“NO MONEY IN THE BANK?”

“You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” Haggai 1:6 NIV

Read: Haggai 1:4-7

I am reminded of the expression: ‘The bank must have money in my account since I still have checks in my checkbook.’ If this could only be true. It seems we are much more likely to run out of money in our accounts than to run out of checks.

Do you routinely write checks to others when you are well aware you have no money in the bank to cover the checks? Our governments do it everyday. They just print more money. Thankfully, we do not have that ability!

We need to live financially responsible. That is easier said than done when we are tempted in so many ways to have ‘the good life’. If you have ever fallen victim to the good life with a mountain of debt, you have discovered the good life is not so good after all. In biblical times, individuals and entire families were sold into slavery to pay for their debts. Today, many feel like they are slaves of the debts they have created.

What do you do to get out of debt? Three things. Buy…only the minimum absolute necessities to live meagerly. Work…take on a second job with dedication to use all the income from a second job to pay off your debts. Sell…all the extras that you don’t have to have need to be sold with every dollar being used to rid yourself of debt.

Ridding yourself of debt is not easy. With GOD’S help you can go from ‘no money in the bank’ to ‘money in the bank’.

Burdened debt is a sin. JESUS gave HIS life so that your sins can be forgiven. Take care of your financial debts and thank JESUS for forgiving your sinful debts.

Today’s Prayer: “JESUS, Thank you for forgiving my sin debts. Help me, today, to rid myself of all the unnecessary financial debts I have created. Amen.”

“PLANT A FALL GARDEN FOR GOD!”

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV

Read: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Have you ever planted a garden? Fresh fruits and vegetables are great for us. How about planting a garden this fall for GOD? For this garden, you don’t need a shovel or fertilizer.

You can plant a fall garden for GOD with just a little love. The best part of this garden is you get the harvest!

Start today. Plant your garden for GOD. First plant a lot of lettuce…”Lettuce” be humble and turn our lives over to GOD. You only need one apple…”Apple of your eyes” should be your spouse, first after GOD. An absolute necessity for your garden should be peas…Making “Peas” with those you disagree with should be your desire. Include turnips…”Turnip” your hearing to those around you who need your loving help. It would be good to include an orange…”Orange” you going to study GOD’S word more and turn off the TV? Don’t forget to weed…”Weed” rather being doing other things, but stick to your task. As you tend your garden, feel the plum…”Plum” tired from all your efforts? Thank GOD for the work HE has given to you in order to be tired! Don’t forget one more planting, two berries…”Berry, berry” thankful for all GOD has blessed you with!

JESUS’ parables often using plantings and crops to explain HIS teachings. You can use these teaching to help yourself and others. The harvest is ripe and can be enjoyed by all.

Today’s Prayer: “LORD MY GOD, Thank you for the abundance of love you have given me. Help me to cultivate my life so that I can give that love and kindness to others. Amen.”

“IS GOOD GOOD ENOUGH?”

“If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;” 2 Timothy 2:12 NIV

READ: 2 Timothy 2:11-16

Have you ever worked with someone who did not do their job well? It may have appeared they did just enough to get by as if their concern was always ‘just good enough’. At the same time, you may have noticed another worker doing a great job with an attitude of doing their best and ‘just good enough’ not being good enough for them.

Is good good enough? Perhaps, the better question is: How great is great? Great is best. Do you do your very best at all you attempt? Doing our best is important. Doing our best for GOD is the most important thing we can do. Nothing else in this life even comes close to this importance.

How do you do your best for GOD? Your best for GOD starts with making GOD the most important thing in our life. GOD needs to be more important than your spouse, children, parents, job, possessions or your country. You cannot truly know the love of others until you know the love of GOD.

You can reign with GOD in HIS eternal Heaven. GOD gave us HIS best when HE sent HIS SON. GOD’S love for you was proven with the sacrifice HE made. GOD gave you HIS best. Doing a ‘good enough’ job is not enough. Give GOD your best.

When you wake, tell GOD of your love for HIM. Enrich your life immersed in HIS word. Live your life as GOD wants others to see. Worship with others, sharing your love for HIM!

Today’s Prayer: “Dear GOD, Thank YOU for loving me. Help me, today, to grow in YOUR ways and do the very best for YOU. Amen.”

“WANT TO BE GOD?”

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5 NIV

Read: Genesis 3:1-11

Some times we just don’t pay attention.

Do you ever want to be like GOD or be GOD? We can’t be and we were never created to be GOD. Adam and Eve attempted to be like GOD and failed. Even though the serpent promised Eve the forbidden fruit would make her like GOD and Adam bought into the deception as well, it did not happen.

