Saturday, February 28, 2015

Do You Believe In Love?

MATTHEW 5:44 NKJ
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,

Most people believe in force: guns and armies.

Most people believe in money: "financial power."

Many people believe in education, that "If we just educate
people enough we can change the world."

Hardly anyone seems to believe in the power of love to change
things. No one seems to think it would do any good to "turn the
other cheek."

Jesus didn't tell us to "turn the other cheek" just so we could
get beat up more. Jesus believes in the power of love. Jesus
believes that evil can be overcome with good.

ROMANS 12:20-21 NKJ
20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is
thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals
of fire on his head."
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God still believes in the power of love. He believes that if
you love enough, and for long enough, people will finally come
to their senses and respond to that love.

JOHN 13:34-35 NIV
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved
you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you
love one another."

Jesus said the mark of His believers would be their love. Where
did we go wrong?

SAY THIS: Lord, help me to believe in love, and to act in love.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Jesus Became Poor . . .

2 CORINTHIANS 8:9 NKJ
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.

Most people know that Jesus became poor. They just don't know
why.

Some people may tell you this verse refers only to being made
"spiritually rich." Don't fall for that. Look at the context
and you will see it is discussing money.

"Then why aren't Christians rich?"

The main reason is because of a lack of teaching on this
subject. Everything we receive from God must be received by
faith. If we don't believe it, we won't receive it.

(Jesus died so that everyone could be saved. However, until
people hear the message and believe it, they continue lost in
their sins. Yet the price has already been paid by Jesus for
their freedom.)

Instead of teaching that prosperity is a blessing available to
believers, most churches have taught the opposite -- that it
was the will of God for us to be poor.

What we need is to hear preaching and teaching about it being
God's will for us to prosper. We need to continue in the Word
on that subject, to be set free in that area of life.

I am NOT saying being prosperous makes you a better person, or
that it is a sign of great faith. I AM saying that poverty and
lack is part of the curse -- which Jesus redeemed us from.

God's prosperity is a growing thing that will not destroy you,
unlike winning the lottery, or other get-rich-quick schemes.
Time and continued obedience to God are required.

But the fact remains, according to Scripture, Jesus became poor
to set you free from poverty -- to make you rich.

SAY THIS: Jesus became poor to make me rich.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

We Receive From God By Faith

MATTHEW 9:29 NKJ
29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith
let it be to you."

Have you ever wondered why God blessed someone -- when it was
obvious they did not deserve it?

Do you wonder why you are not more blessed -- even though you
are doing your best to be a good Christian?

The answer is faith.

We do not receive from God based on what we deserve, but on
what we believe.

GALATIANS 3:9 ICB
9 Abraham believed this, and because he believed, he was
blessed. It is the same today. All who believe today are
blessed just as Abraham was blessed.

Our receiving from God is not based on our works, but on God's
grace. We have access to God's grace by our faith -- not
through our merit.

ROMANS 5:2 NKJ
2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in
which we stand . . . .

Many try to earn something from God when He has already given
us all things through Christ. Now by faith we must appropriate
what God has provided.

Don't despair if your faith is not too strong. The cure for
weak faith is to feed on the Word of God, the Bible.

ROMANS 10:17 NKJ
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of
God.

If you feed your heart and mind the Word of God, your faith
will grow strong. You feed it in by reading it, hearing it,
speaking it, and meditating on it.

SAY THIS: I will feed on God's Word and my faith will grow.
Then I will receive all God has for me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why Are There Delays?

JAMES 1:2-4 NIV
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials
of many kinds,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops
perseverance.
4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature
and complete, not lacking anything.

Why are prayers not all answered instantly? Why don't we always
experience the blessings promised in the Bible immediately?

If all results were instant, we could never walk in faith.
Without faith, we could never please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

If you always reaped the harvest of your deeds immediately, the
incentive to do right and refrain from wrongdoing would only be
selfish. No faith, or love for God, would be required.

During delays we have opportunity to demonstrate whether we
really love God, and trust Him, or not.

A delay is a test. Without testing, there could be no reward.
God does not test us so that we can fail, but so that we can
overcome. He believes we will make it with His help.

We desire an instant manifestation of victory. God's desire is
for us to press into Him and His Word and walk in faith until
we see victory.

To overcome there must be opposition and struggle. God cannot
always shield us from problems without taking away from us the
privilege of overcoming.

