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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reasons to study the Old Testament

Psalm 119:15-16 (ESV)
15 I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
    I will not forget your word.

As we study God’s word It can be easy to skip over reading the Old Testament. It has like a million books, plus it can’t be cool because it’s got the name old in it, right?

Well, the Old Testament does have some pretty awesome things to offer, so check out this list of reasons why the Old Testament is still cool in our book:

1.  The Old Testament is what the New Testament is built on. – There are tons of quotes in the New Testament that link back to the Old. Plus, reading the Old Testament helps us understand what the New has to offer.
2.  Jesus Liked It – If Jesus used it, we can use it too. The New Testament wasn’t written when Jesus was on earth, so He used the Old Testament. In my book, if its good enough for the son of God, its probably good enough for us too.
3.  The Old Testament shows us Jesus and New Testament truths – The Old Testament shows us why we needed Jesus. It also shows us lots of great truths that help us understand the New Testament better.
4.  The stories are pretty cool – Some of the stories in the Old Testament are just plain cool! David killing a giant, the walls of Jericho falling down, and lots more. These stories are incredible and show us how great our God really is.
There are tons of reasons why the Old Testament is still cool. We’ve just threw out a few that we liked. When reading the Bible, make sure you take some time to read the Old Testament too. It can be a huge help to your relationship with God.

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your Word. Help us to take the time to study all of it so that we may see what You have for us to learn. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lesson from a cafeteria

John 4:9 (ESV)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

School cafeterias are like an obstacle course. There are tons of tables to weave through, backpacks to avoid, flying food to dodge, and to top it all off, you have your hands full with your tray of food. Cafeterias are busy places. Each table is usually owned by a certain group. Sitting down at the wrong table can be a huge social mistake. You can be branded for your entire school career with one wrong move in the cafeteria.
A school cafeteria has a set of written and unwritten rules. There are certain rules that might be posted on the wall. Things like throw away your trash and no food fights allowed. They probably have many un-written rules as well. Things like the third table on the left is always where the basketball team sits. You know that you don’t EVER sit down there if you’re not on the team.

The rules of your school cafeteria are a lot like some of the social rules in Jesus’ time. John 4 tells the story of the Samaritan woman. In Jesus’ time there was an unwritten rule that you didn’t talk to Samaritans if you were a Jew like Jesus was. The Samaritans dressed weird, and as a Jew you wouldn’t EVER sit down and eat with them.

Jesus did something crazy here. He talked to a Samaritan woman about his faith. He shared with her the way to salvation through Him. For Jesus to do this it probably felt a little awkward. He had been taught that He wasn’t supposed to talk to Samaritans. Yet He stopped what He was doing, and showed her that He cared. He then was able to teach her about how He was the way to be saved and come into a relationship with God.

This story should challenge us. How many times do we not take the time to talk to someone because of what others might think. We don’t leave our circle of friends and step out. We many times don’t push beyond what feels comfortable and what is acceptable to help share the love of God with someone who is hurting.

Don’t let yourself become comfortable to only talk to those who are socially acceptable or those who sit at the right lunch table. God wants to use you to reach the people all around us.  Ask God to show you who you can share your faith with this week!

Dear Lord, help us to reach out to those around us today. Help us not just talk to those we are comfortable with. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Birthday thought

Psalm 139:13-16 (ESV)
13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

What presents do I want? What kind of party will I have? Who do I want to invite? Will my friends and family make me feel special on my special day? All these questions are focused on “Me” It got me to thinking about where my focus should be.

This year I turned 56 and as I opened up Psalm 139. What I read, reminded that my Birthday isn’t really about me.

Psalm 139 reminds us that it is God who created us, and as a result we should praise Him. Our birthday should be a day thanking God that he created us, and celebrating that he has protected our life so we can have another birthday. He has ordained our days and brought them to pass.

I was also reminded of the people God has used throughout my life. My wife, parents, friends, mentors, leaders, teachers, and ministers. God has used all these people to shape me into the person I am today. I owe so much to these people and to God for using them.
So today on my birthday I want to stop and thank and praise God for all that He has done. And thank all those people that God has used in my life.

Dear Lord, we thank You for each hour, Day, Week, Month and Year that You give each of us. Help us to remember to thank You and praise You for that special gift. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

How easy is it to judge other?

