Daily Word Archives

What Open Door posts on Facebook - February 2012




Is anyone going all-out for Groundhog Day tomorrow? We have noted no lights, decorations, get-togethers, or other festivities in the neighborhood for the occasion. The best we could find are a few sales at some of the larger stores in light of this special day. We have also noted no real uproar from anyone wanting to stamp it out. Of course it is not a national holiday but it is a wonder that someone or some group has not taken offense or threatened anyone for calling the day what it is.


We actually put this question in several search engines: Is anyone against Groundhog Day?

The only negative factor we could really find is PETA complaining that Groundhog Phil is being held in captivity.


Of course we are having a little fun here with Groundhog Day. If you look up how the day and traditions began, you will see a lot of references on religion. Its pagan roots, what happened when Christianity stepped in, the beliefs regarding weather, climate and farming are all discussed from different cultures, etc.


Our point is not to be for it or against it, but just to say that we as a people decide what we are going to do. Groundhog Day, if you will, has been accepted as something that is done. It has earned a place on our calendars. Another way of saying it is: We decide what is important to us.


On the other hand, we know quite well the different view people have decided regarding Christmas (a federal holiday) over the last few years. We have people afraid to even say the word because someone might "tilt". The question then has to be asked: What changed?


To our knowledge the holiday did not change. The way it is celebrated did not change - we have anything from the manger to Santa himself. The only thing that really changed is what people decided to do.


This brings us to our real point: We have been blessed with the freedom to decide. In America we enjoy it more than any other nation. God also has given us the liberty to decide regarding our spiritual lives and the type of person we will be. This is a liberty that everyone wants and yet our culture today shows us that serious consequences result from our decisions.


We hope that everyone who reads will recognize how important our decisions are. We should also realize that we desperately need God's help each day to make the right ones.




If there is one thing in our nation that people really seem to cherish it is our freedom. We were born into it and likely we take it for granted, but we really do not like to see it taken away from us.


In the Bible we know that one of the missions of Christ Jesus was to set man free:


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, ~ Luke 4:18


If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36


But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. ~ Romans 6:22


For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:2


Being free, both naturally and spiritually, is indeed a wonderful blessing. However, we have seen across the world in recent years that just setting people free from an oppressive government does not always bring the results that one would hope for. We will particularly look at this tomorrow.


However, even Jesus and the New Testament warns us about how we use the freedom we have been granted:


For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. ~ Galatians 5:13


As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. ~ I Peter 2:16


Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. ~ Ephesians 4:28


Abstain from all appearance of evil. ~ I Thessalonians 5:22


Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. ~ II Timothy 2:19


Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. ~ John 5:14


There has been a lot of speculation about this last scripture and its complete meaning. But we can say that Jesus was warning this man about his behavior. We are constantly admonished in the New Testament regarding our conduct.


One of the best testimonies we can offer comes from the way we behave ourselves. We may never act perfectly but the people around us should see the difference that Jesus makes in our lives - particularly in the way we conduct ourselves.


Thank you Lord for our freedom and we pray that You are always glorified in it.




Yesterday we talked about freedom, both from the natural and Biblical standpoints. It seems to be a heart cry of man the world over. We noted that just setting people free does not necessarily mean that good results will follow. It will essentially depend on what these people do after their liberation.


We could make the point that the greatest liberation in history took place when God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. But it did not take long before problems arose, discontent erupted, some wanted to return to Egypt (can you imagine that), some questioned the competency of leadership - you get the picture. In Exodus 14 we see the crossing of the Red Sea and the overthrow of the Egyptians. In chapter 15 we see the Hebrew version of the Hallelujah Chorus. Now note chapter 16 verse 2: And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:


The next verse continues on with how they would rather have died in Egypt. It did not take long for human nature to raise its head. We must not be quick to judge as we can get into "critical mode" very quickly. It is amazing how some things have not changed.


