Daily Word Archives



What Open Door posts on Facebook - May 2012

 

5/1/2012

 

This is the first day of the month and we share chapter 1 of Psalms. The book of Psalms is greatly cherished and this first chapter of the 150 immediately starts us on the right path. It discusses what should be our walk, our meditation, and the blessing that comes when we do so. May these precious words direct our path from this day forward:

 

Psalm 1

 

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

5/2/2012

 

Yesterday we looked at Psalm 1. Psalm 2 starts out this way:

 

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

 

This verse may remind you of the New Testament as well. The early disciples in Acts 4 included the first two verses of this Psalm in their prayer. When they were threatened, they responded with this verse and asked the Lord, not to destroy or deal with the threateners, but to give them boldness to speak the word and that the Lord would stretch forth His hand to heal and show other signs and wonders. It is evident from that chapter that this prayer was pleasing to God the Father.

 

Reading and meditating on these words from Acts 4 will help us all - especially as we consider National Day of Prayer coming up on Thursday. We indeed pray for the same thing these early church members prayed for.

 

We do this because we love people, and we know that the best thing for all of us is the Word of God and the power of the Spirit.

 

5/3/2012

 

Today we recognize and participate in the National Day of Prayer. It is a way to express our faith to others, to stand for something we believe in, and certainly to ask for God's blessing and mercy upon our country. We encourage everyone to actively participate in some way.

 

2012 NATIONAL PRAYER

 

Dr. David Jeremiah – NDP Honorary Chairman

2012 NATIONAL PRAYER

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Every good gift and perfect gift comes from You. You are a faithful God and Your mercy endures forever.

 

You have promised to bless the nation that trusts in You. Our currency proclaims “In God We Trust,” but in our culture we are far from You.

 

In the words of the prophet Daniel, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.”

 

We come before You once more, seeking Your forgiveness and mercy. You, O God, are our only hope… Hear our prayer and, for Your honor’s sake, shine Your face upon this nation.

 

Give our leaders the desire to seek Your wisdom and the courage to follow Your guidance… and watch over the men and women of our armed forces as they sacrifice for the cause of freedom.

We give You thanks for all You have done for us, and we earnestly pray that You will help us become, once again, a nation whose God is the Lord.

 

In the name of Your Son, and our Savior, we pray this prayer.

 

Amen

 

5/4/2012

 

Yesterday's focus on prayer reminds us of the words of Jesus:

 

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; ~ Luke 18:1

 

When Jesus faced the climax and ultimate test of His mission on earth - And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. ~ Luke 22:44

 

If the average person could have viewed this scene and the next 24 hours, they may have come to the conclusion that Jesus' prayers did not work very well. But we know the whole story now.

Sometimes the 24 hours after we pray may not show the results we would like, but that 24 hours is not the whole story.

 

We take both comfort and courage in the words of Jesus to always pray and not to faint.

 

"...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." ~ James 5:16

 

5/5/2012

 

Continuing to look at prayer, we note the one from the National Day of Prayer website. Words from Daniel chapter 9 were quoted. We encourage everyone to read that chapter as Daniel fervently prays for his people and nation. He does not "sugar coat" the bad, and he is not ashamed to cry out to God for His mercy.

 

Throughout the book of Daniel we see that he is not just a man of prayer, but a man of action and a person who would stand for his faith. He is a great example for the body of Christ. Would we dare to be a Daniel today? Dare to be a Daniel by Philip Bliss 1873.

 

Standing by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!

 

Refrain:
            Dare to be a Daniel,
            Dare to stand alone!
            Dare to have a purpose firm!
            Dare to make it known.

 

Many giants, great and tall,
Stalking through the land,
Headlong to the earth would fall,
If met by Daniel’s band.

 

Hold the Gospel banner high!
On to vict’ry grand!
Satan and his hosts defy,
And shout for Daniel’s band.

 

5/6/2012

 

For the past few days we have written about prayer. If you ask the average Christian what they consider the best known hymn regarding prayer, they would likely say: Sweet Hour of Prayer.

