Friday, February 27, 2009

Many Lessons To Be Learned

While reading Luke, we are learning many lessons through the parables Jesus used to teach the disciples. Everything from teaching us not to gossip, to how we are to give to the needy. In Luke chapter 12 there is a lesson on hypocrisy. This lesson could be used to teach us that we are not to gossip. Jesus says, that whatever is spoken in the dark, will be heard in the light. In other words, when you go around talking about people behind their backs, sooner or later it will come out to face you face to face. You will be held accountable. Whether by the person you are talking about, or in the day of judgment. You might want to go on and get it over with and come face to face.

Jesus tells us gossip is like leaven in the bread. Once you put the yeast in the dough, the dough multiplies and grows. The same with gossip. Once you start a rumor, then the others who love to gossip will continue to add the leaven, and the rumor will grow and grow until finally it is out of control and can only be stopped once confronted. People can usually be pretty brazen and bold and quick to talk about others when the other is not around. The best way to avoid this is to steer clear of the gossip. And if it is you they are talking about. I say REJOICE! This just means they are giving someone else a rest. And remember the word says you will be blessed when you are persecuted by your enemies. AMEN!

Jesus says we can be free from all our sins. He says that gossip is a sin. Matthew 12 v 36-37....."But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."........

Luke 12 v 1-3.....In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops......

In other words Jesus says, whenever you get a bunch of people together, who have different personalities and likes and dislikes and beliefs, they will start tearing each other down. They will start trash talking about the ones who are different. He is telling you, do not get caught up in this backbiting spirit. Do not let the leaven (the spirit of evil) get on you. Earlier in Matthew, He tells you what will happen. That is such a strong statement. Every idle word. How many times have you said something about someone, only to regret it, the moment it left your lips. That is the Holy Spirit, letting you know to repent, so that you will not have to face judgment later.

Jesus goes on to tell us in the same parable, not to be afraid of those who can kill your body, and after that can do no more to you, but in fact be very afraid of the one who can kill and then has the power to cast into hell. In other words, fear GOD and not the world. Don't worry about what the world thinks of you, but be of utmost concern what Jesus thinks of you. AMEN!

Luke 12 v 4-5.....And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you shall fear. Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes I say to you, Fear Him!........

There will always be those who love gossip, so let us remember this passage when it tries to spread over to us. Remember the words in Matthew. "every idle word"

RTB...Luke 16-18....
Saturday..Luke 19-21..
Sunday ..Luke 22-24...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How Will You Be Remembered

The word tells us there is a book of remembrance with names written down of the ones who feared the LORD, and who meditate on Him. The Lord says, these are His, and He will remember them and spare them. He will divide the righteous from the wicked, the ones who served Him, and the ones who did not. My question today is 'how will you be remembered'? Will you be in the book of remembrance as one who feared the LORD, served Him, and this is important as one who meditates on Him.

Do you have time in your day to meditate on the LORD? The reason I put it this way, is because so many people use the excuse they don't have the time. Who gave you the time you have is my next question? How do you thank Him for every minute of breath in you? Do you thank Him by giving Him time out of your day just to meditate, and worship Him? Or do you just say a quick prayer over your food, before you go to bed, and whenever anything comes against you, that you need Him for?

How many times in the day do you think about your LORD and SAVIOR? Or do you only think about Him on Sunday while you are in church, and then you do not even call on His name the rest of the week unless you need Him?

How much do you think the LORD was thinking about you, when He hung on that cross, or even when He was on the way to the cross, being beaten and scourged? How many times do you think you crossed His mind, while He hung up there by His hands and feet, saying forgive them Father for they know not what they do, or when He cried out, "My God, MyGod why has thou forsaken Me"? He had a choice and He chose you! He had a choice to make, to die for us or not to die for us. He chose everyone of us. Not just some, but everyone of us.

Who do you spend most of your day thinking about? Would that person suffer the same as Jesus did for you?

Malachi 3 v 16-18.....Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him. For those who feared the LORD, and who meditate on His name. "They shall be mine", says the LORD of hosts, on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them. As a man spares his own son who serves him. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves GOD and one who does not serve Him.......

How much time do you spend watching TV or reading romance novels, or on the computer? How much of that time are you willing to give to the LORD, just to get quiet and listen to His voice and meditate on His word? He is not asking you to give every minute of your day up for Him, although He tells us to keep Him first in all things. He is just waiting patiently like the gentleman that He is for you to decide.

Here is a question for you. How much of your time is He worth? The answer to that question can be found in how much time you are giving Him.

RTB.....Luke 13-15....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rejoice When Persecuted

We should shout for JOY whenever others persecute us, and spend their energy and time ridiculing us. Why? Because Jesus says Blessed are you when men hate you, persecute you, and exclude you. If you don't fit in with the crowd because you are different, then Jesus calls you blessed. AMEN!

Instead of getting our feelings hurt when others talk about us, we should be shouting for JOY. We do not need to be concerned over such matters when we are children of GOD, because He says they persecuted our fathers before us for their beliefs, and they will persecute us the same.

