“HIDE AND SEEK”

“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV

Read: Deuteronomy 4:28-31

Chances are you and your kids played ‘hide and seek’. Did you know the game probably originated in ancient Greece in the second century? The children of the first Christians probably played this game! Did you know ‘hide and seek’ or similarly named games are played in almost every country and culture around out globe? Usually, one player is chosen as ‘it’, closes their eyes and counts to 20 or another number while everyone else hides. The last hider found becomes the next ‘it’.

Adults play the game too…only with a different twist. We attempt to hide our wrong doings from others so we will not be found out. While you may hide your sinful secrets from some, it is only a matter of time until they are made public in some manner. Little sins or big sins, no matter how we try to hide them, GOD knows them all. HE knew of all our wrongs before we ever thought of them. We can’t hide anything from GOD.

As you cannot ‘hide’ your sins from GOD, you can ‘seek’ GOD’S forgiveness. It does not matter how long ago your hidden sin started or how really bad you think it is, GOD will forgive you. So, stop what you know is wrong and take your guilt to GOD. Ask HIM to forgive you and to give you the strength not to give in to the temptations ever again. Your strength may be weak, but GOD will give you the strength to ignore any temptation…if you trust him.

Don’t play a game of ‘hide and seek’ with GOD. HE knows where you are and HE wants you to seek HIM.

Today’s Prayer: “FATHER in Heaven, Thank you for loving me. Help me today to be obedient to your teachings so that I have no need to hide my evil deeds from others. Thank you for forgiving me. Amen.”

“NOT MY JOB!”

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

Read: Acts 9: 1-19

We all have met or work with someone who is determined to do only the very minimum of what is required of them. Some even will voice “That’s not my job!”, when asked to take on a required task. Some will stand by and watch you take on the extra work and still not offer to help you.

Saul of Tarsus (later to be called Paul) was like that to the nth degree. Not only did he reject the works of Christians, he worked with the Romans against them. He personally witnessed the stoning of Stephen and approved Stephen’s death by the crowd.

It was not long until on the road to Damascus that he met the spirit of JESUS. Saul was blinded for three days from the brightness of JESUS’ light. In days, Saul learned of his job; to spread the good news of JESUS to the gentiles. Saul became Paul and found his ‘new job’. What Paul had fought violently against, he found was his job.

What is your job? Don’t consider your occupation. What is the job GOD has given you? Are you telling GOD; “That’s not my job!”?

Instead of telling GOD “Not my job!”, ask HIM what job HE wants you to do. Think back over the last few week and months when presented with opportunities to help an organization or an individual. Did you say “Not my job!” and left it for others to do? You will be given more opportunities to do the job GOD wants you to do. You don’t need skills or special talents you don’t possess. GOD knows you are capable of more than you know.

Trust HIM. GOD has a special job for you!

Today’s Prayer: “Lord, Thank you for entrusting me to do the work YOU would have me do. Give me wisdom to see and understand all you have for me to do and the strength to do my job for YOU. Amen.”

“ALWAYS LATE”

“So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” Mark 13: 23

Read: Mark 13: 23-27

Chances are you know someone who is always late. I have a family member who is always late. Not sometimes late…always late. We have delayed Thanksgiving dinners, picnics and other activities waiting upon them and their family. They always aplogize and offer an excuse. We say; “They will be late to their own funeral!” Even though others scowl and mutter disapproval, the next time we are to meet, I expect them to be late. For too many years, they have set a pattern of being late, upsetting others with uncaring actions and words.

How about you? Are you always late? How about late often? We can all be caught off guard by unusual traffic or a delay caused by something out of our control. Yet, when we succumb to being late as a routine, we fail others as well as ourselves. Being late should not be a part of our lives.

The Old Testament is full of prophesy. The prophets of old told of the coming of CHRIST. Scholars have researched and we can study these verses ourselves. All details came to pass, just as prophesied. JESUS was on time.

JESUS told us of another time to be prepared. JESUS will return in perfect timing. We don’t know the date or the hour, but HE will be on time.

Will you be prepared and on time for JESUS’ return. Scripture has told us to be prepared. If you are late, even a minute late, it will be too late. When JESUS returns to take us home, don’t expect HIM to wait for you to do one more thing or to offer a flimsy excuse of putting something in place as more important. This is one time you can lose eternity by being late.

If you have not accepted JESUS CHRIST as your LORD and SAVIOR, it will be too late. Today is your day to accept JESUS and to live for HIM.

Today’s Prayer: “JESUS, Thank you for waiting upon me all these years. I don’t want to be late for you any more. Today, I accept you as my personal savior and I ask for your help in living my life for you. Amen.”

“BROKEN PROMISES”

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 NIV

READ: EXODUS 14:10-31

Disappointments are sure to be felt when someone we count upon breaks their promise.

There are some people you can count upon. Their word is their bond. You have probably found some others’ words can never be counted upon.

