On Wings Of Eagles

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Monday, October 31, 2016


1 John 4:18 (ESV) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 

Most people associate Halloween with fear—fear of death, fear of dying, fear of evil. But when we come to know the true power and trustworthiness of God, many of the fears we have in life melt away. Fear, however, is a natural and good feeling. Without fear we would make many stupid mistakes, hurting ourselves and others in the process. Without fear, we would not have enough wisdom to flee when true dangers present themselves. 

One of the ways people deal with their fears is by making fun of the fear itself. That, in fact, is part of the origin of Halloween, which means "all hallows eve." People were naturally afraid of death and dying, and so they decided to face their greatest fear by poking fun at death. In 1 John, we are told that perfected love drives out fear. That is to say, when we become certain of God's love, we don't have to be afraid anymore. It's as if God is the parent who comes in at night and tucks us in, turns on the night light, and tells us that there are no monsters. In God's great love, all fear melts away. 

We can remove our fears by serving others. When we abandon our lives in service, we often discover that our fears lessen as our friendship and love deepens. As you and I think about our fears now, I hope that we will see that just as God has protected and redeemed those who have come before us, God will protect and redeem us, too. Even from death itself! 

Dear Lord, help us remove our fears by serving others. Open the doors so that we can share Your love to those around us that need it. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Stand strong against the enemy and his tactics

1 Peter 4:7 (ESV)
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

A foreign soldier was brought before his commanding officer and accused of communicating with the enemy. He had been seen emerging from an area where their troops were known to patrol. The poor man summed up his defense in a few words, stating that he had slipped away to spend an hour alone in prayer. "Have you been in the habit of spending an hour in private prayer?" demanded the officer. "Yes, Sir," he replied. "Well" said his commander, "never in your life have you been in more need of prayer than right now. Kneel down and pray aloud so that we all may hear you."

Expecting cruel punishment, maybe even death, the soldier dropped to his knees and poured out his heart to God. His prayer revealed a deep intimacy with God. His earnest fluency, humble appeal for divine intervention, and very evident trust in one who was strong to deliver, told without a doubt that he came regularly to the throne of grace.

"You are free to go," said the officer. "No one could have prayed that way without a long apprenticeship -- soldiers who never attend drill are always ill at ease for the review."

I heard a statistic not long ago, that the average Christian only spends about seven minutes a day in prayer. We need to practice prayer in our lives that we may be able to endure when trials come our way and stand strong against the enemy and his tactics!

Dear Lord, help us to become disciplined in reading our Bible and praying.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Wrapped up in work?

John 10:10  (ESV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of California Los Angeles wanted to find out, "if you had to choose between more time and more money, what would it be?" While they found most respondents answered, "more money", they also found that those who preferred "more time" were generally happier! When I read this article, it reminded me of a story.

A wealthy businessman was shocked to see a fisherman sitting beside his boat, playing with a small child. So the businessman asked, "Why aren't you out fishing?" The fisherman replied, "Because I've caught enough fish for one day." "Why don't you catch some more?" the businessman further inquired.

"What would I do with them?" asked the fisherman. "You could earn more money," said the businessman. "Then with the extra money, you could buy a bigger boat, go into deeper waters, and catch more fish. Then you would make enough money to buy nylon nets. With the nets, you could catch even more fish and make more money. With that money you could own two boats, maybe three boats. Eventually you could have a whole fleet of boats and be rich like me."

"Then what would I do?" replied the fisherman. "Then you could really enjoy life," answered the businessman. The fisherman looked at the businessman quizzically and asked, "What do you think I'm doing now?"

Let's not get so wrapped up in work, that we simply forget to enjoy life – the life that He wants to give us more abundantly! Take some time out this weekend and be sure to praise God for the life that He's provided. 

Dear Lord, we pray that we would have the right priorities.  Help us to take the time to enjoy life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Treasure discovered totally unexpectedly

Isaiah 33:6 (ESV)
And he will be the stability of your times,
    abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
    the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure.

It was 1986, in the midst of a three year drought, when two brothers who lived in a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee made an incredible discovery. As these two fishermen monitored their equipment on the lake, they noticed something glistening in the sun covered in mud. It was a fishing boat. Upon deeper examination, archaeologists determined that these two brothers had discovered an ancient boat from the time of Jesus. It's was called the "Jesus boat" and is now located in a museum next to the Sea of Galilee.