Everybody is not going to think the same way you do, act the same as you, and probably won't have the same values that you have. But that is ok. The word tells
us, we are a peculiar people. Be proud to be different. Be proud that you are not just one of the crowd. Be proud to be a Christian and to have the blessings of the LORD over you and your life.

A little exercise I do every morning before going into the work place, is I pray and ask the LORD to close my ears to anything that is not a pleasing sound unto His ears, and let me stay focused on my job and not those around me. I ask Him to bless each and every co-worker in my department and that He would remove any harmful and evil spirits that might be trying to take over in our department. I ask Him to fill the place with His joy, and to show FAVOR on me in the workplace. It is a great way to start the day, and helps the day to be filled with JOY for me anyway. AMEN!

Luke 6 v 22-23......"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets......

Luke 6 v 27-31...."But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.....

Remember 1 Cor. 13, the lesson on how we are to love each other and you can't go wrong.

If you will accept the blessings of the LORD JESUS, and not the condemnation of the world, you will find JOY! AMEN!

RTB....Luke 10-12...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Well Done Christian

Are you a well done Christian, or are you medium rare, or maybe even still raw? Are you a choice cut of Christian or are you just your everyday run of the mill Christian? You say what do you mean by this? Why are you referencing us to meat? I don't know, it just came to me this way. HA! In other words what I am asking is are you a Christian that is sold out for Christ, or are you just someone who wanted to secure your salvation so you accepted the LORD? Don't be offended by these questions, there are really Christians out there that live this way. They join a church, go on Sundays, maybe go to an occasional event, but then they go to work or out in public and act like the rest of the world. They sit down and gobble down their food without even a moments thought of giving thanks to the LORD that they even have food to eat. They don't want to look peculiar in front of others.

Then there are Christians who are new born again believers, who are on fire for GOD, but not very strong in the word yet, and they get out in public and try to save the world, only to judge others and look down at them, and think how can they live like they do? When in all reality they were probably living worse than them just a little while ago before they accepted the LORD. And then there are those new Christians that are not very learned in the word, and as soon as they get out into the world, the people and things of the world tear them down, and make fun of them, call them JESUS FREAKS, or say something stupid, like they got religion, and now they can't have fun anymore. (I was one of those people who used to say that, before I became a Christian)
And then there is the medium rare, who know just enough to try to tell the rest of the world how to live and can't even live that way themselves. They spent maybe a few weeks in a bible study class, and now they know it all. They go to church everytime the doors open, yet they leave church and forget what they just heard when it comes to helping others, or giving into the kingdom. They just want to pick and choose the parts of the word they want to believe. Sometimes they get stuck on doctrine instead of the word of GOD.

To be truthful, there is a part of each of these groups in me. I am not so studied in the word that I am a bible scholar, nor am I so sanctified that I do not make mistakes still. Nor, am I at the point that I still do not try to judge others every now and again. But, I am willing to learn from my mistakes and ask the LORD to forgive me, when I unjustly judge someone. I stay in the word everyday so that I might become a better Christian. My goal is to walk in the same love and kindness, and compassion, and mercy that CHRIST gives to us. That should be every Christians' goal. To love others just as Christ has loved us, for there is no greater love than that of Christ's love for us. AMEN!

We could all use just a little more seasoning, to become the Christians, God would have us to be. Don't get overcooked, or under cooked, and don't just settle for medium. We are God's people. We are a highly favored child of GOD. We can have it all. He has given His all for us so that we may have it all. We just have to ask for whatever it is. But first ask for His love, His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace. And then you will know what to ask for next. AMEN!

Learn first to walk in 1 Cor. 13 daily and you will become a perfectly seasoned Christian.

1 Cor. 13 v 1-8.......Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of propehcy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE NEVER FAILS......

That should be our goal. Yes there are days, when I have behaved rudely, let others provoke me into anger. Although my faith is strong, I love to give into the kingdom, I love to help others, but there are times still, that I have not walked in love. And what Jesus is telling us here, is that though we may do all these other things, if we do not walk in love, we might as well be just making noise with a bunch of clanging on pots and pans, because we have done nothing, if we are not walking in love toward our neighbors. (which by the way means everyone)

Monday, February 23, 2009

It Is Not Your Past Any Longer

We all have done or said things in the past that we wish we could take back. We can not take back our past. As a Christian, once you have accepted Christ as your Savior, and asked for His forgiveness of your sins, you can no longer claim that past. It is no longer yours. It has been wiped out by the blood of Jesus. When you keep trying to claim it and take it back, you are as good as denying the blood of Jesus over your life.

I know you are saying but I can't just forget what I have done. Why not, Jesus has. Why should you be trying to remind yourself of something that Jesus has already said doesn't exist any longer. You know who it is trying to remind you of your past. It is the enemy. Because if he can get you thinking on your past, instead of your future with the LORD, then he can worm his way back into your life.

