“JOIN THE CLUB!”

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42 NIV

Read: Acts 2:36-47

“JOIN THE CLUB!”, Mike joked as I finally caught onto a computer procedure. What was apparently easy for him to understand was like a foreign language to me. Being a hands on, nuts and bolts kind of guy, it takes me a while to grasp the process a computer uses to perform a task and what I must do to to insure the results. It takes me a while to ‘join the club’.

What about you? Are there things in this modern world that just don’t make sense or things you just don’t get the first time? Sometimes we need a little extra time or special instruction to learn something new. At other times, our lack of understanding something new or different comes from our own lack of interest. Often, we put things off in favor of things that are of more interest or importance to us.

Have you ever started reading the Bible, front to back, one book at a time? The first time I read GOD’S word chapter by chapter, I was excited with the history and life applications of Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus. Then I started reading Numbers (how appropriately named!). Names after names, numbers after numbers, the son of the son of and 36,000 cattle first seemed boring. I failed initially to understand the purpose. The matter was not whether their was 36,000 cattle or 37,000 cattle. Each of these facts were the dots on the i and the crosses on the t of the lesson. These little facts when all put together complete GOD’S story. By absorbing it all, I ‘joined the club’. Now, Numbers and other books are full of GOD”S exciting story.

There is another club…the club of worship. Do you go to church and experience the social club or do you go to church to ‘worship’ your LORD GOD, JESUS YOUR SAVIOR and THE HOLY SPIRIT who dwells within you?

“Join the club!” and go to church this morning worship GOD for all the right reasons. If you don’t have a regular church, go to the closest one to where you live…”JOIN THE CLUB!” of worship.

Today’s Prayer: “MY FATHER, Thank you for all YOU do for me that I take for granted. Help me today to worship YOU the way YOU intended with less of me and more of YOU. Amen.”

“WHAT WAS I THINKING?”

“But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”

Isaiah 32: 8 NIV

Read: Isaiah 32:2-8

When was the last time you questioned yourself? I do it often. Sometimes, too often. It seems when I make a mistake, I look back on the situation and ask myself; ‘What was I thinking?’. Many times, I was not thinking. I can easily cause difficulties for myself and others by not thinking and just doing or saying something off the cuff.

How about you? Do you question your actions or judgment? Do you look back at times when your decisions were totally off base? Are others still facing difficult issues because of your decision? It is not to late to fix a problem you may have created.

There is an old saying with carpenters and wood workers: “Measure twice, cut once.” We can re-think this adage. We could find it helpful if we: “Think twice, act or speak once.” It would make life easier for us if we did think twice before we acted or spoke too quickly.

When we are in a situation, it is not enough to think about just the moment. We need to think about both the immediate and long term result of our actions. When JESUS was being arrested, in an act to defend Jesus, Peter cut off one of the servants’ ears. JESUS immediately healed it, but the act stayed with Peter. Peter’s denial of JESUS was when he was spotted and reported to be the one of JESUS’ followers who had cut off the man’s ear. Peter lied and denied it.

Denying our mistakes, wrongful actions and hurtful words will not benefit us. We need to take responsibilities for our actions and words and ask those we have hurt for their forgiveness. A sincere heart will ask GOD to forgive and for help in making wrong things right.

Next time think what GOD wants you to do before having to say to yourself; “What was I thinking?”

Today’s Prayer: “JESUS, As you forgave Peter and healed his actions, help me to think first in all situations asking YOU to guide me in what I should do and say. Amen.”

“LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION”

“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Joshua 22:5 NIV

Read: 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Since I was a young man, I have heard there are three rules of real estate investing. Location, location and location are the declared three rules. These rules are true for both residential and commercial real estate. A palatial home built in a sinking swamp would probably be a poor investment just as a high rise office building constructed in an isolated frozen tundra would have little success attracting tenants. While a property may have variables of size and improvements, these are less significant than where the property is located.

We can draw a similar comparison of where we are located in our spiritual walk. Are you located in a spiritual swamp or a frozen walk with GOD? Is it time to improve your location with GOD?

Peter turned from CHRIST three times. Denial after denial, while he was located physically in JESUS’ presence, Peter’s spiritual location was no where near. Through scripture, we find GOD’S people who are were in the right location physically, but were in the wrong location in their walk with GOD. David went from a faithful shepherd boy to an adulterous king and then faithful again. David was in the right location at times and at the wrong location at other times. We can learn from the life of David, there are times when we are in the right location at the right time, then we choose our desires and abandon our walk. Before long, just as David, we are failing ourselves and our location is nowhere near GOD.

GOD never changes HIS location. We know where we can find GOD. HE is waiting. Where are you today? Is it time to re-locate your spiritual walk? Is your location where GOD wants you to be?

If you are unsure if you are in the location GOD wants you to be, just ask HIM. The best way for you to find your location with GOD is on your bended knee.

