Keep Your Promises to God

even-smaller-bug-light1

When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. — Ecclesiastes 5:4 NLT

When we are having problems in our lives, we often make statements to God that we will do such and such if He will answer our prayers with a “yes”.  Then, when He has fulfilled His commitment and the seas are calm, we often forget to perform our part of the contract.  Perhaps, we have said that if God would bless us financially, we would increase our tithe and we haven’t done that yet. Or, perhaps we have felt that we were in physical danger and God delivered us in answer to our prayer but we have yet to fulfill the contract.. This puts our very lives and souls in danger. When we make a vow to do this or that for God, we must be careful to fulfill this vow as quickly as possible. Take the case of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts.  They sold a piece of property for an amount of money, how much we don’t know.  Ananias and his wife had agreed to keep part of the money but to tell the apostles they were giving the full amount. Ananias brought some money to the apostles and told them that it was the full amount of the purchase price. This was not true and when Peter pointed out that Ananias had not only lied to them but to the Holy Spirit, Ananias was struck dead immediately. The same thing happened when Sapphira came in and told the same story.  
We must be very careful when we make vows and promises to God. He is not a man that He should lie and we cannot keep secrets from Him.  If we have made a commitment to Him, whether the commitment is financial, more time spent with Him or a change in our lifestyles, we must be careful to make sure that our actions are consistent with our promises.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-09-2018

We Sow – God Gives the Increase

even-smaller-bug-light1


31 
“But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”  — Luke 16:31 NLT
 
The rich man who had refused to comfort Lazarus was sent to Hades (the place of the dead).  From there, he was allowed to look into Paradise where he saw Lazarus sitting with Abraham.  Realizing how wrong he had been in not showing mercy to Lazarus when they both lived on earth, he began to beg for mercy. “Just allow Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and bring it to me”.  But Abraham reminded the rich man that he had had ample opportunity to help others with his riches while he lived on the earth.  The rich man realizes that the reason he has ended up in this place of torment is because he refused to accept Jesus and his teachings.  Since there is now no hope for him, he remembers his brothers and asks Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to witness to them.. Abraham tells the rich man that it wouldn’t make any difference, if his brothers won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe just because someone returned from the dead.  We find this statement proved to be true over and over since so many refused to believe when Jesus was raised from the dead.  Even now, with all the proof we have of His Resurrection, there are those who still refuse to believe.  Since we don’t know which ones will believe, we still must witness to everyone that God puts in our lives.  When we don’t share the Gospel with those around us who desperately need it, we are as guilty of withholding our riches from them as the rich man was in withholding his riches from Lazarus.  Our part is to share the Gospel with everyone, God takes care of the results.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-08-2018

“The Lord Has Helped Us”

even-smaller-bug-light1

12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” — 1 Samuel 7:12 NLT

When the Philistines were attacking Israel, they were defeating them in every battle.  The people called for Samuel and asked him to sacrifice to the Lord and pray for their deliverance.  Samuel told the leaders to gather all the people and meet him at Mizpah.  The people met Samuel there where they fasted all day and confessed their sins before God.  Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel.  Because of their fasting and praying, God relented and caused the Philistines to be so completely confused that the Israelis were able to defeat them and chase them away.  To show their appreciation for the deliverance and the answer to their prayers, Samuel raised up a stone in that location and called it Ebenezer which means “a stone of help”.  Each evening, we should look back over our lives and recognize those areas where God has given us victory over satan and his dominions.  Then, we should take the time to symbolically “raise our Ebenezer” by taking time to praise God and thank Him for his great mercies.  We should bow our heads and our knees in honor of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because it is only by His help that we have come this far and only by His help will we make it home to spend eternity with Him. There is victory and joy in Jesus and there is failure and defeat without Him.  Give Him the glory that He so richly deserves for all of our victories.  Sing praises to His Name and marinate yourself in His goodness.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-07-2016

Talk It! Walk It! Love It! Live It!

even-smaller-bug-light1

16  Let us, your servants, see you work again;
    let our children see your glory. 
— Psalm 90:16 NLT


Psalm 90

Lord, we live in a sinful world where evil is magnified on a daily basis.  Our children are daily tempted with overdoses of “me first” and sexual innuendos. They see riots in city after city where people get what they want by protesting and violence rather than working through the legal system. The America we live in now is not the America that most of us were raised in.  It is more like Macedonia when Paul arrived. There is violence on the outside everywhere we look and there are people all around us living in fear. 2 Cor. 7:5, 6   Our kids and grand-kids see good people struggling everyday to make it. They see parents working too many hours because the parents live in fear of not being able to give their kids everything they think they want.  First, help us as parents and grandparents to live lives totally dependent on you.  Let us be the examples that show the younger generations that possessions and busyness do not bring peace and lasting joy.  Remind us of that daily by helping us to observe the work that you are doing in our world right now, all around us.  Then, Lord, let our lifestyles be a beacon to others to point the glory you receive from our obedience.  Open our eyes to see that you are still a God who works miracles on a daily basis. Let our children see your glory and the beauty of worshiping the only true and living God.  As Pastor Jack Graham says 
“YOU CANNOT EXPECT YOUR CHILDREN TO LEAD DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIVES IF YOU AREN’T LIVING A VIBRANT, DYNAMIC, SPIRIT-FILLED CHRISTIAN LIFE YOURSELF”.
Help us to live lives totally dependent on You and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Help us to talk the talk and walk the walk before them that they may catch hold of Who you are and what you desire for each of us.  Your desire is for us to be joyful and content no matter what our present situation may be.
Father, thank you for protecting our kids and grand kids.  First of all and most importantly of all, thank you for protecting them spiritually so that they will spend an eternity with you.  Then, thank you for protecting them physically, mentally and emotionally and for providing for their every need.  All praise and glory be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-06-2018

