Friday, July 9, 2010

Which person are you?

Daily Reading: Matthew 25:31-46

I was recently in a restaurant just off an major interstate. Just after ordering a woman and two small girls came in. They explained that a 4 year old from Missouri had been kidnapped by a stranger and they asked if they could hang the missing persons sign up at the restraunt since it was so close to the interstate. Maybe someone getting off the interstate there would have saw the missing child. The woman explained that she didn't know the child but since she was travelling up the interstate she had volunteered to stop at every major exit along the way and post the flyers. The person at the counter said yes & that they would hang up the flyer. After the lady left I kept waiting for the employees to hang up the sign so I could see what the girl looked like and see if I had recognized her as I had been coming from the opposite direction. The sign was never hung up and instead of asking about it I said a prayer and went on my way. Fortunately the child was found later unharmed and the man that had kidnapped her (a complete stranger) committed suicide in front of police.

Which person are you today? Are you the woman helping a complete stranger by doing what she can. Are you the employee who says "yes" but goes no further. Are you the lost girl who hopes someone will find her and take her home? Are you me wanting to help but decide that prayer is sufficient? Are you the man who has sinned and has condemned himself to death? Or are you the police officers that went the extra mile to find the little girl and save her?

Father GOD, please help me to go all out for you and your lost sheep. Give me strength to stand for you and help others to find their way to you. In JESUS name I pray, AMEN.

Matthew 25:40 "The KING will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Need More? Visit Matthew 25:14-30

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lean on ME

Daily Reading: Genesis 2:18-24

So many people in this world believe they can do everything themselves. Many people try to do it all. They go to work, keep their homes cleaned, raise children, balance their budgets, are active in their communities and children's schools, go to church and in all of this they do it on their own never asking anyone else for help. Further still we take on more duties than we can typically handle. Through idealization we believe that we are supposed to do it all on our own.

As a teenager and young woman my favorite passage in the bible was The Wife of Noble Character (Proverbs 31:10-31). I thought not only that I could do it all, I thought I was supposed to do it all. It never occured to me that if I did it all I wasn't allowing room to rely on anyone else.

God never meant for us to be alone. We are meant to have a mate and share our responsibilities with our mate. Even when we are single we are still not expected to do it all. The bible says we are to care for our widows and orphans. An orphan was considered to be anyone who did not have both parents.

Our world has changed greatly in the past 2000 years when it comes to families but the fact remains that if we need help we need to ask for it. We can not hint about our needs because no one can read our minds as much as we would like for them to. We need to find humility when we can't get past an obstacle and ask others for help.

Further still we need to rely on GOD to help us. GOD never gives us more than we can handle but he can not prevent us from agreeing to take on too much. We need to pray about everything before saying we will do each task. If we do not feel that GOD is giving us a green light we need to wait for the light to turn green. If the light doesn't turn green and we are being pushed for an answer then we have to bow out gracefully because GOD is saying NO.

Genesis 2:18 The LORD, GOD said "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Need More? Visit Matthew 11:25-30

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Be Still and Know Idle Hands

Daily Reading: Psalm 46:8-10

Everyday we go out into the world hoping to have that one opportunity to show God's power to those around us. We stay busy every minute of the day believing GOD's word that Idle hands are not good. Yet those around us may see what we are doing as the work of something other than GOD. Being busy is something that is quite common in today's society. It seems everyone is on the go. No one stops to enjoy life for very long. We prefer to do things alone and get them done quickly rather than enjoy our tasks and the potential opportunities we could have with others. We direct others to do what we want, what we view that needs to be done assuming that we will have time later to enjoy each others company. Yet it is not GOD using these moments for his work but satan. The sharp tone, nasty words, or overly busy actions that make the people around become flustered are damaging to GOD's work. No task is so important that it is worth upsetting another person. If what we are doing causes another to become flustered then we are going against the very nature of what GOD desires. He wants us to be still and know HIM. He wants us to let him give us opportunities to enjoy together rather than us trying to make them on our own. When we force things we are not doing things in GOD's time and may even be counter-productive to GOD's will and works.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am GOD; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Need More? Visit Proverbs 25

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Persecution is painful to those watching

Daily Reading: Jeremiah 33:1-11

As Christians we watch people around us suffer quite differently than non-believers. As a non-believer when can join in with the person suffering. We can relate to how unfair life is. We can sympathize with them but take comfort that we are glad it isn't happening to us.

