Archive for August, 2013


Arrive Safely

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”
(John 5:14 NIV)

Traffic laws are enforced to promote safe driving while traveling the road but violations happen every day all around us. Imagine being caught breaking the speed limit but the police officer decides to just let you go with a warning. In John chapter 5 of the Bible Jesus healed a man who had been ill for 38 years but afterwards he gave him a serious warning. God’s spiritual laws written in the Bible are necessary to ensure the safety of our souls on the road to heaven but we violate these laws everyday through sinful choices which can lead to harmful physical consequences such as illness. Like this merciful police officer the Lord Jesus is willing to show us mercy. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) We can arrive safely to life’s ultimate destination in heaven if we obey the warning to stop sinning and receive the free pardon offered by Jesus.

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A Few Good People

The Lord told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.”
(Judges 7:7 NLT)

Gideon was one of the great heroes of faith in the Bible. He started out with an army of 32,000 men to fight the Midianites but the Lord reduced the number of warriors to only 300. All those who were afraid were sent home first. Then God tested the remaining men by observing how they drank water from a stream. Those who carelessly put their faces into the water were sent home but those who cupped the water with their hands to drink without occluding their vision were chosen to fight. People strive for quantity but God looks for quality. Being surrounded by a few good people who can see your vision is more beneficial than numerous acquaintances who are just focused on satisfying their own selfish interests. We can have victory over life’s problems by surrounding ourselves with a few good people who love God and keep a watchful eye open to read his Word.

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Fruit Filled Lives

“Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you.”
(John 15:2, 3 AMP)

As a youth I spent many hours every Spring pruning the trees and vines on my father’s land. Productive vines bear more fruit if the vine dresser properly prunes them every year. God desires us to be productive fruit bearers for his Kingdom with the lives that he has given us. He wants us to not only bear fruit but to bear a lot of rich and excellent 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) Personal difficulties can arise to work as cutting shears that prune the character of our lives so that we will be useful branches in God’s vineyard. We might avoid many painful circumstances if we voluntarily let ourselves be pruned by studying and obeying God’s Word.

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Immovable Confidence

“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”
(Ephesians 6:15 NLT)

I can remember once playing soccer with the wrong athletic footwear. My shoes did not have cleats and my confidence was ruined because I frequently slipped and fell to the ground. In ancient times the Roman military shoe had nails imbedded in the tread for improved traction on slippery surfaces during times of war. The soldiers could fearlessly stand firm with immovable confidence to fight the enemy without doubting their base of support. We are living in a war and many people do not even realize it. The battle is a spiritual one for our souls. In our lives fear causes us to slip and fall into doubt but putting our faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ gives us immovable confidence with peaceful assurance of our eternal salvation in him.

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Obstacles Removed!

“And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people’s way.” (Isaiah 57:14 ESV)

Bicycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a good workout. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment but a biker’s progress would come to a sudden halt if a large tree fell on their path. Fortunately there are land owners that can clear away fallen trees on the path beforehand using power tools to cut through any obstructions. Something that obstructs or hinders progress is called an obstacle. In the path of life various obstacles can limit our progress. Financial difficulties, health problems, and relationship conflicts can be significant hurdles to overcome but the Lord prepares the way beforehand removing every obstruction with his power for all those humble people who take refuge in him.

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Full Recovery

(Jesus) told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”
(John 5:14 NLT)

Most people do not want to be close to sick people especially if they have a contagious disease but medical professionals treat these patients because they love to help people recover. In the Gospel of John chapter 5 there was a man that Jesus miraculously healed who had been sick for 38 years but the Lord was more interested in his spiritual health than in his physical health. The Lord Jesus came close to people to heal them from the terminal disease called sin. Full recovery is only possible when we repent from our sins and trust Jesus as the cure.

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Sit Still and Listen

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”
(Matthew 6:7, 8 NLT)

We all know that being in love makes us feel good and now there is scientific evidence proving why. In the brain the neurotransmitter dopamine increases from being in love resulting in tremendous energy and optimism. Developing a romantic relationship with a loved one requires good communication and time. Dialogue occurs frequently with both periods of speaking and listening throughout each day. God loves us and wants to develop a relationship with us but this requires time spent in dialogue with him which is called prayer. There will be time for us to speak but our priority is to sit still and listen first to the Lord since he is omniscient and knows what we need before we ask.

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Talk with a Star

“I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up their hands in a holy manner.”
(1 Timothy 2:8 NCV)

I was in Nashville awhile ago and I noticed a great crowd of people all waiting to enter the arena downtown. They were pressed together shoulder to shoulder and there was a feeling of excitement or anticipation in the atmosphere. I found out that a famous country singer was performing that evening. Many people make great effort to talk with a movie star or see a famous recording artist live. Even celebrity mothers or spouses receive the public’s attention but the Lord Jesus Christ is the only star that deserves all of our worship. There is no travel expenses required to meet with the Lord in prayer and he is waiting for you to worship him. Brighten your day by talking with the God who made the stars.

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First Class

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
(2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV)

Some travelers pay the higher price to fly in the first class section where the seats are more comfortable and the flight attendants serve them before the other passengers. Although they receive faster service they still breath the same recycled cabin air, use the same bathroom and arrive to their final destination at the same time as the coach section passengers. But the more expensive first class ticket does not guarantee a safe arrival because if the airplane crashes everyone dies together. In life the final destination is death. Socioeconomic class distinctions will always exist but no matter what our status is in this world one day we will all arrive to stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ in heaven to give account for what we did with our lives while on earth. On that day all those who obeyed Jesus as the Lord of their lives will be eternally rewarded in first class.

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How Hot Are You?

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
(Revelation 3:15, 16 NLT)

The thermometer measures the temperature of the surrounding environment and people react according to how comfortable they feel. We recognize how hot or cold it is by observing the reaction of people and the kind of clothing they choose to wear. People who are cold usually shiver while crossing their arms as they run to be inside a warm building. Other people who are too hot try and fan themselves as they look for the shade of a tree to cool down. But the lukewarm people are so comfortable they see no reason to change their posture or move their position. The Word of God also functions as a type of thermometer that measures our internal spiritual temperature. We recognize how spiritually hot or cold we are by our reaction to discussions about God’s Word and how we insulate ourselves from thinking about spiritual matters. The hotter we are for God the more open we are to him. Spiritually cold people may realize they need to move closer to the warmth of God’s love but being spiritually lukewarm is a dangerous attitude to have because it hinders any response to Spirit led change in our lives. How hot are you?

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