Our Pastor said something this weekend that really caught my attention. It was some words from one of Carmen's songs. 'When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.' Those words speak volumes. Those words tell you how much power you have over the enemy and how little your past really means.

Hebrews 8 v 12....."For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."......

You see the devil knows his time here is short, and he knows he will be burning in hell for all eternity, and he can not change that, so he is trying to take as many of God's children as he can with him. He tries to deceive them into thinking they are rejected, he tries to make them believe they have no future. He will throw your past at you and make you want it back. But your past is gone, it is no longer. Jesus says, you are a new man in Christ. He has forgotten your past, He is not picking it back up to throw in your face. So leave it alone. Walk away from the enemy. Take control over your life. Remember you are the one with a future with the LORD, you have the power of CHRIST in you. He has already fought the battle for you and won. Share in the victory. It is yours. He won the battle for YOU!

RTB.....LUKE 4-6........

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Will You Give Up

We have many different denominations reading these tid-bits everyday, so today I would like to talk about what some churches celebrate as Ash Wed. and then forty days of Lent. Personally, I think this would be a good practice for everybody, to spend a day in prayer and fasting (Ash Wed) and then to give up for forty days something that really makes you stop and think each day of those forty days about why you are doing without and Who you gave it up for, whatever it might be. If you give it up only to not ever think on it again after about the third day, then what have you really sacrificed for the LORD? Now I know that we are not to offer up sacrifices to GOD any longer because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. But, this is more of a fasting for God for forty days, like Jesus did in the dessert. That is the way we should look at the forty days of Lent, not as a sacrifice but as a fast. And we should not go around puffed up proudly telling everyone what we are doing without. The attention is not to be brought on us, but on GOD.

One thing Rob and I have done a few times is give up TV. We do not turn it on for a period of time, forever how long we are doing a fast. We have found this to be extremely helpful in giving us more focused time on God and His word. You may say, how will we know the weather, or how will we know what is going on? Trust me, there are many people all around you that will be happy to share the weather and even more happy to share bad news with you. Maybe you can not give TV up completely, so maybe you will only watch the news each evening. Or maybe you will just turn it off for one or two hours during your favorite TV programs so you can spend time with GOD during that time instead of your favorite program???

The reason I bring up the TV fast is because like many of you have heard me say before, it is a cleansing in a way for your mind. Sometimes we need to clean out our minds of all the junk we hear all day everyday. Like I have said many times before, what goes in must come out at some time or other. It is a fact of life. What you eat you get rid of each day through bodily functions. It is the same with what you hear, you have to get rid of it at some time. If all you hear is bad news, and negative things all day, then you will be negative all the time. That is what I mean by it has to come out. If all you hear is about sickness, and diseases all day, then get rid of it, cleanse yourself of it. Go home and say Lord, take everything I heard today and wash me free of it. And then do not go around talking about it. Don't keep speaking it into existence and giving it life.

Find a scripture that really means something in particular to you and your situation, and meditate on that scripture during your time of fasting from the TV. Speak it out loud over and over so that you hear it instead of the TV. Stay focused for an hour or two each day just on what GOD is saying to you in particular. I promise you after your forty days in the dessert, God will bring you out with a new sense of who you are in Christ. Try it, you'll like it!!!!

Jon 3 v 5.-10....So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, 'Let neither man nor beast nor flock taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.......

You see it doesn't matter who we are, the best scholars in the word, the priests, pastors, or evangelists, or even the new baby Christian who has just accepted the Lord Jesus for themselves as their Savior. It doesn't matter what denomination we call ourselves. We all need a day of prayer and fasting in our lives. We all need our personal time with the LORD to seek His will for us. We all need to spend more time with His word everyday. We all need JESUS to be our main focus each day. Then maybe we will be able to walk in His ways more easily toward others. Maybe then, we will be able to show the compassion and love and kindness He has for others toward the strangers in our lives. AMEN!

RTB....Lev. 22-24
Sun..Luke 1-3

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now Is Not The Time To Quit

As bad as the world may be trying to tell us things are, now is not the time to throw in the towel. In fact, just the opposite, now is the time to fight harder than ever for what God says you can have. Now is the time to make sure we have our feet planted solidly on His ground. Now is the time to make sure we are following His ways and His will and not our own. We as Christians who are doing as the LORD commands us should not have to be worrying about what the economy is doing, because our trust and our faith should be in GOD and what His word says, instead of what the world is trying to tell us.

How many times have people stopped short of their miracles? How many times have people stopped short of the LORD delivering them out of a situation because they listen to what the world tells them instead of what GOD tells them in His word? How many times has someone lost their healing on this side of heaven because they gave in to the disease or illness because they believed the lies of the devil instead of the word of GOD? It happens everyday all around us, good Christians give in to the powers of darkness and let themselves be deceived into thinking they have no other choice. GOD says we have a choice. HE says choose LIFE!

Deuteronomy 30 v 15-16....See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.....

Deut. 30 v 19-20.....I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life, and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the lands which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.....