In chapter 19 God brings them to Sinai where He has to lay down the law so to speak. The same is done today when people start getting out of hand. It is interesting (though some might call it tedious) to read all the things given to keep the people in check and just to deal with ordinary living. We want to note one verse in particular:


"Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil;..." ~ Exodus 23:2


This is quite interesting in light of our subject of freedom and what we see around the world. God got to work early to stop mobs. We have seen this on the news and sometimes we may sympathize with people's frustrations knowing what they came out of. But we know it makes things worse and God does not want us to take that route.


It has been noted that freedom only works when people are under control. If someone has to come in and forcibly take control, freedom is essentially lost.


We thank God for our freedom. May our actions demonstrate that we will stand up to keep it, but we will endeavor to be civilized and well-mannered in doing so.




George Beverly Shea turned 103 years old this past Wednesday. He wrote the tune to this favorite of his "I'd Rather Have Jesus" in 1932 and has been singing it ever since. May the words below be the reality in our hearts:


I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;
I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand



Than to be the king of a vast domain
And be held in sin’s dread sway;
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.


I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name


He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs;
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead


Mr. Shea commented on this birthday that he still keeps a song in his heart. We thank God for his life and service - may we strive to do likewise.




A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. ~ Proverbs 22:1


This should have helped answer Shakespeare's question: What's in a name?


Whenever a person's name is mentioned, a picture comes up in our minds if we know them. Much of what the person is noted for comes up as well - his character, what has he done, is he generally considered good? and so forth.


Almost everything we now about a person flashes across our minds when a person's name comes up. That does not mean we are judging them - our brain just seems to bring up anything we may know or have heard.


We make the point of how powerful a name is in our interactions with others. Does the mention of our names bring honor to Christ in the thoughts of others? It is certainly something we can work on.




We know that February is famous as the month of love with celebration on the 14th. Yesterday we began  a series that will look at the love of God. As Christians we are told:


And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. ~ Ephesians 5:2


One of the most important things we can do as we live this life is to walk in the love of God. This will take effort in this day and time especially when it seems there is so much pressure and stress in the lives of people. But we need to realize that we have a great opportunity to live in a higher standard than the world - and thus glorify Christ.

We know Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice of love. We are now told:


I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. ~ Romans 12:1


Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21


It will be a great challenge to us all to step up our love walk and to take the time to first pray regarding how God would have us to do it. Each of us deals with different people and different circumstances. We need the wisdom of God in knowing how to successfully walk in the love of God in these areas. We desire to do this to bring a blessing and be obedient to our heavenly Father.


We should make the God kind of love the deciding factor in our choices. There is no time like the present to get started.




It is amazing how many things we can cram into one day. Many of these things just seem to be a part of daily life - work, home and family seem to fill up most of our day in some fashion. Leaders both in the secular and in the church world have addressed this issue in the lives of people.


Many have expressed some frustration in not being able to make progress or being stuck in a ditch so to speak. Leaders readily say that drastic changes too quickly can sometimes create drastic problems. So many have encouraged people to start with something small.


Billy Graham has often talked about this in the lives of Christians. Sometimes we cannot make a big change but we can make some small ones. He stresses that great encouragement comes when you see the results of making small adjustments - then you want to tackle something else.


It is always good to do a self assessment every now and then - for the purpose to improve. It is something we should all pray about. We remember the old saying: The longest journey always begins with the first step.


We pray God help us to take whatever first step we need and that He lead us on the path to take another step after that one.




What we say and do regarding others is the best way we have to share the love of God.


You think your word or deed is very small,

That what you say will hardly count at all;

But God can take the seed that you have sown

And nourish it until it's fully grown ~ Hess from Our Daily Bread


You never know

Where the seed you sow

Is going to grow




But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ~ Matthew 6:33


Most people who have been in church for a while have heard this scripture and perhaps have memorized it. It is a scripture that we should be doing each day. We certainly want the "things" every day. Indeed, some of theses things are what we need each day.


