Friday, January 20, 2017

Caught By Sin, Not Surprise

1 Timothy 3:7
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Some will say that the sin they have committed caught them by surprise, but it didn't.  Sin doesn't catch us by surprise and never will.  Sin is a result from wrong thinking and wrong actions.  How many times do you think Eve wished she could have just placed all the blame upon the devil? What about Adam? You know he explained to his sons many times the story of the fall and often glanced over at Eve. You may say that I really don't know that to be true but I see it everyday in spouses. We are a result of a fallen and sinful world. We are just like them and they were just like us.

We are sure that Satan will throw many, many snares out there in front of us to capture us into sin. But look at our scripture this morning... It tells us to be careful lest you fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Reproach means, to bring disapproval to or about someone. When we bring a reproach against Jesus it means that we have discouraged others from Him. With our sins, we become a stumbling block or as our scripture says, a snare unto them. A snare is a trap. Most always referring to a bird trap. But don't let it fool you. So many have trampled over the bird traps but were caught by the bear or lion traps.

We must walk in Christ and have a good report of the people. Notice that it is not just the people that are in the church, but it is dealing with those people who are outside of Christ. We should not be a sinful snare to the world and those who are lost. How can we do that? Watch for the snares. Confess our sins to Jesus. Realize that our sin is OURS and not the cause of Satan or others. Many can't move forward or have a good report of the people without because they have never allowed Christ to free them from the sinful snare in the first place. We need to ask Jesus to remove our sin. To get us out of the snare.

A temptation may catch you by surprise. A thought may catch you by surprise. But sin doesn't catch us by surprise. How many times did she walk past that tree in the garden before she finally stepped into the snare? Be careful...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I Told You

John 11:40
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

Can't you see Jesus at the tomb of His friend Lazarus? The sisters are weeping, the followers are weeping and now Jesus is weeping. Jesus was weeping because of the pain of death and the hold of its misery upon His friends and the unbelief it causes. In the beginning of this story, Jesus told Martha that He was the resurrection and told her that He was the truth and life. He asked her if she believed it. 

Now we find Jesus calling His friend out of death. He called him from the grave back into life. Lazarus was alive again! Can't you imagine the excitement? Mary and Martha's tears are dried. The followers weeping now turned into praise. Jesus turned a funeral into a celebration. 

You can almost hear Jesus saying I told you so? He told Martha, "Said I not into thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" I know that Jesus is not saying this in a condescending way. He was telling her that He tried to tell her. 

What would happen in your life today if you simply believe what He has told you? How much pain and suffering could you bypass in believing what He has said? He is trying to tell you the truth. He is trying to give you life. Listen to Him this morning. Don't let Him say, "I tried to tell you". 

Someday they will lay my body in the ground and cover it with dirt but I will not be there. I will be with Jesus. Because of His death I have life. Just wait and see... Then when you get to Heaven I'll be there to say, "I told you so."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It's Good

Lamentations 3:26
It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Our first reactions to a storm or dangerous situation is to fear and scream. We say things and do things when trouble comes our way that we wouldn't normally say or do on a daily basis. We even act in ways that we wouldn't normally act. Why? It's because of fear.

God tells us that it is good that a man should...

First of all, He says we should hope. What is hope? Hope is trusting! Hope in scripture does not carry the same definition as we think of today. Hope's modern definition is thinking that something will maybe happen. "I hope today turns out pretty... I hope I get an A on my report card... I hope mom brings home pizza tonight..." But this scriptural hope speaks of placing our hope/trust in God. We should know that He will see us through it. (I didn't say "take you out of it")

Second, we should be quiet. This second "good thing" that God gives us is a difficult one. When we are afraid it's hard to be quiet. I have done a lot of scaring people in my life. I have seen different reactions from every person that I have scared. Some get angry, I mean really angry. Some say things that I can't tell you. Some begin to cry because they are so afraid. Last of all, some don't say a word and that ends up scaring me.

Finally, He tells us to wait. Now if being quiet wasn't hard enough, we are told to be patient. I believe that this would be the toughest thing for everyone to do. No one would get a pass on this, it is difficult for everyone. Wait on the Lord, and again I say wait.

Lord, help us today to find these good qualities. It's good for us to TRUST, BE QUIET and WAIT on the You Lord.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Me and My Big Mouth

Ecclesiastes 5:6
Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin;...

