“MAILBOX FULL!”

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”  Psalm 34:17 NIV

 

Read:  Psalm 34:15-22

 

 

For decades, we would mail a letter and wonder when it would be delivered.   Times have changed, but we may be still in a similar situation. Instead of sending a postal letter, we now send emails.

 

We know it will be delivered usually within seconds.   But, then in less than a minute, we are notified the receiver’s email inbox is full.   And there is nothing we can do about it.  We cannot even send them an email telling them their inbox is full.

 

We realize that no matter what we do, there is no absolute certainty in knowing our note will ever be read.   The only way we can be sure is by talking with them…on the phone of face to face.  If we can talk to them, then why did we send them an email?

 

That is also the only way to know if GOD is listening to you.  You have to talk with HIM.   You can talk with GOD face to face.   HIS voice can be heard when you listen.  You can feel HIS presence when you allow yourself that special moment.

 

We can hear GOD audibly sometimes.   We may hear HIS voice as a roaring thunder from Heaven above or as a soft whisper.  At times, HIS voice may be a tugging or urging of the HOLY SPIRIT.   At other times, GOD plants HIS message to us in our hearts, telling us the answer to our prayers in full confidence of what we are to do.

 

In all certainty, we know we can go to GOD in prayer and never…absolutely never…will our request come back to us or be ignored because HIS mailbox is full.  It is good to hear from GOD.

 

Today’s prayer:  “My GOD, Thank YOU for always listening when I call upon YOU.   Thank YOU for always being available to me in my times of weakness, doubts and insecurities.  I long to hear YOUR voice.  Amen.”

 

“KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!”

“Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. ‘Quick, get up!’ he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.”    Acts 12:7 NIV

 

Read: Acts 12 6-19

 

“I’ve got some news that will knock your socks off!”, the sports commentator screamed.  He had just learned of a favorite player who was being traded to another team.

 

Imagine the ‘knock your socks off ‘ as Peter’s shackles fell off when the angel awakened him while in Herod’s prison.

 

We have all had some news we thought others would be excited to know about or maybe news that would not be so welcome.   What excites some is of no concern to others.  And then, there are those whose pendulums swing depending on what else they have on their minds.

 

Too many of us are like that with our SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.   Holidays are the important times to attend church, many think.  Christmas, Easter or going with Mom on Mother’s Day are highly attended.  Yet, going to the lake, sleeping in or a round of golf seem to take precedent over worshiping our LORD at other times.

 

Get up and go to church and worship with other believers.   The more you know about GOD, the more you will want to know.   Then, find a Bible study group at your church or a home group.   You will find the only true GOD who can bring you peace and comfort and really knock your socks off.

 

Not getting your socks knocked off…maybe you’re not wearing any!

 

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS, MY SAVIOUR, I have been too passive and have taken YOU for granted in too many ways.   I want to feel the excitement of YOUR love for me as never before.  I will follow as YOU tell me.  Amen.”

 

 

“2 A.M. BANGING ON YOUR WINDOW?”

“So Eli told Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel!  Samuel'”   1Samuel 3:9-10 NIV

 

Read:  1Samuel 3:1-21

It’s 2 a.m. and you are startled awake by what sounds like a banging on your window.  A creak in the night, a loud boom or an unknown whisper can all be times of fear or of doubt.    Our heart races as we check out the sounds.  Were we sure of what we heard or was it simply our imagination?

There are times we question what we hear.  There are other times we simply we ignore what we heard.   Often, what we ignore is what we should pay more attention.

When GOD talks to us, we can hear HIM in many ways.   GOD can talk with us through HIS Word.   HE can talk to us in a whisper that we barely hear or through a thunderous voice.  And yes, HE can awaken us in the middle of the night to talk to us.  Some have heard an audible voice of GOD, while most can feel HIM talking to us through our hearts.  In all cases, the voice of GOD is very real.   We can also hear GOD through the words and actions of others.   If GOD has your heart, you can hear HIM tugging your heart.

How does GOD talk with you?   Do you even know of all the times GOD is communicating with you?   Are you paying attention to all the help GOD is attempting to give you or are you so busy doing things your way, living an earthly life, that you are ignoring GOD?

 

GOD is calling.  Isn’t it time you answered HIM?   HIS call is more than a bump in the night.  What may seem like a banging on your window at 2 a.m. may be GOD getting your attention… answer HIM!

 

Today’s prayer:  “My GOD on high, Thank YOU for calling to me even when I am ignoring YOU.  Thank YOU for all YOU are doing for me.   Today, I am going to listen for all YOUR calls to me.  I want to hear YOUR voice in my heart!  Amen.”

 

“GOD HAS A NEW JOB?”