Today’s Prayer: “LORD, Thank you for always knowing where I am and being there to help me. I want to always be located in your presence. Help me in my walk with you. Amen.”

“BILLBOARD OF SINS”

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,” Psalms 103: 1-3 NIV

Read: Psalms 103: 1-12

To GOD, sin is sin. As humans, many have a ranking order of sin. Do you believe that one sin is more wrong than another or another sin is not as bad as another?

If you used a human ranking of sin, what is the worst things you have thought, said or done? Would your list list include exaggerating the truth, lusting of another, cheating on your income tax return, broken promises of tithing, marital unfaithfulness, keeping the money when given too much change or those little ‘white’ lies that you live with daily?

What if you had to post these sins on a billboard with your name and photo on it in front of your house? Would you be more ashamed of your sins or would you be more troubled of others knowing the all the sins you have been hiding?

We can sometimes hide our sins from others, but never can we hide our sins from GOD. GOD knows everything about us.

Some will forgive you while others may be judgmental of all your past errors and will continue to condemn you seemingly forever. No matter what your sin, there is only one you can be sure who will forgive you absolutely for all eternity. GOD is the only one to absolutely forgive you.

Ask GOD to forgive you. GOD is the only one who can remove your ‘billboard of sins’.

Today’s prayer: “HEAVENLY FATHER, Thank you for forgiving me of all my mistakes, sinful thoughts and actions. As you have forgiven me, help me be more forgiving of others. Amen.”

“TELEPHONE MESSAGE, I’M NOT HERE!”

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” 1Corinthians 12:4,5,6 NIV

Read: 1Corinthians 12:1-11

I was recently told the story of a man calling his friend’s phone. The call was not answered but went immediately to a recorded message. The message stated; “I am not here to personally answer your call. Instead of sitting around on mostly useless phone calls, I am out doing things to improve my life and helping others.”

Telephones, tablets, iPads and computers have become tremendous advances for us…at times. They can also get in the way of us really living our lives. GOD has given us a wonderful world to enjoy and to improve. While Satan walks the earth to undo all the good GOD has for us, every minute of every day GOD gives us hope for a better life.

Every day, you have choices. You can sit around and hope that your life will be better than it is or you can use the talents and spiritual gifts which GOD has gifted perfectly to you. These talents and spiritual gifts were not given to you to be ignored or wasted. The special gifts GOD has given you are unique for what GOD wants of you. GOD wants us to succeed and grow so we can benefit ourselves and others.

No matter who you believe you are, you can be the better person GOD wants you to be. You can help someone else improve their situation. You can make a difference. Instead of doing nothing, ask GOD what HE wants you to do. Don’t be surprised when HE tells you what to do! In James 1:23b, we read “…and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

When Jesus calls you, will you be sitting and waiting for your life to unfold or will HE find you doing the works HE has given you to do?

Today’s prayer: “HEAVENLY FATHER, Thank you for the talents and spiritual gifts you have given to me. Help me today to use these talents and spiritual gifts to better myself in ways that I will be able to benefit others. Amen.”

“DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?”

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36 NIV

Read: Ecclesiastes 9:5-12, Matthew 24: 35-42

If you use your watch or the clock on the wall to schedule your day or to keep an appointment, you are using chronological time. This word comes from the ancient Greek word chronos. Other English words also come from the same Greek root; chronic and chronicle. All relate to time or a time schedule. We also talk of father time as the aging man with the long white beard. Our society says goodbye to him every new year’s eve.

There is another time also taken from the Greeks. Kairos time refers to the perfect time without the boundaries of chronos time. Kairos time can be used to explain GOD’S time. GOD’S eternity is a perfect example. GOD’S eternity was before the beginning and will continue past the end. GOD’S eternity was before the beginning and will continue past the end. *(This repeated sentence is not a typo.)

We personally decide if we are in good times or bad times. Our success and happiness at a moment in time determines if the time is good or bad. We dictate our lives around our personal schedule. We generally have a set time to wake up, to prepare ourselves for the day’s activities, to eat, to work, to relax and to go to bed for another night’s rest. We choose the time we spend with others and activities.

What about your time with GOD? Do you simply schedule HIM into your day when it is convenient? It may be time to change your schedule. Make GOD a part to every thing in your day. Bring GOD into your waking, your preparation for the day ahead, taking HIM with you throughout the day, talking with GOD of the successes and set backs, enjoying HIS peace as you rest and thanking HIM for HIS blessings as you prepare for the next night’s rest.

Set your schedule to GOD’S time not the clock on the wall.

Today’s prayer: “FATHER GOD, Thank you for being with me even at the times I ignore your presence. Help me today to make you a part of every moment of my day. Amen.”

“WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT WHAT YOU GET!”

