Daily Word Archives



What Open Door posts on Facebook - March 2012

 

3/1/2012

 

Did you have parents or other adults that taught you the meaning of taking responsibility? Did they make sure you "owned up" to the things you did? This should be Child Training 101 in every home and classroom in America. But we know this is a character trait we often see lacking in people of all ages.

 

As Christians we are presented with a great opportunity to demonstrate this in our own spheres of influence. When we take responsibility, do our duty, meet obligations, and keep our word we act with integrity. This should be our intention in every endeavor.

 

We certainly like to see this in others and we want it when we are involved with others. But we should take the lead regardless. It is a way to honor our Lord and overcome evil with good. We should be people that can be counted on.

 

3/2/2012

 

Have you ever done something that just "flopped"? You had good intentions and were excited about what you thought was going to happen and it turned out to be a "dud". You may enjoy this clip from Bill Gaither about a song he wrote that was not the hit he thought it would be.  We can have a good laugh as we start the weekend. We also recognize that a bump in the road is not the end of the world. We pray you have a safe and blessed weekend.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk940iuFYg0

 

3/3/2012

 

Christ in me the hope of glory

Oh that others might see

Not that I have a unique story

But a new life found in Thee

 

May people see Jesus in me each day

A Savior like no other is He

That the words I say and the prayers I pray

Might help others through Jesus be free

 

            ~ There is no eternity better than the one

                Jesus paid the price for.

 

3/4/2012

 

Most people are familiar with the term "standard of living". It is usually associated with someone's income or that person's lifestyle based upon the amount of money he has. The whole concept has certainly been in the news as questions are being raised about how much someone has and what that someone should do with that, etc. It is interesting that the term almost always leads our thinking into money and monetary status.

 

If someone asks us about our standard of living, we as Christians ought to have a very different focus. We should both point out and show by example the standards we have for living. Biblical principles from the Word and the life of Jesus should be our foundation.

 

It is certainly something we should be considering, and we should be ready to give a good answer about our "standard of living".

 

3/5/2012

 

Some scriptures on the love of God and we let the Word speak for itself.

 

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. ~ Romans 5:5

 

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:37-39

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. ~ II Corinthians 13:14

 

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. ~ II Thessalonians 3:5

 

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; ~ Titus 3:4-5

 

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ~ I John 3:16

 

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. ~ I John 4:9

 

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. ~ I John 5:3

 

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. ~ Jude 1:21

 

3/6/2012

 

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. ~ I John 4:16

 

Many have believed the love of God to the point that they responded to God's call for salvation. They had to believe the message of God's love and respond positively toward it. We should realize that we need to continue with our believing.

 

Each day we wake up to circumstances and situations around us - some good and some bad. Which do we believe will win out in our lives? We need to believe the love that God has for us, that it will make a difference in our lives, and that it can make a difference in the lives of others. Notice the verse talks about dwelling in this love - we should consider this to be done daily.

 

As mentioned before, we constantly see a world of pain, difficulty and trouble. When we respond with the love of God, we offer solutions and can bring comfort and peace when the world has none. We thank God especially for people reaching out to those who have been devastated recently.

 

Let us make sure we are believing the love God has for us each day, and may we use it to help others who are hurting.

 

3/7/2012

 

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. ~ Numbers 21:4

 

Just about everyone can relate to what the people here were going through. How many of us have been "discouraged because of the way"? We have all been there and hopefully we can use the word "been" there. We know some are likely there now and need the "way to escape" that is talked about in I Corinthians 10:13 to get out of the "way to discouragement"

 

If we look at their situation honestly, the "way" that the children of Israel traveled was of their own doing. They were not on the way that God wanted them on but had taken another path. We too can be just like them and choose our own path with undesirable consequences.