Victory is sweet. What makes it sweet is that it is not easy.

If we really trust God, time is not a problem. Leave that with
God. His timing is perfect and He is dependable! We know He
promised, and can never fail -- and that is enough.

SAY THIS: I will persevere in faith, and the Bible says I will
end up not lacking anything.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Be Slow To Speak

JAMES 1:19 NIV
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be
quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

How many times have you said something and later regretted it?

Too often we practice: Speak now and think later.

What would happen if you silently consulted with God before
speaking? If you thought about, and prayed about, everything
you said -- before you said it -- your life would be different.

1 PETER 3:10 LB
10 If you want a happy, good life, keep control of your tongue,
and guard your lips from telling lies.

Words are powerful and should be used to accomplish a purpose.
Don't just talk for no reason.

PROVERBS 17:28 NIV
28 Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and
discerning if he holds his tongue.

Remember, you can always learn more by listening than you can
by talking.

Be slow to speak!

SAY THIS: God, please help me to control my tongue.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Holy Spirit Will Teach You

JOHN 14:26 NASB
26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send
in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your
remembrance all that I said to you.

What a wonderful, patient teacher the Holy Spirit is!

This teacher has no limits. He never has to call on anyone else
for an answer. He knows everything.

Whatever you are doing, He can help you -- and teach you how to
do it better. Just ask.

Jesus said it, "He will teach you all things."

I love the story of George Washington Carver, who asked God to
teach him about the peanut -- then changed our world with the
knowledge he gained of the peanut.

Do not hesitate to ask God to teach you about even the smallest
things. He understands every detail and is never too busy for
you.

From child raising to atomic science -- He is the most
knowledgable and capable teacher.

And the Holy Spirit is always available! No need to wait for
office hours to call on this professor. Call on Him anytime.

SAY THIS: The Holy Spirit is teaching me.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sin Hurts

ROMANS 6:23 ICB
23 When someone sins, he earns what sin pays--death. But God
gives us a free gift--life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sin is a teacher whose lessons are hard and painful.

You can't keep your hand in fire without being burned. And you
can't sin without hurting people.

Sin harms humans. That's why God classifies it as sin. All sin
hurts someone. The reason God is against sin is because He is
for people.

Because sin has consequences, it eventually will convince you
of the error of sinning -- if you live long enough. But why
ruin your life finding out what you can know now just by
reading the Bible?

God is not a killjoy. His purpose is not to keep the human race
from enjoying life.

All that God has written in the Bible is for our benefit. God
already knows everything. He gave us the Bible so we could know
the truth.

The truth is: sin is bad. Sin hurts.

SAY THIS: Sin is deadly and I want nothing to do with it.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rejoice In The Lord Always

PHILIPPIANS 4:4 NIV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

No matter how bad things are around you, you can always rejoice
in the Lord.

God is good -- even when circumstances are bad.

You can look beyond the temporary problems of life and focus on
the Eternal God and His goodness. You can rejoice that God
loves you and that you have a home in Heaven.

If you only rejoice when you feel like it -- and circumstances
warrant it -- you may never rejoice much. But you will miss a
lot of joy. For when you rejoice in the Lord and focus on Him,
joy begins to flow out of your inner being and strengthens you.

This is God's answer for depression. Focus on God. Rejoice in
Him, and receive the spiritual strength you need to carry on in
victory.

HABAKKUK 3:18 NIV
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my
Savior.

"Yet I WILL." Whenever you decide to, you can rejoice. In spite
of feelings and circumstances, you can choose to rejoice.

Rejoicing is subject to your will -- not your circumstances.

When can you rejoice? When should you rejoice?

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16 NASB
16 Rejoice always;

SAY THIS: I will rejoice -- in the Lord!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Beware Of Pride

PROVERBS 16:18 NIV
18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a
fall.

Pride is deadly. But instead of warning us the world encourages
pride in every way.

What is pride?

Pride is faith in yourself, instead of faith in God.

The root of pride is selfishness: putting yourself first.
Thinking you are the most important. Thinking you know the
most. Thinking you deserve better than someone else.

Pride will cause you to go your own way instead of God's way.
Pride makes you think you do not need God's advice or help.

Pride is the root of all sin. It causes you to turn away from
God instead of turning to Him. All disobedience has pride as
its root. All rebellion has pride behind it. All mistreatment
of other people is caused by pride: putting yourself and your
feelings above the other person and their feelings.

