On Wings Of Eagles

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It is good

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.

An African king had a longtime 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…. “This is good”!

Dear Lord, we want to give You the good and bad situations knowing that You are in control. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Trusting God for our needs

Proverbs 15:15  (ESV)
All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days we spend like crazy to buy things we think we really need. 

Solomon wrote, "a merry heart has a continual feast!" But why does it seem like so many of us are not feasting? How do we maintain a merry heart?

So often, we brood and complain over all the things we lack. Somehow we've come to believe that if good things would only come our way, we'd be truly happy. But it's not good things that bring a merry heart - it's living a life of wholehearted faith!

Paul said that he was content both in want and in plenty! Mathew Henry said, "Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment and makes men torment themselves; it makes the spirit sad, the body sick, and all the enjoyments sour; it is the heaviness of the heart and the rottenness of the bones." A third-century man penned these last words to a friend: "It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians--and I am one of them."

Dear Lord, help us not to focus on the worldly things we lack. Help us to be men and women of great faith trusting You for our needs. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hold your head up high

Acts 22:15 (ESV)
For you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.

Many times, our unbelieving family and coworkers -- society in general, can make us feel small and inferior -- like second class citizens -- because we are Christians. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, somehow, we begin to believe it! We become what I like to call "mopey Christians," just moping around, keeping our faith hidden under a bushel, feeling afraid to say a word about Jesus, in fear that we might offend someone! And that's precisely what the enemy wants us to feel!

But we can choose whether or not to give in to his foolishness today! Jesus said that those who follow after Him shall never hunger or thirst -- they have been set free from the law of sin and death -- they've been renewed, cleansed, forgiven, loved with an everlasting love! How on earth can we mope about that??

We need a reality check. We should be holding our heads high today and ready to tell people about the great work he's done in us! We have been redeemed!

Dear Lord, thank You that You have redeemed us.  Help us to hold our heads high and be ready to tell others about You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Roll up your sleeves

Isaiah 52:7-10 (ESV) 
7 How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8 The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
    together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
    the return of the Lord to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
    you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people;
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
    before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
    the salvation of our God.

The LORD bared His holy arm, in a manner of speaking, God rolled up his sleeve(s) and revealed Jesus in the eyes of all the nations. A major sign of the end of this age will be the preaching of this gospel of salvation to the entire world for a witness to all nations. We are called to participate in this mandate.

So roll up your sleeves, and keep rolling. “A rolling stone gathers no moss!” so don’t be idle. The LORD'S arm has been revealed; His salvation has been accomplished for us by our Messiah. "Keep on rolling" with this good news. Lift up your voice, be a watchman and a witness, cause when the "roll is called up yonder, you'll be there :)"

Dear Lord, help us not become weary and to keep rolling sharing the God news Of Your salvation. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Walking through the Swamp of Despondency

Psalm 107:2-6 (ESV) 
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    whom he has redeemed from trouble
3 and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to a city to dwell in;
5 hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.

In his book, Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan has written one of the most beautiful allegories about the journey we all travel as believers. The book describes the hero, Christian, and his journey from the City of Destruction to his heavenly destination, the Celestial City. Now there's one part of Pilgrim's Progress that I want to focus on today -- walking through the Swamp of Despondency!

At one point during their travels, Christian and his companion suddenly find themselves there....in the Swamp of Despondency. Still bearing his burden, Christian, begins to sink in the mire. His traveling companion manages to get out, but he returns to the City of Destruction without giving aid to Christian. Christian is left all alone and sinking even deeper in the mire, until Help, the allegorical figure for the Holy Spirit, pulls him free from the swamp.

Christian then asks Help why this dangerous plot of land has not been mended so that poor travelers might go safely to the Celestial City. Help replies, "This miry slough is such a place that cannot be mended."

How true it is in real life! As hard as we try to avoid them, whether young in the Lord, or spiritually mature...swamps of despondency seem inevitable, and we must struggle through them!

Charles Spurgeon once wrote to his students in the book, "Lectures to my Students", "Fits of depression come over most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy. There may be here and there men of iron...but surely the rust frets even these."