We need to realize that the source of these "things" is the kingdom of God. It is just a benefit - it is not the main aspect of the kingdom as we see in Romans 14:17 ~ For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


When we think of natural kingdoms, we often think of how rich it is or how much "stuff" is involved. We may not immediately think of how righteous or good it is. Jesus says when we seek the kingdom and its righteousness, we then have a foundation to both receive and enjoy these "things" in the right way.


Have you ever known someone with a lot of things but it did not turn out too well? It was not the fault of the things. We all need to be careful that the things do not take first place in our lives.


We all remember the words of Jesus that we cannot serve God and mammon (money): ~ Matthew 6:24 & Luke 16:13. We are to serve God and money is to serve us. Sometime folks get this backwards. Money indeed is just a tool that can be used for good or bad.


Let us make sure that each day our focus is correct - to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Then when the things come, we will have the wisdom to use them in the right way.




From our founding:


If moral precepts alone could have reformed mankind, the mission of the Son of God into all the world would have been unnecessary. The perfect morality of the gospel rests upon the doctrine which, though often controverted has never been refuted: I mean the vicarious life and death of the Son of God."


 ~ Essays, Literary, Moral, and Philosophical of Benjamin Rush, published in 1798.


"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man." ~ Alexander Hamilton


"By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.


The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement "for the sins of the whole world," and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve."

~In God We Trust—The Religious Beliefs and Ideas of the American Founding Fathers, p. 379.


~ quote from John Jay:1st Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and President of the

   American Bible Society




But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. ~ James 1:25


We have been assigned the task of working in this earth. Doing it right, as the verse above says, we will be blessed in our deed. There is just a satisfaction that comes in a job well done.


Work, or effort if you will, is required for anything to really be accomplished. As one person put it, hard work is not necessarily as productive as smart work. In other words we need to couple wisdom with our work. We need skill in what we do.


We know this in the natural as well as the spiritual. In both realms it is great to have good help. Remember the Holy Spirit has been given as our helper. When we listen to Him we will certainly be blessed in our deed. He will never lead us in a wrong direction.


Each day we usually have a list of things to do. We pray that we are blessed in our deed as we get them done - fruit of our labor and glory unto God.




Note the first words of our verse yesterday:


But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty... ~ James 1:25


What response do you think you would get if you asked the average person: What is the perfect law of liberty? Would they say the Bible?


It should thrill our hearts to see that the Word of God is called the "perfect law of liberty". From the natural it is almost a contradiction in terms - a law that gives you liberty - Hallelujah!


This is what man is looking for worldwide and it is all because of what Jesus did for us. So if anyone asks you why the Bible is so great and why do you think so highly of it, you can tell them because:


It is the perfect law of liberty!




Yesterday we continued our series on the love of God. Remember one of our foundation scriptures: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. ~ Ephesians 5:2

We continue with the following:


In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~ I John 4:9-10


God demonstrated His love toward us by sending Jesus Christ to be the payment for our sin. He did this when man did not even realize that he needed a savior. Parents should be able to relate to this in some degree. Often we make provision and do things for our children and they have no clue. Sometimes they could not understand it if we tried to explain. But even human love compels parents to do this. One day the child will likely understand and hopefully will be appreciative that mom and dad were thinking of them and made some type of provision.


We see again that the real love of God is demonstrated in some fashion. We are told that we should grow and develop in our love walk:


And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. ~ I Thessalonians 3:12-13


And finally we see the right way to provoke someone:


And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: ~ Hebrews 10:24


This may take some practice to take the right way to do our provoking. We will continue next Sunday ad go a little further with the subject. We conclude with the same words we did last week:


We should make the God kind of love the deciding factor in our choices.





Remembering God's Valentine





For years one of the themes of our church has been - Jesus is Lord and Love Prevails. We have some nice banners in our sanctuary and two of them proclaim this message. It has been one of our church "sayings" for a number of years.


It seems every church has sayings, slogans or mottos - some few words that get our attention and define a particular thrust in ministry. But we know these things need to be more than just sayings. They should be exemplified in corresponding actions.


