“CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT!”

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  2Peter 1:3 NIV

Read:  2Peter 1:3-11

 

The television commercial for an automobile road side service insurance company blared with testimonials claiming the merits of the nationally known company.   One lady declared she ‘could not live without’ her membership.   Do you have something that you simply can’t live without?

 

Ask and others may tell you they “can’t live without….”.   They may complete the sentence with ‘chocolate’, ‘a good book’, ‘a first cup of coffee’, ‘my cell phone’…you get the picture.

The truth is we can all live without any and all of these things.   But, there are some things we cannot live without.   Basics for life are known as water, food and shelter.   Other things may be necessary for comfort but are not absolutely necessary.

While many don’t realize it, there is ONE absolute necessity.  GOD.  The majority on this earth believe they are self sufficient.   They depend solely upon themselves.  But, as scripture tells us, when their time comes they will be all alone.  After it is too late, it is too late!
Are you like a dog who is chasing his own tail and never achieving anything for his efforts?    Stop chasing after things you don’t need.   Everything you need is available when you go to your knees.   GOD will bring you more than you can imagine.  Just ask HIM.

Today’s prayer:  “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for supplying more than I need and more than I deserve.   Help me understand the difference between what I need, what I want and what you want for me.  Amen.”

“WEAK STRENGTH OR A STRONG WEAKNESS?”

“If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!”  Proverbs 24:10 NIV

 

Read:  Proverbs 24:10-22

 

In a flashback from decades ago, some days, do you ‘feel your Wheaties’ or do you feel like you are not doing so well?   Like most, you have those good days and those not so good days.   Most days you are probably somewhere in between.

 

The truth is strength and weakness have more in common than you might imagine.  When we are so dependent upon ourselves, we might take either to extremes.  Too much or too little misplaced confidence or uncertainty can have disastrous results.

When we put our dependence upon GOD alone, we can trust HIM with stability rather than highs on lows of self dependence.

The writer of Hebrews (many believe it was Paul) tells us of great prophets and kings of the Old Testament in Hebrews 11:34: “quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.”

 

Your weakness can be turned into strength when you rely upon the strength coming from GOD.  Relying upon yourself will sooner or later weaken your strength.   GOD alone can strengthen you weakness.

Today’s prayer:  “LORD GOD, Thank YOU for the strength that comes from only YOU.  Thank YOU for teaching me from YOUR word.   Help me today to recognize the weakness of my own strength and the strength of my weakness when I depend upon YOU.  Amen.”

 

“EVER BLAME GOD?”

“Should GOD then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? You must decide, not I; so tell me what you know.”  Job 34:33 NIV

Read:  Job 34:5-37

 

Things just were not going right.   When you felt you were walking a straight line, it seemed everyone else was turning left and right.   No matter what you did, you ended up all alone.  So, knowing in your own mind you were doing all the right things and everything still went wrong, you blamed GOD.

 

We have a manner of judging ourselves which is very different than the way GOD judges us.  We judge ourselves by looking at others, by standards of the world and maybe with a self blinding eye.

GOD judges by HIS standards.   Guess what?   GOD’S standards have never changed and will never change.   HE gave us an easy course if we choose to do things HIS way.  If we don’t obey GOD’S marching orders, we are re-inventing the wheel every day.

When we turn to our way rather than GOD’S way, we fail again.  Instead of looking at the reality of our own failures and accepting blame ourselves, we condemn GOD.  We will never truly live until we praise GOD for the times in our lives when we were condemning HIM.

We need to be thankful for the times we stumbled and failed only to be forgiven and lifted up by our GOD.   We condemned GOD and HE still forgave us.


Today’s prayer:  “GOD OUR FATHER, Thank YOU for forgiving me at those times I blamed YOU for my problems.   I stumble and fall from my own mistakes and YOU are always there to pick me up again and again.  Amen.”

 

“TELL ME! TELL ME!”

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”  Mark 1:15 NIV

 

Read:  Mark 1:1-15

 

Did you ever have great news that you could hardly keep to yourself?   Were your spouse and kids begging, even demanding you to tell them?  As you heard their cries of “Tell me, tell me!”, the excitement grew.   A loving family can be more excited than we are for ourselves.

 

“Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,and good news gives health to the bones.”  Proverbs 15:30.  Don’t you love the inspiring verses of Proverbs?  These verses are the good news to refresh us when we are tired.  They encourage us when times have been hard and they inspire us to take on new challenges.

Individually, we can bring good new to refresh, encourage and inspire others.   GOD can use to the benefit of others.   Is GOD using you?   HE is if you let HIM.

JESUS took the good news to all.  HE healed the sick and maimed.  HE spoke with the authority of GOD because HE is GOD.   HIS disciples then carried the good news of JESUS to all…Jews and gentiles alike.

GOD is telling you to do the same.   We are to carry the good news of our CREATOR, JESUS OUR RISEN LORD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD to all we come in contact with.

Christianity is not a closed club.   We are to take the gospel to all nations.   This means we are to tell everyone about good news of our LORD.   Share the gospel with the love you have for JESUS and you will hear others say “Tell me! Tell me!”

Who have you told today?

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS OUR LORD,   Thank YOU for telling me of YOUR good news.   Thank YOU for forgiving my sins.   It is by YOUR strength that I can tell others the good news YOU brought to us.  Amen.”

“AN IRON CLAD ALIBI”

“…and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,”  Revelation 1:5 NIV

Read:  Revelation 1:1-6

Have you ever needed an alibi?   Were you ever accused of doing something when you were totally innocent?   A personal eye witness of you not being even near the scene of the situation can be an iron clad alibi.   Then, maybe there was a time when you were guilty, very guilty and there was no alibi.   Guilt was simply guilty.

