“LOST YOUR KEYS OR YOUR MIND?”

‘”Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Matthew 6:27 NIV

 

Read:  Matthew 6:25-34

 

Have you ever lost your keys?   Until recently, I always wondered how anyone could lose their keys.  Then I found out how.  Joining the ranks of those who lost their keys before me was very humbling.

I dropped my keys in my car and did not see them.   I then left the car, locking it as I left.   It was upon returning that I found I had no keys and I was locked out of my car.  Double guilt does not feel very good.   I was guilty as charged!

For a brief few minutes, losing your car keys can make you feel like you are losing your mind.  Suddenly, a sense of panic sets in and you feel totally helpless.

Thankfully, the moment of fear and panic is short lived and totally wasted effort.

We can panic and worry over other issues in our life.   Just like losing our keys, the panic and worry in other areas of our life is wasted effort.   We never need to panic.   Never.

GOD tells us in over a dozen scriptures not to be anxious.  More than a dozen other times HE tell us not to panic.   Another dozen plus times, HE tells us not to worry.   Anxious, panic and worry are like identical triplets.   If you see one, you have seen them all.

Philippians 4:6 tells us; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to GOD.”  And Joshua 1:9 encourages us: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go.”

GOD is with you…every minute of every day.   Just ask HIM!

Today’s prayer:  “GOD MY FATHER, Thank YOU for always being with me.  Help me remember YOUR faithfulness.  I am secure in YOUR grasp during times of uncertainty.  Amen.”

 

“OUR SAVIOUR IS RISEN!”

“The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”  Luke 24:7 NIV

 

Read:  Luke 24:1-24

HIS tomb is empty!

The Old Testament’s 39 books, one by one, set up the birth and death of JESUS.   Just as the prophets told us, GOD’S SON would come and save the world.   While many misunderstood, believers have come to understand.

JESUS came to save the world.  HE came to save the world of SIN, not to take on a government as the people of HIS day were hopeful.  HE offered so much more and HE gave us so much more.

JESUS’ resurrection has been commercialized as Easter.   These past weeks, we saw store shelves full of decorated baskets and candy.  We should all be worshiping CHRIST this day.   Fun is fun, but we walk with evil when we take the day of our RISEN LORD to picnic, party and forget all about HIM.

The name Easter comes from Eastre, the ancient goddess of spring.   The original Eastre was married to the great grandson of Noah, Nimrod.  Nimrod was evil.  Eastre was as evil.  Both set themselves up as gods to be worshiped.

Set your priorities.   This day is ‘Resurrection Sunday’.   Tell everyone you know the difference between Easter and Resurrection Sunday.

Praise JESUS our RISEN SAVIOUR!  Tell HIM: ‘THANK YOU!” for saving you.

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, OUR RISEN SAVIOUR, Thank YOU for coming, dying and rising from the grave to give me eternal life with YOU.   Forgive me of all my sins.  Open my eyes to see YOUR purpose for my life.  Amen.”

“JUST ANOTHER FRIDAY?”

“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.  Luke 23:44-45 NIV

 

Read:  Luke 23:26-46

 

Is today just another Friday to you?   I hope not!

This Sunday, churches will be packed for Resurrection Sunday services.  Many will be dressed to the max and will make a good showing.   Others who seldom go to church will be in attendance.   By the numbers, Resurrection Sunday is the most attended service of the entire year.

But, how about today?

Today, is the day Jesus died for you.  Have you shed a tear of mourning?   Have you thought about the agony HE suffered that day for you to live with HIM for all eternity?

With spikes driven through HIS hands and feet, HE prayed to HIS FATHER.  With JESUS’ side pierced from a soldier’s sword, HE prayed for those who were responsible for HIS Crucifixion and soon death:  “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  The forgiveness of sins was even with HIS last humanly breaths.
So is today just another Friday for you or are you in mourning for your SAVIOR and LORD?

Stop what you are doing and sincerely pray to the LORD who gave HIS life for you.

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for dying on that rugged

cross so that I might live.   Forgive me of all my wrongs, sinful actions and thoughts.   I will use this day to honor YOU.  Amen.”

 

“ARE YOU PLUGGED IN?”

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

 

Read:  John 15: 1-8

 

David arrived at his office to get an early start on a new project.  He hit the power button on his computer confidently, but nothing happened.  He tried again and again but still it would not turn on.   The power cord was plugged into the wall.   Everything looked right.

Several minutes later he found the power cord was in the socket on the back of his computer but was not firmly connected.   Now, his computer was running!  What appeared to be right was not right at all.

Are you, sometimes, like that computer?  Everything about your life looks good to others, but secretly you have hidden sins that keep you from connecting with GOD.   You go to church, attend Bible studies and pray before meals.

You do the right things outwardly, but things are not right.  To the observer you look faithful.   But you are not being faithful.  You are not connected to GOD.

Jesus tells us HE is the vine.  HE is the power cord to GOD.   We may feel like that computer with a ton of information, yet we are useless without the power that comes from GOD.

JESUS’ own words tell us HE is the vine and GOD is the gardener.   Just as grapevines, GOD will prune those branches that do not produce good fruit.