“But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.”  Psalm 69:13 NIV

Read:  Psalm 69:1-17

 

 

What if you heard GOD has a new job and would no longer be available when you need HIM?   What would you do if you knelt and asked GOD for help in an emergency prayer and you got a recording telling you GOD was no longer accepting your prayers?

These thoughts are nothing but nightmarish worries.   GOD will always be on the job.   HE has no time off, no special hours and you will never get a recording when you call upon HIM.

GOD has always been, is and will always be.   The vastness of GOD we cannot even imagine.   For all we know about GOD, there is ten thousand times more we do not know…or need to know.  Since there is nothing new to GOD, there can be nothing new for HIM to do.

GOD has chosen to be our GOD.   We did not choose HIM.   GOD chose each and every one of us.   And HIS job…it is really no job at all.    All HE wants from each of us is why HE created us. Remember Adam and Eve?  HE created them for fellowship in HIS garden.  HE created you so you could fellowship with HIM.   GOD wants you to know HIM personally.

GOD wants us to fellowship with HIM every day.  Have you been too busy to talk with GOD?  HE is never too busy to talk with you.  Have you treated GOD like your time is more important or valuable than HIS?   Now is the time to fix that.  You don’t have to want or need something to go to HIM in prayer.   Tell HIM how much you thank HIM for all HE is doing for you.

Today’s prayer:    “Dear GOD, Thank YOU, LORD, for all YOU have done for me, for all YOU are doing for me and for all YOU will continue to do for me.  Forgive me for not coming to YOU with my prayers of thanksgiving as well as my needs.  Amen.”

 

Feel HIS Blessings!

 

“GOD IS NOT YOUR CO-PILOT!”

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to HIM, and HE will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV 


Read:  Proverbs 3:1-8

 

“GOD IS MY CO-PILOT” was the bumper sticker plastered on the back window of an old Chevy.  It may seem like a good thing, until you think about it.

We sometimes elevate ourselves to being equal to or above GOD without thinking about it.   At that moment, Satan must be smiling.   When we fail to be submissive to our LORD, Satan is pleased.

Unfortunately, others are misinformed.   Some may think having GOD as a co-pilot would be a good thing.  The problem with our thinking is GOD is not our co-pilot; GOD is our pilot.   HE is always in charge.   GOD is never second in command.

We cannot choose to allow GOD to be in control.   HE is in control.  We can choose to be under HIS control in every facet of our lives.   If you need a bumper sticker, get one that reads: ‘GOD IS MY PILOT, I AM ONLY HIS CO-PILOT’.

Our scripture verse tells us “…in all ways submit to HIM, and HE will make your paths straight.”

 

For thousands of years, GOD has been telling HIS children to submit.   We are still slow learners and HE is still telling us to submit to HIM.

 

Today’s prayer:   “Thank YOU, LORD, for continuing to remind us that YOU are always in charge and that we need to be submitting to YOU.   We can do our best when we follow YOUR instructions.  Amen.” 

 

“PROTECT YOUR MINUTES!”

“Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me.”  John 7:33 NIV

Read:   John 7:25-44

“I’ll be with you in just a minute!”, the young lady behind the counter told us.   But, it was not just a minute.  It was several minutes!   Another time, the dentist told you, your gums will be numb ‘in just a minute’.  It was more than ‘just a minute’ and it didn’t feel like your mouth was numb…you could feel the pain!   Then there is the recording while you are on hold announcing someone will be with you in ‘just a minute’ that you have heard repeatedly for last 10 minutes.

There are minutes and sometimes minutes that are much longer than a minute.   A minute has become a slang term meaning a short while.  Seldom does a minute equal 60 seconds.

We need to protect each of our minutes…patiently.  When we take control of the little things, the minutes, the days of our lives will take care of themselves.   If we only applied this basic truth!  We have little or no control over the major events of our lives.   We, usually, do have some control over the next minute.

The problem is we are often not concerned about the minutes.   In fact, it is not unusual for us to squander our minutes and then we claim we don’t have time for what is important.

Think about yesterday.   Think back.   How many times during the day did you waste, not a minute, but several minutes at a time?    As I urge people to read their Bible, devotionals and to set aside a prayer time, I hear over and over…”I just don’t have the time!”

You do have the time.  It just takes a few minutes.   GOD is important.   GOD is more important than anything else you can think of or do.   Take time to protect your minutes with GOD.

Today’s prayer:  “My FATHER IN HEAVEN, Thank YOU for always having time for me.   Forgive me for not using my time wisely and spending time with YOU.   Help me to focus on the spiritual, physical and emotional guidance that comes from YOU alone.  Amen.”  

 

“DON’T TAKE YOUR PROBLEMS TO GOD?”

“But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!   Psalm 66:20 NIV

 

Read:  Psalm 66:16-20

Don’t take your problems to GOD!   It sounds like a fool’s advice doesn’t it?  It does until you hear the rest of it.   “Don’t take your problems to GOD.   Take GOD to your problems.”