There are times in our lives when we will struggle through the swamps of despondency -- but praise God that He has provided us a helper for those times of need! We need to press through, seeking and trusting the power of the Holy Spirit to pull us out of those nasty swamps, and set our feet back upon the Rock of our salvation. Let's also look around to see our brethren who may be struggling in the swamps of despondency, so that, rather than abandoning them; we might give them a hand on their journey to the celestial city!

Dear Lord, we want to thank You for sending us a helper for when we are in need. Help us share that good news with someone today. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Psalm 95:1-3 (ESV)
1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
    let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
    and a great King above all gods.

On the fourth Thursday of November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday honoring the early settlers and their harvest feast known as the first Thanksgiving.

Long before settlers came to the East Coast of the United States, the area was inhabited by many Native American tribes. The area surrounding the site of the first Thanksgiving, now known as southeastern Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island had been the home of the Wampanoag people for over 12,000 years, and had been visited by other European settlers before the arrival of the Mayflower. The native people knew the land well and had fished, hunted, and harvested for thousands of generations.

The people who comprised the Plymouth Colony were a group of English Protestants who wanted to break away from the Church of England. These ‘separatists’ initially moved to Holland and after 12 years of financial problems, they received funding from English merchants to sail across the Atlantic to settle in a ‘New World.' A ship carrying 101 men, women, and children spent 66 days traveling the Atlantic Ocean, intending to land where New York City is now located. Due to the windy conditions, the group had to cut their trip short and settle at what is now called Cape Cod.

As the Puritans prepared for winter, they gathered anything they could find, including Wampanoag supplies.

One day, Samoset, a leader of the Abenaki, and Tisquantum (better known as Squanto) visited the settlers. Squanto was a Wampanoag who had experience with other settlers and knew English. Squanto helped the settlers grow corn and use fish to fertilize their fields. After several meetings, a formal agreement was made between the settlers and the native people and they joined together to protect each other from other tribes in March of 1621.

One day that fall, four settlers were sent to hunt for food for a harvest celebration. The Wampanoag heard gunshots and alerted their leader, Massasoit, who thought the English might be preparing for war. Massasoit visited the English settlement with 90 of his men to see if the war rumor was true.

 Soon after their visit, the Native Americans realized that the English were only hunting for the harvest celebration. Massasoit sent some of his own men to hunt deer for the feast and for three days, the English and native men, women, and children ate together. The meal consisted of deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat, far from today's traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Although prayers and thanks were probably offered at the 1621 harvest gathering, the first recorded religious Thanksgiving Day in Plymouth happened two years later in 1623. On this occasion, the colonists gave thanks to God for rain after a two-month drought.

Dear Lord, on Thanksgiving Day we bow our hearts to You. We give You thanks for all You’ve done especially for the gift of Jesus, Your Son. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The habit of thanking God

Luke 17:15-16  (ESV)
15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

In ancient times, lepers were social outcasts because of their highly contagious disease. In this passage, ten lepers came to Jesus begging for mercy and He graciously healed them.

Can you imagine? These lepers had an awful disease. Their bodies were slowly deteriorating -- and worse, they were shunned from their friends and family and forced to live in a community of only those who were too withering away. Suddenly merciful Jesus comes along and "poof!" the sickness leaves them! How life changing! These people must have been overjoyed! Now they could go back to their families, their homes, their communities and live normal lives!

But as I reread this story today something struck me. Only one of them returned to thank the Lord! But how often do we do the same? We get so focused on our blessing and forget about the One who gave it!

Just as the Samaritan returned to Jesus to thank and worship Him who had redeemed his life, we too must thank God -- for every good and perfect gift comes from Him and He deserves all the honor and the glory! And as a matter of fact, one of the cornerstones of effective prayer is entering His gates with thanksgiving and praise. Let's start thanking God for all His goodness toward us!

It's easy to get caught up in the blessing -- God has given us so much! But let’s be sure that we make daily habit of thanking God first!