My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. ~ I John 3:18


As we have mentioned, we should continue to pray that God would show us the path of love to follow and the response of love to give in every situation. We know that sometimes that is not always clear and apparent. We do see through a glass darkly and we just know in part ~ I Corinthians 13:12. So we certainly need to wisdom of God to walk in His love successfully.


It begins by recognizing that love is the way to go and God desires to show us that way. It is the way we can overcome evil with good. ~ Romans 12:21. It is the way to reach out to others, and it is so needed in our world today.




We want to note a couple of verses about love:


Let love be without dissimulation (insincerity). Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. ~ Romans 12:9


Let brotherly love continue. ~ Hebrews 13:1


We know from the Bible that the love of God has been shed into the hearts of Christians by the Holy Ghost ~ Romans 5:5


It also does not take long both from the scriptures and from personal experience to know that we do not walk in it perfectly. Sometimes we do not walk in it very well - indeed we see that this treasure is in earthen vessels. We need to remember that walking in love (like almost everything else in both our natural and spiritual lives) is a learning process.


We also know that learning takes effort - often a very conscious determination. We certainly know how important this is in our natural lives and we should know it as we develop in our spiritual lives.


We need to recognize this truth and determine to see improvement as we get started. Remember this is God's plan for us - we do not have to come up with this on our own. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" ~ Philippians 2:13.


May God's good pleasure be demonstrated in our love walk.




Have you ever heard of this hymn?


Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
That even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for—Others.


            Others, Lord, yes others,
            Let this my motto be,
            Help me to live for others,
            That I may live like Thee.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I’d do for You
Must needs be done for—Others.

Let “Self” be crucified and slain
And buried deep: and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again,
Unless to live for—Others.

And when my work on earth is done,
And my new work in Heav’n’s begun,
May I forget the crown I’ve won,
While thinking still of—Others.


As the words one indicate, the title of the hymn is: Others


We have mentioned many times that a major call on a Christians life will ministry to others. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves ~ Philippians 2:3


It does not hurt to remind ourselves often of "others"




For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10


It has been said that this is God's answer to the self esteem problem. We rejoice in that this is God's doing and we should highly esteem it. We have a high standard to live up to and it should humble us - knowing we need Him to even begin to walk worthy of this standing ~ Colossians 1:10.


 "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:..."  ~ I John 3:1


Heavenly Father, help us to first recognize what You have done for us in Christ Jesus, may we develop in it each day, and demonstrate it in our walk of love toward others.




If you ever do a study on character traits, you will be interested to see that many can be used for either a good or a bad purpose. Let us consider a person who has a lot of determination.


This person is determined. They do not quit at the first sign of trouble, they stick to the goal they want to accomplish, and they will put in the time and effort necessary to accomplish the task. These can be good people to have around when the going gets tough - many organizations are glad to have people who will not throw in the towel when things do not go right.


On the other hand we can say that criminals are the same way. Isn't it amazing how much time and effort criminals will put into a plan and work it all out. They too are determined. Wouldn't it be great if they would determine to do that which is good and right.


In the Bible we see a little use of the word determined but we see other words like: commit, purpose, being steadfast, abounding in the service of the Lord, not being double minded, zealous of good works, labor of love, and we certainly do not want to forget the word "work". We are certainly admonished in the New Testament to maintain good works.


In Romans 6 Paul reminds the Christians that they had plenty of time to sin before they were believers. He further expounded that as they had yielded their members to sin, now yield your members to righteousness. In other words, strive for righteousness with the same tenacity that used to drive us to sin.


One of the first things we can do is to make that "determination" to use our initial word. For the most part we would not go a day without food. In like manner, we should not go a day without seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. As we are fond of saying: Intentionally do something because we love God and others.




Continuing with the love of God:


That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:17-19


This is indeed a mouth full and we will be working on this throughout this earthly existence. Being rooted and grounded in love, being able to comprehend what is being said, and being filled with the fullness of God is almost too much to fathom. Yet it challenges us to see and move into this realm that has been opened to us by Jesus. Indeed it should thrill us.