GOD tells us to choose LIFE. He says He is your strength, He is your life, He is your length of days. He has purpose for you here on this earth. Find your purpose and don't stop short of fulfilling it. God says man should live to be a hundred and twenty years old on this earth, look how many have missed that mark. He also tells us how to take care of ourselves. Keep the evil things of this world out of our bodies and our minds, so that we may fulfill our days here, and not all crippled up, but with stamina, and straight bodies, and great health.

God tells us we have the power to overcome we just have to look into our hearts, and trust Him to bring us through. We have to speak His words over ourselves and not repeat what the world is saying.

Deut. 30 v 11-14.......For the commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.....

Do you see what God is telling you? You have the power right where you are. You do not need some miracle from heaven, or some specialist from another country across the seas. The power is what is in your heart, because then that is what you will be speaking, so therefore what comes forth from your mouth is what you shall have. The power is in the word of GOD and what He says to speak into your life.

Prov. 6 v 2...You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.....

Prov. 18 v 20....A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled....

Prov. 18v 21....Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit......

What is in your mouth, what is on your lips? Are you speaking life or death over yourself? I do not mean this just as physical life or death but also, with the economy. Where is your trust? Are you going to die financially or are you going to have an abundance overflowing pouring into your life because you have kept His commands and are pouring into others' lives? Are you going to throw in the towel, or are you going to fight the good fight of faith and believe in the LORD and His promises?

RTB....Lev. 19-21...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stay Out Of Egypt

How many times do we like the children of Israel return to Egypt? God brings us through something and then when things get a little rough we go back to Egypt instead of to God for answers. When God sent Moses to bring His people out of Egypt, they went through all sorts of difficulties, but the LORD GOD each time brought them through. God said, He was going to give them a land filled with milk and honey, a good land, but even after all the miracles He showed them, they still doubted everytime something arose. They would mumble and grumble among themselves and tell Moses why didn't he leave them in Egypt, (where they were slaves to Pharoah)???

Aren't we like that? How many times has God brought us through a difficult time, just so then the next time somethng comes up, we start wringing our hands, worrying how we are going to get something done, or how we will make it through an illness, or pay a bill, when God tells us over and over again in His word, that He will provide, He will protect, He will lead us out of bondage no matter what our circumstances are. Why do we continue to think that the world can whoop GOD? My GOD is so much bigger than this world. I mean He did create the world after all, so why would we think that there is anything on this earth that GOD can not take care of for us?

When we continue to return to Egypt, (to our problems) we give power unto the Pharoah of that problem. We transfer our power over to the problem and we let the problem take care of us instead of us taking care of the problem. We need to be strong in our faith and what God says in His word, and dig our heels in and say, NO to our circumstances and yes to GOD's help. We need to quit depending on our puny selves and let God take control in our lives. We need to quit trying to fly the plane without a pilots license and let GOD be the pilot and we be the co-pilot. AMEN!

No matter what the problems are surrounding you, GOD has the answer in His word. We just need to spend time with Him and studying his word and not time with our problem giving it more thought and power. AMEN!

Phillipians 4 v 19....And my GOD shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.......

Psalms 35 v 1-2.....Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help.......

2 Tim. 4 v 17a.....But the LORD stood with me and strengthened me.......

2 TIm. 4 v 18.....And the LORD will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. AMEN!

Back off and let GOD have the lead and then follow His lead to your Victory. AMEN!

RTB.....Lev. 16-18....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is God Still Tilling Your Soil

God is still tilling away at my soil. He is trying to get it right. He wants me to have good ground to bear good fruit. But, He sure is finding a lot of rocks in my soil. As I was looking at the mountain side that we are planning on moving to, I was thinking about all the rocks in the ground and how nothing can grow in that ground. If you want any flowers or a vegetable garden, you will have to build a raised bed with amended soil, so that you can bear good things.

We are always reading the one scripture about the soil and the seeds sown on stony ground, or by the way side and etc. What about the seeds that we sow into our own soils. How are we tending our own gardens? We are always ready to help work in someone else's garden but how is our own garden fairing?

I have learned this past few weeks at work, being out among others again, that GOD is still tilling my garden. He is still trying to remove the rocks of judgement, the rocks of impatience, the rocks of condemnation, the rocks of suspicion, the rocks of untrust toward others. You see, I am just being honest. My garden is like that mountain side, full of rocks and hard clay. But that is oik, I will stay in the word, stay in His presence, and let Him till my ground until He and I together get it right. There is a lot of pruning to be done, and sometimes pruning can be painful, but I would rather had the bad pruned out, than to let it destroy the rest of my garden.

Matt. 22 v 37....Jesus said to him, " You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.".......

Can you honestly say that you love your neighbor, (who is everyone else) just like you love yourself? Do you love them unconditionally, no matter what they say or do to you? If not, then your garden needs more tilling. If not, then there are still rocks in your garden that need to be thrown out. Don't let the rocks and the weeds of this world get in your way of getting your own soil right. Remember, we need to take care of our own gardens before we can help work in others. AMEN!

