“A PROBLEM FREE LIFE?”

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

Read:   Deuteronomy 31:1-13

 

Would you like a problem free life?   Who wouldn’t?   I recently heard about a self help book declaring if you read it and followed its steps, you could live a problem free life.  Imagine, some people are so desperate, they are willing to pay good money for a lie.

 

The fact is we live in a world influenced daily by Satan and his legions of angels.    No matter what we read, what we want or what we do ourselves, we cannot control the situations brought on by others.  Sometimes we cannot control even those situations we unintentionally bring upon ourselves.

No where in scripture does GOD promise us a perfect life or a life that is problem free.  GOD does promise us a life where HE will never forsake us, will never leave us and where we can spend eternity with HIM.

So, when you’re tempted to pick up one of those self help books that are the current fad, save your money and reach instead for your Bible.    Your Bible is not a self help book.   It is the GOD help book.

 

When was the last time you totally depended upon yourself instead of GOD?   How well did that go for you?

Today’s prayer:   “LORD GOD, Thank YOU for being everything to me.   Thank YOU for all YOUR help.   Guide me far from Satan’s pathways in this evil world.  I need to stop helping myself and start depending totally upon YOU.  Amen.”

 

 

 

“EVER FEEL ABANDONED?”

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”   2Corinthians 4:8-9

Read:  2Corinthians 4:1-12

 

Have you ever felt abandoned and all alone?    When you needed a friend to lean upon, did it seem everybody had things they thought were more important?  Has the pain of loneliness engulfed you?   Can you feel the silence?  Are you on the verge of depression?

 

The death of a loved one, divorce, the not good news of a health problem or becoming an empty nester can each bring on a feeling of loneliness and abandonment.  At times, it is easy to feel the pity party is well deserved.

Still, in the midst of this the hurt, we need to be reminded GOD has a plan.   It is GOD’S plan.  It is not the plan we might imagine.   It is not usually a quick fix.   GOD does not need a fairy tale magic wand.

GOD’S plan is for the long term.   Our lives may change dramatically as time passes.   You only have to look back at your life and where you were years ago.   Through any abandonment you felt at that time, GOD molded you to be the person HE wants you to be.   Are you being submissive to GOD’S plan for your life?  HIS plan is better than your desires.

GOD never abandons.  GOD is always with you.

Today’s prayer:   “GOD MY SUSTAINER, Thank YOU for loving me even at times when it seems I don’t even love myself.   Thank YOU for always being there for me as I work through the false abandonment I feel.  Help me to accept YOUR plan for my life.  Amen.”

 

“GOD CAME DOWN!”

“Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on their GOD.”  Isaiah 50:10 NIV

Read:  Isaiah 50:4-11

 

You may remember reading of my close call with death a few months ago.   I was infected with e-coli in a simple surgery which developed into septic shock.   The emergency room doctor told me I had come within a couple of feet of death’s door.

Later, a doctor friend reviewed my records and told me most people would not have survived what I went through, that medically I should have died.  He said:  “GOD did not send an angel to save you, HE came down HIMSELF to save you.”   Whether GOD sent an angel, personally cradled me, I rested in the protection of JESUS or it was the HOLY SPIRIT within me, I am humbled and on my knees just thinking of how much GOD loves us.

 

It does not take a close call with death to have GOD cradle you in HIS arms of protection.  GOD created us to be HIS.   Sin separates us from GOD.

Today is the day to talk with GOD.  There are a lot of false religions in this world.   Only Christianity allows us to have personal conversations with GOD.  Christ died for us and restored our ability to have one on one conversations with GOD OUR FATHER, JESUS OUR SAVIOUR AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.   Anytime, anyplace we can have that life changing conversation prayer.   GOD is never too busy to ‘come down to you’.

Today’s prayer:   “GOD ON HIGH, Thank YOU for loving me, especially when I am being unlovable.  I am humbled and come to YOU in thanksgiving and obedience.  Forgive me of my failures and raise me up in my walk with YOU.  Amen.”

