“DO YOU KNOW YOUR ABC’s?”

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”   Acts 3:19 NIV Read:  Acts 3:18-26 I recently had the joy of leading my 6-year old grandson to Jesus.  I used the ABC’s for the boy’s six-year old Vacation Bible School group.  It is titled: “Do you know the ABC’s of Jesus?”   “A” tells us we have to “Admit” we have done something wrong; this is called sin (Romans 3:23).  God will not forgive us (Nahum 1:3) and as a result God will not accept us into His Heaven with a sin (Romans 6:23a).   “B” tells us we have to “Believe” that God loves us so much He sent Jesus to pay for our sin and offers us Heaven as a gift (Romans 6:23b).   Jesus paid for our sin by dying to pay the price God demanded (death).  But since Jesus is God’s son, He was able to come back to life after death on the cross to carry us into heaven when we die. “C” tells us we have to “Confess” that we admit and believe both to God and other people (Romans 10:9, Matthew 10:32). The result was when the boy arrived back home he told his father “he believed.”  When asked what he believed, he gave evidence of being saved by Jesus.  Another friend said, “a lot of people say they are a Christian, but it’s not only about what they say, but what they do with Jesus”.  The grandson not only confessed, but will be publicly baptized soon giving his...

“ARE YOU READY?”

“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”  Luke 12:35 NIV   Read Luke 12:35-40 When a race is about to start, it is common to hear the announcer ask the participants if they are ready?   As a child you may have had a footrace with another friend acting as the announcer with “Ready, Set, Go!”…and the race was off.   The anticipation of getting ready was suddenly gone and reality instantly set in.   The racers had no more time to prepare.  It was a time of action. Ready for a time on the town, the husband may ask his wife “Are you ready?”   (If he is wise…he will not ask more than once.)   He is as ready as he is going to be, but she is still applying a few touches of perfection.   Ready means different things to different people.   Are you ready?   Ill health can make us think about being ready. Death… physical death…is a 100% certainty.   When, not if, is the question.  If you are born again, you will meet JESUS face to face.  Are you ready? When we were in school, most of us crammed at the last minute for a major test or final exams.  There is no final test for a Christian.   GOD grades us every day by what we say and do.   Getting ready is a constant activity. If you are not ready, shouldn’t you be?   JESUS died on that cross for you.   All of your mistakes of yesterday are paid for you.   You don’t...

“MORE THAN YOU DESERVE!”

“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'” Romans 1:17 NIV Read: Romans 1:11-17 We all get more than we deserve.  This biggest problem is we so often take most we have for granted.   Yes, we may mumble a prayer of thanks now and then.  But, do we really take the time to be thankful for all GOD has provided? One thing we all can receive is the GRACE OF GOD.   GOD’S GRACE comes to us without costs and is always more than we deserve.   As undeserving as we are, GOD has love and forgiveness for each of us. Do you feel unrighteous?   As unrighteous as you may feel, GOD is righteous in HIS forgiveness of all you have done or will do…if you have accepted HIS SON as your LORD AND SAVIOUR. GOD’S righteousness is so unfathomable, HIS perfection so beyond any thought we could possibly grasp in our limited and sinful minds.   GOD’S righteousness is so magnificent, we sometimes doubt HIS absolute mercy.   Since, we cannot duplicate HIS mercy, we have difficulty understanding GOD’S righteousness. When was the last time you showed mercy, true mercy, to someone?  Can you grasp the righteousness of GOD when you feel unrighteous yourself?   Take a deep breath and feel the righteousness of GOD.   Then, take that feeling and be merciful to someone else.   Hold onto that thought each day.   The righteousness of GOD will help you be righteous to another. Today’s prayer:  “MY RIGHTEOUS GOD, Thank YOU for YOUR...

“UNCLE! UNCLE!”

“I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord, and I will obey your decrees.  I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.   Psalm 119: 145-146 Read:  Psalm 119:137-152 As a boy, I remember being forced to yell “Uncle!, Uncle!” during friendly scuffling matches.  It was that final cry announcing to all the world that you gave up.  This is not just an American custom.   It is reported to exist in several countries around the world in several languages. Did you know this cry of defeat probably dates back to the time of CHRIST from the Roman empire?  In Roman custom, the defeated would cry out “Uncle!” begging for their uncle (actually their father’s brother, not their mother’s brother) to come to their defense. We all have that time in our lives when it seems there is no way out of a situation and we are exhausted from all the efforts to regain our strength.  That is Satan’s plan.   He intends to wear us down so we don’t call on the ONE who can help us.  Who do you call out to when you are attacked and it seems like all is lost? When you are near defeat, do you call out “Uncle, Uncle!” and give up?  If Satan can beat you down physically, emotionally or spiritually, there is someone to call upon who can really help you. Don’t call out ‘Uncle, Uncle’ and never get an answering help.   At those times of depression, rejection, feelings of defeat and failure, call out “JESUS!, JESUS!”.  JESUS will come to your rescue. Today’s prayer:  JESUS, Thank...

“MORE THAN A CHILDREN’S SONG!”

“And he said:’Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”  Matthew 18:3 NIV     Read: Matthew 18:1-10 As a child, you probably learned the simple lyrics to “Jesus Loves Me”.   Most sang it so often, you may still remember the words. “Jesus loves me-this I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong-They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so. Jesus loves me-He who died Heaven’s gate to open wide He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so. Jesus loves me-loves me still, Though I’m very weak and ill; From His shining throne on high Comes to watch me where I lie. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.” Originally written as a poem in 1860, music was added in 1862 and it became one of the most popular Christian hymns in history.   But, it is more than a hymn.   It is a reminder of our SAVIOUR’S love for each of us. Each of us for a moment, an hour, a day, a month or even years loved our sin more than we loved GOD.  The difference is through every moment of our sinful times, HE still loved us more than we loved our sin. Have you taken the time to tell HIM how weak...

“ARE YOU FLOUNDERING?”

“I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.”  Proverbs 4:11-12 NIV   Read:  Proverbs 4:10-17   Flounder:  A flatfish normally found along the bottom of bays and oceans.   The fish is born looking like any other fish and swims upright.   As the newborn develops, its eye on one side physically moves itself to join the other eye on the other side of the fish.  This movement actually twists the fishes skull.  When fully developed the fish swims on its side, actually flat, ‘floundering’ along the bottom.   We get our phrase ‘floundering around’ from this fish.   Floundering around usually means someone is clumsy, stumbling, having difficulty thinking or unsure of their purpose in life.   These definitions can apply to physical or emotional situations or problems. Floundering around can also refer to someone’s spiritual walk.  Are you floundering around with your faith?   Faith will change a floundering life to a life of stability.   Have faith in your Saviour. Paul wrote the letters to Timothy to instruct him so that he would not flounder in his ministry.  Paul did not write the letters to Timothy because he believed Timothy was not or could not do his best.   Paul wrote the letters as guidance and support, reminding him of the strength of the gospel. Our Bibles are just that, GOD’S word of guidance and support.  GOD loves you and does not want you to flounder around.   If you don’t want to flounder around trust in your SAVIOUR, read your Bible...