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.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and as you looked around it didn’t give you very high hopes for the food? I remember once ordering a sandwich just hoping I would be able to eat the sandwich without gagging. As I bit into my sandwich I didn’t have an expectations that the sandwich was going to be good. I took the first bite, and to my surprise, the sandwich was great! In fact, it was one of the best ones I had ever had. I couldn’t believe it, how could I have been so wrong about a sandwich?

That sandwich reminds me a lot of how easy it is to judge others. You can see how a person acts, the clothes they wear, or even the friends they have and put that person into a box. We write certain people off because of how they treated us, or how we perceive them. However, just like I was wrong about the restaurant being good, many times, our judgements of people can be wrong.

Another thing about judging others is that it cheapens the price Jesus paid for mankind. Jesus gave his life for all humanity. That means each person has value to God. From the most popular to the least popular, each person matters to God. Because each person matters so much to God, when we judge others we cheapen the price God paid for each person.

So the next time you’re tempted to pass judgement on someone. To look down on them for what they wear or how they act remember that they are important to God. He loves them and wants them to have the chance to get to know Him. So the next time you’re tempted to judge someone, use it as an excuse to share God’s love with that person instead. See the person like God sees them and invite them to start a relationship with a loving God.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would not judge others. Help us to share Your love with them and bring them to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Resume of Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:20 (ESV)

That he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead

and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.

Address: Ephesians 1:20

Phone: Romans 10:13

Website: The Bible

Keywords: Jesus Christ, Lord & Savior

My name is Jesus - The Christ. Many call me Lord! I've

sent you my resume because I'm seeking the top management position in your

heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.


• I founded the earth and established the heavens (see

Proverbs 3:19).

• I formed man from the dust of the ground (see Genesis


• I breathed into man the breath of life (see Genesis


• I redeemed man from the curse of the law (see Galatians


• The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your

life through me (see Galatians 3:14).

Occupational Background:

• I've only had one employer (see Luke 2:49).

• I've never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or


• My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me (see

Matthew 3:15-17).

Skills & Work Experiences:

• Some of my skills and work experiences include:

empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the

captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at

liberty them that are bruised (see Luke 4:18).

• I am a Wonderful Counselor (see Isaiah 9:6). People who

Listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil (see Proverbs 1:33).

• Most importantly, I have the authority, ability &

power to cleanse you of your sins (see I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background:

• I encompass the entire breadth & length of

knowledge, wisdom and understanding (see Proverbs 2:6).

• In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and

knowledge (see Colossians 2:3).

• My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being

a lamp unto your feet and a lamp unto your path (see Psalms 119:105).

• I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart

(see Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments:

• I was an active participant in the greatest Summit

Meeting of all times (see Genesis 1:26).

• I laid down my life so that you may live (see II

Corinthians 5:15).

• I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind & made

a show of them openly (see Colossians 2:15).

• I've miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and

raised the dead!

• There are many more major accomplishments, too many to

mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot -

the BIBLE. You don't need an Internet connection or computer to access my



• Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my

divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural


In Summation:

Now that you've read my resume, I'm confident that I'm

the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your

heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths (see Proverbs 3:5-6),

and lead you into everlasting life (see John 6:47). When can I start? Time is

of the essence (see Hebrews 3:15).

Dear Lord, Thank You for all You want to do in our life. Help our minds and hearts be receptive to You. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

What you can learn about your walk with Christ from a YoYo

2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

June 6th is a holiday called national yo-yo day. If you’re like most people, June 6th probably came and went for you without a lot of celebration for the little known holiday. However, I would like to shed some light on this under appreciated holiday and show how it can influence your relationship with God so you will be ready for it this year.

The day is celebrated on the birthday of Donald Duncan from Duncan Toys who was responsible for helping the yo-yo gain much of its popularity.

If you’ve ever used a yo-yo, you know it’s not always as easy as it looks. I remember trying and trying to get mine to go down and come up right. With some practice I actually got the hang of it, and experimented with some tricks.

I think a lot of times in our walks with God, it can often feel like a yo-yo. We have a good day when we read the Bible and get a lot out of it. Then a few days later we read and can’t even remember what we read. Or maybe we go to a youth camp and get really excited about God, but when we get home, we start getting involved with our friends and what’s going on, and we start to forget about God. Simply put, it can feel lots of times like your relationship with God is like a yo-yo. There’s lots of ups and downs.

