Sunday, November 30, 2014

Eli's Children

12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for
the LORD

Eli was a priest of Israel who did not train his sons to obey.
Eli's failure to properly train his children affected not only
his own family very negatively, but also caused disaster for
the nation of Israel. (see 1 Samuel 4:10-11)

If children are not trained to respect the word of their
parents, they won't properly respect anyone -- including God --
without first experiencing the painful consequences of their

How important God considers training children to obey can be
seen from the story of Eli and his sons.

13 "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for
the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves
vile, and he did not restrain them.

1 SAMUEL 2:17,22-25 NLT
17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD's
sight, for they treated the LORD's offerings with contempt.
22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were
doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his
sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance
of the Tabernacle.
23 Eli said to them, "I have been hearing reports from all the
people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep
24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD's
people are not good.
25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for
the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can
intercede?" But Eli's sons wouldn't listen to their father, for
the LORD was already planning to put them to death.

Eli may have told his sons they were doing wrong, but they
obviously had no respect for the word of their father and
ignored his warning. Because God held Eli accountable for this,
it must have been a result of his failure to train them to obey
when they were children.

Training is more than telling. Training is making sure someone
does something correctly until it becomes a habit.

1 SAMUEL 2:29-30 ESV
29 Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I
commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves
on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'
30 Therefore the LORD the God of Israel declares: 'I promised
that your house and the house of your father should go in and
out before me forever,' but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it
from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who
despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Because Eli did not make his sons do right, God held him
accountable. God said Eli honored his sons more than he honored

Many parents make the same mistake. They put their children --
their desires, their happiness -- above everything else in
life, including God. In that way they are actually worshiping
their children by putting them above God.

20 Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the

Only when we are children are we to OBEY our parents. However,
Scripture instructs us to always HONOR our parents no matter
what our age may be. To honor primarily means to show respect
and treat with special consideration.

2 "Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment
with a promise:
3 If you honor your father and mother, "things will go well for
you, and you will have a long life on the earth."

Training children to obey is not primarily for the benefit of
the parents, but for the benefit of the child. Not training
your children to obey is actually child abuse.

It may seem easier at the time for a parent to let their child
do whatever they want -- without restraining them or training
them to do right. But that harms the child because it trains
them to do wrong. As a result they are robbed of the peace and
blessing they should enjoy.

God places primary responsibility on fathers to make sure their
children are trained according to God's Word. Mothers are not
exempt from this responsibility, but God does hold fathers
ultimately responsible.

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you
treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and
instruction that comes from the Lord.

(Note: if you fell short as a parent, don't despair. God is
merciful and gracious. So pray for your children and God will
work in their lives.)

SAY THIS: Lord, I pray that the parents in our land will train
their children according to the Word of God.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Endure Hardship

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

We are involved in a battle for the hearts and minds of people.
Our enemy, the devil, has forces arrayed against us.

But our Lord Jesus has defeated the devil and stripped him of
all authority. The Lord is our Helper and He has promised to
never leave us. But Jesus never promised that we would never
face opposition or persecution. In fact, He told us we would.

JOHN 16:33 NKJ
33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have
peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good
cheer, I have overcome the world."

12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will
suffer persecution.

God is our Father and He is good. Therefore we can always
expect good to come from Him.

But Scripture also alerts us to the fact that on earth we are
in the midst of a struggle involving evil. While the ultimate
victory of Love is assured, people are still making decisions
which are not the best for all concerned. This can at times
result in us facing persecution, trouble, or hardship.

People make bad decisions because they are in spiritual
darkness. We are God's representatives to bring them Light.

So there will be times, in order to help others, that we will
need to endure things that are not pleasant for us.

God promises us ultimate victory (and even rewards for our
service for Him), so we need to always remain steadfast in our
faith, never wavering in our conviction that God is good and He
is working on our behalf -- no matter what we may be facing in

God loves all people, even those who are causing us distress.
Yet most of those people have been blinded to the reality of
God's love for them.

