Daily Word Archives

What Open Door posts on Facebook - January 2017




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.




By now the Christmas celebrations for us are likely over and we are taking down the decorations. Consider the Shepherds and the Wise Men after their encounter with Jesus. How long did they stay around the family before they departed? When did their celebrations end? Did they encounter Jesus later in life, give thought to His growing up, or hear the Christian message?


All of our answers would essentially be speculation but they might have wondered - what's next.

The probably never knew all that heaven was doing to keep the baby safe, the encounters with Anna and Simeon in Jerusalem, the family moving to Egypt for awhile, etc. God was very much involved.


Likewise we should expect God to be very much involved  with us after our encounter with Jesus (if we have embraced Him and have been born again).


For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. ~ Philippians 2:13


As the shepherds and wise men were diligent to seek out Jesus at His birth; may we be even more so to seek out our heavenly Father and His perfect love for us. His birth and our new birth was just the beginning!




Today we share the song: Love Lifted Me


It is God's love that lifts us out of a life of sin and gives us newness of life.


Hate and meanness never lift anyone - they put down, hurt and degrade. Thus may love be our motivation and guide


For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 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; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:3-7






We hope you can stay inside for the most part today and enjoy a hot beverage.


As we enter in to 2017, 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.



Give us this day our daily bread ~ Matthew 6:11


Most people have heard this expression and likely know that it comes from the Bible. A study of the scriptures will show us that daily bread (or sustenance) is more than just physical food.


Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God ~ Matthew 4:4


Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. ~ John 4:34


Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. ~ John 6:27


Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ~ John 6:49-51


As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: ~ I Peter 2:2


From these verse and others, we could say our "daily bread" is what we need to maintain our lives during this earthly existence - spirit, soul, and body.


Remember this statement from Jesus: The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. ~ Luke 12:23


Thank God for our food and raiment, yet we thank Him further that He understands we need more than just those things in this life if we are to be successful. As we pray and ask for our daily bread, let us be open to God's abundantly supply to meet our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19), that He might give us knowledge of witty inventions or ideas (Proverbs 8:12), and that we might prosper and be a good success as we seek Him and His word (Joshua 1:8).


This would indeed be a daily feast!




Are you still writing 2016 on checks and other things that require a date? Most of us have made that error. It shows the power of habits. Not that all habits are bad - good ones produce good results.


May we develop such habits in our spiritual lives and the way we live as Christians. May we do those good things out of habit and because they are now a part of our nature. Don't we see this as the end result of good training in our children? May we be good examples.


Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16




Paul says in Ephesians 1:16 that he does not: Cease to give thanks for you...


We know to give thanks to God, but are we a little lax in thanking and showing appreciation to others?


May we bless someone today with heart-felt gratitude and offer to be a help to them in any way we can.




In Hebrews 11:5 we read that: Enoch pleased God


Then we read in verse 6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Our main point today is that we can do things that are pleasing to God. This verse gives us 2 ways to get started. The entire 11th chapter of Hebrews shows us the results of putting these things into practice.


I want to please God today and every day. Therefore I affirm that I believe that He is and I believe He will reward me as I diligently seek Him,




Honesty is a characteristic that is greatly appreciated. Most of us can think back to our childhood when our parents gave us instruction in this area - maybe because we had violated it in some way. We know how we feel when we are treated dishonestly, and we know the ripple effect that can occur when such a thing happens. Family members and friends are often impacted when dishonesty occurs.


If you have ever given someone a performance review or recommended someone for a job, the question of honesty will always come up. It should certainly describe anyone who would call themselves a Christian.


Honesty and words like integrity are seen throughout the Bible as characteristics that should be readily apparent in the lives of God's people:


Let us walk honestly ...  ~ Romans 13:13


That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. ~ I Thessalonians 4:12


Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. ~ Hebrews 13:18


Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. ~ Acts 6:3


Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. ~ Romans 12:17


Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. ~ II Corinthians 8:21


Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8


Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. ~ I Peter 2:12


Honesty is something that will readily enhance our testimony for Christ.




In our post on January 5th, we shared the song "Love Lifted Me" and commented on the words and theme. Yesterday we sang it as our opening hymn as many remember when the message of God's love first came to us. It continues to lift us whenever we stumble.


We remember Paul's admonishment to speak the truth in love ~ Ephesians 4:15


Suppose someone comes to you about something they think you did. Don't you want them to come and discuss the matter in a "love" foundation and motivation. We all will likely face situations that are difficult and not easy to deal with it.


May God help to seek the way of love in every circumstance - and especially in those that have the potential to erupt in a wrong way. We cannot help how every person may react, but we can endeavor to act from a heart and desire to make things better.


