Archive for August, 2007

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

COMMENT: I think our Lead Scripture holds the record for being the longest we have used since we began these daily messages. It is my belief that the Lord went into such detail because of the enormous importance of what we allow our minds to concentrate on. As you know, the mind is a spiritual battlefield. We can think of it as fertile ground and the thoughts that come to us as seeds. We don’t have to receive bad seeds by doing what the Word instructs us to do:”. . .bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor.10:5b) It is vitally important to know God’s Word so that you know what thoughts to accept and which you should reject. A recent revelation really drove this point home to me with great clarity. A female church member asked a friend of mine whether it was a sin to be intimate with a man before marriage. I can understand the question because of the popularity of “living together” in today’s society. It is possible that this young lady was aware of the prohibition, but chose to ignore it. But let’s “cut her some slack” and say that she was totally ignorant. If she had been in the Word, the thought of fornication would have been rejected outright rather than contemplated. Left unopposed, that thought would germinate and grow into a strong desire. The devil will make sure that the opportunity to put that desire into action would be readily available.

SCRIPTURE STUDY: 1 Cor. 6:13-20

WISE SAYING: DON’T PUT A QUESTION MARK WHERE GOD HAS PUT A PERIOD.

“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” (2 John 3)

COMMENT: It is so good to know that we received mercy, grace and peace when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. They are a part of that free gift we have been talking about. I think it might be advantageous for us to make the distinction between biblical mercy and grace. I say this because, the other day, I hear a radio preacher get them mixed up. I know that the vast majority of you readers know the difference, but just bear with me, there may be some who don’t. I perceive grace as being “unmerited favor”. Our salvation is an excellent example; we have done nothing to deserve it. On the other hand, mercy is when punishment is mitigated, when we don’t receive our “just desserts” for the wrong we have done. Sin always has a consequence but mercy makes it less harsh. For instance, King David repented after committing adultery and ordering a “hit” on Bathsheba’s husband. However, the son born from that sinful union died. But later God blessed David and his wife with a very wise, God-fearing son named Solomon who later succeeded his dad as king.

SCRIPTURE STUDY: 2 Samuel 12:7-15

WISE SAYING: NEVER GIVE THE DEVIL A RIDE, HE WILL ALWAYS WANT TO DRIVE.

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15,16)

COMMENT:Did any of you deliver newspapers as a youngster? Well, I had that experience in Detroit, Michigan in the 1950’s. I guess the most difficult part of the job was trying to collect from some customers who never seemed to be home when I came by. Recently I read a statistic about the newspaper business that startled me. Paperboys are old news, just like the milkman and the iceman; adults in cars deliver about 81% of the newspapers in America. Now we Christians are not in the newspaper business, we’re in the Good News business. We are not to allow just a select few (preachers) to spread the Gospel. Jesus has appointed all of us to tell the world that salvation is only in Jesus Christ.

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Isaiah 52:7, Matthew 28:19, 20 and Romans 1:16

WISE SAYING: ONLY ONE LIFE AND SOON IT’S PAST. ONLY WHAT’S DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST.

 

“If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

 

COMMENT: “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”  We all recognize that as the statement  which Peter made to Jesus in John 13:37.  It wasn’t too long after that when that same Peter denied he even knew the Savior three times.  However, later in the Gospel of John, Jesus restored Peter and told him to “follow Me”.(.John 21:19). I firmly believe that Jesus would have forgiven Judas for his betrayal if he had asked for forgiveness rather than committing suicide. There may be someone reading this message who has fallen away from the Lord into iniquities and believes that there is no turning back. Well, that is just a lie from the pit of Hell. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) He is a liar from the beginning.( John 8:44) Our two previous examples demonstrate the patience and lovingkindness of our Savior.

 

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Psalm 103:12, Jeremiah 33:8 and Colossians 2:13

 

WISE SONG LYRICS: THE STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES, HIS MERCIES NEVER WILL COME TO AN END. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING, NEW EVERY MORNING. GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS O LORD. GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS! 

 

WISE SAYING: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ON YOUR “A GAME” EVERY DAY FOR GOD TO LOVE YOU!

