“THANK GOD!”

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”  Matthew 6:7-8 NIV Read: Matthew 6:5-14   “THANK GOD!”   These words have almost become a slang phrase with some and are casually used for almost any situation. When you utter these words, are you really thanking GOD?    HIS commandment tells us not to use HIS name in vain.   If we are not using HIS name in praise and in calling upon HIM in reverence, aren’t we using HIS name in vain? When we call upon GOD, HE listens.  GOD listens immediately when HE hears us call HIS name.   GOD does not wait to hear your need.  HE does not have an answering machine or voice mail to take your message for a later time. In truth, GOD knows your prayer before you even think it for yourself.    GOD is more prepared to hear your prayer than you are in finding the words yourself.   GOD has the answer to all your prayers.   The answer is always perfect.   HIS perfect is not always the answer you think you want to hear.   Time will prove out GOD’S perfect answer. Next time you blurt out “THANK GOD!”, let it be a true and faithful thank you, not just a casual, unappreciative comment.   Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, GOD, for reminding me of YOUR righteousness.   I need to be reminded of YOUR sovereignty.   Please, hear me when I call YOUR NAME.   Amen.” ...

“A CROSS EYED TEACHER?”

“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   Did you hear of a cross eyed teacher who could not control his pupils?  O.K.  It is a bad joke, but it is a great example of how we can say one thing and it is heard as something totally different.  Our English language makes it so easy to confuse the true meaning of our statements at times. JESUS even had the problem!   Nicodemus visited JESUS late at night.   JESUS explained to him how you must be born again to enter Heaven.    John 3:4 tells us: “‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!'”  Have you accepted JESUS as your LORD AND SAVIOUR?   Truly, you must be born again to enter the gates of Heaven.   There are those in our world who will tell you (wrongly) there are many ways to enter the Kingdom of GOD.   They proclaim good works or being a good person will be your ticket to Heaven.   JESUS tells us the truth.   There is only one way to spend eternity with our TRIUNE GOD.  The only way to Heaven is to accept JESUS as your LORD AND SAVIOUR. Don’t be confused as Nicodemus was.   You can see clearly with perfect vision.  Be born again and embrace the comfort of having your sins forgiven…forever…and spending eternity with GOD. Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, MY LORD, I want to see all YOUR...

“GOOOOOD MORNNNNNIIN!”

“to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”    Acts 26:18 NIV   Read:  Acts 26: 15-18   With a bellowing voice that could be heard in the next city, everyone was greeted with more than a simple ‘Good morning’.   This gentile giant  made you feel welcome as you came up the walk to the doors of the church with his sincere southern “Goooood Mornnnnniin’! He was a servant of GOD.   He refused positions of leadership preferring to be a server rather than in a leadership position.   Even so, he led hundreds, even thousands, to know JESUS was their SAVIOUR as well. You and I have the same opportunities.   ‘Good morning!’ is a start…a very good start.   A conversation is easier to start with a simple greeting.  If you think it is difficult to witness to another, lay that notion aside. Did you know the main reason someone goes to a new church?  It is because they are invited!   The opposite is also true.  The main reason someone does not go to church is because no one asked them.   The second reason someone will go to a new church is they feel overwhelmed with a situation, depressed, worried or lonely.  …..and all they need is a ‘Good morning!’ and an invitation. Tell someone ‘Good morning!’  or ‘Good afternoon!’.   Then tell them about your church and invite them to go with you.   You may be surprised when they...

“SKELETONS IN YOUR CLOSET?”

“‘No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.'”  Jeremiah 31:34 NIV   Read:  Jeremiah 31:30-34   Do you have skeletons in your closet?    You don’t have to keep those rattling bones around anymore.   So, why do you hang onto the memories of things you should have forgotten a long time ago?   There is no reason to have skeletons in your closet that only bring you haunting fears, anguish and depression.   GOD forgave those past sins long ago…if you asked HIM to forgive you with a remorseful heart.   Not only did HE forgive you, scripture tells us HE has forgotten all HE has forgiven.  GOD will not remind you again of all HE has forgiven and forgotten.   If GOD can forgive you, you can forgive yourself.   If you have forgiven yourself, then why do you still have those skeletons in your closet?   Are you concerned with others and what they may think or hold against you?   GOD forgave you.  Those who would remind or condemn you of a forgiven past are not your friends.  They can question and gossip, but you have GOD.   With the HOLY SPIRIT living inside you, you have more strength than those who condemn you.   They are allies of Satan.   Have peace in knowing you are forgiven.   If you still feel you have skeletons in your closet, ask GOD to remove them…all...

“IT DOES NOT TAKE COURAGE!”

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  1Peter 1:7 NIV   Read:  1Peter 1:3-9   Write this down:   “It does not take courage, it takes faith!”   Courage does not offer support or win battles; faith does. It takes faith to have courage.   Faith comes first.   Whether you are battling a war or cancer, courage is good, but faith will see you through it all.   There are three types of faith.   You can have faith in yourself, faith in someone else or faith in GOD.   The first two are better than nothing, but offer the greatest opportunity for disappointment.   Faith in GOD will never disappoint.   Never.   The only time you will be disappointed in GOD is when you abandon your faith.   GOD will never abandon you.   Never.   GOD gave us magnificent examples of men and women of great faith…Noah, Moses, Abraham, Ruth, the woman who touched the hem of JESUS’ cloak, Paul and others.   You have the ability of being as faithful as any of these great people.   The HOLY SPIRIT resides in you if you are a believer.  If you are not a believer, you have an opportunity right now to accept JESUS as your SAVIOUR and have all the faith you will ever need.   Look at what you just wrote down.  “It does not take courage, it takes faith!”   Today’s prayer:  “LORD GOD, Thank YOU for giving me YOUR SON and the HOLY SPIRIT to...

“HURRY UP . . . AND WAIT!”

 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people-“  1Timothy 2:1 NIV   Read:  1Timothy 2:1-8   I was first introduced to the phrase ‘hurry up and wait’ when I joined the USMC.  Standing in line for hours because someone did not schedule things right became common.   From the early days as a trainee to the final days awaiting discharge, the hours accumulated into weeks and weeks of wasted time.  It seemed we waited to wait.   We can grow impatient while waiting for the schedule of others to accommodate us.  It is more than reality that not everyone is on our personal timetable.   Some of our discouraging delays have purpose.  How many times have you prayed for something and it seemed GOD did not answer your prayer? Delays and waiting may just be GOD’S doing.  Remember the last time you thought you wanted something and in time you were grateful that your prayer was not answered.   Your prayer was most certainly answered.  At the time you prayed, the answer was ‘No’.   Maybe, you did not hear it because you were not prepared for GOD to tell you ‘No’.   Every prayer you pray will get an answer.   Be prepared for GOD’S perfect answer.   Listen carefully for “Yes”, “No” or “Not now, wait”.   Don’t forget…be sure to tell GOD thank you for all of HIS answered prayers.   Today’s prayer:   “GOD MY FATHER, Thank YOU for answering all my prayers.  Help me to listen and understand YOUR answers of ‘yes, no and wait’. ...