Daily Word Archives



What Open Door posts on Facebook - January 2014

 

1/1/ 2014

 

As 2013 has ended, we should be sure to let it end as much as possible in our lives. We know that many dealt with difficulties, troubles and even tragedies in 2013. The more of those things we can end (keep from distracting and/or discouraging us) the better.

 

We know there are likely things we have to deal with and loose ends to tie up as we go into 2014. May God help us as much as possible to be  like Paul:  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

 

Even though some 2013 things may still be on our plates and need finalizing, we can say like Paul: this one thing I do! We are looking ahead and pressing forward in the things of God.

 

We pray you have a blessed, prosperous and Jesus-filled year.

 

1/2/2014

 

Now that we are officially into the new year, it is appropriate to look at the concept of "new" from the Bible:

 

We remember that His mercies are new every morning ~Lamentations 3:22-23

 

Being born again is referred to as the "new birth".

 

It is interesting that in regards to our daily living we see verses like:

 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. ~ Romans 6:4

 

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. ~ Romans 7:6

 

These represent a great challenge to us, something to strive for, and should bring joy to our hearts to know that God wants to lift us out of a mundane existence.

 

Be it done in us according to Thy Word O Lord - that we walk in newness of life and serve in newness of spirit.

 

1/3/2014

 

As 2013 was coming to a close, we wrote a post saying we do not know everything that is coming, how everything is going to work out, or what we might face in the new year. But regardless we want to maintain our Christian walk and testimony.

 

Consider the situation with Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles 20. The news and reports he was getting were not good. In fact, we see no good news at all in the natural. He prayed and we note this line:

 

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. ~ II Chronicles 20:12

 

It would do us good to read the whole chapter. In our lives as well, there are times when we have no answers and no earthly place to turn. As with Jehoshaphat, our eyes need to be on the Lord. He is the One we should look to, set our hearts and faces toward, and put our confidence in.

 

Dear Lord, please remind us of this often - may we begin each day with our focus on You.

 

1/4/2014

As we consider new starts in the new year, we are reminded of habits we develop. We often concentrate on bad habits because we do not like their results, but good habits are very beneficial.

 

Habits can be considered training - being able to do something almost automatically. A good typist is an example. Good habits help us grow, develop and improve. There is often repetition involved which may not be exciting to watch, but brings fruit of our labor.

 

We note this verse: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. ~ Hebrews 5:14

 

Developing good habits is good exercise.

 

As we consider new starts in the new year, we are reminded of habits we develop. We often concentrate on bad habits because we do not like their results, but good habits are very beneficial.

 

Habits can be considered training - being able to do something almost automatically. A good typist is an example. Good habits help us grow, develop and improve. There is often repetition involved which may not be exciting to watch, but brings fruit of our labor.

 

We note this verse: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. ~ Hebrews 5:14

 

Developing good habits is good exercise.

 

1/5/2014

 

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" or we might say "the standards we live by"

 

1/6/2014

 

Do you suppose Jesus ever had a "blue Monday"? People often wonder if Jesus dealt with emotions and had the feelings that we do - did He have to battle these things.

 

From Hebrews 4:15:

 

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

From Hebrews 2:17-18:

 

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

 

From these and other scriptures we have to conclude that Jesus knows what it feels like - physically and emotionally. The thing we need to recognize as well is that it says "yet without sin".

 

This is the challenge for us. The temptations and feelings will come - Lord help me not to sin when they do. I pray my responses will please God and not let the feelings of discouragement (and fatigue) cause me to act in a wrong way.

 

This type of desire and motivation is one that honors the Lord.

 

1/7/2014

 

It is interesting how some things have not changed:

 

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. ~ Matthew 11:16-19

 

Today, as in the time when Jesus was on the earth, we see the professional critics - people who can find fault with anything.

 

Yes we can challenge, critique, and say that something is wrong. But we should do it with a motivation to improve a situation, help someone,  or offer a good and better alternative.

 

Anyone can criticize something or someone. As Christians we should be looking for the Godly and proper thing to present and implement - and be willing to help get it done if we can.

 

1/8/2014

 

As we enter in to 2014, new opportunities are often a part of what people hope for. We must realize that sometimes the new opportunities do not come wrapped in a pretty red bow. Often these opportunities have to be worked on and developed.

