Thursday, March 31, 2011

"So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told." -- Acts 27:25 
In the midst of the storm, earthquake or tsunami we need firm, dry ground on which to stand. There are always those who give words of hope, based on human conjecture. But, to be confident of deliverance, we need far more than the guess work of men... we need a sure word from God.
Paul gave the sailors courage and reassurance; not with his own word of wisdom or insight, but with a word from God. His faith was fully rooted in God doing "exactly" as he said. This was the basis of his courage and the focus of his encouragement to others. To Paul, a word from God was the bedrock of his faith.
The Lord may not appear to you in the night hours, but he has spoken to you in the Holy Scriptures. Do you have faith that "it will be exactly" as you have been told in the Word my friend? If you do, there is no storm, earthquake or tsunami powerful enough to shake your faith; because you have a Word from God.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’" -- Acts 26:17-18
Do we fully appreciate the whole package of the gospel? Is the salvation story fully presented in our witness? Rather than a dozen roses, we are given a radiant bouquet of various flowers. God has given us an abundant blessing in Jesus, and as we have freely received, we should freely give.
Paul never short changed those to whom he spoke. He gave them the whole story without missing a beat. Salvation brings light, deliverance, forgiveness and a heavenly home for all who believe. God's servants have been sent to open eyes so they might see and receive such a beautiful gift.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” As you bring the gospel story to others, remember that you are bringing the most beautiful bouquet of spiritual blessing that anyone has ever received. Be a blessing to someone today my friend.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"... I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man." -- Acts 24:14-16
How should belief affect one's life? Will simple confidence in the facts be enough? Is the ability to instruct others sufficient? Or should there be something much deeper that leads to a defined lifestyle?
Paul stated the defense of his faith. He spoke of his worship, belief and devotion to the Lord. But, the most significant statement is the way his belief defined his life. He took pains to have a clear conscience toward God and man. 
How much does your belief motivate your daily walk my friend? Do others recognize a spiritual vitality in your heart by the significant integrity of your conduct? Take pains to not only know your faith, but also show your faith.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.”" -- Acts 23:16-17
When the Lord directs our steps, he carefully arranges the details. Paul was informed in verse 11, "... you must testify also in Rome.” but the way was not specified. An ambush, a nephew, and a wise tribune were all pieces of the puzzle to bring Paul to his destination. 
Have you ever wondered what details are at work to bring you to the next step in your journey for Jesus? Never minimize the importance of the small things in your life. When the Lord is in charge curious moments are often critical elements in fulfilling God's plan.
Take courage my friend and stay close to the Lord every day. Allow him to guide the events of your life and follow him each step of the way. While you may not be able to trace his hand... just trust his heart.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God's high priest?” And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’" -- Acts 23:4-5
We live in a day when people find it quite easy to insult and ridicule leaders as high as our president. Respect for an office is no longer exercised and criticism runs rampant. Disrespect has become a new form of entertainment.
As we read this passage carefully we find Paul in conflict with an affirmed opponent of the Gospel and of the Lord Jesus himself. Still, Paul stepped back and recognized the Biblical command to respect the office of High Priest. Having attained full knowledge of who the speaker was, Paul quickly expressed respect.
Have you shown respect for the offices of leadership in your life my friend? The Lord never asked us if we agree with our leaders; He just commanded us to respect them. Such conduct eventually grows and creates a lifestyle that faithfully honors the Lord by respecting others.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city. And kneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home." -- Acts 21:5-6
People say farewell all over the world. Goodbyes are given at train stations, airports and driveways. Parting company can be sad and it can also be exciting for those moving into new challenges. But, the way we part is a real matter of interest. For believers, moving on may be sad but we do so with peaceful hearts.
As Paul and his team continued on their journey, they were sure to face trouble in Jerusalem. Saying goodbye was a sad moment but they gathered together and prayed. Committing our ways to the Lord will bring confidence for out travels and peace for those who remain.
Do you commit all your ways to the Lord my friend? Are all your journeys bathed in prayer? Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:6, "In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Every farewell is much easier and acceptable when the Lord is acknowledged in prayer.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." -- Acts 20:24
A lot happens along the way of a marathon. There are moments of exhaustion, occasions when a runner may stumble and there are times when injuries will almost overwhelm. But every committed athlete is determined to finish.
Paul was just such an athlete. He was on a course received from the Lord. The race was far more important than his personal life. No matter what challenges or setbacks came his way, he had only one goal. Paul was determined to finish.
You are also in a race assigned by the Lord my friend. Your course is set and it will take you through many turns and over numerous hills. The hardships will be great and exhaustion may be unbearable. But, with the grace and strength of the Lord, you will run well. Just be sure to have one goal... be determined to finish.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God." -- Acts 19:8
A successful salesperson won't just show the product and step back. They give a thorough presentation and will offer answers to any questions or concerns. They seek, with fervor, to persuade someone to purchase their product.
Paul was not selling Jesus, but he was seeking to lead others to trust the Lord as Savior. He knew their eternity depended on their decision. He "spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God".
When you tell others about the Lord, are you filled with zeal my friend? Is it as important as the sale is to a salesperson? No, it is far more important! We are seeking the souls of those whose eternity depend on their trust in Christ. Be bold, reason and persuade with all your heart for all their heart!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people." -- Acts 18:9-10 ESV
When the Lord calls us, he has a purpose and he will faithfully provide. If we look at troubling circumstances, we will be discouraged, but not if we keep our eyes on the Master. When the Lord is our vision, there is hope.
Paul was following the Lord's lead as he preached and was faced with steady opposition. Yet, the Lord came to him in a vision to assure him. God had many souls in the city and he would protect Paul until he completed the task. Paul was encouraged to look to the Lord who was with him and find hope.
When you walk through the storm, in which that God places you my friend, don't be afraid. Keep your eyes on the Lord and his purpose and live for him. Don't be afraid, because you're never alone in the work of God. He is with you.


Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." -- Acts 17:30-31 ESV
There are times when some wonder if there is any order in the universe. More directly, some are at a loss to see any order in their personal lives. And finally, is there to be any order as we face future days? Well, as sure as the sun rises in the morning, there is order for every life.
Paul speaks of God's order in this way: 1) Now he commands all people to repent, 2) He has fixed a day for judgment and, 3) A man (the risen Christ) has been appointed as judge. To put it in other words, our lives are ordered around two days and one person.
Is your life in order my friend? Has there been a day when you turned from "ignorance" and sought the Lord in repentance? Are you prepared for the "fixed day" to meet the "appointed judge"? As sure as the sun will rise... the Son will come!! Are you ready?

Monday, March 21, 2011

"And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them... And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely." -- Acts 16:10, 23
The idea that when God leads us there will be no hardship is quite erroneous. Maybe this comes from preachers that regularly serve up a prosperity gospel. Or it could be a basic desire to receive the crown without the cross. Trouble along the journey is not always a bad thing.
Paul waited for the clear leading of the Lord and believed he was to move on to Macedonia. Yet, shortly after they arrived Paul and Silas were inflicted with many blows and were thrown into prison. How could this be the will of God? Was this trouble really part of God's plan? 
We know that by the end of this visit there were historic decisions for Christ. We also know that great lessons have been taught throughout the years from this occasion. Trouble on the journey is often Gods plan and as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" and in Romans 5:3-4, "... we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope".

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will." -- Acts 15:10-11
Simplicity is often the best way to go. Why do we need to add more information than needed when we give directions? Why do some teachers feel the need to require more effort than needed for learning? In many ways we just can't accept the simplicity factor.
The early church faced the same problem as they dealt with the simplicity of the Gospel. Many leaders needed to provide more complexity. They couldn't believe that salvation and the Christian life could come by grace alone. They were persuaded that the Law of Moses must be added, even if it was an unbearable yoke. They just couldn't accept the simplicity factor.
There is only one yoke for the believer my friend, and it is an easy one. Jesus invites us in Matthew 11:29-30, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Salvation and the Christian life are through the grace of the Lord Jesus alone. There is no need for complexity, just simplicity.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe." -- Acts 14:19-20
How committed are you to the cause of Christ? Some are willing to give a day here or there, while others are ready to give their all for a whole season or year. Still others are faithful through life until they grow weary from labor and age. But, who is prepared to go the distance?
Paul set an example to follow that takes in all of the above and more. His commitment went from day to day, through a lifetime and never gave up. When he was stoned to the point of death, rather than slipping away in the night he "rose up and entered the city." Paul was always prepared to go the distance.
Has there been too much demand on your energy and time lately? Have you found little to encourage you in your efforts for Jesus? Are you tempted to retire and let someone else take over? Commitment is for every day and a lifetime, with or without the accolades of men. We are called by the Lord, from the very first day of our new life to go the distance. Are you prepared?

