“IT’S REALLY NOT A RIDDLE!”

“I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Revelation 7:14 NIV   Read:  Revelation 7:13-17 Grand children are a lot of fun.   Occasionally, one will come up with a riddle.  Some require a little thought and imagination.  So, what is black and white and read (heard as red) all over?  Give up.  A newspaper of course! Others are so obvious they are not riddles at all.   How is something changed from dirty to snow white?   That’s easy!  All our dirty sins are cleansed to snow white by the blood of JESUS.   It is really not a riddle.  It is GOD’S truth. JESUS’ Crucifixion was a horrendous act by our thoughts, but was a part of GOD’S plan.  Many ask why a loving GOD would allow HIS SON to be sacrificed in such a way. That is not a riddle either.   JESUS IS GOD.  THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD.  Our triune GOD created us and wants us to spend eternity with HIM in Heaven. John 3:16-17 tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Romans3:25 confirms GOD’S intent:  “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in...

“GUILTY, YET SET FREE!”

“Then neither do I condemn you, “Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  John 8:11b NIV Read:  John 8:1-11 Recently, there was a national news organization which ran a story of a young man who was convicted of a felony.   The judge took all in consideration and set him free on a very mild probated sentence.  Those interviewed were angry and demanded the judge step down. Maybe the judge was in error and maybe he was not.  In our legal system, the judge’s ruling stands.   We can complain and the judge may be removed from future cases, but this ruling seems to be valid.   The Pharisees brought to JESUS a woman who was known as an adulteress.  She was surely guilty of sinning against GOD.   The Pharisees asked JESUS if she was to be stoned.   In John 8:7 we read of JESUS’ answer; “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”    They all left without a stone being thrown.   HE sent the woman away forgiven, telling her to sin no more.  JESUS has the power to forgive you as HE forgave the sins of this woman.   Hear HIS words…”go and sin no more”.   She was guilty, yet she was set free.  Obey HIS teachings.   Stop doing whatever you are doing against GOD and against others and you can be forgiven.   Just ask. We can also learn to be less judging of others and to look at our own sins. Today’s prayer: ...

“GET YOUR KICKS ON ROUTE 66!”

“They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble,”  Jeremiah 31:9a NIV Read:   Jeremiah 31:7-9 Route 66 dates back to 1926 and quickly became known as the ‘Mother Road’ of the federal highway system.   Unlike most highways, it did not run true north/south or east/west.  It was laid out as a route from Chicago to Los Angeles and incorporated farm and manufacturing cities south of Chicago as well.   By the 1950’s, Americans love of the automobile led to Route 66’s romantic travel excitement.  Several books and songs have been written about Route 66.  Road signs and post cards carried the Route 66 message. Do you know the story of another road?  The road to Damascus is probably the most notable road in history. Damascus was a powerful city ruled by kings of many nations over the years.   When Abram’s men chased the armies of the four kings to bring Lot, Abram’s nephew, back they pursued the armies to Damascus.  The most notable story is when Saul was blinded by the Light of JESUS and taken to his knees on the road to Damascus. Saul who became Paul was taken into Damascus not to take Christians as prisoners as he originally intended, but to give his life to CHRIST.   Paul became the convert we should all hope to copy. GOD has a Route 66 or a road to Damascus just for you.   HE has a path for your life to take.   Get your kicks on GOD’S road...

“WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME!”

“WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME!”   “Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.  Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” Proverbs 4:14-15 NIV Read: Proverbs 4:1-19 The lawyer pleaded for his client; “Judge, he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time!”.   The judged snapped back; “He was at the right place and at the right time to get caught!”. Was there a time…or times…in your life when you were at the wrong place at the wrong time and you just did not get caught.  Perhaps, you have recently found yourself in a situation and thought; “What am I doing here?”   We all have made the judgment mistake of being in a bad situation.   The difference is often the simple common sense to walk away when you first realize you are in the wrong place.   If we are saved, the HOLY SPIRIT talks to us.   HE gives us that whispered voice or that instinct that comes from the heart to lead us and equip us.   It is more than just a humanly gut feeling.   Our GOD loves us.  HE will protect us and will lead and direct us as HE has promised. We need to listen to HIM before we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.   Our biggest problem in hearing our GOD within us is not listening to HIM.  Every day you have a choice.  You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right...

“BACKED INTO A CORNER?”

“I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove.  My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”   Isaiah 38:14 NIV   Read:  Isaiah 38:10-19 As a teenager, I hunted squirrels with an uncle in northeast Texas.   Each trip with him was always an adventure.   Once, while walking a dry creek bed in what is known as ‘The Thicket’, I met such an adventure.   As I rounded a bend, the creek bed ended and I had backed a wolf into the corner of the embankments.   I slowly walked backwards and never  took my eyes off  that  snarling  wolf.   I was so scared, I must have walked backwards a half mile!   Perhaps you may have cornered a snarling two legged creature.   We have a way of snarling sometimes when we have been cornered and feel threatened, just as that wolf did. If you ever corner someone, back away.   In time, you may be able to talk to them, apologize or make amends.  But initially, the best thing is not to offend or antagonize them or make the situation more uneasy. In our verse of the day, Hezekiah was threatened and called upon GOD.   Who do you call upon when you are threatened?   Do you call you parents, your spouse or others? GOD is waiting for you to talk to HIM.   Don’t be threatened, lay your fears at the foot of the cross. Today’s prayer:  “MIGHTY GOD, Thank YOU for always being here for me.  Help me to always come to YOU first with...

“GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY!”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”   Luke 6:31 NIV Read:  Luke 6:27-31   “Go ahead, make my day!  “Who could ever forget that famous line by Clint Eastwood in the 1983 movie, ‘Sudden Impact’ which became a classic film still being viewed today?   With his teeth clinched in anger, he delivered this line with conviction. Who do you know whom you would like to make their day?   Oh, no…not in the way Mr. Eastwood quoted in the Dirty Harry series.   You can make this your catch phrase to help others.   When you make another’s day…you can feel the goodness and it will make your day.   Your spirit is sure to be lifted when you witness the smile on another’s face in response to your good deed. Payment for all you can do is having your day made.   Lift someone up.   Maybe you can help them financially or with emotional support.  Better still is the spiritual uplifting you can offer someone else.   Tell them about JESUS. If you want someone to really make your day…make their day first.   Benefit another and it will make your day.  Blessings come to those who bless! Today’s prayer:  “Thank YOU, LORD, for blessing me in so many ways.   Help me to make my day by making others’ day through my words and actions.  Amen.”...