“THEY DON’T KNOW!”

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”  2 Thessalonians 1:8 NIV

Read: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

With the mass communication of the internet and even citizens of third world countries having personal cell phones, news travel faster than we have ever known.   News stories are played out on television and media devices as they are occurring.

It seems most everybody has the ability to be in the know.

Missionaries once went into a country to tell the locals of who JESUS is.   Now, more and more know who JESUS is but still do not know HIM.   That person 10,000 miles away is just about as knowing as your next door neighbor.

Your neighbor, the lady who works in the next cubicle, the new car salesman and the president of your local bank all may have one thing in common.   They know who JESUS is, but they do not know HIM.

There are only two reasons they do not know HIM personally.   One is they may have been told about JESUS and have rejected HIM.   The other is no one has told them of the loving promise JESUS made.   They have not been told of JESUS taking on all their sins in forgiveness and how they can spend eternity in Heaven.

Is it time to point a finger at a person who never took the time to tell all others about the saving grace of JESUS?   Are you one who should be standing in front of a mirror if you point the finger?

Have you spread the gospel?   JESUS told us to spread HIS message.   Do something different today.  Before noon today, tell someone about the love JESUS has for them.   Don’t be choosy.   It may be the lady at the dry cleaners or your doctor or the cashier at Walmart.   You don’t have to go 10,000 miles to tell someone about JESUS.  You can be a missionary without leaving home.

Will they know the saving grace of our RISEN SAVIOUR if you don’t tell them?

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for being my SAVIOUR.  Help me to tell others about YOU.  Give me the wisdom and strength to be the disciple YOU want me to be.  Amen.”

 

“SCAREDY-CAT!”

“The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1 NIV
Read:  Psalm 27:1-6

The dictionary tells us there is no such word as scaredy.  But, when you add the word cat to it, it can be found in some dictionaries.  We can all remember times in our youth when someone yelled ‘Scaredy-Cat’ at us in a fearful moment.   Being called a Scaredy-Cat was often coupled with a ‘dare you’.   We might also remember being ‘scared of our own shadow’, ‘scared out of out wits’ or of something that ‘scared the living daylight out of us’.

Theodore Roosevelt in his inauguration address coined the phrase; “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.  Whether you like Mr. Roosevelt’s politics or not, he was correct with this statement.

Fear looms in different areas of out lives.  But, should it?   Do you have moments of anxiety over silly things?  GOD created the world without fear.  Before sin, there was no need of fear.  One type of fear came to man from Satan.  Satan uses these fears to control his agenda.

Do you have a fear of heights, spiders, insects, snakes, storms or things that go bump in the night?  Know there is a huge difference in having an undeserving fear of something and having a healthy respect for it.   If a poisonous rattlesnake were to crawl into your house, respect it for the damage it can do but there is no need to fear it.

There is a second type of fear.  We are told in scripture to fear GOD.  Fearing GOD is a wonderful thing.  This use of the word fear came only after the lies of Satan when man followed the devil rather than respect the laws of GOD.   This fear is a respectful fear with a clear understanding of the absolute power of our loving GOD.  Fearing GOD is understanding and respecting HIM.

Today’s prayer:  “OUR POWERFUL GOD,  Thank YOU for always being with me and protecting me even when I fear nothing but fear itself.  Help me learn and be mindful that nothing can come into my life that YOU don’t know about and how easily I can take my fears to YOU in prayer.  Amen.”

 

“HAVE YOU BEEN LIED TO?”

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”  Colossians 3:9 NIV

 

Read: Colossians 3:8-12

Has anyone ever lied to you?   Maybe, a more accurate question would be: When did someone last lie to you?   Boldface lies, twisted truths, half truths and falsely created inaccuracies seem to be the norm in our culture.  So many think their deception is OK as their words benefit them without regard to others.

Telling the truth because it is the right thing to do seems to have taken a distant second position to purposeful deceptions in many’s day to day lives.  Lies are tolerated as a way of maneuvering towards money, self gratification and power.

How do you feel when someone lies to you?   Hurt, betrayed and disappointed come to mind.  How do you think others feel when you lie to them?  If it is so wrong for others to lie to you, why would it be any more right for you to lie to them?   You cannot justify a lie.

Lies are not just words.   Any deception or omission of fact is a lie.

Lies are not new.  Your Bible tells you of GOD’S people who lied and lived out those lies.   Your Bible also tells you of the consequence of not being truthful.   If you are smart, you will heed the guidance of these stories.

Abraham, a chosen man of GOD, lied.  For fear of losing his life, he told pharaoh that Sarah his wife was his sister.  He should have learned.  Then, Abraham told King Abimelek the same lie.  GOD told the king in a dream of Abraham and Sarah’s deception.

GOD forgave Abraham and Sarah and GOD can forgive you for your lies and deception.  Have you gone to GOD in prayer and asked HIM to forgive you?   There are no small lies with GOD.  GOD will forgive you if you ask.  Ask HIM!

