“I GIVE UP!”

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”  Luke 18:1 NIV

 

Read:  Luke 18:1-8

 

Like in the old movies, we put our hands in the air waving a white flag of surrender. Sometimes, do you want to climb upon your roof or find solitude in your closet while screaming “I give up.  I just give up!”  We all have had that moment but thankfully we did not give up.

 

Giving up is giving in to Satan.  Read that again.  Giving up is giving in to Satan.

 

It takes patience and perseverance not to give up and to push on towards your goal.  Our strengths…physical, emotional and spiritual may feel exhausted.   That’s when we can still go on with the strength of THE HOLY SPIRIT.

 

Do you have THE HOLY SPIRIT in you?  You do if you have accepted JESUS as your personal SAVIOUR.  HE will never forsake you and will always be with you.   So many forget about THE HOLY SPIRIT living within them when the dark clouds of problems consume all the apparent light in our world.

 

Instead of screaming:  “I give up, I just give up!”, rejoice with “I give it all away, I give all my burdens to THE HOLY SPIRIT!”   Don’t forget HIM.  HE is with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all eternity…if you have accepted JESUS as your SAVIOUR.  If you have not accepted JESUS into your life, now is the time…ask HIM now.

 

Today’s prayer:   “HOLY SPIRIT, I know YOU are alive in me.   Thank YOU for always being with me.  Forgive me when I feel abandoned and alone and want to give up.   Remind me of YOUR love. I can depend upon YOUR strength.  Amen.”

 

“IT’S A NO-BRAINER!”

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  1John 4:16 NIV

 

Read:  1John 4:1-21

 

My computer’s spell check tells me ‘no-brainer’ is not a word.  But, in this part of the world it has been used for decades.   Merriam-Webster tells us that a no-brainer is something that ‘requires a minimum of thought’.  It is believed to be an American slang first used in the late 1950’s.

 

Loving GOD should be a ‘no-brainer’.   We should not have to think about it.  We should just do it.   Still, it has been a problem for GOD’S sinful people since the beginning of time.

Adam and Eve failed at truly loving GOD when they ate the fruit HE had forbid.  Moses had a problem with his temper going against GOD several times.  David proved his problems of loving GOD with selfish actions.
People today…all people are proving they have the same problems loving GOD just as people of thousands of years ago.   As much as we have changed, we have not changed that much at all.

 

Loving our CREATOR is a choice.   It is decision that only has to be made once.  Then knowing we have made a choice to love GOD, it should be a no-brainer to show HIM the love and respect we should.

Don’t allow others to influence you wrongly.  Loving GOD is a no-brainer…just do it.

Today’s prayer:   “MY FATHER, Thank YOU for loving me.  Thank YOU for forgiving my lack of love and selfishness.   Be with me and guide me to love YOU and help others through the love YOU have given me.  Amen.”

 

“AVOIDED AMPUTATION!”

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

 

Read:  Philippians 2:1-4

 

There was a recent news story of a man who slipped and his leg was caught between a subway train and the platform.  The train was about to start and the man’s leg was sure to be ripped from his body or he would be dragged to his death.

 

All at once a crowd gathered and pushed the subway car sideways just enough to free his leg.  What one person could not do alone, all working together saved this man’s leg and probably his life!  If only one person had not pushed against that subway car, he would not have been freed.
Do you ever feel you don’t matter?  Are you convinced your words or actions are not important?   You do matter and you are important.

 

We each have a job to do, a role to play and occasionally a brief moment of fame.   Our best job or responsibility is when we are not solo, but are working with others for the good of others.

 

As Christians, we need to understand we are important and our strengths are complimentary to the body of believers.  Each of us is an important part of the whole.  Whether you are pushing against a subway car in order to save a man or picking a single flower to gift to another, your action is important to someone.

 

Today’s prayer:  “LORD MY FATHER, Thank YOU for making my life important.  Help me to understand the necessary whats and whens of my actions.  Guide me in helping others and putting their needs ahead of my desires.  Amen.”

 

“MAN OVERBOARD!”