 

Yet God is rich in mercy to all those that call upon Him. He is still our deliverer from every evil work, our need-meeter, the One who is for us, our heavenly Father. He is rich unto all that call upon Him ~ Romans 10:12

 

As one fellow put it, if you are walking though the valley of the shadow of death, make sure you walk through it - don't camp there! Know that it is God who will bring you through it. Knowing this will produce joy on the inside (which is your strength) even if all the troubling circumstances have not disappeared yet. Your deliverance has started on the inside when there is a shout instead of a moan, a smile instead of a frown, and a garment of praise has cast out the spirit of heaviness.

 

Even in all these things (ways of discouragement) we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. We pray for God's wonderful power, His Word, and His love to bless anyone reading today who is dealing with discouragement.

 

 3/8/2012

 

A website recently had this question with some commentary afterward: What does your face tell others? It had a completely different meaning from where we are going, but it was an interesting question.

 

From a Christian standpoint and in regards to our walk in this world - what does your face tell others? We should recognize that our faces can give us away. It tells others very quickly our mood, our reaction, what our response will likely be, and how the conversation is likely to go before we ever say anything.

 

To make the point, suppose you are called in to the office of the boss regarding some matter. You do not know what it is but you have an inkling that you might be "chewed out or reprimanded". As you enter the office the meeting begins with the boss giving you a sincere and gracious smile. That face definitely told you something. The boss may have to speak about some things that are difficult or give correction. But the boss' face spoke before words were ever uttered.

 

Of course such a situation above is likely to involve more than just the picture described. But the point is to help us remember our countenance and that it can speak volumes. Do you remember this expression - he or she just lights up a room when they enter. The face can definitely make or break that description. Let us make a point that our faces honor the Lord and endeavor to be a blessing.

 

3/9/2012

 

Many have heard the song "Nothing But The Blood".  Because it was so popular in the charismatic movement of the 20th century, many thought it to be one of the choruses that came out of that period. Actually it is a hymn written and published in the 1800's. It is a favorite of ours - often for Communion or other times of ministry. We want to share all of the verses that may not be familiar. A song with great impact and truth:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

            Oh! precious is the flow
            That makes me white as snow;
            No other fount I know,
            Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

3/10/2012

 

Remember this song?

 

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God
You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here,
It's because we're a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

 

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God
From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, but PRAISE GOD! I belong!

 

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, ~ Ephesians 3:14-15

 

We are also called His brethren, we are called the body of Christ, one in Christ, and other terms indicating that we are joined together.

 

Like a natural family, church families and relationships can span the spectrum - from hallelujah to dear God what a mess. Yet, there is nothing like being in a family when it is working right. The New Testament is our guide to right behavior in our family and the Holy Spirit is sent to help us maintain good family relationships.

 

Yes it is a lot of work and we all have to humble ourselves. But the rewards, benefits and blessings of doing the things to maintain our family (naturally and spiritually) are indeed overwhelming. May we like Paul declare:

 

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, ~ Philippians 1:3

 

3/11/2012

 

Psalm 19 is a great one to read before going to church. It is not long but contains verses that are packed. It puts us in the frame of mind to embrace and long for the Word of God. It ends with a desire to walk in a way pleasing to God ~ Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

 

May your time of worship today be one that is fruitful both for you and others.

  

3/12/2012

 

As an opening hymn yesterday we sang "Count Your Blessings". It is certainly a very popular one.

 

Our main Scripture text came out of Joshua 24. We encourage you to read the whole chapter. It is the last chapter in the book of Joshua and his death is recorded in it. One of the things Joshua does in chapter 24 is to help the children of Israel "count their blessings" so to speak.

 

He reminded them of all God had brought them out of, brought them through, and now they were in the promised land. He warned them to stay true to God and not depart to serve other gods. The people strongly proclaimed their allegiance to God and verse 31 states that the people remained true throughout the years of the elders who outlived Joshua.

 

Yet we know somewhere down the line things changed. We know there were good times under kings such as David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Asa and others. We also know the wicked kings and what happened with the people under their rule. The downward spiral would eventually take its toll.

 

We did not get to it yesterday but it is worthy to note that in the next book of the Bible (Judges chapter 2) we read these words after Joshua and his generation had passed:  And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. ~ verse 10. The next verse said the people did evil in the sight of the Lord.

