“IT HURTS SO MUCH!” Wednesday Minute

“News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them”  Matthew 4:24 NIV   Read:  Matthew 4:23-25   Injuries can bring on immediate and horrible pain.   Illnesses can also wreck havoc with our bodies.   People across our nation have grown dependent upon pain killers once taken for pain.  Now, the pain is the addiction to the pain killers.   These are real pains, but the emotional pain is more than many feel they can deal with.  Our mind is sometimes weaker than our bodies.   Mental illness and depression are common place brought on by divorce, financial problems and illnesses.   While physical and emotional pains are real destroyers, the greatest pain is spiritual pain.   The pain of separation from your Creator is the destroyer of eternal life.   Knowing GOD is always there is an undeniable fact.  Yet, so many turn to worldly false solutions and struggle to find their SAVIOUR when the physical and emotional pains set in.   Spiritual pain has to be offset with understanding all our spiritual blessings.   Yes, even in the worst of times we can find times of joy.   When we need GOD the most, HE is there for us.   GOD is right where HE has always been; keeping HIS promise to us.   Get rid of the pain.   Get GOD.   Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, GOD, for always being there for me in all my times of pain.  Help me to come to...

“I AM SO, SO SORRY!” Sunday Sermonette

 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”  2Corinthians 7:9 NIV   Read:  2Corinthians 7:8-12   “I am so, so sorry!”  These words are seldom said often enough or sincerely enough.  When was the last time someone told you they were sorry for hurting you?  Are you still waiting?   We can also look at the times we failed to tell someone we were sorry for our actions, our failure to act or of our hurtful words that hurt them.   Who do you need to ask for forgiveness?   The dictionary defines being sorry as regretful or mournful.  In order to be regretful or mournful you first have to have remorse in your heart for your actions.  Any act of hurting another is a sinful situation and needs to be addressed.  Treating your wrongs flippantly is wrong in itself.   There are times we need to stand up to ourselves.  We need to be aware of our own shortcomings.  We are not perfect, but we are to do all as perfectly as possible.  That includes being fair and just with everyone.  And it means when we fail, we stand up responsibly and tell others we are sorry…so very sorry for our failure to be kind to them.   Being sorry also means we must restore the ones we have done or said things against.   Restoration may be as simple as telling them humbly that you are truly very sorry.  Other times, it may mean you restore them materially for their loss.   It is your responsibility.   Today’s prayer: ...

“FEAST ON SILVER . . . OR SCRAPS?” Wednesday Minute

“When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.'”  Luke 14: 15 NIV   Read:  Luke 14: 12-27   There is an old story of a king traveling through his city.   The king saw his poorest subjects digging through trash bins for food.   Not wanting anyone to feed themselves from the garbage, he planned a feast for those people.   The king had his cooks prepare an enormous amount of the very best food to be served on silver platters.   He sent his staff to gather his poor subjects.  As they arrived, he told each they could eat all they wanted from the delicacies served on silver platters.   Then, he noticed one man not eating but sneaking into the kitchen. The king questioned the man as he pulled scrap food from the garbage.   The man told the king he did not deserve the best food prepared for the banquet. He was more comfortable searching for scraps.   Are you like the poor, hungry man?   JESUS paid with HIS life to take on all your sins, so you can have the feast of GOD’S love. Are you still going through the garbage of your old life when you could have all GOD has prepared for you on HIS silver platters?   Our LORD wants the best for you.   There is no need to keep going back to the garbage of your life before you accepted JESUS as your SAVIOUR.   Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, MY LORD, Thank YOU for...

“IT IS NOT MY FAULT!” Sunday Sermonette

“When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ‘It is your responsibility!'”  Matthew 27:24 NIV   Read:  Matthew 27:11-26   Refusing to take responsibility is becoming the norm in our society by many.   It seems if all is going well, many want to take credit for the success.   But, if something goes wrong, the finger pointing begins.   Remember, when you point one finger at another you have three fingers pointing back at you.   We need to take responsibility for our own failures and for the failures of others whom we are responsible.   For everything that goes wrong, there is a person or persons who are responsible.   In all situations, we need to do to others as we would want others to do for us.   We need to be fair and honest with all; taking great care to be responsible for our actions and accepting responsibility for the actions of others under our leadership.   In our reading, we see Pilate actually washing his hands with water as he claimed he was not responsible for the coming beatings and crucifixion of JESUS.   He was responsible since he did nothing to stop the murder.   In fact, every person there who did nothing was responsible for the death of JESUS.   Being held responsible for your actions is something we can easily understand.   We need to realize we are equally responsible for our lack of actions.   What have you...

“DO YOU WORRY? WHY?” Wednesday Minute

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6 NIV Read:   Matthew 6:25-34 My mother was a very sweet lady.  But, she worried.   She worried about everything.  I honestly believe, if she couldn’t think of something to worry about, she would worry about not worrying.   Growing up in her shadow, I learned to worry as she did.   Thankfully, after many years, I learned not to worry and to give my concerns over to my LORD.   Do you worry?   What do you worry about?  Have you considered why you worry?  Have you considered that perhaps you worry because you are not trusting GOD?   If you trust GOD with your problems, then what do you have to worry about?   Our reading today in Matthew, JESUS, HIMSELF, explains to us what we should not worry about.  Verse 27 tells us: “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Of course, we cannot add days, hours or even minutes to our lives by any worrying.  But, we can have productive days, hours and minutes by not worrying.   The first thing you can do to stop worrying is to start praying.  All those thoughts, doubts and insecurities can be laid at JESUS’ feet.    Satan will tell you differently.    He will pile guilt on top of your thoughts, doubts and insecurities.   JESUS will take away all your false guilt.   Pay particular attention and heed JESUS’ words in verse 34:  “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself....

“IF THE DEVIL DANCED . . .” Sunday Sermonette

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  Hebrews 6:10  NIV   Read:   Hebrews 6:1-10   If you have been a reader of these devotionals very long, you might have come to realize I love old country sayings.   I remember hearing when I was a kid: “If the devil danced in empty pockets, he would have a ball in mine.”   Decades ago, a song was recorded with this as its tag line.   It described having nothing.   My young preteen years were hard having nothing.   I believe no one knows how someone who is poor really feels unless they had a time in their life when they were poor also.    There were times ‘the devil danced in my empty pockets.’  Has the devil ever danced in your empty pockets?   Sure, there are plenty who refuse to work and prefer living off the funds the government allows.  There are incentives to discourage working so some can qualify for financial assistance.   But, don’t judge all who are in need of help.   There are people…lots of people who need a little helping hand.   We can read about those who begged at the city gates in scripture.   Just as those who were in need, there are those in need today.   It is not always about throwing money at a problem.   Money, alone, seldom solves any problem.  But, funds along with encouragement, teaching, counseling or training can bring dramatic results.   Did anyone ever help you?   Isn’t it time...