The world system promotes people who are proud, and often gives
them great riches. Jesus said pride is evil and defiles a
person. (Mark 7:21-23)

While the world may promote the proud for a short time, their
fame and success will not last.

JAMES 4:6 NKJ
6 . . . "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Pride is the most serious, and the most subtle, sin. It often
goes unrecognized.

Beware!

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

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Your Every Hair Is Numbered

LUKE 12:7 ICB
7 Yes, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head.
Don't be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.

Jesus gave us some insight on how much God is interested in us
as humans. God provides for sparrows, and you are MUCH more
valuable to God than any sparrow. Valuable enough to monitor
every detail about you -- even your current hair-count.

However God obtains your current hair-count -- He does know it.
"Why would God waste His time with such useless information?"
you may wonder. The point, which so many miss, is simply that
God is interested in every detail of your life. Everything.

Nothing concerning you is too small to bother God. You are the
"apple of His eye" just as any young child is the delight of a
good parent.

So don't try to hide from God. Don't shut Him out of your life.
Involve Him in every detail of your day. Talk things over with
Him. Ask His advice. Tell Him what you think, and ask for His
opinion.

And do not fear. The God Who loves you enough to monitor your
current hair count will never forsake you or fail you. When
you are face-to-face with Him you will see that fully and
clearly. So walk in faith today. Trust God. He loves you.

Also, be thankful for whatever hair you do or do not have! God
made you unique. If He wanted you different -- He would have
made you different!

SAY THIS: Thank You Lord for loving me and being concerned with
every detail of my life. Because You love me, I will trust You
and look to You for help.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

You Have A Purpose

2 TIMOTHY 1:9 NKJ
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not
according to our works, but according to His own purpose and
grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

You have a purpose in life, a job to do, a mission to fulfill.

You are here for a reason.

What is it?

Ask God. He knows.

EPHESIANS 1:11 NIV
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined
according to the plan of him who works out everything in
conformity with the purpose of his will,

Of course, I can only answer that question in general terms.

If you are a parent, raising your child is important. Helping a
friend is important. You never know how your actions may affect
the world -- even through helping just one person.

Don't just wait around for some "big purpose" -- for with God
all the details are important -- even the "small" ones.

If you don't know your purpose, just do whatever you can to
help the people around you. Through that, and walking with God,
you will accomplish your purpose.

SAY THIS: I was born for a purpose. God has a plan for me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

PHILIPPIANS 3:14 KJV
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of
God in Christ Jesus.

What will really matter at the end of your life on earth?

Will what you are giving attention to now still be important
then?

Or, will you be filled with regret for what you did -- or
didn't do?

Distractions abound. TV, phone calls, web sites, books, movies.

It might be a good idea to stop and evaluate how you are
investing your time.

1 CORINTHIANS 9:24 NIV
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only
one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Run to win. Win what?

The true prize is to know God intimately and be His friend.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:18 NIV
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is
unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is
eternal.

One day, possibly soon, you will stand before God. Why not
order your life now based on that "final reckoning?"

A wise person would not invest everything in something
temporary. A wise person invests in something that will last.

Invest your life wisely!

SAY THIS: Lord, help me to keep my eyes on what is important
and lasting.

Monday, February 16, 2015

You Don't Face Life All Alone

JOHN 14:18 BARCLAY
18 I will not leave you to face life all alone. I am coming to
you.

Being alone -- with no help -- is a horrible feeling. One the
devil would love for you to believe is your lot.

You are NOT alone! Jesus promised!

When you feel alone, desolate, and helpless -- remember the
promises of Jesus.

HEBREWS 13:5 NIV
5 . . . God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I
forsake you."

Your feelings are not the true test of reality. God cannot lie.
He is with you now, whether you feel like it, or whether it
looks like it, or not.

Since God is always with you, it would be rude to always ignore
Him. So call on Him and discuss things with Him. Let God be
your friend. That's His plan.

SAY THIS: I am not facing life all alone. God is with me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The God Of Peace

2 THESSALONIANS 3:16 NKJ
16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in
every way. The Lord be with you all.

Several times the Bible refers to God as the God of peace. But
as English readers we miss the full meaning.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament
of the Bible was written in Greek. All English Bibles are
translations.

The Greek word translated peace is eirene (i-ray'-nay), which
corresponds with the Hebrew word translated peace, shalom
(shaw-lome').