 

“BE REALLY DIFFERENT!”

“The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” 

1Samuel 10:6 NIV

 

Read:   1Samuel 10:1-8

Did you ever meet someone who boldly marched to a different drummer?   While almost the whole world seemed to be headed in one direction, this one person took every rabbit trail to the left and the right.

 

That’s not what GOD had in mind when he told us to be different.   In order to be different, we don’t have to be unconventional.    We are to be different from the majority in this world who do not know GOD.   We are to be different than the unbelieving masses.   Some of these question whether GOD is real, while others deny HIS existence totally.

A few days ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read: “GOD IS DEAD”.   The owner of the vehicle was not aware, but by posting the sticker, he was admitting to the existence of GOD.   Using his logic, GOD had to be alive in order to be dead.  Then, as GOD is eternal, GOD cannot be dead.

Our scripture verse of today tells us the instructions to Saul.   Just as Saul was to be changed into a different person, so are we.   When we put on the whole Armor of GOD, we are changed.   We are to be different from the world.   We are not to be of this world, but of GOD.

Are you following the non-believers of this world or are you following GOD?  There is only one right choice!   Be really different from this sinful world.

 

 

Today’s prayer:   “LORD MY GOD, Thank YOU for reminding me of my ability to be different from this world of sin and evil.   Help me to be only a follower of YOU and avoid the temptations of this world.  Amen.”

“DO YOU KNOW YOUR ABC’s?”

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”   Acts 3:19 NIV

Read:  Acts 3:18-26

I recently had the joy of leading my 6-year old grandson to Jesus.  I used the ABC’s for the boy’s six-year old Vacation Bible School group.  It is titled: “Do you know the ABC’s of Jesus?”

 

A” tells us we have to “Admit” we have done something wrong; this is called sin (Romans 3:23).  God will not forgive us (Nahum 1:3) and as a result God will not accept us into His Heaven with a sin (Romans 6:23a).

 

B” tells us we have to “Believe” that God loves us so much He sent Jesus to pay for our sin and offers us Heaven as a gift (Romans 6:23b).   Jesus paid for our sin by dying to pay the price God demanded (death).  But since Jesus is God’s son, He was able to come back to life after death on the cross to carry us into heaven when we die.

C” tells us we have to “Confess” that we admit and believe both to God and other people (Romans 10:9, Matthew 10:32).

The result was when the boy arrived back home he told his father “he believed.”  When asked what he believed, he gave evidence of being saved by Jesus.  Another friend said, “a lot of people say they are a Christian, but it’s not only about what they say, but what they do with Jesus”.  The grandson not only confessed, but will be publicly baptized soon giving his testimony in front of the Church.

*This devotional was written by Dr. Statt Riddlebarger, Pastor, of Pearsall Road Church.  Whether 6 or 66, the ABCs of salvation are easy for us all to follow.  You are welcome to visit with Pastor Riddlebarger and the friendly congregation Sunday mornings at 10:45 and Wednesday evenings at 7.

 

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for forgiving my sins and accepting me into Heaven for all eternity.   I have prayed these ABCs as I am giving my life to YOU.  Amen.”

 

“MISINTERPRETED CONSTITUTION!”

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Read:  Isaiah 9:6-7

 

Many will tell you our country is going in the wrong direction.   Fewer are claiming to be Christians today than ever before.  Church attendance is non-existent for many and sporadic for most. True believers who attend to fellowship and grow in GOD’S word are in the minority.

 

I am convinced, this is in direct correlation to our courts destroying our Constitution.  Courts are creating laws based upon a liberal interpretation of our Constitution which has nothing to do with the meanings of our forefathers.

John Adams, the second president of these United States, in his speech to the Massachusetts Militia on October 11, 1798 said:

 

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  

 

The overwhelming majority of the creators of our Constitution got it right.   But, we cannot blame just the courts for destroying our Constitution.   Until we as a nation return to worshiping GOD as HIS scriptures tell us, our nation will continue in this downward spiral.  Our Constitution “was made for a moral and religious people”.

