“EVER BLAME GOD?”

“Should GOD then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent? You must decide, not I; so tell me what you know.”  Job 34:33 NIV Read:  Job 34:5-37   Things just were not going right.   When you felt you were walking a straight line, it seemed everyone else was turning left and right.   No matter what you did, you ended up all alone.  So, knowing in your own mind you were doing all the right things and everything still went wrong, you blamed GOD.   We have a manner of judging ourselves which is very different than the way GOD judges us.  We judge ourselves by looking at others, by standards of the world and maybe with a self blinding eye. GOD judges by HIS standards.   Guess what?   GOD’S standards have never changed and will never change.   HE gave us an easy course if we choose to do things HIS way.  If we don’t obey GOD’S marching orders, we are re-inventing the wheel every day. When we turn to our way rather than GOD’S way, we fail again.  Instead of looking at the reality of our own failures and accepting blame ourselves, we condemn GOD.  We will never truly live until we praise GOD for the times in our lives when we were condemning HIM. We need to be thankful for the times we stumbled and failed only to be forgiven and lifted up by our GOD.   We condemned GOD and HE still forgave us. Today’s prayer:  “GOD OUR FATHER, Thank YOU for forgiving me at those times I blamed YOU for my...

“AN IRON CLAD ALIBI”

“…and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,”  Revelation 1:5 NIV Read:  Revelation 1:1-6 Have you ever needed an alibi?   Were you ever accused of doing something when you were totally innocent?   A personal eye witness of you not being even near the scene of the situation can be an iron clad alibi.   Then, maybe there was a time when you were guilty, very guilty and there was no alibi.   Guilt was simply guilty.   Recently there was a news story of a man who was arrested for armed robbery.   He was innocent of the robbery and his iron clad alibi was he was buying and selling illegal drugs at the time and was nowhere near the location of the robbery.    He was freed on the robbery charge and re-arrested on drug charges. Have you escaped a guilty situation by using an alibi of another situation?   Guilty is still guilty.   From my childhood, I remember the phrase;  ‘He is as guilty as homemade sin.’   I can’t tell you what homemade sin is.  But, I get the message. Truthfully, we won’t ever need an alibi when we are in places and doing things when and where GOD would want us to be.  GOD is our iron clad alibi.  HE knows all about us; all of our guilt and all of our innocence. Is today the day you trade your guilt for an iron clad guarantee for life with...

“IT’S NOT UP TO ME!”

” For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13 NIV Read:  Philippians 4:10-14 I recently read: “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.  Yet, it is not up to me, it’s up to thee.”  As much as we believe in our own abilities, we can do nothing on our own and are nothing without our GOD.   GOD made us as intelligent beings.   HE gave us physical abilities.  When we put our intelligence and physical ability together, we can accomplish many things.  Yet, we still fall short.   We need the insight and guidance that only comes from our TRIUNE GOD. Paul was a brilliant evangelist.  Still, he knew his limitations and had a clear understanding he was nothing without his LORD.  In writing his letters to Timothy, he passed along his wisdom. In 2Timothy 4:17 Paul gave the honor to GOD… “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” GOD can and will give you the strength you need to be delivered ‘from the lion’s mouth’ just as he did for Paul.   Wouldn’t it be great to have the strength to get through a harried day with the kids, to satisfy the boss that seems to never be satisfied, to face the financial problems or that neighbor who does nothing but complain? You can do everything through CHRIST who gives you strength.   It is...

“PROBLEM SOLVED!”

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17 NIV Read:  Zephaniah 3:14-20   Have you ever had a problem that seemed to take over your life?   Maybe a personal health issue or that of a loved one is burdening your mind.   Financial problems rank high on the list of problems for many.   Marriage difficulties and our children’s (Regardless of their ages) struggles can become obsessions.   Maybe, you are like me.   There are times, I think I can fix a problem on my own.   I can’t solve all my problems and you can’t either.   If you have relied upon others, how has that worked out for you?   There is only one real problem solver. GOD is our great PROBLEM SOLVER!  GOD always has a solution.  Only GOD has true wisdom. HIS way is usually very different than what we planned or imagined would happen in a given situation. If GOD’S problem solving way is so much better than ours, why don’t we just give the problem to HIM in the first place? JESUS told us in Matthew 10:29-31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” GOD will care for the sparrows and HE will care for you.  Turn all those thoughts you feel...

“INTENSIVE CARE UNIT!”

“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”  Psalm 41:3 NIV Read: Psalm 41:1-3 If all has gone well, I am being released from the hospital about the time you are reading this.  A few weeks ago, I had a routine surgery.  Unknown at the time, but while in surgery I was infected with ‘e coli’.   Last Friday, it erupted into my entire blood system.   In less than 10 minutes, my entire body was infected.   I began to shake violently, could not stand or walk and within minutes more went in and out of consciousness.  My blood pressure dropped in half.   My kidneys shut down.  My heart rate slowed.  I was in severe septic shock!  A doctor later told me a few hours later that at one time I had been “only a few feet from death’s door”.   They did not know GOD’S plan.   As you read this, my labs and vital signs are almost normal.  Thank YOU, JESUS!   But, the story is not about me.   The story is about you and everyone reading this devotional. GOD has a plan for you.   Are you ready for GOD’S plan for your life?  So many in the world are on life support in their own intensive care unit.  They trust themselves more than GOD.   GOD has given you enormous strength and abilities.  But, remember those strengths and abilities are GOD’S, not yours. Are you spending your life in the intensive care unit of this world or are you resting daily in the safe, intensive care of...

“SAGEBRUSH ADVICE?”

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”   2Timothy 3:16 NIV Read:   2Timothy 3:10-17 Have you ever driven through the southwest United States and seen the tumbling tumbleweeds rolling across the highways and bare fields?  These dried and uprooted sagebrushes tell us a life’s story.   They have no purpose and are being tossed about by the whim of the wind.  There are a lot of people like that.  They seem to have lost their purpose in life having given up on all GOD has for them. Let’s look at two types of advice.   First is sage advice.  Sage advice is what we all should seek.   Sage advice comes from someone we respect.   We acknowledge them as wise beyond their years, prudent and reflecting quality reasoning. Sagebrush advice is based loosely on street smarts.  It may not be of wisdom or of quality reasoning.   It may be good or bad advice and may come from someone like the tumbling tumbleweed.  That is why it is called sagebrush advice.   At one time it was well rooted.   Now it is dead and may have no value since being uprooted and tossed around. The world we live in is full of sagebrush advice.  Don’t listen.  Scripture is sage advice.  No one can be more trusted or respected than GOD.  No one else is GOD.   No one can even come close to GOD’S reasoning.  Real sage advice is GOD breathed. Today’s prayer:   “Thank YOU, LORD, for giving me YOUR word, YOUR Holy Bible, as perfect advice.   Help me discern the difference of YOUR sage...