Hidden under water for centuries, the only reason it was discovered was that the severe drought had lowered the lake surface so drastically; so that even when no one was looking for it -- this treasure was discovered totally unexpectedly.

You may have noticed -- it's becoming more and more spiritually dry in this world and sometimes I wonder, will anything good ever come out of this mess? Yet I think the same thing can happen for us as happened to those two fishermen. When things get low, and dry, and sparse, suddenly when we least expect it, God can reveal treasure that we couldn't see or know about because everything was abundantly okay. Maybe it's a friendship that blossoms because of the pressure or need ... or, maybe just a new and deeper insight into the Lord's own sufferings; or maybe a new spiritual gift of encouragement ... there are many possibilities, and I think we ought to be looking for them, though they might appear when we least expect it.

Dear Lord, help us no matter the situation that we look for the positive things.  Help our eyes be open to the spiritual encouragement that You have for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sowing seeds

Matthew 13:23 (ESV)
As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

There was a mailman, John Hand, who rode his mail truck through Los Altos Hills of California on his 50 mile route each day. The route was plain, all brown and virtually no color. One day he began to throw wild flower seeds out of the window as he drove. Today, if you travel his route in the Los Altos Hills you'll find beautiful patches of flowers throughout, blossoming in many colors.

We all travel different roads. Sadly, many of us miss wonderful opportunities to change and bring added beauty to our landscapes. In our families, at our jobs, in the world around us, God has given us opportunities to color those landscapes! It's far easier for us to complain and resign ourselves to settling for those landscapes, than it is to be the catalysts of change. From this point on, let's resolve to stop complaining about the lifelessness around us and do something about it! God has given us the power and anointing to change those landscapes!

Let's start sowing the seeds of the Gospel, the seeds of salvation and new life. Let's sow the seeds of love, joy, righteousness and all the tasty fruits of the Spirit. As we sow them throughout our daily lives, those dull, dry landscapes will begin blossom into something beautiful and we, like that mailman, John Hand, will be remembered as the ones who sowed those seeds.

Dear Lord, help us today as we walk the life before us. Help us to sow the seeds of Your great love as we go. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nobody cares vs God cares

Romans 15:13 (ESV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

I heard a story about a man who was imprisoned during Napoleons reign. While sulking in his dungeon one day, he etched on the wall the words "Nobody Cares".

A few weeks later, through a crack in the dungeon floor, a little green shoot sprang forth, reaching toward the tiny ray of sunlight that came from his small prison cell window. The prisoner began giving a portion of his daily water to the little shoot and it began to grow. One morning the man awoke to a beautiful flower. A tear rolling down his face, he crossed out the words, "Nobody Cares" and replaced them with "God Cares."

The story goes on to tell that His devotion to the flower was reported to the Empress Josephine. She was so very moved that she convinced Napoleon to set the man free.

How many times do we feel like "Nobody Cares"? God has planted little shoots of hope in each and every one of our difficult circumstances -- do you know that? Perhaps we're stepping on them, not even noticing they exist. Perhaps we're pulling the shoots before they spring forth into beautiful flowers.

God wants us to be released from our prisons of despair. Look around! See what God has planted since the beginning of time especially for us today. Be encouraged!

Dear Lord, help us to look around us and see all the things that You have planted for us to see.  Help us not get discouraged. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The one you feed.

Philippians 4:8-9 (ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I got this story in an email a while back.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on in every person. He said, "My son, the battle is between two 'wolves'. One is evil -- it is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good -- it is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Need I say any more?

Let's start feeding the good wolf, so that we might flourish for the Lord and do great things for Him!

Dear Lord, help us make the effort to feed the good wolf today so that we may flourish for You in all that we do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Something to keep in your head

1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

In Israel there is an interesting geographical phenomenon – there are two landlocked seas. One is alive and one is dead. The sea full of life is the Kinneret, better known as the Sea of Galilee. The dead sea is.......you guessed it, the Dead Sea. Now the Kinneret is constantly emptying as it flows through the Jordan River valley.... into the Dead Sea. But the Dead Sea does not empty its water at all. Instead, the Dead Sea is continually shrinking, because the intense heat at this lowest place on Earth actually evaporates more water than is flowing in. Do you see a parable here?

