Monday, October 21, 2019

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 28:13

Proverbs 28:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Daily Word of God - Acts 20:33-35

Acts 20:33-35 New International Version (NIV)

33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Not by Sight

Several weeks ago, I went to have my eyes examined. It is one of those yearly things we all have to do. While visiting with the doctor, I went through the standard list of tests that examined the pressure in my eyes and to check the reaction time of my pupils. All were fine up until I had to remove my contact lenses. At that point, the technician asked me to read a chart across the room. My response was comical, but it was truthful.

I said, “What chart?”

She laughed and we went on with the tests. After failing a slew of other tests, I felt that I couldn’t trust my eyes to save my life. Without my contact lenses, anything more than an arm’s length away was blurry and completely out of focus. I could make out only a few things and even then I would be guessing.

Our spiritual life is a lot different. We should not rely on our eyes, but rather our faith. In one of my previous messages, I talked about improving your spiritual eyesight. The message was entitled, “How is Your Spiritual Eyesight” and it is still available to read if you missed it.

We cannot trust our eyes when it comes to our faith. Our eyes can easily wander to things we should not focus on. I am sure you have seen those optical illusions. Our eyes can be easily fooled into seeing what we want to see or what we think we want to see. But, when the real image comes into focus, it is something we really didn’t want to see at all.

It is easy to be seduced and tricked into falling headlong into a trap or snare when we rely strictly on our own senses. Our earthly sight can be fooled and we can easily find ourselves somewhere we don’t want to be. As I couldn’t even see the chart on the wall at the doctor’s office, it is easy for us to rely on what we think we see and then make a decision based on what our senses are telling us.

The author of Proverbs writes in chapter three, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

We can easily be led astray by our own understanding which relies on our senses. When we start to see things of this world, we can be drawn back into our sinful ways and find ourselves living a corrupt and sinful life all over again. Instead of living a righteous life that we are called to live, we find ourselves pursuing those things that we perceive as desires of our hearts. Do not be fooled into believing what you see. The things of this world can only lead to destruction and our spiritual demise.

David writes, in Psalm 103, “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

If we use our earthly eyes to guide our way, we can fall prey to the things of this world. We can become prideful and filled with conceit. We can slander our neighbors and embrace what is vile and detestable. In time, we find ourselves slaves to sin yet again. We need to be watchful not with our earthly eyes, but with our spiritual eyes.

In chapter 5 of his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul discusses our new heavenly bodies that await us. In time, our earthly life will come to an end and this body, like a tent, will be taken down to give way to our new heavenly bodies. This is what we desire more than things of this world. We long to be home with our Father and His son, Christ Jesus. But, in order to do so, we must rely on our faith in those things that are unseen and guide us to that wonderful place where there is no more pain or suffering.

Earlier in his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes, in chapter 4, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Everything we see with our earthly eyes will soon fade away. The things of this world will be eaten by insects, rust or just fall apart. But, those things that are “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable” will never fade away or turn into dust. Those things remain for all eternity and are the things that we need to fix our spiritual eyesight on. It is our faith that will keep us on course to the promised land.

Let us once again return to chapter 5 of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Paul writes, “For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

If we follow our faith and do not allow our earthly eyes to deceive us, we can confidently fulfill our goal of pleasing our Heavenly Father. It is that goal that needs to remain the desire of our hearts. We should not look to those things that are vile and vulgar. When we stand before the Lord on Judgement Day, we will “receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

So, live by believing and not by seeing. Our eyes can be easily deceived and we can be led away from Him and back into the sins of this world. If we follow our faith and live by believing, we will, one day, find ourselves at home with our Heavenly Father and Jesus and all the saints and those who have lived their lives by faith rather than earthly sight. It is at that moment that we can truly and confidently say that we can stand firm in His grace.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Daily Word of God - Romans 8:1-4

Romans 8:1-4 New International Version (NIV)

Life Through the Spirit

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 8:2 The Greek is singular; some manuscripts me
  2. Romans 8:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verses 4-13.
  3. Romans 8:3 Or flesh, for sin

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 29:22-24

Isaiah 29:22-24 New International Version (NIV)

22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob:
“No longer will Jacob be ashamed;
    no longer will their faces grow pale.
23 When they see among them their children,
    the work of my hands,
they will keep my name holy;
    they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
    those who complain will accept instruction.”