 

Many are certainly familiar with this hymn and it has brought comfort in times of need. It is likely though, that we are more familiar with the words than we are familiar with a "sweet hour of prayer" itself. This should be a challenge to us. Dear Lord, may we long for and indeed participate in a sweet hour of prayer.

 

The article below was found at: cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/h/shop.htm

 

Words: William Walford, 1845; ap­peared in The New York Ob­ser­ver, Sep­tem­ber 13, 1845, ac­com­pa­nied by the fol­low­ing, writ­ten by Thom­as Sal­mon:

 

During my re­si­dence at Coles­hill, War­wick­shire, Eng­land, I be­came ac­quaint­ed with W. W. Wal­ford, the blind preach­er, a man of ob­scure birth and con­nect­ions and no ed­u­ca­tion, but of strong mind and most re­ten­tive mem­o­ry. In the pul­pit he ne­ver failed to se­lect a less­on well adapt­ed to his sub­ject, giv­ing chap­ter and verse with un­err­ing pre­ci­sion and scarce­ly ev­er mis­plac­ing a word in his re­pe­ti­tion of the Psalms, ev­ery part of the New Tes­ta­ment, the pro­phe­cies, and some of the his­to­ries, so as to have the rep­u­ta­tion of “know­ing the whole Bi­ble by heart.” He ac­tu­al­ly sat in the chim­ney cor­ner, em­ploy­ing his mind in com­pos­ing a ser­mon or two for Sab­bath de­liv­ery, and his hands in cut­ting, shap­ing and po­lish­ing bones for shoe horns and other lit­tle use­ful im­ple­ments. At in­ter­vals he at­tempt­ed po­e­try. On one oc­ca­sion, pay­ing him a vi­sit, he re­peat­ed two or three piec­es which he had co­mposed, and hav­ing no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the store­house within. “How will this do?” asked he, as he re­peat­ed the fol­low­ing lines, with a com­pla­cent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he sub­ject him­self to cri­ti­cism. I ra­pid­ly co­pied the lines with my pen­cil, as he ut­tered them, and sent them for in­ser­tion in the Ob­serv­er, if you should think them worthy of pre­ser­va­tion.

 

The Observer printed these words:

 

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

 

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

 

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

 

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

 

---

 

You should earn a gold star if you know the significance of Mount Pisgah without looking it up!

 

5/7/2012

 

Yesterday in church we began looking at "grace". Just meditating on the scriptures as written is a great blessing.

 

I Peter 5:10 ~ But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus ...

 

Romans 5:15 ~ ... much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

 

Titus 2:11 ~ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

 

I Corinthians 1:4 ~ I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

 

Hebrews 2:9 ~ But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

 

I Corinthians 15:10 ~ But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 

We thank God for all the ways He continues to demonstrate His grace on behalf of mankind.

 

5/8/2012

 

Here is a hallelujah shout for the day:

 

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen. ~ Jude 1:24-25

 

Take some time to imagine that joy!

 

5/9/2012

 

As we remember the subject of "grace" from the other day, we say again that it is very difficult to find any negative qualities in it. It always brings a blessing and always helps - especially grace from a Biblical standpoint.

 

Often looking at a subject from the other side or the opposite can help clarify a meaning as well. Think about the opposite here - disgrace. Does anyone want any of that? This negative of the term "grace" is one we can readily see in our minds.

 

We want no part of disgrace while cherishing all the grace we can get. With that in mind we want to be sure to give as much grace to others as we can. We should be people who add new meaning to the term "graceful" - that is, people full of grace.

 

5/10/2012

We are reminded of this beautiful hymn in regards to grace:

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

 

Refrain

 

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

 

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

 

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

 

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

 

5/11/2012

 

If you have many conversations with people about the grace of God, you might hear a statement like this: If all you talk about is the grace of God, you are just giving people a license to sin.

 

One minister retaliated this way: It is obvious that people do not need a license to sin.