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” Job 11:7

Read: Job 11: 7-20

What you see is not always what you get. We have all been amazed and deceived by a magician’s slight of hand. Things are in his left hand one moment only to move to his right hand and then suddenly it is in neither hand and nowhere to be seen.

Things of this earth are like that. Satan uses more than a simple slight of hand to hide his evil ways. He will use all forms of deception to convince us that evil does not exist and that we can do things our way without consequences. He will use his powers to turn us from all GOD has told us. From material things to our emotions, Satan will hurt us and others if we allow him.

Initially, Job suffered but did not blame GOD for all his losses. It is the tenth chapter of Job that we see Job questioning GOD as he felt GOD had abandoned him. Job suffered tremendous losses. Not only did he have to contend with the loss of his children, possessions, health and wealth, he had to deal with the condemnation from his friends that he was being punished by GOD. Of course, this was not true. It was Satan working against Job, not GOD. GOD knew of Job’s faith.

GOD knows your faith as well. GOD is more than aware of the attacks upon you by Satan. GOD is there for you….waiting. GOD is waiting for you to reach out to HIM. For those desperate situations, the only one you can count upon is GOD.

Ask GOD for help. HE is waiting. There is no situation too desperate for GOD. HE will never abandon you. Don’t turn from GOD and look to others or yourself for a quick fix.

You can blame Satan for the temptation and deceit. But, don’t blame your actions upon the temptations of Satan. You are responsible for your own faith. Satan does not turn you from GOD. He just gives you a false excuse…an excuse, but never a reason. If you fail God, it is you who have failed HIM. Ask GOD to forgive you. GOD has promised forgiveness to all believers.

Today’s prayer: “LORD GOD, Thank you for forgiving the times I have turned from you. Help me today to be more aware of Satan’s deceitful ways. I want your ways. Amen.”

“GPS”

“The LORD will guide you always; HE will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Read: Isaiah 58: 9-14

GPS, Global Position System, has crept into many areas of our lives. The U.S. government started development of GPS in the 1960’s and was fully functional in the 1970’s for government and military use. It was then released to the private sector and is still growing. Based on information of only four of dozens of satellites, you can find or be found at almost any spot on the earth.

The technology is so advanced your cell phone, hand held device, laptop as well as airplane and ship on board computers can be used as GPS receivers. These navigation systems will probably become standard equipment on new cars. No matter where you are or where you are going, GPS will locate the position within a matter of a couple of feet. You will never get lost if you use one of these devices properly. Simply type an address in and you can get specific directions.

Actually, GPS has been around since creation. “GOD”S PERSONAL SAVIOR”, Jesus, is here for you. Not reliant upon satellites or computers, GOD knows where you are, where you have been and where you are going. HE sent HIS SON and the HOLY SPIRIT to guide through all of your life’s difficulties.

Connect with HIM today. On bended knee in your prayer closet or in a simple prayer as you go about your day, “GPS, GOD”S PERSONAL SAVIOR” is ready to guide you all the days of your life.

Have you accepted Jesus as your “GPS”?

Today’s Prayer: “LORD GOD, Thank you for sending your “GPS” to me. Help me be more reliant upon YOU, JESUS and THE HOLY SPIRIT as I go through my daily routines, dependent upon you rather than myself. Amen.”

“I WANT MY WAY!”

“You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.” Job 22:27

Read: Job 22:21-30

She was not happy. The three year old tugged and whimpered as she pulled to be free from her mother’s secure hand. The toy aisle was too much temptation for her as they walked thru the discount superstore.

As her mother attempted to explain their purpose to her, the little girl broke loose and ran to the toy aisle. With her mother in pursuit, the little one ran right into another shopper’s cart. Instantly, the new pain replaced her desire to find the toys. Now, she sobbed from her abrupt impact that caused minor pain but no injuries. From moments before of wanting her own way, she was now clinging to the loving arms of her mother with no desire to do things her way.

We may often find ourselves in this situation. We want our way and ignore GOD’S lead and protection. Then abruptly during our pursuit of our own way….wham! GOD has a way of stopping us. We were well on our way of doing it our way, but we never asked GOD if we were on HIS pathway. A simple prayer could have prevented our error.

Take time as you go through the day. Ask GOD’S help with the decisions and choices you need to make. It does not matter what the situation is. Nothing is too minor or too major to be in prayer. What may seem like an unimportant decision is very important when you take it to God first. Your prayers do not always need to be only while you are locked away from others in your prayer closet. Take a moment to talk with GOD while waiting for the red light to change, while waiting in the drive thru, riding the elevator or waiting for the coffee to brew. Anytime is the right time to talk with GOD.

Make your “I want my way!”, “I want GOD’S way!”

Today’s Prayer: “Dear LORD, Thank you for bearing with me when I choose to do things my way instead of your way. Help me today to seek you in all things I do. Amen.”