Monday, March 24, 2014

1,000 Years = 1 Day to Jesus!

2 Peter 3:8-9 “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Jesus has promised in John 14:1-3 to come back and take us who believe in Him to heaven where He is. However, He did not say when that will be. One reason that Jesus has not come back yet is because He really does not want any to perish. That means He is waiting on as many people to accept Him as Lord and Savior as possible. 

God is not limited by time! He sees both the past, present, and future the same. While we certainly want to speed His coming and I personally would like Him to come back now, but He will only return when it is time. I find myself growing impatient more each day for God to move in my life. I pray and pray and pray and yet I must continue to wait on the Lord. Which brings another verse to mind, James 2:14-17, which says, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” So, my job as a Christian is to actively wait on the Lord. Meaning that I should not sit around on the coach and wait for Jesus to move, because, He just may not be in a hurry!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Night And Day

Genesis 1:1-5 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

This passage really spoke to me today. All that any of us have is night and day. How should we spend the time that Jesus has given us today? Reading the bible? Of course, but what else? My wife and I were speaking this weekend about the passing of her parents and how deeply she misses being able to speak to and see them again. While we still have time this day, let us make time for our families. Personally, I am sick and tired of worrying about tomorrow. The Lord said that we may not even have a tomorrow, so let us make the best of this thing we call today. James 4:13-15 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Night and Day! Night and Day!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Put A Stop To It!!!

Nehemiah had to straighten out the Israelite people when they began to disobey God. Notice that Eliashib allowed Tobiah to live in the storehouse of the temple.

Nehemiah 13:4-9 “Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah,  and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and olive oil prescribed for the Levites, musicians and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.

 But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem. Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God. I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah’s household goods out of the room. I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.”

As believers we too must put a stop to any evil practices that take place in God’s house. As believers in Jesus Christ, it is important that we keep God’s commandments and live according to His instructions.

I believe that if Christians do not stop evil in the church, God will hold us accountable.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Be Dedicated To Obeying God’s Word

As believers in Jesus Christ, we should be dedicated to obeying God’s word.

However, we are not to make an oath to God. The bible says in James 5:12
“Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”

Nehemiah 9:38 “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”

Nehemiah 10:28-29 “The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand— all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.”

As believers, we should also separate ourselves from the world and its ways and be devote to Jesus.

Romans 12:6-8 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

The Israelite people made an oath before God to obey His commands. We are not required to make and oath, but we should be committed to obeying God’s word.

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Jesus Is Always Faithful!

The Lord remains faithful and He keeps His promises even when His people have sinned against Him. He does punish us when we sin, however, He is gracious to forgive us of all our sins.

Nehemiah 9:16-21 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.

“Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.”

We need to confess our sins to the Lord!

Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.”

The Lord is always faithful and He always keeps His promises, even when we have sinned against Him.

Photo source: Gary Goggans copyright 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Make God's Word Clear

It is very important that we make God’s word clear for all the people to understand. That is what Ezra did for the people of Israel and that is what we should do.

Nehemiah 8:7-8 “The Levites…instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.”

Just reading God’s word is not enough. We need to make sure people can understand it.

Just reading God’s Word is not enough, we must do what it says!

James 1:22-24 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

As believers and especially as teachers, we must make God’s Word clear, so that others may understand it. Also, we must obey God’s Word and apply it to our lives.