 

It is interesting that Paul evidently faced the same question in his ministry when he wrote: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ~ Romans 6:1-2

 

There are those that seem to think that Christians can live any way they want, do any thing they want, and God's grace just covers them with forgiveness - perhaps they consider it automatic.

But this does not describe the grace of God:

 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; ~ Titus 2:11-12

 

Notice what the grace of God will teach us as noted in verse 12 above. Obeying this scripture would give us all a high standard of living.

 

It is wonderful that God will forgive - 70 times 7 as Jesus told us to do. But we would suggest people not try and "con" God. You would not appreciate someone playing on your Christian virtue - knowing you will forgive if they ask but they really do not care about you. Anyone acting like this should remember the Bible says we reap what we sow.

 

We write all of this to clarify some things about God's grace - it teaches us to live as indicated in Titus 2:12 and it will give us the power to successfully resist temptation.

 

Because of Jesus, where sin abounds grace will much more abound - not so we can wallow in the sin but so we will set aside these weights and the sin that otherwise might easily beset us ~ Hebrews 12:1

 

5/12/2012

 

Here is a fun song about the wonderful grace of Jesus - a great way to start the weekend:

 

1. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Greater than all my sin;
How shall my tongue describe it,
Where shall its praise begin?
Taking away my burden,
Setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
 
Chorus:
 
Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus,
Deeper than the mighty rolling sea;
Higher than the mountain, sparkling like a fountain,
All sufficient grace for even me;
Broader than the scope of my transgressions,
Greater far than all my sin and shame;
O magnify the precious Name of Jesus,
Praise His Name!
 
2. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching to all the lost,
By it I have been pardoned,
Saved to the uttermost;
Chains have been torn asunder,
Giving me liberty;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
 
3. Wonderful grace of Jesus,
Reaching the most defiled,
By its transforming power,
Making him God's dear child,
Purchasing peace and heaven,
For all eternity;
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
 
 
 
5/13/2012
 
We pray that each mother would experience a special blessing on this Mother's Day. We know the many sacrifices that mothers make on behalf of their families. We recognize as well that it is often the mother who instructs and brings the message of Jesus into the lives of the children.
 
So we thank you mothers for your giving and commitment to your family. May you reap the fruits of righteousness, may you enjoy some honor and recognition today, and may the peace and joy of the Lord Jesus Christ rest upon you and your household.

 

5/14/2012

 

Many have heard the acronym that defines the word "grace":

 

G: God's

 

R: Riches

 

A: At

 

C: Christ's

 

E: Expense

 

 

We remember John 1:17 ~ For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

We see here that grace indeed came by Jesus. We further that it was at Christ's expense that grace can be shown to every person:

 

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. ~ Hebrews 2:9

 

All of this helps us better understand these words from Ephesians 1:6-7 ~ To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

 

Certainly His grace is glorious in what it would do in and for us ~ we are accepted, we have redemption, and we have forgiveness of sin all at the expense of Christ.

 

What a Wonderful Savior!

 

5/15/2012

 

Our writing yesterday ended with the words: What a Wonderful Savior!

 

Did you know there is a hymn by that title?  As you read the words, can you imagine them as describing you? They certainly describe a high standard. Some of these things come at the new birth and others we should work on attaining as we walk in newness of life ~ Romans 6:4

 

The words are ones to give us a good checkup.

Christ has for sin atonement made
What a wonderful Savior!
We are redeemed, the price is paid
What a wonderful Savior!

Refrain:

What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Jesus!
What a wonderful Savior is Jesus, my Lord!

I praise Him for the cleansing blood
What a wonderful Savior!
That reconciled my soul to God
What a wonderful Savior!

He cleansed my heart from all its sin
What a wonderful Savior!
And now He reigns and rules therein
What a wonderful Savior!

He walks beside me in the way:
What a wonderful Savior!
And keeps me faithful day by day;
What a wonderful Savior!

He gives me overcoming power
What a wonderful Savior!
And triumph in each trying hour
What a wonderful Savior!