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses." -- Acts 13:38-39
Laws are written because men are sinful. Society would be chaotic without legal guidelines and the nature of man reinforces this everyday as laws are broken. Mankind is bound to laws by chains of sin and true freedom is out of reach. Where can one turn to be free?
The message of Paul alerts us to the great fact of freedom in Christ. As we are forgiven, we are set free from the power of sin to live for God. Our new found freedom is given so we might live as we should, not as we want. There is no law that could ever set us free in this way.
What are you doing with your freedom in Christ my friend? Are you living as you want, or are you living as you should? Do you yearn for God's will and way in your life, or have you returned to bondage of sin? Paul wrote in Galatians 5:1, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!”But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed." -- Acts 12:15-16
How do people really pray? Some pray with mixed doubt or little faith that their requests will be answered. Others pray out of desperation, believing that there is no other alternative. Yet, there are a few who pray with a genuine spirit of expectation; which are you?
We see the early church, full of those who were as close to the resurrection of Christ as possible. Yet, with the first hand knowledge of the miraculous, they were still amazed at Peter's deliverance. They prayed, but were they expectant? 
Don't ever stop praying my friend, but nurture your faith and expectation. Remember who it is to whom you are praying and that he is our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer. He is the compassionate lover of our souls and all that he does is good. Be expectant, every day whenever you pray.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians." -- Acts 11:25-26
What's in a name? As the old phrase reads, "A rose by any other name smells the same". At the end of the day it really doesn't matter what the name is, it's the character and quality of life that really matters.
The early believers went from being called disciples to Christians. In those days this name meant a great deal because it reflected personal character and quality of life. These were "Christ Ones" and they lived like the Savior.
Do you embrace the name "Christian" my friend? What does it mean in your day to day living? Is it a simple religious identity or does if speak of personal character and quality of life? Are you really a "Christ One"? A true Christian lives like the Savior.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."" -- Acts 10:42-43
There is one and only who has been appointed to be judge of the living and the dead. Jesus Christ was foretold of by the prophets and belief in him alone will bring forgiveness of sins. He is more than a prophet, more than a teacher and more than a great religious leader. He is the one to whom all mankind is accountable.
This message has been the same since the early church to this very day; it needs no improvement or addition. Peter preached this truth with powerful results and we are still commanded to preach Christ, crucified, risen and coming again. The only way to prepare for eternity and our standing before the Lord is trust in him today, before it's too late.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."" -- Acts 9:16
Suffer or success... Here we find two opposite polls. Many people are willing to give all they have to succeed, but not many are willing to suffer. They want great gain without any pain. But, what kind of gain will they have?
Paul was chosen of the Lord to suffer for the sake of his name. It was all about the cause of Christ. Today there are many who believe that Christians should be successful and prosperous. Yet, if they have to suffer for the Lord's name, they back off. They want great gain without any pain; even if the gain is the cause of Christ.
As we serve the Lord, let us remember his words in John 15:20, "'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you." If the cause of Christ will be our gain, there will be pain. But, oh what a gain it will be!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” ... And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing." -- Acts 8:29, 39
Some people are led toward making money. Others are driven toward success at any cost. Still others are all about living the "good life". In a very real sense, everyone is led by something. What is it that leads you?
Philip was led by the Holy Spirit. He willingly dropped everything to go where the Lord wanted him. When he had accomplished his task, he was off again, led by the Spirit elsewhere. As a result of going where he was led, Philip had the privilege to share the good news of Jesus with someone who was ready to believe. All this happened because he was at the right place at the right time.
That is the key to being led correctly my friend. When the Lord is the one leading you, it will be certain that you will be at the right place at the right time. Make the right choice every day; look for the Spirit of God to lead you step by step and you will be surprised how he will use you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word." -- Acts 8:4