 

Sometimes they come looking like problems or their appearance is one that seems threatening. When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, we wonder what kind of answer Paul would have given to the question: Is this imprisonment a problem or an opportunity?

 

It could be both depending on a person's attitude or perspective. Certainly it was not pleasant and they had been wounded. But their response was to pray and sing praises to God ~ Acts 16:25. They knew to seek God in this situation - to get their attention and focus on Him. That was where the answer was coming from regardless of how they might analyze their situation of being in prison.

 

Of course we know the results were miraculous and we rejoice in that. But we also see the rejoicing came before they saw anything worth rejoicing over. There was no use complaining - we can see how that would be a natural response but it is just the opposite of seeking God and giving Him praise for being the answer in every situation.

 

This is a great lesson to us. We are daily confronted with things that may be difficult and appear as problems without an obvious solution. Yet we know the source of all wisdom Who told us to ask for wisdom when we need it. "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." ~ James 1:5

 

Lord, regardless of what we face, help us to see it from Your perspective. Show us the right way to handle it, that good would come out of it, that the kingdom of God would be promoted, and show us the opportunity in it to be a help and a blessing.

 

Let us train ourselves for this when the pressure is not on so to speak. We want the right attitude and spiritual outlook to become such a part of us that is just flows out - like rivers of living water that Jesus spoke of.

 

1/9/2014

 

On this 9th day of the month we read:

 

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.~ Proverbs 9:9-11

 

May we learn to be wise and just in all we put our hands to do and in the way we live.

 

1/10/2014

 

In our prayer service Wednesday night, we noted this verse:

 

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. ~ Luke 11:1

 

Here the disciples observed Jesus in prayer and it was likely not the first time. They particularly asked Him to teach them how to pray.

 

This should be our desire as well. Further, if the Lord would teach us to pray and continue to do so, would we do it? Would we commit to put His instructions into practice?

 

Lord we know we have need of prayer and the knowledge daily on how to do it. May we commit to grow in this area and demonstrate the importance we put on praying.

 

1/11/2014

 

We know that each day is filled with what we call "natural things" or dealing with this physical life. Daily devotionals help us to stay "spiritually minded" (Romans 8:6) as we go about our daily routines.

 

We should desire to keep lines of communication open with the Lord at all times - asking for His guidance and leading in all the situations we face. Many of us deal with meetings, address problems, and interactwith people in all types of circumstances.

 

May God help us to be spiritually minded in all of these situations as we desire to help and hear His wisdom as we go about our work.

 

1/12/2014

 

Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. ~ Psalm 16:11

 

The scripture above tells us where the true path of life will take us - to the Life Giver Himself.

 

Without God, we merely have an existence which in no way can compare to the life that God gives. A life that death cannot touch is life indeed.

 

On earth, we tend to measure life as opposed to death in this mortal realm. Or we might measure the "good life" on this earth as opposed to what could be called a menial existence.

 

But we are talking about the life of God. We see bits and pieces of the attributes of this life in Jesus after His resurrection - how His body of flesh and bone could do things no mortal body could conceive. We also get more information from Paul in I Corinthians 15.

 

We pray everyone reading will experience the new life in Christ (presently in our spirits) if you are not doing so already - waiting for that day when "...we will be changed" ~ I Corinthians 15:52

 

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~ Romans 10:9-10

 

1/13/2014

 

Yesterday in our time of praise and worship we were reminded of Isaiah 26:3 ~ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 

Our praise and worship helps us to do this - to keep our focus and attention on the Lord.

 

Even in our busy lives when our minds are constantly dealing with various situations, we can offer praise and worship and declare that we are looking to the Lord in every situation.

 

Certainly when we come together corporately to worship, we can make the Lord the center of our attention and seek His presence.

 

May our hearts and minds be stayed on Him in every situation, and we ask Lord for your "perfect peace" that we noted in the verse above.

1/14/2014

 

Yesterday we mentioned Isaiah 26:3 that many are familiar with ~ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

 

Note the next verse (4): ~ Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is

                                           everlasting strength:

 

We know how important strength is every day and this verse indicates that God understands it as well.

