“CRYSTAL CHANDELIER”

“Jesus is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4: 11-12 NIV

Read: Ephesians 2: 13-22

When you are building a house, construction must follow a progression. You don’t hang a crystal chandelier from a board and build a house around it. A quality foundation is first. Without a foundation, there is no security the house will be structurally sound.

A normal progression will be the foundation, framing, roof, exterior walls, inside walls and trim. Last will usually be the floor covering and lighting. An expensive, showy crystal chandelier is usually the last item to be installed.

How about your life? Are you building a strong foundation first or is your life about a showy crystal chandelier? Are you focused upon what you need to do or what you want out of life? Is your crystal chandelier a new car, the latest phone, new clothes or more money?

There is nothing wrong with having a crystal chandelier. We just need to arrange first things, first.

Our relationship with God is like that. First things, first. First develop a strong relationship with your Creator. This starts with knowing Who God is. You can begin with reading your bible everyday. The best time for most of us is first thing in the morning, before the routines of the day get in our way. Attending church and worshiping with like minded believers and studying with others in a mid week bible group is helpful to develop the relationship with God.

While doing these things, have prayerful conversations with God starting each day, during the day and at that last minute before going to sleep. Remember, while these things will build your relationship, you must go through your day living your life as God would have you do.

God will give you your crystal chandelier. Build your life on God’s instructions and when the time has come, He will give you your crystal chandelier when you get to Heaven.

Today’s Prayer: “Dear God, Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to be my Cornerstone which I can build my relationship with you upon. Help me to live today for you…First things, first. Amen.”

“IN DEBT”

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6 NIV

Read: Romans 6:1-14

An insurance company recently release results of a survey that determined 31% of Americans owe more than they have savings. 23% owe as much as savings they have in savings and only 46% have more savings than they owe. This sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it? Do you owe more than you have in savings?

Being indebted has for many become ‘The American Way’. We seem to believe we can buy, buy and then worry about how we will pay for things later. It is not just individuals. Our government is “In Debt” with no plan of how to eliminate this financial burden which has been placed upon each citizen.

Are you “In Debt”? What if someone would pay off all your bills…all of them…and you owed nothing? Would you be grateful?

God sent His only son, Jesus, to pay off all you owe for the sins you have created. Jesus died so that you can have eternal life. Not only has he paid off all the debts of your past sins if you are a believer, He has paid the price of all your sins of yesterday, today, and all tomorrows as well. God know you are not perfect and will sin again. His desire is for you to become faithful, accountable for your actions and repent for your sins.

You can spend eternity…not just a few days, months or years…in Heaven. If you are not saved by grace, if you don’t know Jesus is your personal savior, ask Him to accept you. It is easy to do. Tell Him of your faith and belief in Him. It is that easy. Ask and you will receive all your sins paid in full.

If you want Jesus to be your Lord, pray: “Dear Lord, I accept you this very moment as my Lord and Savior. I trust and believe in you. Accept my plea for eternal life. Amen.” If this is your acceptance of Jesus, welcome to the family of believers!

Believer’s Prayer: “Dear Lord, Thank you paying the price of all my sins and leaving me debt free to join you in Heaven for eternity. Help me to be mindful of your payment and to live my life sin free. Amen!”

“FATHER KNOWS BEST!”

“He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.'” Luke 16:15 NIV

Read: Luke 16: 13-15

Today, we celebrate ‘Father’s Day’. We set aside this time to honor those special men we love.

Perhaps you have seen late night reruns of a 1950’s TV show, “Father Knows Best”. The premise was the dad of the family knew what was best for his family, which he should. Through each show, the theme was played out. The results proved the wisdom of the dad and were easy to understand.

This concept is based on the life we have with God. ‘God knows best.’

We have hopes, desires and wishes. It is important to understand what we take to God and how we take our prayers to Him. The more we understand the reasons we want this or that, the easier it is to understand why and how God answers our prayers.

