Tag Archives: Jesus

The Power of Prayer – Daily Inspiration, July 5, 2012

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1: 9-11

Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi is a prayer we should have for all believers- to be united in the love that comes from having a greater knowledge of Christ and deeper insight – or discernment – so we can differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, vital and trivial. Broaden your circle of influence by praying for others today.

May God continue to bless you.

Celebrate Freedom! – Daily Inspiration, July 4, 2012

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Matthew 11: 28-30

As we celebrate our nations’s independence from autocratic rule, we should also celebrate our freedom from the yoke (or burden) of sin, excessive demands from religious leaders and weariness. Our Lord and Savior frees us from these weights and gives us rest in the form of love and peace with God.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July! May the Lord be with you and your families today and always!

This Is The Day The Lord Has Made – Daily Inspiration – July 2, 2012

“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:22-24

Psalm 118:24 is part of today’s suggested reading from Our Daily Bread. It is a very popular verse and is repeated often. However, the preceding verses are provided so that the complete thought is presented. So many times, oft-repeated verses become part of our vocabulary. We can recite them at will, but we cannot have a true understanding of them unless we read and study the context in which they were written.

Jesus, Himself, referred to Psalm 118:22-23 (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12-10-11; Luke 20:17) as he told the parable of the evil farmers to the religious leaders. Jesus is the rejected stone that became the capstone. The capstone is the center stone in the top of an arch, holding the whole arch together. The One who was rejected by His people is now the Center of the church. Yes, the lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes. So let’s acknowledge this day, the day the Lord has made. We should rejoice and be glad in it!

This, of course, can applied to our daily living as well. There are days when the last thing we feel like doing is rejoicing. Go before God and tell Him (although nothing is hidden from Him). By the end of your “talk” with Him you may find the will to praise in light of your circumstances. And that will is God. He has given us this day to live and serve Him. For that, we can be always be glad.

May the Lord bless you today and always.

Study To Shew Thyself Approved – Daily Inspiration, July 1, 2012

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, NIV

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15, KJV

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, urged him to stay in the Word so he could stand firm in sound doctrine and reject error. This is good advice for us as well. Too often, we rely on others to provide us knowledge that is readily available if we choose to seek it. Choose to study the Word for yourself so that you cannot be led astray by the interpretations and or/rules of men. As Jesus said to Pharisees when they confronted him about not following the tradition of their elders of washing their hands before they eat:

“And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God’, he is not to honor his father with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hears are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.” Matthew 15:3-10

So what does this mean? Per Jesus, what we eat goes through the body and eventually comes out of the body. But the things that come from our mouths come from our hearts and that can make us unclean. The heart can harbor evil thoughts such as murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony and slander (Matthew 15:16-20)

The only way to gain true knowledge is through the consistent and sincere study of the Word of God. If you rely on others: your pastor, your parents, friends – this blog even – then you set yourselves up to being led by the understanding of another. Open your Bible! Read, study and meditate on God’s Word so you will not be confused, unable to determine wrong from right and bound by the rules of men camouflaged as God’s Word.

God bless you today and always.

The Test of the Canaanite Woman – Daily Inspiration, June 28, 2012

“A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.’” Matthew 15: 22

Faith is defined as confidence or trust in a person or entity. To have confidence is to have full trust, belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. To trust is the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability surety etc of a person or thing.

Full trust. Reliance. Faith is an all-important aspect of the Christian walk. It is not enough to know about Christ and Scripture; we need to have full trust and belief in the Lord’s powers. We need to have reliance on His integrity, strength and ability.

We have one example of true faith in Matthew 15:21-28. A Canaanite woman presented herself to Jesus and begged him to have mercy on her and heal her demon-possessed daughter. The Lord did not speak. Puzzled by his silence, His disciples came to Him and asked Him to send her away because she was also crying out to them. The disciples were showing no compassion or sensitivity to the woman’s needs. She was becoming a nuisance, a bother. Taking all of this in, Jesus finally spoke and what he said is at first confusing: He told the woman that he was sent only to the sheep of Israel, meaning the Jews.

The Canaanite woman did not let this statement dissuade her from her mission. She continued to plead to Jesus for help, to which He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” (v. 26)

It would seem the Lord was rejecting this woman because she was not a Jew. The woman could have turned away angry, discouraged and bitter from the Lord’s silence and seeming disregard. Instead, she replied, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (v. 27). She was willing to be considered a dog as long as she could receive God’s blessings for her daughter.

‘Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (v. 28)

The Canaanite woman exhibited the traits we should all have, unshakeable faith and persistence. Even when it seems the Lord is ignoring our supplications or rejecting them, we cannot allow our faith to be shattered. In the face of apparent rejection, the Canaanite woman persisted. She not only knew who Christ was but had full trust and belief in His powers and integrity. There was no doubt in her heart and she was rewarded for her faith, just as we will be rewarded for our full trust and reliance. Conversely, the disciples were shown that God’s message is for everyone and that one shouldn’t become so occupied with spiritual matters that the needs of others are missed.

Don’t become discouraged and bitter when it seems the Lord has turned away. Keep the faith and be persistent. By the same token, don’t ignore the very real needs of those around you because you will be inconvenienced. Pass the test of the Canaanite woman!

May the Lord be with you today.

Jesus Is the Only Way – Daily Inspiration June 24, 2012

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Jesus is the Savior of the world. There is no other name and there is no other way! No one else is His equal.

God bless you today and always.

Which Language Do You Understand? Daily Inspiration, June 23, 2012

“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

The suggested reading for today’s Our Daily Bread devotional is John 8:42-47. In these verses, Jesus Christ explained to the religious leaders the reason why they refused to believe Him – they did not understand His language. Rather than believe the Truth our Lord was speaking, they chose to cling to the lies of Satan, whom Jesus labeled “the father of lies”. Therefore, as He explained, because the religious leaders were so desperate to disprove Him, they were carrying out Satan’s desire. They could understand his deceptive language, but their ears were closed to the Truth.

