Sunday, November 29, 2009
Do everything without complaining or arguing, show that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 14-16 Why are complaining and arguing so harmful? If all the people know about a church is that its members constantly argue, complain, and gossip, they get a false impression of Christ and the gospel. Belief in Christ should unite those who trust Him. If your church is always complaining and arguing, it lacks the unifying power of Jesus Christ. Stop arguing with other Christians or complaining about people and conditions within the church and let the world see Christ. Our lives should be characterized by moral purity, patience, and peacefulness, so that we will "shine like stars" in a dark and depraved world. A transformed life is an effective witness to the power of God's Word. Indeed, there is no greater evidence of God in this world than a transformed life. It defies explanation. Are you shining brightly, or are you clouded by complaining and arguing? Our greatest job is not to explain the Word of God, but to extend it. We are given that duty and the power with which to do it. And we do it not so much with our words, but with our actions and our attitudes. Rest assured, people are watching how you react in certain situations, especially if you have already put it out there that you are a Christian. People who deperately need it are looking for patience and peacefulness in their lives. Once they see that you have it, they are going to want to know how to get it. And that is the power of your witness for Jesus. They are not seeing you, they are seeing the Jesus in you. God Bless you, J.H.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature . . . " II Peter 1:2-4a The power to grow doesn't come from within us, but from God. Because we don't have the resources to be truly godly, God allows us to "participate in the divine nature" in order to keep us from sin and help us live for Him. When we are born again, God by His Spirit empowers us with His own moral goodness. God has touched every base of human need to give us a full and beautiful life all the way home. How strange that we find it so hard to believe and receive. Believe what He says. Take what He offers. It is yours. God Bless you, J.H
May God Himself, the God of Peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. I Thessalonians 5:23-24 The spirit, soul and body refer not so much to the distinct parts of a person as to the entire being of a person. This expression is Paul's way of saying that God must be involved in every aspect of our lives. It is wrong to think that we can separate our spiritual lives from everything else, obeying God only in some ethereal sense or living for Him only one day each week, as some of us are wont to do. Christ must control all of us, not just a "religious" part. God does not come in as a military general and take control. We must give Him control. At our moment of salvation, it was we who asked Him into our hearts. With that one decision, we totally surrendered and asked Him to save us because we finally figured it out that life was really not all about us after all. That is our decision and that is our part. God gave us this strong power of choice because He wants our faith and love to be genuine and not drawn out of compulsion. God's grace is sufficient. Give it all over to Him . . . "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation." God Bless you, J.H.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:32-33,38-39 These verses contain one of the most comforting promises in all Scripture. Believers have always had to face hardships in many forms: persecution, illness, imprisonment, even death. These could cause them to fear that they have been abandoned by Christ. But Paul exclaims that it is impossible to be separated from Christ. His death for us is proof of His unconquerable love. Nothing can stop Christ's constant presence with us. God tells us how great His love is so that we will feel totally secure in Him. If we would only believe these overwhelming assurances, we will never be afraid. Go forth in boldness today, and proclaim the Good News. Let everyone know what you know. Jesus is the answer. God Bless you, J.H.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
"At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes." says the Lord. Zephaniah 3:20 The message of doom in the beginning of the book of Zephaniah becomes a message of hope by the end. There will be a new day when God will bless His people. If the leaders in the church today were to hear a prophet of God, the message would probably resemble the book of Zephaniah. Under Josiah's religious reforms, the people did return to God outwardly, but their hearts were far from Him. Zephaniah encouraged the nation to gather together and pray for salvation. We must also ask ourselves: are the changes in our lives merely an outward show, or are they changing our hearts and lives? We need to gather together as believers and pray, to walk humbly with God, to do what is right, and to hear the message of hope regarding the new world to come. God Bless you, J.H.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.
God is ruler over light and darkness, over prosperity and disaster. Our lives are sprinkled with both types of experiences, and both are needed for us to grow spiritually. When good times come, thank God and use your prosperity for Him. When bad times come, don't resent them, but ask what you can learn from this refining experience to make you a better servant of God. "No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." Father, guide Your children into all prosperity that You planned for us spiritually and physically and give us a generous spirit to go with it. In Jesus name, Amen.
