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Showing posts from August, 2017

Thursday, "No Multiple Choice for Eternity"

BIBLE READING: Luke 18. 18 Some people are used to multiple-choice tests. Certain questions do have more than one answer, while some do not. In the field of religion, many feel that there are multiple answers to the above question asked by this “certain ruler.” Let’s notice: Could the answer be….. 1) Do Your Own Thing — The humanist philosophy promotes this idea since every man is his own god. Beware! These undermining heresies are being taught in our schools, our colleges and in many, many churches in our country. They are also being taught in too many Bible classes. 2) Follow Men’s Doctrines — The plural “men’s” is used to emphasize the plurality of doctrines, all claiming to be “of God,” but which are, in fact, contradictory to the Bible and each other! 3) Obey The Gospel Of Christ — If Christ is to judge us (John 12:48). If His Word leads us to salvation (Romans 1:16). If we do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be punished with everlasting destruction from the prese…

Wednesday, "Who Are You?"

BIBLE READING: Acts 19. 15
     On one occasion when Paul was preaching the gospel in the city of Ephesus, a certain group of vagabonds sought to emulate Paul by taking it upon themselves to cast out a demon. When these men sought to do such, the evil spirit turned on them and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19:15).      “Who are you?” This is such a simple question, yet profound at the same time. In its most simple form, we usually answer that we are such and such who works here and lives there. For most, that is the extent to which they desire to know who we are; but are we personally satisfied with knowing ourselves in such a superficial manner? I hope not. There is so much more that we ought to know about ourselves than what our name is and where we work.      “Who are you?” When we seek to answer this question in a deeper way, we may start examining some of the relationships that we have and looking at ourselves in light of those relationships. “I am a …

Tuesday, "Visible Reminders"

BIBLE READING: Deuteronomy 6. 8-9
There is a growing number of health-conscious folks who are discovering that wearing a pedometer helps them increase their level of daily exercise.  Some have even bought an expensive wrist gadget called a “Fitbit” to track heart rate, exercise, activity and sleep.  These devices are both a recorder and a motivator for them; knowing how many steps that take per outing, encourages them to walk more. One woman’s goal was ten thousand steps a day. To accomplish her goal, she began parking farther away from her workplace, walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, and doing more active tasks around her office. Her visible pedometer reminded her of her daily need to produce a healthy lifestyle change. Visible reminders have a place in our Christian walk as well. When God instructed the Israelites to keep His commands in their hearts (Deuteronomy 6:6), He also told them to make visible reminders of His Word: “You shall bind them as a sign on your han…

Monday, "What's on the Inside Counts"

BIBLE READING: Mark 7. 1-9      Shopping for a good watermelon is difficult because no matter how good it looks on the outside, it's hard to tell what it's really like on the inside.  We can tap it, thump it, and squeeze it, only to take it home and discover that the inside is not edible.      In our Bible reading today, we see Jesus' disciples didn't wash their hands before eating.  The Pharisees became extremely irritated because it violated one of their man-made traditions.  Jesus immediately challenged them by saying:  "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!" (v. 9 ESV) He went so far as to call them "hypocrites" (v. 6) and explained that what comes from the inside of an individual is what "defiles" him, not the other way around. (Mark 7:14 - 23).      If we're not careful, we can become so absorbed with looking good on the outside, that we forget what really counts.  In fact, when…

"Entering Our Rest"

BIBLE READING:    Hebrews 4.1-11
DISCUSSION: Read over Hebrews 4.1-11 before you go to bed tonight.   Then discuss how important it is for us to get into that “rest” that the writer is talking about.  Imagine what that rest will be like, and then discuss it with your loved ones.  Try to think of it as a family vacation that never ends, and how it would be a shame if we were not all there together.  Each member of your family is responsible for themselves when it comes to being accountable for our sins.  Talk about some things that we can do to stay motivated as a family to receive this wonderful “rest”. Remember we will not be judged as a family, but we can do our best to take our family with us. APPLICATION:
Spend some time in prayer asking God to help your family stay motivated together so we can enjoy that rest together.