Here’s something to think about if you feel like you’re in an up or down swing in your relationship with God. Here’s a great secret: to have a successful relationship with God you can’t let emotions be your indicator. You might feel goosebumps when you read the Bible one day and absolutely nothing the next. This doesn’t mean that God has left or that there is something wrong with you.

We are encouraged to not walk by what we see or feel but to walk by faith. So if there’s a day when you don’t feel excited about reading your Bible, or that you got much out of it, don’t get discouraged and give up. Rather continue to walk by faith and not be moved by what you see or your feelings.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would walk by faith and not by our feelings. Help us to not be discouraged on those low days but remember like the YoYo we will come back up. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

God's Word and selfies

Romans 8:31 (ESV)
 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

How many selfies do you think you take a day? I read about a young lady that said that she had taken over 100 selfies one night just because she was bored. That’s a lot of selfies! Selfies are a fun way to show all your friends the great hair day you’re having or the awesome place you’re visiting on social media.

When we take a selfie and post it, we let the world know what we’re up to. Whether we’ve just tried the new coffee shop on the corner, or decided to dye our hair red, the selfie shows who we are and what we are doing to the online world. Selfies are a lot like the Bible should be in our lives. The Bible should be showing us who we are and what we are to be doing.

The Bible shows us who we really are. If we need a self-esteem boost, the Bible shows us our great worth to God. (1 Cor 6:20) If we are afraid, the Bible shows us that we are bold. (Proverbs 28:1) If we feel we can’t make it, the Bible shows us we can. (Phil 4:13) Just like a selfie, the Bible shows us who we are. We might not feel like we’re worth much, are bold, or that we can make it, but our feelings don’t matter. What matters is what is true, and the truth is found in God’s word. God’s word shows us who we are.

God’s word also shows us what we are doing. Reading the Bible can open your eyes to habits that you need to get rid of, or things in your life that need to change. We should be constantly striving to be more like God. So when we see a habit or attitude in our life that doesn’t line up with the Bible, we need to change that habit or attitude.

So the next time you snap a selfie or pick up your Bible let it be a reminder of how important the word of God is. God’s word is powerful and can change our thoughts and actions if we let it. Challenge yourself today to go deeper into God’s word and let His words transform you.

Dear Lord, Help us to always remember how important Your Word is. Help us to take the time each day to read it and see what You have to show us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Time for an upgrade

Psalm 1:2 (ESV)
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Have you ever had to upgrade an operating system or app on your iPod or maybe your phone? When you are asked to upgrade, it’s usually because there have been changes made to the phone or iPod to make it better. Often new features have been added or a bug has been fixed on the app. Upgrading your phone or iPod is an important thing to do to make it work better and for you to enjoy it more.

Just like it’s important to upgrade your phone or iPod, it’s important to upgrade your time spent hanging out with God. It’s easy sometimes to not know where to begin when spending time reading your Bible or praying. Or maybe you already spend time with God, but you’d just like to upgrade what you’re already doing.
Here are our tips for upgrading your quiet time with God.

Just do it. Some times when you read the Bible, it will feel like God is really speaking to you and you’ll have goosebumps and get really excited. Other times your time with God will feel dull and you’d rather be talking to others on Facebook. The key here is not to worry about whether your quiet time with God feels inspired or not. What’s important is that you make a habit out of getting to know God and talking to Him. Just set aside some time each day to spend with God. As you make it a habit, you’ll find that you really get more out of your quiet times.

Read books other than the Bible. Sometimes picking up a book about Jesus or a Bible topic that interests you is a great way to upgrade your quiet time. There are lots of devotional books out there. Find one that looks interesting to you and start reading. You can learn a lot about God and upgrade your quiet time by reading a book geared to a topic that interests you.

Use a commentary. The word commentary might sound like a foreign word to you, but finding a good commentary will help you upgrade your devotion time with God. Commentaries will help you understand the verses you’re reading in the Bible better and help you see things you might have missed. There are several apps for your phone or iPod that come with commentaries, or you can try to find one online.

These are just a few tips to help you upgrade your time with God. Spending time with God is one of the best things you can do. Start today making your time with God a priority in your life and you’ll come to know God in a fresh and new way!

Dear Lord, help us to upgrade our quite time with You. Give us the drive to keep going even when it seems like we aren’t learning anything. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Decisions decisions

Joshua 9:14 (ESV)
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord.