To Him I’ve given all my heart:
What a wonderful Savior!
The world shall never share a part:
What a wonderful Savior!

5/16/2012

 

Yesterday and from time to time we will share a hymn and comment on its words, Biblical applications, life applications, etc. Sometimes people will comment on the words of hymns and words in the Bible that speak of a life and walk with Christ that seems unattainable.

 

Jesus was upfront about the fact that we will have tribulation. This world is not a rose garden. We are soldiers in an army. We wrestle against principalities and powers. We deal with the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

On the other hand we are told to be of good cheer, that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world, this is the victory that overcomes the world - even our faith, and that Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us.

 

So do not hesitate to speak the word of faith and the power of God over yourself and your family. When you do this you are sowing good seed into your life and the lives others - and these seeds will bloom and produce the good fruit if you keep at it.

 

As an example, one good place to start for all of us would be in the area of temptation. Lord give me victory in this, help me walk in it, and the next time this particular thing comes up I believe You will quicken me on the inside - I will cast it out and it will have no power over me. God will show me the way of escape ~ I Corinthians 10:13

 

When we start praying and speaking like this, we have given the Holy Spirit something to work with in our lives. When the temptation comes we may hear something like this on the inside:

 

He gives me overcoming power, and triumph in each trying hour, What a wonderful Savior!

 

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. ~ Romans 6:13

 

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. ~ Romans 6:14

 

When this starts working in you (because you have sown to the spirit) you have the power to rise and declare: I'm not yielding to this dumb sin. I'm not getting involved in this foolishness that would ruin my life!

 

May this continue in us daily and may the "Victory in Jesus" that we sing about be what we live in more and more each day.

 

5/17/2012

 

Have you noticed that many things today seem to be so complicated? What should be a simple task often turns into a full-blown project, situation, or an ordeal. Then we can add "time consuming" to the complicated. It seems nothing is simple any more.

 

You may spend time on the phone being transferred to various departments, automated systems that do not have the choice you need, you will have at least a 15 minute wait to speak with a live person, and finally when you do so it is the wrong department or this person cannot help you.

 

Then there is all the paperwork; Oh you need a permit for that and the guy who approves it is on vacation; that part you need is for an item that is no longer manufactured; they never got the 15 pages you either Faxed or sent by mail; and the final blow when you hear "You're going to need a lawyer"!

 

Many of us can relate in some way to what was described above, and there does not appear to be any relief in sight. The thought for this writing came as we compare what we deal with in the world today to that which should be most important to us - eternity!

 

With that in mind, note the three scriptures below and the word "simplicity" (it is capitalized for emphasis):

 

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with SIMPLICITY; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. ~ Romans 12:8

 

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in SIMPLICITY and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. ~ II Corinthians 1:12

 

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ. ~ II Corinthians 11:3

 

The gospel stands in all of its richness, it opens to us the kingdom of God that we will learn about and live in for eternity, so much of it is beyond our present comprehension; yet it can be simply explained and simply embraced and received.

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16

 

5/18/2012

 

On Wednesday our writing concerned sowing the seed of the Word of God into our lives - meditating on it, confessing it, and acting on it the best we can. We can once again learn a good lesson when we apply this to our children.

 

When children are introduced to the gospel and the things of God, we know they will not grasp the whole concept of any subject at one time. We teach them: Jesus loves me this I know; now I lay me down to sleep, Jesus born in a manger, Jesus was crucified and resurrected, the Bible is the Word of God, etc.

 

We know that their understanding will just be the basic concept of what the words say - they are not ready for deep theological arguments like we think we are. We do not care about that - a foundation is being laid and seeds are being sown into their lives that will bring forth fruit. We know these concepts will take them down a good road if they continue to embrace them. We know their understanding will grow as they continue in it.

 

It is the same with us who are older. We are in a life-long learning process. We will constantly deal with situations (perhaps new to us) that we need to apply the Word of God in. Jesus said the Spirit of God would show us things to come and He would be our helper.

