“CODE BLUE!”

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”  James 3:9-10 NIV

 

Read:  James 3:1-12

Have you ever heard “Code Blue!” over an intercom at a hospital?   It usually means a cardio arrest emergency and is a call for a ‘code team’.  But, not always….   Different facilities may have different codes for different situations.

 

If you hear “Code Blue!” on a police radio or scanner, it usually means an emergency call for a taxi or bus.

 

The same words can have different meanings in different situations.  Society has done this with GOD’S words.   HIS scripture has been reduced to casual conversation too often.

 

What is Holy is being used by those who have no idea of the true meaning.  A texting favorite is OMG.  I can only imagine those using it have no idea they are using GOD’S name in vain.   JC is also a vain usage.  These are planted in our society by Satan himself.

 

Everyday language is “a drop in the bucket” which comes from Isaiah 40:15 which explained GOD’S descriptive importance of the nations.  A “scapegoat” is taken from scripture in Leviticus 16.   Two goats were presented to GOD; one as an offering and one was sent into the wild as an atonement with their sins.  There are dozens of other scriptural words and phrases which we use wrongly without knowing their origin.

 

It is important for us to remember everything comes from GOD and we need to understand, protect and respect all scripture.   Do you ever use GOD’S word inappropriately or in vain?

 

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD for all YOUR Words of teaching and instructions.   Thank YOU for forgiving me of times I have used YOUR scriptures wrongly or taken YOUR name in vain.  Amen.”

 

“COUNTDOWN . . .”

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8 NIV

 

Read:  Acts 1:1-11

With Thanksgiving just days past and today is the last Sunday in November, Christmas is only 4 weeks away!  As soon as it gets here, then we have only days before the year is officially over.

 

This must be the busiest five weeks of the year and no matter what we do, we can’t slow the clock or calendar down.  Take a deep breath and it will all be O.K.

 

Never enough time can become overpowering.  We can’t do all we think we need to do and there is someone who wants to add to our unending list. Demands upon demands.

 

Think you got problems?   Can you put yourself in JESUS’ sandals for a moment?  No, HE did not have to prepare for a party, buy 42 gifts for the family and an unending list of others or decorate to be one up on the neighbors.  HE had a short list; save the world with all HE could do in a matter of days before HIS Crucifixion.  And then, HE had to leave it all in the hands of the disciples who were still having problems trusting WHO they were following.

 

Did you ever think, you are one of JESUS’ disciples today?  JESUS has left you with the same responsibilities HE gave HIS original followers.   Will you do as HE wishes; or are you weak in faith and unsure if you can do the job HE has given you?   If think you are not equipped, think again.   JESUS has prepared you for this day and the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD is with you to provide all the strength and faith you need.

 

Today’s prayer: “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for the duties of the gospel message YOU have entrusted to me.  Help me to deliver YOUR message to all those I know and meet.  Amen.”  

 

“WHEN DID ETERNITY BEGIN?”

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”  Revelation 22:13 NIV

 

Read:  Revelation 22: 1-16

‘When did eternity begin?’   It sounds like a subject for debate or a question for the great minds at some type of symposium or conference.

 

Actually, there are only two answers and both are correct.   As in today’s reading, GOD tells us HE is ETERNITY.   GOD IS ETERNITY.   GOD is the beginning and the end.   Nothing else has a beginning and end that is without measure.

 

GOD was the creator of this world before there was time as we know it and GOD will survive this earth to reign forever.   HE is the beginning and the end.  That is our first answer to ‘when did eternity begin’.

 

The other correct answer depends on whether you have been saved.   You see, to have eternity with GOD, you have to be a born again believer.   For those who have accepted JESUS as LORD and SAVIOUR of their lives, eternity began when they accepted JESUS.   Without JESUS in your life, there is no eternity in heaven as John described in book of Revelation.  You cannot create eternity, but you can join GOD.

 

Isn’t it time you found eternity?   You have had a hundred million chances up to now.   ‘Now’ is the critical word.   Now is the time to ask JESUS into your heart for all eternity.  This minute you can join GOD and share in HIS eternity.

 

Today’s prayer: “JESUS, YOU are my SAVIOUR.   I want to join you in Heaven for the balance of eternity.  I confess to YOU all my sinful thoughts and actions.  Help me to live for YOU today.  Amen.” 

