“AN 8 SECOND RIDE!”

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NIV

Read: Romans 10: 9-13

Today is the last day of the San Antonio Rodeo for 2016. Known as the ‘rodeo of all rodeos’, it is a full two and a half weeks of excitement and hundreds of forms of entertainment like no other.

One of the most exciting events of the rodeo is the 8 second wild bull ride. To qualify, the contestant must ride a wild bull with only one hand holding onto a rope and the other hand raised and free for a full 8 seconds. I have no desire to experience it, but it is exciting to watch. Most of the riders never make the full 8 seconds. Many of the cowboys are instantly thrown from the bull and the bull often attacks the rider or the safety clowns.

8 seconds can be life changing!

We can make split second decisions that change our lives forever and the lives of others. Many of our life changing moments take place in much less than 8 seconds.

Have you ever taken an 8 second ride? How about 8 seconds that will change your life for the better and one where you are guaranteed to win? If you have not asked JESUS to be your LORD and SAVIOUR, it only takes 8 seconds.

If you have accepted JESUS before, but have not lived the life HE chose for you, now is your time to pray to HIM and re-commit yourself to GOD THE FATHER, JESUS THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT who is alive inside you.

Today’ prayer: “JESUS, please forgive me of my sins. I accept YOU alone as my LORD and SAVIOUR. Help me to live the life YOU chose for me. Amen!”

0r: “JESUS, please forgive me for not living my life for you. I am re-committing my life to YOU. I will trust and believe YOU to guide my life. Amen.”

It’s the most pleasant and important 8 seconds of your life and will give you a permanent home in Heaven. Don ‘t put it off. Now is the time to invest 8 seconds.

“TELL IT LIKE IT IS!”

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

 
Recently, we started a new radio program on Sunday mornings. One thing we had to do was select theme music. We needed music that would be unique, easily recognized and not being used or associated with another radio ministry.

 
It took almost no time to unanimously decide on the music from the hymn; “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” While some may relate the hymn as a Christmas carol, the hymn is an uplifting spiritual song anytime during the year. The verses tell us much more. The last verse contains the line; “HE made me a watchman upon the city wall, and if I am a Christian, I am the least of all.”

As a Christian, are you ‘least of all’? Tell it like it is!

In full effect the hymn’s chorus proclaims the closing verses of Matthew 28. Verses 19 and 20 tell us the great commission. We are to ‘tell it like it is’!

Do you tell it like it is? When was the last time you told someone that you are a Christian? How about the last time you gave someone a Bible or a devotional booklet that your church can get for free? Better yet, when was the last time you took one of your friends to church with you…not a weak invitation to go to your church…a real pick them up and take them with you.

Do you tell the cashier at the grocery store that JESUS died on the cross for them? What about the clerk at the dry cleaners or the salesclerk at the department store? Tell it like it is!

JESUS told you to make disciples of all nations. You don’t have to go half way around the world. With less than 50% of U.S. citizens reporting to be Christian, we are no longer a truly Christian nation. You can change that. Tell it like it is. Make this country the first nation on your list to fulfill the instruction of Matthew 28:19 and 20.

Not everyone can be a preacher, Bible teacher, or music director…but, everyone can be a missionary. It starts 12 inches outside your front door.

Tell it like it is. “Go, Tell It On The Mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
go, tell It On The Mountain that JESUS CHRIST is born.”

Today’s Prayer: “JESUS CHRIST MY LORD, Thank YOU for saving me from a life of sin. Help me to step up and do as YOU have told me to do. Help me depend upon YOUR strength to tell others about YOU. Amen.”

“WHO IS YOUR JUDAS?”

“Then one of the Twelve-the one called Judas Iscariot-went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver HIM over to you?’ So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.” Matthew 16:14-15 NIV

Read: Matthew 26:14-25

Who is your Judas? Who is always taking advantage of, condemning and criticizing you? Maybe, your Judas is a co-worker or acquaintance who is always ready to get anything they can from you, but who would run away rather than help you in a time of need. They could even be a family member. Who is it that is always bragging of having more than you? Is your Judas someone who thinks more of themselves than it seems they think of others?

The answer is probably more easily understood when you are extremely honest with yourself. Perhaps, your Judas is the one you allow to be your Judas. Is it possible your Judas is largely successful because you may be allowing them to control the situation?

JESUS chose Judas, knowing he would turn on HIM.

As JESUS was being mocked, slandered, wrongly accused, tortured and crucified, HE never pointed a finger and said: ‘This is all Judas’ fault!’ JESUS knew this was HIS FATHER’S plan and Judas played out the part GOD allowed.

While your Judas’ tauntings and condemnations are not from GOD but are an evil display, you need to be set free of them. When you stop blaming your Judas for your problems and situations, you will start growing free of their actions and words.