Only One God Delivers On Every Promise!

even-smaller-bug-light1

2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 — Isaiah 43:2 NLT

 

These are not idle words with no meaning or no power to back them up.  In fact, in the past, the Israelis walked through the Red Sea and across the Jordan without even getting their feet wet.  Elijah and Elisha would one day cross the Jordan on dry ground and Elisha would cross back over the Jordan on dry ground.


2 Kings 2:7-13

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would one day walk in a fiery furnace and come out alive, un-burned and without even the smell of the smoke on their clothes.

 

Anything that our God promises, He is able to bring to pass. Just because we know the stories of these miracles and the miracles in the New Testament well, they should not become so familiar to us that they lose their meaning. Every time we read them or hear them, it should be a reminder that we serve a loving and a faithful God. The One and Only God who is able to do exactly what He says He will do in His own timing.  He has proved His love for us over and over with the ultimate proof being that He sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins. He has proven over and over that anytime He asks anyone to do something for the Kingdom, He supplies everything they need to accomplish the task.  The next time and every time that we feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit asking us to speak or act, our hearts should jump with joy that God has chosen us.  Our minds and our bodies should jump to the task.  If we are obedient in taking the first step of faith, we can be assured that God will finish the work.  He has never failed and He never will.  No other human or so-called god has predicted, promised or performed without failing.

The Lord, our God, is one God and He alone is worthy to be praised!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-05-2018

Pray With Them, Not Just For Them

even-smaller-bug-light1

1 Then Job replied to the Lord:  2  “I know that you can do anything,   and no one can stop you. — Job 42:1,2 NLT

Job 42:1-7

We are all familiar with Job’s story and all the things he had suffered at the hands of satan.  God had allowed this to happen even though God considered Job a righteous man.  Remember that God pointed Job out to satan and asked him “have you considered my servant Job?”  Reading through the book of Job brings up a lot of questions.  It also shows us that sometimes good friends can give us some bad advice.  God wasn’t happy about the advice Job’s three friends had given him.  It is good to get advice from Godly people, but sometimes God wants to speak to us directly and wants us to lean on Him and Him alone.  There are mysteries that only He can solve and situations that only He understands.  There are lessons that only God can teach us.  God considered Job a righteous man but that doesn’t mean that Job didn’t sin.  After all, there has only been one perfect man to ever walk this earth.  Perhaps Job sinned in that he was always the one that offered sacrifices after the lengthy parties that his sons threw at their homes. We are not told whether or not he taught this practice to his kids, only that he always did it for them.  Which begs the question. are we actively teaching our kids how to walk with integrity before God?  Are we praying with them or just praying for them?  When situations arise, are we doing all the praying and sacrificing or are we teaching them that the whole family prays, ask for God’s forgiveness and sacrifices together?

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-04-2018

Changed From the Inside out

even-smaller-bug-light1

The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you’ll prophesy with them and be changed into a different person. – 1 Samuel 10:6 
 After Moses and Joshua had died, God raised up Judges in Israel.  The Israelis would turn away from God and God would allow the enemies of Israel to be successful in battle against the them  When they wept and repented, God would raise up a judge to deliver them and to govern over them for a time.  Each time this happened, God had someone prepared to be the judge for the next few years.  Samuel was the last of the judges.  This was because the Israelis wanted a king over them, so they would be like the nations around them.  By asking God for an earthly king, they were rejecting God as their king.  Through Samuel, God warned them of the negative things that would happen if they chose an earthly king.  Still, that is what the people wanted and that is what God gave them. He chose Saul to be their king.  Before Saul could take his position as king, God gave him a new heart and filled him with His Spirit. God never chooses any of us to do something for Him and His Kingdom without the proper preparations.  If we are not already prepared, He will prepare us and give us everything we need to do His bidding. When we feel a special call from God, we may very well feel completely unprepared to complete the task.  But, we can be assured that by the time God puts His plan for us into action, He will have prepared us to do the job better than anyone else could possibly do it.  God chooses ordinary people and turns them into His extraordinary servants.  All He wants or expects from us is our willingness and obedience, He will do the rest.
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. — Eph. 2:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-03-2018