"It is the Lord"

BIBLE READING:  John 20:28
DISCUSSION: Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink’” (John 4:7). How many of us are expecting Jesus Christ to quench our thirst when we should be satisfying Him! We should be pouring out our lives, investing our total beings, not drawing on Him to satisfy us. “You shall be witnesses to Me . . .” (Acts 1:8). That means lives of pure, uncompromising, and unrestrained devotion to the Lord Jesus, which will be satisfying to Him wherever He may send us.
Beware of anything that competes with your loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for Him. It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him. The goal of the call of God is His satisfaction, not simply that we should do something for Him. We are not sent to do battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles. Are we more devoted to service than we are to Jesus Christ Himself?
I praise You for that word—“Like as a father pitieth his children, …

"The Call of the Natural Life"

BIBLE READING:       Galatians 1:15-16
DISCUSSION: The call of God is not a call to serve Him in any particular way. My contact with the nature of God will shape my understanding of His call and will help me realize what I truly desire to do for Him. The call of God is an expression of His nature; the service which results in my life is suited to me and is an expression of my nature. The call of the natural life was stated by the apostle Paul—“When it pleased God . . . to reveal His Son in me,that I might preach Him [that is, purely and solemnly express Him] among the Gentiles . . . .”
Service is the overflow which pours from a life filled with love and devotion. But strictly speaking, there is no call to that. Service is what I bring to the relationship and is the reflection of my identification with the nature of God. Service becomes a natural part of my life. God brings me into the proper relationship with Himself so that I can understand His call, and then I serve Him on my own out o…

"The Voice of the Nature of God"

BIBLE READING:  Isaiah 6:8
DISCUSSION: When we talk about the call of God, we often forget the most important thing, namely, the nature of Him who calls. There are many things calling each of us today. Some of these calls will be answered, and others will not even be heard. The call is the expression of the nature of the One who calls, and we can only recognize the call if that same nature is in us. The call of God is the expression of God’s nature, not ours. God providentially weaves the threads of His call through our lives, and only we can distinguish them. It is the threading of God’s voice directly to us over a certain concern, and it is useless to seek another person’s opinion of it. Our dealings over the call of God should be kept exclusively between ourselves and Him. The call of God is not a reflection of my nature; my personal desires and temperament are of no consideration. As long as I dwell on my own qualities and traits and think about what I am suited for, I will never he…

"Total Surrender"

BIBLE READING: Mark 10:29
DISCUSSION: Our Lord replies to this statement of Peter by saying that this surrender is “for My sake and the gospel’s” (10:29). It was not for the purpose of what the disciples themselves would get out of it. Beware of surrender that is motivated by personal benefits that may result. For example, “I’m going to give myself to God because I want to be delivered from sin, because I want to be made holy.” Being delivered from sin and being made holy are the result of being right with God, but surrender resulting from this kind of thinking is certainly not the true nature of Christianity. Our motive for surrender should not be for any personal gain at all. We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself. It is like saying, “No, Lord, I don’t want you; I want myself. But I do want You to clean me and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I want to be on display in Your showcase so I can say, ‘This is what God has done …

"The Impoverished Ministry of Jesus"

BIBLE READING:         John 4:11
DISCUSSION:      The well is deep”—and even a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew (4:11)! Think of the depths of human nature and human life; think of the depth of the “wells” in you. Have you been limiting, or impoverishing, the ministry of Jesus to the point that He is unable to work in your life?      Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.” Actually, that is correct. Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature—He brings them down from above. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering only what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and also by saying, “Of course, I cannot expect God to do this particular thing.” The thing that approaches the ver…

Saturday

BIBLE READING: James 3. 13-18 DISCUSSION:
In James 3. 17 we learn, “The wisdom that comes from God is first of all pure, then peaceful, gentle, and easy to please” We must have pure religion to worship God. What is pure religion? We must have a heart for God. We want to work for Him and bring others to Him. We must be humble, not just seeking a reward. We must believe in the agenda God brings before us. We must be all in.

Friday

BIBLE READING: John 4. 1-25 DISCUSSION:
When I think about Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, several things cross my mind. The story is found in John 4. At that time, the Jews and Samaritans did not mingle together. The woman was amazed when Jesus asked her for a drink. She seemed to be comfortable talking to Jesus, until He told her that she had been married 5 times and was not living with another man. She realized very quickly there was something special about this man. What I love about this story is this; as sinful as this woman was, Jesus offers her living water. He offers her a new life. He offers her eternal life. Jesus Christ gives us chances and hope. By the way, I do not think he ever received that drink of water.

