THIS PAST WEEK, A FRIEND CASHED A CHECK AT WAL-MART, WENT TO HER NEXT STOP TO PAY A BILL, AND WAS CAUGHT WITH A COUNTERFEIT $20 BILL. SHE HAS BEEN INTERVIEWED BY THE FBI. SHE'S OK, BUT PROBABLE WILL NOT GET HER $20 BILL BACK. OUR COUNTRY IS FULL OF COUNTERFEIT MONEY AS WELL AS COUNTERFEIT GODS. THE MOST POPLAR LADY ON TV, THE ONE THAT IS SO GENEROUS, IS LEADING MILLIONS ASTRAY TO A COUNTERFEIT BELIEF IN A COUNTERFEIT GOD. WHY? COULD IT BE BECAUSE THE COUNTRY, FOR THE MOST PART, IS BIBLICALLY ILLITERATE. WE MAY NOT HAVE READY ACCESS TO MATERIALS THAT WOULD TEACH US TO IDENTIFY COUNTERFEIT MONEY, BUT DON'T WE ALL HAVE A BIBLE OR ACCESS TO ONE, ACCESS TO SUNDAY SCHOOL, OR SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDIES?
THERE IS THE DIVIDING LINE THAT SEPARATES CHRISTIANITY FROM ALL OCCULTISM AND FROM EVERY KIND OF ORIENTAL CULT ANCIENT OR MODERN. THESE ALL ARE BUILT AROUND THE SAME IDEAS, VARYING ONLY IN MINOR DETAILS, EACH WITH ITS OWN PECULIAR SET OF PHRASES. SATAN WOULD NEVER EXPOSE HIMSELF AND SAY, "I HAVE THE POWER FOR YOU, I'M YOUR ANSWER." INSTEAD HE WANTS TO DECEIVE THOSE INTO BELIEVING THEY ALREADY HAVE THE POWER THEY NEED. BECAUSE THE CULTS ADVISE IS, "GET IN TUNE WITH THE INFINITE," OR "WAKE THE GIANT WITHIN YOU," OR, "TUNE IN TO YOUR HIDDEN POTENTIALITIES," OR "LEARN TO THINK CREATIVELY." ALL THIS MAY HAVE SOME FLEETING VALUE AS A PSYCHOLOGICAL SHOT IN THE ARM, BUT ITS RESULTS ARE NOT PERMANENT BECAUSE AT ITS BEST IT BUILDS ITS HOPES UPON THE FALLEN NATURE OF MAN AND KNOWS NO INVASION FROM ABOVE. AND WHATEVER MAY BE SAID IN ITS FAVOR, IT MOST CERTAINLY IS NOT CHRISTIANITY.
CHRISTIANITY TAKES FOR GRANTED THE ABSENCE OF ANY SELF-HELP AND OFFERS A POWER THAT IS NOTHING LESS THAN THE POWER OF GOD. AS MAN YIELDS IN HIS HELPLESS STATE, GOD HELPS. IT COMES GENTLY TO THE YIELDED HEART, BUT IT COMES WITH POWER. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO BE SAVED, AND THAT IS BY HIS GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST. AND ONLY ONE WAY TO LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, AND THAT IS THROUGH THE POWER OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT.
"BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND IN HIS MIGHTY POWER." EPHESIANS 6:10 LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU TODAY, BE BLESSED AND ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
"BUT I HAVE PRAYED FOR THEE, THAT THY FAITH FAIL NOT: AND WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED, STRENGTHEN THY BRETHREN." LUKE 22:32
EVEN THOUGH WE HATE TO ADMIT IT SOONER OR LATER, BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN, ALL OF US WILL LEAVE OUR FOOTPRINTS THROUGH THE VALLEY OF FAILURE. THE QUESTION IS, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO RESPOND? WHEN PETER FAILED CHRIST, THE SCRIPTURES TELL US, THAT WHILE STANDING BY THE FIRE, ACROSS THAT OUTER COURT YARD, CHRIST MADE EYE CONTACT WITH PETER. AFTER JESUS' RESURRECTION, AND JESUS CAME LOOKING FOR PETER, THEY MADE EYE CONTACT AGAIN ON THAT SEA SHORE. HOW WILL YOU RESPOND TO THAT CONTACT WITH THOSE PRECIOUS, FORGIVING EYES. SOME, BECAUSE OF ENORMOUS PRIDE OR ENORMOUS SHAME, WOULD GIVE UP A WONDERFUL LIFE OF SERVING GOD, FOR A DEFEATED EXISTENCE. NEVER LET THAT BE HOW YOUR STORY ENDS. BECAUSE FAILURE NEED NOT BE AN END. IT'S A CHANCE FOR A NEW BEGINNING LIVING IN CHRIST'S STRENGTH.