God is not happy about you suffering, any more than He was
happy for His Son Jesus Christ to suffer on the cross.

But God is pleased when we, just like Jesus, willingly "endure"
without striking back when people do us wrong. Why? Because it
may be the only way for these people to see there is a reality
to God's love -- when they see it in you.

3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of
our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen
and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved
not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

SAY THIS: In response to God's great love, I am willing to
endure hardness as a good soldier for my Lord Jesus Christ, in
order to help people.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Love Like Jesus

JOHN 13:15 NKJ
15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I
have done to you.

JOHN 13:34 NKJ
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;
as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

JOHN 14:12 NKJ
12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the
works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these
he will do, because I go to My Father.

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

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking
be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given
Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-
smelling aroma.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the
church and gave Himself for her,

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on
tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if
anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave
you, so you also must do.
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of

43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your
neighbor and hate your enemy.'
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,
45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes
His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the
just and on the unjust.
46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?
Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 "And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more
than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
48 "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in
heaven is perfect.

1 JOHN 2:6 NKJ
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just
as He walked.

SAY THIS: I choose to let Jesus love people through me.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

God Does Not Play Favorites

11 God does not play favorites.

God does not show favoritism. Several other translations say
"there is no partiality with God."

God does not practice discrimination with people, favoring one
above another. All of us have equal opportunity to receive
God's help and blessing. God loves everyone, but allows us to
choose whether to seek Him, or not.

Six times the Bible tells us that God does not show partiality
or favoritism.

7 Fear the LORD and judge with integrity, for the LORD our God
does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking
of bribes."

ACTS 10:34 NLT
34 Then Peter replied, "I see very clearly that God shows no

11 For God does not show favoritism.

9 Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten
them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he
has no favorites.

25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the
wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

1 PETER 1:17 NLT
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has
no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you
do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time
as "foreigners in the land."

God does not favor one person over another. Everyone has an
equal opportunity to receive God's blessing. No one is
excluded. The choice is ours. What God has done for others, He
will also do for you.

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.

17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let anyone who hears
this say, "Come." Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone
who desires drink freely from the water of life.

SAY THIS: God loves me just as much as He loves anyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An Ugly Tree

3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for
ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for
the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of
righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be

Jesus came to give us beauty instead of ashes. To transform the
ashes of our life into something beautiful -- for His glory.

As I was walking one day, I came upon a tree. It was short,
twisted, and poorly shaped. Obviously, it had faced many storms
and had suffered greatly. To be honest, the tree itself, was

But that day something transformed that ugly tree into
something gloriously beautiful, and very pleasant to look at.
It was covered with little pink flowers. In fact, the tree was
bursting with life coming from inside its gnarled branches.

As I looked at the tree, enjoying the beautiful sight, it
reminded me of us as believers -- who may not be very desirable
on our own -- but with Jesus' life and love flowing through us
-- we become glorious creatures.

So no matter how twisted and ugly you may have become because
of the storms of life, if you allow Jesus to live and manifest
through you, everyone will see beauty instead of ashes and

7 "But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made
the LORD their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots
that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by
the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves
stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

SAY THIS: Jesus in me makes all the difference!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Weapon of the Spirit

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

A soldier needs a weapon. In Bible days a sword was the most
effective weapon available. Today we have machine guns and
other sophisticated weapons.

But there is no weapon more powerful than the one God has
provided for His children: the Word of God.

To help you grasp this better it may help to remember that this
whole universe came into existence by God releasing words. To
realize how much power is in God's Words, you have to
understand how much power God has.

All the power of God is behind His Word. Once He has spoken
something, God never changes His mind but causes His Word to be

So don't lightly esteem the Word of God and think it is not a
powerful weapon. You just need to learn how to use it -- the
same as with any weapon.