Christians on the other hand understand that GOD has a plan for us. We have been down the road of rebellion and seen first hand GOD's loving hands guiding us back to his fold. We see the man who hates his job and nothing ever seems to be going right and we think back to the time where we were waken from our eternal slumber. We realized that GOD was getting our attention so that we would focus on him. After we turned to him our lives became better. Not perfect or easy but better as in knowing that GOD was going to handle the tough times and carry us through until we were strong enough to deal with them on our own.

As Christians we watch GOD allowing the non-believer to be persecuted. We see GOD waiting in the wings for the person to wake up and realize that they need GOD in their life. GOD works on so many people each and every day. As Christians we must be available to be used by GOD is his master plan for all people.

Jeremiah 33:8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.

Need More? Visit Numbers 14:17-20

Friday, July 2, 2010

Freedom isn't Free BUT a Responsibility

Daily Reading: Psalm 119:41-48

Many people in the United States know freedom but they do not understand it. A person can not know the real feeling of being free unless they have experienced a form of captivity. As believers in GOD the Christian faces a very real form of captivity. Many of our mouths seem to be locked behind bars of steel on a daily basis. We only open the doors to freedom of our beliefs when we are at church, bible study, or in a group of believers when we know it is safe to come out. We worry about what others will think about us standing and fighting for our LORD.

We expect GOD to come to our rescue when we are going through difficult storms, yet we keep him tied up inside us as we go about our daily routines. GOD wants to be in every part of our lives. GOD offers us freedom from the bindings of the world. GOD loves his children and wants us to be filled with the joy and freedom that we know by being a Christian. However, every form of freedom has a price. Christ paid that price on the cross but if we do not continue to fight for him then we are imprisoning GOD in our hearts.

Psalm 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Need More? Visit Jeremiah 34:8-22

Futile planning

Daily Reading: Ecclesiastes 7:8-12

"The road to nowhere is paved with good intentions" is an old saying that rings true. We talk and plan about doing something great and then quickly discard the plans when something else comes along. I didn't go to church this week because I was tired from a party on Saturday night. I didn't help at the school because I had homework to do. Regardless of the excuses that come up in life we fall flat on our faces when we do not go through with the plans we have made.

It isn't a sin not to follow through with the plans we make, but GOD doesn't want us to make grand plands if we aren't going to follow through with them. It is important to plan things but it is more important that we see our plans through to the end of the road. Then we will find the glory of GOD upon us.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. (NIV)

Need More? Visit Romans 1:18-31

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Strength not always in numbers

Daily Reading: Judges 7:1-25

In the world today we constantly see commercials and advertisements for MORE. Many children's toys are designed to collect more. Fast food restraunts offer non-food items that convince you that more is better. Collect all four, collect them all, each sold seperately. Our government also demands more. More taxes, more budget for war, more, more, more.

Yet when do we say enough? We use the excuse GOD wants us to have more. He promises to bless us and we believe that this means more. Yet it is not material objects that GOD wants us to have more of. His desire is for us to have more faith in him. When we cease to recognize His power, He shows us that less is what He desires for us.

Gideon must have trusted GOD beyond belief when GOD started telling Gideon LESS. Less men, less materials, less of everything except trust in GOD. Focus on becoming MORE for GOD, LESS for worldly things. When we see that purse, those collectibles, even that new budget with more spending; we need to ask "GOD is this more what we need or just what we want?"

Judges 7:2 The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her.

Need More? Visit Deuteronomy 7:17-26

Nothing Coincidental

Daily Reading: Colossians 4:2-6

Everyday we have expectations of what will happen. Everyday things don't go exactly according to plan. Something happens even the smallest thing that puts us in a circumstance we weren't expecting. A worker doesn't show up for a job and you fill in because another person was overwhelmed, visiting a loved one in a hospital and having to search for a bathroom further away from their room than the one you usually visit and you end up helping another visitor figure out how to turn a chair into a bed, and receiving a surprise delivery of flowers that was left with the neighbor because you weren't home which gave them joy and a nice visit with you.

In just one day all three of these things happened to me. In all these instances God used me to help others. Nothing gigantic or monumental but little things that made another person's life easier. God places us into situations where we can choose to help our fellow people or we can just keep going on our merry way. I didn't have to help the overwhelmed worker (not my job), I didn't have to help figure out the chair (I had never even used one before), I didn't have to visit with the neighbor (I could have collected the flowers & then hurried back home with a simple thank you or less).

