You Reap What You Sow
Galatians 6:7…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap
As God's representative here on earth, your purpose is to do right and glorify God. When you do right, you bring God glory by manifesting His excellence in a tangible way.
One way you can bring Him glory is in the way you treat people. There are many practical ways you can be a blessing to others. You can build others up by giving them a compliment. You can express your appreciation and acknowledge people by giving them a pat on the back or writing them a note of encouragement.
You can also take advantage of opportunities to listen to people and lend a helping hand when they need it. You can believe the best of others and offer forgiveness to those who have offended you.
I encourage you to treat everybody with love and respect. You will not only glorify God, you will also receive blessings by reaping what you sow.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Enjoy Life Like a Child
As a believer, you can have the abundant quality of life that comes from God. He is not impatient or in a hurry. He takes time to enjoy His creation, the works of His hands. Moreover, He wants you to do the same.
Joy is available to you if you know how to tap into it. I have learned that simplicity brings joy and complication blocks it. Instead of getting entangled with the complication of religion, you must return to the simplicity of believing and maintaining a Father /child relationship.
God wants you to approach life with childlike faith. He wants you to grow up in your behavior but remain childlike in your attitude of trust and dependence on Him.
Living our life with simplicity of a child will change your whole outlook in a most amazing way.
1 Corinthians 9:27
The holidays are upon us again! From the traditional American observation of Thanksgiving and the celebration of our Savior’s birth to the first day of the brand-new year, the holidays present us with many opportunities to celebrate….and to eat.
For many who tend to overeat and gain weight, it can be a challenging time. But it does not have to be that way. With God’s help, you can discipline yourself instead of giving in to all your food desires.
I am not suggesting you stay away from the Thanksgiving dinner, the Christmas Brunch, or the New Year’s gathering. It is not necessary to sacrifice all your seasonal favorites, but it is important to exercise moderation. Pray and ask God to help you focus on the season instead of the food….and receive a double blessing.
Read: Ecclesiastes 2:1-17
But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless - like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere Ecclesiastes 2:11
Audio: Ecclesiastes 2
Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 16-17; James 3
Tom Brady has model-like good looks, is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and has led his football team to three championships. But it's still not enough. Brady confessed during an interview, "Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there's something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, 'Hey, man, this is what is.' I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, 'God, it's got to be more than this.' I mean this isn't - this can't be what it's all cracked up to be." The interviewer asked, "What's the answer?" Brady responded, "I wish I knew. I wish I knew."
Brady's befuddlement sounds similar to the complaint found in Ecclesiastes. Solomon sought fulfillment in pleasure, wine, women, projects, gardens, music, and excessive wealth. He wrote, "I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and . . . anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure" (Ecclesiastes 2:9-10). And yet he discovered that nothing in this life ultimately satisfies. It's not supposed to.
Like Brady and Solomon, Augustine had experienced great success (he was a sexually promiscuous speechwriter for the emperor), but he learned that the more he scratched his desires the more he itched. Later, he famously opened his Confessions by telling the Lord, "You have made us for Yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in You."
You and I may never win a lifetime achievement award, enter a Hall of Fame, or see our name in lights. So it's good to hear those at the top say that celebrity, money, or whatever, isn't important. The only thing that was ever meant to satisfy you is God
You Can Be Molded into His Image
Your goal as a Christian is to become Christ like. The Bible says you are an ambassador of Christ and that He personally makes His appeal to the world through you. The only way you can ever properly represent Jesus to the world is to let His character show through your attitudes and actions. This can only happen through divine transformation, and that is exactly what God had in mind from the beginning of time.
God predestined you to be molded into His image. He said. “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand” (Jeremiah 18:6). In your relationship with God, you are the clay and He is the potter, and you must never forget that. Become pliable in the Masters Potter’s hands as He molds you into a vessel He can use to change many lives.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Ephesians 4:26-27….when angry, do not sin
Everyone has anger from time to time, and understanding it and knowing how to handle it properly is important.
Anger begins as a feeling and then manifests itself in words and actions. You feel something, and it causes you to do or say something. Anger is not necessarily always sin – however, what you choose to do with anger directly determines your quality of life.