 

Our main theme yesterday revolved around the choices we make. Sometimes "counting our blessings" is a good way to remind ourselves of how good God has been to us - and we keep that in mind as we make our decisions.

 

Lord help us not to do evil in Your sight but to do good. Help us especially to teach our young people to know You, Your Word, and Your Spirit. We especially ask for your help to make good choices each day and ask for Your mercy and forgiveness when we do not.

 

May we like Joshua declare: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. ~ verse 15

 

3/13/2012

 

Yesterday we talked a little about choices. Our days are full of them. One of the things that comes up when making choices is: Who are we listening to? Where are we getting our counsel and advice?

 

This is a good question for all of us but especially for our young people today. The world through media, music, social networks, chat rooms, and other venues are constantly telling people what they should think, what they should buy, what they should do, and what they should support. It is very easy to do that today with the ease of communication.

 

We remember this word from Proverbs 19:27 ~  Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

 

Colossians 2:2-3 ~ That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.''

 

James 1:5 ~ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

 

Certainly we can gain information from a number of sources. But we should be very selective in who we take counsel from regarding principles of life, ethics, morals, character, life's major decisions, and certainly our faith.

 

A good prayer to pray and especially for our children is that they be surrounded by Godly people of skill and wisdom and that any evil influence be cut off.

 

Proverbs 5:12 ~ For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

 

3/14/2012

 

Because today is the 14th of the month, we look at Proverbs 14 and find a very familiar scripture in verse 34: Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

 

We know that the scripture is talking about the people and not the land itself. What if we  read it like this: Righteousness will exalt me but sin will be my reproach. How much trouble we might save ourselves when the temptation comes - not to see ourselves enjoying it but picturing a large "I am a reproach" sign hanging about our necks. Would this help us say "NO!" when that temptation comes?

 

Sometimes pictures like this can help us cut through to the real issue of things. When we recognize the real consequences of sin, it is not nearly as attractive.

 

As we conclude it is interesting to note that regarding righteousness and sin affecting the land itself, Leviticus 18:25 talks about the land being so defiled that it vomits out the inhabitants. It is certainly food for thought in this day and time.

 

Lord may Your righteousness exalt us this day unto good works, and we consider sin to be a reproach.

 

3/15/2012

 

Do you remember getting "stickers" when you were coming up in school? A teacher would put one on your paper, on your shirt or book saying you had done well or something that showed a commendation. Teachers do that in our school and we have discovered that teenagers like them as well. If one student gets a sticker and another one doesn't, you will likely be asked - why didn't I get one? We had generally considered teenagers to be too old for "stickers" but we found out very quickly it was not the case.

 

Usually stickers would say things like: good job, improving, good attitude, doing better, best helper of the week, etc. A few years ago a sticker came out that was different. This is what it said:

 

"I was caught being good today"

 

Students really liked it and parents did as well. The parents would have to ask what they had done, the child/teacher would respond and dialogue was opened about school, the importance of doing what is right, etc. This simple little sticker proved once again the scripture about "a word fitly spoken..." and how powerful words can be.

 

Wouldn't we enjoy God giving us such a sticker? Wouldn't that be interesting to visualize and it would help us think more about the things we do?

Something as simple as a sticker would really put a smile on a student's face as he/she started home to see mom and dad. It should certainly bring us joy to think that God would commend us.

 

Remember such verse as:

 

How much more shall your heavenly Father... ~ Matthew 7:ll

Your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom ~ Luke 12:32

God is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him ~ Hebrews 11:6

Whatsover good thing any man doeth the same shall he receive of the Lord ~ Ephesians 6:8

But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good ~ Romans 2:10

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above ... ~ James 1:17

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee     openly. ~ Matthew 6:4

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself ... stablish you in every good word and work ~ II             Thessalonians 2:16-17

 

Will we be caught being good today?

 

3/16/2012

 

It has been noted that change is difficult. As we look at ourselves individually, do we tend to resist change? All of us like our routines and habits particularly if they serve us well.