God places us into positions to help but he doesn't make us help. He leads us to the water but he doesn't force us to drink it. Instead of thinking what a good deed we have done for someone else we should thank him for the little opportunities he tests us with so that we will recognize the bigger tests when they come along as being from him rather than the coincidences that we see so often.

Colossians 4:5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.(NIV)

Need More? Visit Ephesians 5:1-21

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Darkest Hour

Daily Reading: Romans 13:8-14

After a long exhausting day all I want is to crawl into bed and sleep. My head hits the pillow and sleep soon overcomes. Yet just moments later I am awakened with a start. The house is silent and everything seems to be in order. Yet my body and mind seem to be wide awake with anticipation of some foreboding doom. I check the house and pray that GOD protects family, friends, and myself from the harm I am feeling.

I pray to the LORD to aid me in this time of temporary anguish of the unknown. I then turn to his word for guidance and he delivers me. I read the passage he has chosen for me. Have I done anything immoral to earn his chastisement? Have I sinned against neighbor, family, or friend rather than loving them as myself? I turn to him once more and ask him to forgive my transgressions, not only the ones that I am aware of but also those that I may have committed without realizing it. With my prayer said I am over taken with exhaustion once again. I am ready to fall into that much needed sleep once again, this time I am at peace for GOD has delivered me.

GOD is protecting, sending his angels to guard us from the unseen dangers that surround us. GOD is there holding back the darkness. GOD will not allow His children to be harmed. Although GOD is almighty He cares for each of His sheep and will protect them from the wolves that come in the night. GOD is the rock, the fortress, and the guard. When we turn to GOD, He answers our prayers and swiftly sweeps us into His loving arms.

Romans 13:12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (NIV)

Need more? Visit Psalms 63 and 64

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't be a Job wife

Daily Reading: Job 1-2

As I read the first two chapters of Job I realized that when Job's children and possessions were taken from him Job's wife was spared. Was this because two become one? OR Was it because satan used Job's wife to tempt Job to sin against GOD.

We don't know her name or very little about her. What we do know is his wife said "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse GOD and die!"

We do not always stand on our faith. Sometimes we become weak and believe that our ending a trial will be better for us than riding out the storms that GOD has given us. Yet when we end the trial by our own doing we take a chance of losing the lesson that GOD felt was important for us to learn. In not learning that lesson we take a chance lost the lesson that prepares us for the next storm we face.

GOD meant for us to find that one special partner in life to cling to, to become one with, to be so close to that to be separated from them is painful. Unfortunately we do not always wait for the spouse that GOD wants us to have. We do what we want and don't listen to GOD. It never works out to our benefit and we eventually regret our decisions.

Even though Job was a Godly man his wife does not seem to share that faith in GOD. Though we depend on our spouses to support us in the hardest of times we must learn to do as Job did "You are talking like a foolish (meaning:morally deficient) woman. Shall we accept good from GOD, and not trouble?"

Stand strong with your spouse in all matters. God has blessed your union and he will bless your life, even through the storms you face. The storms never seem as rough when you carry the burden together.

Daily verse: Job 2:10 He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from GOD, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (NIV)

Need More? Visit Ecclesiastes 9

God and life are like coffee

Daily Reading: 1 Chronicles 22:2-19

God is like a cup of coffee. When things are going good there is plenty of cream and sugar. Your relationship with God is sweet, pleasant, and satisfying. You can't believe that anything could ever be bad and that the world and life seems so perfect to you. You enjoy the joys of life feeling no sorrow could ever touch you.

When the cream and and sugar are not so plentiful and hard times arise the coffee takes on a bitter taste as the cream and sugar are rationed out hoping that they will last until more cream and sugar arrive. Although the taste is bitter you can also taste the strength of the coffee even more. You can feel the power of God and know it will get you through the trials you are facing.

When the cream and sugar are completely gone and you are left with a choice between tasting the strong bitter coffee to aid you through the absolute worst of times or go without any aid at all it is comforting to know that if you drink this cup of coffee; in time the cream and sugar of life will return with abundance and it will taste all the more sweeter.

If you choose to go without; not only are you left feeling something is missing in your life but you become cranky and angry. You are left feeling alone and abandoned. You blame others and don't stop to realize the coffee never left you, you said "No" to the coffee. In time the cream and sugar of life return but it isn't as enjoyable as when you take a drink of bitterness and then it is followed by the sweetness of God's blessings.

1 Chronicles 22:13 Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and loaws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. (NIV)

Need more? Visit Joshua 1:1-18