If you study extensively, both in the Hebrew and the Greek, you
will find that these words translated peace have a rich meaning
-- far more than just an absence of conflict.

The primary thought is one of wholeness -- lacking nothing.
When nothing is missing you have peace. There is no anxiety
because all is well.

This is the idea meant to be communicated by the term "God of
peace" or the "peace of God." It includes health and prosperity
as well as the normal English meaning of absence of conflict.

ROMANS 15:33 NKJ
33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

SAY THIS: The God of wholeness, health, and prosperity is with
me -- to help me.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

You Are God's Work Of Art

EPHESIANS 2:10 NLT
10 For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in
Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for
us long ago.

Outwardly, you may not appear to be much of a masterpiece. You
may look like a piece of junk. But inwardly, and in reality,
you are God's work of art -- and God does not make any junk.

All that is outward and seen is only temporary -- like the
cocoon the butterfly inhabits for only a short time. So, while
you should take care of your present body, don't be overly
concerned about it. Most importantly, don't think of yourself
as just the body you are now living in.

You are a child of Almighty God, creator and ruler of the
universe. Someone God is "raising" to be His companion for
eternity. You are NOT insignificant.

Admittedly, you are a work in progress. God still has more work
to do with you -- but He is the artist, and He will finish His
work. (Hint: as you submit to God, the easier it is for Him to
change you into the wonderful image He has in mind.)

Someday, everyone will clearly see what God has done in you:
making you a wonderful, unique individual worthy of Himself.

SAY THIS: Regardless of how I look or feel, I AM God's work of
art -- His masterpiece.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Don't Grow Weary

GALATIANS 6:9 NIV
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

God has a harvest of blessing in mind for you. Don't let the
devil steal it away from you by discouraging you into giving
up. Trust in God. He is able to put you over.

Time has a way of wearing us down -- of eroding our hopes and
dreams. We must look to God for strength and courage and refuse
discouragement. We must, with God's help, overcome -- instead
of being overcome by life and circumstances.

Life is not easy. There are obstacles and unexpected turns in
the road. But always God is with us, for us, and in us as
believers in Jesus Christ. When we grow weary in doing good, it
is always because we are losing sight of God and eternity.

As you walk in faith and refuse to give up -- you bring glory
and pleasure to God. Imagine how it thrills God when someone,
like you, continues to trust in Him and thank Him -- even when
it does not look like it is working out very good. Read the
Bible. You are not the first to be tested, or have to wait for
the promise to be manifested. But God is always faithful. He
will never fail you.

Our faith cannot be in ourselves or our ability -- because that
can fail. Only God cannot fail, so we must keep our faith in
Him and His ability to sustain us and help us.

Remember that as a believer, the Greater One is in you -- and
He is greater than any problem or difficulty. He will help you.
God has the answer for your situation. Look to Him and you will
not be disappointed.

SAY THIS: I will not be discouraged. I will not quit. I will
trust in Almighty God, my Father, Who loves me and helps me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

God's Demonstration

ROMANS 5:8 NKJ
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we
were still sinners, Christ died for us.

There is no reason to say, "If God loves me, let Him prove it!"
He already has.

God gave a demonstration proving He loves you at Calvary --
where Jesus died a cruel death on a cross. He died, in your
place, suffering punishment you deserved, to set you free.

By dying for you, God proved He loved you supremely. How could
He love you more?

Jesus showed that He loves you more than He loves Himself.

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

Jesus gave His life for you. What more could He do?

1 JOHN 3:16a NKJ
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.

Many people have a distorted view of God. The true picture of
God's nature is that He loves all the people of the world so
much, He was willing to suffer for their freedom.

SAY THIS: God loves me -- and He proved it!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Jesus Is The Friend Of Sinners

MATTHEW 11:19 NKJ
19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say,
`Look, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax
collectors and sinners!'. . . .

Jesus had trouble with the religious leaders of His day,
because He was a friend of sinners. Jesus is the same today. He
never changes. Jesus is your friend.

LUKE 19:7 NKJ
7 But when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone
to be a guest with a man who is a sinner."

Religious people couldn't understand how Jesus could love a
sinner -- they certainly did not. But Jesus did, and He still
does.

Notice what Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of
adultery.

JOHN 8:11 NKJ
11 She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do
I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Jesus does not condemn you for your sin. He understands. He
came to earth and lived in a human body just as you do.