 

However, we all deal with change everyday. We see it in the aging process, as our children grow up, in the job or company we work for, and life in general brings us things that are different that require new ways of thinking and acting.

 

One of the great challenges we have as Christians is to be unwavering in our faith, principles, and Biblical stand for the Lord and at the same time being flexible in dealing with the changes in life and circumstances.

 

May God grant the wisdom to do this and in fact demonstrate to the world that it can be done. It would be great testimony to let our light so shine, be steadfast, unmovable and yet be on the cutting edge of dealing successfully in this life we have now - all to the glory of God. 

 

3/17/2012

 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God ~ Matthew 5:9

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to take this scripture very literally? In other words you had to "make peace" - you could not find any and no one would help you. You essentially had to make it from scratch.

 

Perhaps you needed peace in your own life or you were dealing with others that were definitely on two different sides with you were right in the middle. The story is told of a Christian counselor who was trying his best to reconcile a husband and wife who had come to him regarding their marriage. After numerous sessions with no progress and each blaming the other for what had happened, he finally told them: If it would help this situation, why don't both of you just blame me? I'll take the blame if we can just make some progress toward peace and reconciliation.

 

Of course blaming the counselor would not likely be the answer, be he was indeed trying to be a "peace maker". The Bible has a lot to say about and how precious peace is in our lives. It is very difficult to deal with anything effectively if you do not have peace. We know how it is on the inside of use when there is turmoil and uneasiness rolling around.

 

James 3:16-18 say it very well:

 

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

 

We see again the concept here of "making peace". It is often the most difficult when more than one person is involved. But what a joy it is when the peace of God rules and drives out strife and division. We are told that God's peace will keep our hearts and minds ~ Philippians 4:7

 

How important it is to seek peace and pursue it ~ Psalm 34:14

 

We pray especially for those who need God's peace today. Further, we could all benefit by becoming more skilled at being "peace makers".

 

3/18/2012

 

The song "Lily of the Valley" is often sung this time of year and in connection with the resurrection. It is in some hymnals but not in all. It was not written as a hymn but for the Salvation Army by a member of that organization.

 

He wanted a song that they could sing publicly that would tell people about Jesus - something that would get their attention and make an impact. As we have noted before, it is nearly impossible for one song to do it all; but William Fry did a good job with three verses.

 

Think about these verses and the description that they give of Jesus and the Christian life. We might just sing it with a little more exuberance this morning.

 

I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.

 

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tow’r;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His pow’r.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.

 

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face,
Where rivers of delight shall ever roll.

 

3/19/2012

 

Last week our main theme was choices. Since our choices essentially determine what we do, we looked at that aspect of the Word yesterday. We especially emphasized doing that which is good and right. Some scriptures to note:

 

Depart from evil, and do good; ... ~ Psalm 34:14

 

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. ~ Psalm 37:3

 

Depart from evil, and do good; ~ Psalm 37:27

 

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. ~ Matthew 5:44-45

 

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; ... ~ Luke 6:35

 

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

 

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; ~ I Timothy 6:17-18

 

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. ~ I Peter 3:10-11

 

Many are very familiar with the verse in Hebrews that talks about giving the sacrifice of praise to God. The verse after it fits well with our topic:

 

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. ~ Hebrews 13:15-16

 

Making sure that we respond in a good and right way is something to work on in this day and time especially. It is not easy on the flesh to do good to those coming against you. All of us can easily get in a tirade and vent some righteous indignation regarding the things that are going on. With all of the technology that is available, it can be used for that which is bad and wrong as well as for good and right.

 

Be we are told, indeed we are charged, to do that which is right. That does not mean we ignore wrong and do not address it. But we do so because it is the right thing to do and not because we have blown our top. We need God's help to know the exact way to respond - how to respond with a soft answer that will turn away wrath ~ Proverbs 15:1

 

When each of us responds by doing good, we can initiate a series of events that God can get involved in. Each one of us has different spheres of influence and different people and situations that we can impact. We think about the Christian missionary physicians who travel the world to bring desperately needed medical care to people - asking nothing in return as noted in our verse from Luke.