There are spiritual forces arrayed against us. But God has not
left us without all we need to live in safety and victory. But
unless we "take" God's provision -- His Word -- and speak it
boldly against our enemy, we will be in trouble.

SAY THIS: I will use the spiritual weapon God has provided for
me, which is speaking His Word.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Blessing Of The Lord Will Make You Rich

22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no
sorrow with it.

All Christians generally agree, that in Old Testament times,
God prospered His people when they were obedient. But sadly,
because the devil's lies have infiltrated some of the Church's
teaching, many do not believe it's still God's will to prosper
His people today.

But the Lord does not change. He still desires His people to
enjoy abundance. Any problem lies with us -- not with God.

6 "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not
consumed, O sons of Jacob.

For us to receive and walk in God's blessing, we must walk in
faith. This is the main problem why Christians today are not
blessed. They simply do not believe prosperity is God's will
for them. If you don't believe something is God's will, you
cannot have faith to receive it.

The cure for lack of faith is feeding on God's Word, which
builds you up. As long as you base your beliefs on the
circumstances around you, instead of what you see in God's
revealed will -- the Bible -- you will not have all that God
has provided for you.

We must quit believing the lies of the devil -- no matter who
says them. Whatever is contrary to God's Word in the Bible is a

I am not criticizing other ministers or churches. Even Peter
fell into the trap of repeating the devil's lies. We all must
guard against believing the devil, and stick to what God has

23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You
are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of
God, but the things of men."

If you study the Bible you will see that God is clearly for the
prosperity of His people, in both the Old and New Testaments.

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.

In the Bible we are warned against trusting in riches instead
of God. There are verses that tell us we should not love money
or serve money. But these verses should not be taken out of the
context of the whole of Scripture and twisted in their meaning
to steal what Jesus has provided for us -- abundant provision
in every area of life.

SAY THIS: The blessing of the Lord is making me rich.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

God Is A Genius

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge
of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past
finding out!

33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches
and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to
understand his decisions and his methods!

AMOS 4:13 LB
13 For you are dealing with the One who formed the mountains,
made the winds, and knows your every thought; he turns the
morning to darkness and crushes down the mountains underneath
his feet: Jehovah, the Lord, the Lord Almighty, is his name."

12 But our God formed the earth by his power and wisdom, and by
his intelligence he hung the stars in space and stretched out
the heavens.

29 All this also comes from the LORD Almighty, wonderful in
counsel and magnificent in wisdom.

5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has
no limit.

PSALM 104:24 LB
24 O Lord, what a variety you have made! And in wisdom you have
made them all! The earth is full of your riches.

Just because you can't figure out any way out of a situation,
does not mean God cannot.

God has all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

He has the ability to create everything you see, and everything
you can't even see, just by speaking a word.

If we were able to measure God's intelligence, we would find
that it is perfect and complete. There is nothing God does not

SAY THIS: God is smarter than anyone knows. God is a genius.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Seed, Time and Harvest

22 "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold
and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."

Planting seeds. Then harvesting the crop. As long as the earth
exists, this is the way things work on earth.

This is true in the spiritual realm as well as in the physical
realm. The Bible teaches that our words and our actions are the
seeds we plant, that produce a harvest in our life.

If we are merciful to others, we will be treated with mercy. If
we show love and respect, others will show love and respect to
us. If we speak words of faith and blessing, good things will
increase in our lives. But if we continually speak fear, doubt,
and trouble, life will not go well for us.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he

The world has a saying based on this principle, "what goes
around, comes around." We reap what we sow. Using modern terms,
we harvest what we plant. And the more we plant, the larger our
harvest will be, good or bad.

(Fortunately, because of the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf,
we can receive forgiveness and cleansing from our sins and not
reap the harvest of death and failure we deserve.)

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the
law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the
curse for our wrongdoing.