Jesus knows the pressure you face. He knows the pain. And Jesus
cares. He cares enough to help you be free of the sin; because
He knows that sin will destroy you.

Sin may give a temporary pleasure, but in the end sin always
destroys. Jesus loves you so much, and does not want you to be
destroyed.

So Jesus is against sin because He loves you.

SAY THIS: Jesus is my friend.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

You Can Do What You Cannot Do

Let's look at two people from the Bible who did the impossible.
But they did it anyway, because of God's involvement.

HEBREWS 11:11 NKJ
11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive
seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because
she judged Him faithful who had promised.

Sarah had a child when she was 91 years old. (Genesis 17:17-21)
Physically, it was impossible. She had long since lost the
ability to bear children.

But she did what she could not do.

Sarah achieved this impossibility because of God's promise, and
because she believed God would keep His promise.

JUDGES 15:14-15 NKJ
14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting against
him. Then the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him; and
the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that is burned
with fire, and his bonds broke loose from his hands.
15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, reached out his hand
and took it, and killed a thousand men with it.

Samson killed 1000 of the Lord's enemies with a bone.

He did what he could not do.

No human being is capable of single-handedly killing 1000
people at one time, with no weapon but a bone. No matter how
strong or skilled any man may be, he could easily be overcome
by such superior numbers.

But with God's anointing and help -- the situation is
different.

With God helping you: you have God's ability to do God's will.
You can do whatever God's Word says you should do.

Your sufficiency is of God.

Whatever God wants you to do -- He will help you. God does not
play favorites. Just as He helped Samson and Sarah to do what
they could not do -- He will help you to do His will -- even if
"it is impossible."

Without the anointing and help of the Lord, you cannot. But
with God -- all things are possible.

SAY THIS: I can do whatever God wants me to do. Nothing is
impossible.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Do Not Be Afraid

JOSHUA 1:9 NKJ
9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do
not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with
you wherever you go."

Over and over the Bible tells us to not be afraid.

When you stop and think about it -- it's ridiculous to be
afraid when God is with you -- and for you.

As humans, we tend to forget. Maybe that's why God said so many
times to "Fear not!"

Here are just a couple examples.

LUKE 12:7 NIV
7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't
be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

ISAIAH 41:13 NIV
13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right
hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

SAY THIS: I will not be afraid because I trust in God, who is
with me.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

To Become Like Jesus

ROMANS 8:29 NLT
29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to
become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn,
with many brothers and sisters.

Don't despair over your current condition -- you have an
amazing destiny!

God's plan is to make you like Jesus Christ. Don't laugh!
Remember that nothing is impossible with God.

You WILL be like Jesus!

Always remember that this tops God's agenda for you. You may be
concentrating on some temporal project or need in your life.
But God's focus is always on transforming you into the likeness
of Jesus Christ.

We can't expect becoming like Jesus to always be painless or
without difficulty. After all, most of us have quite a few
rough edges. But, if we understand what is going on in life,
and we keep our eyes on God's goal, it will be easier.

2 CORINTHIANS 4:17-18 NLT
17 For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very
long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that
will last forever!
18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now;
rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the
troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will
last forever.

SAY THIS: I look forward to God finishing His work in me --
making me like Jesus.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Overcomers Impress God

REVELATION 21:7 NKJ
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his
God and he shall be My son.

You face problems. Sometimes you struggle and wonder why God
doesn't "just do something."

God is giving you an opportunity to impress Him!

God is your audience -- rooting for you. He is thrilled when
you overcome. Just like an earthly parent is thrilled when
their child excels.

God still LOVES you even if you fail. You just miss the
opportunity to thrill Him by not overcoming. (But what could be
a more worthy goal than to thrill God?)

"OK, I would like to impress God. How do I 'overcome'?"

1 JOHN 5:4-5 NKJ
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is
the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith.
5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that
Jesus is the Son of God?

Overcoming is clearly something achieved by believing -- not by
other means.

Further light on this comes in Revelation 12:11.

REVELATION 12:11 NKJ
11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the
word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to
the death.

Because of the redemption obtained by the sacrificial death of
our Lord, and our agreement with it, expressed through words of
faith, we overcome. In short: expressing our faith in Jesus and
what He did.

Another key is mentioned: commitment -- even to death. We must
be resolute and determined, no matter what the cost, to fully
and finally overcome.

Eight times in Revelation great promises are made to those who
overcome. (Rev. 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21, 21:7.)