The Sea that is alive is the one that gives. The more of yourself, of your life, of your love, that you pour out, the more alive, filled up, and refreshed you will become. The Lord Jesus exemplified this to the greatest extent ever, by giving all He was and all He had, even to those who hated Him and were His bitter enemies. And the love that He gave was returned to Him by His Father in the resurrection, and by all the multitude of His redeemed people throughout all ages and into eternity. Could it possibly be any different for those of us who live lives of giving and loving? No. We will continue to be filled by the Lord's infinite abundance no matter how much we pour ourselves out. Of course, if we hold back, keeping all we have to ourselves, we will begin to evaporate and die...

Give and you will live. Love, and you will be filled with God’s love. Hold back, and even that which you have will vanish away.

There once was a sea that was dead
It was, 'cause it only got fed
And never gave up
Not one single cup
Now that's something to keep in your head

Let's be givers. Let's be lovers. Empty ourselves into His Kingdom, into His work, and be constantly refilled with His love, power and peace.

Dear Lord, help us to be givers and lovers. We pray that through our actions we will show Your great love to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pull the rope

Mark 11:24 (ESV)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Charles Spurgeon wrote "Prayer pulls the rope below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly. Others give but an occasional pluck at the rope. But he who wins with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously, with all his might."

Some might take this to mean that we need to beg and plead desperately for God to answer our prayers. I don't think so.

I believe that we must pray, expecting for God to bring the answer and do the work because, among many other reasons, He is faithful, just and loves us with an everlasting love!

Raise your expectations today! Expect God to do something great and we'll believe along with you to see mighty breakthroughs!

Dear Lord, we thank You that we can always pray to You and that You listen.  We thank You for the answers that You give us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The great falling away

Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV)
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

The Bible speaks of a great falling away in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2) before the end of the age arrives, and it seems that we're seeing it on a grand scale all around us. Virtually everywhere we look we're watching the decline of morality and ethics -- in government, entertainment, and social culture. It seems hard to deny that we're living in the final days of abounding iniquity which Jesus foretold.

This is not an easy time for true believers. The evil around us can be so discouraging and the darkness so oppressive that it really threatens our ability to walk in love. Yet the reality of the gospel is brighter and more relevant than ever in this world. And the inner light of Messiah burning in us will be all the more intense and warm in this gloomy landscape, if -- and only if, we fill our lamps with His holy oil and burn with His last days love. Anti-Christ culture is permeating our society. But we respond with the enduring culture of Messiah, a culture of supernatural love that will not die.

Take heart and don't be deceived or discouraged, or allow your love to grow cold. These signs of the end are simply proof that God is on His throne and His sovereign Word is being fulfilled exactly as He spoke it. Continue in His love. Radiate His light. Wherever you are, wherever you go, bring His love. Love will endure, even forever.

Dear Lord, as we look around us and see all the evil we pray that we would be faithful during this time in serving You and bringing others to the saving knowledge of You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Leave it in the Lord's hands

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

I came across this story through a friend and thought it significantly appropriate for us today. Maybe it is for you too?

An African king had a long time friend who always looked at everything positively, always saying "This is good!" even in the face of the most difficult situations. Hunting one day, he was preparing the king’s guns. When the king took his first shot, his thumb was blown off. Though the friend realized that it was his grave mistake for not properly setting the gun, and even in the face of this furious, bleeding king, he looked at him and said, "This is good!" The king was LIVID, and ordered that his friend be thrown in jail immediately.

A year later the king was hunting in an area where he should have stayed clear and was suddenly captured by Cannibals. They tied him up and were preparing to cook him when they realized he had no thumb. They didn't eat anyone who was less than whole so they released him. Upon his way home, the king pondered the event that had taken his thumb in the first place. He went straight to the jail, told his friend what happened and apologized in tears for sending him to jail like he did. His enthusiastic friend looked at the King and replied "This is good!"

The king, taken aback once again said "What do you mean 'this is good!' I sent you mercilessly to jail and you’ve been suffering for here for an entire year – how is that good?" His friend responded unwaveringly, "Well, if I had not been in jail, I would have been with you"!

I hope this has encouraged you to trust in your difficult situation. Let’s leave it in the Lord's hands today, and all say it together in faith.

Dear Lord, we thank You for the difficult times. We pray that we would leave them in Your hands knowing that You will take care of the situation for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The goat is filthy

Psalm 34:1 (ESV)
I will bless the Lord at all times;
    His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, "Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?"

The rabbi answers, "Take your goat into the room with you." The man in incredulous, but the rabbi insists. "Do as I say and come back in a week."

A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. "We cannot stand it," he tells the rabbi. "The goat is filthy."

The rabbi then tells him, "Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week."

A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, "Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there's no goat -- only the nine of us."

