“WANT GOD’S BLESSINGS?”

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”   James 1:20 NIV

 

Read:  James 1:19-27

Do you want GOD’S Blessings?   Does it sometimes feel like everybody else is getting the things you want?   Your best friend just got a new car.  A guy at work is getting married to a beautiful woman.   Your sister’s daughter won a scholastic scholarship to college.  Is the last thing you received another utility bill?

 

You just don’t understand it.  You get up early and go to work on time.  You put in your 8 hours.  You go to church on Sundays.  You even throw a twenty in the offering plate…sometimes.

GOD’S blessings come to those who are blessed.   Do you feel like you are blessed?  If not, maybe that’s the problem.

Are you living a blessed life?   From sunup to sundown are you focused on GOD and all HE has for you or are you doing life the way you want to live?  Your way or GOD’S way will be the difference in receiving GOD’S blessings.

GOD will not reward you for living a life of sin…those so called little sins are not little at all.  HE will forgive you.  HE will guide you.   But, HE will not bless your actions.  If you want to be blessed, then live a blessed life.  Get rid of all those things you know GOD does not approve.  Prove to GOD you are worthy of HIS blessings.

Today’s prayer:   “LORD GOD, Thank you for the blessings you have given me.   Thank you for guiding me to live a better life.  Help me to live in the shadows of YOUR wings and feel all the blessings I have been missing.  Amen.”

 

“ONCE IS ENOUGH!”

“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” 
Romans 3:25 NIV

Read:   Romans 3:21-16

Have you ever done something and said: “Once is enough!”?   After one experience, you immediately decided there was no need to do it again.
JESUS told us this…over and over.  For centuries, the Jewish people held the law of Moses close in truth and in ceremony.   Bulls, goats and other small animals were sacrificed.   The blood was evidence of an offering to GOD for the cleansing of sins they needed.

 

JESUS changed all that. HE knew HIS purpose. HE knew the sacrifice HE was to make. No longer would mankind need to routinely and repeatedly spill the blood of animals in asking for the forgiveness of their sins.

JESUS did it all.   Once was enough!   One sacrifice forever and ever.   Once was enough for every believer.   The price is paid in full.   JESUS, OUR LORD, accepted all your sins; past sins and future sins.

All your sinful debts are stamped with the blood of JESUS: “PAID IN FULL!”…if you are a believer.  Are you a believer?   Are all your sins truly forgiven? They are if you have trusted JESUS to be your personal LORD and SAVIOUR.

If you have not accepted JESUS’ invitation, today is your day!   Once is enough!

Today’s prayer:   “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for your greatest sacrifice.   Thank YOU for taking on all my sins and giving me eternal life with YOU. Amen.”

 

“MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!”

“You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:3 NIV

Read:  Exodus 20: 1-7

Have you ever been given a choice that was really no choice at all?  Has someone told you that it is their way only?   There is an old expression for such.   “My way or the highway” sums it up pretty well…’do it my way or hit the road’.

 

I recently was subjected to such a demand when another was demanding a situation which was to his financial advantage.  Money can be a bad influence on some people.  Be careful when requests become demands. Not everyone can be trusted to honor their word when forced changes would benefit them more than others.

GOD is the only ONE who is justified in making such a demand.   HIS way is the right way.  HE told us ‘My way or the highway’ in Exodus 20.   We call these  instructions the Ten Commandments.   The first seven verses pertain to GOD himself.  GOD gives us these ‘MY way or the highway’ rules for our benefit knowing HE could not trust sinful man on his own.

Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?  Each and every one are for your benefit.   Don’t ever believe you can turn, twist or flatly ignore any one of HIS commandments.   Doing so would be telling GOD you know better than HIM.

Go to Exodus 20 and read GOD’S 10 Commandments.   They are not just “MY way or the highway’ rules.  They are GOD’S protection plan for each of us.

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD for protecting me every day.   Help me to faithfully observe each of YOUR commandments throughout my day for my benefit and the benefit of others.   Amen.”

“HAVING A BAD DAY . . . OR A BAD LIFE?”