It’s really easy sometimes to get wrapped up in all the things going on around us. With all the things in our life screaming for our time and attention, it’s pretty easy to leave God out of our lives. Most of the time, we don’t intend on leaving God out, it just happens with all we have going on. We simply forget to include God in our decision making.

When making decisions, it’s easy to go for it without God’s help, and then wonder why sometimes things don’t turn out as good as we’d expected. The leaders of Israel did the same thing in the book of Joshua. They had people from a nation close to them trick them into making a treaty with them. The people from the nation that was close to them lied, and told the leaders of Israel that they were from a long way away. The leaders of Israel believed their lie, and without asking God for His help or advice, they made a treaty with the people that were their enemies.

It’s easy to rely on what seems right, like the people of Israel did in Joshua. They looked at the evidence presented to them and took it at face value without letting God have a say. However, you can avoid bad decisions and much heartache by simply letting God have a say in your life. Let Him influence your decisions. As you do, you’ll find that you’ll make better decisions and live life with fewer regrets.

Dear Lord, help us to not forget to come to You when we have decisions that need to be made. We pray for Your wisdom as me make those decisions. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Math and leadership skills

1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

For me, math homework was always a drag. If I could put off doing it, I would. There was not much that is less fun than doing math homework. However, math homework can teach us some great stuff about leadership.

1. Math homework stinks. It’s hard work and to do well in math, you’ve got to study hard. That’s a lot like how leadership is. Leadership requires you to study to be a good leader. Good leadership skills don’t develop overnight. It takes study and hard work to become a good leader.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” -John F. Kennedy

2. Math formulas can help you out. Whether you use the quadratic equation or cosine you can use the predefined formulas to reach the answer you need. In the same way, there are tons of leadership experts who can help provide you with proven formulas for success. Ask around or do a google search there’s lots of answers to your leadership questions.

3. Just get started. If you don’t start on your homework, you will never finish. The same is true with growing in your leadership skills. You need to get started somewhere. It might be asking your youth group leader to plug you into a leadership position at youth group, or you could look for opportunities to lead at school. Whatever the case, just start stepping out and begin to lead. You’ll get better and feel more comfortable as you step out and lead more and more.

Finally, don’t let yourself hold back because you think you’re too young or that you don’t know enough to lead.

Now is the perfect time to start leading. Begin learning about leadership and then don’t be afraid to step out and see your leadership skills grow!

Dear Lord, thank You that we can be leaders. Help us to take the steps to be able to lead others to Your love. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Mario Kart

Proverbs 2:6 (ESV)
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

If you’re like a lot of teenagers, you probably love playing video games. Maybe you’re a huge Halo fan, or perhaps you love Call of Duty. Whatever your game of choice is, there are things that you can learn about leadership from video games.

Though I’m not a huge gamer, I do enjoy watching my sons play them.  One thing I noticed about Mario Kart is the importance of making good small decisions. For example, you find yourself driving and notice that you are starting to head to the left on the road. So you make this major correction in hopes of getting back to the middle of the road. Usually this does no good and you end up driving off a cliff or into a lake or something that results in losing bunches of time. When you make way to big of corrections you end up losing the game. You soon learn that you need to make small corrections to win at Mario Kart.

The same is true in life. Its making the small decisions/corrections in life that will steer the course of your life and cause you to not get off course.

I read a great story by Jeff Olson. Jeff’s daughter was asking him some advice about how to do well in college and how to stand out. Jeff answered:

“Simply show up at your classes every day, and do the things your professors tell you to do, you’re going to beat 50% of people by just doing that.

It’s such simple advice, but so true. Just showing up every day will make you a success at college. It’s the small decisions you make every day that will be the difference between success and failure in life.

Some good small decisions to develop everyday:

Spending time with God
Getting up when your alarm clock rings (this is huge)
Being places on time
Keeping your word
Sharing your faith with others

Just like in Mario Kart, the small decisions are the ones that will keep you on course for your life. Being a leader begins with the small decisions you choose to make every day. I encourage you to choose to make good small decisions which will make a huge impact on your life.

Dear Lord, we pray today that we would make those small decision that will make us great people in Your eyes. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Volume knob on a guitar amp

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (ESV)
26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Character is like the volume knob on a guitar amp. A guitar amp comes with tons of other knobs, dials and decals that are much flashier, making the volume knob easy to overlook. However, when you turn that volume knob up on an amp, you can really tell. It makes a big difference!

