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Showing posts from May, 2017

Wednesday

BIBLE READING: 2 Corinthians 12.1-10
DISCUSSION
By the age of 5, Beethoven was playing the violin under the tutelage of his father—also an accomplished musician. By the time he was 13, he was a concert organist. During his lifetime, he wrote nine majestic symphonies and five concertos for piano, not to mention numerous pieces of chamber music. Beethoven was not, however, a stranger to difficulties. During his twenties, he began to lose his hearing. His fingers “became thick,” he said on one occasion. He couldn’t feel the music as he once had. His hearing problem haunted him in the middle years of his life, but he kept it a well-guarded secret. When he reached his fifties, Beethoven was deaf. All of us make excuses at some point in our lives. We are too busy, too young, too old, not equipped, not trained or even worse not motivated. Beethoven is a wonderful example of someone who would not let his circumstances dictate his success.
We all have weaknesses, limitations, legitimate reasons …

Tuesday

BIBLE READING: John 3. 22-36
DISCUSSION
Continuing some thoughts on duct tape:
Another lesson we can learn from duct tape is that although we can use it to fix things, it will never be in and of itself a permanent solution. As Christians, we can be the duct tape in peoples’ lives by sticking to them when they are having some struggles, but we alone cannot be their solution. We cannot be everything to everyone; it is just our job to point people to Jesus. Although we know we are to be imitators of others as they are of Jesus, there should still be that moment when we follow in the footsteps of John. Remember what John the Baptist said: “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3.30). Although we can be there for some people some of the time, we will never be able to be there for all of the people all of the time. Make sure you are pointing others to Jesus and not just to yourself.

Monday

BIBLE READING: Matthew 10. 16-33
DISCUSSION
If you were allowed to have only one tool, one piece of equipment in your toolbox, what would it be? I know…that is a no brainer…duct tape! Yes, it is called duct tape, but it originally was called “Duck Tape” when it was created for the military during WW2 (look it up..cool stuff.) You can use duct tape to fix just about anything. In fact, the astronauts used duct tape to help them get home on the Apollo 13 mission. So, why are we discussing duct tape? There are some lessons that duct tape can teach us concerning our faith. Duct tape is a great tool. It is designed to be strong, yet flexible. As Christians we are taught to have a strength about us; “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1Corinthinas 16. 13) We typically think of acting like men as being strong, but we also need a softer side about us to be understanding with those that are weak. There is something to be said for a quiet strength.
Paul tells the churc…

Saturday

BIBLE READING: Exodus 7. 1-13 DISCUSSION
I grew up in a house where it was common to hear “can never could.” That simply means if you think you cannot do something, you will not be able to do it. Moses told God over and over that he couldn’t. He gave excuse after excuse. God did not let him off the hook that easy. God had a plan and Moses was a part of that plan. Moses becomes a leader we read about doing amazing things. What amazing things are you telling God you cannot do? Do not say no to God. Let Him work through you!


Friday

BIBLE READING: John 19. 16-27 DISCUSSION

Have you ever put yourself in the place of John standing at the foot of the cross, watching Jesus your friend and your Savior, die. He looks down at you and asks you to take care of His mother. What a responsibility! You do not want to let Jesus Christ down. You want Him to be proud of you. Why is it any different for John than it is for us? Jesus left us with a challenge to spread His word. We should not want to let Christ down. We should not want Him to be displeased with us. We need to take that challenge seriously and spread the word.

Thursday

BIBLE READING: Matthew 28. 16-20


My grandfather spent 3 and a half years fighting in WWII. He was one of many men who stormed beaches in the South Pacific. He was wounded in the leg and had malaria seven times during the war. He had little to eat and drink and he thought about death every day. He told me that the worst thing that happened to him was getting a letter that his younger brother had been captured during the war in Europe. He loved his brother. We all want to go to heaven but how bad do we want our family to go? How much do we love them? Do we take them to church on a regular basis so they can grow in their faith? Do we teach them the scriptures so they can have the knowledge they need? If they were physically sick, there is no amount of money or time that would stop us from finding a cure for them. Let’s stop at nothing to make sure they are spiritually well.