God Bless you,
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Malachi 4:2 These last verses of the Old Testament are filled with hope. Regardless of how life looks now, God controls the future, and everything will be made right. We who have loved and served God look forward to a joyful celebration. This hope for the future becomes ours when we trust God with our lives. God Bless you, J.H.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Psalm 91:1-2 God is a shelter, a refuge when we are afraid. The writer's faith in the Almighty God as protector would carry him through all the dangers and fears of his life. This should be a picture of our trust - trading all our fears for faith in Him, no matter how intense our fears. To do this we must do "dwell" and "rest" in Him. By entrusting ourselves to His protection and pledging our daily devotion to Him, we will be kept safe. He is both a place to hide and abide. Come in out of the storm and strife of life regularly and meet with God. You will be better equiped to face the world and do His work. God Bless you, J.H.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. I Corinthians 2:9 We cannot imagine all that God has in store for us, both in this life and for eternity. He will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17), and we will live with Him forever. Until then, his Holy Spirit comforts and guides us. Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us gives us hope and courage to press on in this life, to endure hardship, and to avoid giving in to temptation. We must pass up that which seems to glitter in this life, but which in reality, is out to rob us of God's best. Then in the end, you will see that God's way is the only true way. This world is not all there is. The best is yet to come. And you can take that to the bank. Heavenly Father, help me to see that there's more to this life than that which I can perceive with my five limited senses. Help me to get my eyes off of myself and my circumstances, and to focus on you and your purpose for my life and the lives of those around me. Help me to resist temptation in whatever form it comes. Help me to maintain a heart of purity and honesty. I thank you, Father, for Your Faithfulness and Mercy. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. God Bless you, J.H.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:6-7 We often worry about our position and status, hoping to get proper recognition for what we do. But Peter advises us to remember that God's recognition counts more than human praise. God is able and willing to bless us according to His timing. Humbly obey God regardless of your present circumstances, and in His good time - either in this life or in the next - He will lift you up. Carrying your worries, stresses, and daily struggles by yourself shows that you have not trusted God fully with your life. It takes humility, however, to recognize that God cares, to admit your need, and to let others in God's family help you. Sometimes we think that struggles caused by our own sin and foolishness are not God's concern. But when we turn to God in repentance, He will bear the weight even of those struggles. Letting God have your anxieties calls for action, not passivity. Don't submit to circumstances, but to the Lord, who controls those circumstances. God Bless you, J.H.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25 How tempting it is to remind someone of a past offense! But when God forgives our sins He totally forgets them. We never have to fear that He will remind us of them later. Because God forgives our sins, we need to forgive others. Conviction is what we feel in the middle of sin. When we are doing something wrong that we know is wrong, we feel convicted enough to turn and do right. Guilt is what we feel about something done in the past, about someone we hurt, about something that we wish we could take back. This verse tells us clearly that guilt is not from God. God does not hold anything over our head as a rememberance of how "bad" we used to be. He has forgiven us, and He has forgotten all about the past. He has freed us to move on and be more like Him. Some people, even mature Christians, will sit shackled by guilt for years regarding something they did long ago. We have to believe that what God says is true and that we are truly, completely forgiven. Once we believe, we are free from all guilt and shame. We can stand up boldly and declare the Grace of God in our lives. Unshackle yourselves today. Be free indeed. God Bless you, J.H
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Pennies From Heaven.........c1998 C.Mashburn
I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I've found
Found pennies come from heaven
That's what my Grandpa told me
He said angels toss them down
Oh, how I loved that story
He said when an angel misses you
They toss a penny down
Sometimes just to cheer you up
Make a smile out of your frown
So don't pass by that penny
When you're feeling blue
It may be a penny from heaven
That an angel's tossed to you
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel just as He promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave to His servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us. May He turn our hearts toward Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep the commands He gave our fathers. In a these words of mine, which I pray before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of His people Israel, according to each day's need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know the Lord is God and that there is no other. I Kings 8:56-60 Solomon praised the Lord and prayed for his people. His prayer can be a pattern for our prayers. He had five basic requests:1. For God's presence; 2. For the desire to do God's will in everything; 3. For help with each day's need; 4. For the desire and ability to obey God's commands; 5. The spread of God's Kingdom to the entire world. These prayer requests are just as important today. When you pray for your church or family, you can make the same requests to God. Look at the record and leave the rest to Him. He will keep His word with you. We are but to claim it. God bless you, J.H.
Monday, November 16, 2009
For their hearts were not loyal to Him, they were not faithful to His covenant. Yet He was merciful; He forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time, He restrained his anger and did not stir up His full wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return. Psalm 78:37-39 Over and over, the children of Israel claimed that they would follow God, but then they turned away from Him. The problem was that they followed God with words and not with their hearts; thus, their repentance was empty. Talk is cheap. God wants our conduct to back up our spiritual claims and promises. In spite of our failings, He is ready to forgive. Remember that God's love is unconditional. He places no conditions on our behavior, our attitudes, or anything else. He loves us, regardless. He loves us, in spite of. Once we understand the magnitude of this one thing; the kind of love that a father has for a child, we have no choice but to respond. We act and respond to Him not out of compulsion, but out of love and gratitude. Who are we to expect love like this? Well, that's just the point: we are God's children. We are nobody in and of ourselves, but we are someone very, very special in the eyes of God. We have to remember that we did not choose Him, but that He chose us. Once that fact grows deep into your heart, once you truly believe that what the Bible says is true about the love of God, once you begin to respond to that love of, there is no going back. You will be forever changed. God Bless you, J.H.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
All you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.
