Archive for July 2010

Lord, I want to be Just Like You

July 30, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Peter 1

OBSERVATION

2 Peter 1:5-9 ~
Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins.

APPLICATION

In the earlier part of this chapter Peter addresses the blessings that are ours as children of the King. Now he is telling us to not settle for this, but proactively seek ways to enhance our Faith, Goodness, Knowledge, Self-Control, Patience, Kindness and Love. In fact he goes on to say that if these things are evident in our lives, and that we are growing in the wisdom and nature of our Lord, then we will be useful and productive for our Lord. A Christian without these things cannot see the truths of God clearly, and could easily forget the miracle of new birth in Jesus. Like a marriage, the day we walk the isle is not the end of the story, it is the beginning of a new wonderful life. In Christianity, it is the beginning of a lifetime learning of the character of God and striving to be more like Him every day. The characteristics mentioned are those that represent God, and He would have us work towards these being very prominent in our lives so that others will see Jesus in us and through our actions.

PRAYER

I just thank You for Your Word today. It is so powerful, timely and applicable to us regardless of the age in which we live. I pray that I may strive to grow in each of these areas so that I may become more in line with Your character every day. I pray that any success in these areas will serve to lift up Your name and be a witness of the true and living God. “

We Have Everything We Need!

July 29, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: 2 Peter 1

OBSERVATION

2 Peter 1:3-4 ~ We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.

APPLICATION

Enough with the excuses, we have everything that we need to live our lives in a way that pleases God. I believe that this verse refers to the Holy Spirit that dwells within us from the time that we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives. In fact God also made many promises in His Word as well, and because of the power of the Holy Spirit and all these promises that He has given to us, our nature becomes more like Christ. As we become more like Christ we allow the power of His Holy Spirit to help us escape the evil desires and corruption of this evil world. This is very powerful, because just as I would stop and fill the gas tank in my automobile because I know that it is needed to complete my journey, I have also been reminded here that there is no excuse for giving in to the evil desires of this world, because I have this awesome power within me that helps me to escape this, in fact, I have everything I need to live a life that pleases God.

PRAYER

  1. Thank You Father for providing all that I need to live my life in a manner that pleases You. Please help me to tap into that power daily. Help me to listen to Your voice as You direct my paths and share Your goodness with me. Please help me to be consistent in Your Word so that I may learn, and be reminded of all the promises that You have made to those that know You. As a result of all this, I pray that Your nature will be very evident in my walk and in my talk – in the way that I live. Praise God for the reminder that “

Grateful and Happy in All Things!

July 28, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Psalm 92

OBSERVATION

Psalm 92:1-4 ~ It is wonderful to be grateful and to sing your praises, LORD Most High! It is wonderful each morning to tell about your love and at night to announce how faithful you are. I enjoy praising your name to the music of harps, because everything you do makes me happy, and I sing joyful songs.

APPLICATION

Those of us that have a friend that we can trust and who watches out for us as best they can, we will always be ready to praise them and lift them up before a brother or sister. Let us therefore do as much for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave it all that we might have eternal life. He guides and protects us each and every day. He blesses us with jobs so that we may support our families. He blesses us with the good health to enjoy each and every day that He also provides for us. Wow, our God is awesome and so worthy of our praise! Let’s follow the way of David and praise our Savior each morning and each evening. Let’s learn to rejoice through the music that we have been blessed with by so many Christian artists. Let’s sing songs on our own as we worship our Lord and sing praises to Him! Here are two examples, sing with them as You worship God for a moment: ‘

Walk in the Light (Jesus)

July 27, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Isaiah 50

OBSERVATION

Isaiah 50:10-12 ~ Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? Let those who walk in darkness and have no light trust the name of the Lord and depend upon their God. But all of you light fires and arm yourselves with flaming torches. So walk in your own light and among the torches you have lit. This is what you will receive from me: You will be tormented.

APPLICATION

This passage is very clear about what will happen to those of us that walk, or are guided by our own understanding, or guided by our own principles, or are short sighted enough to walk in only the knowledge of what we know. We are blessed to have an all knowing, all powerful and almighty God that love us so much that He provided a means for us to get into heaven, by sacrificing His one and only Son. He is anxiously awaiting our dependence on Him. He wants to lead us down a path to righteousness, one that is right with, or lines up with the character and teachings of God. When we try to do things on our own, we base our decisions on the limited knowledge that we have about the present, and the total lack of knowledge about what we know of the future. Why would we do this to ourselves? Let’s tap into the source of power for all Christians, let’s place our trust in Jesus, let’s seek His face in prayer daily so that He could properly guide us towards a right path. Let’s dig into the Word of God daily so that He may reveal His will and way for us to follow. Jesus is my guide, my friend, my everlasting and all loving Father. I know that I can fully trust Him with the life that He has blessed me with. ‘What A Mighty God We Serve‘ ‘Lead Me, Guide Me Oh Lord‘ be my strength and guide each and every day!