How do you get free of your Judas? Pray. Start with telling GOD of the details of your specific situation. Then ask GOD to help you deal with the adversities. GOD has the ability to take on the negatives you cannot deal with on your own. Turn your Judas over to GOD. Stop being a victim of your Judas’ attacks and start being a survivor under the protection of the HOLY SPIRIT who lives within you 24 hours of everyday.

JESUS can set you free of every grasp of the evils of this world.

Today’s Prayer: “DEAR GOD, Thank YOU for protecting me. Help me to turn over the trials and condemnations that others put upon me. I give these problems to YOU and trust YOU to deal with them as YOU know best. Amen.”

“INVESTORS TAKE HEART!”

“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 11:1-11

If you are invested in the stock market, mutual funds or other investments this year has been disappointing to most. Sometimes, it is hard to keep our heads above water financially. If history repeats itself, things are going to improve in time.

 
More important than your financial situation is your spiritual life. Are you keeping yourself above water spiritually? With Satan and his legions of angels on the prowl, it is difficult for many. But…it does not have to be that difficult.

 
Spiritual investors have an advantage!

 
It is easier than you may think to keep yourself above the paths prowled by Satan. Start with focusing your entire day on GOD.

 
Begin your day with reading your Bible and studying GOD’S meaning of the scriptures. End your study time in devoted prayer. Tell HIM thank you for all He has done and is doing for you. Next, turn over the problems and concerns of your life to HIM and then ask HIM for the help you need in your life. Close your prayers with your request for HIS help for those things and for help in you assisting others with their needs.

 
Don’t stop there. Invest in your spiritual walk. Stay in prayer throughout the day. Don’t pass up any opportunity to tell others of JESUS, your SAVIOUR. Don’t forget how your actions as well as your words impact all who see and hear you. Go to church. Join a group Bible study. Live your life the way GOD wants you to live, not as others would have you do.

 
Your investments in your spiritual walk will reward you with even greater returns.

 
Today’s prayer: “MY SAVIOUR, Thank YOU for all YOU have done for me and are doing. I am turning over my problems to YOU. Help me deal with these concerns and help me assist others with their spiritual and worldly needs. Amen.”

“WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!”

“Now let the fear of the LORD be on you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our GOD there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” 2 Chronicles 19:7 NIV

Read: 2 Chronicles 19:3-11

“Wrong, wrong, wrong!” How many times do you have to say it to make your point? On the other hand, how many times do you have to hear it before you are beaten down?

 

Often, we will take on a new project or responsibilities with fears of doubt. We struggle with the newness or difficulty while giving it our best. After a lot of dedicated effort, we succeed at something we had never done before. Our smiles reflected our success. What made us feel even better is when others recognized our efforts and gave us that reassuring pat on the back.

 

But, what if during our trials and errors before such success someone stood by telling us “wrong, wrong, wrong!” We might have easily given in and given up. Constant condemnation, wrong, wrong, wrong, can emotionally destroy even the strongest individual.

 

If you have been beaten down like this, know GOD loves you and will lift you up. Give your beaten, destroyed feelings to GOD. You really don’t want them, so why hang onto them? GOD wants all your problems.

 

Maybe you have been the one to be critical of another. When was the last time you said or even thought ‘wrong, wrong, wrong’ to another? Instead of condemning, you could have encouraged them. It is not too late to turn the situation around…even if they failed at their task. Tell them you are sorry…really sorry. Offer them help to complete the difficulties they felt they failed at under your destructive words.

 

If you failed GOD in your actions, ask HIM to forgive you. HE will! Share with HIM your most discouraging moments and your moments of total failure. GOD wants you to come to HIM. GOD wants you to depend upon HIM.

 

While others may be tearing you down with ‘wrong, wrong, wrong’, GOD can lift you up with ‘Right, right, right!, my faithful servant’.

 

Today’s prayer: “My PROTECTOR, Thank YOU for always being here for me. Help me be less judgmental of others and free from the destroying judgment of others. Amen.”

“WHY SUCH A MISERABLE WORLD?”

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.'” Luke 17:1 NIV

 
Read: Genesis 4:1-10

 
Do you ever wonder why we have so much misery in the world? The headlines are full of terrorists, homeless refugees, viruses spreading around the globe, rampages of murder, ongoing cold wars, pornography, cancer, and so much personal suffering.

 
How do you deal with it all? Did you wake up this morning hoping today would be perfect? As a famous preacher would say; “Get over it!” So, how do you get over it? Understand it!

 
I have spent years spoon feeding a confirmed atheist. He says he doesn’t focus on the negatives of this world. He takes comfort in what he calls the successes of man. Hmm, did you ever see an ostrich with his head buried in the sand? Putting your faith in the success of man is the same as burying your head in the sand. There is no future in the success or failure of man.

 
We have developed artificial limbs for those recovering from accidents and war. We have reclaimed cities taken over by the evils of war. We have even developed some vaccines to deal with major illnesses. We have harnessed the wind to supply endless amounts of energy.