This is a funny story but how many of us know how to be truly thankful in the face of trial? Many powerhouses of the faith who preceded us realized the importance of mastering thankfulness. How much more should we who have so much more than they!

We have an opportunity each day to practice being thankful! If we’re struggling today, let’s practice praising God in thankfulness for all the good things He's done! He deserves all of our praise regardless of our circumstance!

Dear Lord, help us be thankful no matter the situation we find ourselves. Thank You for the strength that You give us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Psalm 27:4 (ESV)
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
    and to inquire in his temple.

Three men were marooned on a desert island. As the days slowly went by, they dreamed of what it would be like to be at home with their friends and family, to be back at their jobs doing the things they loved. One day one of the men found a bottle. When he opened it, a genie came out and announced that he would grant each of them one wish.

"Really?" one of the men said, "Boy, I sure would love to be back in Seattle with my wife and kids." POOF! -- in an instant he was gone. Seeing that, the second man immediately gave his request," I want to be back in New York with my fiancé!" And in a flash, POOF! -- he was gone too.

The third man was left all alone sitting on the sandy beach and said, "Wow, it's lonely here with my friends gone. I sure wish they'd come back. And POOF.

Merriam Webster defines "wish" as "to have a desire for, as something unattainable". We use that word all too often, don't you think? We're always wishing for something, always yearning for something, always "needing" that one more thing. It seems we can never be satisfied! There is only one thing we should truly desire, that is to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives.

He is the only One who can truly satisfy our longings. Let's give our hearts and desires to Him once again today.

Dear Lord, help our desire to be focused on You. Help us look forward to the day we will spend with You for eternity. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lift off

Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Did you know that on a rocket's journey, the most force is exerted at its lift-off? The amount of force that is needed to get that rocket off the ground is so fierce that it could easily blow the whole thing to pieces. Interestingly though, the further the rocket moves from the earth's gravitational pull, the less energy it needs to move farther along.

Isn't it true with us as well? Whether it's breaking a habit, losing those first few pounds or learning something new, taking our first step into a new thing is the hardest part. That initial step always takes the most effort, the most energy. If we keep pressing on, however, it becomes easier and easier to move ahead!

Perhaps there is something new He wants you to be doing! God wants us to get out of our comfort zones and take that first step of faith so that we can see just how truly awesome He is! Together, let's take our first steps into something new!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would press forward no matter how difficult it is knowing that it will get easier as we go forward. Give us the endurance to make the move. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Finding God's will

Philippians 2:13 (ESV)
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

I have been thinking lately "How do I find the will of God?" There are probably many good scriptural approaches to answering this question; but I want to offer something very basic as you think about understanding the will of God. That is, simply, that you'll know His will when you come to know the heart of God.

When you begin to understand, appreciate, and share the heart of God, then you really begin to search for and to desire the things that God desires; to be passionate about the things He is passionate for; even to be broken over the things that break God's heart.

Our Lord wants to share His heart with you; He wants you to know and care about what really moves Him. He longs for the kind of personal relationship in which He can share with you His longings, His passions and His desires. If you want to know His will, ask Him to share His heart with you. Ask Him to move you over the things that move Him. Ask God to reveal His passions to you because you really want to share them and to care for them in every possible way.  He will answer you, and when you discover the heart of God -- you will most certainly know His will!

Dear Lord, help us to get so close to You that we will know Your will for our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

God sent a Savior

1 John 4:9 (ESV)
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

I came across this quote and although the author is not known he or she is surely wise.

"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer..... but our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."

Yes, God sent us a Savior -- that we might know His forgiveness. But not only that we might know it. God sent us a Savior so that we, who have been given the privilege of this knowledge, might go and share the good news of His forgiveness with all the world!

Let's cherish His forgiveness today. Let's revel in it and let all who don't know that they can have the same!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You sent Your Son so we may be forgiven for the many sins we are guilty of. Help us to always be thankful for that. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Are you listening?

Matthew 21:16 (ESV)
And they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

I heard this story about a professional golfer playing in Los Angeles. The only caddy available was young and inexperienced. So, before they teed off, the golfer told him, "Don't say a word to me. And if I ask you something, just answer yes or no -- nothing else"

During one round, the golfer found his ball next to a tree, where he had to hit under a branch, over a lake and onto the green. He got down on his knees and looked through the trees and sized up the shot.

"What do you think?" he asked the young caddy, not really wanting his opinion. "Five-iron?"

