THE LIVING WORD

God has revealed Himself to us in His written Word. Prophets of old received the words of God and wrote them down for our understanding. Their words came from the Holy Spirit, and every Word of the Bible is true.
 

As incredible as this truth is, 2,000 years ago something even more wonderful happened. God Himself stepped out of Heaven and was born into our world through the virgin Mary. In the words of the apostle John: “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory just like that of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

So that, when God declared His love for us, He not only gave us His written Word, but He also came to us in person, and God has never spoken more clearly or beautifully to us than He has in the person of His Son.

Jesus is the living Word of God, and in these last days God has spoken to us through His Son.

God has never said I love you any more clearly than when He sent us His Son.

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Word of God

He is the last Word of God to man, and He is the clearest Word of God.

He is the Word of faith which we preach, and He is near you, even in your mouth and heart: “that if you will confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10.9-10).



CONTENTMENT

Dear Abby once published a poem written by a 14 year old boy, named Jason Lehman. She was surprised by his wisdom and noted that he was advanced beyond his years. The poem, submitted by the boy’s mother, reads as follows:
 

It was spring. But it was summer I wanted

The warm days, & the great outdoors.

It was summer. But it was fall I wanted

The colorful leaves, & the cool, dry air.

It was fall. But it was winter I wanted

The beautiful snow, & the joy of the holiday season.

It was winter. But it was spring I wanted

The warmth, & the blossoming of nature.

I was a child. But it was adulthood I wanted

The freedom, & the respect.

I was 20. But it was 30 I wanted

To be mature, & sophisticated.

I was middle aged. But it was 20 I wanted

The youth, & the free spirit.

I was retired. But it was middle age I wanted

The presence of mind, without limitations.

Then my life was over, & I never got what I wanted.



THANKING GOD FOR HIS GRACE

Annie Flint is a celebrated Christian poet, but she suffered much during her lifetime. Her mother died when she was young, and her father, suffering from a terrible disease, had to give her and her sister up for adoption.
 

While she was in college, her adopted mother and father died, and her sister also was in bad health. To make matters even worse, she came down with a debilitating disease, and she was confined to a wheelchair the rest of her life.

In spite of all these tragedies, however, she trusted in the Lord, and she praised his name. In her poem, what God Hath Promised, we read these beautiful words:
 

God has not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;

God has not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God has promised strength for the day, rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.
 

What a tremendous blessing it is to be content, and to be thankful, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.



GIVING THANKS

An elderly lady was well-known for her faith in God, and she wasn’t afraid to praise His name. Each morning she would go out on her front porch and greet the new day by shouting, “PRAISE THE LORD! Thank you, Lord, for another beautiful Day!”

Next door lived a man who didn’t believe in God, and he was very angry because of her daily praises & prayers. So, he began shouting back at her, “There ain’t no Lord! There ain’t no God!”

But his angry shouts didn’t intimidate her. She kept on greeting each day with her praises and prayers, and very morning he continued responding to her.

Then hard times came upon the elderly lady, and she prayed for God to send her some help. She stood on her porch one morning and prayed,  “Lord, You have been so good to me. But right now, I’m having a hard time. Please, Lord, send me some food!”

The next morning the lady went out on her porch and saw a large bag of groceries sitting there. She shouted, “PRAISE THE LORD.”

Her neighbor jumped out from behind a bush and shouted, “I told you there was no God. I bought those groceries, God didn’t.”

The lady started clapping her hands and said, “PRAISE THE LORD! God not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. Thank you, Lord!”



REJOICING IN THE LORD

In his book, God Isn’t in a Hurry, Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “I have felt for a long time that one of the particular temptations of the maturing Christian is the danger of getting accustomed to his blessings.Like the world traveler who has been everywhere and seen everything, the maturing Christian is in danger of taking his blessings for granted and getting so accustomed to them that they fail to excite him as they once did.”

 

He went on to assert with the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, that if the stars came out only once a year, everybody would stay up all night to behold them.
 

Then he concluded, “We have seen the stars so often that we don’t bother to look at them anymore. We have grown accustomed to our blessings.”