 

The possibilities are endless if we hear from God regarding how each one of us could do good to the people we are involved with. What an easy and effective way to witness! It is a great opportunity and "open door" that God has blessed us with.

 

3/20/2012

 

In the past week we have written about the choices we make and the things we do. These topics can really hit home when we look at them in our children. Perhaps this is because we see ourselves when we were their age, and also perhaps our experiences paint the picture we wish they could see and understand.

 

Did your parent ever hit you with "Don't you know better than that"? or perhaps you have used it with your children. If truth be told, the answer to that question would likely be "yes". We often did know better yet we acted without thinking, we were under pressure, or for some reason we made the wrong choice. There's that word again - choice.

 

It shows us all, young and old(er), that it is important to consider each day the choices we make and the things we do. How important it is to pray in this regard and ask God for a spiritual mind that will not yield to temptation and make a wrong choice.

 

When we recognize that we face a battlefield each day, then we realize how much we need the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and the weapons of our warfare (II Corinthians 10). We also need the gifts and power of the Spirit that we might war a good warfare - interesting words from Paul to the young man Timothy (I Timothy 1:18).

 

When we consider how much training in the natural goes into our men and women of the armed forces, it should stun us that we have not applied the same diligence to our spiritual lives. There is nothing to keep us from starting today - especially knowing that we have the best commanding officer and training manual.

 

3/21/2012

 

Have you heard the expression "Don't let circumstances control you"? For many this is not easy. Some think you are saying to ignore circumstances and do not deal with them.

 

There are certain things that must be dealt with. We have things that must be done, things to take care of, problems to solve, things to maintain - all on a daily basis. What we want is to do all of this as efficiently as we can and see that they do not rule us.

 

We want to keep circumstances in their proper place so that they do not control our thoughts, cause us to worry and fret, and dominate our lives. We want the Word and Spirit of God to be first and foremost in our thinking, planning, and doing. This indeed is the most effective way of successfully handling circumstances.

 

Circumstances are meant to be taken care of. We thank God for the ability He has given us to generally do this on a daily basis. We are also thankful that in times of crisis when we need solutions that we do not have, we can call on Him in full assurance of faith (Hebrews10:19-23).

 

Though every circumstance does not work out exactly as we may want it, we can count on His peace, grace, comfort and power to be working in us and on our behalf. Regardless of what comes we determine to not cast away our faith and confidence but continue to believe that God is at work within us to will and to do of His good pleasure ~ Philippians 2:13

 

As the body of Christ we are called to stand with each other to rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with them that weep ~ Romans 12:15. Further: "...  that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  ~ II Corinthians 1:4.  How desperately we need to be the overcomers in this area when people are hurting - may God especially bless us with this grace.

 

3/22/2012

 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. ~ Romans 5:10

 

Reconciliation is a wonderful thing. Even in the natural, tears of joy often flow when forgiveness and reconciliation occurs between individuals and families. For this to happen, often someone has to humble themselves and take steps to initiate and secure such a reconciliation.

 

The scriptures paint such a picture regarding Jesus. He humbled Himself to the point of being obedient even unto death so that we might be reconciled to God.

 

May we take at least a few minutes today both to reflect and give thanks for this great reconciliation.

 

Other scriptures to rejoice in:

 

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. ~ II Corinthians 5:18-20

 

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: ~ Ephesians 2:13-16

 

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled ~ Colossians 1:20-21.

 

3/23/2012

 

The term "culture" has been in the news quite a bit. Likely this is because there is a great debate as to what our culture should be, should it change from what it used to be, has it already changed, what ought to be our cultural standards, etc.

 

We know in general that culture describes a group, area or nation - it is generally talked about on a large scale. But we should realize that each one of us demonstrates a culture. What culture should the individual Christian represent?

 

Some find it difficult to define the term because it seems so broad. A simple definition would state that culture is what makes a group what it is. If we apply that personally, we can ask what makes us what we are?