Do you go to God with a ‘wish’ list or with a desire based upon a faithful hope He will answer you? Hopeful desire is not a wish list for every whim we may have. Understand ‘God knows best’. At times, you may disagree or not understand your Heavenly Father. This is not a time to question God, but to learn and grow from His wisdom.

Today, do the right thing. Do whatever is necessary for your earthly father to make him feel like he is the most important person in the world to you. Tell your dad how much you love him and apologize for the mistakes or errors you made. Then, do the same for God!

“God knows best!”

Today’s Prayer: “Father, thank you for knowing what is best for me. Forgive me for the times I have not been obedient. Help me to live today as you desire me to do. Amen.”

“EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY”

“So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11 NIV

Read: Luke 16:1-12

If you were looking for a job and you saw the following ad, would you be qualified?

“Wanted immediately: Honest, devoted employee. Must be able to follow instructions and avoid distractions. Some days are easy while some are long and difficult. Must strive to be better at their job today than yesterday and even better tomorrow. Pay is sometimes less than anticipated but efforts will be rewarded with a magnificent bonus.”

Would you be interested in such a job? The position is available today.

How do you apply? On bended knee.

The ad defines what God asks of each of us. God wants us to be honest and devoted to only Him. We must be faithful and follow His instructions without the constant distractions coming to us from Satan. Some days our efforts will seem so easy while we may struggle with the task God has given us on other days. We must grow in our faith, being a better Christian today than yesterday and even better tomorrow. Some of our tasks may seem to be unrewarded. During these difficult times, we must rely on our faith. The bonus? By following God’s instructions and carrying the message of Jesus we will be rewarded with an effortless and rich life in Heaven.

Are you an ‘unemployed Christian’? The position is available today. You are qualified. Improve your job skills. Go to church more often. Read your bible everyday. Spend more time in prayer with your Lord. Pay attention to your words and actions throughout the day. Witness to others. Don’t depend on someone else. Be depended upon by someone else.

Pick up your cross and go to work.

Today’s Prayer: “Lord, I need your help to be a better worker for you. Help me see the opportunities you have provided. Remind me of what, when and how I am to do your will. Amen.”

“MAYBE TOMORROW”

“When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.” Ecclesiastes 5:4 NIV

Read: Ecclesiastes 5:1-4

The words “Maybe tomorrow” do not hold much hope. When we start a sentence with ‘maybe’, every word that follows it is unlikely to happen. Do you adhere to the adage; ‘Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?’

We find our comfort zones by softening the reality of the ultimate. “Reschedule’ sounds so much better than procrastination. We are only fooling ourselves with our own characterizations of an event or situation. We do this for many reasons. We may attempt to avoid the ‘guilt trip’ of not taking care of something in a timely manner. Other times we attempt to eliminate a confrontation when we don’t want to do what another has suggested.

Procrastination may be based on difficult memories coupled with a desire of not duplicating the past. In this case, we have history of the past we can use to our advantage by taking immediate to avoid making the same mistake twice. We can find all kinds of excuses, but probably very few real reasons to put things off.

Often, the situation will only get worse by not dealing with it immediately.

Are you procrastinating about your relationship with God? How many times have you promised God to do something or NOT do something? God does not procrastinate. No where in scripture do you read about God telling someone to do something when they have nothing better to do.

God’s instructions are clear. God tells us things to do and not to do. There are no ifs, ands or maybes.

What are you putting off? Take the time….right now….and have a short prayer asking God to help you. God controls tomorrow!

Today’s Prayer: “My God, thank you for loving me even when I am not obedient. Help me to be more responsible and less procrastinating. I need your help with ______________. Amen.”

“WHAT IS IN YOUR WALLET?”

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,” Proverbs 3:1 NIV

Read: Proverbs 3:1-12

For the last ten years, a major credit card company has focused its television commercials with the continued theme of “What is in your wallet?” From Viking characters to rude operators from the ‘other’ credit card companies, they sum it all up with this famous line.

