Archive for June, 2013

Understand All Things

“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit — the Father will send Him in My name — will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
(John 14:26 HCSB)

Life is full of decisions and many problems can result in mental stress causing us to seek professional counsel such as a psychologist. Imagine paying top dollar to see a psychologist for counseling yet never asking them any questions or even listening to their advice. Without a dialogue you would just be wasting time and money. In the Bible the Holy Spirit is referred to as the “Counselor”. All believers receive the Holy Spirit after repentance from sin and trusting in Jesus as their Savior.(John 20:22) The Holy Spirit as our Counselor is sent to help all believers in Christ understand everything yet many never ask him any questions or even listen to his advice. The entire context of creation is available to the Holy Spirit to instruct us in all things. We live victoriously by initiating a dialogue with the Holy Spirit and listening to his counsel.



Social Media Relationships

“Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.”
(James 2:23 NLT)

Everyone wants to be popular and have many friends. In the digital world it’s easy to socialize by adding a friend or following a celebrity but quality relationships take time to develop. “A new survey from consumer and business credit reporting company Experian found Americans spend on average, 16 minutes of every hour spent online on social networking sites.”(1) Another survey found that the total time spent in prayer for an entire year was only 6 hours.(2) We develop a personal relationship with the Lord by initiating dialogue which is called prayer. People spend more time socializing with electronic media friends then with the One who created the very context that we use to socialize. God wants to be our friend but do we want to be his friend?



Nothing But Leaves

“Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves.”
(Mark 11:12, 13 NIV)

My father had a small orchard and as a youth I spent a lot of time working with the fruit trees. I can remember cutting down any dead branches that were not producing any fruit. It was hard work but the delicious fruit that developed made it all worth it! A gardener plants a fruit tree in expectation of a harvest. The trees that do not produce good fruit just take up space in the garden and will be cut down. When the Lord plants a soul on the earth he patiently waits in eager anticipation for a life that will develop spiritual fruit. “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, 23) If the Lord Jesus were to examine our lives today would he find nothing but leaves?


Fire Rescue

“When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
(Mark 9:20, 22 NIV)

Sometimes we hear about an amazing fire rescue as someone is saved from a burning building. The Lord Jesus wants to save us from the fire at least all those who truly want to be rescued. There is a story in Mark 9:20 of the Bible that describes an evil spirit’s attempt to destroy a child by throwing him into the fire. Ironically all demons will be cast into the lake of fire themselves for eternal torment in Hell. (Matt 25:14) Today people are voluntarily throwing themselves into this eternal fire by making the wrong sinful life choices. Our sin separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:2) Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15) The Lord Jesus came to rescue all those who believe in him from this unrelenting fire of torment. Fire proof your life by putting your trust in the Lord Jesus.


Escape Pollution

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through [the full, personal] knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse [for them] than the first.”
(2 Peter 2:20 AMP)

I visited China recently and I found it difficult to breath because of the poor air quality. Environmental pollution is of global concern. Industrial airborne pollution is so offensive because it adversely affects the health of everyone in the region. The best way to protect yourself is to leave the foul atmosphere. Voluntarily returning would again increase the personal health risk for illness. Spiritual pollution is called sin. Christ Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross to rescue us from its lethal consequences. After escaping to freedom from our previous sinful lifestyle it would be foolish to return risking eternal death and separation from the Lord. Escape pollution and breath in the pure life that only comes from Jesus.


A Change of Heart

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 36:26 NIV)

Valentine’s Day is that special day when couples take time to demonstrate their love for one another but who exactly was St Valentine? One legend describes St Valentine as an early church bishop who was arrested and imprisoned after being caught marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians who were being persecuted by the Roman Emperor Claudius. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. St Valentine was condemned to death for refusing to deny his love for Jesus. He was beaten with clubs and stones; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate around 270 AD. St Valentine loved Jesus so much that he was willing to risk his own life to love others in need.
Only the Lord can turn a lifeless heart of stone into a loving heart of flesh. God changes an attitude of indifference to care and compassion by placing people in our path to love.


Fellowship of Love

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart”
(I Peter 1:22 NKJV)

It’s always great to gather together with good friends but sometimes we come into contact with people who may be much more difficult to like. Without investing time in our vertical relationship with the Lord all attempts at horizontal relationships with one another on this earth will ultimately lead to disappointment. Without the indwelling Spirit of God inside of us our ability for loving fellowship is doomed. Only the empowerment of the Holy Spirit provides self centered humans with the ability to selflessly love one another. To love another as yourself is actually an overflow of the love of God from within us. Therefore to love in the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit so don’t leave home without him!


A Welcomed Change

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.”
(Luke 10:38 ESV)

We welcome into our house those whose presence gives us pleasure. A joyful person can brighten a dismal atmosphere but a colorless character drains the water out of your tub. Everyone likes to laugh and being around joyful people is actually good for our health. Researchers have found that laughter can reduce blood pressure, improve immune system function and decrease stress hormones like cortisol. The Bible says that in the presence of the Lord there is “fullness of joy” and at his right hand are “pleasures forevermore.” (Psalms 16:11) So if you find your life’s lacking laughter and your smile has wandered away ask yourself who have you welcomed inside? The presence of the Lord changes everything. Welcome Jesus into your life today.


Reciprocated Love

“He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.”
(Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT)

Imagine being in love with a person that does not respond to your calls. Love not reciprocated can cause the heart to ache. When two people are in love they desire to be together. Anything that separates them profoundly disrupts their peace. The Lord loves us with an everlasting love but his heart aches when we do not respond in return. We should love God with everything that we have and with all who we are. “You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”(Psalm 86:5) Reciprocate God’s love and call on him today.


Family Time

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”
(1 John 3:1 NLT)

People often make great effort to organize family social events. The best location is chosen to ensure that everyone is comfortable and good food always contributes to having a great time. There is nothing like being surrounded by family members who love you. What people don’t realize is that we are part of God’s family and he loves us more. God desires to be present in everything we do including our social activities but sadly he is often not invited. God created humans to fellowship with him but relationships are developed by active participation from both parties. The Lord wants to be in your family time. Have you invited him?


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