“WHO?”

“Though seeing, they do not see; ‘This is why I speak to them in parables:  though hearing, they do not hear or understand.'”  Matthew 13:13 NIV Read:  Matthew 13:1-13 “Who?” is not about the wise old owl, although we may write a devotional in time about wisdom which we all need.   Today, we are going to study “Who?”.  Whenever we question GOD, our friends, even the action of others the question can come back to what we would do ourselves. JESUS taught us through HIS  parables.  Some parables were difficult to understand.  That is because JESUS was reaching those who were believers.  HE was teaching to those who could teach others.   One of the most read and remembered parables is about the farmer casting seeds.  As the farmer cast his seeds the wind would put most on fertile soils, some were deposited on rocky ground and some were blown along the adjoining road. Many lessons can be learned of this parable.   The seed can be simply the introduction of the gospel to those who do know JESUS is their LORD.   Maybe, they have heard, but still do not understand. That’s why today we are talking about the “Who?”.   One will be as the farmer scattering seeds.   Some will see the seeds of the gospel being devoured by the evils of this world and will do nothing.  Another will simply watch seeds sprout and wither as those who heard are influenced by their non-believer friends and associates.  Then, there are the ones who hear the word and believe. Which “Who?” is you?   Will you be the “Who?” whom...

“MORE THAN YOU DESERVE!”

“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'” Romans 1:17 NIV Read: Romans 1:11-17 We all get more than we deserve.  This biggest problem is we so often take most we have for granted.   Yes, we may mumble a prayer of thanks now and then.  But, do we really take the time to be thankful for all GOD has provided? One thing we all can receive is the GRACE OF GOD.   GOD’S GRACE comes to us without costs and is always more than we deserve.   As undeserving as we are, GOD has love and forgiveness for each of us. Do you feel unrighteous?   As unrighteous as you may feel, GOD is righteous in HIS forgiveness of all you have done or will do…if you have accepted HIS SON as your LORD AND SAVIOUR. GOD’S righteousness is so unfathomable, HIS perfection so beyond any thought we could possibly grasp in our limited and sinful minds.   GOD’S righteousness is so magnificent, we sometimes doubt HIS absolute mercy.   Since, we cannot duplicate HIS mercy, we have difficulty understanding GOD’S righteousness. When was the last time you showed mercy, true mercy, to someone?  Can you grasp the righteousness of GOD when you feel unrighteous yourself?   Take a deep breath and feel the righteousness of GOD.   Then, take that feeling and be merciful to someone else.   Hold onto that thought each day.   The righteousness of GOD will help you be righteous to another. Today’s prayer:  “MY RIGHTEOUS GOD, Thank YOU for YOUR...

“IF THE SHOE FITS . . . “

“IF THE SHOE FITS…”   “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.'”  Acts 9:15 NIV       Read:  Acts 9:1-30 “If the shoe fits, wear it!” is an old expression which usually is meant to be slightly accusatory.  It probably comes from one or two sources.  In England, a similar phrase is ‘if the cap fits, wear it’.   It is a slanderous term referring to a dunce cap.   It may also refer to a term in World War I…”If the boots fit, wear them.”   Soldiers had times of little supplies.  If their boots were worn out and no replacements were available, soldiers would remove the boots from the deceased (even the enemy) and if the boots fit, they were told to wear them. Have you ever been told; “If the shoe fits, wear it!”?   Do you feel you were deserving of the criticism?   It is difficult to accept criticism, even if it is all too accurate.  Accepting our faults is easier said than done. Paul was a great preacher of the gospel and builder of the gentile churches.   As we read his writings, we see a man who loved his LORD and was passionate to teach others the way to salvation.   But, he was not always that way. Paul had been a hater of Christians and responsible for the murder of Christ’s followers.  Paul was led by the spirit of CHRIST to turn from his ways and to spread the gospel of the LORD. Are you...

“IT COSTS TOO MUCH!”

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:23 NIV Read:  Romans 6   This past summer, my eldest grandson did odd jobs in his neighborhood to earn extra money.   He earned more than money.   The experiences were a growing time for him as well.   He realized that money is a reward for hard work and some work was harder than others.   He also understood that we are not always compensated equally for our hard work.  Some of his ’employers’ were more generous and others more demanding.   All good lessons. Another lesson was the value of a dollar when it came to spending what he made.   Exchanging that hard work for an item to purchase was more difficult when he was spending his own money.  When you purchase something, do you think about how much work you had to perform in order to have the money?   As you look around at all you have accumulated, is it all worth the effort?  How much have you thrown away or donated in the last year?  Could you have spent some of that money differently? Are you sharing your success, no matter how small, with others in need?  Are you sharing enough?  The answer is between you and GOD.  What is HE telling you? Do you know what is the most expensive thing in the world?  It is not precious gems, precious metals, castles, cars or ships.   The most expensive thing you can buy is sin.   It is not the dollars you spend that makes it expensive.   It...

“WILL YOU FALL FOR ANYTHING?”

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”  Exodus 20: 5-6 NIV Read:  Exodus 20: 1-22 There is an old saying: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!”  How about you?   Have you stood up for something or turned your back on what you knew is right?  You knew better. What do you stand for?   With our society crumbling around us, isn’t it time to stand up for your faith and all GOD has done and is doing for you?  If you live in a city of one million people, imagine 58 cities of one million people who do not exist.   Imagine the cities with all the roads, buildings and houses but without the people.   Since the Supreme Court ruled on abortion, 58 million children were murdered.   That is the equivalent of those 58 cities being empty of any person. So many of GOD’S laws are being replaced by the evil laws of man.   Politics have taken the place of all GOD has told us.  Judeo-Christian values are being removed by lawmakers and courts. Our Bibles are GOD’S absolute word.   There are not exceptions to be debated by politicians and courts.  We are seeing people leaving the graces of GOD in favor of allowing others to do anything they want.   Abortion, homosexuality, pornography and more are now...