All anger has the same effect on your life. It upsets you, causing you to feel pressure. Keeping anger locked inside can even be dangerous to your health. Therefore, you must take responsibility for your anger and learn to deal with it.
If you struggle with anger, ask God to help you process it and bring it to closure. You can be bitter or better – the choice is yours!
Discover the Cure for the Insecure
The world is full of insecure people. In fact, an article I once read described insecurity as a psychological disturbance of epidemic proportions. So is there a cure for the insecure?
The answer is yes. The Word of God says that you can be secure through Jesus Christ. As a believer, you will find our Lord Jesus Christ is the only lasting cure for insecurity. He took all of your insecurities upon himself at
Calvary. His death and resurrection purchased your freedom from the pain and behavior patterns produced by a lifetime of insecurity.
All the areas of your life that are out of order can be reconciled through Jesus and the work He accomplished on the cross. Start believing it – and remember: "The Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).
Receive the Goodness of God
There was a time when I believed God was good – but I was not sure He would be good to me. I was afraid I hadn't been good enough to receive His goodness. Nevertheless, He taught me that our inability to do everything right does not cancel out His goodness. Thankfully, receiving God's goodness is based on His righteousness, not ours.
I now keep a journal to list all the good things God does for me. This gives me a greater appreciation for His provisions and confirms His constant flow of blessing in my life.
God is good, and His goodness radiates from Him like heat radiates from the sun. And those rays of goodness reach out to you every day. Make a list of all His blessings and you will have no doubt about the good and perfect gifts that come from Him.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Speak a Blessing into Your Life
Isaiah 65:16….He who invokes a blessing on himself…shall do so by saying, May the God of truth and fidelity….bless me.
You can bless or curse yourself with your mouth. You can bring a blessing by speaking positive truths from God's Word….or you can bring a curse by speaking negatively.
Satan is a deceiver and He tries to bring you trouble and then influence you to prophesy that same kind of trouble for your future. But you can choose to bless yourself. If you mentally stop living in the past, you can begin to think and speak in agreement with God.
Take notice of the things you say, because what you say does matter – to you and to your well-being. Say what you believe Jesus would say in your situation, and you will open the door for the miracle-working power of God.
Live the Good Life
The heart of God is a father's heart and He wants you to take full advantage of the good life that He prearranged for you. Yet many Christians settle for less than God's best for their lives because they listen to the devil's lies.
The devil tries to convince you that you have made too many serious mistakes in the past and disobeyed God too many times to live the good life. But this is not true.
We all make mistakes, but God still loves us, and when you repent He is quick to forgive you and lead you back to the right path.
God has provided the best…and you might as well have it!
Bend Before You Break
Romans 12:16, 18…..readily adjust yourself
You live in a fast – paced world that seems to be placing more demands on you with each passing year. People are hurrying everywhere, and often they are rude and short-tempered. It seems the very atmosphere of the world is charged with stress and pressure.
But the good news is that as a Christian, you do not have to operate on the world's system, reacting like the world. The world responds to difficulties by getting upset, but Jesus said in John 14:27 that you should stop allowing yourself to be agitated, disturbed, and upset. You do this by learning to be adaptable. It is not always easy on the flesh to give in and do things differently, but it is easier than being upset and miserable.
Learn to bend so you will not break. Allow God's spirit to lead you out of a stressful lifestyle into one of peace and joy.
Practical Ways for Your Days
God's word offers wise instructions about how to make the practice of peace a part of your everyday life.
First of all, you need to hush. Be still and stop all the rushing around. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 45:10). The creator of the universe wants a word with you, but how can He really talk to you if you are always on the go? Chill….and listen!
Second, you must prepare your heart to receive Him and to hear His voice on a regular basis. This requires a reverent fear of God and obedience to His commandments.
Finally, you must acknowledge Him in everything you do. Make it a lifestyle to be identified with Jesus Christ and faithfully be a doer of the Word. The rewards are great!
Be Fruitful for God
We live in a busy world….and most of us are far too busy. God never told you to be busy, but He says a lot in His Word about being fruitful. One of His first instructions to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. And Genesis 8:17 record the same commandment to Noah. To multiply means to "increase".
God wants you to increase by working with what you have. He supplies you with many seeds- gifts and talents – but you must cultivate and use them.