So, what is in your wallet? Like many, you probably have your drivers license, credit cards, identification cards, family photos and such in your wallet. I have a typical wallet, except for one thing. For decades, I have carried a small faded card given to me by an uncle. It reads: “I carry this poem in my wallet not as an idol or a treasure. It is just a piece of paper to remind me Jesus gave His life for me.” There is nothing else on the card. There does not need to be anything else on the card. It says it all!

What you carry in your wallet could be very representative of what you carry in your heart. Your heart should carry all the love of God. Is your heart filled with a joyous hymn or a doom and gloom death march? You have a choice. What is in your heart is of your choosing. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have The Holy Spirit in your heart. Give Him good company with a happy heart!

“What is in your heart?” Use what is in your heart as a testimony to others.

Today’s Prayer: “Lord, you are in my heart. Give me the wisdom to use my testimony to tell others what they can have in their hearts as well. Amen.”

“I CAN SAVE THIS ONE!”:

“He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death.” Psalm 72: 13 NIV

READ: Psalm 72: 12-19

There was a young boy walking the beach after a high tide. As he walked along, he would pick up starfish which had washed ashore and were stranded on the beach. One by one, he would take the stranded starfish and toss it gently back into the water. A man also walking the beach continued to observe the boy’s actions. The man approached the boy and told him that he could not save all the starfish which were stranded on the beach. The boy agreed and told the man though he could not save them all, but he could make a difference to the ones he helped. As the boy picked up another starfish, he told the man, “I can save this one!” One at a time, some would be able to live once thrown back into the ocean.

As you go through your life, you have times when you are like the stranded starfish on the beach. You may be in that stranded situation today or maybe it has been years ago. Someone took an action that rescued you when you could not help yourself. There is good chance you can remember that time in your life…or maybe even several times you benefited from someone’s kind word or action.

Be prepared. At any time, you may find yourself in one of those seemingly impossible situations again. Know that your prayers will be answered. God can send a solution no matter how desperate you may believe things may be.

You can also be like the boy on the beach. Pay attention to others today. There is someone alone, hurting or desperate with visions of little or no hope or solution to their problems. Just as the starfish stranded on the beach, someone needs your help. Do something for someone today. Let them know you care. You may be the only one to help. Don’t pass up the opportunity. Allow God to use you to do His work.

Today’s Prayer: “Holy Spirit, you are my rescuer today. No matter how difficult or impossible a situation may seem, I am reassured you will help me. Give me the strength to reach out to others in their situations to help and support them. Amen.”

“THEY ARE DIFFERENT!”

“Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.” Psalm 143: 2 NIV

Read: Psalm 143: 1-12

It seems we all judge others in some manner. We compare others to our own standards in some manner. We decide, based on our opinions and self made beliefs, how others should look and act. We see others as too tall, too short, too thin or too heavy. We value others based on their appearance, their social standing, their education, their race or their faith.

We do this because of the ‘way we were raised’, the influence of friends or those we work with. None of these are valid reasons for us to see ourselves and others differently. We have no excuse for a wrong attitude.

God made us in his likeness. God made us slightly different, yet all the same. Even with our differences, God have us all the same instructions. From Genesis to Revelation His word is the same for each of us. Our race, physical appearance, sex, age or social standing do not matter to God. They should not matter to us either. Satan uses these opinions to bolster of sinful egos to make us feel we are better or more important than someone else. Interpretation of the scriptures and our doctrines may vary, but one truth remains. God is three Persons; God the Father, Jesus the Son and The Holy Spirit. God in each of His Persons is for each and every one He has created.

Perhaps, you have been on the receiving end of being different. If someone has made you feel unimportant, understand it is their problem, not yours. God created you the way He wanted you. Short, tall, light or dark was God’s choice. Be proud of God’s decisions. Live you life as God intended. Don’t be bullied to be as those not walking in the Spirit would decide for you. God will lead you and protect you. Trust God and have faith in Him.

Today’s Prayer: “Lord, help me today to be less judgmental of others. Help me to see others as you see them. Help me also to be understanding of those who judge me. Give me strength to tolerate the pain of the wicked in this world. I ask these things in Christ’s name. Amen.”