Wednesday

BIBLE READING: Luke 20. 45-47


Luke 20. 45-46 says, “And in the hearing of all the people he said to the disciples, Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at the feasts.” No one knew the law as well as the scribes, but they would much rather be seen as important to men, than obey the law that they studied. We can easily fall into this trap. As we study let us all put into practice what we read and not just use it to our benefit for worldly importance. 

Tuesday

BIBLE READING: II Peter 1.3-15
God is very clear concerning His Word. In this gift we have called the Bible; He has given us everything that pertains to “life and godliness” (II Peter 1.3). Paul further alludes to this fact by saying that “All Scripture is inspired by God (God breather) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (I Timothy 3.16). In II Timothy 2.15, it is also very evident that by studying this Word we achieve God’s approval because we are handling the word of God accurately. Friends, do we actually understand what all that means? Do we really understand what it means to study? According to our English Dictionary, the word “study” is defined by words like “learn, look carefully at, research-, analyze and investigate”. I really like that last word “investigate”. It almost looks at it as a mystery that we are diligently seeking in order to discover the Tru…

Monday

BIBLE READING: I Corinthians 11.1-16 

As a kid I can remember playing the game follow the leader. The object of the game was simple. You won by following the leader, and you lost by not following the leader. Who would have ever thought that such an elementary game would play such a significant role in our salvation? Paul says in I Corinthians 11.1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ Jesus”. The word “imitator” simply means “follower.” Paul just tells us to play the game, except this is more than just a game. In fact, the stakes are much higher than bragging rights or a small ribbon. The winner takes eternity in Heaven. The losers get an eternity in Hell. Jesus is our leader, Paul is following Him, and we are to follow Paul. Why does the religious world seem so confusing when it comes to salvation and living the Christian life? If it saved them, it will save us. If they were told to do it, then so should we. God never intended to create a confusing concept. Why has this gotten so co…

Saturday

BIBLE READING: Ephesians 1.1-23
Matthew was a tax collector. Can you imagine how poorly received he was to the people he was trying to convert? He may have cheated these people out of their money or he may have lied to them about what they owed. Now he wants to bring them to Christ! Paul was guilty of putting Christians in prison. He held the coats of those who stoned Stephen. After Paul was baptized, he came back to Jerusalem and could have taught in the church there, but the people were afraid of him. Why did Jesus want these guys to spread the gospel? Because Jesus is in the forgiving business. He loves us all and wants us to come to Him. After we come to Him, He wants to use us. We must be willing to accept those who come to Christ and to encourage them to also use their talents in the service for the LORD.
Prayer Requests: ____________________________________________________________

Friday

BIBLE READING: 7.7-14
Matthew 7.7 reads, “Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find: knock and the door will be opened to you.” We do not do a very good job of seeking God. We want God to find us. We sing “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” What does seek mean to us? When a child is lost in the mall, we as parents seek. We cover that mall till the child is found. When it is time to seek God, we do not need to relax. We need to search until we find Him. We need to not only read but dig in the Word in order to find God. We need to really study the scriptures, and understand who they are written to and why. To seek God, we may need to pray, alone for a time. We may need to fast, a word we rarely use anymore. Whatever we need to do to seek God, we must do!
Prayer Requests: ____________________________________________________________


Thursday

BIBLE READING: Deuteronomy 10. 12-22
In our kitchen, my wife has three words hanging, “Dream”, “Believe” and “Love”. To be successful in the world we need big “Dreams.” We have to push ourselves to become the men or women God intends us to be. We need to use all of our talents. Never let anyone shoot down your dreams. “Believe” is a word we struggle with at times. To become a solid Christian, we must believe. We are told in scripture that believing will allow us to do wonders in the Kingdom of God. “Love” is a word that binds us together. Our families will be stronger through love. We need to realize that the best word that goes hand in hand with love is commitment. We must stay committed in the rough patches of family life. Love you family and treat them better than you treat yourself.