Lord, I know one day, I shall have a beautiful garden with many fruits. Thank you LORD, for pruning me today, and tilling my soil and showing me where the rocks are and allowing me to pull them out and work in the garden with you. AMEN!

RTB...Mon....Lev. 10-12
....Tues...Lev 13-15

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine From Jesus

We celebrate a day called Valentines Day, where we give out cards of endearment to our loved ones, and chocolates, or even better sometimes diamonds. There will be a lot of roses sent today. Children even exchange cards at school with each other. Everyone is sharing the love. When do we share the love with our Savior? The one who died on the cross for all of us. The one who loved us so much that He would be mocked and crucified and endure it all so that not one of us should perish, but that we would all one day live with Him and the Father in Eternity.

Have you accepted His valentine to you? Have you accepted the greatest gift of love ever given? No one will ever or possibly could ever love you as much as He does. No, not even your spouses. Not even that new love you just found and are on cloud 9 with. No mothers, you can not even love your children with the love that Jesus loves you with.

These scriptures will tell you how Jesus died for you because of His great love for you. Would you die this death for a complete stranger?

Mark....15 v 17-20.....And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him, 'Hail King of the Jews!" Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. And when they mocked Him, they took off the purple, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.?.....

That is the soft picture painted for you. The picture of Jesus death is a million times worse than this one painted here. What He endured for you is more than most can bear to watch, even those who don't believe.

This Valentines day, have a movie night with your loved one or your family and watch the greatest love story ever made. THE PASSION OF CHRIST. This will show you what love really is all about. An unconditional love that He wants to share with you. A love so great, you will never want to leave it, as it will never leave you.

John 3:16.....For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in HIM shall not perish but have everlasting life.....

RTB....Mark 13-16.....
Sat....Lev. 1-3
Sun....Lev. 4-6

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don't Let Strife Steal Your Joy

What is strife? Strife is an argumentive spirit of the devil. He uses strife to tear Christians down everyday. Then he gets a foothold in on their lives, because when strife is present then the devil is present in your heart. How do we stay out of strife? It ain't easy. But then Jesus never said being a follower of Him would be easy. In fact, He tells us just the opposite. He tells us that if He, Himself was persecuted, then we will be persecuted as well. Some people are just jealous of what you have as a Christian, if you are living like you should, then you have JOY, ABUNDANCE OVERFLOWING, PEACE, FAVORTISM just to name a few.

They are jealous and they want what you have but they don't want to do what you to do to have that. They don't want to lay down their lives for CHRIST and live for Him. Oh sure, they will go to church on Sundays, sit in a pew, smile and pretend they are all about JESUS, but then when they leave and some one cuts them off in traffic or steals their parking place closest to the restaruant door, then that spirit bucket they tried to fill up at church just fell over and spilt all in the floorboard of their car. Silly as that may sound, that is about how it works with a lot of church goers. They go once a week, and that is the only time they give to the LORD, their SAVIOR, whom they say they love??? So it is no wonder that the devil works through these people to cause strife with other Christians.

How easy we as Christians make it for the devil to cause us strife. He likes using Christians against Christians because then everyone else is looking at you and thinking why would I want to be a Christian if that is how they behave. They act as if they hate each other. WOW!!! I see it in the workplace everyday. I watch and listen as those who tell others about how they go to church, sit and tear down the people around them. I listen as they talk disrepectful to others, or mostly about other people. Then come Sunday, they go and sit on their pew and smile and pretend and play the game of being a CHRISTIAN.

We have to learn to not be easily offended. We have to practice everyday to stay out of strife. We have to have the word of GOD in us and in our hearts so that when situations arise and strife rears its ugly head, we can walk away and not fall into Satan's trap. Paint this picture. Satan is standing there with a piece of fly paper which is strife, just waiting for us to stick to it. Then he will take you and examine your heart and see where else he can cause you harm, because you let him in when you got into strife with your neighbor.

It is a choice we have to make. We can choose strife just to prove ourselves right about something whether we are or not, or we can choose JESUS. Which will you choose? Will you choose to sell Jesus out just so you can make that snide comment about someone behind their back? Will you choose to sell Him out, just so you can win an argument?

What is Jesus worth to you? Is He worth some of your time everyday in His word, or is He just worthy of a pew seat on Sundays?

Romans 13 v 13-14......Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkeness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the LORD JESUS CHRIST, an make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts......

1 Tim. 6 v 4-5.....he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourselves......

John 15 v 20a......Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his Master, if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you....

Lord, I pray today that you will keep strife away from me. I pray LORD that you will not let any thing that would cause me to get into strife enter my hearing. I pray LORD that you fill me so full with your word and your Spirit that nothing of this outside world can penetrate the walls of my heart. I pray LORD you help me to be more like JESUS in everything I say and do and think. I pray LORD that you will protect me from strife in the workplace. I pray LORD that you will help me to love those who would want to cause me strife. LORD, I pray for those who want to cause strife, that the devil would lose his hold on them, and they would be free of strife as well. I pray these things in JESUS NAME, MY SAVIOR. Save me from strife LORD. AMEN!