 

Let us then have the faith as a little child and it will work in our lives - embrace God's Word, trust Him for greater understanding, and realize in doing that we are drawing nigh unto Him. (Hebrews 7:19 & James 4:8). We are invited to come boldly before the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:16.

 

5/19/2012

 

If you are a student of the Bible or read it on a regular basis, a question that you might ask is "What do I do next"? People often ask that question as they want to go further or deeper into the Bible or the things of God. Many who speak in public, preach sermons, or write daily columns look for inspiration, a subject to get into - something that will both motivate them and those that they will communicate with.

 

In studying the Bible you could study a particular book, you could study a subject like "faith", you could study a particular person like Joseph of the Old Testament, or a particular time frame like that of the kings of Israel and Judah.

 

Something else that is exciting and relevant is to take a topic of today and search out what scripture would say about it. If you have ever dealt with teenagers or those in a youth group, you know that this can be very popular and generate lively discussions. Not all subjects are directly mentioned in the Bible of course, but it would be difficult to find a major topic where Biblical principles do not apply.

 

It is when we realize that the Bible does speak and give direction in every aspect of life, that we tend to have greater motivation to seek out its truths.  One of the Baptist Hymnals years ago had a section where it listed out some of the things Baptists generally believed. Included was a statement that said something like: We believe the Bible to be the foundation of all faith, hope and practice.

 

However you decide to read or study the Bible, do so with the intent to learn and grow. Do so with the intent to put it into practice. When we realize how able the sacred Word is to bless us and others, we will delve into it with zeal and tenacity. Do you remember this verse:

 

Holy Bible, Book divine,
Precious treasure, thou art mine;
Mine to tell me whence I came;
Mine to teach me what I am.

 

May we consider the Bible a "precious treasure" each day.

 

5/20/2012

 

This is a hymn that is fun to sing. We pray that it would be the cry of our hearts each day - and especially as we would gather with those of like precious faith today.

More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.

Refrain

            More, more about Jesus,
            More, more about Jesus;
            More of His saving fullness see,
            More of His love Who died for me.

More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.

More about Jesus; in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.

More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.

5/21/2012

 

As we look again at the word "grace" we note that it appears 122 times in the New Testament (KJV). Therefore an exhaustive study of the word would last a very long time. Here we just want to note the word in conjunction with another word "abound". Be blessed as you read:

 

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. ~ Romans 5:15

 

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Romans 5:20-12

 

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: ~ II Corinthians 9:8

 

Don't you just want to sing - Wonderful the matchless grace of Jesus ...

 

5/22/2012

 

It has been said that one of the greatest thing that any employee can do is to make the company look good. If you were a boss, what would you think of an employee who had a goal to make your company look good? You would certainly look on him favorably and you would likely ask this person about his (or her) outlook.

 

Sadly, such an ethic is hardly heard of - or at least it is not promoted or emphasized. It should be the work ethic of many and particularly those who call themselves Christians. What a witness and testimony this would be!

 

As Christians, we could say the same about our service to God. Does our conduct make God, His church, and other members of the body of Christ look good? Lord help us to be mindful of this and demonstrate an effort toward it. It is certainly a way to esteem others better (more highly) than ourselves. ~ Philippians 2:3

 

5/23/2012

 

Do you know where the word "grace" is first used in the Bible. Perhaps you have heard it sung:

 

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. ~ Genesis 6:8

 

We can surely say that grace did something for Noah and his family that that the rest of the world did not obtain. We end this writing here - this introduction to grace will give us plenty to consider today.

 

5/24/2012

 

We know Memorial Day is coming up. It strikes an emotional chord in a number of people as it reminds us of life and death issues that confront us. Most families have a least one person who has served in the military.

 

We see the word "memorial" a number of times in the Bible. We note here the story of Cornelius:

 

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. ~ Acts 10:1-4

 

We share this to be a blessing to anyone who is reaching out to God, hurting in any way, or just finds this holiday one that may bring depressing memories. The scripture shows us that God knows what we are doing and He cares enough to reach out.