Food costs money, lasts only a short time, and meets our physical needs. But God offers us free nourishment that feeds our soul. How do we get it? We come, listen, see, and call on God. God's salvation is freely offered, but to nourish our souls, we must eagerly receive it. We will starve spiritually without this food as surely as we will starve physically without daily bread.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for this day. Thank you for your Grace and your Mercy. I thank you for Your Word, and I thank You for the nourishment that it brings my soul. I ask You for a hunger and thirst for Your word that I may read it every day seeking Your guidance and seeking Your face. I ask that you open the eyes of my heart that I may see You moving in the circumstances of my life. When I'm hurting, when I am confused, I ask that You give me Grace to come to You each and every time. I ask for humility, that I would not try to change my circumstances under my own power, but that You remind me to continually go to the source of all Power and of all Love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
God Bless you,
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the East, in Eden; and there He put the man he had formed.
"From the dust of the ground" implies that there is nothing fancy about the chemical elements making up our bodies. The body is a lifeless shell until God brings it alive with his "breath of life." When God removes his life-giving breath, our bodies once again return to dust. Therefore, our life and worth come from God's Spirit. Many people boast of their achievements and abilities as though they were the originator of their own strengths. Others feel worthless because their abilities do not stand out. In reality, our worth comes not from our achievements, but from the God of the universe, who chooses to give us the mysterious and miraculous gift of life. Value life, as He does. God, in his love, made man and put him in a garden. Man, in disobedience, has created a jungle for himself. Only the Lord Jesus knows the way out. He provided is at the cross. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
Father, we thank you for life, and that more abundantly. We thank You for what You have given us, and we thank You for our daily blessings. We ask that You give us grace to not lose sight of You as we begin another busy week. We ask that You help us maintain our focus on what is important. We ask that You give us courage to do what is right, to make the right decisions, and to keep You first. We thank You for Your Word that it feeds us, we thank You for Your Spirit that it fills us and gives us strength. We praise You in Jesus' Name, Amen.
God Bless you,
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me, may be in them. And that I myself may be in them. John 17:25-26 Look at how much we have going for us. We were included in His prayer than. We are included now. "He forever lives to make intercession for us." Once our love and commitment to the Lord is established, there is no end to what he will do for us, and Jesus said, "through us." "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." God Bless you, J.H.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household." Acts 16:29-31 Paul and Silas' reputation in Philippi was well known. When the jailer realized his own true condition and need, he risked everything to find the answer. The Christian Good News of salvation is simply expressed: Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. When we recognize Jesus as Lord and trust in him with our entire life, salvation is assured to us. If you have never trusted in Jesus to save you, do so quickly. Your life will be filled with joy, just as the jailer's was. Take this good word home with you, and ask God to honor it. I will believe with you. Father, on the basis of your word, which says that "if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven." I believe with you for the salvation of your family and for any other need that you may have. In Jesus name, Amen. God Bless you, J.H.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
And a man's enemies will be of his own household. Matthew 10:36 Christian commitment may separate friends and loved ones. In saying this, Jesus was not encouraging disobedience to parents or conflict at home. Rather, he was showing that His presence demands a decision. Because some will follow Christ, and some won't, conflict will inevitably arise. As we take our cross and follow him, our different values, morals, goals, and purposes will set us apart from others. Don't neglect your family, but remember that your commitment to God is even more important than they are. God should be your first priority. Since God deals with people individually, don't be discouraged even if your family is without understanding as to what He is telling you - nor be deterred by what they think or say. Hold firm to what you know to be true. Hold firm to what God has shown you in your life. People who don't know God will not be able to acknowledge His presence in your circumstances. Noah's neighbors and friends thought that he had completely lost his mind as they watched him build his ark. Little did they know what God had spoken to him. If they could have only foreseen the impending disaster that was beginning to unfold. May you be blessed with the courage to put God first in your life and given the discernment to know what is right when the time comes. God Bless you, J.H.
