“MORE THAN A DOZEN ROSES!”

“Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”   Song of Solomon 2:12 NIV   Read:  Song of Solomon 2:1-17   No, it is not about the quantity of roses; yet a couple of dozen probably would not hurt anything.   In fact, it is not about roses at all.   It is about doing more…much more…than bringing home or having flowers delivered.   One day a year of showing love and appreciation is hardly enough to make up for the days of forgetfulness and wrongs of an entire year.   We need to show our love and appreciation for others every day.   We can get so busy in this hectic life, we forget to do the simple things for others simply because they are the right things to do.   While the giving of roses is a usual gift from a man to a special lady, roses are far from showing the love we all need to give and receive.  Today’s reading expresses the romance of love between a woman and a man.   Did you ever notice, when reading these verses, the exchange of poetic praises starts with the lady, is answered by the man, and is closed by the lady?   GOD created us male and female for HIS reasons.   HE alone created the romance we can hold for another.  Use this day to romance the one HE has created for you.  Hold each other high and sing praises to our LORD.   It is more than a dozen roses.  And don’t forget those who are all...

“DON’T BE A FOOL!”

“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”  Luke 16:9 NIV   Read:  Luke 16:1-15   “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose.”  (Jim Elliott, Christian missionary)   I suggest you read this quote a couple of times to apply it properly. We could re-phrase this as ‘He is a fool who holds onto things he cannot keep while losing things he could not lose in the first place.’ We are wise to give up things that we could not keep in the first place in order to gain what we can never lose.  It seems, daily, we strive to hold onto those things that are destined to slip from our grasp.  We reach with even more effort to hold what we know we were to never have. We do this while ignoring all we can have without fear of losing it.   Does this sound familiar?   We acquire worldly possessions which we cannot take with us.   Our lives are obsessed at times with things. JESUS offers us more than things.   HE promises us forgiveness of our sins…all of them.   When we are cleansed of our sins, HE promises us eternity in Heaven.   Are you holding onto things that will rot and decay rather than the sweet, pure eternity in Heaven that once given to you will never be taken away? Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, JESUS, for taking on all my sins so that I may spend eternity in Heaven with...

“NOT EVEN IN A BUCKET!”

“Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.” Psalm 30:4 NIV   Read:  Psalm 30   I have learned to sing fairly well…not great…but fairly well.   I am still reminded of what my oldest son told me, years ago in church, when he was about 16: “Not so loud, Dad, others can hear you!”.  Back then, I could not carry a tune…not even in a bucket!   A pastor recently told me of being asked in school choir:  “Can you sing ten or?”   He replied he thought he was a bass.   The teacher joked; “No not tenor….ten or twelve miles away.”   Then, we have heard of the singer being asked:  “Can you sing Far Away.   The singer responded he did not know Far Away.   The requester clarified:  “No not the song Far Away…..really far, far away.”   Oh, we can be so cruel, even when joking…   Our voices may not please everyone.   But, they please GOD.  GOD created you with the voice HE chose.   Your joyful noise is a blessed symphony when GOD hears you.  HE loves to hear you raise your voice to praise HIM.    It is more than just your voice.   All your thoughts and actions given to praise GOD, to do HIS work and to spread HIS gospel are all well received.  Of course, there is always someone who can do something better by our human standards.  But, your actions will always be the very best by GOD’S standard.   Feel the joy of being GOD’S best.   Raise your voice in praise....

“LOST TREASURE MAP”

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Luke 12:34 NIV   Read:  Luke 12:32-34   For centuries, man has searched for treasures based on maps that promised riches untold.   At times, their searches were even for the maps that were rumored to exist.   As a child having imaginary fun, we drew our own treasure maps that led to nothing.   Today, there are people following their own treasure maps that lead to disappointment.   Their maps are of their own lost desires and faithless hopes.   Are you following your own treasure map that is leading nowhere?    Does your map lead you day after day to another dead end?   Are you looking back at your life and wondering where all went wrong?   Are you ready to find the real treasure?   Open your Bible.  All the real answers to every question you have is in your Bible.   Every treasure you will ever need you will find in your Bible.  The three truths are yours within the pages of your Bible.   GOD created the heavens and the earth.   HE sent HIS only SON to take on your sins on that cross, and then was raised to Heaven.  Until, JESUS returns the SPIRIT OF GOD will dwell within every believer.   Find your treasure in these truths.  Your Bible will give you the treasure you can’t find on any treasure map.  Your Bible will give you the redeeming love of our TRIUNE GOD.   Today’s prayer:  “My GOD, Thank YOU for the treasure of YOUR truth.  While seeking treasures of this earth, I have not been as obedient as...

“NEVER TURN YOUR BACK!”

“They thrust the needy from the path and force all the poor of the land into hiding.”   Job 24:4 NIV   Read:  Job 24 We have all heard the warning to never turn our backs.   The expression is laced with the dangers of not being aware of something or someone who could do us harm.   But, there is another way of learning from that old expression.   We should never turn our backs on the good things in life either.   In particular, we should never turn our back on a believer.   If you ever turn your back and disregard the needs or refuse to reach out to a believer, you are turning your back on CHRIST.   When we shed our responsibilities, we are abandoning our duties as followers of our RISEN LORD.   Has someone recently asked for your help and you gave it a passing thought and decided you did not have the time or money to aid them?   After all, you thought, somebody else will help them.   The only problem is the somebody else you thought would help them was also thinking they did not have the time or money either.   Guess what…we all have the time.  The problem is we accept the things of this earth as more important than the things JESUS told us to do.  It is not too late.   Go to that person and give them the help they need.   You will be glad you did.   Today’s prayer:  “LORD, Thank YOU for all YOU have done for me.   Please forgive me for not doing for others.   YOU have...

“DISCIPLE OR APOSTLE?”

“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”    Matthew 10:1  NIV   Read:  Matthew 10:1-20 When we think of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James and others we are correct in knowing they were among the first disciples of JESUS, our LORD AND SAVIOUR.   At the same time, these men of GOD became known as apostles of JESUS.   We can learn from the scriptures an apostle is also a disciple, yet all disciples are not apostles.  A disciple is a follower of CHRIST; a student of scripture, who born again and is faithful in believing in all JESUS tells us and then shares that faith in order to teach others.   An apostle is all this and more.   Upon accepting CHRIST as your SAVIOUR, your new role is to be a disciple.   Are you living a life as a disciple?   JESUS gave the original disciples the power to heal and to drive out demons whom HE called HIS apostles.   Mark 3:14 tells us JESUS: “…designating them apostles…” This power was given later to Paul, Matthias (who replaced Judas) and perhaps a dozen others by JESUS.   Some churches claim a hierarchy of apostles, while some individuals claim to be apostles with the power to heal the sick and to drive demons from others.  Others hold there are no new apostles, that all apostles were given the authority only by JESUS.   In truth, most struggle with the task of being faithful disciples.   Many of those you attend church with are disciples, while many...