That’s exactly what character is like. It can seem like a small thing, but when its turned up in your life it can make a huge difference.
Here is a list of a few things that character is:

Character takes training – Character isn’t something that just happens. It is something that takes work to develop.
The best way to develop character is to start with small things. Any easy way to start is by getting up the first time your alarm rings in the morning or by helping out around the house when asked and not complaining.

Character takes time – Turning up the character in your life will take time. Many people aren’t interested in doing things if they can’t see results immediately.
Don’t become discouraged if it takes time for you to become good at being a person of character.

Character finishes well – Very few people finish well. Many people get discouraged and give up, many times right before they cross the finish line.
A person of character sticks with a decision and finishes well.

No matter where the character dial is in your life, you can turn it up. You can train and become a person of greater character. Examine your life and find an area where you can turn up the volume in character. Then decide to stick with it no matter how long it takes, and finish well!

Dear Lord, help us to be people of good character. Help us to take the time to train our self to be even better, In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

The trap of compromise

1 John 1:9 (ESV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It can be really easy to fall into the trap of compromise. Lots of times, you fall in and don’t even realize you’ve done it. Compromise can be in big or small things. Usually, compromise starts in the small things. You wouldn’t probably go out and kill someone because that would be really WRONG. But you might tell a lie or cheat on your homework.

If left unchecked, small compromises will eventually lead you down a path that you never intended. Every day, you’re faced with small choices. Do you tell a lie to look better to others? Do you go to a party that you know you shouldn’t be part of? Each day these decisions that you face set the tone and direction for your life.

It’s the small choices you’ve made every day that have gotten you this far. And the choices you continue to make set the tone for the rest of your life. So are you guilty of compromising your beliefs?

The good news is that if you have been compromising, Jesus offers us forgiveness and a fresh start

He’s ready to pick you up and help you get started on the right track. Choose to make good decisions every day. Even though it isn’t always easy to choose to not compromise what you believe, you will be really glad that you made the choice to follow God and not compromise…even in the smallest areas!

Dear Lord, help us to choose to make wise decision each and every day. When it seems easier to compromise help us to stand firm. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Joshua 24:15  (ESV)
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Have you ever placed the blame on someone else for something that you did?

One of the hardest things to do in life is to take responsibility for your actions. Its so much easier to blame someone else or your circumstances for where you’re at in life. However, its when you begin to take responsibility for your actions that you begin to really become a person of character.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

So I encourage you to take responsibility for your actions. It’s not always fun, but it will help you grow into a person of character. In the end, you’re the person responsible for where you are in life and your relationship with God. You have to choose.

When it’s all said and done, it’s really up to you to choose your actions. It’s up to you whether you serve God or not. It’s up to you how far you go in life. So choose to make wise decisions and run after God. In the end, you’ll grow and become a person of character.

Dear Lord, help us to take responsibility for the things that we do and not blame others. Help us to choose this day who we will serve. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

What is love?

1 John 4:10 (ESV)
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

You’ve probably have heard that you should love others. But you may have wondered, what does that look like? What does it really mean to love others, and what does it look like to love your enemy?

The answer to that question, is that love looks different. It looks different than what you see on TV. It looks different than what you hear in the hallways at school or work. True love, the way God meant it, looks way different than the way we see it portrayed. Many times, the definition of love on TV, school or work goes something like this: I’ll love you if you can do something for me, or if you can give something to me. However, this isn’t the meaning of loving others that the Bible describes.

This verse in 1 John describes love as something different. It shows us that God defines love differently. God didn’t wait for us to be able to give Him something for Him to love us. God loved us first. He loved us and gave before we even knew Him. Then God challenges us to take the love He gave to us and show that love to others.

Loving others isn’t based upon how others treat us. It’s based on God’s love and grace which empowers us to then love others. We are to love others and value them, not because they have done anything to deserve it, but because it’s the example God showed us first.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer says it this way: “The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother, and requite his hostility with love. His behavior must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus.”

So choose to love others. Treat them with respect and love, not based on what they can do for you, or how they treat you, but rather based on how God treated us!

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your love. Help us to use Your example and treat them with respect and love not based on what they do for us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Kick fear out.

2 Timothy 1:7  (ESV)
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Fear. It will stop you, hold you back. It will keep you from fulfilling what God has called you to do.

It’s easy to give in to fear. In our walking around, working and going to school it’s easy to become accustomed to being afraid. We get so used to living our life in fear that it becomes normal.