 

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: ~ Colossians 1:1-14

 

Thank you Lord for this strength each day.

 

1/15/2014

 

A recent article was entitled: What if people treated their Bible like their cell phone?

 

It made some interesting observations about these questions:

 

“What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?”
“What if we flipped through it several times a day?”
“What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?”
“What if we used it to receive messages from the text?”
“What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?”
”What if we gave it to kids as gifts?”
“What if we used it when we traveled?”
“What if we used it in case of emergency?”

 

and finally:

 

“Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.”

 

May we demonstrate how important the Bible is to us each day.

 

1/16/2014

 

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. If it is done Biblically, good results will follow.

 

1/17/2014

 

Don't we all at times have trouble assessing something? Is it good, is it bad, should I be associated with it, etc? We all deal with such questions. This short verse may help us in some of these situations. Jesus said:

 

He that is not with me is against me ... ~ Matthew 12:30

 

Sometimes we do not have all the facts or enough details to make a decision or assessment. But we can always state that we will side with Jesus and the Bible whenever we do not quite know what else to say. That is a very good starting point.

 

1/18/2014

 

Verses that are straight and to the point:

 

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

 

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  ~ Romans 13:14

 

If there is one thing we prize in this natural life, it is liberty. From the scripture we are free to serve God and walk in His ways. In our land today, there is a challenge and sometimes confrontation when people decide to do this. This should not stop us from taking our stand and explaining why. May God help to do it by His love and with the right motives.

 

1/19/2013

 

Can I enrich someone else's life today?

 

How many lives shall I touch today?

How many neighbors will pass my way?

I can bless so many and help so much,

If I meet each one with a Christ-like touch ~ James from Our Daily Bread

 

Let our works bless others and glorify our Father in heaven. Let this not be something we just enjoy reading or thinking about, but enjoy doing.

 

1/20/2014

 

A particular verse we have been looking at is III John 2:

 

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

 

If you think about the people you love and care for,  the things mentioned in this verse would be on the top your list regarding what you would desire for them. God is way ahead of us as it is His desire for us as well.

 

Because man has free will, he can take the prosperity and health he enjoys and abuse and squander both. May God help us to avoid that, recognize our bodies as temples of the Holy Ghost, use our prosperity wisely, and in all blessings glorify Him.

 

We pray for wisdom in walking and living out all aspects of this verse.

 

1/21/2014

 

We note I Timothy 1:9 ~

 

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,

for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers

of mothers, for manslayers,

 

The next verse continues the list. It is interesting that Paul begins his letter to Timothy with this subject. Paul writes in verse 5  that the end of the commandment or what God wants is: love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned. Man will not get this from the law but by becoming a new creature in Christ Jesus.

 

Paul goes on to say that he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious (harmful or hurtful). The law could not help him but grace did.

 

(verse 14):  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in

                   Christ Jesus.

 

Paul lumped himself in with the lawbreakers and he goes on to say that the answer for him is the gospel and it is the answer for everyone in that group. What happened to him he considered " for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." (v. 16)

 

That God would do this for anyone leads Paul to declare in verse 17:  ~ Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

For all of us saved by His wonderful grace, we say the same and echo the Amen!

 

1/22/2014

 

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on

LORD.  ~ Psalm 27:14

 

Lord we are believing to see Your goodness in this land we are living. As we wait on You our eyes are on You; we believe and trust You. Thank you for showing Yourself strong on behalf of Your people and help us to bless and share Your goodness with others - through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

 

1/23/2014

 

Many are familiar with Ephesians 5:25 ~ Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved

the church, and gave himself for it;

 

This verse is often used in wedding ceremonies and throughout a marriage men are often

reminded of this through sermons, seminars and teachings. Many look at the demonstration of

it as simply the result of its existence (love for your wife). Since I do love her (men will reason) -

it will just naturally flow out.

 

We all know what can naturally flow out at times. The love flow can slow to a trickle. It is like

any area where we know what we should do, but that does not guarantee it happens.