We see that love is the first fruit of the spirit mentioned ~ Galatians 5:22


We see that love of the brethren should be a well-known and much-seen aspect of the church:


             Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one                          another; ~ Romans 12:10


            Let brotherly love continue. ~ Hebrews 13:1


            We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that            loveth not his brother abideth in death. ~  I John 3:14


            By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ~ John    13:35


We are called one body, one family and we should especially be mindful to do good to each other:


            As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who     are of the household of faith. ~ Galatians 6:10


We are commanded to love one another:


            A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that      ye also love one another. ~ John 13:14


            This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12


            These things I command you, that ye love one another. ~ John 15:17


            Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be        pitiful, be courteous:  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for        

               railing: but contrariwise    blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.~ I     Peter 3:8-9


            And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins. ~ I Peter 4:8


How can it be said any stronger than this? Regarding our love walk: We have a lot to do, much to learn, wonders to discover, and blessings to enjoy. There will certainly be times of testing - let us prepare ourselves so that we do well on those tests - like we tell our children in school.




This past Sunday morning we sang "Love Lifted Me" as an opening hymn in keeping with our present sermon theme. If you grew up in church, you likely are familiar with it.


I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.


            Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
            When nothing else could help
            Love lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His blessèd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.

Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.


The verses are interesting in that they depict different aspects of gospel. In verse 1 we see God's provision for man's sin and His rescue. In verse 2 we see walking with the Lord and giving Him our best. In verse 3 we see the call to the people of the world to come and be saved.


This is one of those hymns that is very easy to sing with zeal and gusto. May we do so more fervently when we really take time to look at the words and consider their reality.


We have noted many aspects of the love of God and we continue to search the length, width, depth and height that we might better know it. The better we know it, the better equipped we will be to show it.




We have mentioned before that the longest of journeys begins with a single step. Regardless of how the journey turns out, success or failure, the same start is made. Whenever we begin something, it is often considered small. Though we may can picture how it can grow into something large, most things in the beginning are relatively small.


Just because something is small does not mean it cannot have a great impact. All we have to consider is the atom to realize this truth. When man learned about the atom, tremendous power was forthcoming.


Our lives also can seem the same way and we ask "what can I do?" A famous answer has been: I cannot do everything but I can do something. Would that every Christian would say, Lord I can do something and I need You to show me what that something is so I can get at it. People with this motivation will make an impact.


We need to recognize too that the things we do are also seeds that are sown. These seeds can grow and bear fruit long after the deed itself has been done. This is an ongoing benefit of good works - they will keep bearing fruit.


May we all be ones who look for and desire opportunities to serve each day.




Do you have days when you cannot sense the Lord ministering anything particular, you do not get any word down in your spirit, or the unction in you is just quiet?


Certainly many Christians has  experience such a thing and a lot of advice is given in this regard.


One minister offered this: I go by what the Lord does not say as well as what He does. If my spirit is open and I am seeking the Lord with all my heart, I can be assured that He will tell me what I need to know when the time is appropriate. In the meantime, I know enough to be doing something to honor Him.


Another minister put it like this: When I was working for a particular company, I did not have hear from the supervisor all the time to know what I should be doing. I knew the general job and could do it - of course wanting to improve and flow with what the company needed. I just needed to make sure that the lines of communication were completely open with my boss.


In general we too should know some things to do even if we do not detect specific direction from the Lord. We always know to seek His face, offer praise ad worship, pray for those we know - particularly those who may be dealing with difficulties, pray in the spirit, make sure our conscience is clear, and set aside some time particularly for the Lord.


If we couple this with a heart-felt desire to serve, we will definitely be given plenty to do.




For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. ~ I Corinthians 3:9


Here we have another verse describing the connection between God and His people. It is amazing how many comparisons and descriptions are given in the New Testament that describe our relationship with God.


Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. ~ I Corinthians 12:27


The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: ~ Romans 8:16


And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. ~ Romans 8:17


And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: ~ Ephesians 2:6


For through him we both (Jews & Gentiles) have access by one Spirit unto the Father. ~ Ephesians 2:18


Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: ~ Romans 5:1


We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus... ~ Ephesians 2:10


On and on we could go, It is as though God has gone all out to convince us of His love and the relationship that we now have. God gave His best to secure this relationship. May we give our best to learn of it, maintain it, live it out, and share it with others.




Did you enjoy the warmer weather yesterday - except for the wind and storms. Snow on Sunday and thunderstorms yesterday. It's still February and not quite beach time yet. Does anyone remember this song from years ago? Makes you think of those beaches in the Caribbean.


Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost! Don't you want to be a part of God's kingdom?






Yesterday we mentioned a song from Romans 14:17 ~ For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. We could use the rest of our earthly existence to delve into this verse, compare it with like scriptures in the Bible, and pursue its working in our daily lives.


It is interesting that the Kingdom of God is described by these three words - all of them good. It is also interesting that they are described as being in the Holy Ghost. He is God in this church age. He is the One administering the gifts, giving direction, helping the saints, showing us the things of Jesus, and all the other aspects of who He is and His ministry described in the New Testament. He is the One sent by Jesus to carry out His plan until He comes again.


Heaven has placed its ultimate trust in the Holy Ghost. We need to do likewise and seek to both hear and obey His voice daily.




Continuing with our series on the love of God:


We remember that God so loved the world that He gave... 


Jesus freely took our guilt, penalty and death. He brought us in to the family of God.


We are now partakers of His divine nature ~ II Peter 1:4  


According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: ~ Ephesians 1:4


"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: ..." ~ I John 3:1


It is almost inconceivable that God would consider us as valuable enough to be willing to give His Son in payment to have us in His family and kingdom.


Because this love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts, we too should have that same unction of love - to be givers. Once we recognize this, how then should we respond? We can esteem what our Father esteems. We can value and love what He values and loves - and we abhor what He abhors.


Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. ~ Romans 12:9


We live in a society where many do not seem to recognize evil, where it comes from, and what is does in the hearts of people. The debate just surfaced recently in our country. The love of God takes a stand against the forces of evil - because it has to speak the truth in love ~ Ephesians 4:15


The truth about the love of God is that it will confront evil - because it has to tell the truth. In the natural we understand this. Good parents will protect their children against evil - sometimes quite forcefully if something is coming to hurt them. That is loving your children. You do not want your children living a lie - sometimes you have to confront them with the truth. This is not to be mean to them but to bless them and keep them out of trouble.


Have you ever tried to deal with or resolve a situation and not know what the real truth is? It can be very frustrating and you will not likely make a good and wise decision if you are just guessing at the truth.


Love and truth go hand in hand. As children of God those two things should define our being and our daily walk. May this prayer remind us of what we should be about:


Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. ~ I Thessalonians 3:11-13




Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ~  Philippians 3:13-14


Many have commented that through Christ, both Paul and the rest of us can put the bad things of the past behind us. That is true but it can also apply to things we may consider good or positive. We cannot rest on the laurels of yesterday - though they may continue to bear fruit and we rejoice.


But today needs tending to with God-given responsibilities - we need our daily bread. We need to continue to press on as Paul writes above. We decide daily to live the Christian life, be a doer of the Word of God, and desire "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" ~ Colossians 1:10


We are grateful that we can leave our bad behind, we are thankful for any good foundation we have laid in the past, but today and each day ahead we determine to "...run the race that is set before us" ~ Hebrews 12:1


There is no time like the present to either begin or continue this journey with God.




By the calendar we get an extra day this year. We likely just take it for granted and know it comes around every 4 years. But this extra day could remind us that this natural life will come to an end - we will reach our final number of days in this life.


It should remind us that each day is precious. Do we recognize that and do we live like it is? It is certainly something we can pray about - using our days wisely. It is also something we can act in accordance with and do something meaningful in light of it.


We could start with our own families and do something special because each day and each person both are precious.





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