Instead of facing each day with fears and worries, choose to resist the fear that tries to attach itself to your life. Decide to not let fear hold you back from doing the things God has called you to do.

Stand firm in the face of fear and when fear tries to attach itself to you say no. Don’t allow yourself become accustomed to being afraid. Kick the habit of fear by filling yourself up with Gods word.

Remember fear isn’t from God so don’t live your life afraid. Choose to think on God’s word and kick fear out!

Dear Lord, we thank You that we don’t have to be afraid. Thank You for Your word that we can study and learn how to live a life that is empowered by Your Holy Spirit. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Can we love our enemies?

Matthew 5:44 (ESV)
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

People can be mean.  I think back to when I used to ride the bus to school every day. I remember one kid that would just pick on everyone. He was an older student and he sure was mean.  It got so bad that he even made some of the kids cry.  There are some people like this boy that are just plain mean.  So the question is with all the mean people that we meet around us, is it really possible to love those who are mean to us?

I think the answer is “yes”.  The Bible says in Matthew 5:44 – “But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.”   How do we do that? How do we muster up love for people who are mean and don’t treat others with respect? The Bible says in Romans 5:5 that the love of God has been placed into our hearts. So yes, God tells us to love our enemies which can seem hard, but he gives us the love to do it with.

So, that bully you come across everyday, or the people in your life that seem to be too hard to love, you can love them. Why? Because you don’t have to love them with your own love. You love them with the love that God has placed into your heart. So remember that when loving mean people gets hard, you’re not doing it alone. The love of God has been placed in your heart. You’ve got all the love you need to love your enemies.

Dear Lord, thank You for placing Your love in our heart. We thank You that with that love we can love those who are mean and unlovable. We ask You to help us to love others and know that with Your help we can love my enemies. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

What to do when people give you a hard time

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.

You’ve probably experienced people giving you a hard time because you’re a Christian. Maybe they make jokes about Christians or poke fun at your beliefs. How do you deal with someone that gives you a hard time because of your faith?

Here’s a few suggestions to use when people give you a hard time.

1. Realize you’re not alone. Since the beginning of time Christians have been given a hard time. Paul experienced hard times too as a Christian. Check out his experiences in Acts 9:29 – “And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.” Acts 9:29
People were giving Paul a hard time because He was a Christian, in fact they tried to kill him for it.

2. Don’t shut up! Don’t let what people say or do to because of your faith cause you to shut up. It’s easy to want to stay quiet because someone has given you a hard time however, don’t allow yourself to give in to fear and want to be quiet because of your faith. Keep sharing what you believe with others. They will respect you in the end. Here’s what Peter and John said when people told them to stop telling people about Jesus. “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20

3. Show respect. Don’t jump into an arguing match and start cussing someone out because they don’t believe what you do. Be respectful to people and pray for them to have their eyes opened to the goodness of God. Here’s a good Bible prayer you can pray for them in your prayer times:
“Asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God.” Ephesians 1:17

Realize that sometimes people will give you a hard time because of what you believe. Don’t let that stop you or shut you up. God has called you to preach the gospel to those you know.

Dear Lord, give us the strength and endurance to speak up for You when the world comes against us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Peace from God

John 14:27 (ESV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your mind is worried and you’re trying to figure everything out? It feels like all your peace has left and all you feel is stress.

We must realize that peace is very strong- it’s not an absence of conflict, it’s a presence of God’s presence and power in our spirit. It belongs to us through Jesus. It’s the same peace that allowed Jesus to reach out and heal the soldier’s ear in the Garden of Gethsemane when his life was threatened. It’s the same peace that spoke to a storm to be still. It wasn’t the absence of trouble in Jesus’ life- but the presence of the power of peace that enabled Jesus to live free from stress.

Jesus left you that very same peace. Then he gave us a condition for that peace to reign every day of our lives. He said guard it- he said don’t allow yourself to get disturbed or fearful- don’t permit  those feelings to make you forget the peace power you have. The doorway to your peace being robbed is your mind. When thoughts of doubt and fear hit you, hit them with God’s Word of truth by speaking them out loud.

For example, someone speaks badly about you. Your mind can dwell on it or you can close that door and say “if God be for me who can be against me?” and then forgive and rest in His peace. If worry tries to upset you, find scriptures that combat that worry. “My God shall supply all my need” “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”

When you guard your peace, it’s like shutting the door on your house and locking it. No robber can enter. You are secure. But when you allow your mind to worry and fear, then you have unlocked and open the door and enemies of your peace can come to steal it from you.