"No," he replied. "What do you mean, not a five-iron?!" the pro-golfer snorted. "Watch this shot. "Again, the caddy insisted. "No-o-o."

But the ball was hit beautifully, and stopped a shocking two feet from the hole. The pro turned to his caddy, handed him the five-iron and said, "Now then young lad, what do you think about that?

"But…" the caddy said, "That wasn't your ball."

If it's one thing we've learned, it's that we need to listen to others. We have so much to learn from one another -- especially the young! We may have some great ideas but the Lord may well more for us and He wants us to keep an open ear!

Dear Lord, help us to have our ears open to listen to those around us. Help us to not try and do everything on our own.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

We are called to be missionaries

Ephesians 1:18 (ESV)
Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.

In the famous Louvre Museum in France, there is a painting by Bartolome Murillo called, "The Miracle of San Diego". In the painting, two noblemen and a priest enter a kitchen and watch the kitchen maids at work. One handles a pot, another a cut of meat, another a basket of vegetables, and one tends the fire. The men look surprised to find that the maids are not people but actually angels.

I like this. These weren't just kitchen help -- they were angels! All of us have a job to do, be it in our warehouses, our offices or our kitchens. Even the Lord Jesus was a carpenter by trade!

Not everyone is called to go abroad into the mission field but I can tell you this. We are all called to be missionaries! We are all called to spread the wonderful truth of God's great mercy toward us everywhere we go!

God has each of us placed where we are for a specific reason -- to fulfill the great commission! Let's pray and ask the Lord how we can best fulfill the great commission where we are and allow the Lord to show us how we can impact our world for the Kingdom today!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would each answer the call to be missionaries. Help us have the heart to reach those that our in our path each day. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Building others up

James 3:5 (ESV)
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

How do you get a one-armed blonde out of a tree? Wave.

Ok, I have to admit -- it made me chuckle too. But blonde jokes, "name your ethnic group of choice" jokes -- let's be honest -- it is our human nature to put others down. There's something about it that makes us feel better about ourselves on some level.

Harmless? I'm not sure.

We need to develop eyes to see people the way God sees them. We need to be a people who build each other up – not tear each other down!

Let's ask the Lord to reveal if there is something in us that feels the need to put others down in order to elevate ourselves. We have the opportunity to change lives for the better with our words, sometimes even just a smile!

Dear Lord, help us not continue to put others down just to lift our self’s up. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Are you a cheerful giver?

2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

One Sunday, a mother wanted to teach her daughter a lesson. She gave her a quarter and a dollar. "Put whichever one you want in the offering and keep the other for yourself," she told the girl. Later, the mother asked her little daughter which she had given to the Lord, the dollar or the quarter. "Well," said the girl, "I was just about to put in the dollar when the pastor said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did."

Can you relate? We like to make sure we're all taken care of. Then, if there's more left over after that, we're cheerful to give it. This is a desire I think all of us fight. But God has called us as Christians to a much greater faith. He has called us to think creatively about the ways we can give to further His Kingdom. He's called us to give beyond our means at times -- to take a step of faith and allow Him to show His faithfulness to us in return. He has called us to seek His wisdom and hear His voice in every situation – not just give the loose change that happens to be left over in our pockets from our latest lunch outing.

Let's strive to seek God about our giving. Perhaps the Lord is calling us to give in other ways than we've ever thought -- of our time and effort or our possessions, an open home to a neighbor in need? Perhaps He's calling us to give more than our regular tithe to our local church body. Whatever the case, let's give cheerfully!

Dear Lord, thank You for all You give to us. Help us to give with a  joyful heart. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

God has a specific purpose for our lives

James 1:22-25 (ESV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

An old mountaineer and his wife who were sitting in front of the fireplace one evening just whiling away the time. After a long silence, the wife said: "Jed, I think it's raining. Get up and to outside and see." The old mountaineer continued to gaze into the fire for a second, sighed, then said, "Aw, Ma, why don't we just call in the dog and see if he's wet."

Sometimes we are lazy! One thing that should really been on our hearts is doing more doing and less talking about doing! God wants us to be doers not talkers.

God has a specific purpose for our lives at such a time as this. Let's start giving Him our all.

Dear Lord, help us to be focused on doing the things that You want us to do instead of just talking about doing them. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fight the good fight

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

I remember when Rocky first came out. This movie about a powerhouse boxer became such a hit that they kept making sequel after sequel. They made so very many Rocky movies that even Hollywood started making a mockery of them. I saw one comedy clip once --"Rocky LXXXVII" with a little old bald guy playing Rocky. Apparently, he's coming back for more and he's stronger than ever!