We are tempted by those in this world around us just as Adam and Eve were tempted. The serpent’s lie sounded convincing, just as those who will attempt to lead you into sin might also sound convincing.

Who do you want to be that you are not? Do want to be your boss? As kids we rebelled and thought we wanted to be our parents. GOD has full authority and gave us free will. We can be obedient to our LORD or we can be obedient to our free will and allow Satan to control us. The free will GOD gave us can be a blessing if we use it to follow HIM. The same free will is a burden and can fill our lives with heartache if we use it to follow the evil ways of Satan. There is no in between.

We can be Christlike, but never CHRIST. Scripture instructs us to take on the qualities of CHRIST as much as humanly possible. Imperfect as we are, we can walk the walk as CHRIST would have us. As Paul tells us in Philippians 1:11…we are to be “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through JESUS CHRIST – to the glory and praise of GOD”.

We cannot be GOD. We can do as GOD has taught us and be as HE wants us to be.

Today’s Prayer: “DEAR GOD, Forgive me for being tempted by the ways of the serpent in my life. Help me today to be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through JESUS, my SAVIOR. Amen.”

“SUPER HERO?”

“You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.” Acts 22:15 NIV

Read: Acts 22:6-16

Super heroes are big in our society. Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman and others have become part of our society. From comic books 50-80 years ago, they are now big movie hits and our little kids have posters planted upon bedroom walls, pajamas, t-shirts and lunch boxes. Billions of dollars are spent on this pop craze.

So, who is your super hero? Over my life, my vision of a hero has changed. As a 10 year old, it was a baseball player; then it was my grandfather. Papa was a good man. He stole my heart when I was 11 or 12 when he gave me his pocketknife. He could have given me thousands of dollars and it would not have compared to the gift of his very own pocketknife!

CHRIST is now my hero. Each of the disciples are special heroes and have a place of honor as do Moses, Abraham, David and the minor and major prophets. These and others are all super heroes in GOD’S plan. There are super heroes today. Some you know. Your pastor may be a super hero or perhaps a famous evangelist. Others may be missionaries in the jungles of South America, a refugee camp in eastern Africa or spreading the gospel in India. There are unknown super heroes for Christ everywhere.

How about you? Are you a super hero? You can be.

The big difference in being unknown and a super hero is simply doing it. If you have felt GOD’S nudging or HIS whispering instructions to you, follow HIM! You will be glad you did. GOD will equip you in all you need.

Be a super hero for GOD! To be more, be less in yourself and more of GOD.

Today’s Prayer: “MY LORD, Thank you for all you have done for me and given to me. Help me be a helper for you to reach others through me. I will be obedient to your calling. Amen.”

“WHY DOES GOD ALLOW BAD THINGS?”

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12 NIV

Read: Matthew 7:7-12

Daily, we see injustices in our world. News reports tell us of terrorists killing innocent people and destroying cities and countries. We see cancer and disease taking the health and lives of our loved ones, divorce tearing families apart and famine starving innocent people. If we allow ourselves, we can blame GOD and feel HE doesn’t care about HIS creations.

Do you ever ask yourself: “Why does GOD allow this?” or “Why doesn’t GOD do something about this?” The questions are related. Yet, they have two different answers.

Bad things don’t come from GOD. GOD contains no evil. So, why does GOD allow bad things to happen? GOD has allowed evil to exist since the recording of time when the serpent lied to Adam and Eve. But, GOD also tells us that evil will be destroyed in HIS timetable.

GOD is all powerful, so why doesn’t HE do something about these problems?

GOD has done something. GOD created you!

HE created you to do your part and to work with others to lessen the evils and hurt in this world. Step up and accept the responsibility GOD has given you. Some will join the military to fight the terrorist armies, while some will donate money to send aid to the starving around the world. Maybe you are to volunteer on a cancer ward in a hospital, rebuilding a home destroyed by a severe storm or assisting a ministry.

We are all different. GOD can use your different talents and abilities to do HIS will. If you really want GOD to do something, allow HIM to use you. Hear HIS call and do all you can do. You can do more than you believe.

Today’s Prayer; “MY LORD, Thank you for creating me. Help me today to see the things in this world where I can make a difference for you. Tell me what you want me to do. Amen.”

“THE WHOLE ENCHILADA!”