Dear Lord help us to be thankful for the many things that You have done and are currently doing for us. Help us not forget to thank You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Luke 24:49  (ESV) And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Knowing He was about to depart Jesus left His disciples with a final command: stay in Jerusalem, and wait...for the promise. Of the thousands who had witnessed His miraculous ministry and heard His amazing teaching, and the hundreds that had actually seen Him after the resurrection, we read in Acts that only 120 stayed and tarried until the promise arrived. But these 120 were steadfast. They waited the full term...

What would have happened if they had left after the 4th day? Or the 6th day? Or the 9th day? They would have missed the promise and the amazing blessing that came with it. But those 120 believers stayed - they stayed and pressed in until the Holy Spirit came!

Do you want the fullness of the Spirit in your life? Continue pressing in. Wait with relentless faith and patience. Perseverance is often the critical factor in receiving the promises of God. Our Lord will fulfill every good promise in His perfect time.

Dear Lord, help us to be strong and stay the course that is before us. Help us to not leave early.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Children of Issachar

1 Chronicles 12:32  (ESV)
Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.

The children of Issachar were men who "understood the times, to know what Israel ought to do." The Hebrew word for "understanding", "bee-nah", has a root which also means discernment, wisdom, perception and knowledge.

We live in a day and age in which discernment is a sorely needed gift in the body of Christ– and praise God, it's a gift which is freely given by the Holy Spirit!

Why? Because the enemy of our souls is cunning and subtle, and a major sign of the times is the proliferation of "seducing spirits" and "doctrines of devils."

A.W. Tozer once stated, "The red corpuscles are like faith - they carry the life giving oxygen to every part of the body. The white cells are like discernment - they pounce upon dead and toxic matter and carry it out to the drain. In a healthy heart there must be provision for keeping dead and poisonous matter out of the life stream."

How can we become like the children of Issachar? By building up our spiritual immune system! We need to ask for and develop the spiritual gift of discernment, not falling into the trap of spiritual laziness where we fail to discern truth from error, or to identify the enemy's spiritual toxins which could poison us.

Let's ask God for this important gift! Let's ask the Spirit of Truth to lead and guide us with discernment, every step of the way so that we become who God wants us to be -- able to understand the times, ...and, to know what we ought to do!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would become like the people of Issachar. Help us not to fall into the trap of spiritual laziness. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Taking your vitamins

Psalm 119:103  (ESV)
How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Why do we take vitamins?  We take them for long-term benefit to our physical health.  Taking a vitamin pill will not produce a sudden burst of adrenaline or bolt of energy, but over time, taken regularly, vitamins will strengthen our immune system and improve our general health and well-being!

By taking your daily dose of God's Word you will find that the long term effects of regularly digesting scripture will promote your spiritual health and well-being. Though it may not be like a bolt of lightning every time you sit down --you can be certain it will boost your immunity to the fiery darts of doubt, disbelief, and deception!  As the scripture says, "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God!"  So by all means, take your "vitamins" today.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would stay in Your Word each and every day so that we would be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil. In the Name of Jesus.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Looking at the big picture

1 Corinthians 4:5 (ESV)
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted them to learn to not judge things too quickly, so he sent them each on a quest to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. He sent his first son in the winter, his second in the spring, his third in summer and his youngest in the fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no - it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

After hearing all his son's responses, the wise father replied, "Sons, you are all right -- because you have each seen only one season in the tree's life. But you cannot judge a tree, or a person, or anything else by only one season. Most things can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons have come to pass".

Each of us has judged someone or something prematurely, and we have also probably experienced the pain of being judged that way. We need to look closely enough and long enough to see the big picture before we rule things out. God does that for us all the time.

Dear Lord, forgive us for not giving others the benefit of the doubt and judging them. Help us take Your example and look at the big picture. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

God offers us the real deal

1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Once upon a time, Aesop wrote, the beasts and the fowls were engaged in war. A doublehearted bat was trying to belong to both parties. When the birds were victorious, he would fly around telling everyone he was a bird, and when the beasts won, he would walk around assuring everyone that he was actually a beast. His insincerity was soon discovered and the devious bat was rejected by both the beasts and the birds. From that time on and forevermore, the bat would be banned from the light and would be only allowed to appear openly at night.