What do we do when events turn in an unexpected way? How do we deal with the troubling phases of life that move us out our comfort zone? Do we languish over the hardships or do we look for new doors of opportunity to spread the gospel?
The early church faced great persecution and suffered overwhelming upheaval. Believers were scattered to unknown regions, far from home, friends and family. Yet, rather than grieving, they preached the word where ever they went. They turned their misery into ministry.
Are you ready to find the opportunities in your struggles my friend? Is it possible that God may bring you into new territory just to bring good news to others? Take a moment and look for every way to turn your miseries into ministries.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."" -- Acts 7:55-56
From those who have been clinically dead, but revived to life, I have heard any number of strange experiences. Many people have some sense of what they want heaven to be like and believe they will be there after death. Now, do the Scriptures provide any insight into this subject? I believe so.
As Stephen faces his last moments on earth, he is given a view of heaven and sees the glory of God, and Jesus standing at his right hand. He didn't see a light at the end of a tunnel, or a beautiful land of splendor. Stephen saw Jesus, standing at the right hand of God. Jesus stood to receive his faithful servant home. This is heaven... to be with Jesus.
What are you looking for in heaven my friend? Or, let me be more specific; who are you looking for in heaven? And are you living in such a faithful manner that Jesus will be standing to welcome you home on the day you finish your race? Heaven is not different for every person... heaven is the same, yesterday, today and forever, because heaven is where Jesus is, preparing a home for his children. Are you prepared to meet your Savior?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit... And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith." -- Acts 6:5, 7
In addition to the physician, there are a number of people who are able to help the patient toward good health. Within the medical field there are a wide variety of specialists who are assigned different tasks. If each one will exercise their skills to the full, patients will be great benefited. 
As for the spiritual welfare of the church there are those who are called to be pastors, or in other words, physicians of the soul. The major task of these men is to be devoted to prayer and the ministry of the word. In addition there are a variety of specialists who are full of faith and the Holy Spirit. If they exercise their spiritual gifts to the full, the church will be greatly blessed.
If you are a pastor today, remember to keep the main thing the main thing and leave the rest to spiritually gifted specialists. If you are not a pastor my friend, you are a specialist with God-given gifts and assignments. If, being full of faith and led by the Holy Spirit, you will fulfill your calling, your church will be greatly blessed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things." -- Acts 5:11
Over time the church of Jesus Christ has become a comfortable place to gather. It is seen by many believers as a club to join, with varied benefits for members. Accountability for spiritual conduct and wholesome living isn't part of the package. We live in a day of Christian liberty gone amuck. There is no fear of God or his displeasure.
The early church began on sure footing. There was spiritual power and great life changes. God was working miracles in every corner. Then along came two believers that took accountability and Godly living lightly. They chose to be deceptive, having no thought of God or his church. The story is sobering to say the least and a healthy fear spread throughout the whole church.
Do you take church and Godly living seriously my friend? Are you aware that accountability before the Lord is of great importance? The Lord is not in the habit of overlooking unrepentant and unconfessed sin. The healthy church is a place where Godliness is expected and reverence for the Lord is required.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness" -- Acts 4:29
Most people cringe when they're persecuted or humiliated. They seek every avenue to avoid such treatment. Whatever the cost, they prefer to take the high road, steering clear of abuse and mistreatment. Martyrdom is no fun.
You will notice a very different spirit among the early believers. After a serious confrontation with those who opposed the Gospel, they prayed. They didn't pray for deliverance or protection. They didn't pray that the threats would cease or for a new place to minister. They prayed for continued opportunity to speak God's word with all boldness. They were ready for Martyrdom.
Are you ready to suffer for Christ my friend? Will you step up to the front line with all boldness the next time you are ridiculed for your faith? Is telling others about Jesus more important than being humiliated or rejected? Martyrdom may not be fun, but bringing others to Jesus is worth any sacrifice.

