,
"Don't let circumstances cause you discouragement. You can have
confidence in God. When you pray He will listen and answer
speedily. So keep on praying."

Why would people become discouraged and quit the practice of
prayer? Only if it did not seem to work. If they always saw
answers quickly, there would be no temptation to stop praying.

That is why Jesus told this story, so we would be encouraged to
stand in faith no matter how long it took for the answer to
show up. We can have faith because God is merciful, gracious,
and dependable -- nothing like the unjust judge.

God does not have to be convinced or coerced to help you. God
loves you and desires the best for you. You can expect God to
speedily help you. And don't worry about people hindering your
provision. If a poor widow can influence an evil judge to do
right, how much more can your Father God influence people! So
keep praying!

Why do answers to prayer not always manifest quickly -- even
when God immediately grants our request. God does not violate
people's freedom to choose. So, in answering our prayers, it
may take some time for God to work with people to get them to
change. But we can be confident that God is working on our
behalf, even though we may not see any outward change yet.

Instead of thinking it does no good to pray, because God
probably won't answer anyway, this story was told to make us
think the opposite.

So, we are to pray in faith, and never doubt. We are to be
confident and keep looking to God, knowing that God is working
and our answer is on its way. When we know that, it would be
foolish for us to "keep on asking" for the same thing over and
over.

Jesus summary statement in verse eight, which concludes with a
question about faith, has this idea: God will be faithful. You
can count on Him. There is not any chance that God will not be
faithful to answer the cries of His people. But will His people
be faithful? Will they persevere in their faith in God?

Will they keep trusting God and believing in His goodness, even
when it seems like answers do not always immediately come? Will
people continue to believe what Jesus said, that God will
answer speedily? Or will people give up and think it is useless
to pray to God?

SAY THIS: God is not an unjust judge!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

God's Word Makes You Free

John 8:31-32 NRSV
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you
continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you
free."

Many people think God's Word will put them into bondage. (I
used to think that.) Like most of the world's ideas, this is
opposite to the truth.

A major reason people go their own way instead of turning to
Jesus Christ is because they think following Him and His Word
will restrict them and keep them from enjoying life. What a
deception!

The only way to know true freedom in this life is found through
the Word of God: the Bible.

Also notice that the "truth" Jesus refers to is found in His
Word. Just knowing any "truth" does not guarantee freedom.

If you desire freedom, you now know the guaranteed formula to
achieve it. Will you follow the directions?

SAY THIS: I will continue in the message of Jesus Christ. As I
do I will know the truth. As I act on that truth it will make
me free.

Friday, August 01, 2014

God Is Dependable

With His Word God gave us a firm foundation to base our life
on. Something absolutely unchanging. Something God Himself will
never change. So we can be certain about God's will. If we want
to know God's will, we only need to see what He said in His
Word, the Bible.

PSALM 138:2b NLT
2 I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.

The integrity of God is wrapped up in His Word; if He did not
keep His Word He would be a liar -- and that will never happen!

PSALM 89:34 NLT
34 No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a
single word I said.

God will not change the words He has spoken. God will never
break His Word. God will always do what He said He will do.

NUMBERS 23:19 NLT
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he
does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

God never lies! He is always alert, making sure every word He
has spoken is fulfilled.

JEREMIAH 1:12 NIV
12 The LORD said to me, "You have seen correctly, for I am
watching to see that my word is fulfilled."

MARK 13:31 NIV
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never
pass away.

God's Word is more dependable than the stars in the sky and the
ground you stand on. That will all eventually be changed, but
God will never change any word He has spoken.

2 TIMOTHY 2:13 NLT
13 If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot
deny who he is.

No matter what, God is faithful to keep His Word because He
cannot deny who He is -- the Truth (John 14:6). To do anything
other than what He said He would do, would make Him a liar. God
is not a liar!

SAY THIS: God's Word is more dependable than anything I can see
or touch.