1 JOHN 1:9 NKJ
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Too many people think God "moves in mysterious ways" and any
spiritual blessing we may receive is just like winning the
lottery -- entirely by chance. But the Bible teaches us that
the kingdom of God operates on the "seed principle."

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap
sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap

So the wise course of action is to continually give out what
you would like to receive. If you desire respect, respect
others. Would you like people to give you things? Then
continually look for opportunities to give to others.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in
full -- pressed down, shaken together to make room for more,
running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give
will determine the amount you get back. "

Seed, Time, and then Harvest is how God operates.

When Jesus wanted to explain to people how God operates in His
Kingdom (or rule), He told them it could be illustrated by
planting a seed, which will then grow, and produce a harvest.

MARK 4:30-32 NLT
30 Jesus said, "How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What
story should I use to illustrate it?
31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the
smallest of all seeds,
32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows
long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade."

When seed is planted, it grows up, and increases.

First you have the seed, which must be planted. Then the seed
grows. Growth takes time. This is why it can be helpful to
remember this principle as "seed, time, and then harvest."
Those are the three phases of receiving what God has provided
for you. Plant the seed. Be patient and keep believing while
the seed grows. Then you will reap a harvest of blessing.

Jesus said this is the way He could illustrate how the whole
kingdom (or rule of God) works.

SAY THIS: After I plant good seeds, I expect a good harvest.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Faith Fight

12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal
life, to which you were called and for which you made the good
confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Too many people have the idea that if something is God's will
for them to have that it will just automatically happen without
any effort or involvement on their part.

Not so!

We have to cooperate with God. We must believe what He says. We
must resist doubt and fear. To walk in the fullness of blessing
God desires for us, we must fight the good fight of faith.

Israel was our example.

11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and
they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the
ages have come.

They had to fight the giants in the land to possess what God
said was already theirs. The promised land belonged to them
already because God had given it to them. But it was still
inhabited by others (including giants), who had to be driven
out before they could enjoy what was theirs.

Since the Bible talks about the "good fight of faith," you know
that standing in faith may often involve a struggle.

There is a reason the Bible tells us to hold fast our
confession of faith (Hebrews 4:14, 10:23). God knew we would be
tempted to doubt because of the circumstances we would see in
our lives.

God knew that faith would be a struggle.

So we should not be surprised at the fiery trials that happen
to us. The devil is trying to steal our faith by trying to get
us to doubt God's faithfulness to His Word.

1 PETER 4:12 NRS
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is
taking place among you to test you, as though something strange
were happening to you.

We may have to fight with our own logic. It may tell us it is
impossible for things to work out, that God's Word will not
work for us, that we should not expect good things to happen to

But victory in and through Jesus is the plan of God. It is
possible. We must continue in faith. That is the fight we must
engage in.

SAY THIS: I will maintain my faith in God's Word no matter what
life throws at me. I will do whatever it takes to maintain my
faith in God.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

What Is Sin?

1 JOHN 3:4 KJV
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin
is the transgression of the law.

Sin is breaking the Law, missing the mark set by God.

The word "sin" is a translation of the Greek word "hamartia"
which means to miss the mark.

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

Religious tradition labels many things as sin which the Bible
does not. People make up all kinds of rules based on what they
think is right. But God is the judge and only God can decree
what sin is.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of
God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

God has not left us to wonder what sin is. The Bible reveals it
to us. We don't have to guess, or make it up as we go.

Just because you do something someone else thinks is wrong does
not mean it is a sin. So don't let people condemn you over
things the Bible does not clearly say are wrong. God is the

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty
deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the
basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Another error is to think being tempted is a sin. Temptation
itself is not sin. You cannot help being tempted. Even Jesus
was tempted -- but He never yielded.

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.

A common mistake is believing that having bad thoughts is a
sin. It is not a sin to be tempted with bad thoughts. It only
becomes a sin when we embrace those thoughts as our own and
decide to act on them.