Pharaoh broke his promise to Moses and the Israelites when he said he would let the people go. The Israelites faced the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army in pursuit. Faithless, they feared the army or drowning in the sea. While ready to surrender and go back to being slaves, Moses did not. GOD”s faithful servant held fast. Moses even used the situation as a time to teach. He told the people to not be afraid, even though it looked as if there was no hope. Moses promised the people the LORD would keep HIS promise. Both Moses and GOD kept the promises.

Life brings moments like this. Seemingly, there is no way out. We feel an evil army attacking us on one side and on the other we see no help or escape. Satan wants you to feel the pains of broken promises, not GOD.

You may be faced with a situation which seems like the end of the world. You or a loved one may have a dreaded health situation, facing a financial disaster, a loss of a job or marriage difficulties. Do as scripture tells us. Be still and know GOD.

GOD knows of your problems and of the broken promises, but GOD will not break HIS promise to you. GOD promises to always be there for you. Take your burdens to HIM in prayer. Just as GOD protected the Israelites from Pharaoh’s army, GOD will protect you in every situation.

TODAY’S PRAYER: “LORD, Thank you for always being there for me. Help me today to depend more upon you and less upon me. I know I can trust your promise to always be here for me. Amen.”

“MOM’S FEATHER DUSTER”

“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.'” John 8:34 NIV

READ: Titus 3:3-8

This devotional is not titled appropriately. You see, my mother never had a feather duster!

Mother would not use a feather duster because as she said: “They don’t work. All they do is push dirt from one place to another.” Mother would mix a small amount of ammonia in a pail of water. She would then use two cloths to ‘dust’.

One cloth was dipped into the pail and wrung out. She would wash every item in the room and use the dry cloth to dry the item. From knick-knack to every piece of furniture…nothing was spared from her ‘dusting’ routine. When she finished ‘dusting’ this way, you can be sure there was no dust to be found. This process was repeated in every room of our small house.

Sin is like dust. We can move it around from place to place,but it is still there. Unless we wash our sins away, they are still around to tempt us and to undermine our efforts. We cannot wash away our own sins. God knew we could never cleanse ourselves, so He sent His only son to wash away our sins. Jesus will wash away your sins if you have faith and believe in Him.

You can live a clean life. As difficult as it may seem, it is actually an easy thing to do. Have faith. Know and understand the love God has for you. Knowing Jesus as your personal savior will wash away your sins. Studying your Bible, staying in open prayer with God and worshiping with other believers will help you keep Satan’s dusty sins at a minimum.

Today’s prayer: “Precious Jesus, Thank you for taking my on my sins. Help me, today, to recognize the sins in my life that I keep moving around but never rid myself of them. Amen.”

“GOD OR GOVERNMENT, PART 2”

“Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” Genesis 13:13 NIV

Read: Genesis 18:20 – 19:26

Last Sunday, you read “GOD OR GOVERNMENT”. It is reported more subscribers read this devotional over and over than any devotional in recent time! I have a difficult time some days of putting a full message in such a short devotional. “GOD OR GOVERNMENT” last week was such a message. Today, I will complete the message for you.

As noted, the news has been full of political and legal court opinions in recent weeks. In all of this, millions have thrown faithful Christian teachings out in favor of agendas that are against the word of God…against God’s laws.

We live in a society not unlike that of ancient people who threw out God’s laws repeatedly. We can remind ourselves of all we are told in Genesis. God created man and woman as his wife. Period. Then they both failed to obey God and listened to the serpent of Satan.

When given a choice of where to live, Lot chose the most evil place. God sent HIS angels to rescue Lot and HIS family. We have this recorded history to guide us and some still want to live as Lot and those in Sodom and Gomorrah. God even gave Moses the Ten Commandments to put God’s people back on track. Yet, man still refused to be faithful to God’s instructions. Book after book of God’s word are still being ignored. Prophets told us of Christ coming and of God’s dealings with HIS unfaithful people.

We have God’s word, HIS commandments, HIS instructions, HIS desires for each of us and we still want to do things our way. There is a correction to come. It may be today or years from now. God will discipline the unfaithful in ways not unlike those of HIS ancient people. Our country is going the way of Sodom and Gomorrah at breakneck speed.

Will you continue to walk in the worldly paths, agreeing with those who are against all God has told us, or will you stand strong to change these wrong things? You have a choice!

Decide what you are going to do and then do it. Start with going to church today. Surround yourself with like minded individuals. You can make a difference. Find a candidate who will hold onto God’s word and support your Christian faith.

Wait! That is not all. Those who have ignored and gone against the Lord will answer on judgement day. You and I will also answer for our actions and our lack of action. Are you doing everything you can do to support God’s laws? From prayer to conversations to financial support of those working to protect God’s laws, there is plenty for you to do.

