“3 PHASES OF LIFE”

“For the LORD gives wisdom; from HIS mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  Proverbs 2:6 NIV Read:  Proverbs 2:1-22 I recently read someone’s misguided definition of the three phases of life.   They may seem to be fun explanations but should not be believed.  They were: When we are young we are in a phase of life which is like taking a test before we had an opportunity to learn the lesson. Phase two is middle age.  We learned all the lessons, but forgot a few of the things we learned along the way and still are making a few mistakes. Phase three is when we think we are too old to learn, too old to correct past mistakes and feel we are too old to care. Reading about these three phases may make us smile, but all are false. In our youth, we are learning.  We are the best students when we pay attention to those around us who are teaching us.  Wisdom of our elders as in Proverbs 22:17 is our blessing: “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise;apply your heart to what I teach,” Middle age is an opportunity.  Those things we did wrong are now opportunities to improve ourselves and correct those unfortunate mistakes. If we ever think we are too old to care, we need to get on our knees.   Advancing age does not prevent us from learning as in youth or correcting our earlier mistakes.  Age gives us the pleasure of passing along all we have learned and experienced to those younger than us…and the circle of life continues. Today’s...

“DON’T EVEN TRY IT!”

“but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”  James 1:14 NIV Read:  James 1:12-18 One of my grandsons was a real challenge going through what we call ‘the terrible twos’.  As he attempted to do what we told him not to do, we would demand “Don’t even try it!”.  It was almost comical to watch his daring resistance.   All little ones go thru the phase of ignoring or temporarily pretending to be deaf when we tell them ‘no!’.  For many, no simply means ‘OK, I can do it a little while longer’. Some grow up to live their adult lives like that.  They want what they want and that is more important than anything else.  Rules, laws and the simple values of right and wrong are nothing more than challenges.   Telling them they need to follow rules is like pouring water off a duck’s back. GOD told us about “No” just after creation.  Eve admitted to the serpent in Genesis 3:3; “But GOD did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”   GOD went the extra mile with Adam and Eve.   Not even did HE tell them to not eat the fruit, HE clearly told them to not even touch it.  By not touching it, they would be less tempted to eat it. Jesus told us about authority.  In Luke 11:28, JESUS tell us: “He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the WORD OF GOD and obey it.'” Are you...

“JUST OUT OF REACH!”

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  John 14:16-17 NIV Read: John 14:14-21 Have you ever wanted to reach out to someone and felt they were just out of reach.  The truth is they were probably ‘just within reach’.   We are under the constant influence of Satan and he knows each of us well.  Whenever we are in a situation to do good, he is there to remind us of imagined limits or lack of confidence. Satan does not want you reaching out to others.  But Satan does not keep you from doing what you should do.  The decision is yours not Satan’s.  His fallen angels will put obstacles in your path to discourage your efforts.  You will find by doing what GOD wants you to do is more achievable than you expected. There are other times we put ourselves ‘just out of reach’ of others.  We can have an attitude which is displayed to others as ‘just don’t bother me’.  It is times like these that we probably need the caring attention of others the most.  We place ourselves out of reach when we think we can handle problems without help. In all situations there is one thing we can depend upon.  GOD.  We know JESUS is at the right hand of GOD, knowing all that is going on in our lives.  GOD is...

“RAISE YOUR SHIELD FOR BATTLE!”

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”  Ephesians 6:16 NIV Read:  Ephesians 6: 10-18 When armies of old would prepare for battle, the commanders would cry out “raise your shields for battle”.  They were as concerned in defending themselves as they were in defeating their enemies. Are you raising your shield for battle every morning?   Are you preparing yourself every morning as you start your day to defend yourself from the enemy of this world? Satan and his army of angels are more than prepared to go into battle against you.  From little thing..to the big things.  Our Judeo-Christian faith is being assaulted by those who support false gods and those who profess their is no God at all.  By staying in prayer and spreading GOD’S WORD, we can make a difference. Satan and his army of angels can be defeated.  You have a shield, they don’t.   You have the WORD OF GOD.   It is your shield against all enemies.  Since Satan’s army has no shield, GOD’S WORD becomes your weapon as well as your shield.   Your Bible is a shield to defend you and a spear that will destroy and turn evil away. Today’s prayer:  “GOD OUR FATHER, Thank YOU for YOUR WORD.  Help me use it to defend the rights and life YOU have ordained for myself, my family and for others.  Amen.”...

“DON’T SQUEEZE THE TOMATOES!”

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long”.  Matthew 23:5 NIV Read:  Matthew 23:1-12 In order to check the quality of fruits and vegetables we may ‘squeeze’ them checking for firmness.  We may also judge the quality of these fruits and vegetables by color, size or weight.   With experience, we may be able to determine the quality of which is best. What about the quality of your faith?   Are you worth squeezing?   Would squeezing you reveal your quality?   No one can judge the quality of your spiritual faith by color, size or weight. You cannot judge the quality of others’ spiritual walk by their outward appearance as well.  You can’t determine Godly qualities by squeezing or by their visual appearance.   It is like the old expression; you can’t judge a book by its cover. What we display outward may or may not be an indicator of who we are or of our true walk with GOD…but it should be.  We should project an image of a strong Christian walking this life as CHRIST would have us.  Others should know we are Christians by our words, actions and appearance. JESUS cautioned the pharisees of their outward appearance.  They were prepared to be visually ‘squeezed’.   Their garments contained the appropriate tassels with phylacteries (small prayer boxes).   They looked good but did not have the grace of GOD. Are you ripe in your faith or do others need to ‘squeeze’ you to know if you are ripe in your faith? Today’s prayer:  “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for being...