IF WE ARE WILLING, GOD CAN USE FAILURE TO DO SPIRITUAL HOUSECLEANING. PETER LAID DOWN HIS PRIDE AND INSTEAD PUT ON THE HOLY SPIRIT'S COURAGE. HE RISKED HUMILIATION, PERSECUTION, AND DEATH TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL. I KNOW WE ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO HAVE FAVORITES, BUT I LOVE PETER.
IF YOU ARE AT THE BOTTOM, LOOK TO PETER, AND SEE WHAT CHRIST IS ABLE TO DO FOR YOU.
BE BLESSED TODAY AND DO NOT EVER FORGET THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Have we not all lived long enough to know that “all kinds of trouble” comes to every life?
Sooner or later its each person’s turn to face disappointment and be let down by people and circumstances. At times the problems are even brought on by our own humanity. In times of trouble it becomes easier to see what and who matters the most to us. I’m thankful today for family of both the “blood line” and the "spiritual line” variety. There’s even power in positive relationships we may overlook; power that prepared us ahead of time to face difficulties.
But even when we’re at the end of ourselves, we can draw strength from those dear ones who stand with us. I’m reminded today that, first, I need to appreciate precious friends and family and not take them for granted even though they love me enough that I could probably get away with it. Also, I remember that I’m privileged to be such a friend to some. It’s an honor, but it’s also a responsibility that I must take seriously no matter what the “weather.”
There is no Friend like Jesus, but this scripture teaches us, earthly friends and family can be a great help to us, and us to them.
May the Lord richly bless you and your family today, and never forget that you are loved!!!
THE MEMORY CAPACITY OF AN ORDINARY HUMAN MIND IS ASTONISHING. YOU MAY NOT CONSIDER YOURSELF PARTICULARLY GOOD AT REMEMBERING TECHNICAL DATA, BUT THINK ABOUT HOW MANY FACES YOU CAN RECOGNIZE OR HOW MANY NAMES YOU CAN RECALL. ONE OF MY FAVORITE SINGERS/SONG WRITERS WAS ABLE TO RECALL LYRICS TO OVER 2,000 SONGS. CONSIDER ALSO HOW YOU ARE ABLE TO REMEMBER SOME PAST INCIDENT OR HOW MANY WORDS YOU CAN SPELL AND DEFINE. SOMEONE HAS ESTIMATED THAT IN A LIFETIME, A BRAIN CAN STORE ONE MILLION BILLION "BITS" OF INFORMATION. YET HOW EASY IT IS TO FORGET THE MARVELOUS THINGS THAT GOD DOES FOR US. WE CAN BE BLESSED BY A GREAT SERMON FROM GOD'S WORD ON SUNDAY MORNING, AND ON MONDAY MORNING NOT BE ABLE TO TELL A CO-WORKER WHAT THE MESSAGE WAS ABOUT.
GOD TOLD JOSHUA TO HAVE TWELVE MEN, ONE FROM EACH TRIBE, TAKE A STONE FROM THE RIVER BED. THEY WERE TO BUILD A MONUMENT TO REMEMBER THAT THE ISRAELITES JUST PASSED THROUGH THE JORDAN ON DRY GROUND. IT WAS NOT JUST FOR THAT GENERATION, BUT IT WAS TO BE A FAMILY MEMORY. IT WAS TO HELP THEM, THEIR KIDS, AND THEIR GRANDKIDS TO NEVER FORGET THAT GREAT ACT OF GOD'S LOVE AND PROVISION.
JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES, CONCERNING THE BREAD AND CUP AT THE LAST SUPPER: "....DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME." 1 CORINTHIANS 11:27 IF MAN'S BRAIN HAS THE CAPACITY TO REMEMBER SUCH AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF DATA, WHY WOULD JESUS HAVE TO TELL THEM TO NOT FORGET HIM. THINK ABOUT THE SADNESS OF THAT LITTLE STATEMENT: "PLEASE DON'T FORGET ME." THE FACT IS HE KNOWS HOW QUICKLY AND EASILY MAN DOES FORGET THE MARVELOUS THINGS GOD HAS DONE FOR HIM.
BUT LET US, YOU AND I, NEVER FORGET WHAT HE DID FOR US ON THAT OLD RUGGED CROSS, AND NEVER LET YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS FORGET.
WE US DIFFERENT DEVISES TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR PROPERTY. WE HAVE LOCKS AND ALARMS SYSTEMS ON OUR HOMES AND CARS AND BUSINESSES. IT HELPS US FEEL SECURE. WHEN JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES HE WAS GOING AWAY, THEY MOST HAVE FELT VERY INSECURE. BUT HIS PRAYER GAVE THEM AND US A GREAT PROMISE WE CAN REST IN.
I AM NO LONGER IN THE WORLD, AND YET THEY THEMSELVES ARE IN THE WORLD, AND I COME TO YOU. HOLY FATHER, KEEP THEM IN YOUR NAME, THE NAME WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE EVEN AS WE ARE. WHILE I WAS WITH THEM, I WAS KEEPING THEM IN YOUR NAME WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME; AND I GUARDED THEM.............."
DO YOU FEEL INSECURE TODAY? IF YOU BELONG TO CHRIST, THE HOLY FATHER IS GUARDING YOU. BE BLESSED IN THAT PROMISE TODAY, AND NEVER FORGET THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
GREETINGS IN HIS NAME,
II PETER 3:9 "...., BUT IS LONGSUFFERING TO US-WARD, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE."
HAVE WE NOT ALL LOST SOMETHING AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER THAT WAS VERY VALUABLE TO US? SOMETHING THAT WE SEARCHED FOR; AND JUST ACHED AND YEARNED TO RECOVER. MAYBE YOU ARE THINKING OF YOUR FAVORITE POCKET KNIFE, OR EVEN YOUR WALLET, OR A PIECE OF JEWELRY THAT WAS A FAMILY HEIRLOOM. ONE SOUL IS MORE PRECIOUS TO JESUS THAN ALL THESE THINGS TO US.
IN LUKE 15, WE HAVE THE PARABLES OF THE THREE THINGS THAT WERE LOST. THE SHEEP, THE COIN, AND THE PRODIGAL SON. WHAT IF TODAY YOU ARE THE LOST SHEEP. AT ONE TIME YOU WERE PART OF THE FLOCK, YOU BELONGED WITH THE GROUP, BUT WANDERED OFF ON YOUR OWN, DRIFTED AWAY FROM THE SHEPHERD. LIKE DEMAS, YOU HAVE TURNED BACK TO THE WORLD, AND NOW ARE LOST!
HOWEVER, JUST AS THE LORD JESUS DEALT WITH YOU AT FIRST AND DREW YOU TO HIMSELF, HE IS CALLING YOU NOW TO COME BACK. IT'S NOT HIS WILL THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL COME TO REPENTANCE.
"HOW THINK YE? IF A MAN HAVE AN HUNDRED SHEEP,
AND ONE OF THEM BE GONE ASTRAY,
DOTH HE NOT LEAVE THE NINETY AND NINE,
AND GOETH INTO THE MOUNTAINS,
AND SEEKETH THAT WHICH IS GONE ASTRAY?
AND IF SO BE THAT HE FIND IT, VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU,
HE REJOICTH MORE OF THAT SHEEP,
THAN OF THE NINETY AND NINE WHICH WENT NOT ASTRAY.
EVEN SO IT IS NOT THE WILL OF YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN,
THAT ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES SHOULD PERISH."
MAY THE GOOD SHEPHERD BLESS YOU AND YOURS TODAY, AND REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord" Phi. 3:8
This is a happy time of the year, for it is the time to reap a harvest from the labor. Throughout Southern Indiana including over my back fence, farmers are picking beans and corn. Some are still harvesting from their vegetable gardens, but for all of this to happen, months ago the seed had to die.