 

 

“BLESSING NUMBER 786”

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”  Psalm 128: 1-2 NIV

 

Read Psalm 128:1-6

“Count your blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings see what God has done.”   These words come from the old hymn, ‘Count Your Blessings’, written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. in the late 1800s.  Oatman wrote a few thousand hymns.   You probably have a favorite hymn written by him.

 

Do you count your Blessings?   Do you count them one by one?   What is your Blessing number 786 or number 3,529?   When I think of it, I realize the number of Blessings GOD has given to me are infinite; more than the stars in the sky.

 

Blessings come to us all day, every day.   We are Blessed with the first breath we take each morning, knowing GOD has given us another day to do HIS will.  We are Blessed when the doctor tells us the cancer tumor was removed entirely.  We are Blessed when we see the smile on a child’s face.  We are Blessed when we lay our heads on a pillow that was provided by GOD for our rest.

 

Isn’t it time to count your Blessings?   Better yet, isn’t it time to tell GOD “Thank YOU” for all your Blessings, especially your Blessing number 786?

 

Today’s prayer:   “THANK YOU, LORD for all the Blessings YOU give to me.  Thank YOU for all YOUR Blessings I just take for granted.   Today, help me be more mindful of all YOUR Blessings.  Amen.” 

 

“WILL YOU DIE ONCE OR TWICE?”

“Jesus replied,”Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  John 3:3 NIV
Read John 3:1-21

 

 

Will you die once or twice?   Once should be enough!  Many have a horror of the thought of dying.   I admit the idea of immediate death does not excite me as I feel GOD still has work for me to do, but that is another story.

 

In order to die once, you have to be born twice.  With that knowledge, in order to die twice, you have to be born only once.  No, it is not a riddle.  It is the truth of JESUS’ gospel message.

 

JESUS told us the miracle of being born twice.   HE told us of how we are to be born again.  When we accept JESUS as our LORD AND SAVIOUR, we are born again.   When we are born again, we will only die once…a physical death.  As saved believers, once we die on this earth we will a continuing life eternally in Heaven.

 

On the other hand, if you have not accepted JESUS, you will die twice.  You will go through a physical death and you will die a spiritual death. This spiritual death will forbid you from Heaven to live without GOD for all eternity. You will have only been born once and then you will die twice.

 

As said; it is not a riddle.  It is the truth.  Like the line from the old Clint Eastwood movie…’Can you handle the truth?’.

 

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD, Thank YOU for dying to give me life.  I have accepted YOU as my SAVIOUR knowing YOU have accepted me with all my faults and sinful life.  Amen.”

 

 

“GO PEACEFULLY, NOT SCREAMING!”

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  John 3:3 NIV

 

Read:  John 3:1-21

 

As the old comedian said:  “I heard a funny story.”  I recently heard a funny story too.  The story was told of lady overheard at her grandfather’s funeral.   It was told she said; “I want to go peacefully like my grandfather did in his sleep, not screaming like the others who were in his car.”   O.K., maybe just a little twisted humor, but it tells an important story.

 

Whether we are ushered home as a result of a sudden accident, a lingering illness or after a long and fruitful life, we are subject to GOD’S plan.  We may not have a choice of the how, when or where we are when JESUS welcomes us into Heaven, but we do have a choice of going to Heaven or spending eternity in hell.

 

Do you know where you will spend eternity?   Are you sure or are you just hoping?  There is only one way to know for sure.  While we are told repeatedly in scripture, many continue to live their lives the way they want.   Many have bought into a popular world view that GOD would never allow anyone to suffer in hell.   If you believe that, you are believing one of Satan’s lies.

 

There is only one way you will spend eternity with our TRIUNE GOD.  In order to spend all eternity in Heaven, you must accept JESUS as your LORD and SAVIOUR.   There are no other ifs, maybes or excepts.  JESUS told us so.

 

If you haven’t accepted JESUS, there is no better time, than right now.  If you haven’t, tell JESUS you are giving your life to HIM.   Tell HIM you are leaving all the sins and problems of your life at HIS feet and today you are a changed person.   It is that easy.