Monday, March 7, 2011

"But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!"" -- Acts 3:6
Even Godly believers are occasionally troubled when an appeal is made for giving. Many give faithfully and beyond their means, with nothing left to offer. So, what more can be given? When the moment arrives that you "... have no silver and gold", do you take time to consider what you do have?
Peter and John were specially gifted Apostles who were entrusted with signs and wonders. They had God given means to provide the supernatural to many people in need. They had no silver or gold, but what they had they gave. True ministry involves giving what we have to bless others in the Name of Jesus.
You are not equipped in the same way that the early Apostles were, but you do have God given abilities and resources. What are you doing with what you have my friend? As Peter said, "what I do have I give to you", may you consider what you have and how you can give to bless others in the Name of Jesus.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

 "He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."" -- Acts 1:7-8
It has been said that curiosity killed the cat. In the same way curiosity has killed the spiritual impact of many of God's children. From the very inception of the church there has been unending interest in the time and surrounding events of the second coming of Jesus. For some, this interest has become a preoccupation and efforts to reach the unbeliever have waned. In this age, God's people have one Great Commission... be my witnesses.
How much time do you spend chasing down the hair splitting theological issue of the day my friend? In contrast, how much of your time and energy is spent on making disciples of all nations? Remember... we have received power to be his witnesses.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear." -- Isaiah 65:24
The way some people answer before you finish speaking can often be annoying. You wonder if they really listened to your concerns and doubt their sincerity. In human interaction these thoughts are certainly well warranted. But, is it the same with the Lord?
Within the context of this prophetic picture, a blessed and encouraging future is foretold. Within this setting the Lord promises to hear and respond quicker than one can speak. With the Lord this is not only possible, but is achieved with all sincerity.
How good to have the ear and heart of the Lord when we need him. He is our counselor who answers with all wisdom and hears with great compassion. Do you speak to the Lord with confidence knowing his readiness to respond? Remember David's words in Psalm 139:4 my friend, "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether."

Friday, March 4, 2011

"From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him." -- Isaiah 64:4
Over the years we come to believe that "we have seen it all". The modern days of technological progress has given us a bird's eye view of the incredible. But there is still more, so much more for us to experience. The wonders to come are reserved for those who wait for the Lord.
Although God has done "awesome" things in the past, no one has perceived, nor have they seen what He is yet to accomplish for his people. Stay focused on what is to come my friend. Don't become cynical and think the best has come and gone. Keep looking up and wait for your God, an awesome God who comes down and makes the mountains quake, just for you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound" -- Isaiah 61:1
When you purchase an electronic device today, two booklets come in the box. One  is an instructional guide that is quite large, with vast detail. Along with this lengthy tome you also find a short quick reference handbook to get you started with the basics. The shorter book is practical and to the point.
In the same way the Gospel ministry comes with the Scripture as a lengthy writing that covers all the details. But, the above passage serves us as a quick reference handbook that gets you started with the basics. Jesus quotes this passage in Luke 4:18 to describe his ministry and it also describes the Gospel ministry for the rest of us. It serves us well by being practical and to the point.
Take a close look at this passage my friend. You will not find any reference to success, prosperity or prestige. The Gospel ministry is all about bringing good news to the poor, brokenhearted, captives and those in prison. As Jesus served in humility, so we are called to give of ourselves to be a blessing to others. Gospel ministry was never meant to be rocket science... it is meant to change lives, practically and to the point.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended." -- Isaiah 60:19-20
There have been a number of rainy and cloudy days recently, and with spring coming I'm sure that there will be more ahead. After the rain is gone sunshine is a welcomed blessing, but a bright sun and a full moon will always come and go. Imagine a day when the sun will never go down.
The sad events of life bring cloudy days to the soul. When we depend on the sun or moon for relief our mourning may linger for a long time. There is a day coming when the Lord himself will be our everlasting light, but he wants to be the light of life for us today. When Jesus is your light, you'll never walk in darkness or mourning. (John 8:12)
Why allow your emotions to rise and fall on the sun and moon my friend? Don't let "Rainy days and Mondays always get you down". Open your hearts to the sunshine of the Lord and look for his light to fill your life. Once you start walking in his brightness sad and dark days will quickly slip away.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

““And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”" -- Isaiah 56:6-8 
Our church is a little slice of heaven. We have believers of 16 language groups from all around the world. I can't imagine what it would be like if the doors were only opened to a select few. The Lord gathers from every nation a people who will love and serve him.
In the kingdom of God there will always be a place for "foreigners". In a real sense we are all "outcasts" until we have been redeemed. But, the Lord is in the business of gathering a people to his altar for joyful prayer and ministry.
When it comes to the Lord my friend, you are always welcome. He has made a place for you.  So never feel unwanted or like an "outcast", just come to Lord in prayer and know that he accepts you with a loving heart.