“For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”  1Peter 3:17 NIV

Read:  1Peter 3:8-17

Are you having a bad day or have you given up and settled into the idea you are just having a bad life?    We all have a bad day.   We shouldn’t but we do.   If you have given up and accepted you are having a bad life, ask yourself why.

 

Some days things go wrong.  The alarm did not go off.    Putting your shoes on and your shoelace breaks.   One of the kids does not get out of bed.  You get caught on the freeway behind a five car accident.   Your boss wants your project due next week on his desk today.   Then, you discover you left your wallet at home and have no money for lunch.

What really went wrong was GOD gave you a way out and you did not accept it.   We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday, the day JESUS fulfilled HIS promise to take on all our sins.  The negative way we respond to all of our problems of a bad day can be one of those sins.   Our attitude can make a bad day a good day when we take it all to JESUS.

 

If you think you are having a bad life, reread the above paragraph and multiply it by 365 and again for the number of years things have gone wrong.  A bad life is the total of number of bad days we allowed to control us.  GOD gave us a way out.

Turning all your problems of a bad day over to our LORD will give you a good day, maybe not a great day, but a much better day.  Do this daily and you will have a good life.  GOD gave you a way out of a bad situation.  Lay it at the foot of the Cross and say “THANK YOU JESUS!”

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for taking on all my sins, problems and worries.   Now, I can have peace in this evil world.   YOU have given me a good day in place of a bad day.  Amen.”

 

“HE GAVE HIS LIFE, GIVE YOUR HEART!”

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew 28:6-7 NIV

 

 

Read:   Matthew 28:1-10

Look up!   JESUS is looking down upon you.  HE is risen.   JESUS returned to Heaven so that HE may come again in fulfillment of HIS scriptural promises.  HE told us we are not to know the hour and day, but whenever the time, it can’t be too soon for me.

 

For many, today is just another day.  But, for true believers, today is a day of joy.   We know we are in celebration of our SAVIOUR’S reign on earth and being taken up into Heaven to spend eternity with our loving TRINITY.

Are your priorities straight?  While families gather for a holiday of picnics in the park, Easter egg hunts, lots of food, games and more, what is the most important thing for you to do today?

Today is the day of celebration.  Is JESUS your reason for celebrating today?  Before the picnic and activities, give JESUS HIS time.   Start your day with your Bible.  Then, spend time in worship and thanksgiving in a local church with other believers.   Praise GOD!  JESUS is risen.

GOD gave you free will.  Use it wisely today.   Gather in HIS name.  Give your heart to JESUS!

Today’s prayer:  “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for keeping YOUR promises.   I know of YOUR resurrection and of YOUR soon return.  I will live for YOU.  Amen.”

“$6,960.00 FOR YOUR SOUL?”

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.”  Matthew 27:3 NIV

Read:  Matthew 27:1-10

Would you sell your soul for $6,960.00?   People lie, cheat and steal for a lot less than that everyday.   But, we are not talking about what others have done or would do.   The question is for you to answer personally…just for yourself.

If we equate the 30 pieces of silver Judas was paid to turn JESUS over to the authorities to what then was about 120 days pay, at minimum wage in the U.S. this would total to about $6,960.00 in today’s dollars.

 

$6,960.00 would not make you rich.   It would not buy a house or even a new car, but we might still consider it to be a lot of money.   Is it enough for you to sell your soul?

 

Would it be enough for you to abandon your LORD and SAVIOUR?   What price do you put on your moral conscious?   Does life have a price?  Is there a difference between what your life is worth and the value of another’s life?   All serious questions for you to ponder….

Judas was so plagued with his guilt, he returned the 30 pieces of silver to the priests and threw the 30 pieces of silver into the temple.  The priests considered it blood money and would not put it into the temple treasury.  Instead, they bought a field to bury the poor.

And Judas?  He knew what he had done and could not live with himself.   He took his own life.  Is it no wonder, infants are not named Judas?   If you have sold your soul for a lot less than $6,960.00 or for a lot more, suicide is not your answer.

JESUS will forgive you for all your sins.  Just ask HIM.  That’s what salvation is all about.   No sin is too small or too large to be forgiven.   Go to your knees and ask JESUS to forgive you.

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for forgiving all my sins.  I confess to YOU; I have sold my relationship with YOU.  Please forgive me.  Amen.”