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”  James 2:26 NIV

 

Read:   James 2:14-26

 

There is a story about a man falling overboard from an ocean liner.  It seems, as he bobbed in the sea, everyone had a different opinion as to what needed to be done.  Comments were more plentiful than actions.

 

Someone suggested throwing him a life ring.  Someone else suggested throwing him a rope. Another said to throw him some food in case he got hungry before he could be rescued.  One even suggested to continue their travel and rescue the man on their return trip, since rescuing him would delay their vacation time.

 

Opinions are a dime a dozen.   Some are good.  Some are bad.   Only one is best.  Action based upon the right decision is the only thing to do.

 

How about your decision to give your life to JESUS?   Have you made the right decision?  Have you taken the action you need to take?   Praying to accept JESUS as your LORD AND SAVIOUR is the important first step.   Being baptized is an important step as well.  Going to church is important.  Studying your Bible and sufficient prayer time with our CREATOR are also important.  Yet, they are but pieces.  One piece without the others is like a pie without the fillings.

 

Living your life with intent to honor GOD every minute of every day is the goal for each of us.  Life on this earth is difficult.   Satan will do all in his power to confuse you with false ideals and selfish gains.

 

What does JESUS want you to do today?

 

Today’s prayer:   “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for loving me even during the times I make wrong decisions.  Guide me to live my life, making decisions YOU would have me make then taking the necessary actions as YOU guide me.  Amen.”

 

“4 STEPS TO SUCCESS?”

“4 STEPS TO SUCCESS?”

 

“It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”  Romans 4:13 NIV

 

Read:   Romans 4:13-25

 

Throw all the self help books out!   All the gurus selling ways to success have nothing to sell.   I am going to let you in on a secret, that is no secret at all.   In order to succeed, all you need to do is take four simple steps.

 

  1. Get up
  2. Get dressed appropriately
  3. Show up
  4. Never, never give up

 

Oh, wait!   There is a fifth step which too many forget.   Number five is faith.   Without faith, the first four, although necessary, are tremendously incomplete.

 

If you don’t have faith in our TRIUNE GOD, your life is like a jar with a few pebbles in it.   It may rattle around, and the pebbles may be pretty colors, but your life is basically empty.   No matter the material things you have, the success you have achieved or the status in society you are known by…you can’t take it with you.

 

Faith is not just your support for today.   It is your ticket to tomorrow and all eternity.  Success on this earth is good, but it is not lasting.   Faith along with getting up, getting dressed, showing up and never giving up will give you your earthly needs.   But, faith alone will give you a personal relationship with our RISEN SAVIOUR, GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT to live within you and GOD HIMSELF.  All this you can have with faith.

 

Today’s prayer:   “MY CREATOR, Thank YOU for all my successes on this earth.  I know it is only by faith in YOU I will have success with YOU in Heaven for all eternity.  Amen.”

 

“PLACE HAND IN MOUTH!”

“Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.”  Proverbs 11:12 NIV

 

Read:  Proverbs 11:9-13

 

There have been times we all have been able to put our foot in our mouth.  I have been guilty of taking my foot out of my mouth only long enough to get the other one in.  The phrase, putting your foot in your mouth, probably originated in the 1800’s.  It may refer to the deadly cattle disease, hoof and mouth. Or simply stepping in something that was more than unpleasant.  We suffer too often from foot in mouth disease.

 

‘Place hand in mouth!’ should be the first instruction of the day for many of us.  Putting our hands in our mouths and holding our tongues may be the only way we can control our words.   By putting our hands in our mouths, we may avoid putting our feet in our mouths.

 

Can you put your hand in your mouth?  Do you ever have a problem holding back misspoken words that come out uncomplimentary, rude and often just plain cruel?
In Romans 14:11 we read;  “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God,'”   Our tongues can and should be used to honor our LORD with words of praise and respect.  We can also lift others up with words of kindness and support.
Place your hand in your mouth and hold your tongue before you put your foot in your mouth…you might find it more appetizing…and more gracious to the hearts of others.

 

Today’s prayer:  “MY HOLY SPIRIT, Thank YOU for always being with me.  Thank YOU for the wisdom to know when and what I should and should not say.   Help me from putting my foot in my mouth.  Amen.”