 
Wait a minute! Why has man done all these things? Why do we call them successes? None of these are successes, they are our way of existing in a miserable world. Why do we have such misery in this world?

 
GOD created a perfect world without sin, without illness and without death. Adam and Eve were given everything they needed…everything. Satan brought sin, illness and death to man. Adam and Eve accepted misery by the temptation Satan offered them by disobeying GOD. It continued with their first born, Cain, who murdered his brother, Abel. Every beautiful infant born today has a sin nature they will have to deal with their entire life. Satan’s misery surrounds us everywhere in the world.

 
So, how do you deal with it? You don’t do it alone. There is only one sure way to deal with misery. Recognize it for what it is and give yourself to JESUS. HE will forgive you, cleanse you and heal you and support you emotionally and spiritually. You don’t have to live in misery. Believe, trust and live in the salvation of JESUS. You will have GOD with you every minute of every day to support you in this world of misery.

 
Today’s prayer: “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for protecting me in this miserable world. Help me be aware of Satan’s evils and trust YOU to deliver me from his grasp. Amen.”

“END OF THE ROAD!”

“The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.” Revelation 21:21 NIV

Read: Revelation 21:10-27

Back roads sometimes make a good getaway on a lazy day, but seldom are the roads you will travel on a daily basis. In today’s hectic life, we usually take the road that will get us to our destination the quickest and with as little hassle as possible. Freeways and highways are more traveled than the scenic back roads. We can remove the blessings of GOD along a back road when we take the wheel to save a few minutes.

Perhaps in life, you have chosen the easy road. The easy road will almost guarantee few obstacles to hinder you. Taking the easy road will reward you with few times of panic or stressful situations you have to deal with. Mediocrity will be your theme song. The easy road may avoid the roller coaster fears and experience that life has to offer. With it, you may deal with fewer negative moments, but will have very few moments of exhilaration and even fewer victories. Scripture never describes an easy road for Christians in this evil world.

 
No matter which road you choose, in GOD’S timing you will come to the end of your road. It does not matter if you took the easy road, the back road or ran your life down the super highway. When GOD says your life is all over, you will be at the ‘end of the road’.

 
What will be at the end of your road? If you are not a believer, it will appear there is nothing there as you approach the end of the road. But, GOD’S word tells us differently. If you get to the end of the road and have not trusted in JESUS and expect to find nothing, you are going to be surprised. Someone will be waiting for you to take you to your new home and it will not be Heaven.

 
What if you have trusted JESUS? Your ‘end of the road’ will be the being of the road paved with gold for all eternity. Revelation tells us of the magnificence we will share in IF we have followed GOD’S plan of salvation through HIS SON, JESUS. JESUS will be at the ‘end of your road’ if you have trusted in HIM.

 
Today’s prayer: “MY REDEEMING LORD, Thank YOU for being with me as I walk these tempting roads of life. Help me to walk the paths YOU have chosen and lead me to the gates of Heaven. Amen.”

“THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?”

“You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.” Job 22:27 NIV
Read: Job 22:22:30

Which came first; the chicken or the egg? Did a chicken lay the egg first or did an egg hatch the first chicken? Sometimes we use this ancient question when we have to make a decision of what we should do first. Unfortunately, too many rely upon this illogical question.

So, which did come first? The answer is all so clear, yet we make our lives so difficult. In Genesis 1:25 GOD tells us: “GOD made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And GOD saw that it was good.”

The egg is the miraculous way GOD designed for the chicken HE created to reproduce. There is no question of which came first. Yet, man since the ancient Greeks have argued this fact. There is nothing in GOD’S creation story about eggs.

 

We live our lives arguing with the simple laws of GOD. From Genesis to Revelation, GOD has given us HIS instruction book for all mankind. GOD did not leave anything to chance. Everything in our lives have simple answers…no matter how complicated we attempt to make them. GOD’S answers are simple.

 

Next time you have a decision to make, don’t make it a confusing situation. Just ask GOD. You have a Bible to guide you and you have GOD waiting for you to talk with HIM.

 

When you pray, be specific. All the daily decisions forced upon you have simple answers. Specific prayers are answered by GOD specifically. Don’t complicate your prayers. If you are having a bad day, don’t just tell GOD you are having a bad day. Tell HIM what is wrong, what is happening to you to make you feel you are having a bad day. Don’t be burdened by decisions, give them GOD…large and small…all to GOD. Don’t forget to pray and thank GOD when you are having a good day. Take time to lay your praises at HIS feet as well.

 

Prayer is not a ‘chicken or egg’ situation. Prayer is the easiest solution to all your problems. Just ask GOD!

Today’s Prayer: “GOD MY FATHER, Thank YOU for being there for me when I need YOU and when I don’t even realize I need YOU. Help me from today on to take all my problems to YOU. YOU are my answered prayers. Amen.”