Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What is your "Faith Quotient"?

"And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief." -- Mark 6:5-6 
G. Campbell Morgan grew up in a Christian home and never questioned that the Bible was the Word of God. But in college, his faith was severely challenged by the philosophies of the day, and he began to entertain doubts. After a steady exposure to skepticism and unbelief, he wrote, "There came a moment when I was sure of nothing.”
Unbelief cripples the soul and hinders the mighty work of God. The Lord responds to belief and unbelief. Where there is doubt there is darkness. Where there is faith there is freedom. What is your "Faith Quotient" today my friend? Jesus said in Mark 9:23, "All things are possible for one who believes". Is your life marked by the "possibilities" of faith or the "impossibilities" of unbelief?

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Powerful becoming Personal

"After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat." - Mark 5:40-43 
Occasionally we read about an amazing new medication that will rock the world of health. We read all the testimonies about unbelievable results from many people who have been helped. We're convinced that this treatment will bring hope and healing to a loved one but... it's not available to the public. We need the powerful to become personal.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Every Sunday we celebrate his resurrection with joy and singing. We study the Biblical account of the Lord's miraculous victory over death. We are reminded that the resurrection of Christ is the very foundation of our faith. But hearing and singing about it doesn't bring a change until it comes home. When the risen Savior brings new life to a loved one or friend... the powerful becomes personal.
While resurrection day is yet future, it begins when the Lord brings us from death to life, from darkness to the light, from bondage to freedom. You need the Lord to come home into your heart before you can be at home in heaven my friend. As Job said in Job 42:5... "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."  The wonderful truth about the risen Christ is... the powerful became personal.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Good Soil

"But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” -- Mark 4:20
The gospel is carried throughout the world every day. As usual, many will reject the message as nothing more than foolishness. Yet, there will be a select few that will receive the truth with great joy. Their lives will be changed and in the years ahead they will produce a wonderful spiritual harvest.
What kind of soil are you today my friend? Has the gospel story fallen upon your heart and produced a great crop of thirty, sixty or even a hundred fold? Or has this message passed from your memory like the morning dew? May the good news about Jesus change your life and deliver you from the fruitless pursuit of worldly gain and unending worries! Search the Word everyday for spiritual light and share the Lord with those who still walk in darkness.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Open Hearts

"He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored." - Mark 3:5 
“The millennium is at hand. Man has invented everything that can be invented. He has done all he can do.” These words were spoken by a bishop at a church gathering in 1870. Someone commented, “I think man will learn to fly.” The bishop replied that this was blasphemy. “Don’t you know that flight is reserved for angels?” The bishop was Rev. Milton Wright, father of Orville and Wilbur. Only open hearts can fly.
Jesus found the very same attitude among the religious elite of his day. God had broken into their lives and they were closed to the possibilities. They had reached the point where they worshiped their traditions more than God. If the miraculous couldn't fit into the traditional setting, it was rejected. The stubborn heart distressed Jesus because he knew that only open hearts could fly.
Are you ready for God to do the miraculous in your life my friend? Will you allow him to break into your life in ways that may challenge your traditions? When you pray for the Lord's intervention are you prepared for the change he might bring? Remember, only open hearts can fly.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Will you carry them?

"Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” - Mark 2:3-5 
In the latter years of her life on Long Island, my mother-in-law had reached the place when doctor visits were a regular affair. We did our very best to get her to various appointments when we were in town, but when we were unavailable she was quite blessed with a number of friends that helped. The trips were often lengthy and quite time consuming, but her friends were wonderfully gracious. 
Bringing people to the Lord can be just as difficult. The paralytic in this passage was blessed with four friends who were determined to bring him to Jesus. They were willing to do anything necessary to make this happen. With a little creativity and hard work, four men succeeded in bringing their friend to the Great Physician.
Every day the Lord uses creativity and hard work to bring people to himself. Are you ready and willing to be one of those who will bring others to him? Do you know someone who needs the Lord today? Will you make the effort to carry your friend or neighbor out of the brush and down the road to the Great Physician?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pray

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." - Mark 1:35 
What more can be said? If the Master found it necessary to start the day in solitary prayer, what about his servants?

"The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully affected the world for him, have been men who spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature of their lives. Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in the morning. Of him, one who knew him well wrote: “He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else and I have seen him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining.” John Fletcher stained the walls of his room by the breath of his prayers. Sometimes he would pray all night; always, frequently, and with great earnestness. His whole life was a life of prayer. “I would not rise from my seat,” he said, “without lifting my heart to God.” Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” He had a motto: “He that has prayed well has studied well.” - E. M. Bounds in Power through Prayer

If you're too busy to pray...  you're too busy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Final Outcome

“'Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.'” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." -- Revelation 22:12-14
As we open our Bibles and begin with the first three chapters of Genesis, we find Adam and Eve prohibited from eating of the tree of life and escorted through the Garden gates. Their sin brought about the fall of all mankind and eternal separation from God. History tells the sad tale of continued rebellion and godless living throughout the ages. Would there be any hope for ever returning to the Garden and the tree of life? The last page of our Bibles gives a resounding YES!. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." You see the beginning doesn't always determine the final outcome.
Is your life filled with a cascade of failures my friend? Do you feel that there can be little change in the months ahead? Well, there is hope for anyone who will come to the Lord for a new beginning. Jesus is one beginning that will always determine the final outcome because...  He is the "Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."