 

From a Christian perspective, we all demonstrate a culture or lifestyle to those around us. It should enhance our witness for Christ - our witness involves what we say, what we do, and what we demonstrate.

 

Many have heard the pithy little expression: It is what it is!

 

When we personalize that we might say "Amen" or "Oh me". What we are eventually is demonstrated even though our lives might be disguised for a time. We write this not to condemn or find fault, but to point out indeed that our life is an open book.

 

That should be great news for the Christian. It should be a praise to our Lord for our lives to be "well read". While we will not be perfect examples, we could at least attest to how good God's mercy has been to us. We remember that we are vessels - hopefully vessels of honor ~ II Timothy 2:21

 

The "Christ in us" should bring blessed hope to the lives of others.

 

3/24/2012

Powerful words from an old hymn:

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 

 

            There is power, power, wonder working power
            In the blood of the Lamb;
            There is power, power, wonder working power
            In the precious blood of the Lamb.

 

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

 

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: ~ I Peter 1:18-19

 

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. ~ Romans 5:9

 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; ~ Ephesians 1:7

 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: ~ Colossians 1:14

 

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ~ Hebrews 9:14

 

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, ~ Hebrews 13:20

 

We are so thankful for the precious blood of Jesus - Just as I am without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me!

 

3/25/2012

 

Earlier in the month we wrote about this question: What does your face tell others?

 

We went on to say how our countenance tells others the tone we will likely use when we speak, what mood we are in, etc. We described what a smile can do in almost any situation.

 

Along with our countenance, we also know that the words we say can dictate how a situation will go, the reaction we might receive, etc. We know the scripture about a "word fitly spoken" ~ Proverbs 25:11

 

It is said that a survey of Christian counselors and leaders was done in this regard. They were asked what would they consider the best words to say to bring comfort and blessing to people. Answers were not to include such things as "God loves you" , "I love you", or "I'm praying for you" - expressions that might automatically come to mind.

 

From all the answers the words that were the most thought provoking were:

 

"I am here to help"

 

When you think about it, these are powerful words indeed. When you say this to someone and mean it, it demonstrates that your attention is on that person, you are desiring to meet a need and be a blessing.

 

May the words "I am here to help" be common place in our daily lives as we serve the Lord and serve others.

 

3/26/2012

 

We are in the season that is normally known as Easter and Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On the next two Sundays we will likely describe the picture of what Jesus went through. We know the scriptures tell us that Jesus laid aside His glory and humbled Himself even to the death of the cross.

 

But yesterday we looked at the topic: "What is the picture of Jesus today?" How do we picture Him today - still in swaddling clothes or with a crown of thorns hanging on the cross? We know a lot of these types of images are presented to tell the story of all that Jesus did. Yet it will help us to get a clear picture of how Jesus is now.

 

A good place to start is Revelation 1:9-16 where John gives the description of what he saw. We might wonder if John expected what he saw or was it a "wow" moment. He was used to seeing Jesus a certain way on the earth and likely his imagination allowed him to paint some type of picture of Jesus in glory. Yet it seems that John was not quite ready for what he saw. "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead..." ~ Revelation 1:17

 

Throughout scripture we see this same type of reaction when the reality of God strikes the human consciousness. The picture painted of Jesus now is one of majesty and royalty:

 

He is exalted ~ Acts 2:32, 5:31; Philippians 2:9

 

He is King of kings and Lord of lords ~ I Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14, 19:16

 

He is the resurrection and the life ~ John 11:25

 

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord ~ Philippians 2:10

 

In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily ~ Colossians 2:9

 

He has all power (authority) in heaven and in earth ~ Matthew 28:18, Ephesians 1:19, II Peter 1:16

 

He is the judge and standard of judgment of all mankind ~ II Timothy 4:8, John 5:22, Acts 17:31

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. ~ Acts 4:12

 

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life - no man comes to the Father except by Him ~ John 14:6

 

His glory even in human form was awe inspiring ~ Mark 9:3, Matthew 17:2

 

His glory is such that there is no need for the sun in heaven ~ Revelation 21:23

 

We could go on but again look at Revelation 1:9-16 and couple that with Revelation 5:12 ~ Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

 

The risen Christ is in a word "glorious". He demonstrates the epitome of excellence. With all the synonyms we can use, words still fail us to give an adequate description of our Lord Jesus.