So often, we try to hold onto the world with one hand and the Lord with the other. But clearly, God will not have it! If we want to be filled with the love and peace and joy of the Lord, we must let go of the things of the world.

Let's give up the worldly things we've been holding on to! Those things are merely counterfeit but what God offers us is the real deal -- so let's grab it with both hands and hold on tight!

Dear Lord, we pray that the things of the world would have no hold on us. Help us to give them up and only cling to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Investing in the Kingdom of God

Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Ever heard of "shorting the dollar"? I don't know a whole lot about financial investing, but I do know that there are people who invest in other currencies, hoping the dollar will continue to decrease in order to increase their own wealth.

"Well, that's not very nice," you might be saying. But there may be a lesson to be learned from them. What these people are actually doing is looking at a bigger picture. They examine the way the dollar is functioning in the global economy and then make an educated investment. These guys recently made billions.

We too, need to be looking at the big picture and become wise investors today -- but not just in earthly opportunities. Yes, we need to be wise stewards of the finances God has entrusted to us. Perhaps God is calling us to be a Joseph, storing up goods to help others in future hardships. That is our heart's desire here in the Land. But most importantly, we need to step up as believers and realize how the investments we now make in prayer and sharing the Gospel transform into eternal investments -- with a guaranteed rate of return that will exceed our wildest imagination!

Let's not settle for small-time investments -- let's get serious about investing in the Kingdom of God!

Dear Lord, help us not settle for little things but instead  go for the big investments in the kingdom. Help us to invest in the lives around us so that they too can be part of Your family. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let God thaw your heart

John 7:37-38 (ESV)
37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

An estimated 500,000 tons of water go over Niagara Falls every minute. On March 29, 1948, the falls suddenly stopped. Those who lived near enough heard the overwhelming silence, and immediately they thought it was a sign – the end of the world had come! However, after thirty hours had passed – the flow of water resumed.

What happened? Heavy winds had set the ice fields of Lake Erie in motion and tons of ice had jammed the Niagara River entrance near Buffalo. The ice blocked the flow of water until finally, there was a shift in the blockage and the river began flowing again.

The river had stopped flowing because of ice.

If we really want the flow of God’s love, peace, joy, and anointing in our lives – we cannot allow our hearts to become like ice. If we do, His life-giving current will stop.

Let the Lord search your heart for those areas where the ice has built up and needs to thaw out. He will show you where they are if you ask. Our hearts should be burning for Him, so let the river flow.... once again.

Dear Lord, search our heart today and show us where we need to let You thaw out.  Help our hearts burn with Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It is his His perfection.

2 Corinthians 10:12b  (ESV)
But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

An ancient legend tells of a king who walked into his garden one day to find almost everything withered and dying. After speaking to an oak near the gate, the king learned that he was troubled because he was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine overheard their conversation and added that she, too, was upset, for she could not bear delicious fruit like the pear tree. The pear tree heard his name and began to complain that he did not have the lovely odor of the spruce. And so it went throughout the entire garden.

Near the very edge of the garden grew a little daisy. As the king approached, he noticed her bright little face, full of life. "Well, little flower," said the monarch, "I'm glad to find that there is at least one happy face in my garden."

"Oh king," she said, "I know I'm little, and not many people notice me, but one day I realized that you if planted me here, you must have had a good reason. So, your majesty, I've determined to be the best little flower I can be!"

Our King has planted a beautiful garden. Not one of us is greater than the next. It is his His perfection.

We must come to a place where we trust that God has a reason for creating us the way He has and has planted us in just the place he desired. Comparing ourselves with one another will only make us wither. When we become satisfied in His creation (that is us), that's when we'll find true happiness".. and we will shine.

Let's give God our all our disappointments and be determined to be the best that we can be for Him!