Daily Word of God - Psalm 51:7-11

Psalm 51:7-11 New International Version (NIV)

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Daily Word of God - Hebrews 10:23-25

Hebrews 10:23-25 New International Version (NIV)

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 26:1-8

Psalm 26:1-8 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 26

Of David.

Vindicate me, Lord,
    for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
    and have not faltered.
Test me, Lord, and try me,
    examine my heart and my mind;
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
    and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
I do not sit with the deceitful,
    nor do I associate with hypocrites.
I abhor the assembly of evildoers
    and refuse to sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence,
    and go about your altar, Lord,
proclaiming aloud your praise
    and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house where you live,

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 13:6

Proverbs 13:6 New International Version (NIV)

Righteousness guards the person of integrity,
    but wickedness overthrows the sinner.

Daily Word of God - Job 2:3-4

Job 2:3-4 New International Version (NIV)

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Daily Word of God - Titus 1:7-9

Titus 1:7-9 New International Version (NIV)

Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Mid-Week Message - I Choose His

"But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from all sin."  1 John 1:7 (NLT)

One evening when my daughter was about four years old, I was preparing dinner while waiting for my husband to arrive home from work.  She was at the dining room table coloring in her coloring book with markers.  Or at least, I thought that was what she was doing.  When my husband walked in the door she said to him, "Look, Daddy! I changed colors!"  I spun around to find that my sweet little darling had colored her face, arms and hands orange.  Thankfully, the markers were washable.  After a quick bath, we sat down and had our dinner.  

I find great humor in telling that story.  However, it reminds me that even as adults we can find ourselves taking on the hue of the world.  It is so easy to drift into situations and lifestyles that can change our appearance before others and our Lord.  It is vital that we use godly wisdom as our guide as we make everyday decisions.  

1 Thessalonians 5:22 admonishes us to, "Stay away from every kind of evil."  The more we involve ourselves with words or activities that we know are not pleasing to the Lord, the more used to them we become and we start to think of them as acceptable.  

Not long ago in the history of this nation, men were careful of what they said around women.  It was considered disrespectful to use foul language in the presence of ladies.  Somewhere along the line, that ceased.  Now that language is considered "normal" and is used by men and women and even some of our children.  It is prevalent in movies and is heard more and more in television shows.  We have been desensitized by hearing it so much.  

The same can be said about sexual depictions and innuendo that are also rampant in our media and literature.  We don't even seem to blink our eyes anymore when we hear or see off-color representations of what God created to be holy.  

Christians are to be reflections of our Savior, Jesus.  For this to happen, we need to align ourselves with Him, rather than the world.  I have mentioned only two ways that the world influences our behavior.  However, the list is endless.  The only way to avoid mirroring the evil of the world rather than the holiness of Jesus, is to spend plenty of quality time in the scriptures observing His actions and reactions and then deciding to turn our backs on situations that lead us away from what we know would be unacceptable to Him.  

When I am called home to Heaven, my hope is that whatever memories of me remain point to Him.  The Christian music group named Casting Crowns has a song titled "Only Jesus".  One of the lines in the song says, "I don't care if they remember me, only Jesus."  We were created to bring glory to the Creator.  Out of His great love He sent His only Son to die on the cross to cleanse us from our sins.  It is my desire, and I hope yours as well, to glorify and honor Him by keeping myself clean in a world of muck and mire.  He gave us free wills.  We have the privilege of choosing which path we wish to take.  I choose His.  God bless.  

Daily Word of God - Romans 6:15-18

Romans 6:15-18 New International Version (NIV)

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Daily Word of God - 2 Timothy 1:13-14

2 Timothy 1:13-14 New International Version (NIV)

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 17:22

Proverbs 17:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.