The verses remind me of a situation I found myself in years ago. The department in which I worked was small. In the mornings, those friendly with one another would gather in small groups to discuss their weekends or nights before while sipping coffee and gathering the work for the day. Because our area was so small, we could hear each other’s conversations. The group in front of me stood enthralled as one woman relayed a date she had from the beginning to its sexual end, all in raunchy detail. I didn’t know the topic of conversation of the group to my right, but I could clearly hear expletives fly between them. Behind me, our team lead and her friend were sharing complaints about their husbands. Soon, my friend joined me. She was an older woman whose counsel I enjoyed. After exchanging pleasantries, I began to tell her about a bible verse I was reading, which turned into a discussion. During our discussion, I noticed the team lead leave her desk. I didn’t think much of it until the supervisor stepped into the area and asked my friend and me to join her in her office.

The supervisor advised she had received a complaint. It seems the team lead found our conversation upsetting. The supervisor explained our topic was inappropriate for the workplace. We should be mindful of what we say not just in the work area but the break room as well. Being fairly new in my walk with Christ, I became angry and was about to protest, but my friend stopped me. She turned to the supervisor, nodded her head and told her we understood. My friend then stood and beckoned for me to join her as she existed the office.

“Can you believe that?” I asked her as we walked back to our desks. “People all around us were cursing like sailors, putting down their families and talking about their sex lives, but a discussion about the Lord is inappropriate?”

My friend just smiled and responded with her own question, “Do you see how the devil tries to keep the Word from coming out?”

I can admit that it took me the better part of the day to cool down. I can also admit that I held on to some resentment for that team lead for a quite a while. Now that I am more knowledgeable in the Lord, I understand it better. I had always believed in Christ but was just then seriously and earnestly seeking Him. My friend was strong in Christ and was a wise and supportive guide. While I could only comprehend the natural of the situation, my friend saw the spiritual. Satan will use many people to keep one person far from the Lord. That team lead no doubt thought she was doing what was right. We are so used to hearing the talk of the world – curses, discord, sexual immorality, etc – that when Truth is discussed it appears foreign and goes against everything we have internalized as right and proper. The team lead, simply, did not understand our language.

Which language do you understand? Do you accept lies but are offended by the truth? In a sea of cursing, lying and immoral talk, does only a ripple of Christian conversation upset you?

May the Lord be with you today.

Daily Inspiration, June 14, 2012

“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise.” Psalm 138:1

I once had a co-worker who, after hearing me speak of my faith, asked, “How can someone so intelligent believe that Jesus is the only Messiah? There are documents out there that point to other messiahs. How can you not count them?”

His question both shocked and saddened me. I was shocked because I never knew he had such deep-seated doubts about the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. It saddened me that those doubts prevented him from fully accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

We have free will. To believe in God and accept Jesus is a choice. I don’t think it is necessarily wrong to know other religious points of view. I do, however, think it is very damaging for Christians to allow those other points of view to cloud our vision or impede our Christian walk.

I didn’t stop being friendly with he co-worker and stood firm in my faith each time he attempted to “enlighten” me. I respected his right to reject Jesus as the One and True Savior but I did not follow his example. Eventually, the Lord caused us to part ways. I’ve thought of that co-worker from time to time, wondering why our paths crossed. Perhaps, we needed each other spiritually; maybe he needed to meet someone resolute in faith and maybe I needed to meet someone to re-affirm my faith.

May the Lord guide your steps today.

Homosexuality is a Sin, Despite Modern Convictions

Sometimes you have to take stances that go against common trends and mindsets. This post definitely goes against one growing trend – the acceptance of homosexuality. This is not a rant against homosexuals; rather it is a reminder to Christians who believe there is nothing wrong with homosexuality that they are in direct opposition to the word of God. For those unfamiliar with the Bible and insist it does not specifically address homosexuality, please read Leviticus 18:22: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” It is listed among several other sexual acts Gods declares detestable. In Leviticus 20:13, we discover the punishment for the act: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Is this a call to gather those who engage in homosexual acts and put them to death? Of course not, modern society is radically different from the times this edict was issued. I would also never place a call to kill those who have committed the sins of adultery, fornication, envy or bearing false witness. That would wipe out most of civilization, including myself. We all sin, but it doesn’t make it right because everyone does it. Thankfully, we serve a forgiving God who accepts sincere repentance. We serve a God who took human form, bore our sins and, because of His death and resurrection, allows us to live in His grace. While Jesus exhibited unprecedented compassion for all sinners during his time on earth, he did tell his followers this, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” and, “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:17, 19.

So, as Christians, we cannot conform to society’s growing tolerance of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. While we cannot bend, we shouldn’t shut out those homosexuals who seek the truth and a sincere relationship with God. Our example is with Jesus who, after being criticized by the Pharisees for eating with tax collectors and sinners explained, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. But, go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” Matthew 9: 12-13. This is “loving the sinner and not the sin”.

Free will allows us to believe in God. That same free will allows others to not believe in Him. If you believe in and love God, then His commands should be etched in your heart. God’s Word is unchanging in the face of the world’s ever changing views and morals.

Happy Easter!

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:1-7

Thank You, Jesus, for as You instructed: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13. Let’s show our love for Jesus by loving each other. Forget about race, socioeconomic status and gender. Forget about past deeds and bury hurt feelings. Let’s love one another as we pause to hold in reverence this holiest of holy days. May the Lord’s blessings rain upon you today and everyday. Happy Easter.