Our Lord's intention in giving these promises was certainly not
to make us feel guilty, or inadequate, but to spur us on to
victory.

God is cheering you on to victory! He believes you can overcome
(with His help)!

SAY THIS: God made me an overcomer, so I will overcome!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Press On

PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14 WEYMOUTH
13 ...one thing I do -- forgetting everything which is past and
stretching forward to what lies in front of me,
14 with my eyes fixed on the goal I push on to secure the prize
of God's heavenward call in Christ Jesus.

Believers face many difficulties. Trials. Adversaries. Doubts.
At times we're all tempted to quit. The struggle seems too
much, and we wonder if it's worth it to continue, to hold on to
our faith when there seems to be no hope left.

But there is a goal -- supremely worthwhile: life with our
wonderful Lord. Not just existence, but intimate fellowship.

Fix your eyes on the goal -- God Himself -- and press on!

1 CORINTHIANS 1:9 NIV
9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus
Christ our Lord, is faithful.

Please read the following verses slowly and thoughtfully.

1 PETER 5:7-10 NCV
7 Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you.
8 Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy,
goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat.
9 Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith.
You know that your Christian family all over the world is
having the same kinds of suffering.
10 And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all
grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and
support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share
in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever.

Space does not permit much comment on these verses, but notice
that suffering is caused by your enemy, the devil, and its
purpose is to attack your faith.

Also notice that God only allows you to suffer a short time.

"But," you say, "it's already been a long time."

Not really. It seems like a long time when you are going
through trials, but afterward seems like a short time. Even a
few years is nothing when you look back on it. Ask God to help
you see things from Heaven's perspective.

"But why does God allow me to suffer at all?"

Because people make wrong choices. Conflict causes suffering.
But God believes in you! Why should He yank you out of the
arena? God believes that with His grace and help, you will
overcome and experience victory.

The end result is what really counts. God will make everything
turn out alright. (Read verse 10 again.)

Maybe you feel like your faith is barely hanging by a thread.
Just hang on. With God holding the thread -- and He is -- your
faith will survive. You will make it! God will help you.

SAY THIS: I will press on with God. I will not quit or give up
on my faith.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Father's Faithfulness

PSALM 27:10 NKJ
10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will
take care of me.

Normally, one's parents are among the ones who can be counted
on to help and love and support -- no matter what.

I recall reading that the mother of a convicted mass murderer
said he was still her son, and that she still loved him. That
is natural.

Yet, sometimes parents do forsake their children. But God's
love for you is more dependable than the love of a parent for
their offspring.

ISAIAH 49:15 NKJ
15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have
compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet
I will not forget you.

Concerning earthly love, none is greater than that of a mother
for her baby. Yet even that can sometimes fail, in extreme
circumstances. But God's love for you is deeper, stronger, and
more sure.

HEBREWS 13:5 NIV
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content
with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave
you; never will I forsake you."

People will fail you. You may even fail yourself. But God can
be trusted. He will never fail you. He will never give up on
you and never turn His back on you. He promised!

Does this mean God will always protect you from everything
unpleasant? No. Not any more than a good earthly parent can
keep their child from every unpleasant experience.

We must grow up. We must learn to walk in faith and love, and
to overcome.

But God will be there to help you. And to make sure that
everything does work out for your good in the long run.

Trust in the Father God. He is more dependable than friends or
family, and He loves you more than anyone else ever will.

SAY THIS: God will never turn His back on me. He is always
available to help me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Love Your Enemies

MATTHEW 5:44 NKJ
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,

"Love your enemies? What kind of advice is that? How can you
have enemies, if you act in love toward them?"

Good point.

Why would anyone want to have enemies? Do you?

God's instructions, if acted upon, will make friends out of
enemies. Think how much better the world would be then.

God can, and does, love His enemies. He proved it. No matter
what they did to Jesus, He never quit walking in love.

But it may be impossible for a normal human to love their
enemies -- without God's help. Fortunately, God's help is
available!

No matter how hard it seems, you can love those who have hurt
you. If it was not possible, God would not command us to do it.
Of course, to be successful at it, we need to call on the Lord
and receive His help.

"But why should I love my enemies?" You should know it is the
best thing for you to do, just because God said it. It benefits
you as well as the one who wronged you.

You have two basic choices when someone does you wrong. Do
wrong back to them. Or, return good for evil.