RTB.....Mark 13-15......

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Religion Vs. Faith

Have you ever heard one Christian arguing with another about what they believe? Well, that is usually one religious doctrine arguing with another religious doctrine. It usually doesn't have anything to do with Faith. It is usually just one church denomination going against another denominations' belief. Jesus warns us against this. First He tells us that a house divided against itself can not stand. In other words, if Christians are going to fight and argue against each other because of their doctrines then they are getting ready to fall into Satan's trap of dividing them.

Then Jesus tells us in Mark 9 about forbiding others who are doing His work, just because they do things a little differently or they do not follow all of your ways. Notice I said YOUR ways. I heard someone say once when talking about healing. How amazing it is that those Christians who do not believe in miracles and healings for today would rather argue with you about someone being healed than rejoice because they were healed. They would rather argue doctrine and their small mind thinking than beleive that GOD is still working miracles today and healing people today. That is to me, a selfish faith. That they would rather leave someone sick with disease in their body than to believe that they were healed or could be healed. Amazing isn't it? Jesus says in His word that we are healed, but yet some out there will argue that there are certain diseases that have no cure. That is just misplaced faith. That is putting faith in what man says instead of what the word of GOD says. AMEN!

Let's see how Jesus responds to a like situation.

Mark 9 v 38-40....Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side."........

How much clearer than that can Jesus get? Just because some celebrate the LORD a little bit different than others, just because some do not raise their hands and shout, or kneel down when praying does not mean that their way is wrong. We all have our way of worship, and we all have our level of FAITH. Although we are all given the same measure of FAITH, we all do not always use our whole measure. Sometimes, we may skimp on our faith level. Sometimes we may have a hard time believing something like miracles and healings are for us. I encourage you today to read the word and see what GOD has to say to you about miracles and healings. Don't read the word as if it were for just that day and time that it was written. God says His word is for all of us forever. Do you even remember what the word is? He is the word. AMEN!

John 1 v 1 .....In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD......

JOHN 1 v 14.....And the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld HIS glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the FATHER, full of grace and truth....

RTB.....Mark 10-12....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do You Have Ears To Hear

How many times in the word of GOD does it say he who has ears to hear, let him hear? Have you ever wondered what that saying means? Well, I think it means that once you become a Christian and you accept Christ you are given wisdom and discernment over the word of GOD. You are given an insight to what Jesus is saying. For me, myself, I know before I became a Christian, I had a hard time reading and understanding the word of God. Oh, sure , I could read it, and know what was going on, but there was always something missing. I would get bored with it. But once I became a Christian, it was like a whole different book I was reading. Instead of just reading a book, I was actually hearing the word of God being spoken to me. The word became a living, breathing substance to me. Something that I can not live without. Like bread and water, I need the word to survive. AMEN!

Jesus used a lot of parables when He was talking, and He says it is so that those who can hear will hear, and those that do not hear will not understand unless their sins are forgiven them. In other words, I believe He is telling us here, that in order to hear GOD speaking you have to have asked the LORD for forgiveness over your sins and accepted Jesus as your Savior. You see, any scholar can read the word of GOD and use logical thinking to tell you what it means. But the real truth, the real story is in the hearing of the word of GOD. Hearing GOD speak to you personally. That comes by first being forgiven of your sins and accepting the gift GOD gave us all. The gift of His Son, Jesus. Then your ears will open and your eyes will see what others do not. It is called FAITH. AMEN!

Mark....4 v 10-12.....But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of GOD, but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that, Seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.".....

Once you fully understand and hear GOD speaking to you, He will give you more wisdom over more things. I believe that is what He is talking about in this next verse. When He says to you who hears, more will be given. I believe He is saying more life will be given to you, and those who do not accept His SON, even what they already have will be taken away. They will continue to grow away from GOD and the everlasting life He has for them through Jesus.

Mark 4 v 24-25....Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it wil be measured to you, and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him......

We must always be ready to learn and to receive from GOD. A person who only uses the world's understanding and does not hear GOD, is like an unteachable person. One who thinks they know it all. Only GOD knows all things. Amd if you are willing to hear, He will teach all things to you. AMEN!

RTB...Mark 4-6.....

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Proof Is In The Pudding

How many times have you heard me talking about having what you say? And how many times have some of you had a hard time believing that? Well, as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. I want to share with you something Rob and I do everyday and the results of it. Every morning, I pray over Rob and myself that the LORD keep us in excellent health from the crown of our heads to the souls of our feet. Every morning, this is what I ask the LORD for. Now it has come time for us to have our yearly physicals, (although we missed last year), and I added an additional prayer to this one each day. I prayed LORD, let us have EXCELLENT check ups, EXCELLENT cholesterol levels, EXCELLENT blood pressure when we go for our check up.