 

“IT’S COUNTERFEIT!”

“Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”  Matthew 7:23 NIV

 

Read:   Matthew 7:13-23

 

With the widespread counterfeiting by criminals, stores are more and more skeptical of cash.   Special pens are being used by cashiers to determine if the bill is legitimate or not.   The situation is so bad, that local Goodwill stores are verifying larger denomination bills into optical scanners.

 

Counterfeiters are now ‘washing’ the ink out of small denomination bills in order to obtain the real currency paper.  Then, they reprint the blank real paper with counterfeit ink of larger denomination bills.

 

Just as some money looks real but is not as it appears, there are also counterfeit people.   Identifications are being stolen and identities are being counterfeited across the country.   This is now a trillion dollar problem.  Not million, not billion…but trillion!

There are also counterfeit Christians…more than we might imagine.   JESUS told us of the narrow road and small gate.   Those who will be considered counterfeiters will never enter through HIS narrow road and small gate.   Only those who are real believers who have really given their lives to GOD will be admitted.

Is your faith real or counterfeit?   Ask GOD.  HE knows the real thing!

 

Today’s prayer:   “LORD MY GOD,  Thank YOU for trusting me to have real faith, to know YOUR desires for me and for me to be the person YOU want me to be.  Amen.”

 

“YOUR SONG BOOK TO LIFE”

“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.”  Psalms 96:2 NIV

 

Read:  Psalms 96

 

One of the most repeated commands in scripture throughout your Bible is to sing.  Singing sure seems a lot more beneficial than being angry or depressed.  Our society defines our actions in songs.   Some songs are good and lead us to worship, while others songs have become popular with words of vulgarity and crime.

 

Radios blare songs of love and songs of hate.  What you choose to listen will help define your thoughts, actions and how you deal with people and situations.  Are you listening to songs to model you as GOD wants or are your listening silently praising the world of Satan?

 

Of the over one hundred scriptural instructions to sing, almost all direct us to sing praises to our LORD.

 

The book of Psalms is your ‘song book to life’.   There are more declarations to praise our GOD in Psalms than in all other verses of scripture. The Psalms teach us to not only sing but they teach us to sing in praise as we worship, study, hear, learn, teach others, help others, share HIS Word and pray.

 

When is the last time you enjoyed the book of Psalms?   Like the old cowboy in the chili commercial said…”Well, that’s been too long!”  Sing the Psalms.  You will be glad you did.  Do it today.

 

Today’s prayer:  “LORD, Thank YOU for being my GOD.  Thank YOU for guiding me through YOUR word.   Today, I will make an extra effort to sing praises to YOU and sing praises of YOU to others.  Amen.”

 

“4 STEPS TO SUCCESS?”

“It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”  Romans 4:13 NIV

 

Read:   Romans 4:13-25

 

Throw all the self help books out!   All the gurus selling ways to success have nothing to sell.   I am going to let you in on a secret, that is no secret at all.   In order to succeed, all you need to do is take four simple steps.

 

  1. Get up
  2. Get dressed appropriately
  3. Show up
  4. Never, never give up

 

Oh, wait!   There is a fifth step which too many forget.   Number five is faith.   Without faith, the first four, although necessary, are tremendously incomplete.

 

If you don’t have faith in our TRIUNE GOD, your life is like a jar with a few pebbles in it.   It may rattle around, and the pebbles may be pretty colors, but your life is basically empty.   No matter the material things you have, the success you have achieved or the status in society you are known by…you can’t take it with you.

 

Faith is not just your support for today.   It is your ticket to tomorrow and all eternity.  Success on this earth is good, but it is not lasting.   Faith along with getting up, getting dressed, showing up and never giving up will give you your earthly needs.   But, faith alone will give you a personal relationship with our RISEN SAVIOUR, GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT to live within you and GOD HIMSELF.  All this you can have with faith.

 

Today’s prayer:   “MY CREATOR, Thank YOU for all my successes on this earth.  I know it is only by faith in YOU I will have success with YOU in Heaven for all eternity.  Amen.”