Are you producing good fruit?

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, Thank YOU for supplying me with the power to believe.   Help me to do the right things for the right reasons.  YOU are the right reason.  Amen.”

“BUT ALL THE OTHER KIDS GET TO . . . !”

“But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” Matthew 23:3b NIV

Read: Matthew 23:1-8

As parents, we all have heard it: “But all the other kids get to (fill in the blank with your favorite objection). They know that not ‘all’ get to do as they please. In reality, most likely very few get to do that exceptional thing. Peer pressure is difficult as we grow up. It is not about who is allowed or not allowed. It is often just a matter of common sense. Of right or wrong.

Now, that you are grown, you may believe you don’t have to worry about peer pressure at all. As adults, we may play our own mind games with our wants and desires and attempt to justify our actions…even when they are wrong.

You may not have your mom or dad looking over your shoulder, giving you their valuable voice of experience. You have something better. You have GOD. GOD sent HIS HOLY SPIRIT to be with you and guide you since the day you were saved. Do you seek counsel with the HOLY SPIRIT?

Adults create a comfort zone by sometimes believing we know all the answers. When you have an urge to do something and you try to justify the wrong by telling yourself everyone else is doing this or that or buying this or that, stop. It is time to pray. Seek GOD’S approval.

Ask GOD what HE wants you to do. But, be prepared for HIS answers. GOD sometimes tells us what not to do when we are asking HIM about what we want to do. If you hear a ‘no’, it is still GOD’S best answer.

GOD wants the best for you!

Today’s prayer: “Dear LORD, thank YOU for helping me understand the difference of right and wrong. Help me practice what I preach. Amen.”

“A JOB OPPORTUNITY?”

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Read: 1 Colossians 1:9-14

Do you know Chester A. Arthur? He was the 21st president of the United States. Even if you studied the presidents in school, you may have little or no remembrance of him.

As a young man, he excelled in the political machine of that time but was widely distrusted by many. He played the political game very well and was elected as vice-president under James Garfield and became president just six months later when President Garfield died.

Totally unprepared, he was thrust into the job as president.

Why is he not well remembered? He did not set up policies that were dramatically good or bad. Yet, his efforts were for benefit of most. He retired very respected for his consistent performance. He left the presidency with the federal budget with a growing surplus! (We should be so blessed today.) Mark Twain has been quoted: “It would be hard indeed to better President Arthur’s administration!”

Would you fair as well? Are you known by some not to be trusted in some ways? If you were thrust into a situation, could you complete the job with those who were once against you now respecting you? Going from not being trusted to being respected is a huge accomplishment!

If you listen, you will hear GOD has a job opportunity for you. Even if you did not ask for it, it is still your job opportunity. It might be to work on a church committee, serving at a food bank, donating to a ministry, or spending your hard earned vacation working on a mission trip. GOD has a job opportunity especially for you.

What can you do? You can do whatever GOD tells you. Lack of experience or talents or money are not excuses. GOD does not call the equipped. GOD equips the one HE calls.

Christ’s promise is in Ephesians 4: 11-12. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”

What is GOD’S job opportunity calling you to do?

Today’s prayer: “DEAR GOD, Thank YOU for believing in me. I will trust YOU and I will accept whatever YOU ask of me. I know YOU will guide and support me in doing YOUR will. Amen.”

“WHAT TIME IS IT?”

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. Mark 13: 32,33 NIV

Read: Mark 13: 24-37

 
Let’s see…spring forward and fall back or is it spring back and fall forward? It is that time again. Clocks in the house, in the car, at the office all have to be reset. Then in a few months we do it all again.

Some would like to stay on one time or the other and not go back and forth. It is one of the situations where there does not appear to be an easy solution that will please everyone.

How about, what time is it with GOD? Where are you on GOD’S time table in your relationship with your CREATOR? Are you where you should be by GOD’S definition?

GOD has a plan for you. HE has HIS timetable on what HE wants for you and of you. It is important to understand there are two considerations….what HE wants ‘for you’ and ‘of you’. All to often, we are focused on what we want and when we want it. It is never about what we want and when we want it. GOD’S plan for you is all about what HE wants for you and of you.

Is it time for you to refocus on GOD’S expectations and to set your timetable aside? There is no doubt GOD’S desires for you will reward you much better than you can ever expect by doing things for yourself.

Isn’t it time to give GOD HIS time? As you reset each of your clocks, say a prayer. Ask GOD what HIS timetable is for you and tell HIM you are ready to reset your life clock to HIS timetable.

JESUS will return at a time none of us know. Are you ready? Get ready!

Today’s prayer: “My FATHER, please forgive me of my selfish timetable. Today, I am going to reset my spiritual clock to YOUR time. Help me with all YOU want of me and for me. Amen.”

“GOT A MINUTE?”

“Listen to ME, Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am HE; I am the FIRST and I AM the LAST.” Isaiah 48:12 NIV

Read: Isaiah 48: 1-12

Got a minute? Can I bother you? Pardon me. Hey, You! May I interrupt you? Psst, got a second?

What do you say to get someone’s attention? Will your inquiry be met with a warm smile or a questioning attitude?