 

Our purpose here is to describe this One and all He left in heaven to come to pay the price for our redemption. As Palm Sunday, Good Friday and the resurrection celebration is coming, may we recognize more of what He gave for us. May we also be able to picture and grasp more fully who this Jesus is who is coming for us!

 

3/27/2012

 

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31

 

Many are familiar with this scripture and it is often remembered, quoted and confessed during times of trouble or difficulty. Yes those times do come. We remember the life of Joseph and all the trials and tribulations he went through before becoming just under Pharaoh in authority. Remember what he said to his brethren:

 

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. ~ Genesis 50:20

 

The story of Joseph reminds us of Acts 14:22 ~ Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

 

There is often struggle and difficulty before the fullness of the blessing of God is manifest. God can definitely turn things around as we note in the following scripture:

 

On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. ~ Nehemiah 13:1-2

 

We will see more of "God being for us" when we respond in love rather than anger and "blowing our tops". When we do good to those who are against us and pray for them, we demonstrate a difference between Godliness and the world.

 

All of us know the temptation to retaliate and strike back. The world does that - it is natural. The difference is when we can respond as God tells us to. May God lead us and teach us how to respond in this way - to overcome evil with good.

 

3/28/2012

 

If you have ever dealt with teenagers you know they can get in "crisis mode" very quickly. Things that are different, things their peers criticize, and things that disrupt their routine can all be reasons of crisis for them.

 

Sometimes adults are not very sympathetic because they have been through it and know that many of these "crises" are simply irritations associated with this age and social structure.

 

It is interesting that a crisis can be very real and yet, we can make a crisis of almost any situation if we choose to. We all know the little saying "stuff happens" and it certainly does.

 

A good answer for "stuff happens" is: I'm gonna deal with it as best I can with God's help. When I come to end of what I can do, in the full armor of God I will stand.

 

Do the "issues" we face lead us to worry or lead us to God (in prayer and in His Word)? Going to God and His Word each day is good training. If you have ever been in a good training program, you know the positive results that are forthcoming.

 

In keeping with our verse yesterday regarding God being for us, we thank God for His wisdom, victory and way of escape in all of our issues, crises, and just plain stuff. ~ I Corinthians 10:13

 

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. ~ II Corinthians 2:14

 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ I Corinthians 15:57

 

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. ~ I John 5:4

 

3/29/2012

 

Just a quick note to remind us that we should always do our best - whether it is to the boss, our spouse, our family, our friends, or God. We all appreciate those around us who are giving their best - they are ones we can count on.

 

It is good to remind ourselves of this because we all get tired and some things get so routine. Getting this "our best"  attitude or mindset down on the inside will bless us, those around us, and should enhance our Christian testimony.

 

We could start by just doing something a little extra today for someone else.

 

 3/30/2012

 

As we recall from earlier in the month, a statement that can bring great blessing to others is:

 

I am here to help.

 

As we follow Christ's example

Can we meet another's need?

Help to ease another's burden

With a kind and helpful deed.

 

Anyone can have a ministry of helping others. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. ~ Galatians 6:2

 

3/31/2012

 

When we hear the word "contribution", our thoughts might automatically go toward money - which is certainly an aspect of the word. When you think about it, giving money is a common way of giving yourself into a particular situation. Your money involves all you did to earn it - your time, effort, skill, materials, etc. It is a representation of what we consider important - it was more important to give it in this particular area than somewhere else.

 

Yet if we ask the question, "What can I contribute?", we know it involves much more than money. Our contribution can be far beyond just cash, checks or credit cards. Often the contribution of your love, compassion, time and effort can go a long way to touch the lives of others.

 

So without even a thought of a dollar sign, let us ask ourselves "What can I contribute today"? The number of answers will likely be staggering so certainly we can start out with just one. Thank God for such an opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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