Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Same Devil

Matthew 4:1
​Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Have you ever read the scriptures speaking about the temptation of Jesus?  Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness so that He could be alone and pray. While He was there the Bible says that the tempter came to Him. The tempter is speaking about the devil. How come when we are being led by the Spirit that the devil always comes to ruin things?

If you have time, go and read Matthew 4 this morning. Look at how the devil came unto Jesus. Look at what he tempted Him with. When Jesus was hungry, he tempted Him with a satisfaction of the flesh. Do we know that if Satan was there to tempt Jesus that he will also be there to tempt us? His mission and goal is to get us to fail. He wants us to give in to temptation. Sometimes it is so easy to fall for his temptations.

How did Jesus not cave in to his temptations? Lets look at how He addresses every temptation. You will find the words, "For it is written..." God wrote it down for us to use. Yes the Bible is a learning source but it is also a two edged sword. A defender for our lives. Satan fought with twisted scripture, but Jesus defended with the truth of scripture. Satan came in with self wisdom, but Christ spoke scripture.

How are we to win over Satan? Through the word of God. When Satan speaks his offer of betrayal and lies... You can speak the word of God. When he comes at you over and over, you can speak God's word over and over. And always remember, if he tempted Jesus this way, why wouldn't he choose to do the same unto you? After all, he is the same devil but the Word of God is the same Word!

Monday, August 29, 2016

You Remind Me of Someone

John 17:11
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

People say things like, "You look just like...", or "You favor each other". I've even heard people talking of how much married couples begin to look like each other. (To my wife... Patti you need to pray hard that this never takes place)  Joking aside, there is some truth to this. In married couples, they begin to have similarities about them. They also share same facial expressions and quirky phrases. They begin to blend together. Whenever you see the husband, you find yourself looking for the wife, or vise versa. After a while of being together, people are just accustomed to the both of you. 

The word of God teaches us that this should take place. One of my friends said, "We will become what we love". Meaning that what we love with our hearts will show through in our actions. If we love our wife, it will show. If we love our children, it will show. If we love fishing, it will show. If we love hunting, it will show. If you love shopping, it will show (on your checking statement). And when you love someone or something so much they or it will eventually become part of you. You won't be able to separate the two because they now have become one. 

Please take time today and read John Chapter 17. It will show you what the desire of Jesus is. He wants to be one with you. If you love Him, it will show. Not just sometime, but every time people see you they will immediately look for Jesus. 

You know what... you remind me of somebody!  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Taking a "Selfie" with Sin

Proverbs 6:27-28
Can a man take fire in his bosom,
and his clothes not be burned?
Can one go upon hot coals,
and his feet not be burned?

We live in the days of social media, selfies and instagrams. People are obsessed with taking pictures of themselves. It used to be that we would take pictures of our family and friends but now we also must be in the pictures. And the craziest thing now is to take your "selfie" in the strangest places. With snakes, sharks, alligators, hanging off of cliffs, and bathrooms of all places? (Not that the bathroom is dangerous, but it's disgusting)

While driving the bus this morning, we were all discussing the possibility of upcoming severe weather. Some asked if we would get out early.  Some had that look of concern on their faces. Some said nothing, but listened to the others. But then some spoke up and said, "Hopefully no one will be dumb enough to stay and film it, or take pictures of it. Maybe they will be safe". When I heard this, it hit me. Many will seek shelter and be safe, but how many are out there that will want the photos, videos and "selfies" with the tornado?  Knowing how dangerous this things could be and how they don't have a designated path. The destruction could be at any moment and very severe. In this same manner, people (everyday) are on social media taking "selfies" with the very things that are destroying their lives. 

In these days of self indulgence and sin, it is so prevalent that people have become numb to seeing it. Even in our television shows, we are continually indoctrinated with sin so much that we can't even recognize it. An old preacher by the name of Vance Havner said, "We are getting used to the dark". Christians are not to have fellowship with darkness because we are children of the light. We are not to fellowship with sin because we have been delivered from sin and the fellowship of sin. 

Can you take fire into your bosom and not be burned? Can you walk upon hot coals and your feet not be burned?  Absolutely not. Flee (Run) from evil! Don't take time to get a "selfie" with your sin... Run from it today and run to Jesus!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Vessel for the Finer

Proverbs 25:4
Take away the dross from the silver,
and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

We read that salvation is not by works but by faith. We understand that man cannot get to Heaven by his merit, but by our Lord's unmerited favor called Grace. But one thing we miss out on after salvation is purity of life. Don't misunderstand me, we come to Jesus impure, but we are now saved to walk in a new life of purity. 

We should pray everyday that our Lord will remove the dross from our lives. We should ask Him to take out the things that are not needed in our vessel!  We should plead with Him about our steps, that they would be ones of holiness and ones that would bring Him glory. 