What does GOD have to say to you to get your attention? Are you so attentive every moment day and night that you hear even HIS softest whisper? Or, are you so wrapped up in doing life your way, you don’t even hear GOD screaming at you every moment of everyday?

Are you apt to ignore GOD’S “Got a minute?”

Is GOD telling you something? Are you listening? We are so wrapped up in our daily lives, it is all too easy to not pay attention to those around us and just as easy to ignore GOD’S whispers and screams.

GOD gave us hundreds of examples in HIS WORD of those HE spoke to that did and did not listen. Of all we have learned and can learn from the scriptures, listening to GOD is an area we seemingly fail too often.

Did Adam and Eve listen when GOD told them to avoid the one forbidden fruit? When Moses was speaking with GOD inside the burning bush, what were GOD’S people doing? Moses was given 10 simple commandments and the people of his day wouldn’t follow them. We are still the same stiff necked people. We have the same 10 Commandments and still we argue with them. Often, we don’t even argue with them…we simple ignore them.

When we ignore GOD’S laws, we are ignoring GOD. JESUS told his followers of HIS fate in order to prepare them. Yet, not one took HIS words to heart. At times, we all make things more difficult than they are. Listening to GOD is not difficult.

Next time you hear that gentle whisper “Got a minute?”, listen carefully. Stop what you are doing and smile. GOD is having a one on one conversation with you. Thank HIM for caring about you and take the time to listen carefully.

Today’s prayer: “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for talking with me. Please forgive me for all the times I have ignored YOUR gentle whispers. I promise to listen to YOUR callings in more obedience. I need to hear YOU. Amen.”

“IT’S A SECRET!”

“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” Luke 11:42 NIV

Read: Luke 11: 39-46

Can you keep a secret? If a friend confided in you, could you hold their words confidential? Or, are you one that just cannot keep secrets to yourself? Are you anxious to tell another of your new found information?

What about telling others of your personal situations? Do you freely tell others the most private things and expect them to keep your secret? Are confidential conversations a one way street for you?

The only person you can trust to keep a secret is GOD. Period. You can trust GOD, because GOD told you so. Period. Even better…when you confess your sins to GOD, HE forgives you once and forever and will never judge you for that sin again. Period. Your secrets given to GOD can be forgiven and forgotten for all eternity. Period.

There is another type of secret that GOD will never forget. When you do good things for others, expect nothing in return and never tell anyone what you have done. GOD will hold the secret between HIM and you. You will then feel HIS Blessings. You don’t need a plaque on the wall announcing your gift or action. That plaque or public notice will never get you into Heaven.

Today, you can start a secret with GOD. Today, do something for someone else that you don’t tell anyone about. Start with something simple.

Give that parking space that you have been circling the lot for to someone else…and smile when you do it. Give a buck to that dirty looking man on the street corner with the cardboard sign. Sure, he may use it for alcohol or drugs, but it may help buy him a hamburger or pay for a night’s lodging. Don’t prejudge him. Write a check larger than you feel comfortable giving to your church or this ministry. Whatever you do, keep it a secret between you and GOD.

Then tomorrow, find a new one thing you can do for someone else. Keep that secret between you and GOD. Then, everyday going forward help someone and keep it a secret between you and GOD. Make it a habit to do one new thing everyday just between you and GOD.

Today’s prayer: “MY FATHER, Thank YOU for forgiving me of all my secret sins. Help me today to do YOUR will helping others in the ways YOU decide. Help me to keep these secrets just between YOU and me. Amen.”

“JUST ONCE OR NEVER ONCE?”

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” Titus 3:3 NIV

Read: Titus 3:1-7

“Just try it!”, screamed Michael’s teammates. “It won’t hurt you!”, they continued. The voice of the HOLY SPIRIT was holding Michael back. Would he listen to GOD or give in to his friends’ leading?

Everyday, we are faced with the same decisions. Will we try something we know is wrong or do what we unconsciously have done out of past habits while knowing deep inside it is against GOD’S will. GOD’S will or Satan’s will; what will you choose? To some degree, all your decisions will go for or against what GOD wants for you.

As we wrestle with a decision, we may attempt to convince ourselves what we know to be wrong will be OK; after all it is just once. The problem with just once is it makes it so much easier to be ‘just twice’ the next time and then we are hooked. Again and again, we disregard the warnings of GOD. Again and again, we are walking in the shadow of a satisfied Satan.

If we can say: “Just once”, we can say “Not once!” We can’t take away the ‘just once’ from our errors of times before, but we can stop saying ‘just once’. Instead, listen to GOD’S ‘not once’.

GOD will never leave you…never….’not once’!
GOD will never forsake you…never….’not once’!
GOD will never ignore you…never….’not once’!
GOD will never forget you…never….’not once’!

There is no need to settle for a ‘just once’ when you have your SAVIOUR for once, for eternity.

Today’s prayer: “HOLY SPIRIT, Thank YOU for always being with me and protecting me. Help me recognize the times I am tempted to do and say things I know are wrong. Help me also be a benefit to others to help them not say ‘just once’ to the wrong things. Amen.”