You can stop this moral decline.    Take someone to church with you tonight and again on Sunday.  Then repeat this the next week and the next.

Today’s prayer:   “Thank YOU LORD for allowing me to live in this country.  Help me protect my liberties and protect my country.  Guide me in spreading YOUR gospel message which will make our country strong again.  Amen.”

 

“TIME IS A GREAT TEACHER!”

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”  Revelation 1:3 NIV

Read:  Revelation 1:1-8

 

“Time is a great teacher, unfortunately it kills its own students.”   This is a quote we all should commit to memory.  Time is the one thing none of us have enough.   Each day, from the moment we are born, we are one day closer to death.

 

I have heard it said, we live our lives backward.  When we are young, we have vitality but little wisdom and usually not a lot of common sense.  As we age with wisdom, we have less time and less energy to use our wisdom.

Perhaps, GOD gave us youthful energy so we could repeatedly correct all our mistakes.  Then he made us wise in our old age so we could help those younger with their mistakes.

Wisdom comes from GOD.  Do you have the time to learn from the only real TEACHER?   There is only one answer.  Do you have to think about your answer?

Will your last words be; “Oh time, oh precious time, how can this be?” when there is no more time for you?   You know what you need to do today…this minute.   Do it!

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for giving me this life to live.   I want to make the most of the time YOU have given me.  Help me today to correct my mistakes and to lay them at YOUR feet for all eternity.   Amen.”

 

 

“THE BUS IS ALMOST EMPTY!”

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 7:21 NIV

Read Matthew 7:21-27 

 

Recently, a pastor friend was telling me that if a bus were leaving for Heaven today, he wondered if it would be filled.   No, he was not being judgmental.   His comment was a real concern.   Too many know who JESUS is and still do not know JESUS.

 

If a bus were at your neighborhood, work place or church, how many empty seats would you expect?   Lots of people will tell you they would want to be on a bus destined for Heaven, but how many would have their own ticket paid for and given to them by JESUS?

Do you have your ticket to Heaven?   These tickets are free and individually issued for guaranteed one way instant travel and will never expire and you cannot lose them.
How do you get your free ticket?    Trust JESUS as your personal LORD and SAVIOUR while turning over every facet of your life to HIM.  Do this and ask HIM to forgive all of your sins.   As difficult as it may seem, it is really that easy.

You can go from a sinner who will die with Satan to a forgiven sinner cradled in GOD’S perfect arms.    The bus is loading.   Do you have your ticket?

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for giving me a life of eternity in Heaven.   Please forgive all my sins at YOUR feet.   I am turning from my old ways and will follow YOU faithfully.   Amen.”

 

“ARE YOU REALLY SAVED?”

“…known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”   2 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV

Read:   2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Paul and the other apostles along with the members of the early church put their lives in danger daily.  Around the world there are Christians being shot, beheaded and tortured because of their faith.   Do you think about them?   Do you pray for them?

 

There was a phrase coined by Thomas Paine in 1776 of being a ‘sunshine patriot’.   He was referring to those who ‘would shrink from the service of his country’.   Paine was a solid motivator of the colonist in the war against Great Britain.

In today’s society, are you a ‘Sunshine Christian’?   It is easy to say you are a Christian, but as our brothers and sisters around the globe who are proclaiming their faith as they are being shot and hanged, would you be as firm in your faith?

JESUS died on the cross of salvation for you.   Would you die for HIM?

In this time of liberal society proclaiming the rights of abortion, same sex marriages, open living arrangements, legalism of drugs and more, where do you stand?   Are you proclaiming these rights, sitting back and allowing all these things to happen or are you standing up for the commandments of GOD?

Too few bother to stand up for JESUS today.   Are you a ‘Sunshine Christian’ shrinking from the service of our LORD?   You can go to church and warm a pew without being a Christian…

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS, MY SAVIOUR, Thank YOU for dying so that I might live.  I want to be a more dedicated Christian.   Help me to be a dynamic voice for YOU today.