“GUILTY, YET SET FREE!”

“Then neither do I condemn you, “Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  John 8:11b NIV

Read:  John 8:1-11

Recently, there was a national news organization which ran a story of a young man who was convicted of a felony.   The judge took all in consideration and set him free on a very mild probated sentence.  Those interviewed were angry and demanded the judge step down.

Maybe the judge was in error and maybe he was not.  In our legal system, the judge’s ruling stands.   We can complain and the judge may be removed from future cases, but this ruling seems to be valid.

 

The Pharisees brought to JESUS a woman who was known as an adulteress.  She was surely guilty of sinning against GOD.   The Pharisees asked JESUS if she was to be stoned.   In John 8:7 we read of JESUS’ answer;

“When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 

 
They all left without a stone being thrown.   HE sent the woman away forgiven, telling her to sin no more.  JESUS has the power to forgive you as HE forgave the sins of this woman.   Hear HIS words…”go and sin no more”.   She was guilty, yet she was set free.  Obey HIS teachings.   Stop doing whatever you are doing against GOD and against others and you can be forgiven.   Just ask.

We can also learn to be less judging of others and to look at our own sins.

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for forgiving me of all my sins.   I know I am guilty, yet YOU have set me free.  I can depend upon YOUR strength to help me live a life free of these sins.  Amen.”

 

“YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!”

“And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.  Luke 2:29-30 NIV

Read:  Luke 22:24-30

 

This world has a way of kicking us in the teeth.  Some days it is hard to understand if we are beaten up or beaten down.  Satan and his angels are openly walking the streets to maim and destroy us physically, mentally and spiritually.

There are those who will openly criticize and condemn you for little or no reason.

Some will call you friend and look down on you at the same time.   Are they really your friend?   They are more likely just an acquaintance.   Sometimes it is easier to turn the other cheek when you are walking away from abusive words or actions.

 

Our own thoughts and actions add to this experience of feeling we are a failure.  We are sometimes our own worst enemies.  We can wallow in our own misery or we can do something about it.

So, what do you do?  How do you shake the attitude of little worth?  Start with a prayer.   Pray to have these feelings taken from you.   GOD will take your feelings of being a failure away.  Then, it is up to you not to take them back.  Leave the feelings of failure at the foot of the cross.  GOD loves you and has a special plan just for you.

Today’s prayer:  “HEAVENLY FATHER, Thank YOU for believing in me.  Thank YOU for knowing me in ways I do not even know myself and for having a special plan for my life.  I am prepared to lay my doubts aside and follow YOU.  Amen.”

 

“GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66!”

“They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble,” 

Jeremiah 31:9a NIV
Read:   Jeremiah 31:7-9

Route 66 dates back to 1926 and quickly became known as the ‘Mother Road’ of the federal highway system.   Unlike most highways, it did not run true north/south or east/west.  It was laid out as a route from Chicago to Los Angeles and incorporated farm and manufacturing cities south of Chicago as well.

 

By the 1950’s, Americans love of the automobile led to Route 66’s romantic travel excitement.  Several books and songs have been written about Route 66.  Road signs and post cards carried the Route 66 message.

Do you know the story of another road?  The road to Damascus is probably the most notable road in history.
Damascus was a powerful city ruled by kings of many nations over the years.   When Abram’s men chased the armies of the four kings to bring Lot, Abram’s nephew, back they pursued the armies to Damascus.  The most notable story is when Saul was blinded by the Light of JESUS and taken to his knees on the road to Damascus.

Saul who became Paul was taken into Damascus not to take Christians as prisoners as he originally intended, but to give his life to CHRIST.   Paul became the convert we should all hope to copy.

GOD has a Route 66 or a road to Damascus just for you.   HE has a path for your life to take.   Get your kicks on GOD’S road for you.

Today’s Prayer: “Thank YOU, LORD for the path YOU have chosen for me.  Forgive me for the wrong paths I have taken.   Guide me on the road YOU have for me.   Amen.”