Prayer Requests: ____________________________________________________________

Wednesday

BIBLE READING: James 1. 19-27
James encourages us to be “doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves” (James 1.22) He compares the “hearers only” as those who look at their face in the mirror and immediately forget who they are, to a “doer of the Word” who looks at the “perfect law, the law of Liberty”. Within the comparison James has us “looking”, but the two words for looking are different! The first looking in the mirror is defined as a glance, as though you just walked by a mirror and caught a glance of yourself, then went immediately back to get a better look. The second “looks” is defined as a serious gaze of the soul. Both see the imperfection that exists, but only the second, are those that listen and do take the time to fix what is wrong. Make sure you take a good long gaze at your life today as you look into the “perfect law of liberty”, and then do something!
Prayer Requests: ____________________________________________________________


Tuesday

BIBLE READING: Matthew 25. 14-30
Have you ever felt unimportant in God’s Kingdom? What about small and insignificant? Or maybe you just feel that there are so many people in your church that have more talent in their pinkie toe nail than you do in your entire body. In some cases that may be true. You may not be very talented. In fact, you may even be the one talent man that is described in Matthew 25. When you have so little in comparison to so many who have so much, it is very easy to feel unimportant- to feel like that pinkie toe nail. But before we go any further, I want you to perform a little exercise. Go and get a small pair of pliers, then place the business end of the pliers on your little toe nail. Then quickly apply pressure to the pliers and rip off that pinkie toe nail. Now that didn’t hurt, did it? I mean it is so small as opposed to the finger and hands and head and the other parts of our body. Of course it hurt!!! That is if you actually did it, which I am hoping you did…

Monday

BIBLE READING: Psalm 103
The famous basketball coach John Wooden once said “If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would be much happier.” I wonder if coach got that idea from David when he said, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgive all you iniquity, who heals all you diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, which satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103.1-8). If we would just stack up all of our blessings beside a stack of all of our disappointments, our stack of blessings would greatly exceed the disappointments. Today I challenge you write do…

Saturday "Why Do We Worship God?"

BIBLE READING: Genesis 4: 3-5, Matthew 15: 7-9
Many problems occur because man doesn’t choose to worship God the way God wants.   Rather, a way that is also pleasing to self.   Cain was the first record of one trying to worship God his own way.  What does the book of Genesis tell us about how God felt about it?   He respected Abel’s offering but not Cain’s because it wasn’t as God had said.         Both brothers believed in God and both wanted to worship Him.  Both offered sacrifices to God.  What was the difference?  The difference came when Cain interpreted what God said in a manner to meet what Cain wanted to do rather than what God wanted.   It is reasonable to assume both these brothers got the same direction from God, yet they chose different methods to implement Gods wishes. Able worshiped God the way God wanted.  Cain on the other hand presumed he could worship God the way he felt would be acceptable.  What was Cain’s motive?  Did he feel God would be worshiped better with an of…

Friday-"What Can Silence Do?"

Bible Reading - 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Deuteronomy 29:29 Can silence authorize ?—God spoke and said all we need to know-what He wants- therefore anything else would be presumption.  Silence authorizes nothing. Does silence forbid? -  The same logic that shows silence can’t authorize, forbids anything more. Example- when a Dr. writes a prescription, the detail and exact amounts are included to get the correct medication. The Dr. doesn’t tell the pharmacist what not to give the patient. He remains silent because it’s understood to do only as is written.  Cooking recipes, when calling for coconut for a coconut pie doesn’t say don’t add chocolate.  It’s understood. Thought -- If you borrow a recipe for cookies from someone and make a change to it (attempt to improve), it is no longer their recipe for cookies; it has become your version of that recipe for cookies. The Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and written exactly as should be. If it is changed, it is no longer Gods w…