If you fight back, then they will have a valid excuse to
continue mistreating you. Is that what you want? If not, then
the intelligent choice is to stop the vicious cycle by
returning good for evil. Love your enemies until they become
your friends.

SAY THIS: I can, and will, love everyone with God's help.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

God With Us

MATTHEW 1:21-23 NIV
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the
name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said
through the prophet:
23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

Part of the wonderful good news of the New Testament is that
God is not just a far-off God, but He is right with us.

With us -- in many ways.

With us as we face life -- right here to help us. Not far away,
and out of touch with what we are facing. Not difficult to
reach -- but only a prayer away.

With us in understanding what it is like to live on earth and
face the problems and difficulties we all face.

With us in knowing what it is like to experience pain and loss.

With us in knowing what it feels like to be rejected and
despised and misunderstood.

With us in knowing what it is like to be hungry and have
nothing to eat.

With us in knowing how difficult it can be to struggle against
sin.

With us in knowing what it is like to be attacked by the devil.

HEBREWS 4:15 NIV
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in
every way, just as we are -- yet was without sin.

God came to earth. He became a man. (No, I don't understand
that, I just accept it.) Jesus experienced what we experience,
yet He always walked in victory.

If you let Jesus, He will guide you into victory, also.

SAY THIS: God is with me! He understands, and is here to help
me.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Get Out Of Your Cave

1 KINGS 19:9 NIV
9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word
of the LORD came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Elijah was hiding in a cave, fearful, discouraged, and
confused.

Why?

Elijah knew God and had seen God do mighty things, even in
answer to his own prayers. Yet he was human, just like the rest
of us.

JAMES 5:17 NIV
17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it
would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a
half years.

Elijah had only one real problem, and it was not the
adversaries he faced. It was that he got his focus off of God
and onto himself.

To me, God seems amazed at Elijah's hiding. I picture Him
thinking, "Doesn't Elijah know that I am greater than all his
adversaries? Doesn't Elijah know that I will help him?"

I would paraphrase the verse above as, "What in the world are
you doing here, Elijah? Have you forgotten who your God is?
Have you forgotten who you are, a servant of Almighty God?"

Elijah was human -- just like us -- and we face the same
difficulties in life. But just like Elijah, our real problem is
not the problems we face -- but our focus.

We can focus on our inability and lack, or we can focus on
God's ability and abundant provision.

Are you hiding in a "cave" today, afraid to venture forth and
face life? Are you afraid of failure and rejection? Are you
discouraged because things haven't worked out like you thought
they would?

What are you doing?! Get out of your "cave!"

God is on your side. The Greater One is in you. The Lord is
your helper. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you.
You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

SAY THIS: I will focus on God, Who loves me, and Who is greater
than anything I will ever face.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Look At The Flowers

LUKE 12:27 LB
27 "Look at the lilies! They don't toil and spin, and yet
Solomon in all his glory was not robed as well as they are.

Many people would have you believe that God only supplies what
we need -- nothing more.

But they haven't considered the flowers!

If you want to know God better, obey Jesus and look at the
flowers. They were God's idea.

Why did God make so many flowers? All the many different
flowers are not necessary. Although flowers have some purposes,
one kind of flower in one single color could have been made to
meet all the needs.

The fact is: so many different flowers are not needed. They are
"extra," something far, far beyond merely what was needed.

We could live without all the different flowers, but life is so
much more beautiful with them.

Dear friend, God is not intent on you barely scraping by. He
told you to ask and receive -- that your joy may be full (see
John 16:24). God desires your joy to be full.

But don't make the mistake that so many do. Abundance of
"things" will never satisfy you apart from God. But what a joy
it is when you have close fellowship with the Creator, and can
thank Him for all the wonderful things He has provided for you
because of His great love. In that context, things are a great
blessing, because they are a constant reminder of the goodness
and love of God.

Others tell us that "God only helps those who help themselves"
and make us think that "if it is to be, it is up to me."

No! While it is true that we must cooperate with God, mostly by
trusting Him and resisting our enemy by standing in faith on
God's Word, it is not true that we have only ourselves to
depend on.

That was part of Jesus' point: God "prospers" flowers better
than Solomon could achieve -- and he was the richest man who
ever lived! God can, and will, take care of you, too. Just let
Him.

Whenever I see flowers, or whenever I think of the abundance
God has provided, it reminds me of His love, and I say, "Thank
You Lord, for flowers."

SAY THIS: Thank You Lord, for flowers!