 

“WHY PALM SUNDAY??”

“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna’, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’  ‘Blessed is the king of Israel!'”
John 12:13 NIV

Read:  John 12:12-36

Christians around the world will celebrate Palm Sunday today.  Many churches pass palm leaves out to the church attendees.  It is important to remember the palm leaves or branches are not idols but reminders of the palm branches the crowd laid on the road when JESUS rode into town.  They received HIM as the KING HE is.   They laid out palm leaves as we would roll out a red carpet.

 

Every day we can spend time reflecting upon our relationship with HIM.   This week is special.   Day by day in scripture we can walk with JESUS during HIS last days on earth.

We can witness HIS miracles and conversations with HIS disciples.   We can learn from HIS teachings and grow in our faith.   As we go through these days, we can prepare ourselves for the false allegations, illegal trial, criminal crucifixion and HIS glorious resurrection.

Take time daily to reflect upon all JESUS did during HIS last week and all HE is still doing in your life today.   You still have a lot of living to do during your time on this earth.   Live as JESUS wants you to live.   Turn from the evils of this world and embrace JESUS’ ultimate sacrifice when HE forgave all your sins and paid the price for your eternity in Heaven.

Lay your palm branches down for JESUS to come into your life.

Today’s prayer:  “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for coming to this earth so that we can be saved from eternal death.   Guide me this week through YOUR scriptures to understand and to accept all YOU have done for me.  Amen.”

 

“IT’S REALLY NOT A RIDDLE!”

“I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Revelation 7:14 NIV

 
Read:  Revelation 7:13-17

Grand children are a lot of fun.   Occasionally, one will come up with a riddle.  Some require a little thought and imagination.  So, what is black and white and read (heard as red) all over?  Give up.  A newspaper of course!

Others are so obvious they are not riddles at all.   How is something changed from dirty to snow white?   That’s easy!  All our dirty sins are cleansed to snow white by the blood of JESUS.   It is really not a riddle.  It is GOD’S truth.

JESUS’ Crucifixion was a horrendous act by our thoughts, but was a part of GOD’S plan.  Many ask why a loving GOD would allow HIS SON to be sacrificed in such a way.

That is not a riddle either.   JESUS IS GOD.  THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD.  Our triune GOD created us and wants us to spend eternity with HIM in Heaven.
John 3:16-17 tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Romans3:25 confirms GOD’S intent:  “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished…”

Isn’t it wonderful to have a loving GOD and scriptures to give us clear understandings without a bunch of riddles?   No matter your question, GOD has your answer.

Today’s prayer:  “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for sparing my soul even though I have sinned against YOU.  Help me today to do those things as YOU have instructed.  Amen.”

 

“DO YOU LIE?”

“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.”   Psalm 5:1-12 NIV

 

Read:  Psalm 5:1-12

Do you lie?   Do you have a habit of exaggerating the truth or totally fabricating a story?   Maybe, you depend upon ‘little white lies’ in some situations or others where the white turns into darker shades of grey?  ‘The check is in the mail’ or ‘I’ll take care of the problem immediately’ are not white lies.  They are lies….plain and simple.

You will find some people have no problem exaggerating the truth or telling you anything to serve their purpose with no conscious at all.   You may know someone like this.   If you look closely, their untruths match other areas of their lives.  When you hear an untruth, understand it is a major hint of other problems.

When my kids were little, I remember telling them their lies would only get them deeper into trouble and that by telling the truth the consequences would hurt a lot less.

Besides today’s reading above, read Acts 5:1-10.   Peter is in a conversation with Ananias.  He boldly and very truthfully tells Ananias in verse 4b; “You have not lied just to human beings but to GOD.” 

 

That is a good lesson for us all.  When we lie, we are not just lying to another human being, we are lying to GOD!   Why would we ever want to lie to GOD?   GOD knows the truth and HE knows when we are not truthful we are following the evils of Satan.

Lies hurt you, someone else and GOD.   Truth sets you free!

Today’s prayer:   “LORD, Please forgive me for my untruths.  I confess my tongue has expressed the evils of my thoughts.   I will not continue with my lies.  I will be truthful with YOU and with others.  Amen.”