Here are the results that were sent to us in the mail this weekend. This is how the letter reads:
ROB.....Blood Pressure........120/79.........EXCELLENT
all other blood work.........Normal

ME....Blood pressure...120/80
This is how the letter reads........Triglycerides and HDL, EXCELLENT at 60
All other blood work is normal.

How many of you have heard those words from your doctor? How many times have you been told that your blood work and check up was EXCELLENT? I personally have never heard a doctor use the word EXCELLENT when referring to anyone's physical. I have heard them say, you are in great shape, keep it up, or somehting similar, but never have I been told that everything is EXCELLENT. AMEN! You see, you can have what you say. If I would have kept saying my cholesterol is going to be high, because my mother has cholersterol issues, I would have spoken that over myself. They say high cholesterol problems can be hereditary. I say, your right, but my DNA is not of this earthly family any longer, my DNA is now that of JESUS so I know I will have EXCELLENT cholesterol results. AMEN!

Remember these verses when you get ready to speak something over yourself.

Prov. 12 v 14a......A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth.....

Prov. 18 v 20-21....A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.....
....Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit......

Prov. 29 v 20......Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him......

Don't be hasty with your words to speak illness or disease over your body. Don't keep repeating bad news someone is trying to give you. REBUKE that news, claim what the WORD says over yourself instead. Claim your excellent, divine health everyday. JESUS says, He is in us, and we are in HIM, how can we then have disease or sickness in our bodies? TRUST in Him, and what HIS word says, not what the world and the circumstances of the world are trying to tell you. AMEN!

RTB......Mark 4-6....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are You Stuck In The Middle Of It

Are you stuck in the middle of a trial, or are you going through a trial? When we are faced with situations in our life that are challenging, we sometimes get stuck in the middle focusing so hard on the circumstance that we are not looking for the other side anymore. When you continue to go through the same challenges day after day, then maybe you are stuck in the middle of the muck. You need to pick up your head and look to the other side where the LORD is waiting for you to come on through. Quit staring down at your feet (your situation) and look up to see the answer on the other side.

When we are around negative people all day long, they will tend to rub off on us, negativiity is like an air borne disease. It spreads like wildfire. Have you ever seen a wild fire burning. The flames jump from tree to tree and quickly flare up into a roaring fire. That is how negativity does. It will jump from one person to the next until everyone is starting to complain, whine, and be negative about everyone or every situation. It will burn out of control very quickly. The only way to escape it, is to walk away from it. Don't stand there mesmerized by the flames, in other words don't stand around thinking on your problem. When you do, you are giving your problem power over you. Just like being around negative people, don't walk, RUN.

Remember you are a CHRISTIAN, you do not have to stay stuck in the middle. GOD says, He will bring you through it. He says, He will not give you more than you can handle. In other words, He has given you the power to overcome your problem and to walk out on the other side and not look back. AMEN!

PSALM 40 v 1-4a...........I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth--Praise to our GOD; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust........

You see GOD gives you a new song to sing. Not one of dispair, but one of thanksgiving and praise. Shout unto the LORD today your new song, and trust HIM to bring you through and not leave you in the middle of it. AMEN!

RTB.......Exodus 34-36
............Exodus 37-40 Sat
............Mark 1-3 Sun

Thursday, February 5, 2009

God's Will Not Yours

How do we know when we are in God's will? We know when we have a peace that passeth all understanding about something. We know when we ask the LORD for something, and then we don't continue asking, because we know that we will accept His will to be done and not our own. Rob and I are looking at a house and I have such a peace about this, more so than ever before when we were about to make a big decision. Why? Because I so much want to be in God's will that no matter what the outcome, I still have my peace. Yes, we would like to have this house, but at the same time, we have a peace knowing that GOD will lead us in the right direction. And we know that if for some reason this not be it, He has better things down the road for us. AMEN!

If you feel this much peace and calmness over a decision, then you know you must be accepting God's will in your life. He says He will give us rest. He tells us let our requests be known and then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. In other words we won't be fretting over it. You won't keep asking for the same thing over and over again, like GOD can't hear you the first time. Sometimes when we really want something we pray the same prayer over and over again, like we are trying to talk GOD into doing something for us. We do not have to beg GOD. He will give us what we ask, when we ask with the right heart and when we are in His will and not our own. AMEN!

Phillipians 4 v 6-7....Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to GOD; and the peace of GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will gaurd your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus....

You see, if you are feeling anxious about what you are asking GOD for, and you are not thankful for whatever the outcome, then you are probably in your will and not HIS. When we are thankful no matter what the answer, and we have a peace about it, no matter if the answer is no, then we are most likely in HIS will and not our own.

Follow this simple formula in Phillipians and you will not have to question again, whether or not you are following His will and not your own. AMEN!

