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Monday, March 26, 2007

Listen More, Talk Less

Given March 6, 2007
I get to be around a lot of smart people in the course of the many activities I'm involved in. My work puts me in contact with important people in education and technology, sometimes I'm with state and nationally known political figures, and frequently I'm around giants in the faith. One thing they all have in common is that they know more than me. They are experts in their fields and I listen to them a lot.

Now think about prayer. In prayer, we're talking with someone who know a lot, wouldn't you say? God knows exactly what we need and wants to get that information to us for our good. But think about it; how much talking do we do in prayer and how much do we listen?

We are conversing with the one who knows everything and we spend most of the time talking! How backwards is that? "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you. Exodus 15:26." Listen!

I know, it's hard to do; to be quiet and just listen but you'll be amazed at what God will reveal to you when you do. Try it the next time you pray. It will be uncomfortable for awhile but be patient and you'll hear that "still, small voice", 1 Kings 19:12.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spiritual Pep Talk

Given April 3, 2005

Being a former athlete and coach, I've been involved in many a pep talk. They're designed to, well... pep you up, and get you ready for the game. A good coach can really inspire you to go out there, do your best, and be confident you can defeat your opponent. Right?

I've discovered I can do the same thing to myself as I get ready to face each day. I give myself a spiritual pep talk from the Word of God as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning! And, sometimes during the day as well. It goes something like this:

  • I am a child of God. 1 John 3: 2
  • I’m an heir of God and joint heir with Christ. Romans 8: 16-17
  • He has made me a king and a priest. Revelation. 5:10
  • I look like God. Genesis 1:26
  • The Spirit of God dwells in me. 1 Corinthians 3: 16
  • I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me. Romans 8: 37
  • He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4: 4
  • I’m the head and not the tail; above only, and not be beneath. Deuteronomy 28: 13
  • By His stripes I am healed. Isaiah 53: 5
  • I am His workmanship. Ephesians 2: 10
  • I have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2: 16
  • Behold, I have authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me. Luke 10: 19
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4;13
  • My God shall supply all my need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philipians 4:19
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength. Nehemiah 8:10
By the time I get downstairs, I'm fired up and ready to meet whatever the day brings. Memorize some of these verses or find your own and try it yourself. You'll "scripture" yourself happy, confident, and powerful!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Strength, Shield, Refuge

Given March 11, 2007
We had a guest worship leader and speaker at our church this Sunday, Chet Caudill, who is the Director of Youth Ministries for the Appalachian District of the Assemblies of God. He was great! One of the songs he led us in created a vision in my mind; a revelation if you will.

The lyrics said, "Lord you are my strength, Lord you are my shield, Lord you are my refuge in my time of need". When I sang those words, the vision I got was this: I saw a believer in the midst of battle and sometims, God gives us Strength to fight and stand against the enemy. Sometimes He gives us a Shield to protect ourselves in the battle. And other times God sends us to a place of Refuge where we have total protection from the battle. "He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. Psalm 144:2". Wow!

The next time you feel yourself in the middle of a battle, see yourself in one of these ways, or all of them. We ARE victorious, you know!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

So, What' The Problem?

Given February 10, 2007

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33". Yes, we'll have trouble if we live in this world so there's no getting away from that and we know where this trouble comes from; the devil, the prince of this world.

However, there's a couple of truths that make me feel a lot better about the situation. In Genesis, we find that we look like God; we're made like Him, "Then God said, let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. Genesis 1:26". So, we look like God and we're supposed to rule over all the earth. Now, of course, Adam and Eve gave that rule over to Satan but Jesus got it back for us.

The Bible also tells us that the Spirit of God lives, abides, dwells in us. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Romans 8:11". That's awesome! The most powerful entity in the universe lives in me!

So, what's the problem? Why are we still having to put up with so much stuff from the devil? Jesus said we'd have trouble here but because we look like God and His Spirit is in us, we don't have to put up with it! Let's start realizing who we are, what we have and what we can do and put the devil in his place; under our feet, Psalm 8:6.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

"Our Assignment"

Given February 28, 2007

"Open our eyes to the assignment you've given us." This was my prayer on this morning during devotion time. Here's how it came about.

I saw a group of new soldiers gathered before the general. They were asking him for all the rewards and benefits of being a soldier and he was about to give them their orders. He aknowledged the benefits but said, "Now men, it's time to go into battle."

They were shocked and suprized! They were saying, "What do you mean? We have to fight to get the rewards?" They hadn't signed up for that; they didn't understand.

God made me aware that we, as Christians, are like that. We, "sign up" to be a Christian, go to church, and expect all these rewards and benefits to just come our way. We don't realize that sometime we have to fight for the cause. Many churches are preaching the benefits and not mentioning the fight. "And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Deuteronomy 28:2". Part of what the Lord is saying that we are to hearken to is to be strong, believe and not doubt, use the authority and name of Jesus, and go fight the enemy. God told Joshua, "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:7".

"Open our eyes, Lord, to the assignment you've given us." May we all see what's involved in being a Christian Soldier.

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