Monday, November 9, 2009
If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors, and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful he. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him. II Chronicles 30:9 Hezekiah was a king dedicated to God and to the spiritual progress of the nation. He sent letters throughout Judah and Israel, urging everyone to return to God. He told them not to be stubborn, but to submit to the Lord. To submit means to obey him first, yielding our bodies, minds, wills, and emotions to Him. His Holy Spirit must guide and renew every part of us. Only then will we be able to temper our stubborn selfishness. As a nation, family, church, or individual, so much depends on the direction we take. Start here - "As for me in my house, we will serve the Lord." Heavenly Father, I ask for a renewed sense of Your presence today. I ask You to touch my body, my mind, my emotions. I ask that you bring me out of my selfishness and open my spiritual eyes so that I may see you working around me, in me, and through me. I thank You that You have not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind. I thank you that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds, to the casying down of imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I ask for a renewed sense of your Presence, so that I may decrease and that You may increase. I thank you for your faithfulness and your guidance. In Jesus' name, Amen. God Bless you, J.H
Saturday, November 7, 2009
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 Abraham's life was filled with faith. At God's command, he left home and went to another land - obeying without question. He believed the covenant that God made with him. In obedience, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. Do not be surprised if God asks you to give up secure familiar surroundings in order to carry out His will. If we take the first step of faith, it won't be too long until we realize that we are not alone. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." The key word is obedience. The key truth is that He loves us and has great plans for our lives, far greater than we can ask or imagine. God bless you, J.H.
Friday, November 6, 2009
For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7
The apostle Paul mentions three characteristics of the effective Christian leader: power, love, and self-discipline. These are available to us because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Follow His leading each day so that your life will more fully exhibit these characteristics. Turn your fears back with your faith. Whatever measure of faith God has give you, it is enough. It is that seed that is sufficient to move the mountains in your life. Speak to them today, understanding that the power to change your heart and circumstances rests only with the One who gave you life, and life more abundantly. Expect great things today.
Heavenly Father, I ask You to watch over me today. I ask that You remind me of the power that you have given me. I ask that you teach me how to use that power according to Your will. Teach me how to love as You first loved me. Teach me to be calm even when everything around me is swirling out of control. I ask that You grant me peace that surpasses all understanding. I thank You for Your faithfulness and guidance, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
God Bless you,
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
For by the grace given me, I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3 Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; and the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth - our identity in Christ. Apart from him, we are not capable of very much by eternal standards; in him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cost you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God's eyes. Therefore, don't pray for more faith. Use what you have and watch it multiply. "According to your faith, so be it done unto you." God Bless you, J.H.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36 The writer of Hebrews encourages us not to abandon our faith in times of persecution or hardship, but to show by our endurance that our faith is real. Faith means resting in what Christ has done for you in the past, but it also means trusting Him for what He will do for us now and in the future. If you have earnestly prayed about your situation and have the conviction that what you are doing is right, the Lord will furnish the courage to see you through. Heavenly Father, I pray for courage and wisdom today. I pray for patience to wait on You and Your answer to my prayer. I pray that I do nothing on my own, but that I would wait until I have heard your still, small voice and I have a Peace about Your Presence in my situation. I pray that renew in me my faith, sufficient for today. Strengthen me and hold me up during this time of trial. I thank you and praise you, in Jesus' Name. Amen. God Bless you, J.H.
Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumpted to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping and praising God. Acts 3:6-8 Jesus, not the apostles, received the glory for the healing of the crippled man. In those days, a man's name represented his character; it stood for his authority and power. By using Jesus' name, Peter showed who gave him the authority and power to heal. The apostles did not emphasize what they could do, but what God could do through them. Jesus' name is not to be used as magic - it must be used in faith. When we pray in Jesus' name, we must remember that it is Christ himself, not merely the sound of his name, who gives our prayers their power. Heavenly Father, for all those who are ailing, for all those who are suffering from a painful, physical condition, I pray your healing spirit upon them right now in the name of Jesus! I pray that your Spirit envelopes them and saturates their hearts with Your Peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray that your presence is felt by all those who are reading this prayer, and that today You reveal Yourself in a mighty way in each one of their lives. In Jesus' name, Amen. God Bless you, J.H.Report
Monday, November 2, 2009
The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:5-8 Our gracious Father gives direction and protection to those who follow in faith. This psalm expresses assurance and hope in God's protection day and night. We should never trust a lesser power than God Himself. Not only is He all-powerful, He also watches over us. Nothing diverts or deters Him. We are safe. We never outgrow our need for God's untiring watch over our lives. He says, "I am with you," now and forever. He is there, whether you "feel" His presence or not. He is there, whether you can "see" Him in your circumstances or not. He is there. Believe it. God Bless you, J.H
Sunday, November 1, 2009
"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:23-24 The kind of prayer that moves mountains is prayer for the fruitfulness of God's kingdom. Time after time, Jesus told his followers, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." The Kingdom of God is here now and it is moving through the hearts of His people. The love of the church through the fellowship of believers is what the Kingdom is all about. "Love your neighbor as yourself." It would seem impossible to move a mountain into the sea, so Jesus used that picture to say that God can do anything. God will answer your prayers, but not as a result of your positive attitude. To pray effectively, you need to resolve and strengthen your faith in God, not faith in the object of your request. Do as Jesus said. Speak to your mountains. They have done the talking long enough. God Bless you, J.H.