RTB.....Exodus 31-33

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free Will Offering

What is a free will offering? It is offerings made with no coaxing, no feelings of I have to, it is offerings made with a right heart. It is over and above the tithes. It is a willingness of the spirirt and a right heart to want to give more than enough. God was instructing Moses to build for Him a tabernacle, a place of worship for His people to come and worship and He could come and dwell among them. The people were so moved, that they began bringing what was needed. All the gold, and fine threads, and linens that they possessed. They wanted to give their best to the LORD.

How do we respond today when asked to help with the building needs of a church? Do we bring all we have? Do we bring our best to give to help complete the building of a place for GOD to come and dwell among us. We might think just because it is a building for the youth and we do not have any children, that we are not the ones to give. Well, we would be wrong. Regardless of what the building extension is for, it is still a place for GOD to come and dwell among His people. Would you want your youth hanging out where GOD is not welcomed, or would you rather them be at church in their youth building with other youth learning the word of GOD. AMEN!

What about giving into the mission fields? Do we give our best? Do we give more than enough? Or when the Pastor says they need x amount of dollars to complete a project, do we just stop with that? Or do we give over and above so that they can get started on their next project? Because there will always be a next project. God's work will not be done until He comes back for us. So for all of those who are saying, I will be glad when all this building is done, and they quit asking for offerings, well that is just not going to happen. And if you are saying that, then you might as well keep your money in the first place, because you missed the part about the willingness of spirit and the right heart on giving.

Exodus 36 v 2-7......Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do." So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary." And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done-- indeed too much........

Why can't we be like the people in Exodus who gave so much, that Moses had to ask them to quit giving. Will we ever get to that point? How awesome would it be if your Pastor had to ask you to quit giving because they had too much? Hallelujah! I am still trying to imagine it!

RTB....Exodus 25-27

Shekinah Glory

Have you ever heard your preacher or anyone talk about the Shekinah Glory? The Lord God dwelling among us. Our protective covering. Have you ever felt the Shekinah Glory so strongly that you knew you were being covered by the Most High God? The people in Exodus experienced this Shekinah Glory among them covering the tabernacle by day. And the fire over it by night. While the cloud covered the tabernacle the LORD filled the tabernacle. And the people would cease from their journeys while the cloud rested above the tabernacle.

We have this same covering with us today. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. And we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit guiding us when we are lost and can't find our way. Jesus is our light, He is our fire by night. We have no need to fear for He is with us always in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our cloud covering, protecting us. He is our Shekinah Glory. Hallelujah! When we are on our journeys in life, He is our protector. If we need to stop and rest, He will give us rest. He will cover us and protect us while we are down. If we get lost and can't seem to find our way out. He will shine His light for us to see the way through His word.

The word of God is constantly showing us, how we are given the same promises and help as the people in the Old Testament. Only we have even more than they did, because we have the very light of Jesus, and we have the Helper, He left us with. All we have to do is let the Shekinah Glory cover us and lead us in our ways.

We have another type of covering and that is the protective covering of our church. When we are in church and under the teaching of the word of God, we are under the protective covering of the LORD. Our Pastor keeps us under this covering through the teaching of the word. Don't get out from under the covering. And if you do not have a home church. Find one! You need that protective covering, the same as the people in Exodus needed it.

Exodus 40 v 34-38....Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys....

Don't keep trying to find your own way with a flash light only to find the batteries are dead. Don't stand out in the storm with no umbrella to protect you. Look for the Shekinah Glory to lead you. Let God show you and shine your way for you. Don't trust in yourself. Get in church or back in church and get under that protective covering of the Shekinah Glory. AMEN!

RTB...Exodus 28-30...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Your Pastor Can't Do It All

Your Pastor can not do everything by himself. He needs your help. God tells us in His word that we are to help. We are all part of the body of Christ. Even as early in the book of Exodus, the word shows us where we are to help our Pastor.

Exodus 18 v 16-23......"When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of GOD and His laws." So Moses' father in law said to him, "The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and GOD will be with you. Stand before GOD for the people so that you may bring the difficulties to GOD. And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear GOD, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing, and GOD so commands you, then you wil be able to endure, and all this people will also go their place in peace."..........

You see when your Pastor asks you to help out in church, to help in the nursery, or the youth, or in the kitchen, or the office. He is not just trying to get out of work, He needs your help, and you need to be doing your part. A nursery worker may be one of those who is ruler over ten, a youth leader may be the ruler of hundreds, a man or a woman Sunday school teacher may be ruler over fifties. And then still you have the Pastor bringing you all together in one house as ruler of thousands. Or your church may not be that large and you may only be ruler over 2 in the nursery, or ten in the youth, but no matter how small or large, your Pastor can not do it all. He needs your help.

This passage also goes with our government today. Our President can not do it all. He needs leaders, such as senators, govenors, police officers, etc. But let us not miss out on the most important part of this passage. When you choose those leaders , make sure they are able men who fear GOD, men of truth. AMEN!

Pray for your Pastors today, to get the help they need in keeping GOD's house in order. And pray for our President and his family to keep the house that governs our nation in order. AMEN!

RTB....Exodus 22-24....