Monday, August 31, 2015

Delivered Messages

Scripture is filled with stories of messages from God to chosen people. In the first chapter of Luke, Zechariah and Elizabeth were chosen to be parents of John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ. It was in their later years when child bearing was considered less than possible by most. Zechariah was a religious man who spent much of his time serving in the Temple. But when Gabriel, God's angel, visited him, he did not believe the message given him about a son, John's birth. As a result of disbelief, he was not allowed to speak until after John was born.

"And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.  But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”Luke 1:19-20

When have you not believed a message given you from God? Was it through answered prayer, the Holy Spirit, a dream or other evidence? How did you respond? What happened? Is it important to listen carefully, believe and respond favorably when the Lord asks you to do something?

Sunday, August 30, 2015


How important are words? They can be uplifting or demeaning. They can be positive or negative. They can inspire or they can impede. Our words definitely say something about us that perhaps we have not yet discovered. We are either building ourselves and others up or tearing ourselves and others down.
We are all know what James 1:26 reminds us: "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive thmselves and their religion is worthless." James 1:26
When we speak are we lifing others up? Are we showing praise to God? What are we telling about ourselves? So before we open our mouths to speak, we can say a short prayer asking the Lord for help"
"Gracious God, place your grappling hook of grace over my tongue so I will only speak words of wisdom, praise, comfort, love and edification. Bring on your power and grace and help me to demonstrate what speaking from you means and the doors it will open in lives needing to be touched by your love and forgiveness."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sharing the Peace

Good news for all persons. We are not condemend when we are in Jesus. He assures our freedom. It is through him that we can give up sinning and live according to the Spirit. This is the message we are to give to others so they, too, can live in the peace he brings. Share God's peace.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4 NIV

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Wisdom is Found by Those Who Seek Her

Where do you go when you seek wisdom? Do you have a Spiritual Advisor, pastor, close friend, book or author that you depend on? Besides prayer, I seek and find wisdom from scripture and inspired writing. The Aprocrypha is composed of books that are inspired writings, but were not accepted for inclusion in the Bible. One of the books, Wisdom of Solomon, includes much of the same discussion of wisdom that we discover in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes..
"Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her.
One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate.
To fix one's thoughts on her is perfect understanding and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought." 6:12-16.
It is so comforting to know that when we seek wisdom, it will find us on our path and in our thoughts. Lord, make me worthy of our wisdom and guide my search and understanding through you and your Holy Spirit. Protect me from thoughts that enter through other paths and help me to disregard what the enemy throws in my way.
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Friday, August 7, 2015

Hidden Gifts

Recently I was on a committee to select a property for a confernce. As we met with the various convention planners, they each offered "favors" to gain our business. The oldest property was the one that gave us the most. We really liked the planner and felt we coud work well with her, but in reviewing the property, it seriously lacked options the group had decided were important to them.
When being tempted by generosity intended to sway a decision, we have to rely heavily on the purpose and goals we want to accomplish. It's very hard not to be swayed by gifts and "sweet talk". Have you ever let gifts make decisions that you later regretted? So many temptations can be hidden in generosity.
"Many seek the favor of a generous man,
and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts. jAll a poor man's brothers hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him! He pursues them with words, but does not have them." Prov. 19:6-8 ESV

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What is a Prostitute?

When we think of prostitution, what immediately comes to mind? Evil woman? Impurity or immorality? Homes wrecked? Gentlemen's clubs. Drugs and money? How many people and careers have been destroyed because of prostitution? It's in the national news as well as the tabloids every day. And not all of it becomes public.
The Bible says a lot on the subject. It's been around a long time. Some refer to it as the oldest profession. Yet, there is meaning beyond what we usually consider prostitution. What about the references that take us from one person to the whole church? The Old Testament speaks about prostituting ourselves to other gods? Think about it. Are you ever guilty of prostituting yourself to the gods you serve like having more money, a bigger house, political support, a hobby, a big promotion, a chic wardrobe, social status, risk taking, excitement, financial success, etc. Can we say that lack of discipline is the primary causes of prostitution? Can you relate the following from Proverbs 5 to prostitution other than adultery?
" Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man's house. At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, "How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction! I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors. I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly." Proverbs 5:8-14