Saturday, October 14, 2006

Psalms 84:1 (NLT)
1. How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies.

The psalmist was making a statement. The temple, God’s house, was magnificent! God has another temple where His Spirit resides when an individual believes and accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says,

19. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?

That brings me back to Psalm 84:1, only this time I would like you to consider it, not as a statement but as a question.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord, in me? Do people view me as your dwelling place? Are you, O Lord, happy with me, your dwelling place? Do I even acknowledge that you, Almighty God, are dwelling in me?

If you’re like me, you have to say, “Sometimes, I don’t think God is too pleased with me as His dwelling place.” We all fail. We all let God down at times. But, we need to simply confess our failure (sin) and God will forgive us and make us clean again (1 John 1:9). Then make the changes that are necessary.

On a different level, we need to ask the same thing of our local church. How lovely is this church as your dwelling place, O Lord? What can we do in our church to make your dwelling place acceptable in your sight?

All too often we accept Christ as our Savior, assume everything we do is “covered by the blood” and live our lives no differently than we did before or like the world does. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” (John 14:15)

Ask yourself today; no ask God today, “How lovely is my life as your dwelling place?” And sincerely desire to hear His response, fully surrendered to making any changes He feels are necessary in your life, HIS dwelling place!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

In a world full of hopelessness and senseless violence like the recent school shootings, there is hope and reassurance for a positive future, IF you know where to look.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 (NLT)
13. And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.

Some of you have had to deal with the death of a loved one in the past year or so. All of you will have to deal with the death of a loved one at some point in your life. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ you have a promise of being reunited with that loved one:

14. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

God has told us through the Apostle Paul that we who trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior will forever (that’s’ a long time!) be with Him when he returns.

15. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18. So encourage each other with these words.

But I want to recall your attention to verse 13 again, just the last part, “so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.” You see, people that don’t believe in Jesus DO NOT have this hope. For them, when it’s over, it’s over. They are stuck with their regrets, their hurts and their loss. It is up to you and me to show them that they too can have this hope that we have; to show them the love that Jesus Christ has for them.

Verse 18 is speaking to believers. We need to remind and encourage each other that Jesus Christ is coming back! There are times when all of us need to be encouraged.

So, be on the lookout for people that don’t have the hope of Christ and tell them about Jesus AND encourage your fellow believers when they are down, reminding them of God’s incredible promises to them.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Who do you trust?

In my reading this morning I came across this passage:

Jeremiah 17:5 - 8 (NLT)
5. This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. 6. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. 7. “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. 8. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

It reminded me of a couple of verses someone had shown me in the book of Psalms:

Psalms 118:8 - 9 (NLT) 8. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. 9. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

Psalms 146:3 (NASB) 3 Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.

This friend had pointed these out because I had just been hurt by someone I loved and trusted. Perhaps you have been hurt by a close friend, a spouse, a boyfriend of a girlfriend. You need to listen to these scriptures.

Our main trust has to be in the One True God who made us. When that happens we have the strength and capacity to deal with being hurt by people.


Matthew 6:33

Monday, October 09, 2006

1 Thessalonians 1:7 - 10 (TMSG) 7. Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? 8. The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master’s Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message! 9. People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. 10. They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.

Now that’s a witness! Think about it…in a trial witnesses are called to the stand to testify to what they know and must swear to tell the truth. That’s the kind of witness that Jesus is looking for…one that tells and LIVES the truth. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am…the Truth.”

These Thessalonians were living out the truth of the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus paying the price for their sin. Their lives were changed, they were excited about Jesus coming back for them and everyone around them knew it!

That’s the kind of witness we are to be for our Savior. That’s the kind of witness He was talking about in the book of Acts when He said,

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (NLT)

How are you fitting into that plan? Is your life changed by the Truth of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that indwells you as a result? Do people see and hear the difference in your life?

If you can’t answer positively to those questions you need to surrender your life to Him today. He can and WILL make a difference that all will see.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

John 3:16 - 18 (NLT) 16. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.