Today’s Prayer: “Lord, Thank you for giving me the strength to stand up for You. Help me stand against all these acts of those who are not obedient to your laws. Help me do what is right as you will judge. Amen.”

“GOOD FROM BAD”

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Genesis 5:24 NIV

Read: Genesis 4: 1-17

There is an old an old saying; “When you have nothing but lemons, make lemonade.” It seems we are all dealt lemons at one time or another. There are things in our lives that just go wrong. Some things are from our own doings while others are complete surprises.

In Genesis, we read of the jealousy of Cain and how he lured his brother, Abel, into the fields and murdered him. Not only did he murder his own brother, he also lied to God about it. We often accuse others of being from ‘bad blood’. Others may be influenced by our environment, family or friends. But, the choices each of us make are our own.

As evil as Cain was, his son, Enoch, was certainly not evil. Enoch may have come from ‘bad blood’, but God made ‘Good from Bad” when He created Enoch. Enoch did not let his father’s evil ways control his life. Enoch lived a full life. Scriptures don’t tell us a lot about Enoch. But, God tells us the most important thing about Enoch. In Genesis 5:24 we learn Enoch “walked with God”.

Are you walking with God? Are you allowing the evil ways of others to control your walk with God? Are you in a life that seems like there is no hope? No matter how bad a situation is, God can turn it around. You don’t have to be tied to the evils of a family member or the bad environment you may live. Bad can corrupt good, but you can turn Satan away.

You can do something about it…but not on your own. Walk with God. Ask God to help you turn ‘Good from Bad’. Trust in the Lord. Have faith. Pray.

Today’s Prayer: “Father God, Thank you always being here for me. Help me today to turn the things in my live to good; no matter how bad things have been. Amen.”

“GOD OR GOVERNMENT?”

“…Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22:21 NIV

Read: Esra 1:1-11

Much Has been in the news of political and legal opinions in recent weeks. While some are praising these changes in our society, others are reeling in objections. We are in a time of some who consider themselves Christians disagreeing with faithful Christians. It seems as the ancient Jews complaining to Moses that the life as slaves in Egypt was better than roaming the desert. Today, as a society, many are raising their voices against God’s laws.

The descendents of these ancient Jews were held in captivity in ancient Babylon. The book of Ezra details Daniel praying for the release of God’s chosen people and going to King Cyrus begging for their release. Over 135 years ago, a clay cylinder was found by English archeologists, now known as the Cyrus Cylinder. This clay cylinder is inscribed with the king’s decree of the release of these Jews to return to their home to build temples to God. Again, man in his efforts of fact over faith has proven the accuracy of the Holy Bible. Just as these ancient people were freed, today’s believers will be free from oppression.

All of God’s words are absolute and our obedience should be absolute.

Wrongful governments, politicians and their legal (even immoral laws) will be brought to a day of reckoning. As we see our government and citizens moving from God and His laws in favor of man made laws, we must stand strong. Scriptures tell us to be obedient to our government and obey all laws. Murder and illegal actions are not Christian acts. This does not mean we are to be complacent. Our faith must be unshakable. Keep in mind many of your neighbors and co-workers are not just obedient of these legal changes, they are in support of these social changes and legal opinions which are against God’s laws. We cannot disguise what the media is calling ‘political correctness’.

These social and political agendas are absolutely against what God has laid out from Genesis to Revelation. God’s word is true…all of HIS word…not just what those weak in faith declares as what is in favor in our society.

Are you obedient of God’s word as absolute, or are you making humanly decisions to ignore His instructions? Obey the law and pray for those in government to understand God’s true laws.

Today’s Prayer: “Father, Thank You for forgiving my errors in judgement and actions. Help me as I struggle to be obedient to Your laws. Also, I pray for those who are being led from Your grace by those promoting the evils you have warned us against. Amen.”

“ONE DOLLAR CIRCUS TICKET!”

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV

Read: Hebrews 11:1-12

I recently was reminded of a story I heard decades ago. There was a young boy who saw a poster advertising the circus was coming to town and the admission was one dollar. Being poor, he had never seen a circus and he did not have the dollar for the ticket.

The boy was so excited, he found odd jobs and earned the one dollar. Within days, the circus came to town. They entered the town with a parade on floats with wild animals and all the circus acts. The boy was amazed. He ran to one of the clowns in the parade and gave him the dollar.

The young boy was so in awe, he thought the entrance parade was the circus itself. He gave away the money he had earned and would now not have the dollar he needed to buy the ticket to see the entire circus.

Sometimes, we are like the young boy. We are so anxious for something to happen, we jump at the first opportunity when God has something much better for us. When we depend upon ourselves we usually get much less than what God will give to us. Depend upon your faith in God.

Let’s depend on God’s promise to answer our prayers. He will give us much more than we expect if we have the faith to wait!

Today’s Prayer: “Lord, Thank you for answering my prayers. Help me to understand false hopes and desires and to depend on all you will give to me. Amen.”