 

“NO JESUS?”

“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him?  You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.'”  Acts 4:18-20 NIV

Several years ago, I was asked to open a business association’s monthly meeting with a prayer.   Knowing many of the members, I was happy to accommodate the request.

Upon arriving, the president of the association took me aside.   He had a special request.    Stumbling for the right words, he told me it would be best if I prayed to GOD, but I should not mention JESUS.   He felt since not every member was a Christian, I should not mention JESUS…but ‘saying’ GOD would be okay.

 

I carefully explained that would not be fair to those who were not Christians.   Many of them knew me and would think it strange I would disinherit my SAVIOUR.   These men would expect me to pray and to close my prayer with “…in the name of our RISEN SAVIOUR, Amen.

Of course, nothing else was said about it and I prayed as I always did.   You see, the president was afraid of insulting a few who would never even give it a thought.

Are you afraid of offending someone, yet have no problem with offending JESUS, THE HOLY SPIRIT and GOD?

CHRIST’S apostles were persecuted, stoned, imprisoned and some killed for standing up for JESUS.  There are innocent men, women and children being killed by the hundreds daily around the world for being Christians.  Stand firm in your faith.   Stand by JESUS.   HE died for you.

Today’s prayer: “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for never forsaking me.  Help me to stand strong in my faith, telling everyone of the forgiving salvation which comes only from YOU.  Amen.”

 

“WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME!”

“WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME!”

 

“Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.  Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” Proverbs 4:14-15 NIV

Read: Proverbs 4:1-19

The lawyer pleaded for his client; “Judge, he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time!”.   The judged snapped back; “He was at the right place and at the right time to get caught!”.

Was there a time…or times…in your life when you were at the wrong place at the wrong time and you just did not get caught.  Perhaps, you have recently found yourself in a situation and thought; “What am I doing here?”

 

We all have made the judgment mistake of being in a bad situation.   The difference is often the simple common sense to walk away when you first realize you are in the wrong place.

 

If we are saved, the HOLY SPIRIT talks to us.   HE gives us that whispered voice or that instinct that comes from the heart to lead us and equip us.   It is more than just a humanly gut feeling.   Our GOD loves us.  HE will protect us and will lead and direct us as HE has promised.

We need to listen to HIM before we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.   Our biggest problem in hearing our GOD within us is not listening to HIM.  Every day you have a choice.  You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time.   The right place is where GOD wants you to be…just ask HIM.   The right time is all the time.   Are you in the right place right now?

Today’s prayer:  “HOLY SPIRIT, Thank YOU for always being with me.  Thank YOU for protecting me from the evils of this world and guiding me to safe and secure situations.   Amen.”

“MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!”

“He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'”  Matthew 17:20 NIV

Read:  Matthew 17:14-20

Do you remember the old TV show, ‘Mission Impossible’?    Actually, there were two shows.   The first ran from 1966-1973 and the second was short lived from 1988-1990.  The premise was a covert operations team that fulfilled seemingly impossible missions.

Fantasy is fun, but still fantasy.   Doing the impossible in this life is exactly that…impossible…unless, you have GOD.   We seem to forget this earth is the stomping ground for Satan and all his angels.

How successful will you be against Satan on your own?  Just ask yourself how successful have you been against Satan in the past.

GOD has strength that we cannot even imagine.   Don’t forget…GOD created Satan and cast him from Heaven.   All this evil we are subjected to on this earth is a timeless pinpoint to GOD.

GOD has a plan.  Satan will be destroyed by GOD’S plan on GOD’S timetable…not ours…not Satan’s.   GOD’S mission is not impossible.

When you feel your life is at an impossible time, it is time to turn all those impossible things over to GOD.  Nothing is impossible for GOD.

Today’s prayer:   “GOD, MY FATHER, Thank YOU for always doing the impossible in my life.   Help me to understand YOUR strength and to accept YOUR timetable.  Amen.” 

