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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Life Timeline

Given May 1, 2007
I am responsible for the prayer chains at church and lead the morning prayer on Sundays. Every week we have numerous prayer requests for people who are sick and some of them are elderly and near death. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27". This is talking about our mortal bodies; our bodies will die but who we really are, our spirits, will live forever.

In my devotional on this beautiful morning, I read a statement that was a revelation to me. It said about people who are near physical death, "Give them courage and hope as they face the roughest part of their physical journey on their way to the best part of their spititual journey." If we see our life as a timeline beginning at birth and never ending, death is way to the left and the good part stretches out to infinity! If they're saved, they need to look forward and not back.

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thesselonians 4:16-18".

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who's In Charge Here?

Given January 18, 2007

I’ve heard it said that we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Our spirits will live forever and is really who we are. Our soul is made up of our mind, our will, and our emotions which all have something to do with how our spirit and body operates. And, our body is just the vehicle we need to get around and interact with others here on earth. As we all know however, the right part of us is not always calling the shots.

In order for us to live Christ-like lives and operate as effective servants of God here on earth, we have to consciously and purposely dictate which part of us is in charge. If we do nothing, our flesh – our earthly nature – will take over by default.

So how do we do that? We have to build up our spirit with the Word of God, and I don’t mean a little dose every now and then. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2”. This has to be an every day thing very similar to what an athlete goes through to attain top physical condition. It’s hard but it’s worth it!

Be assured, our sinful nature just won’t step out of the way and let our spirit take over; not at first. But, as we build up our spirit with the Word, change the way we think, and the way we talk, our flesh will have to take a back seat and let the spirit drive. 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”.

Let’s get to work!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Switch On The Light

Given May 11, 2007
During my morning prayer time on this day, I got a vision of what it might be like for those who are not saved. I was praying for several of those on my prayer list who I knew were, "wandering in darkness". I prayed for God to let them see the light.

I saw them in a dark room. They were wandering around, bumping into things, tripping over things, and there was an evil laughing in the room. But then, on the other side of the room, a small light appeared! The one in darkness saw it and moved toward it. The evil laughing one, the devil, instantly got worried because he knew what would happen if the person got to the light. But he couldn't do anything about it except to lie and try to convince tghem to not pay any attention to it. As they got closer to the light, it intensified and the way out was revealed.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12". I pray that all those on my list and others "in darkness" will see the light and go to it like moths to the porch light on a summer night. I also pray that the light of Jesus will shine brightly in me so others will see and be attracted to Jesus.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

His Stripes

Given May 11, 2007
Jesus suffered extraordinary pain, injury, humiliation, and sickness for us. "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Matthew 8:17." All the sickesses and injuries we have today, Jesus took on Himself. He took them on and into His body so we wouldn't have to. Isn't it the same as Him taking our sin on His body that we could live free of sin? I think it is.

When we have a headache, we can think of the thorns stabbing Him in His scalp. When we have skin problems or back pain, we can think of the whipping Jesus took on His back. He was stabbed in the side, punched, kicked, had internal injuries, trouble breathing on the cross, He got really weak, and had unimaginable pain. Anything we have or feel in our bodies, Jesus paid the price for it.

Isaiah and Peter both said it: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5", and "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 peter 2:24". We were and we are!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Who Are You Talking To?

Given March 13, 2007
Jesus spoke to a lot of people; God the Father, his diciples and followers, his family, the religious rulers and all the people who came to see him. But did you know that Jesus spoke to non-human things too?

Jesus spoke to evil spirits, Mark 5:8; wind and waves, Mark 4:39; trees, Matthew 21:19; and fevers, Luke 4:39. And you know, every one of these listened to Him and heard Him. Do wind, waves, trees, and fevers have ears? I don't know but they heard and obeyed!

The important thing for us, as believers, to realize here is this; "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12". Jesus said that. Do we have faith in Him? Are trees listening to us? Are we even talking to people, and are they listening? Think about it......

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Walk This Way

Given May 2, 2007
God has provided a way for each of us. I wrote about this recently relating to some erroneous advice I'd given my boys about their future and recently God showed me another way to look at it.

Isaiah 30:21 says, "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it"." So, I get the picture of a path laid before me, it's a good road and I can see pretty far up ahead. That's not too hard to follow especially if God is behind me encouraging me to go on.

But, what about when the way ahead is really foggy and you can't see where you're going? You're almost walking blindly into who knows what. That's where trust and faith comes in. We don't need to see where we're going if God has planned our journey and is behind us telling us to keep moving. God told Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. Genesis 12:1". Abram didn't know where he was going but he trusted God to know what was best for him and his family. We must do the same. If we trust God and keep moving, eventually the fog will disipate and the path will be clear. Besides, there may be distractions along the path God doesn't want us to see.

I will be entering into the ranks of the retired soon and I was sort of whining to God in prayer recently about Him not telling me yet what He's got planned for me. The scripture above immediately came to mind along with the phrase, "You'll know when we get there." Okay!

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