I ask you this morning, what is the dross (fleshly desires, sin, impurity) in your life?  Think about it for a moment. Maybe it's your language...not just filthy talk, but maybe even vain babbling. Maybe it's your attitude...maybe something you hold on to...maybe it's something you trust more in... Dross could be anything that has gotten into the silver and will damage the vessel.

Now that He has shown you, what is its purpose?  What glory does it bring into your life and walk with Christ?  Do we desire to be a vessel for the finer?  Our purpose is to allow Him to remove the things He knows will damage our vessel and use for His work. He is removing the filthy dross from our lives. 

Join me this morning in asking Him to remove what isn't needed. Lord, I surrender myself to your refining fire and tools to remove the impurities from my life. Help me not to fight with you, but to open up my heart so I could be a vessel used for your glory. I love you Jesus. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I'm About to Burst

Psalm 107:8-9
Oh that [men] would praise the LORD [for] his goodness, and [for] his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Does something else need to happen today to make you realize and understand the greatness of God? Are you constantly asking God for more and more? STOP! Take an account of what He has already done. Call out to Him right now and say, "Lord, it is enough! Lord, you are enough!"

What would happen if we would begin to praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works? I believe that true and untainted revival would break out in the life of believers. It would flow out as an artisan well of water. Not just any water, but the water of life. Our desires would quickly turn to what God wants of our lives. We will see our needs met by the One who promises to meet them. Our wants of worldly pleasures will fade into the background of ministry and sowing the Gospel seeds.

Look at the last part of our scripture again. He says that our souls will be satisfied and our hungry souls would be filled! I'm telling you now, if that doesn't stir your soul then your spoon has fell out of your bowl. "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness!!!"

Oh God, my LORD, I praise you this morning with my hands lifted high. I love you! I can't thank you enough for the fullness of my soul. You alone can satisfy! Other possessions and people often leave me needing and wanting more, but you are so MUCH MORE! Praise the name of Jesus. The Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Call it in the Air

James 1:19-20
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

If I were to walk up to a group of people with a quarter in my hand, and say these words from our title, everyone would most likely give an answer. Some of them would quickly say, "Heads" while others call for "Tails". Isn't it funny that we do this without any thought process?  Isn't it funny how we are so quick with what we think we know it will be?

Well, how many times have we done the same thing with people and their lives. Seems like we are always trying to pick which side the coin, or story, will land on. Seems like many times we are right, but sometimes we are wrong. We've even gotten so good at this that we think we have it down to a science. I can remember guys I went to school with walking around during second period with a pocket full of quarters that they had won by playing "odd or even". They thought they had this game figured out. By sixth period, their pockets were much lighter. All because the call in the air was wrong. 

This morning our scripture teaches us to be quick, or swift, to hear (listen), Slow to speak, and slow to wrath. How many times have we made some of the biggest mistakes in our lives because we called it in the air?  By obeying God's Word, we will allow the righteousness of God to work. 

Lord, the next time I hear a story, let me be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. Help remind me that there are two sides on the coin turning in the air before me. Let me NEVER call it in the air, but may I trust and depend upon you and let it land where it may. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Things Just Got Real

Acts 27:25
Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

One night we were eating with some friends after church. Our children are ordering up the food with huge eyes of hunger. Then the time came...fooooood! It was suddenly on!  While my friends son was opening his sauce packet to put on his taco, he read the label aloud. He said, "Things Just Got Real". We all busted out laughing. He was on a mission to fill that void in the belly and when the food was placed in front of him there was nothing else to do but ask God to bless it and take it in.  Things got real for him, fast. 

Take the time this morning to read the whole chapter of Acts 27. You will read about a ship setting sail for Italy. On this ship were prisoners, including the Apostle Paul. Paul warned the men that there would be much loss of the ship and bodily harm, but the centurion soldier listened to the master of the ship more than Paul. 

They sailed slowly many days, but then the Bible says a Euroclydon (an eastern wind cyclone) came and threatened the men and the ship. I can hear the captain as he says, "Men, things just got real"! Can you imagine the wind and waves crashing against the boat so fiercely that the ship is falling apart?  The idea of being out there during this storm was enough, but the fact that one of the prisoners on the boat tried to tell you not to sail...well that had to be the icing on the cake. 

But read what happens.  Paul says, "Sirs, Be of good cheer". What if Paul's words would have stopped there?  Not only would that sound ridiculous, but it would also bring anger. When we are in a storm, or things just got real for us, it's hard to be cheerful. It's difficult not to let our emotions take control. But his words didn't stop there. He said, "Sirs, be of good cheer: FOR I BELIEVE GOD".  Two hundred and seventy-six men were saved from death because of the words of God. Don't miss it!  Paul's words saved no one. But Paul's belief in the words of God brought comfort, cheer and rest when things got real. 

When things get real in your life, where do you find peace, joy, cheer, comfort and rest?  You don't find them in the storm or the whirlwind. You find them in the words of God. I don't know about you...but I believe God. Things can't get more real than Him!