 

“BACKED INTO A CORNER?”

“I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove.  My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”   Isaiah 38:14 NIV

 

Read:  Isaiah 38:10-19

As a teenager, I hunted squirrels with an uncle in northeast Texas.   Each trip with him was always an adventure.   Once, while walking a dry creek bed in what is known as ‘The Thicket’, I met such an adventure.   As I rounded a bend, the creek bed ended and I had backed a wolf into the corner of the embankments.

 

I slowly walked backwards and never  took my eyes off  that  snarling  wolf.   I was so scared, I must have walked backwards a half mile!

 

Perhaps you may have cornered a snarling two legged creature.   We have a way of snarling sometimes when we have been cornered and feel threatened, just as that wolf did.

If you ever corner someone, back away.   In time, you may be able to talk to them, apologize or make amends.  But initially, the best thing is not to offend or antagonize them or make the situation more uneasy.

In our verse of the day, Hezekiah was threatened and called upon GOD.   Who do you call upon when you are threatened?   Do you call you parents, your spouse or others?

GOD is waiting for you to talk to HIM.   Don’t be threatened, lay your fears at the foot of the cross.

Today’s prayer:  “MIGHTY GOD, Thank YOU for always being here for me.  Help me to always come to YOU first with my fears, doubts and insecurities.  Amen.”

“SEND YOUR PASTOR PACKING!”

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'”  Mark 6:31 NIV

Yes, you read it right.   Soon, you will be able to send your pastor packing…packing for a few days near the coast.   Two days of fishing, all meals prepared for him (and his wife if she wants to go along)…a full three meals…big breakfasts, dinners of steaks and grilled skewered shrimp and homemade desserts…walks on the beach and lots of fun! Of course, plenty of time to reflect and be bathed in GOD’S word.  All they need to pack is a toothbrush…well, maybe a change of clothes.   But, everything else is furnished.

 

Revival Ministry will be his host for up to 4 days and 3 nights.   A small cottage is being remodeled and will be ready hopefully by mid May.

You can reserve time today.  For a modest contribution, send your pastor on a well deserved get-away.  Your pastor has given himself  to  your congregation for years.   Isn’t it time to give back?

Today’s scripture verse tells us our need to rest.  Your pastor needs rest as well.  He has been on call to every member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   Give him a break!  Give him a few days of rest and relaxation.   He might even become a successful fisher of fish in addition to being a fisher of men!

Call me at 830-438-8343 for more details of how you can send your pastor packing!  Pastors can call too!

Today’s prayer:   Please pray for this new benefit to pastors and for funds to support it.  Pray for the twice weekly devotionals and Sunday radio sermon programs reaching those who need to hear the Word of GOD.  Please also pray for our ministry to local churches to bring the lost of fallen into families of believers.

 

“GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY!”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”   Luke 6:31 NIV

Read:  Luke 6:27-31

 

“Go ahead, make my day!  “Who could ever forget that famous line by Clint Eastwood in the 1983 movie, ‘Sudden Impact’ which became a classic film still being viewed today?   With his teeth clinched in anger, he delivered this line with conviction.

Who do you know whom you would like to make their day?   Oh, no…not in the way Mr. Eastwood quoted in the Dirty Harry series.   You can make this your catch phrase to help others.

 

When you make another’s day…you can feel the goodness and it will make your day.   Your spirit is sure to be lifted when you witness the smile on another’s face in response to your good deed.

Payment for all you can do is having your day made.   Lift someone up.   Maybe you can help them financially or with emotional support.  Better still is the spiritual uplifting you can offer someone else.   Tell them about JESUS.

If you want someone to really make your day…make their day first.   Benefit another and it will make your day.  Blessings come to those who bless!

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for blessing me in so many ways.   Help me to make my day by making others’ day through my words and actions.  Amen.”