Now this is its solemn word to me. You must die in order to live. You must refuse to consult your own case and well-being. You must be crucified, not only in desires and habits which are sinful, but in many more which appear innocent and right.
My heart fails me as I listen. But, when Jesus asks it, let me tell myself that it is my high dignity to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings; and thus I am in the best of company. Also, I think of those that did turn back from following Him at this point. But like Peter I then must ask, where else could I go. So I tell myself again that it is all meant to make me a vessel meet for His use. His own Calvary has blossomed into fertility; and so shall mine. Plenty out of pain, life out of death: is it not the law of the Kingdom? But this law is the result of love, not legalism. Jesus, Your callings are Your enabling.
Do we call it dying when the bud bursts into flower? --Selected
"Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,
Be blessed today, and remember that you are loved!!!
GOOD MORNING TO YOU,
SUNDAYS, WHAT A TRUE BLESSING FROM GOD THE LORD'S DAY IS. WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME AT DOGWOOD YESTERDAY, JUST A LITTLE TASTE OF HEAVEN. SPEAKING OF HEAVEN, THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES IN MY LIFE, WHEN EARLY IN THE MORNING, I WOULD MOVE TO A WINDOW FACING THE EAST, AND ASK THE LORD: "IS THIS THE DAY YOU ARE COMING BACK?" WELL, MAYBE IT'S TODAY.
"AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH:
FOR THE FIRST HEAVEN AND THE FIRST EARTH WERE PASSED AWAY;
AND THERE WAS NO MORE SEA. AND I JOHN SAW THE HOLY CITY
NEW JERUSALEM, COMING DOWN FROM GOD OUT OF HEAVEN,
PREPARED AS A BRIDE ADORNED FOR HER HUSBAND.
AND I HEARD A GREAT VOICE OUT OF HEAVEN SAY.
BEHOLD, THE TABERNACLE OF GOD IS WITH MEN,
AND HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM, AND THEY SHALL BE HIS PEOPLE
AND GOD HIMSELF SHALL BE WITH THEM, AND BE THEIR GOD.
AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES;
AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH,
NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN:
FOR THE FORMER THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY."
MAY THE GRACE OF THE LORD JESUS BE WITH ALL THE SAINTS, AS YOU REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
"In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us."-” Psalm 62:7-8
AT THE END OF THIS WORK WEEK, IN THIS WEAK ECONOMY, COULD IT BE THAT YOUR JOB CAREER IS YOUR GREATEST CONCERN. IT SEEMS TO BE A DEAD END STREET, OR PERHAPS YOU'VE EVEN LOST YOUR JOB.
LUCILLE BALL WAS SENT PACKING FROM DRAMA SCHOOL WITH A DISMISSAL LETTER THAT READ "YOU'RE WASTING YOUR TIME." MICHAEL JORDAN BROKE DOWN CRYING IN HIS ROOM AFTER BEING CUT FROM HIS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM. WALT DISNEY WAS FIRED FROM A NEWSPAPER FOR FAILING TO EXHIBIT "IMAGINATION" AND "ORIGINAL IDEAS." TALK ABOUT DEFYING THE ODDS!
WE HAVE EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURE OF THOSE WHO TOLD THEMSELVES THAT THEY WERE FAILURES; SUCH AS, MOSES AND GIDEON. HOWEVER, GOD PROVED TO THEM OTHERWISE.
BUT IF THE PROBLEM IS, YOU HAVE MADE SHIPWRECK OF YOUR FAITH; WE HAVE OTHER EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURE OF THOSE WHO SPIRITUALLY FAILED; SUCH AS, PETER AND DAVID. ALL THESE WERE GIVEN SECOND CHANCES, BY A MERCIFUL AND GRACIOUS GOD.
WHEN YOU FAIL, DON'T BE SO QUICK TO COUNT YOURSELF OUT...GOD'S NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET!
"Be strong, all of you who put your hope in the Lord. Never give up." Psalm 31:24
1 CORINTHIANS 1:30 "BUT OF HIM ARE YE IN CHRIST JESUS, WHO OF GOD IS MADE UNTO US WISDOM, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND SANCTIFICATION, AND REDEMPTION."