 

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS MY LORD,  Thank YOU for dying so that I may live with YOU in Heaven forever and ever.  Help me to live my life every day as YOU would have me.  Amen.”

 

 

“A SPINELESS GEEK?”

“I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.”  1Corinthians 2:3 NIV

 

Read 1Corinthians 2:1-16

The title of today’s devotional may apply to more men than women based on the influences of our society.   It seems men are more motivated to feel the need to be superior or appear stronger in difficult situations.

 

Women tend to take the lead in situations of the heart and faith.  Men may be just as faithful, but some are afraid of showing this caring side.

 

While some think they will be viewed as a ‘spineless geek’, nothing could be further from the truth.    It takes more spine to stand strong in your weakness of faith and belief than to hide from your GOD and sit on the sidelines.

 

Strength is not spouting profanity.  Strength is not being a bully.   Strength is not ignoring responsibility.   Strength is being aware and admitting your weaknesses while using those weaknesses to display your strengths.

 

The apostle Paul proved the strength we each should have.   Paul was stoned, beaten, criticized, and imprisoned for his faith.   So, what did he do?  Paul shared his faith even more.   While in chains, Paul wrote some of his most inspired teachings of GOD.  Paul showed others the gospel while bringing persecution upon himself.

 

Are you strong enough to stand up for your faith and share it with the world or are you satisfied being a ‘spineless geek’ while hiding your faith and all GOD has done and is doing for you?

 

Today’s prayer:  “GOD MY FATHER, Thank YOU for showing me my weaknesses.   Help me use the strength of my weaknesses to bring others to YOU.  Amen.”

 

 

“SPRING FORWARD, FALL BACK?”

“Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.”  2Kings 20:11 NIV

 

Read:   2Kings 20:1-11

 

We went through the motions of resetting our clocks last night and maybe a few more today.  Now, we will spend days adjusting our bodies to the time change.  Then in a few months, we will do it all again.

 

We seem to think we can adjust the time.   We can’t.  The time does not change just because we turn our clocks back or forward an hour.

 

The sun rises and sets at exactly the same time.  GOD planned it that way and we can’t change it.  We cannot stop the clock.   We cannot stop the earth turning on its axis, just as we cannot speed it up.   GOD set it all in perfect motion as HE created and only HE can change it.

 

We can play with our clocks and deceive ourselves into a schedule change, but we cannot do what GOD alone can do.   It is only when we resolve to follow GOD that we can succeed in changing anything.  The anything we can change is our self.  We cannot change anyone else…just us.

 

We can change our depraved lives to be more like CHRIST.   We can turn from the temptations of this earth.   We can be more of the original Adam and Eve as GOD created rather than as they turned listening to the evil serpent’s promises.

 

When you turn your clocks back, turn back to JESUS.  It’s time you did.

 

Today’s prayer:   “GOD MY CREATOR, Thank YOU for loving me.  Thank YOU for forgiving me in all my foolish attempts to do things on my own.  Help me to turn from my evil ways.  Amen.”

“AND THE LORD SAYS: . . . “

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.”

Jeremiah 17:5 NIV

 

Read:  Jeremiah 17:5-8

 

Jeremiah is a book of truths; very simple truths.  We can find comfort in these simple truths, it does not take a lot of brainpower to understand all GOD is giving us.

 

“Cursed is the man…”   These are simple and straightforward and not confusing.  Yet, look at those around you.   Are they drawing strength from GOD or are they dependent upon themselves or the instruction and influences of others.  We have a new society being fed the influences and instructions of government over the loving commands of GOD.

 

Those who do trusts in GOD above all else can find comfort in a complementary verse.   Jeremiah 17, verse  7 tells us: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in HIM.”

 

Is your confidence in the LORD, yourself or another?   There is only one right answer.  If you are trusting in yourself or another, your time is ticking away.  Until you trust GOD, in time, you will feel HIS cursings, with pain and suffering in your heart.  Trust in GOD only and be Blessed.

 

Today’s prayer:  “I call now on the TRINITY OF GOD, to protect me from the sins of man.   Today, I will trust in YOU, LORD.  My confidence is in YOU alone.  Instead of being cursed, I will curse the evils of this world.  Amen.”