What would you say is the biggest problem with your body? I can almost hear you as you are going down the list of things that is wrong. Some are saying their back, feet, head, legs because of arthritis, bursitis, sickness or other things. Let me ask you again in a different way. What would you say is the biggest spiritual problem you have with your body? You may say your eyes and what you look at, which could be true. You may say your mind and the attitude you have, which also could be very true. But most would answer with this... "I can't keep my mouth shut." (I see you shaking your head right now, hahaha)

The mouth, or tongue, is described in the Word of God as being poison and set on fire from Hell. It is the number one thing that gets most people in trouble. Did you know that I have found out that when you talk all the time it could cause trouble, and even when you don't say anything sometimes it can cause trouble?

God says that we should not suffer (allow or yield) our mouths to cause our flesh to sin. Now many reading this today think that it is dealing with profane talk but it deals with much more. I've seen the mouth to cause the flesh to sin in many ways. It could be that our mouths bring sin because we said and acted in anger, but it could also be that many of us make promises out of emotional feelings and then we don't keep them. That is our mouth causing the flesh to sin.

Would you agree this morning that the mouth is probably the biggest thing you struggle with? Well then do like the teacher, your parents and your God has said. Watch your mouth! Remember, we shouldn't suffer/yield our mouths to cause sin. Yield your mouths unto the Lord. Allow Him to fill your mouth with the words you need to speak and the silence you need to keep. Lord, you know I need help with my mouth.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Doorman at God's House

Psalms 84:10
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Have you ever heard someone say, "I don't have to go to church to be saved"?  Why is it that this phrase is even spoken?  Especially among those who claim Christ a their savior. I have an answer for that one but it's not what this devotion is about. 

Let's ask ourselves a few questions...

   - Do doctors have to go to the hospital to be doctors?
   - Do mechanics have to work on engines to be mechanics?
   - Do lawyers have to go to courtrooms to be lawyers?

The answer to this could be no, if you are nit-picking. But the real answer would be that if they wanted to practice their profession then yes they need these places. Doctors are found in hospitals, lawyers are found in courtrooms, and mechanics are found working on engines. Just as Christians are found following Christ and worshipping in church.  

Here are the main questions this morning...

   - Why do I go to church?
   - Why does God desire me to be at church?
   - What good can come from me attending church?
   - How did Jesus view the church?

Hebrews 10:25
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and SO MUCH THE MORE, as ye see the day approaching.

Stop coming up with excuses.  Stop looking at those within the church that are living in sin. You know what one church member told me about looking at hypocrites?  She said, "I would rather go to church with a few of them, than to go to a Hell with all of them". Look unto Jesus. You need church! David said "I would rather open the door for people at the house of God than to dwell in the tents of the wicked". 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Running From God

Jonah 1:1-3
Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah, a prophet of God, was called to go to this sinful place and share God's Word with them. This was not a message of vengeance but one of repentance. God wanted Jonah to tell the people that it was their final call. If they didn't repent, God was going to destroy it and them. But look at what Jonah did...

Jonah fled from the presence of God. Notice something there?  Jonah didn't flee from Nineveh, like I have always heard. He fled from God. How many times have you not done something because you thought, surely God didn't mean for me to go there or speak to them? You may have thought you were getting away from something or someone sinful, when in truth you were going away from Jesus and His Words. 

Our scripture says it twice. He fled from the presence of God. Why would you ever want to flee from the presence of God? I don't know about you, but I always wanted to get away from my parents when I was wrong and when I was in sin. Jonah knew His decision was wrong and contrary to what God asked of Him. He knew that it was sin when he went away from the presence of God. He just realized how far he had gone from His presence when he was in the belly of a whale. 

How far will you flee from His presence? Will you also have to be in the bottom of the ocean to realize God is who you need? Or will you be as the people of Nineveh? They heard the message and repented right there in the comfort of their own town. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bench Vise

Job 23:10
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold

Today there may be a trial that you are going through.  It may be a tough decision to make.  You may seem as if you are so pressed inside that there is no way out.  You don't understand right now but the Lord is doing a great work in and through you.

I remember as a child watching my Dad out in the barn working on an engine.  He had all kinds of tools.  At times he would put the parts he was working on in a bench vise.  He would tighten the vise so much that the part could not move.  It would put much strain on the part but it would hold it still while he began to work on a certain area.  Then when he finished he would loosen the part and place it in the engine for a perfect fit.

Just as my Dad, the Lord Jesus is working on you.  Never forget, despite how tight things feel, God is just holding you still in order to shape and mold you into what He desires.  Remember, "I shall come forth as gold".

Lord Jesus, please help me to understand that you have my life in total control.  Help remind me that you bless me and also shape me.  Help me to understand that these trials I face in life are not to make me bitter or question your will, but rather to make me into the "Gold" that you desire for me.  Although I may never understand why you choose to do it certain ways, Help me to understand that you do this for my good.