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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Under New Management

Given April 24, 2007
As I was doing my walking this day and listening to some teaching, the speaker made a comment about getting saved that made me think. When we get saved, our spirit is reborn, right? "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17". But our flesh; our bodies and minds are still the same old mess. We have to, through a conscious effort, begin to remake our flesh and re-train our minds to get in line with our new Spirit. This is not an automatic deal like some people think.

I likened it to someone who buys an old store building. The old tenant is out and the new owner is in but the building doesn't just change because it has a new owner. No, the owner has to decide on a plan to fix the place up. He has to repair any damage, apply some fresh paint, add updated equipment, and maybe even change the type of structure it formerly was. How ridiculous it would be to expect the outside to change just because the inside has a new owner.

When we get saved, we're under new management inside but we have to work on changing the outside and the things that come out of us. The goal should be to strengthen the Spirit within until it takes over and controls the old flesh. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Romans 8:13". Then we'll be victorious on a regular basis.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Be What You're Meant To Be

Given April 10, 2007
I realized something on this day that I had been saying wrong for years. My wife and I have four wonderful sons and all of them did very well in school. I told each them that, because of their intellectual ability, they could be anything they wanted to be. No occupation or dream was out of their reach. Sounds like pretty good advice.

However, after hearing a teaching on God's plan for each of us, I realized what I'd been telling them and others was in error. "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Ephesians 1:11". God has a plan for each one of us. Even before we were born, God had our lives planned out but He gave us a free will; we can do our own thing or seek His plan.

That's where I've been in error with what I told my boys. God has blessed them, and us too, with many blessings which are to be used to accomplsh His will in the earth. So, it's not, "You can be anything you want to be." but, "Discover what God wants you to be and be that". God will help us be what He wants us to be but if we leave God out of it, we're on our own! "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, Isaiah 30:21". We each have unique talents and abilities and they fit in perfectly with some vocation or assignment. We should all pray, meditate on the Word, listen to the Holy Spirit and be what we're meant to be.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Space

Given April 14, 2007
No, this is not a post about the popular social networking site. It's about the space you have responsibility for. Everyone who is of age, has "your space" that you're in control of and your responsibility for that space changes and expands as you get older...maybe.

In I Timothy, the qualifications of a church leader are listed and one of them is: "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) I Timothy 3:4-5". These men, and it's the same for all men whether applying for church leadership or not, should have dominion and control over their house, or space. I, as head of my house, have responsibility for my space and everything in it. That includes my wife, kids, grandkids, (when they're at my house), all my stuff and my property. I don't have control of the nation but I do have authority in my space.

Some people have authority over bigger areas. "So the Lord established Jehoshaphat’s control over the kingdom of Judah. All the people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, so he became very wealthy and highly esteemed. 2 Chronicles 17:5". Before you can be given dominion like that, however, you must be tested and proven. God is not going to give me control over my state just because I ask for it and claim it. I would have to prepare, be tested and proven in smaller areas.

But, I have been given control over my space and I have the authority to kick the devil off my property and out of my affairs in the name of Jesus. Take your God-given control in relation to your space and God will be pleased, (not to mention your family).

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

God Uses People

Given November 9, 2004
Do you remember the story of Paul on the road to Damascus? He was knocked off his donkey by a great light and heard the voice of Jesus telling him to go to Damascus and wait to be told what to do next. At the same time, Jesus called to a disciple in Damascus, Ananias, and gave him a very frightening task: "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight. Acts 9:11-12".

Ananias protested at first because of Saul's reputation for doing harm to the saints. But when Jesus said, "Go." in verse 15, Ananias went and did what he was told. Think how awesome this was. Jesus chose a believer, sent him on a dangerous, (he thought), mission, he called Saul "brother", laid hands on him and Saul was healed and filled with the Holy Spirit! What an important assignment for Ananias.

The rest, as they say, is history. But don't you think Ananias was blessed for being obedient? And if he had not been, Jesus would probably have chosen someone else. But he was obedient in the face of uncertainty and I can imagine, as he heard reports of the work Paul was doing, he realized how blessed he was for Jesus to have chosen him.

You know, Jesus might just send you or me on some important mission. First, are we, "... a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. Acts 22:12" as Ananias was. Second, will we be willing to go. Who knows what future great preacher Jesus may send us to minister to; or maybe it will be a down-and-out bum on the street who needs a kind word and something to eat. God uses people to serve His people.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

If My People

Given April 5, 2007
Our world is in bad shape. We see chaos and every evil thing all around us. I heard recently some teachers in the United Kingdom are not teaching about the holocaust for fear of offending muslims. A mock hostage drill at a New Jersey high school portrayed conservative Christians as terrorists. Do these type of stories scare you? Do we just sit back and shake our heads helplessly? Is there anything we can do?

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14". Yes, it's up to US, God's people!

If Christians would get out of the pew, set aside their denominational differences, join in repentance and prayer, and seek God, we cold turn this thing around. And don't you think politicians would take notice. For example, if ALL Christians would unify and demand that scripture verses be placed on cereal boxes, eager to please politicians would give in and do it! The way it is now, a small, but very pushy, portion of the population is dictating what goes on.

God told Solomon if he would, "do all I have said and follow My commands" he and his kingdom would be blessed. That's what we need to do before we lose even more of our freedoms.

Get involved in the political process. Study the candidates to see what they stand for. Don't listen to what they say because they'll say anything to get elected. Study the way they've voted in the past and support the men and women who more closley believe and act as you do. The future of our country depends on us, God's people.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Believe and Confess

Given August 4, 2003
The Bible tells us there's two steps to salvation, confessing and believing. "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9". It sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Well, it is. But there's more to it.

We are to, "believe in our heart"; that's different than believing in our mind. To believe something in our mind requires that we see it, can feel it, or have evidence of it. To believe in our heart involves believing wihtout any of those things. Wouldn't that be a definition of faith? So, most of us believe we're saved and have no problem with "confessing" or telling others about it. But what about the other things God has provided for us through Jesus?

He's provided deliverance from many things that oppress us, and all we really have to do to receive them is to believe it and confess it. Believe it because you've studied the Word and found it there; search the Word and find out what it says about your need. Then, confess it and keep on confessing it even when things don't look or feel good. Keep on believing and confessing and it will come to pass.

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