Thursday

BIBLE READING: Philippians 4. 1-9 DISCUSSION:
It is always frustrating when things get in the way of your day. I am writing this as my car is being worked on and I am late for work. As difficult as that makes my day, I quickly realize it is small in comparison to so many other things in this world. Many times we fixate on the small problems of the day. There will come a time that we long for those small problems. I can remember how hard it was with three small kids in the house. My wife and I would talk about how nice it would be when they were older. Now that they are, I miss them being small. Do not wish you life away! Whatever life brings enjoy where you’re at today.



Wednesday

BIBLE READING: Joshua 1. 1-9 DISCUSSION:
Have you watched quarterbacks at a football practice? They wear the red jersey so that everyone knows not to hit them. If you do hit them, the coaches become very upset. One of my weaknesses is wearing that red jersey in my spiritual life. I get so afraid of what the devil might throw my way, I put that jersey on. What I mean by this is, if we cruise through life and do not make waves, the devil is content. Cruising is not bringing others to Christ, cruising is not spreading His word, and cruising is showing up for worship but only going through the motions. Our great need is to put that regular jersey on and just dare the devil to come at us. We cannot be afraid of contact. God is on our side.


Tuesday

BIBLE READING: Psalm 115. 1-18 DISCUSSION:
Think of all the inventions that have made our lives better in the last 100 years. We give glory and honor to the men and women who have accomplished these feats. They are intelligent and deserve recognition, but we forget that God put all this in motion. He gave us the knowledge and the resources to produce the ideas for these inventions. With God,  nothing is impossible. We should never forget to give our best, but give God the glory.



Monday

BIBLE READING: Titus 2. 11-15 DISCUSSION:
Have you seen people on the side of the road asking for money? Maybe, you have seen a “will work for food” sign. You may have watched the commercials requesting money to feed children in other parts of the world, or even close to home. What about the people who do not have a house to live in? Some do not have clean drinking water. You may have seen people digging wells to help them. What about sending Bibles into all the world? We can go on and on talking about people in need and about people helping them. My question to us is, are we helping? Titus 2.14 says, “He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good”. Are we eager to do good?


Saturday, "Seek"

BIBLE READING: Colossians 3. 12-17
DISCUSSION:                                                  “Seek”
As we are preparing to begin a new week, let’s seek opportunity to do good and be mindful of what example we set for others. Remembering always that to successfully navigate the ebbs and flows of life we must acknowledge that God is in control, that in confusing times we must affirm our faith, and that we must always seek to apply ourselves to doing good.

Friday, "Encourage"

BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians 5. 1-11
DISCUSSION:                                                  “Encourage”

We talk about being a good Christian almost every time we go to church or hear a lesson from the Bible. There is nothing wrong with talking about Christianity, but we need to concentrate on things that are emphasized in the Bible. You can find the word Christian three times in the Word. Perhaps the thing we need to concentrate on is the thing that is mentioned 109 times in the Bible. ENCOURAGE! If we encourage, maybe we will be better Christians.

Thursday, "Apply Ourselves"

BIBLE READING: Titus 2. 7-9
DISCUSSION:                                       “Apply Ourselves”

Ecclesiastes 3. 12 says “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” God wants us to do good and to be happy. So it’s probable that if you aren’t doing good, you aren’t happy, and if you’re not happy it could be because you’re not doing good. Everyday presents an opportunity to do good and to exemplify a Christ-like attitude. People not only notice our actions, but also our reactions and how we behave/react/respond to both the peaks and the valleys that life presents us.



Wednesday, "Affirm our Faith"

BIBLE READING: Hebrews 11. 1-7
DISCUSSION:                                       “Affirm Our Faith”
Ecclesiastes 3.11 says “He has made everything beautiful in its time: Also he has put eternity into mans heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Solomon is saying that while we may not fully understand the why behind the ebbs and flows of life or be able to grasp the wholeness of His plan, He has a plan and our part is to have faith in that plan. Hebrews 11.1 says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Many times during these confusing times we bail out on God. Why is this happening to me, or why did this happen to them, or how could God allow this…almost to the point of blaming God. This is the opposite of how we should respond. In those moments we should affirm our faith. Our responses should be, “God, I don’t understand why, but I trust you. You placed eternity in my heart and I will stand firm in my…

Tuesday, "God is in Control"

BIBLE READING: Ecclesiastes 3. 9-22
DISCUSSION:                                       “God is in Control”

We must acknowledge that God is in control, during the good times and the bad. It’s up to us to give God the glory during the good times and to allow God to help in the bad times. Do we pat ourselves on the back while turning our backs on God when times are good; Giving ourselves more credit than we deserve? Or, how do we respond in times of trial? Do we allow God to guide us through his inspired word? Does our faith grow stronger or do we allow it to weaken? As a man, I feel it is my responsibility to fix things, but I have come to realize some things I can’t fix and some things God may choose not to fix. Either I have faith in his plan or I don’t.