THURSDAY- "Keep Yourself in the Right Channel"

Readings: I Timothy 4.16

A passenger was aboard a ferry crossing the waters between Michigan and Canada. During the trip he noticed that there were a lot of treacherous rocks and boulders along both sides (port and Starboard) of the ferry, causing him great concern. He went to the captain with his concern. Sir, do you know where all these boulders and rocks are on each side of the ferry?   The captain said no, I do not, but I do know where the channel is.      So it is with God’s word, we don’t know where all the stumbling blocks of life are, but we do know the path to heaven. If we follow God’s word as He intended, they will not cause us problems. 2 Corinthians 13:5. Look closely at yourselves. Test yourselves to see if you are living in the faith. Don't you realize that Christ Jesus is in you? Of course, if you fail the test, he is not in you. We must continually ask ourselves are we in the right channel? Prayer Requests:

WEDNESDAY - "Burdens Gives Us Wings"

Readings: Matthew 11.28-30 Burdens Give Us Wings. An old legend says that long ago God had a great many burdens that He wished to have carried from one place to another on earth, so He asked the animals to lend a hand. All of them began to make excuses for not helping: the elephant was too dignified; the lion too proud; and so on. Finally the birds came and said, “If you will tie them into small bundles, we’ll carry them for you. We are small but we would like to help.” So God fastened upon the back of each a small bundle, and they all set out walking across the plain to their destination. They sang as they went, and did not seem to feel the weight of their burdens at all. Every day the burdens seemed lighter and lighter, until the loads seemed to be lifting the birds, instead of the birds carrying the burdens. When they arrived at their destination, they discovered when they removed their load; there were wings in their place, wings which enabled them to fly to the sky and the treetops…

TUESDAY - "Experience Is A Great Teacher"

Reading: I Corinthians 12.14-18 & I Kings 12.6-13 Every part of the body is valuable to the church (1 Corinthians 12:14-18), including – perhaps especially – older members. Though some may have been put out to pasture, we should retrieve them to be teachers of good things. We should not assume that older people are incapable of making decisions and understanding a modern world. Include them in discussions, invite their opinions, and consider their experiences. They likely have some advice worth hearing (Job 12:12). If Rehoboam had respected his elders, Israel might not have split (1 Kings 12:6-13). The law said: “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary, and honor the face of the old man” (Leviticus 19:32). Consider, too, that “Honor thy father and mother” (Ephesians 6:2) was not just written for young children. As Matt recently told us, the Bible many times refers to the palm tree and the tree has many attributes that we can relate to as Christians; such as, the older the tree the sweet…

MONDAY - "Love Your Children"

BIBLE READING:Joshua 24:15, Hebrews 12:11  Love children enough to be good examples to them. The way we as parents act and react must be how we expect our children to act and react. As parents we are their example of “how to” ‘. Don’t think we can expect children to only follow our words, not follow our behavior. Many parents fall into the category of “do as I say and not as I do”. Is that a good method of training children how to behave? (Matthew 23:3). Love children enough to teach them.  Don’t depend on someone else to teach them. Teach them yourself about the Lord, His church, moral purity, marriage, salvation, and heaven. Sure, a lot of teaching occurs at church activities. It is very important to ensure your children are put in a position to be part of these activities. That environment will promote good opportunities for learning, but, that doesn’t fulfill your responsibility to teach them. . Ephesians 6:4 commands that children be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the…

Saturday - "This Too, Shall Pass"

BIBLE READING: Proverbs 15:13-14

One can tell the condition of a person's heart by looking at his countenance (his facial appearance). We all know when people are happy; we can tell by the sparkle in their eyes, their smile and their cheerful countenance. When they are old, happy people have "smile wrinkles" instead of those caused by frowning. Facial expressions reveal a lot about a person. Even children will speak up when they observe an unkind face, and they might say, "That is a mean man!"