 

Recently there was a news story of a man who was arrested for armed robbery.   He was innocent of the robbery and his iron clad alibi was he was buying and selling illegal drugs at the time and was nowhere near the location of the robbery.    He was freed on the robbery charge and re-arrested on drug charges.

Have you escaped a guilty situation by using an alibi of another situation?   Guilty is still guilty.   From my childhood, I remember the phrase;  ‘He is as guilty as homemade sin.’   I can’t tell you what homemade sin is.  But, I get the message.

Truthfully, we won’t ever need an alibi when we are in places and doing things when and where GOD would want us to be.  GOD is our iron clad alibi.  HE knows all about us; all of our guilt and all of our innocence.

Is today the day you trade your guilt for an iron clad guarantee for life with our FATHER in Heaven?   When we meet JESUS in the air, we will not need an alibi.  All our sins will have already been forgiven.

Today’s prayer: “Thank YOU, LORD, for forgiving all my sins.   Thank YOU for giving me a second chance.   Thank YOU for preparing me a place in Heaven.   By YOUR grace, I do not need an alibi.  Amen.”

“QUITTERS NEVER WIN!”

“Stand firm, and you will win life.”  Luke 21:19 NIV
Read:  Luke 21:10-19

 

“Winners never quit and quitters never win!”, I have heard repeated over the years.  It is short phrase with a cemented truth.  Did you ever quit anything and still won?   It does not happen that way, does it?

 

On the other hand, those who never give up will eventually win.  The famous baseball great, Babe Ruth, was a winner.   He was also a loser.

‘The Babe’ was struck out 1,330 times.  Yet, he still amassed an amazing 2,873 hits in his career along with 714 home runs and 2,213 runs batted in.   Even with his strike outs, many still consider him the greatest baseball player of all times.

Have you struck out 1,330 times?  How about 1,331 times or 1,332 times?  Our failures in this life are often judgments by others.  We live in a sinful world and we will fail.  Isn’t it wonderful, even will all our failings, JESUS will forgive us over and over?   JESUS measures our heart for HIM more than our failures.

Paul tells us in 1Corinthians 9:24:  “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

 

One mistake or 1,330 mistakes are all forgotten when we are rewarded with the crown that will last forever.   Be a winner, give yourself to JESUS today and wear HIS eternal crown.

Today’s prayer: “LORD, Thank YOU for forgiving all my strike outs…all my sinful mistakes and failings.   Help me to understand YOUR teachings, grow in YOUR words and walk away from the evils of this world.  Amen.”

 

“IT’S NOT UP TO ME!”

” For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13 NIV
Read:  Philippians 4:10-14

I recently read: “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.  Yet, it is not up to me, it’s up to thee.”  As much as we believe in our own abilities, we can do nothing on our own and are nothing without our GOD.

 

GOD made us as intelligent beings.   HE gave us physical abilities.  When we put our intelligence and physical ability together, we can accomplish many things.  Yet, we still fall short.   We need the insight and guidance that only comes from our TRIUNE GOD.

Paul was a brilliant evangelist.  Still, he knew his limitations and had a clear understanding he was nothing without his LORD.  In writing his letters to Timothy, he passed along his wisdom.

In 2Timothy 4:17 Paul gave the honor to GOD…

“But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”

GOD can and will give you the strength you need to be delivered ‘from the lion’s mouth’ just as he did for Paul.   Wouldn’t it be great to have the strength to get through a harried day with the kids, to satisfy the boss that seems to never be satisfied, to face the financial problems or that neighbor who does nothing but complain?

You can do everything through CHRIST who gives you strength.   It is that simple.  Give up on your limitations and accept the strength of CHRIST.

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, MY LORD, Thank YOU for the strength that comes only from YOU.  YOUR love and caring gives me the blessings I am unworthy except by YOUR grace.  I will use YOUR strength as you desire of me.  Amen.”

 

 

“DEFINITION OF WISDOM!”

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7 NIV

Read:  Proverbs 1:1-7

 

I recently read a definition of wisdom.   While it may be incomplete, it sure does set some basics of good thoughts.  “Wisdom is three nevers.  Never respond back to someone when you are angry.   Never make a promise when you are euphoric.  Never make a decision when you are depressed.”

 

They are pretty good words of advice and they may help prevent foot in mouth disease.   But, life is far more than a couple of nevers.   So, where do we get such wisdom?   For certain, wisdom is not for sale on a greeting card.

Older individuals are sometimes associated with wisdom, yet that is not an absolute.   At the same time, we can say the younger someone is, the less likely they are to be wise.

 

Proverbs 3:19-20 tell us: “By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding HE set the heavens in place; by HIS knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.”
Scriptures tell us that Solomon was the wisest man ever.  Where did Solomon get his wisdom?   David, his father, taught him to honor GOD.  Solomon prayed to GOD to receive wisdom.  Solomon’s wisdom came from GOD.   “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.”  1 Kings 4:29

Does it surprise you that wisdom…true wisdom comes from GOD?   All goodness originates from GOD.   Oh, we do have some wise people in this world who may spout wisdom for many.  But, if they are truly wise, where did their wisdom come from?

GOD.

Today’s prayer:  “GOD, OUR WISE CREATOR,  Thank YOU for teaching me wisdom.  Thank YOU for your patience in my learning YOUR wisdom.   I trust and fear YOU so that I may grow in YOUR wisdom.  Amen.”