Today’s prayer:  “GOD MY FATHER, Thank YOU for forgiving me for my past lies and deceptions.  Remind me to forgive those who have lied to me.   Help me to control my tongue and actions to be truthful in all things.  Amen.”

“THREE THINGS GONE FOREVER!”

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”  Galatians 6:10 NIV

Read:  Galatians 6:1-10

No, it is not a riddle.   It is a sad situation for many.  If you look back at your life, what are the three things that are gone forever…three things that you can’t have again?   Let’s look at them one at a time.

First, is time.  It is said time is our most valued resource.  We should use it wisely.   Once this minute is gone, it is gone forever.  It is obvious, if this minute is gone, so is yesterday or even last year.  Whatever time you did not take advantage of and use wisely is gone.   We cannot turn the clock back.  And no, you can’t do today what you did not do yesterday.  The time you take to do it today is time you are taking away from what you should do today.  You never will make up for time lost.

The second thing that you cannot have again is your spoken word.  How many times would you go back and change what you have said?.   Those hasty or angry words once spoken can never be taken back.  What about those words that should have been spoken, which never were.  Were there words of support or consolation that could have lifted another up that you still have not shared?

Third is opportunity.  You can look back at all the times you should have done this or you should have done that.   Failure to act can be as devastating as taking a wrong action.  How many opportunities has GOD given you and you failed to accept HIS gift to do as HE wants?

Do you think you will ever get it right?  Sure you can.  The right time, the right words and the right opportunity don’t usually present themselves to us a second time.   It is up to us to say and act at the right time.  Procrastination is a tool of Satan.

Don’t procrastinate today.   Use your time wisely.  Think and say what needs and should be said and don’t say what you may later regret.  Embrace every new opportunity never allowing the opportunity to pass you by.

Today Prayer: “MY LORD, Thank YOU for the second chances YOU give to me.  Help me to use the time YOU have given to me wisely, to say just the right things and to seize every opportunity YOU allow.  Amen.”

 

“IS YOUR GOD YOUR GOD?”

“God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I am has sent me to you.'”  Exodus 3:14 NIV

Read:  Exodus 3:1-15

Is your god your GOD?   For many, it may sound redundant.   But, it is a real question which deserves a real answer.

Who is your god?   Is GOD your GOD?   Or do you have another god?   The ancient Israelites abandoned GOD over and over.   They melted their gold in order to fabricate a golden calf to worship.   They set their memories of all GOD had done for them aside and took on the false gods of those they conquered and of those who conquered them.

It seems thousand of years have gone by and nothing has changed.  I intentionally used lower case and upper case ‘G’ to identify a god and our true GOD.   There is more than a capital letter difference.

Millions in the United States stand in line at a pancake house or coffee shop for a late breakfast or brunch instead of going to church and worshiping GOD with other believers.   Others spend Sunday mornings sipping a cup of coffee before going shopping or packing the car for a day at the park or lake.

Do you have something to do that is more important than GOD?  Never mind trying to excuse your thoughts and actions.   If you are making that choice, then those other things are your gods.   Then your god is not GOD.

You have a choice.   Is your god, the great ‘I AM!’?  Don’t ask me…ask GOD!

Today’s prayer:  “MY GOD, Thank YOU for loving me and correcting me.   Help me to understand the need for my acknowledging YOUR supremacy and not being led astray by the worldly things around me.  Amen.” 

“MORE THAN A CHILDREN’S SONG!”

“And he said:’Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”  Matthew 18:3 NIV
 

 

Read: Matthew 18:1-10

As a child, you probably learned the simple lyrics to “Jesus Loves Me”.   Most sang it so often, you may still remember the words.

“Jesus loves me-this I know, For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong-They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me-He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide
He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me-loves me still, Though I’m very weak and ill;
From His shining throne on high Comes to watch me where I lie.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”

Originally written as a poem in 1860, music was added in 1862 and it became one of the most popular Christian hymns in history.   But, it is more than a hymn.   It is a reminder of our SAVIOUR’S love for each of us.

Each of us for a moment, an hour, a day, a month or even years loved our sin more than we loved GOD.  The difference is through every moment of our sinful times, HE still loved us more than we loved our sin.

Have you taken the time to tell HIM how weak you are and to thank JESUS for being how strong HE is?  It is not too late.   Sing this simple song to yourself, then pray today’s prayer below.   Yes, JESUS loves you.  The Bible tells you so!

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for loving me even when I was most unlovable.  Thank YOU for washing my sins away.   Help me to remember all the Bible teaches me of being GOD’S child.   Amen.”

 

“HAVE YOU BEEN TO BIBLE BUFFET?”

“All Scripture is GOD-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of GOD may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”   2Timothy 16-17 NIV

Read:  2Timothy 10-17

Do you ever eat at a buffet restaurant?   With a choice of salads, a variety of meats, plenty of vegetables, several breads and more desserts than necessary, it would seem we could be satisfied with a good balanced meal.