 

A recent article challenged husbands to write down things they could do to demonstrate love to

their wives. It could be very practical things to help, relieve some stress, show her how

important she is, etc. This is loving both in word and in deed (I John 3:18)

 

This is something great to do to bless her, bless your home, and demonstrate Godliness to your

children. This is a giving of ourselves to our wives and we remember that it is more blessed to

give than to receive ~ Acts 20:35

 

1/24/2014

 

Our post yesterday centered on husbands. Because of the weather, it is likely that couples are

spending a little more time inside when they are home. This would be a great opportunity to do

something to show your spouse that he or she is special.

 

When we are together in the home, we can sometimes be very separate - doing our own thing

and involved in our own interests. We should make it a point to show our spouse that we

especially want to do something to bless them.

 

1/25/2014

 

On this 25th day of the month, we find these verses from Psalm 25 a very appropriate prayer for

us today (1 -7)

 

A Psalm of David. Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

 

1/26/2014

 

Today we look at Joseph in Genesis chapter 50. Joseph was no stranger to family drama and

difficulties. At this point, his father Jacob had died and his brothers were afraid that Joseph

would now take his revenge on them. They come and implore Joseph for forgiveness. In verses 19-20 he responds:

 

And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 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.

 

Throughout the Bible we see God turning bad situations to good. We rejoice and pray that for ourselves and others. Yet we often overlook the difficult and hard times that these people endured. We know there are times of hardness that we must endure as good soldiers in Christ ~ II Timothy 2:3

 

We ask the Lord to help us in these times, to know the right balance in the difficulties, to remain steadfast and faithful, and provide a means of escape at just the right time ~ I Corinthians 10:13

Though it is often difficult to see ahead when in the midst of trouble, may the Lord bring good out of every situation that we deal with.

 

1/27/2014

 

For some, 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. 

 

 

1/28/2014

 

Yesterday we mentioned the habits and routines we use because they serve us - they are working for us right now. We know there are things we do that are necessary regardless of how we feel.

 

We get up and go to work even though we may not feel any unction or thrill. We eat our meals even though we might be tempted to comment on the "same old thing". We may want to relax this Saturday but a project must get done. All of us could add to this list.

 

We should show the same diligence spiritually. Especially when we do not feel any particular unction, we can remember the admonition to "stir up the gift of God" ~ II Timothy 1:6

 

Many such things we can call to mind to minister to ourselves spiritually - I will be spiritually minded today (even in my natural activities), I will bless the Lord at all times, I want to walk in love (is there someone who needs a call or who I should check on), how are my immediate family members doing today, ... - on and on we could go.

 

There are so many things we can be about each day to honor the Lord, be of service to others, and help ourselves at the same time.

 

1/29/2014

 

Words from Jesus about the Holy Spirit: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. ~ John 16:13

 

How we need to know what is coming! Have we asked the Lord lately to show us anything we need to get ready for, anything that is taking us in a wrong direction, and to know the things we are doing correctly and should continue in? Where each one of us is headed should be a great concern in that we want the Lord with us and we want Him to lead.

 

We remember the song: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

 

Lord help to do that correctly and receive the wisdom we need daily from Your Spirit.

 

1/30/2014

 

An interesting verse from Samuel to the people:

 

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:  ~ I Samuel 12:23

 

The surrounding verses are good to read to get the whole context. But this verse shows the power of prayer - both for those praying and those who are prayed for.

 

Sometimes we feel like we cannot do much, but we can pray. We cannot always fix everything for everyone, but we can pray. We remember Jesus praying for Peter. We know Peter had to endure some things but he certainly benefited from the Lord's prayer for him. We remember:  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~ James 5:16

 

May our prayers be fervent , effectual and the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ be imputed unto us who believe. Thank you Lord for good results.

 

1/31/2014

 

Yesterday we wrote about prayer. Praying for someone is indeed a giving of yourself in an effort to benefit someone else. If you take the time to pray for them (effectually and earnestly), you are taking time from yourself and your activities.

 

Rather than watching a TV program, taking a nap, or doing something else for yourself; you decide to do something for someone else - in this case you are praying. We know how hard on our flesh it can be to give up time spent on ourselves.

 

We hope this gives a perspective on prayer that perhaps we need. We could certainly give up a little time in these personal areas - especially to bless someone else. We would certainly appreciate it if it was done for us.

 

May the Lord especially bless our prayer time to be fruitful and productive.



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