Sorrow in the heart can also be read on the face. When we are troubled, we've probably heard someone ask us what was wrong. We all experience things in life that break our hearts. If sorrow of heart continues indefinitely, it can break our spirits. How can we recover from heartbreak? We must give the situation to the Lord and ask Him to heal our grief. If we have lost a loved one, we can enjoy the good memories, but we must not allow the enemy to torment us with prolo…

Friday - “Follow the Path of God”

BIBLE READING: Proverbs 15:10-12

Correction and reproof keep a man on the path of life. Just as a child requires correction to learn the things that will help him grow and mature properly, we all need the correction of our heavenly Father to avoid the things that can destroy us. Notice that the death spoken of is physical, moral, and spiritual. All who are without Christ are spiritually dead, though they do not know it. It is only with Christ and by His guidance that we can safely journey through this life.

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his gr…

Thursday - “Walk the Talk”

BIBLE READING:  Proverbs 15:8-9

Without the proper heart attitude, even the "good things" we do will not count before God. It is the condition of the heart that impresses God. Many say they love God, but deny Him by their compromised lifestyles. A man cannot live in two worlds, nor can he serve two masters. Ultimately, he will choose one over the other, even as Jesus declared in Matthew 6:24. If we are not on fire with a love for God that causes us to live in close relationship and in obedience with Him, we are lukewarm and need to repent. Many people are spiritually blind, because they are rich in the world's goods and do not line their perspectives up with God's truth.

The Lord will not accept the sacrifices of the wicked, nor will He hear their music. Their worship songs are just noise to Him because their hearts are not right before Him. "I hate, I reject your festivals, nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerin…

Wednesday - “Money Will Not Buy Happiness”

BIBLE READING: Proverbs 15:6

Money cannot buy health or save someone's life. The Bible says that we are to seek the true riches of God, not the riches of this world. His riches are things that money cannot buy. How can money deliver a wayward teenager from drugs and sin? How can money buy peace in our souls in the face of fear all around us? How can money save a soul from hell? Only God's riches are available to do these things. We are truly rich when we have faith in God.

Certainly, God does want to bless us with material things, but it will be Him that we are seeking when these things come, not the things themselves. Many today are seeking God for what He can do for them, instead of asking God how they can serve Him. We cannot seek money and God at the same time.

"If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that whi…

Tuesday - “Obeying Your Heavenly Father”

Bible Reading: Proverbs 15:5

If we love our earthly fathers, we respect and obey them. As adults, we are grateful that our fathers disciplined us out of love and protection. These things are true not only of our relationships with our natural fathers, but also of our heavenly Father. To enter the Kingdom of God, we must have a child-like heart of trust, knowing that He loves us far more than any earthly father could and that His instructions are for our good. We are blessed when we remain teachable with child-like faith and yield to our Father's correction. "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein'" (Luke 18:16-17).

Jesus is our supreme example of obedience, desiring to please His Father at all times. He never did anything except what His Father des…

Monday - “Honor God Through Your Daily Work”

BIBLE READING:  Proverbs 14:35

The wise servant who follows his king's orders earns the favor of the king. In addition, the servant who acts shamefully by disrespecting the king earns his wrath. It is also true in the workplace. Those who have learned to respect authority and follow orders normally will progress and be promoted. Those who do their own thing will anger their supervisors and could miss raises and promotions and could even lose their jobs.

The Lord expects us to respect those in authority over us. Without this honor and obedience, anarchy and rebellion will set in and confusion and disorder will be the result. The Lord expects the worker (servant) to honor his boss and work for him as unto the Lord. He also expects the boss (master) to be kind to his workers and not threaten them. The Lord is the one who will repay both master and servant (Ephesians 6:5-9).

We are to work with a submissive spirit. Sometimes people who appear to be submissive are only "going thro…