WHEN THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER ASKED A LITTLE BOY TO QUOTE HIS FAVORITE SCRIPTURE, IN HIS EXCITEMENT HE SAID: "THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, THAT'S ALL I WANT." BUT THINK ABOUT IT; IS THAT NOT A GREAT TRANSLATION OF THE VERSE?
IF OUR LIFE IS SURRENDERED TO CHRIST, JESUS HAS BECOME ALL WE NEED TO WANT, FOR WHEN WE STAND BEFORE GOD THE FATHER, HE SEES CHRIST, NOT US, FOR IT IS HIS IMPUTED WISDOM, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SANCTIFICATION, AND REDEMPTION THAT JUSTIFIES US BEFORE THE THRONE. THIS IS A GREAT TRUTH IN SCRIPTURE. NOW THIS IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS IS SOMETHING WE CAN SAY TAKES PLACE IN HEAVEN, IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.
HOWEVER, IF IT IS OVEREMPHASIZED TO THE NEGLECT OF ANOTHER GREAT SCRIPTURAL TRUTH, IMPARTED OR EXPERIENTIAL WISDOM, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SANCTIFICATION, AND REDEMPTION, THE SOUL IS IN DANGER OF BELIEVING HE HAS A LICENSE TO SIN. FOR YOU SEE THAT THIS SECOND TRUTH, REGENERATION, IS SOMETHING THAT TAKES PLACE IN THE HUMAN HEART. IT IS IMPARTED, YOU EXPERIENCE IT AND IT MAKES YOU A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST UNTIL OLD THINGS PASS AWAY AND ALL THINGS BECOME NEW. PASTOR "A" HAD A WONDERFUL MESSAGE SUNDAY ON, "I'VE JUST MET JESUS AND NOW I'M CHANGED".
PAUL PRAYED FOR THE EPHESIANS THAT CHRIST MIGHT "DWELL IN THEIR HEARTS BY FAITH ", THEY MIGHT BE "FILLED WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD", HE CAN DO MORE THAN WE CAN THINK OR ASK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER "THAT WORKETH IN US." NOTICE THE PHRASE: WORKETH IN US. THAT IS NOT IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS. THAT IS NOT JUDICIAL STANDING. THAT IS SOMETHING VITAL AND REAL THAT ACTUALLY TAKES PLACE IN THE HUMAN HEART ON EARTH; AND WHEN IT DOES TAKE PLACE, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY YOU LIVE. 1 JOHN 3:7 "LITTLE CHILDREN, LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS."
HOWEVER, TO OVEREMPHASIZE THIS GREAT SCRIPTURAL TRUTH OF IMPARTED, OR EXPERIENTIAL RIGHTEOUSNESS, TO THE NEGLECT OF THE OTHER, IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS, WILL LEAD YOU TO AN UP AND DOWN LIFE. YOU WILL BE TRYING TO FEEL FOR YOUR FEELINGS HALF THE TIME TO SEE IF YOU FEEL AS GOOD AS YOU DID WHEN YOU FELT BETTER; OR IN A WORD, YOU WILL BE JUDGING YOUR STANDING WITH GOD BY YOUR SPIRITUAL PULSE OR TEMPERATURE AND YOU WILL BE A VACILLATING, UP-AND DOWN-CHRISTIAN.
THESE TWO TRUTHS THAT JESUS PROVIDES FOR US NEED TO BE KEPT IN HARMONY AND IN BALANCE WITH EACH OTHER, FOR THIS IS NOT AN, EITHER/OR, OPTION, BECAUSE IN TRUTH, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER. WHEN THEY ARE IN BALANCE, THEY MAKE A WELL-ROUNDED TRUTH. NOW WE CAN SEE, THE LITTLE BOY'S QUOTE OF THE SCRIPTURE DOES RING TRUE: "JESUS IS MY SHEPHERD, THAT 'S ALL I WANT"
MAY THE GIVER OF ALL THESE GOOD GIFTS BLESS YOU TODAY, AND NEVER FORGET THAT YOU ARE LOVED!!!
Henry D. is from Southern Indiana and writes these wonderful daily devotionals to encourage those at the Dogwood Community Church located in Paoli, Indiana. Henry has graciously agreed to share these wonderful devotionals here at Without Excuse Ministries to encourage you our valued guest!