We Are More Than Conquerors Through Him Who Loved Us – Daily Inspiration, August 13, 2012

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it was written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8: 35-37

Believers have always faced hardships in one form or another: persecution, imprisonment, even death. Our hardships today may not be as severe as those in the early church, but they are enough to weigh heavily on us, nonetheless. We may be facing illness, family troubles, job loss. Take comfort in knowing God is here for us. Knowing His guiding hand is always there to comfort us gives us the strength to soldier on through trying times. If you feel weak in spirit this morning, do not fear, for God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” Hebrews 13:5. What more assurance do we need?

God bless you.

Simple Ones and Fools – Daily Inspiration, August 11, 2012

“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you would have responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” Proverbs 1: 22-23

Ouch! Words can sting! No one likes being called simple or a fool. Bear in mind, however, that in Proverbs a “simple one” or fool does not denote someone’s mental abilities; it reflects one’s character deficiencies. The simple or fool is not a stupid person, but one who is rebellious, quick to anger, lazy, etc. He or she cannot differentiate between right and wrong and will not listen to or follow true wisdom, which is God’s Word.

The moment we feel our wisdom is higher than or our judgement is better than God’s, we become prideful fools and simple ones. Don’t run the risk of having God’s grace and mercy turn from you by letting the court of public opinion cause you to stray and accept wrong as right. You will oftentimes find yourselves at odds with friends, neighbors and even family when you choose to follow God and not the world. Don’t let the fear of ostracism sway you from the straight and narrow path. God is with us. Remember, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

God bless you.

Out Of The Overflow Of His Heart His Mouth Speaks – Daily Inspiration, August 10, 2012

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45

When I was younger, my mother would always say, “If you listen long enough, a person will tell you everything you need to know about them.” Her sentiments echo the words spoken by Jesus as He taught the large crowds during the Sermon on the Mount. A person’s deception cannot last too long before his or her true feelings, beliefs and motivations become apparent in their speech and actions. What is in one’s heart shows itself in one’s behavior. As Jesus says, “For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” What is overflowing from your heart today?

May the Lord be with you.

His Violence Comes Down On His Own Head – Daily Inspiration, August 9, 2012

“He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head. I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” Psalm 7:14-17

Those who live to cause trouble and create strife will find themselves always embroiled in trouble and strife. The trap they are so intent on setting for others will snare them in the process. The sad reality is oftentimes innocent people are also hurt. Instead of sowing seeds of discord, plant love, kindness, patience and compassion. Don’t do evil for evil, but pray to Lord for protection against those who mean us harm, whether through violent acts or deceit. God will execute final judgment. We can take comfort and assurance in that.

God bless you today and always.

A Patient Man Has Great Understanding – Daily Inspiration, August 8, 2012

“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (NIV). Just as there is a time for anger like in cases of injustice, there is also a time for us to be still and patient, like in instances when we feel insulted. Before reacting to an offense, take a deep breath and consider the consequences of your actions. What benefit will be gained? How will it affect others? How will it affect me? The momentary satisfaction of giving in to the temptation to react to every offense may not be worth the permanent pain it will cause. Words and actions cannot be taken back. People may forgive them, but they are never forgotten. When you find yourself in a situation where you really want to react to a personal slight, pray to God for the self-control to restrain those urges and replace them with positive, effective thoughts rather than actions that divide and destroy.

May the Lord be with you today.

Desperate Acts – Daily Inspiration, August 7, 2012

“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” Zephaniah 3:9

We will never know what was going through the mind of the Wisconsin shooter who murdered worshippers at a Sikh temple or what motivated him to take such devastating action. It is not always easy to co-exist with those we think are different and have customs or rituals we do not understand, but we should try, even if those people don’t make it easy for us through actual trespasses or merely perceived ones.

It is far easier to give up than to keep trying. But giving up, leads to hopelessness; hopelessness to despair. When we despair, we become desperate. Desperation can lead one to irrational and reckless behaviors, including causing harm to others and to ourselves. God does not want us to live in desperation. Draw closer to Him and His Word for guidance, strength and protection through life’s storms. Take comfort in the fact that one day those things that separate us as a people will be done away with and all will stand united in praise and worship of the Lord. As Christians, that is our goal – to live forever in the presence of the Lord and spend our days in praise. Not achieving worldly prosperity. Don’t let despair rob you of achieving your goal.

May the Lord be with you.

Beware Of False Teachers – Daily Inspiration, August 6, 2012

“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5

Paul echoed the sentiments of Jesus Christ about avoiding those who argue over the finer points Scripture and lord it over others. Avoid arguments in the church and those who view the ministry as a way to financial gain rather than a way to serve others.

May the Lord be with you today.

You Are The Light Of The World – Daily Inspiration, August 4, 2012

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

I was standing in line recently, waiting to purchase items from a major department store. So many things were running through mind – family concerns and planning an upcoming weekend trip. Add to that, the transaction in front of me was taking a long time and I was in danger of returning to work late from lunch. Nevertheless, when it was my time to be served, I walked to the counter and engaged the salesperson in friendly conversation. As we were ending the transaction, she said sincerely, “It is so nice to have a smiling customer. Thank you.”

I have worked retail in the past for the same department store chain. I know that although the merchandise the chain sells is considered upscale, oftentimes the attitudes of the customers who patronize it aren’t. Many people can be incredibly rude to those they deem servants. So, I try to take the time to be patient and considerate to someone who may have been on his or her feet for hours at a time with no break.

As Christians, we should not blend in with the crowd and adapt the attitudes of those around us. Our light should shine for others to see. It should be apparent that we are set apart. Not better than, but filled with a spirit of love that makes us glow. You may never know how much the simplest act of kindness – a smile – can uplift someone else’s day. Go ahead and try it. It costs nothing, but there is much to gain.

May the Lord be with you today.

Grace And Peace Be Yours In Abundance – Daily Inspiration, August 3, 2012

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2

Increase your knowledge of God by consistent Bible study and prayer. Doing so will allow you to enjoy the privileges that come with knowing Him better – an abundance of grace and peace.

God bless you today and always.

You Should Not Look Down On Your Brother In The Day Of His Misfortune – Daily Inspiration, August 2, 2012

“You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble.” Obadiah 1:12

The nation of Edom was situated on high cliffs and protected by a rocky fortress nearly impenetrable by invading forces. Edom and Israel were bitter enemies despite the fact that they were blood relatives. The Edomites rejoiced when Babylon invaded Judah instead of coming to their northern neighbors aid. For their defiance and hatred, God destroyed Edom, causing the nation to disappear from the earth.

High and powerful nations, corporations, families and even churches that become overconfident in themselves will be humbled and brought low. The recent Wall Street scandals and corporate buyouts have illustrated this. However, we should not be happy at another’s downfall, even if we feel it is deserving. God is the only Judge.

God bless you today and always.