May God further help us to "defuse" any situation possible, solve problems, lift others up, be a blessing:


Blessed are the peacemaker ~ Matthew 5:9


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




Every person is familiar with temptation. The opportunities to do something wrong are all around. Yet each person can think of temptations that they would just laugh at - something they would never consider doing.


Some people for example would never consider illegal drugs, robbing a bank, being unfaithful to a spouse, etc. They really cannot be tempted in these areas (or an area that you can think of in your life) - they are steadfast and unyielding.


The real question is: Why can't we do that in every area? Our purpose here is to point out that we can be successful against temptation. If we can honestly see what really tempts us and what we are prone to yield to in our own lives, we have taken a major step in dealing with these things.


If we can target these areas, we can apply the Word of God there, and build the scriptures into our lives that will work against these temptations. Of course this should be a matter of prayer as well. We take a major step to deal with temptations with "it is written" from the Word of God and pray for God's help and wisdom to be successful.


That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. ~ I Corinthians 2:5. The power to resist temptation is indeed a formidable weapon.




Today is one to put particular emphasis on prayer for our leaders. One of the descriptions of the day has long-been: a peaceful transition of power.


We pray that God in His mercy would grant that in our country today. We can be in unity in prayer - looking unto God and not ourselves.


May we be willing to listen - even if it is to someone we disagree with. We would appreciate them giving us the same courtesy.


Heavenly Father, please bless and protect our country today.




Jesus took the blame for us so we could enjoy the following:


And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. ~ I Thessalonians 5:23-34


And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: ~ Colossians 1:21-22


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


As one minister put it, we should now try to live like we appreciate what Jesus has done. Indeed, we should not treat it lightly.




An interesting word that is used today in many circles is "connection". It has been noted that people need to experience a "connection" with any organization or group if they are going to stay with them.


This has been especially applied to church. It seems people need to connect with either the general program or the people. This is understandable but we need to remember that it works both ways.


Also we need to understand that when we "hook up" with anything, it should be based on more than the "what's in it for me" mentality. It could be looked at like a partnership - what does each party bring to the table? This of course starts to sound like a business venture and we know relationships involve emotions and feelings that can run deep.


Further we know that a church family can be considered more than all we have mentioned. It is a spiritual organization at its foundation. The Bible calls the people the body of Christ. We know from the scriptures that this body should be cared for, nurtured and maintained. This of course can be a lot of work.


This topic could certainly be a sermon series, but we wanted to note the reality of it here. So if you are one trying to find the right place, seeking where you fit in, and asking God where He wants you, perhaps the first step is prayer and just getting started - we should not let a day go to waste.




If we could write out all the general things we are doing with our lives, we might in some way try to measure how effective we are. That could take some time, but it is important to do so,


We know how it can be when we do not get the results we want in a certain area - we can get frustrated, discouraged, and want to change things immediately.


We want our endeavors and things we are doing to work and be effectual to a good result.


In the New Testament we see the word "effectual":


For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. ~ I Corinthians 16:9


(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) ~ Galatians 2:8


Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. ~ Ephesians 3:7


For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. ~ I Thessalonians 2:13


Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. ~ James 5:16


All of these verses help shed light on the word "effectual"


In adjective form it is the Greek word "energes" and in verb form it is the Greek word "energeo"


We get the English word "energy". It is also translated "active" and "powerful" in some Bible translation.


But the meaning should be clear. It shows a "get it done" mindset. It would be very "effectual" for us to meditate on these verses and ask God how to apply, operate in, and put to work this principal in our lives.


In the same way we want our children experiencing good and effectual results, so we see this throughout the Bible regarding God and His children.




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


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


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


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


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


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




Yesterday all of our songs revolved around the theme of "expressing our love for Jesus".


And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. ~ Mark 12:30


Remember when Jesus was taken from the garden, we see Peter warming himself by the fire.

He was challenged by a woman who asserted that he was a disciple of Jesus He denied it 3 times - even with cursing. We know that was difficult time in his life.


We also remember Jesus giving Peter the opportunity to change his position - He asked Peter 3 times if he loved Him. Peter would express 3 times out of his mouth that he loved Jesus.


It is a privilege to be able to say (like the song), "O How I Love Jesus". Let us not just wait for the song to say it.




As Christians, one of our goals each day is to live out the new life that is within us and make a difference for the kingdom of God. Sometimes our days are such that we cannot envision or develop something exciting or particularly noteworthy.


We remember the words of Jesus:


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


The things we do need not be open, public, or something that makes a big noise. When we look to just do something for someone else - meet a need or lighten their load, we are sowing good seed into their lives, our life and into the kingdom of God.


So we do not have to look far in order to consider: Can I do something for you today?






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