 

May the body of Christ especially both reach out and pray for those who may be hurting in regards to what we recognize on Memorial Day. May the Spirit of God make these words a reality in your life:

 

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. ~ Romans 15:13

 

5/25/2012

 

Ronald Reagan was known as the great communicator. He had a way of getting his point across clearly without many words - a trait that is not seen much in politicians. Good communication skills are a valuable asset.

 

As we look at ourselves, which way do we tend to lean - toward President Reagan or toward the general politician? We can all use a good checkup in that area.

 

If you are brave enough and really want to know, record yourself when speaking with your spouse, children, or others and play it back - privately. You are almost guaranteed to learn something.

 

First, we will usually learn that we do not sound like we think we do - it is often a shock. We will find out if we tend to be wordy, short, gossipy, redundant, snarky, dramatic, our decibel level is off the scale, or too often use words such as "uh-huh", "whatever", "like", "sweet", "BFF", "my bad", "you know" .... We will learn something.

 

Since the scriptures place great importance on our words, what kind of "communicators" we are should be important to us. The better we can communicate anything, the better will be the results.

 

It certainly should be important if we want to give our best for God.

 

5/26/2012

 

The story is told of a young mother who wanted good counsel/instruction on the discipline of children. She had her first child a few months prior and wanted to get started in the right way. She decided to take a highly recommended Christian course at a local church.

 

After a number of sessions, a friend asked what she had learned. She responded "I learned that it is going to be a lot of work!" Parents, and especially mothers, will likely give a hearty "Amen"!

 

When you think about it, just about anything that you want to do well requires that four-letter word - WORK. You either put in the time and effort to get something to a good level of performance, and/or it takes work in the performance of it. We also know that in addition to work, there will be a time factor. The time it takes to do this work is time not used for something else. Because of this, we should make the most of this time we are using to work.

 

It sounds like a vicious cycle. A better word than "cycle" might be to say it is "ongoing". This is a better term because we want to achieve higher levels - not just go around in circles.

 

We are looking for results and good progress - and it will not come from haphazard, random or arbitrary efforts. We need a good plan and even that takes time and effort.

 

Knowing we reap what we sow should encourage us to sow good time and effort in our endeavors to lay a good foundation. We pray God give us the right plan and the right way to go about it. May our thoughts show us His way in this particular matter:

 

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. ~ Proverbs 16:3

 

School graduations are happening now. We know the results for students will be determined by the time and effort they have put forth in previous months/years. Why should we think that would be any different in the important aspects of life?  May God help us to work "smarter" and if that means working "harder" right now, let us be willing to do it. 

 

Don't we encourage students to hang in there, the day of graduation is coming, you will be thankful one day that you did well in school ... Therefore we should remember:

 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~ Galatians 6:9

 

Heavenly Father, may the doing that I do be well-doing indeed and not just an exercise in beating the air. ~ I Corinthians 9:26 

 

5/27/2012

 

This is Memorial Day Sunday for us. We are grateful for the men and women who have given of themselves to serve our country. We remember their families as well - they deserve honor. They must deal with life and go on while someone is serving for all of us.

 

So we salute and pray for you all - especially that the peace of God would be mightily upon you. There is so much anxiety and tension in the world and especially as you send your loved ones forth in the midst of it.

 

We are thankful for all of those who in years past have served and laid down their lives. We thank God and ask His special blessings on family members who need comfort and a touch of His love.

 

So we shout and give thanks and at the same time bow our heads in reverence and let the tears fall. May our Father in heaven grant each person what they need to carry on and indeed know the joy of Christ whatever their situation my be.

 

We pray God bless the United States of America, and we cry out for His mercy on our land and people

 

5/28/2012

 

If there is ever a group of people who should be thankful for the men and women who served and are serving in our nation's armed forces, it is the Christians. Without their sacrifice we would not have won all the conflicts we have had. If we had not won, America would look much different than it does today. Such an America, even with all of our problems today, would likely look much worse.