Dear Lord, we thank You that You can take our disappointments and use them to be a blessing. Help us no get discouraged. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

We're victorious!

Psalm 100:3 (ESV)
Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture..

A preschool teacher tells a story how sometimes, when her little students would have a quarrel among themselves, one would inevitably come running to her crying "So and so called me stupid!" The clever teacher would always reply, "Well -- are you stupid?" Without fail, that little red-faced, button-nosed three or four year old would ponder for a moment, shrug back, look up at her and timidly say no. Well, okay then -- so go and play! And just like that, the quarrel was over and playtime would resume as if nothing happened.

We need to take a lesson from those little preschoolers! Our enemy loves to be mean and call us names -- but we must take a moment and remember who we are! We're not stupid -- we're not ugly -- we're not defeated -- we're not useless!

On the contrary! We are fearfully and wonderfully made! We are loved and cared for dearly! We're victorious! We are kings and priests! We have a divine purpose and calling to fulfill today!

Let's not allow anyone to dictate who or what we are! God has already made it very clear who we are -- and we need to memorize what He said and not forget -- especially when the accuser comes our way!

Dear Lord, thank You that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Help us remember that and live a victorious life knowing You made us each special. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hold the fort

Luke 19:12-13 (ESV)
12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13 Calling ten of his servants he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’

During the American Civil War in the 1860's, a fierce battle took place at Altoona Pass. It was a key supply point for the Union Army, so the Confederate Army led by General Hood sought to take Altoona Pass which held over a million and a half rations. When Union General Sherman realized Hood's plans, he dispatched General Corse along with 1,500 men to hold the city.

As the battle ensued, General Corse and his forces were forced into a small fort on a crest of a hill. The Northern army was being overwhelmed, with nearly half the men either killed or wounded in the battle. Things were looking extremely bleak, when in the distance from a mountain top twenty miles away a while flag was being waved, and those in the fort knew the message being sent, "Hold the fort; I am coming. W.T. Sherman."

This sign gave the beleaguered army renewed strength to continue fighting the battle for another three hours until reinforcements finally arrived.

From this battle, a famous Christian song was written and its chorus is so eloquent for us today, "Hold the fort, for I am coming, Jesus signals still; Wave the answer back to heaven, By thy grace we will!"

In the midst of spiritual battles we can often feel besieged on every side – but HOLD THE FORT! Get some rest and renew your strength in the Lord for the victory is already won – we just need to continue fighting because He is coming!

Dear Lord we pray that we would be focused on sharing the good news of Your coming. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Remember who God is

1 John 4:4 (ESV)
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

While John warned against deception in the last days, and we should be mindful and discerning the times in which we live, keenly aware of the rise of the spirit of Antichrist -- he also gave us encouragement: "...you have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

The children of Israel failed their tests in the wilderness because they consistently forgot who their God was -- and is! Since He actually dwells within us now, let's not repeat their mistake!

So, being an over-comer in these last days is not only knowing who your enemy is – BUT NEVER forgetting who YOUR GOD IS! Spend your weekend resting in the peace and confidence that greater is He that is in you, and that no evil of any kind can gainsay the victory that He has already won.

Dear Lord, we thank You that You have already won the battle. Help us stay strong in the days of deception.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016

John 15:13 (ESV)
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

There's a wonderful story about Jimmy Durante, one of the great entertainers of a generation ago. He was asked to be a part of a show for World War II veterans. He told them his schedule was very busy and he could afford only a few minutes, but if they wouldn't mind his doing one short monologue and immediately leaving for his next appointment, he would come. Of course, the show's director agreed happily. But when Jimmy got on stage, something interesting happened. He went through the short monologue and then stayed. The applause grew louder and louder and he kept staying. Pretty soon, he had been on fifteen, twenty, then thirty minutes. Finally he took a last bow and left the stage. Backstage someone stopped him and said, "I thought you had to go after a few minutes. What happened?"

Jimmy answered, "I did have to go, but I can show you the reason I stayed. You can see for yourself if you'll look down on the front row." In the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm in the war. One had lost his right arm and the other had lost his left. Together, they were able to clap, and that's exactly what they were doing, loudly and cheerfully.