God has planted some great things in you, and as you water and nourish what He has planted, He will give the increase. So work with Him. You are a special person, uniquely called to bear fruit as only you can do.
Overcome Evil with Good
Romans 12:21…do not let yourself be overcome by evil
As a Christian, you can resist the enemy and overcome evil by having an aggressive, power-packed attitude. You can release positive spiritual power that will always conquer negative power. But it does not happen automatically. You must take a spiritually aggressive position and stand your ground.
Dealing with people requires a different approach, however. You are to treat people with dignity, respect, and love. For myself, I had to learn how to be a "lion-hearted lamb" – spiritually strong in dealing with the enemy and meek and gentle in dealing with people.
Being good to people will require that you walk in love, which is an effort that always costs you something. But people who are spiritually powerful always walk in love. It is God's way of overcoming evil with good. And it is well worth the effort.
Be a good Example
Titus 2:1…teach what is fitting and becoming to sound doctrine
Being a Christian is not so much a matter of doing as it is of being. When you are willing to get out there and shine, you will eventually swallow up the darkness in your realm of influence.
God anoints normal, everyday people to live supernaturally in a frustrating world. He wants you to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. He wants you to stop just telling people Jesus loves them and start letting Jesus flow through you to meet their needs.
The best way to show the love of Christ is by example. People in the world want to see Christians who live what they preach and teach.
You can be a shining example of a victorious Christian, and that is the best way to "teach what is fitting".
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. Gives you something to think about.
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend.. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.
As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.
He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment..
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts.
Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?
Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.
A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?
'Look at it.' He said. 'Read what it says.' She read the words ' United States of America '.
'No, not that; read further.'
'No, keep reading.'
'In God we Trust?'
'And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him..
For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!
When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change.
I read the words, 'In God We Trust,' and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.
It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful!
And, God is patient..
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given
That's the whole gospel message simply stated.
Take 60 seconds give this a shot! Let's just see if Satan stops this one.
All you do is -
1. Simply say a small prayer for the person who sent you this, (Father God bless this person in whatever it is that you know he or she may be needing this day.)
2. Then send it on to five other people. Within hours five people have prayed for you, and you caused a multitude of people to pray to God for other people ....
> Thought for the Day:
> If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
> If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
sends you flowers every spring.
> He sends you a sunrise every morning. Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!
> Send this to every 'beautiful person' you wish to bless.
> God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.
> Read this line very slowly and let it sink in...
> If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Monday, November 12, 2012
> Right Thing, Wrong Reason
> Read: Matthew 5:17-20
> But I warn you - unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! - Matthew 5:20
> Audio: Matthew 5
> Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 43-45; Hebrews 5
> I was preaching one evening when a mentally ill man walked down the church aisle, slapped me in the face, pushed over the pulpit, and sent the congregation into a panic. In a protective act, a church member named Gary stepped toward the man as he lunged towards Gary and his wife.
> I sent an email to Gary the next day, commending his bravery. "I wasn't trying to protect anyone," he replied. "I was scared, tried to run away, and accidentally ran into him." What had looked like courage had, in fact, been cowardice.
> Seeming "good" deeds can have bad motives. It's possible to do the "right" thing for the wrong reason. Jesus warned of it. The Pharisees were experts at good deeds. They were trying to keep 248 commandments and 365 restrictions within the expanded Jewish law. But their expertise was in outward conformity rather than purity of heart. They didn't murder, but they did hate (Matthew 5:21-22,43-44). They didn't commit adultery but they did lust (Matthew 5:27-28). They gave to the poor, but they did so to look good (Matthew 6:1-2). They did the right things for the wrong reasons.
> Jesus called His people to a righteousness "better" than this. Deeds matter, but motives matter more. The God who looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) wants love for Him and others to be our only motive (Matthew 22:37-40). This calls for some careful reflection, for we can be just as pharisaical today. Instead of freely giving to someone, we can help them in order to get something in return. We can oppose homosexuality out of bigotry rather than true concern for another's wellbeing. We can donate to charity simply to improve our public image.
> The greatest treason is "to do the right thing for the wrong reason," wrote T. S. Elliot. According to Jesus, love is the remedy.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Abide in the Vine
John 15:5….I am the Vine; you are the branches
In God’s order of things, right thinking comes first and right actions follow. I believe that correct behavior is a “fruit” of right thinking. Many believers struggle, trying to do right, but fruit is not the product of struggling. Fruit comes as a result of abiding in the Vine.