There are certain words in Hebrew which, no matter how you say them, can only be plural. One example of this is the word "chaim" which means life. The word life, in the Hebrew, is actually plural. Perhaps God is trying to tell us something? Is there more to life than here and now? Life doesn’t stop with death. It keeps going on into eternity!

Maybe you feel like you are getting a beating today. There’s good news! God has the victory for us! Let's focus on His everlasting life in us today. If we can stay focused on this, no matter what kind of punches this world throws -- like Rocky, we’ll be coming back, and stronger than ever before!

Dear Lord, thank You for the life that You have given to us. We pray today that no matter how tough it gets we will fight the good fight and claim the victory we have with You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Practice what you preach

James 1:23-25 (ESV)
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

"Don't worry about what you do not understand... Worry about what you do understand in the Bible but do not live by." -- Corrie Ten Boom

It's easy to run congregations and preach sermons, write books, teach Sunday School, lead Bible Studies, and say all the right things. It’s not nearly as easy, however, to practice what we preach! But a much bigger blessing comes from the latter!

Let's start talking less and doing more! We all have a long way to go.

Dear Lord, help us to practice what we preach. Help our words not be just words but to be our actions also. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Temple of the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Oftentimes we forget that our spiritual, mental and emotional livelihood is directly connected to our physical one. What I mean by that is when we don’t take care of our bodies, not only can we get physically sick, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally as well. The media and the medical industry may have a lot of ideas and “quick fixes” for getting healthy but it really all boils down to a few important fundamentals.

Let’s consider for a minute the way we’ve been treating our bodies. Have we been drinking enough water? Lot’s of water is the number one cure for many bodily ailments including weight loss. Are we eating the kinds of things we should? We can’t expect to put junk in our bodies and expect them to function normally. Are we moving enough? We need to get some form of exercise each day, even if it’s just taking a stroll around the block a few times. I know exercise is a scary word for some of us, but it’s so very important! Are we getting enough sleep? At least eight hours a night for any length of time is key!

Have you been running, running, running and losing your cool? When we don’t take care of our body the way we should, it’s bound to happen! Want to do greater things for the Lord? Want to get God’s direction for your life? Want to get more stable mentally and emotionally? Let’s commit to taking care of our body. It is the Temple of the Holy Spirit living in us. We should strive to keep it in good shape.

Dear Lord, help us to treat our bodies as Your temple.  Help us to take care of the bodies that You have given to each of us.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Lord's will

1 John 2:17  (ESV)
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

I read a story about an interesting experience from a new believer. She was still single at the time and wasn’t happy with her living situation. She was renting a room from a family in her congregation and wanted to get out and rent her own apartment. The only problem was that she was rebelling against a feeling she had that God wanted her to stay there for a season, to get grounded in the Lord and to be a blessing to this family. Still, she convinced herself that getting her own apartment would be a good thing.

After much searching, she found what she was looking for. Although it needed some work and the rent was rather high, she managed to bargain her way into fixing up the place in lieu of three months rent.

Six weeks went by and all the work was done. New tiling, carpeting, painting, curtains, it looked just fabulous and it was time to move in. As she finished unpacking and putting on all the finishing touches, she sat down and marveled at all her hard work. Yet she still battled this little still small voice saying “This is not My will.”

The next day she went to work. About midday, Rivka received a phone call from her new next door neighbor. “Water is gushing out of your front door,” she said, “You might want to get over here and check it out.” A sick feeling arose from the pit of her stomach as she picked up her things and dashed out the office door.

Sadly, it was true. The whole apartment had been flooded by a random break in the pipes outside of her basement apartment and much of her hard work and some of her belongings were damaged. When the landlords didn’t even want to pay for the cleanup, Rivka decided to take them to small claims court for the cost of her labor and damages (not to mention the three months of rent she never received). Without any explanation, the judge ruled in favor of the landlords. Even more ridiculous was that they didn’t even show up that day!

Truly, Riv learned the hard way that the bad feeling she had throughout this whole ordeal was the conviction of the Holy Spirit urging her to be obedient. She would be very careful not ignore that leading again.

Are you trying to get your way with the Lord today? Take this as a warning!

He will have His way one way or another. Give Him your heart again today. He has such great things planned.

Dear Lord, help us not get in Your way today. Help us to listen to the Holy Spirit as He tells us what to do. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.