Dear Lord, we thank You for those that have served  in the military for their country. We pray that You would be with the families that lost a loved one and for those that have their health impaired. Give them each a special portion of grace for their sacrifice.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What do you do with such a gift?

2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV)
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

I  read a story about a Dutch pastor and his family who had been hiding Jewish people in their home during the second World War. One night, they heard the sound of heavy boots and the loud impatient knocking on the door. They were arrested and loaded into a cattle car. All night long, the pastor and his family rode along in anguish, knowing they were being taken to one of Hitler's concentration camps only to be separated from each other and likely killed.

Finally, the train stopped. The doors of the cattle car were opened. They were marched out and lined up beside the railroad tracks. But then something very strange happened. They discovered that they were not in a death camp at all -- they weren't even in Germany!

During the night a courageous employee risked his life and purposely tripped a switch which sent the train of prisoners to Switzerland, to their freedom. Instead of being marched to death, they were welcomed to new life. Wow. Thank you God. In the midst of his joy and relief, the Dutch pastor said, "What do you do with such a gift?"

We have been given a gift of redemption much more powerful than this! And what are we doing with such a gift? Let's start being about doing the work of the Kingdom!

Dear Lord,  we thank You for the great gift You have given to each of us. Help us make the effort to share it with all those we come in contact with. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

God loves a volunteer

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.

After Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, one church needed a great deal of cleaning up. Ash was in the parking lot and all over the inside because of open windows. A woman met the pastor in the hallway on Friday and asked "Why don't we get the High School and College kids to come in and help poor Fred clean this place up? Let's get them involved." "Great idea," he said, "Would you be willing to get some women together to cook lunch for us?" "Well actually, we had plans tomorrow and I don't know when we'll be back..."

We always want to volunteer someone else for a job needing done, don't we? It's so easy to get into the mindset that serving God is a chore, it's our job, our duty -- we give "valuable consideration" to our giving, as Webster describes it. The fact of the matter is that God loves a cheerful giver. He loves a volunteer. When I think of that verse, the first thing that comes to my mind is monetary giving, but God wants us to cheerfully volunteer every good thing He has so mercifully allowed us to have -- things we often take for granted -- our time, our energy, our abilities, our talents, our homes, our cars, our families -- all that we have - all that He has cheerfully given to us!

Let's make a point to volunteer some of these things to the Lord this week. Let's begin to bless the Lord and those around us!

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be willing to give of our time to do Your work. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Night

Romans 13:1 (ESV)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God

Election night results are coming in. But wait a minute… aren’t we overlooking something? Isn’t God already in complete control of the upcoming election process? Isn’t He already guiding the primaries and who the emerging candidates will be? In the end, won’t God be the one who chooses our next president, with or without a general election?

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all the media hype and forget that God is in complete control. So let’s take a few steps back from the political chaos and focus on these words of Paul from A.D. 56-57

Is it really possible that this verse – written nearly 2000 years ago – can still apply to us today? I mean, just look at the political nonsense and corruption in our nation! And what if we don’t agree with that “certain person” who might get elected? What if our new president’s ideas are not in line with Scripture at all?

Well, of course Romans 13:1 still applies to us today. And it’s not some simplistic Christian virtue that was written during easier times. When the apostle Paul penned these words, the Roman empire was under the reign of Nero Germanicus, one of the most evil rulers in history. This tyrannical leader lived a life of gross and blatant sin. He’s thought to have set his own city on fire so he could build a bigger palace for himself. He murdered members of his own family and brutally tortured countless Christians. He was even known to set Christians on fire as human torches to light his garden at night. It was under Nero’s horrible reign that Paul was martyred for his Christian faith and message.

Whoa… and we think the situation in our country looks bleak?

It’s almost inconceivable that Paul could stomach any respect for the Roman government at all. Can you imagine how the Christians in Rome reacted to this section of Paul’s letter? And what can current day Christians take away from all of this?