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'” John 6:35 NIV

Read: John 6:32-40

Isn’t American slang interesting? From different areas of the U.S., we hear an assortment of different slang expressions. Some are euphemisms or ironic phrases with comical undertones. These are used to express emotions and ideals. “The whole enchilada” is one of the phrases that started in the southwest and is now known across the states. ‘The whole enchilada’ simply means ‘everything’. It describes and removes any doubt of anything being left out or lacking. If you have the whole enchilada, you have it all!

Do you have ‘the whole enchilada’ in your relationship with GOD?

All to often, we allow daily life to get in our way of having it all. GOD gave us HIS son, JESUS, so we can have it all. Still, some limit themselves and are willing to accept less than our SAVIOR has offered. A man recently told me he enjoyed his sinful life so much that any time in hell would be well worth it! He is willing to trade a few years of a false life for an eternity of pain. He is ready to accept an ingredient rather than have ‘the whole enchilada’.

Are you willing to accept only a portion of what GOD has offered you? GOD offered Adam and Eve all the goodness of the world if they would deny themselves the one forbidden fruit. Are you repeating the ways of Adam and Eve or are you ready to accept all GOD has for you?

Give your life to Jesus and you will have ‘the whole enchilada’. JESUS is the ‘bread of life’. Believe and never be hungry or thirsty.

Today’s Prayer: “LORD, I want it all! I want everything YOU have for me. Help me to give more of myself to YOU and to be aware of all YOU are giving to me. Amen.”

“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD!”

“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1 NIV

Read: Psalms 23

Miss Connie gave her second grade Sunday School class an assignment to memorize the 23rd Psalm. Little Jimmy practiced and practiced but was having difficulties remembering the entire six verses.

The Sunday morning came for the students to recite the Psalm. One by one, each student stumbled through their memory of the verses. Most did an admirable job. Jimmy’s time came. Nervously, he started: “The LORD is my shepherd…” Then again: “The LORD is my shepherd…” Then with enthusiasm: “The LORD is my shepherd and that is all I need to know.” Jimmy knew an important part, but still did not know all GOD had done or could do for him.

We are often like little Jimmy. We know who GOD is more than we know GOD. We often take our LORD for granted. When we read the verses of CHRIST and HIS disciples, we learn the people of their day knew scriptures of the Old Testament by memory. Most did not have their own scrolls and were taught GOD’S verses in the temple and by their parents as children.

Knowing GOD is our shepherd is wonderful, but our spirit needs more. The more you know of GOD and HIS verses, the better your life can be. You can benefit from studying the Bible daily.

The first thing every morning before the interruptions of the day come along is the best time for many. You can use the format of reading the Bible cover to cover in a year or study passages or events laid out in scripture following a devotional and using a study Bible to guide you. An alternative study is to read John 3:16, then the four gospels….Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then start with Genesis reading the entire Old Testament a chapter a day. Then starting again with Matthew read the New Testament a chapter a day. You will be glad you did!

Today’s Prayer: “MY SHEPHERD, Thank you for leading me, LORD. Help me today to spend time in your Word so that I might grow as you would have me. Let me use these learnings to help others. Amen.”

“MONEY ON THE TABLE!”

“From the GOD of your father who helps you, and by the ALMIGHTY who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills” Genesis 49: 25-26a NIV

Read: Matthew 5: 1-11

Did you ever hear the old expression; ‘left money on the table’? It comes from a business transaction that means you could have made a better deal or received more money than what you accepted. If you sold a used car for $9,000 and the buyer would have gladly paid you $10,000, it could be said you left money on the table.

We do this more often than we think. We leave a lot more than money on the table. Of all the things we receive, money is sometimes the least thing we can leave on the table.

What few things are you willing to accept less when you could have a lot more? What about all of GOD’S blessings? Are you leaving HIS blessings ‘on the table’ and you don’t even know it? How many more blessings would you get if you were only aware and accepted them?

In order to know and understand all of GOD’S blessings, start with ridding your thoughts of Satan’s negative influences that come into your life daily. Some days these negative attacks may seem unending. That is the way Satan works. The more he can distract you with negatives, the less likely you are to see all the blessings GOD has given to you.

Open your heart to seeing, hearing, feeling and accepting GOD’S blessings. GOD is ready to bless you in every phase of your life. Don’t be mislead by thinking you have to wait for GOD to bless you. GOD is waiting for you to accept more of HIS blessings than you can ever imagine!

Today’s Prayer: “HEAVENLY FATHER, Forgive me for not seeing and accepting all the blessings YOU have for me. Help me today to open myself to the glory and riches of YOUR blessings! Amen.”