15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is
allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

God is against sin because it is deadly. Sin brings forth
death, not life and blessing. God loves people, so He is
against everything that harms people.

All sin harms people. (Just because you don't see how a sin
would harm anyone, does not mean you know more than God.)

But no human can be right with God by never sinning. We have
all fallen short and need a Savior. It is only by God's grace
and His forgiveness that we can be right with God.

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.

We can be glad because Jesus came to save sinners, and He paid
the price for the forgiveness of all sins by shedding His

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

SAY THIS: Only God has the authority to decide what sin is.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Original Temptation

1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field
which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God
indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"

The original temptation, still being used by the devil to keep
people away from the blessings of God today, is to doubt that
God's Word is truth and that God desires the best for us.

The devil's false idea is that God is holding out on us,
keeping back something good that would make our life better and
more enjoyable.

But God is not withholding anything good from us. When He gave
us Jesus He gave us everything. Now it is our responsibility to
learn how to receive what He has given us and use it for the
glory of God and the good of mankind.

God's way is actually the very best for us. God's will for you
is actually what you would also choose for yourself if you had
all the information God has.

Just like a good parent, God does try to protect us from bad
things -- which can sometimes seem good. But just because
things look good and we think they will make us happy is no
guarantee they will. God knows more than we do about what will
make us safe, happy, and fulfilled.

We should trust God. At Calvary God proved He is not selfish.
Jesus suffering and dying in our place should convince us that
there is nothing God will not do so we can be blessed.

The devil is a liar and a deceiver (John 8:44). Don't fall for
his strategies to separate you from God and His blessings.

God cannot lie! He is dependable. God gave His Word to you so
you could know the truth and be set free.

Believe that God desires the best for you, and is providing the
best for you.

Don't be tempted to think you can be happier, richer, or more
blessed by going your own way. You may need to learn to follow
God's instructions more accurately, so you can walk in the
fullness God desires for you, but there is no way to be blessed
more than by following God's Word.

SAY THIS: I will not doubt God's goodness or His love.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You A Pharisee?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Prosperity Pleases God

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."

Do you enjoy seeing your children -- or anyone you love --
suffer lack?

Jesus taught us that God our Heavenly Father's love for us is
much better than any earthly parent's love (Matthew 7:11).

What kind of perverted being would God be if He delighted in
seeing His people suffer? (The only kind of suffering that
pleases God is when we are willing to be inconvenienced so that
others will be helped.)

Ultimately, poverty is the result of an operation by the devil
attempting to dis-please God. But it will not continue to

To achieve his plan, the devil has tried to confuse Christians
into thinking that being poor pleased God, and that being poor
was a sign of spirituality. This is a lie! (But being rich is
not a dependable sign of spirituality, either!)

The Bible does warn against trusting in money, serving money,
and covetousness, which is not just wanting more. It is really
wanting to take what belongs to someone else.

But the Bible does not teach that we should be poor, or that
poverty pleases God.

1 TIMOTHY 6:17-18 NET
17 Command those who are rich in this world's goods not to be
haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain,
but on God who richly provides us with all things for our
18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be
generous givers, sharing with others.

God has richly provided (through His creation, and through His
redemption) all things for our enjoyment.

It is a lie that God wants us to be poor. This scripture tells
the rich people in the church to be generous, but it does not
say they should give everything away and become poor.

God enjoys our enjoyment of what He provides for us. God wants
us to be happy about what He has given us.

God created things for us to enjoy. When we enjoy what God made
and show our gratitude and appreciation to Him, God enjoys

SAY THIS: God is pleased when His people are happy and doing

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Get Answers To Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

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.

Friday, November 14, 2014

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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Giving Is Planting Seed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

When You Sin

1 JOHN 1:9 NKJ
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Many people let sin separate them from God. But the devil is
the one who tells us God does not love us when we sin.

Jesus paid a great price so you can be forgiven and freed from
sin and its penalty.