Monday, "Ebbs and Flows"

BIBLE READING: Ecclesiastes 3. 1-8
DISCUSSION:                                   “Ebbs and Flows” We’ve each experienced some of the happiest moments in life: marriage, birth of a child, a good doctors report, a loved one returning from war, promotions, financial success, and the list goes on. However, we’ve each also endured tough times; loss of a loved one, loss of a job, financial setback, family or friend going to war, etc. What Solomon is saying here is that in our lifetime, we will experience both good times and bad, victories and defeat, sadness and joy. God knows when these peaks and valleys will occur for each of us and he wants to help, but we must allow him to help. This week we will look at some points to help us maintain proper perspective through the ebbs and flows of life.

Saturday, "God's Desire for us is Peace"

God sent Jesus, “The Prince of Peace” to show us the way.  He guides our feet in the way of peace.  (Luke 1:79)  We have peace with God through Christ. (Romans 5:1)  We are responsible for helping produce peace and we are blessed for doing so.  (Matthew 5:9)  The Bible tells us that we are to allow Christ to dwell in us and rule our lives.  Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of God dwell in your hearts.” Only then, will we find life more pleasant and beautiful; when we have found that inner peace. If you struggle with peace remember we must change what we can but we must learn to be at peace from within not from without. Application: In a self-evaluation, list some of the things about yourself that you have learned to accept and be at peace with?

Friday, "Be Content"

Unfortunately, peace through contentment is rare. It is so human to focus on what we don’t have.  The world says to put all your time, energy and money into material possessions, physical appearance, and your intellect.  God commands that we spiritually feed and groom the inner person.  Proverbs 14:30 tells us, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”  Not only will our physical health benefit from the tranquility of contentment; more importantly, the peace of mind is a mark of a Spirit-filled life.  “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:7) Happiness is linked with contentment, and contentment can be found anywhere geographically and economically.  Paul knew this.  He taught that it has to be learned.  “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.”  (Philippians 4:11) If we take an inward examination and we’re completely honest with ourselves and w…

Thursday, " Be Forgiving"

This is a requirement made by God, in order for us to be forgiven by Him.  In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus tells us, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”   Forgiveness may be especially hard when the other person does not ask for it. (Neither did we ask for or deserve it when Jesus died for our sins.)  Those who are forgiving, will end any quarrel or disagreement and consequently find calmness and peace.  In seeking inner peace we must have a forgiving spirit. Remember forgiveness is not for the offender it is for yourself. It doesn’t mean you approve of something done. It means you are not going to allow it to prevent you from having peace. Application: Is there a need for you to forgive someone?


Wednesday, "Go the Second Mile"

Jesus, the Prince of Peace, tells us in Matthew 5:41 –“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”  Going the second mile requires unselfishness and meekness. (“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  Philippians 2:4). Peace is promised to the meek.  Psalm 37:11 says, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”(Matthew 5:5The meek shall inherit the earth). There is a special blessing for those whose strength is in meekness. Application: When you are helping others is adequate what Christ expects of us?


Tuesday, "Do Good"

BIBLE READING: Galatians 6. 9-10 DISCUSSION:                                     “Do Good” If we use all our opportunities to do good,we will become more like Jesus while enjoying the rewarding, good feeling of helping others.  We should do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can as long as we can.  Doing good will develop an inner peace which, comes from being a friend.                  We must always keep our motives in check as we do good for others.  We help others out of love; for their good; and because we are commanded to. (Matthew 5:16)  Our good works are to glorify God; not for the praise of others. “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”Read Matthew 6:1-4. We are to emulate Christ in our everyday walk of life.  Acts 10:38 summarizes Jesus’ life, saying, “That Jesus went ab…