The actions of our leaders will affect the conditions we live in and impact our families, our churches, our workplaces, and our towns and nation. We should continue to pray and then trust that our sovereign God will orchestrate all circumstances for His greater glory and His eternal purpose.

Here in the United States, we have the right to vote for the candidate whom we believe to be the best choice for president. But if that person doesn’t win, we may begin to lose hope in our leadership and the future of our country.

But as believers, it’s not our job to worry or yield to despair. And we shouldn’t become angry or spread hatred towards any particular political figure. Rather, we should focus our energy in prayer for God's will to be accomplished in great ways -- regardless of who is finally elected. Remember, our trust is in God, not in human politicians. We can trust God to use or change any circumstance for His glory.

Dear Lord, we pray for our elected leaders. We know that the only reason they are in control is because You have allowed them to be. Help us to always pray for our leaders. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Pray for election 2016

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

On the eve of one of the most important elections in the history of the United States here are some thoughts the Lord brought to me through study and prayer.

We as Christians face the responsibility to vote, not only as citizens, but as Christians who seek to honor and follow Christ in all things. But, beyond the vote, we also bear responsibility to pray for our nation.

We should pray that God will bless America with leaders better than we deserve.

We should pray that Americans will be motivated to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship, yet also that we will be stripped of an unhealthy and idolatrous confidence in the power of government to save us.

We must pray that Americans will vote by conscience, not merely on the basis of celebrity or emotion.

We must pray that Americans will vote to defend the least among us — and especially those who have no vote.

We should pray that God will prick the conscience of the nation on issues of morality, righteousness, and respect for marriage as the central institution of human civilization..

We should pray that God will protect these candidates and their families.

We should pray that the election is conducted with honor, civility, respect, and justice.

We must pray that Americans will be prepared to accept the results of the election with respect and kindness. 

We should pray that this election would lead to even greater opportunities to preach the Gospel, and that the freedom of the church will be respected, honored, and protected.

We must pray for the church, praying that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be strengthened in the truth, grounded in the faith, and empowered for witness and ministry.

Dear Lord, You knew before time began whom You would appoint as our 45th president. You ordained that this person might be a tool of Your judgment, holy and merited, or a gift of Your mercy, wholly undeserved.
Like Israel of old, America today, is a life marked by pride, selfishness, murder, idolatry, hypocrisy, greed, lust and every form of moral perversion. 

We as a nation have called evil good and good evil and have turned from Your face to our own treasured wickedness. We repent. We need You now, alone and together, as much as at any time in our fleeting history.

We ask for Your spiritual discernment endeavor to elect our next President, that You might direct our path, and that Your will might be done on this earth, as it is in heaven. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

His "collection"

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.

The other day I read about how the prices of some paintings are falling rapidly. As I read the article I wondered just how much paintings actually go for.

The most expensive painting according to Wikipedia was sold for over $300 million dollars. It's called "Interchange" by Willem de Kooning. I thought -- "wow that's a lot of money." Then there was another painting called "Number 17A" by Jackson Pollock that was sold for over $200 million dollars!

As I looked at Pollock's collection the paintings looked like a bunch of house painters' drop cloths that were hung on the wall. To be truthful they just looked like a mess -- yet people have paid millions of dollars for these works!

That got me to thinking -- what is a human life worth? To some uninformed or cynical eyes, human beings are just a mess of "useless eaters" (a phrase used by Henry Kissinger to describe the elderly) ... but we know that every human life is extremely valuable because God was willing to pay the highest price for it. He gave His Son for your life -- declaring its value in His own precious blood!

So while you may feel, or even look like a house painter's drop cloth, in God's economy -- the only one that matters -- you are priceless, of inestimable value!

You are a precious piece in His "collection" His valuation of you is filled with loving, "worth more than many sparrows"; bought and paid for by the King of Kings whose taste is impeccable!

Dear Lord, we thank You that we are precious in Your sight.  Our value is beyond what we can imagine in Your eyes. Help us remember that each of us holds the same value. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.