As Christians, we must not become accustomed to our blessings, and we must always be lost in the wonder of God’s goodness and grace. My prayer is that God would open our eyes to all His blessings that we might always rejoice in Him.

In Philippians, the apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4.4).



PHARAOH’S FOOLISH FUTILE FIGHT

 

Praying for revival in our nation. May our leaders seek God’s face, and may the church of the Lord Jesus Christ cry out unto the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

Egypt’s rebellion and judgment did not happen overnight. It began with a Pharaoh, “who knew not Joseph” and persecuted the people of God. For more than 300 years, the children of Israel then endured slavery. Their burdens were heavy and grievous, and their toil was great. At last they cried out unto the Lord, and God judged Egypt and gave them deliverance. In the same way, God is being patient with us today. Will we hear the Word of the Lord and turn back to the God of Joseph – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

In Psalm 2, the psalmist contemplates the rebellion of the nations against the Lord, wondering why they reject His word and power. Of the Lord and His Anointed, our Messiah, they say, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” Certainly, this same attitude is present in our land today, and it’s becoming more mainstream than ever before.

Yet our God is not overwhelmed or powerless against their rising threats. He sits in the heavens, and He laughs at the rebellion of the nations. All the while, He has set His king on Mount Zion, who is ultimately Jesus Christ our Risen Lord! “You shall break them with a rod of iron,” He declares, “You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

His final words we all must hear:

Now therefore, be wise, O kings,
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
 

Take these words to heart, and trust in the Lord during these difficult days. He remains King of kings, and Lord of lords. “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”



WHY ME, GOD?

As Christians, we believe that an all-powerful loving God rules the universe. But when we go through difficult seasons in our lives, we still get depressed and discouraged. After all, why would an all-power loving God allow us to suffer? If we’re not careful, the Devil can cause us even to think that God does not exist!
 
In Exodus 5, Moses questions God. Not long ago, the Lord called him into His service, and He commissioned him to be the deliverer of His people. He appeared to him in a flame of fire and spoke to him out of a bush, The experience was so real that it seemed like it was yesterday, but now Moses is disappointed. In obedience to the Lord’s command, he went into Pharaoh and commanded him in His name to let the people of Israel go. Yet Pharaoh mocked him and ridiculed the name of his God. “Who is the Lord,” he said, “that I should obey His voice?”
 
To make matters worse, he accused the Israelites of being idle, and he put them in greater bondage, requiring them to gather their own straw to make bricks. Not long after this, the officers of the children of Israel complained to Pharaoh, and they begged him to provide them with straw to make bricks for his enormous building projects. Pharaoh, however, showed them no sympathy. He continued to insist that that they were idle, and he commanded his servants to beat the officers for their request. 
 
When the officers of Israel came out of Pharaoh’s court, Moses and Aaron met them. Undoubtedly they tried to encourage the officers to be patient, insisting their deliverance was coming. But the officers refused to receive their words, Instead, they said to Moses and Aaron, “The Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword int heir hand to kill us.” 
 
As they walked away from Moses and Aaron that day, Moses prayed unto the Lord, and he said, “Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Why is it that you have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have you delivered your people at all.’
 
Perhaps you’ve prayed similar words. You have trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you have committed your life to Him. Nevertheless, you are still in bondage, a prisoner of your own circumstances. You need a break through, but the deliverance you have prayed for and expected has not yet come, and you wonder if the Lord will ever set you free. You ask the Lord, “Why me?”
 
If that’s you right now – and all of us have all been there – let me encourage you to remember that God is still in control. His plan and purpose for your life will not fail. He will enable you to be an overcomer, if you will keep your faith in Him. Be patient and keep serving the Lord. Just as Moses was about to see the Lord do an amazing work in his life, so God is about to do an amazing work in your life as well.
 
In Jesus name, press on!


WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE IN THE BELLY OF A WHALE

We know the story very well. When the Lord commanded Jonah to preach the Gospel of repentance to Nineveh, Jonah boarded a ship and sailed to Tarshish, trying to get away from the presence of the Lord. Going to Nineveh was the last thing Jonah wanted to do, for Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian empire, and the Assyrians were a threat to the national security of Israel. If God wanted to destroy the Nineveh, that would be just fine with him. 
 
But then God brought a storm against Jonah’s ship, and He prepared a great fish. To make a long story short, Jonah suddenly ended up in the belly of that great fish. Needless to say, God had his attention now, and Jonah was ready to listen!
 
Like Jonah, we sometimes run from the presence of the Lord, and we disobey the commands of his Word. Still, God loves us, and He patiently chastens us and breaks our stubborn hearts. Yet what should we do when we find ourselves in the belly of a whale? In chapter two of his prophecy, Jonah gives us a good example to follow:
 
First, we repent. When Jonah found himself in the belly of that great fish, he cried out to the Lord in repentance, saying, “I have been cast out of Your sight; Yet I will look again toward your holy Temple” (v. 4). In ancient Israel, the temple represented God’s presence among His people. Just hours before, Jonah tried to flee from the presence of the Lord, but now he longs to be back in His presence!
 
Second, we remember the goodness of the Lord.  “When my soul fainted within me,” Jonah testified, “I remembered the Lord, and my prayer went up to you.” How forgetful we can be! Jonah remembered the blessings of God on his life, and he was ready to get back to “the good old days,” when he walked with God and obeyed His will.
 
Finally. we recommit our lives to the Lord for service. “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving: I will pay what I have vowed.” Jonah decided that day to do what is right and obey God’s Word, and he received God’s mercy for the forgiveness of his sins.
 
Are you in the belly of a whale today?
Look to Jesus! He is merciful; and ready to forgive.
God gave Jonah a second chance, and He will do the same for us too!
 


NUMBERING OUR DAYS

“Lord, . . . teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90

I had to go to the social security office today to take care of some business. As soon as I walked through the door, the officer on duty asked me if I had a knife or any weapons. I quickly told him I did not, so he directed me to the sign-in station and said, “Please put your cell phone on silent, take a number, and sit down.” Of course, I did exactly what he said, and I waited for my number to be called.

As I thought about this experience, I was reminded about the reality of life in this fallen world. As soon as we come through the door, we take a number, as it were, and we sit down. We don’t get to choose the number we take. We just take the number God assigns us, and we sit down. Then, when our number is called and our business is through, we sign out.

It seemed like a long wait that day, but I was in and out in about an hour. “That’s unusual,” the man at the desk said. “Most of the time, people have a three hour wait before they make it to the window.” So, I guess I was lucky!

One of these days, God is going to call my number too, and it won’t be long! Whether it’s minutes, or hours, or days, or years from now, we must be ready. We didn’t get to chose the number when we came into this world; God has assigned it to us. We can diet, exercise, and take all the vitamins and medicines we want, but we are still going to die.

When God calls your number, will you be ready? It may be sooner than you think!

I would love to write more, but I’m going to bed now.

One more day closer to Jesus. Good night!


CHANGING TIMES, CHANGELESS GOD

“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.”

Exodus 1.12

We live in a world that is constantly changing – sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the bad. People change, cities change, markets change, styles change, governments change, philosophies change, and on and on the list could go!

When Israel sojourned in Egypt, the Scripture tells us that there arose a king who knew not Joseph. When this happened, life changed for the early Hebrews. Suddenly, they found themselves in slavery, and Pharaoh’s edict soon followed, declaring that all the newborn baby boys should be thrown into the Nile River.

In spite of all their sufferings, however, the Lord continued to bless His people, and the more Pharaoh afflicted them, the more they grew and prospered in his land. God’s favor was on His people, and He blessed them in the worst of times.

This world may change, but our God never changes! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb. 13.8). His love, mercy, and grace remain. When we go through the changing seasons of life in a fallen world, we can be sure that our God will make all things beautiful in His time (Ecc. 3). Israel endured because God is faithful, and God will be faithful to us too.

“He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it” (Phil. 1.6).




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