But, what we want takes precedence over what is best for us.   We pick two or three meats, a couple of small serving of vegetables, lots of bread, maybe a little salad and don’t forget about dessert!   We have to try at least four different desserts.   Instead of eating a meal of one third of our suggested calorie intake, we devour as many calories in one meal as we should in three meals for the day.

Do you read and study your Bible that way?  Do you use your Bible as a buffet…skipping some, a little of this and a lot of that?

Do you pick and choose of what you want from your Bible?  By going through GOD’S WORD picking out only what you want to read or acknowledge you are telling GOD all HE has for you is not important..

Do you read the New Testament believing the Old Testament is no longer important?  Yet, the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  All JESUS taught us came from HIS Old Testament.

Do you subscribe to 8 or 9 of GOD’S 10 commandments, while 1 or 2 get in the way of how you are living your life?   Do you feel the Bible is not politically correct?  GOD is not politically correct and our society is not ‘GOD correct’!

GOD’S WORD is perfect.  From Genesis to Revelation, HIS WORD is alive today.  Don’t be a picky eater.  Enjoy all of GOD’S WORD and enrich your life.

Today’s prayer:  “LORD MY PROVIDER, Thank YOU for providing every word of YOUR Bible for me.   Help me to grow in all of YOUR WORD and use it to improve myself and to help others.  Amen.”

 

“DAREDEVIL!”

“Jesus said to him,”Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”  Matthew 4:10 NIV

Read: Matthew 4:1-11

A daredevil can be defined as an individual who takes on an extremely high risk usually just for the thrill.   They know of the risk, possibly death, but they ignore the risk for the adrenaline rush or possibly an egotistical claim to fame.  These daredevils risk it all in order to do something no one or few have ever done before.

Are you one to skydive from a perfectly good airplane not knowing if the parachute will actually open, bungee jump from a bridge over a river, motor bike jump across a canyon, walk a high wire between skyscrapers or swim in piranha infested waters?

We get the word ‘daredevil’ from daring the devil.  How often are you daring the devil?   Maybe, you aren’t one to hang from your feet, blindfolded above a pit of vipers while eating live scorpions…but Satan has ways of tempting each of us to do or say things to dare him.   If you are daring him, you are on step one to giving him an honor he does not deserve.

If you have ever had a problem with alcohol, then find a new way home that doesn’t take you past the bar or liquor store.  Don’t dare the devil.  If you have found yourself attracted to someone, remember your marriage is more important and avoid them at all costs.   Don’t be a daredevil.   If you love to shop and your credit card has a balance, don’t go into the store ‘just to look’.   Don’t accept the devil’s dare.

The devil went to JESUS to tempt him during his 40 days of fasting.  Prodding JESUS to worship him, the devil offered him all the land and riches they could see.  He even dared JESUS to use HIS GODLY powers to turn stones into bread when JESUS was so hungry.

If the devil will try to tempt the SON OF GOD, he will try to tempt you.  You and I are no match against him.  Do as JESUS did and tell the devil…”Away from me!” and ask the LORD your GOD to give you the strength to continue to tell the devil “NO!”.

Daring the devil is a sin.  Do you need to add another sin to your list?

Today’s prayer:  “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for protecting me from the evils of Satan.   Help me to ignore the devil’s temptations and to depend on YOUR strength not mine.  Amen.”

“ARE YOUR WORDS HORSESHOES?”

“If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”  1John 1:6 NIV

Read: 1John 1:5-10

Have you ever played horseshoes?  It is a simple game.   If your shoe circles the post, you have a ringer and get 3 points.  If you are close, within 6 inches, you get 1 point.   If your opponent is also within 6 inches, the closest one gets 2 points.  If you are more than 6 inches, you get no score.

It is said; “A person’s word is their bond.”   Your word should be an absolute promise, a commitment.  Is your word your bond or just chatter?  Can others trust what you tell them?   Can you be depended upon to stand behind your word?  Is getting close to keeping your word good enough?  Do you feel no remorse when you fail to keep your absolute word, your promise?

Your word is not a game of horseshoes.   If you were to score your word, you might use the following scoring.  Each time you keep your word in a timely manner, you get 1,000 points.   If you only keep part of your word, you get -0- points.  If you abandon your promised word, you get a minus 10,000 points.  Looking back at the last 24 hours, what would your score be?

If others cannot depend on your word, what about you can they depend?   JESUS knew there was a time HE could not depend upon Peter’s word.  Peter was quick to tell JESUS how he would always be there for HIM.  Peter did not keep his word.  Peter would not have scored well having denied JESUS twice before the rooster crowed.

Look back every night at your day.   Would your score be a positive or a negative number?   Your word is not a game to be played.   Your word is an absolute promise.

GOD gave you HIS word.   You can always depend upon all GOD has promised you.

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS, Thank YOU for forgiving me when I have not kept my word to YOU and others.   Help me to not make promises I cannot keep and to keep my word when I do commit.  Amen.”