Dear Lord, thank You for giving us Your peace. Help us not  allow situations and people to disturb us or make us afraid. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Baseball and witnessing

Matthew 5:14 (ESV)
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Sharing your faith with others isn’t always the most popular topic. If you’re like most people, you’re probably not all that excited about sharing your faith. You may feel that if you share your faith people will think you’re stupid. You might be afraid that they might not like you if he finds out you’re a Christian. So you do what many Christians do, you stay quiet about your faith. You don’t speak up when someone challenges what you believe. You know that praying with your friend who’s parents are going through a divorce would really help, but you’re afraid of what your friend might think. The list of excuses we make for not sharing our faith can be pretty long. However, let’s take a look at what baseball can teach us about sharing our faith with others.

I know a guy who is a huge baseball fan. He watches baseball all the time on TV. If he’s traveling, he will try to catch a game in whatever town he’s in, if he can. Baseball is something he’s really excited about. Lately, his favorite team has not been doing really well. They’ve been losing a ton of games, but he still sticks with his team. Every conversation this guy brings up baseball and his favorite team. He talks and talks and talks about it. Why? Because he’s so excited about his team.

My friend is not that weird. We are all like that. When we are really excited about something, we like to talk about it. If we have discovered something new, we tell others. If we find a good deal on something at the mall, we tell others. So why is it that when it comes to something as exciting as finding Jesus do we shut up? Shouldn’t something that has changed our lives, something that affects how we live our lives everyday be something we share with others?

Why is it that we talk about our favorite baseball team with everyone we know, but when it comes to sharing our faith, many times we tell no one. We have something way more exciting than a winning team, we have a winning God. We have a God who loved us, and gave his son so that we could experience life change and a relationship with Him. Why aren’t we filling our Twitter feed with that news?

It’s easy to get afraid to share our faith with others. It’s easier to not say anything so that we don’t look weird to others. However, we are called to be salt and light to our world.

Today’s verse shows us that we are to be showing God to others. We are not to keep God a secret from the people in our lives. Just like when talk about our favorite baseball team to everyone we know, we should be telling everyone we know about God. We should be letting others know that God has changed our lives, and to let them know that He can change theirs too. If God has done something in your life, you should believe that He will do the same for others. So choose to put your fears aside and to step up and tell others about God.

Dear Lord, we pray for boldness to share the good news of Your love to others. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Comfort for the soul

John 14:27 (ESV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Ice cream has to be one of the best foods on the planet. It tastes so good. It doesn’t matter what flavor (accept for coffee) or what topping you put on it, ice cream just tastes amazing.

Ice cream is used a lot too as a comfort food. If you’ve had a bad day at school or work you can rush home and find comfort by eating a bowl or two of ice cream. Ice cream really comes in handy when you need a little bit of comfort during a difficult time.

Just like ice cream is an awesome comfort food, the Bible can bring us comfort when we are facing difficulty. The Bible tells us that Jesus gives us peace.

Jesus gives us peace. Just like ice cream can bring us comfort when we’re upset, Jesus can bring us peace too. When tough times come, we can look to Jesus. He tells us we don’t have to be troubled or afraid. Jesus has not left us helpless and alone. We’ve got Him to walk life together with us.

So in the midst of tough times remember that you can look to Jesus for peace.  Remember that He told you that He left us peace. We don’t have to live our lives afraid of what might happen. We can look to Jesus for peace and find comfort in Him!

Dear Lord, first we want to thank You for Ice Cream but more importantly we thank You for the comfort that You bring. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bible is full of hidden treasures

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

I went to the Goodwill the other day and bought a pair of long walking pants.

As I tried them on I noticed that there was this cool hidden pocket in the pants. I thought this hidden pocket would be a great place to hide my keys while I walk in the cool weather.

These pants reminded me of reading the Bible and how there are sometimes really cool hidden truths in God’s word for our lives. As we take a closer look at Gods word and get involved in reading the Bible we can find truths to help us everyday.

Today I encourage you to take a deeper look at Gods word as you read it. Don’t just take a surface glance but dig into it. You’ll find awesome truths that can change your life!

Dear Lord, we pray that our eyes would be open to the hidden truths that are in Your Word. Help us be diligent as we study Your Word. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.