As a spirit-filled Christian, you are to manifest the fruit of His Spirit, things like kindness, gentleness, meekness, and humility. You are created in His image and you can have the same soothing countenance Jesus displayed. Your words can bring encouragement, edification, and exhortation, which are produced by a pure and positive mind.
As you abide in the Vine, seek to bear much good fruit and exhibit His image and nature. Your own life will be richly blessed and you will be a blessing to others.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Experience God's Peace and Rest
1 Chronicles 23:25
This declaration of David speaks of a God who has faithfully given peace and rest to His people – down through the ages, and still today.
In your busy world, your days are often filled to overflowing with all kinds of work and activities that can drain you of your physical energy and leave your mind reeling from the sheer volume.
I am sure it was the same in David's day. The pace may have been slower but the responsibilities were just as demanding and draining. But David knew the secret to receiving the goodness of God was thanking and praising the Lord both morning and evening.
If you feel drained from a trying day, spend some quiet time with the Lord before you go to bed. Tell Him how much you thank Him and praise Him for being with you today….and for the peace and rest you are about to experience as you lie down to sleep.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Don't forget to vote on election day…..
Seek to Be Humble
Having pure motives and humility are required if you are to fulfill the command to think more highly of others than yourself. In fact, it cannot happen without a willingness to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.
To live in harmony you must recognize and respect the right of others to disagree with you, and you must do so with a good attitude. Humility requires that you forgive quickly and frequently….and that you not be easily offended. You cannot be self-seeking, but instead you must be generous in mercy and patience.
Humble yourself and follow God's instructions and you will enjoy the wonderful benefits of obedience: peace, joy, and a powerful, victorious life.
Pray with Boldness and Confidence
Hebrews 4:16…draw near to the throne of grace…that we may receive mercy. Prayer opens the windows of heaven and touches the heart of God. It is a beautiful and powerful privilege that brings many changes in both circumstances and people. Prayer is often the difference between confusion and clarity, hurt and healing, defeat and victory, and even between life and death.
There are many ways to pray, but the best way is to pray boldly and effectually. God loves you and He does not want your communication with Him to be vague and unclear. He wants you to come to Him fearlessly and confidently, being specific in your prayers.
Exercise the liberty and privilege of prayer tonight, fully expecting to receive the promised help just when you need it.
The Son Has Set You Free
John 8:36…..you are free indeed
Are you "really and unquestionably free"? If you allow yourself to be controlled by other people, thoughts, feelings, and habits, you are not free.
People who are free are spontaneous and unconfined, not bound, fastened, or attached. They are not limited by past mistakes because they serve a God to whom nothing is impossible.
The psalmist made this bold statement in Psalm 119:45: "I will walk at liberty and at ease." By saying, "I will", he indicates he has made a decision to be free and refuses to be in bondage.
I believe this is what God wants you to do. He wants you to have enough holy boldness to declare that the Son has liberated you from all bondage and that you are determined to walk in the glorious freedom He has provided for you.
Cherish the Anointing
1 John 2:27
You have a precious treasure within you as a believer in Christ. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwells in you through the anointing. You can depend on it to lead and instruct you.
The anointing makes such a difference in your daily living. Without it, everything is a struggle. But with the anointing. All things are possible. Only as you understand the anointing can you know how to release it and increase it in your life.
You are empowered by the anointing for service and fruitfulness. So learn to respect it, be thankful for it, and put it to good use. Let it flow first to you to minister to your needs. Then let it flow through you to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those around you.
Give Thanks Every Day
1 Thessalonians 5:18
During this Thanksgiving month, I encourage you to take time each day to thank God for something He has done for you. You are to thank Him always for everything – great or small – but being specific about something each day that is especially meaningful to you will be a blessing to you…..and to God.
There is so much in life to be thankful for, and that’s where you need to keep your focus – not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day.
Fill your mind with memories that are true, pure, lovely, excellent, and worthy of praise. Then express your thanks to God. As the psalmist says in Psalm 100:4, “Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!” End this day right by being thankful.