 

We were able to praise and worship the Lord and assemble freely because of military sacrifice - and the work of those who labor to keep us safe. Newspaper headlines show us each day how important a job these people do to keep us safe and free.

 

We believe our nation has a lot of problems from a Biblical standpoint. We also believe that God has blessed us abundantly and continues to show us mercy - we should not take this for granted. And we believe that the men and women who serve are part of the blessing we have received from God.

 

So pray for all of our service men, women, and their families. We thank you for your service and desire that you know the presence of God our Father in your lives through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

And we thank God for blessing America.

 

5/29/2012

 

We look again at those who are serving in our military even though the day of celebration is over. Most people are back to the work and daily routines as normal. There is nothing wrong with that - it is the way of this life.

 

But we are reminded that our military people stepped into something bigger than themselves - that the people back home may benefit. They will benefit as well - no doubt about it. The USA is their country too.

As Christians we can learn from their example - to step into something bigger than ourselves and something that might be difficult. Not that we launch into something without thought and prayer. But our challenge is to do something in our Christian service that is not directed toward us but toward others. This reminds us of the words of Jesus:

 

... it is more blessed to give than to receive ~ Acts 20:35

 

This simple concept opens huge opportunities for us each day. What can I give today?

 

5/30/2012

 

Most of us are familiar with the saying - Keep your strength up

 

Or - don't let yourself get run down

 

We know how important this is. We are not very effective if we do not have strength. But strength is more than just physical ability or muscle. It is the quality on the inside that gives courage, confidence, hope, and a desire to achieve

 

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; ~ Ephesians 3:16

 

It is strength on the inside that can properly direct abilities we have in the natural. Think of the opposite - if you are depressed, in a hopeless state and discouraged (without courage), you will not be motivated to do much that will be beneficial. This shows how important it is to stay strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

 

We pray that your daily Bible time, prayer, fellowship with other believers, and coming together at church will bring you strength and encouragement.

 

5/31/2012

 

As the school year comes to an end and summer vacation begins, families plunge into the full-time dynamic between parents/child(ren). One thing we know that children really need instruction in - patience! Children have been described as having a "microwave" outlook and our society today has likely enhanced it. They can be very good at putting our patience to the test.

 

We adults sometimes get frustrated with "are we there yet", "can't we get one now", "I want to do it today" ... We often know what the children do not - it is on the way, we will be there shortly, it cannot be done today because it is scheduled for the weekend... We know also that a child getting everything he wants at the first request is going to cause problems - we know that patience is a virtue.

 

Perhaps our heavenly Father looks at us the same way. Patience is mentioned 33 times in the New Testament (KJV), and it is well worth a good study. We tend to view patience like "I'm just hanging on" or "I am tolerating this waiting".

 

James 1:3-4 says that patience has a work to do in us. Through faith and patience we inherit God's promises ~ Hebrews 6:12. Patience is a step toward Godliness ~ II Peter 1:6. He is called the God of patience ~ Romans 15:5. Patience is involved in bringing forth fruit from the Word of God ~ Luke 8:15.

 

Just a brief Biblical scan of the word shows us it is more than a mental exercise.  Granted we often have to take hold of our minds, get them under control, and meditate on verses like Isaiah 26:3 ~   Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. We know what it is like when our minds are in turmoil.

 

So the next time our children's impatience starts to irk us, may it remind us of how God might look at us. Perhaps that will help us have a little more "patience" with them. Perhaps we could show them how we exercise patience ~ how to be at peace when waiting for something (and what to do while we wait).

 

We ask God to teach us all more about patience, that we might develop it in our lives, and that it would have its perfect work in us that we may be perfect and entire wanting nothing. That is an amazing word from James 1:4 ~ May we learn and grow in the virtue and power of patience.

 



Do You Know Jesus?

Find Open Door Church on Facebook facebook.com/pages/Open-Door-Church-Ministries

Find Open Door Christian School on Facebook facebook.com/Open-Door-Christian-School-154471248444781/

Contact Us
What If You Died Today?