Be proactive with GOD.   GOD knows more and can do more than we can even imagine.   But, GOD can use you.  Instead of dumping all your fears, frustrations, doubts and insecurities on GOD.   Take the ONE who is the SOLUTION to all problems directly to your problem.

 

We, sometimes, spend more time worrying about our problems and planning on what we should do, we forget GOD.  Instead of hauling your problems around as heavy weights burdening you down, just tell your problem to deal with GOD.

 

Tell GOD the problem.   Tell HIM the what, who, where and why of your problem and leave it where it is.   Then listen.   Listen for HIS perfect solution.  GOD will tell you what to do…if you are to do anything at all.

All too often, we take our problem to GOD.   Instead of leaving it alone, within days, hours or even minutes we struggle with taking it back.  If we really don’t want the problem, why do we insist of taking it back?
Guess what?   GOD will do the perfect job in solving your problem and you will do a less than perfect job at solving your problem.   The answer is simple.   Tell your problem it belongs to GOD.   Tell your problem it is not going to bother you anymore.  Tell your problem if it has any questions about its resolution; it needs to talk to GOD.  Let GOD do HIS perfect job.  Then thank HIM.  Thank HIM sincerely.

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, GOD, for YOUR teachings and YOUR guidance.  Thank YOU for being the solution to all my problems…those real problems and those I create and imagine.   Today, my heart is light knowing YOU love me and care for me.   Amen.”

 

“HERE IN THE REAL WORLD”

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   John 16:33 NIV 

Read:  John 16:16-33

A decade ago, country star, Alan Jackson, sang:

“Cowboys don’t cry and heroes don’t die, good always wins again and again” from his song; ’Here in the Real World’.

The trouble is; it is not that easy here in the real world.   In our real world, cowboys and real men do cry and we know of too many heroes that have died.   We also know from our existence in this real world that good doesn’t always win again and again.

We live in the real world which is the stalking ground of Satan and his angels.   Movies and songs are a make believe glimpse of the good guy always wins.

About the time this world was being created, there was a terrible war in Heaven.  Satan, once GOD’S highest angel, was in battle with GOD’S angels.   Satan lost and was cast out of Heaven by GOD to roam this earth.   Satan is still fighting to gain control on this earth.

We know too well of his evils.   Our own government has turned its back on good things in favor of political correctness.   All too often, the criminals have more rights than their victims in this real world.  Politics are more important than GOD by many.

In this real world, we will lose by simply doing nothing.   Allowing Satan to win his little battles will result in more and more of our religious freedoms being destroyed.   Satan is behind every drug lord, every robbery, every abortion, and every murder and evil deed.   Some have the attitude that ‘they are not hurting me’ and attempt to live in harmony with sin and evil.  Remember Lot?   He chose to live with the evil people, and then lost all he had, including his wife. Satan is depending upon our passive allowances…and in this real world the good do not win again and again.

Are you allowing permissive attitudes here in this real world to control your faith?


Today’s prayer:  “My LORD, Thank YOU for teaching me the difference in good and evil.  Help me to take the actions YOU would have me do to protect my faith, my family and others here in this real world.  Amen.”

 

“ENERGIZER BUNNY NOW IN HEAVEN!”

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”  1Peter 5:10-11 NIV

 

I nicknamed Pat Riddlebarger ‘the energizer bunny’.  Pat was the wife of Dr. Statt Riddlebarger, pastor of Pearsall Road Church in San Antonio and both are my very dear friends.

Almost three years ago, Pat was told she had cancer and was given just a few months to live.   The doctors did not know Pat and her faith in GOD.  Her faith turned a few months into years.

Regardless of her health struggles and the negative assessment by the doctors, Pat kept coming back again and again.   Six months ago, she was back playing the piano at her church.   Like the energizer bunny, Pat kept coming back and kept going and going and going.

She told me a few months ago about when she was originally told she was terminal.   She did not want to give up.   She told me:  “I chose to live and you can’t live if you’re thinking about dying!”

With a beautiful smile up the end, Pat kept going and going and going.  Like the advertised energizer bunny, Pat had a battery pack that kept her going.  Her battery was the HOLY SPIRIT, whom lived inside her.   Pat was a real born again believer.  Her Christian faith is to be admired.

You can be like Pat, ‘the energizer bunny’, with the HOLY SPIRIT living in you as well.  It’s easy.   Ask JESUS to forgive you of all your sins. Tell HIM you want HIM to be your personal SAVIOUR.   GOD will bless you and HIS HOLY SPIRIT will live in you.    Accept JESUS and in time you will meet Pat in Heaven.

Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, JESUS, for rescuing me from the pains and sickness of this earth.   Thank YOU for forgiving my sins so that I may live with YOU eternally.  Help me today to share YOUR good news with others.  Amen.”