“STICKS AND STONES . . . “

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”   Colossians 3:8 NIV Read:  Colossians 3:8   A childhood response to a hurtful, slanderous statement or intentional put down was; “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”   While it may sound good, but it is little more than false hope.   Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can and do hurt.   Words can do more damage at times than those sticks and stones.   Children can be cruel to one another, but are not alone in being talked down and criticized.  Adults of all ages are being emotionally destroyed daily.  It may be from an abusive spouse, an angry boss or even a total stranger. Satan uses all kinds of people to carry out his agenda.  You may know someone who attempts to elevate their own agenda by tearing others down.  That’s when you can make a difference! Lift someone up today.   Find a nice thing to say to everyone you meet.   It may be a simple compliment.  Tell them of how much you appreciate their work.   Tell them of how nice they look or thank them for their great smile. Your simple kinds words may be the nicest thing another hears all day.   Your kind words can override the hurtful words and actions of others.   You can make a difference.  Make the difference today. Today’s prayer:   “HOLY SPIRIT, Thank YOU for being with me and lifting me up every day.   Help me lift others up today...

“BRAIN DEAD!”

“But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.'”  Matthew 8:22 NIV    Read:   Matthew 8:18-22 ‘Brain dead’ was at one time only a medical term.   It meant when a patient’s brain activity stops they are legally dead.   Machines can keep the lungs and heart functioning artificially.  But, machines cannot keep the brain functioning.   Today we hear ‘brain dead’ for other reasons.  It has become a slang term for those who have no apparent goals or desire to adapt into normal social activities.  ‘Brain dead’ has also been used as the title of a movie and television show about politics in Washington.   Now, there is a possibility of a real definition. We also have a growing generation of those who are ‘spiritually dead’.   They have heard the gospel…at least part of it.  They know who JESUS is, but they do not know JESUS. They claim to have it all.   But, they are spiritually dead.   They have a family, a home, a car.  They have family gatherings, go to events and have nice clothes.   But, they are spiritually dead.  They don’t see the need for JESUS.  They feel they are doing all right on their own. There is another group who are not ‘spiritually dead’.   Yet, they are on spiritual life support.  They go to church, maybe often.  They may even pray over a meal once in while on a special occasion.   Sometimes, they may even glance at their Bible. JESUS told us to let those who are spiritually dead bury the dead in today’s scripture reading.  Are you brain...

“TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE.”

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.   For everyone who asks receives; the one who finds; and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”   Matthew 7:7-8 NIV    Read:  Proverbs 8:4-11 “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.'” is a quote attributed to C.S. Lewis.   I believe it was actually taken from his quote: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”   Two types of people make different decisions.  The free will GOD gave us will have us saying to HIM, “THY will be done.” or GOD telling us “Thy will be done.” when we choose our independent will over GOD’S decision of what is best for us. Are you the person who honors GOD with an absolute “THY will be done.”?  Will you ask GOD, seek to find GOD and knock so you will know all HE has and wants for you? Today’s prayer:  “GOD, MY LORD, Thank YOU for giving me choices.  I do want to make the right decision.   I am committed to living my life as...

“WANT GOD’S BLESSINGS?”

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”   James 1:20 NIV   Read:  James 1:19-27 Do you want GOD’S Blessings?   Does it sometimes feel like everybody else is getting the things you want?   Your best friend just got a new car.  A guy at work is getting married to a beautiful woman.   Your sister’s daughter won a scholastic scholarship to college.  Is the last thing you received another utility bill?   You just don’t understand it.  You get up early and go to work on time.  You put in your 8 hours.  You go to church on Sundays.  You even throw a twenty in the offering plate…sometimes. GOD’S blessings come to those who are blessed.   Do you feel like you are blessed?  If not, maybe that’s the problem. Are you living a blessed life?   From sunup to sundown are you focused on GOD and all HE has for you or are you doing life the way you want to live?  Your way or GOD’S way will be the difference in receiving GOD’S blessings. GOD will not reward you for living a life of sin…those so called little sins are not little at all.  HE will forgive you.  HE will guide you.   But, HE will not bless your actions.  If you want to be blessed, then live a blessed life.  Get rid of all those things you know GOD does not approve.  Prove to GOD you are worthy of HIS blessings. Today’s prayer:   “LORD GOD, Thank you for the blessings you...

“MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!”

“You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:3 NIV Read:  Exodus 20: 1-7 Have you ever been given a choice that was really no choice at all?  Has someone told you that it is their way only?   There is an old expression for such.   “My way or the highway” sums it up pretty well…’do it my way or hit the road’.   I recently was subjected to such a demand when another was demanding a situation which was to his financial advantage.  Money can be a bad influence on some people.  Be careful when requests become demands. Not everyone can be trusted to honor their word when forced changes would benefit them more than others. GOD is the only ONE who is justified in making such a demand.   HIS way is the right way.  HE told us ‘My way or the highway’ in Exodus 20.   We call these  instructions the Ten Commandments.   The first seven verses pertain to GOD himself.  GOD gives us these ‘MY way or the highway’ rules for our benefit knowing HE could not trust sinful man on his own. Are you keeping the Ten Commandments?  Each and every one are for your benefit.   Don’t ever believe you can turn, twist or flatly ignore any one of HIS commandments.   Doing so would be telling GOD you know better than HIM. Go to Exodus 20 and read GOD’S 10 Commandments.   They are not just “MY way or the highway’ rules.  They are GOD’S protection plan for each of us. Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD for protecting me every day.   Help me to faithfully observe...

“HE GAVE HIS LIFE, GIVE YOUR HEART!”

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:6-7 NIV     Read:   Matthew 28:1-10 Look up!   JESUS is looking down upon you.  HE is risen.   JESUS returned to Heaven so that HE may come again in fulfillment of HIS scriptural promises.  HE told us we are not to know the hour and day, but whenever the time, it can’t be too soon for me.   For many, today is just another day.  But, for true believers, today is a day of joy.   We know we are in celebration of our SAVIOUR’S reign on earth and being taken up into Heaven to spend eternity with our loving TRINITY. Are your priorities straight?  While families gather for a holiday of picnics in the park, Easter egg hunts, lots of food, games and more, what is the most important thing for you to do today? Today is the day of celebration.  Is JESUS your reason for celebrating today?  Before the picnic and activities, give JESUS HIS time.   Start your day with your Bible.  Then, spend time in worship and thanksgiving in a local church with other believers.   Praise GOD!  JESUS is risen. GOD gave you free will.  Use it wisely today.   Gather in HIS name.  Give your heart to JESUS! Today’s prayer:  “LORD JESUS, Thank YOU for keeping YOUR promises.   I know of YOUR resurrection and of...