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

God is against sin because it harms people, but God loves

When we sin, it does not make God hate us. We should not run
away from God, but run to Him for help and cleansing, so that
our fellowship with Him will not be hindered in any way.

We confess our sins to shut the door on the devil so he has no
place in our affairs. We don't confess our sins to convince God
to forgive us. God has already forgiven! We confess our sins to
get rid of them, and keep the devil out.

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

God loves people, including you. His ultimate plan is to have a
family of people who do not sin, but voluntarily choose the way
of love, which is God's perfect way.

But just as a good parent does not throw their baby into the
street because they are not perfect yet, but still mess their
pants, so God does not discard His children when they sin.

God loves you more than any good parent ever loved their child.
So look to Him for help in overcoming sin, instead of expecting
condemnation from Him.

When you sin, confess it to get rid of its influence in your
life and to keep the devil from having any place. I don't mean
begging God to forgive you and promising to never do it again.
Instead say, "That is wrong. I should not have done that. Lord,
I need your help to overcome it. Please continue working your
will in me."

Sin has already been paid for with the precious blood of Jesus.
God has already decreed that sin is forgiven, so that it should
not keep people from fellowship with Him.

SAY THIS: I will not let sin separate me from God.

Monday, November 10, 2014

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.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

God's Mercy To Nineveh

2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against
it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."

Remembering what happened with Nineveh will give you a clearer
picture of God's mercy.

God told Jonah that Nineveh would be destroyed. But when the
people of Nineveh changed and repented before God, things

JONAH 3:3-10 NKJ
3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of
the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-
day journey in extent.
4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk.
Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall
be overthrown!"
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and
put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his
throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth
and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout
Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let
neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not
let them eat, or drink water.
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry
mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and
from the violence that is in his hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from
His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil
way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He
would bring upon them, and He did not do it.

The people of Nineveh were very wicked, but when they heard
God's Word of judgment they humbled themselves and turned
toward God. Because of their response, God changed His judgment
and their lives were spared.

When people repent and turn toward God -- no matter how evil
they have been -- God shows mercy.

God is still the same. He delights in mercy.

18 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over
the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not
retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

SAY THIS: My God delights in mercy!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

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.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Sing A New Song

1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.

No doubt God, who makes every snowflake different, enjoys new

Five times Scripture tells us to sing to the Lord a new song.

You, with God's help, can sing a song to the Lord that's never
been sung before.

Don't say you can't do it! God made your mouth and He can give
you words to sing.

God is a Creator, and you are His child. Step out in faith. Ask
the Lord to help you.

2 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; speak of all His wonders.

Get by yourself and practice. Sing a new song. Make it up as
you go. If you mess up, God won't laugh at you. It may not be
very good. But every parent cherishes their child's first

Make a joyful noise. Rejoice in the Lord. Both you and the Lord
will enjoy it.

19 . . . Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,

After you practice in private, you may even want to try it in

SAY THIS: I will sing a new song to the Lord.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Open Eyes

2 KINGS 6:17 NKJ
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, "Lord, I pray, open his eyes
that he may see." Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young
man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses
and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

What we see with our physical eyes is not all that's happening.

Spiritual forces are active around us. Unless God "opens our
eyes" we're in the dark to what's really happening.

Of course, it shouldn't be necessary for us to "see" into the
spirit realm to believe what God has said, such as that His
angels would keep charge of us always to protect us.

ACTS 26:18 NKJ
18 'to open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light,
and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive
forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are
sanctified by faith in Me.'

When God told Paul what his calling was, the first step
mentioned was "to open their eyes . . . that they may receive."

For us to receive all that God has provided for us, we must
also have "our eyes opened."

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.

SAY THIS: Lord, open my eyes. Give me understanding and

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

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.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

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.

Monday, November 03, 2014

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.

(This article has been divided into three parts to keep it from
being too long.)

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

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Love Gives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 01, 2014

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.