PRAYER

  1. Father it is clear from Your Word that following my own path, my own direction, or any direction that is not directed by You will lead to eternal damnation. My decision to live for You and serve You all of my life requires me to stay in close communion with You, and seek Your face daily through Your Word. Thank you for guiding me today by reminding me of the importance of allowing You to direct my path. Please help me to always be sensitive to Your voice and Your leading so that I may be more like You each day. Thank You for being such an awesome God to me! ‘I Love You Lord, and I lift my Voice‘ to worship You, Oh my soul rejoice!

Religion Described

July 26, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: James 1

OBSERVATION

James 1:26-27 ~ If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

APPLICATION

We often think of religion as we know it in the form of various churches and/or denominations that have similar interpretations of the Word of God, and therefore they worship together. When we become a part of that group, we often feel like we may have religion and that we are a part of a religious group. I don’t know that we will find this anywhere in God’s Word. Instead it is clear from these verses what religion truly is:

  1. When we, as God’s people, practice keeping a tight rein on our tongues. – I don’t believe that this means that we must never say a word, but rather we should never say an evil word about our brother or sister that God is undoubtedly working on, just as hard as He is doing with us. Let our tongues or mouths or words be used to lift up the name of Jesus, and to lift up His children that are so precious to Him that He sacrificed His Son for.
  2. Look after orphans and widows – While I don’t have any good examples of orphans that are close enough to use as an example, I do have a very close situation in widows. My dad passed away about 6 years ago and this has placed a tremendous strain on my mom. She is lonely, in spite of having children that she could come and live with. I am especially happy when I call her and find that there are Christians visiting with her. She and my dad always discussed things that needed attention, so now she has no one there to fill that role so it becomes very overwhelming for her to make decisions. These are just two examples of what a widow that we may know may go through. I believe we can understand why it is so important that we look after the orphans and widows., for they are needy people that we can show mercy to and fulfill this characteristic that God used James to speak with us about.
  3. Keep ourselves holy, and not polluted by the world – we hear so much about what pollutes this earth and its inhabitants. Things of this world that pollute us as Christians are: television, gossip, non-Christians (for their beliefs and life direction is not fed or led by the same biblical beliefs as us), movies, entertainment in general. These are things that pollute and distract us from our goal – to be more like Christ.

PRAYER

  1. Father, I fall short of Your ideals and too often into the worthless religious concepts warned about here in these verses. I know that time is very short before You come to earth to take your bride, the church, away to be with You in glory. Please help me to live in light of that urgency each and every day. Please help me to look for ways to minister to the orphans and widows. Please help us to identify and keep them in the forefront of our ministry and keep them under close watch. I also beg You Jesus to help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and that old rugged cross. Help me to understand Your ways and the paths on which You would have me trod. With less time to be influenced by this old world and the evil things brought on by Satan, may I always have a closer walk with You and exemplify You and Your character before a lost and polluted world.

Forgotten What You Look Like?

July 24, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: James 1

OBSERVATION

James 1:22-25 ~ Obey God’s message! Don’t fool yourselves by just listening to it. If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don’t just hear and forget.

APPLICATION

It may not seem important to repeat, but I must! If we look in the mirror, take an honest look at ourselves, then we turn around and walk out of the door still remembering who we are, then why would we be foolish enough to listen to the voice of God through His holy Word and not obey it? God, our Creator, says in this passage that we are only fooling ourselves. Let me be bold enough to say that we have hardened ourselves to the wonderful grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Another passage of scripture says that we have seared our consciences as with a hot iron (

Anger will stop God’s planned Good Work through Us.

July 23, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: James 1

OBSERVATION

James 1:19-20 ~ My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done.

APPLICATION

I heard something recently that I believe ties closely with these verses, that if people would humble themselves and forgive others, doctors’ offices would be a lot emptier. In other words, we bring so much ill health on ourselves because we are so determined to have our own way. In these verses God tells us through James that if we are angry, and I attribute a lot of our anger to not getting our own way, then we cannot do any of the good things that God wants done through us. In verse 19 we are told that we should be quick to listen, and then think carefully about what was said, instead of being so quick to lash back in anger. Remember, we have two ears and one mouth – listen twice as much as we speak! Be patient with that brother or sister, because they may be just as imperfect as we are! The mind sobering thought that I received from this is that God really won’t use us when we are in a state of anger, and I wouldn’t want anything to stop the blessing that God would have in mind to be done through me.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your Word and the nuggets packed into each verse that are intended to uplift us and challenge us to a closer relationship with You. I acknowledge before You today that although made perfect by You, I often stumble and create an imperfectness in my walk, my talk and my attitude. I need You to touch my life again today and renew a right spirit within me so that I may walk more in line with Your design for my life. Please help me to stay so in tuned with Your Holy Spirit, that others will see very little difference between my mannerisms and spirit than what they would expect from You. Please help me to never be a stumbling block to anyone that You are speaking to or working on. Thank You for allowing me to be a child of the King and a child destined for Heaven with You, please help me to live in line with my royal assignment.