“If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” (1 John 2:29)

 

COMMENT: At 70 years of age I have decided to take piano lessons. . .  .again. As a youngster, I started and stopped numerous times; I just was not diligent. My plan is to take out that piano book and practice every day. I may not become another Beethoven, but I will be the best I can be with the talent God has given me.(Sounds like a WISE SAYING, right?)  In a similar fashion, we Christians should practice righteousness daily. It is necessary that we consistently get into God’s Word, pray and meditation on His word. Fortified with the aforementioned, we are ready to “practice righteousness”. As I see it,  that concept starts with having righteous thoughts which will lead to righteous emotions and culminate in righteous behavior. Just like I may never become another Beethoven by diligently practicing piano, you may never become another Apostle Paul, but PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Now before you send me an e-mail refuting that statement, you should know that I use the word “perfect” the way James does in James 1:4, “of full age, mature”. The years you spend being a Christian don’t make you mature unless you are following our Lead Scripture.  

 

SCRIPTURE STUDY:1 John 3:10-15

 

WISE SAYING: WITH GOD’S WORD YOUR MIND’S RENEWED. WITH THE WORLD’S WORD IT IS SUBDUED. (gene mcguire)

* Mind renewal is stitchless surgery.

Editors Note:  Why?  Because your giving will move you over into the Blessing realm.  

Remember; he’s the thief who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy and he wants you working for him.  If he had the   nerve to approach Jesus in the wilderness, he’ll approach you.  Be on guard.

 

NOW HEAR THIS:
“Give and it will be given to you:good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) 

 

COMMENT: A couple of months ago I experienced a vivid illustration of our Lead Scripture. I was getting stamps at the Post Office when a young man, a lately arrival from Africa, approached me. He was in desperate need of a ride to a food store. As I drove him to his destination, he told me that he had only been in America for a few months, but he did have a job. He then asked me a question that ‘threw me for a loop”. He inquired as to whether I had an extra television set because he had no way of communicating with the outside world in his rented room. Like many Americans,  I had three sets, one in my bedroom and two 13 inch ones downstairs. I stopped by my house, pick up the kitchen set and took the gentleman home. I said to myself: “Well, it won’t be too hard of a task to transfer the downstairs TV back and forth between the den and kitchen when needed. It wasn’t more than three weeks later when, on one Sunday morning, John Forest, a member of my church, told me that he had a 21 inch television in his car and did I want it. (Previously John had given me other items and I distributed them to some needy persons. This time the “needy” was me!) After church I found that 21 inch television set sitting next to my car. It is now sitting in my kitchen. 

 

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Proverbs 22:9, Matthew 5:42 and 2 Cor. 9:7

 

WISE SAYING: YOU CAN’T OUTGIVE GOD!

 

 ADDENDUM: I just could not resist sharing The Amplified Bible’s version of 2 Cor. 9:7. “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

COMMENT: I doubt if there is anyone here on earth who doesn’t want peace in his or her life and they seek it in many different ways. Some people listen to soothing music or take long walks. Others have destructive behaviors such as smoking, abusing drugs or alcohol. Personally, I was taught Transcendental Meditation in my middle twenties.  I quit that practice when I became a Christian, realizing that I had been calling upon a pagan god. (I should have know that because I was asked to bring a fruit offering before I received my “mantra”.) I’m sure you are aware that there is only one way to have genuine tranquility in life. Let’s start at the beginning. Many would be shocked to hear that unbelievers are enemies of God (Romans 5:10).  Jesus said it succinctly in Matthew 12:30: “He who is not with Me is against Me.” But take heart, God loves His all His creations, even His enemies. In Luke 6:27 we are admonished to love our enemies; our Father wouldn’t tell us to do something that He isn’t already doing. You might say that we formulate a “peace pact” with The Almighty when we receive His Son as our Lord and Savior.( Our Lead Scripture) This having been accomplished, Jesus can then say to us: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27)

SCRIPTURE STUDY: Psalm 29:11, Phil. 4:6,7

 

WISE SAYING: NO JESUS NO PEACE. KNOW JESUS KNOW PEACE.