Help to prevent, or when Tempted

July 22, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: James 1

OBSERVATION

James 1:12-15 ~ God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him. Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.

APPLICATION

It is so easy to give up, especially when you feel like God is not even there for you. However, these verses remind me that there are times when our faith is tested, and God is patiently watching us to see the level of spiritual maturity that we have attained, and whether we would withstand the pressures of the testing. Is God there to help us? I believe that God is always there to help us, but think about it, even for us to ask for help from God requires a lot of faith on our behalf. If our faith is already being tested, will we truly have faith to ask God for help? There are several nuggets in these verses that could serve to help us in times of weakness and despair in our faith:

  1. God will bless us, if we stay strong and keep the faith and not give up;
  2. He will reward us with glorious life, or a crown of life, or life everlasting;
  3. God cannot be tempted by evil, and He doesn’t use evil to tempt His children, so let’s be careful to not blame God when we are tempted;
  4. Evil comes from the evil one, so let us stay far away from him. Let’s quote scripture to him and stay so strong in the Lord that Satan will have no power over us;
  5. Our own sinful desires cause us to be tempted and ultimately sin. Remember from other scriptures that sin separates us from God. It is no wonder that we feel like He is not there to help us when we are tempted! Stay close to God and He will stay close to us. Let nothing come between us and our Savior.

Let us remember that: Whatever we feed, will lead.

PRAYER

Father, it is so awful to feel like we have separated ourselves from You. Please give us grace daily to stay close to You, and in turn, far away from sin, through prayer; Bible study; the friends that we keep, the TV shows that we watch; the company that we keep and the places that we go. Most of all Jesus, may we use this grace that You give us to be a blessing to others. Thank You for the patience that You have with us! Thank You for the gift of eternal life promised to us that have accepted You as Lord and Savior of our lives! Thank You for being God, and the freedom that I have to come before You and petition Your help so many times when things are just impossible in my own power! You are an awesome God, and I value the relationship that I have in You! Thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom as Your child!

Be Glad – through good or bad times!

July 21, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: James 1

OBSERVATION

James 1:2-4 ~ My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.

APPLICATION

It is so easy to be on cloud 9 when everything is going well for us and we are being blessed beyond measure. However these verses remind us that we should rejoice, or be glad in ALL things, yes even if we are encountering trouble. It is during these tough times that our faith is being tested, and that God is maturing us so that we not be lacking in anything. In other words, so that we may become strong enough to handle anything that may come our way. One might say that it is really tough to stay on top of the world when things are crashing around us, but if we are obedient to God and His Word in these verses, we will be reminded that God is always in control and that we will be especially sensitive to His voice and His miracles while we are down and out. Let’s hold firm to His hand through the good and bad times. Sing that old hymn, ‘

God will keep us Safe and Make us Strong!

July 20, 2010

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Isaiah 29; Isaiah 30; Isaiah 31; James 1

OBSERVATION

Isaiah 30:15 ~ The holy LORD God of Israel had told all of you, “I will keep you safe if you turn back to me and calm down. I will make you strong if you quietly trust me.”

APPLICATION

It seems like every time you turn around there was some battle going on, and while the stories of Israel and her surrounding nations often related to physical battles, today we can acknowledge that we have military wars going on also. However, I am equally concerned about the spiritual warfare going on among Christians and churches in which we serve, or at least attend. There are such areas of need in our communities and among our friends, yes in our own lives, but I feel like we are living in times similar to the times of Lot where God, and our people are looking for one holy people, or church, where they could use their newfound faith to serve and/or worship alongside. I heard of a new Christian yesterday and I started to think hard about a good church to recommend to them where they might connect with other Christians and grow in their spiritual walk and in turn, minister to others. Unfortunately I couldn’t think of one that I wouldn’t feel embarrassed about recommending, especially knowing about the issues that exist in one form or another at that church. What a pity! Churches have become so diluted and ineffective because God’s people have turned away from Him and stuck to their own, selfish and personal desires, that we are not good for any Godly purpose. In this verse I feel like God is still saying that if we (His people) will turn back to Him and quietly trust Him with all our being, He will keep us safe from the ills of this old world, and He will make us strong in our Godly desires to win the lost and grow the Christians. Bottom line is that if God’s people who are called by His name, will humble ourselves and pray, and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from Heaven and heal our land, our churches and our families. We should be on a mission to grow Christians, not tear them down; win the lost, not cause them to stay far away from the hypocritical attitudes and actions that they see in God’s people.

PRAYER

Lord, please keep us safe and strong. Make us bold to take a firm stand for You, one that will reflect Your love, mercy and grace towards all men. May we be so full of You and all that You represent to fallen man, that the unsaved will feel welcomed, and that they would not hesitate to make a decision to accept You as Lord and Savior of their lives, and to follow through by plugging in to Your work of the ongoing ministry of Your church.