Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sacrifice. Doesn’t that sound like something out of an Indiana Jones movie? You know, when the evil witch doctor dressed up in the wacky looking mask gets ready to plunge the knife into the heart of the pretty girl to appease the anger of the volcano god (or was it a snake god!)!

Well, to the Jew, sacrifice was a very real thing that kept peace with THE God in Heaven. It was not human sacrifice, but that of specific animals whose blood “covered” their sin. Perhaps it was the mere willingness to part with this animal when it could have instead been used for food.

When Jesus died for our sin, once and for all, He shed His own blood. Why? Because the bible says,

In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22 (NLT)

So, what about today? Do we that believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior have anything to do with sacrifice?

By all means, yes! However, not physical sacrifices, instead, spiritual sacrifice.


Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1 (NASB)


Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:15 - 16 (NLT)


At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. Philippians 4:18 (NLT)

We sacrifice fulfilling OUR desires and instead, do things that please God and other people. We sacrifice self. More easily said than done, but

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)


Friday, November 24, 2006


O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever! Psalms 30:12(b) (NLT)

Wait a minute! Yesterday was Thanksgiving! What's this about?

All too often we "wait" for the holiday to thank God for how incredible He is or for what He has done for us. The verse is a reminder from King David's heart that we should indeed give thanks and praise to God always.

Each and every day that we wake up and draw breath is a gift from Him.

So in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the busiest shopping day of the entire year....

Take time to thank Him.

Thank Him today

and tomorrow

and the next day

and the next,

the next


Agree with David when he says,

I will praise my God to my last breath! Psalms 104:33(b) (NLT)


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank you for
the sun that brightens and warms our days
the Son that died that we might live always
the stars that point to larger things
the Christ that is my everything
the family that loves me in their own way
the Lord that loves me EVERY way
the friends that listen, the friends that share
the Father that knows my every care
this day that we can recollect
how much you've done for such a speck
of life that you have made complete
by your sacrifice did death defeat
Thank You Lord.
In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NASB)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Do you like to hear the words “Thank you” when you have done something for someone? Doesn’t it make you feel good? Even if what you did was time consuming, tedious and tiring, the words “Thank you” make it all more than worthwhile.

God has done so much for each one of us. We may feel we don’t have enough money, or complete health, or too many problems, but God is with us through it all. He alone has given us breath. Let us all be grateful to Him for everything He has done for us, the most important of which is Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.

Psalms 111:1 - 10 (NLT) 1. Praise the LORD! I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. 2. How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in him should ponder them. 3. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. 4. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our LORD! 5. He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant. 6. He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations. 7. All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy. 8. They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity. 9. He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has! 10. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!


Rejoice always; 17. pray without ceasing; 18. in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 (NASB)


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Our physical bodies work best when all the parts are healthy and performing properly. We can limp along if a part becomes damaged, but who wouldn’t rather be in good health and functioning at 100%?

Each one of us that claims Jesus Christ as Savior received a gift(s) from the Holy Spirit to use for the good of all the members of the Body of Christ. If one of the members of the Body is not functioning properly or exercising that gift for the common good, the Body suffers.

Paul lays out in this passage of scripture how the Body is to worship:

1 Corinthians 14:26 - 33 (TMSG) So here’s what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. 27. If prayers are offered in tongues, two or three’s the limit, and then only if someone is present who can interpret what you’re saying. 28. Otherwise, keep it between God and yourself. 29. And no more than two or three speakers at a meeting, with the rest of you listening and taking it to heart. 30. Take your turn, no one person taking over. 31. Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other. 32. If you choose to speak, you’re also responsible for how and when you speak. 33. When we worship the right way, God doesn’t stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches—no exceptions.

We are all to have an active part in the worship of our God. We are not to simply sit back in our chair or pew and observe (and critique!) a “performance”, whether it be by the musicians or the preacher, but rather we are to participate in the worship of the Almighty God using the gift(s) that we received from Him.

Together we have harmony. Together we have peace. Together we are the BODY OF CHRIST.


Monday, November 20, 2006

If you walked into a room of people that were all talking Swahili or some other language, you didn’t know and there was nobody there to tell you what they were saying…you might just feel a little out of place!

That’s what Paul is telling the Church at Corinth about speaking in tongues…

1 Corinthians 14:22 - 25 (NLT) So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. 23. Even so, if unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24. But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. 25. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”

By everybody, desiring to speak in tongues (the flashier of the spiritual gifts), they were setting up a situation that was not only divisive but was not conducive to what they were supposed to be doing. They were thinking only of themselves and not of those who did not yet know Jesus as the Messiah.

Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. 6. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. 2 Corinthians 4:5 - 6 (TMSG)

By desiring a gift that was not beneficial to others including their fellow believers, they were ignoring Jesus’ command to make disciples. One cannot make a disciple if one is thinking only of self and not speaking forth the Word of God.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20. teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19 - 20 (NASB)

We must carefully guard against being a community of believers that does not share the Word of God with others. We must be faithful to God’s command to share the Gospel story of Salvation with others. We must be faithful to God’s command to build each other up. When He says to edify (build up) the body, it not only includes encouraging and admonishing one another it includes adding to the body. To accomplish that, we must share His Word.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14 (NASB)

That doesn’t refer only to somebody hired by a church to preach. It refers to you and me. Every believer is a “preacher” when they share God’s Word with someone else.


Sunday, November 19, 2006


In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, Paul told us that all who believe in Jesus Christ receive a Spiritual gift. Not all of these gifts are the same, but they are all equally important.

In chapter 13, Paul explains that love (for others) is to take precedence over all of these gifts and to be the foundation of all that we do.

Now in chapter 14, he reemphasizes that both love and gifts are desirable as both are from God. However, he stresses love as preeminent over the gifts and the gift of prophesy as preeminent over its fellow gifts.

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 14:1. (NASB)

The people of Corinth had been concerned not with how they could use their gift to help each other but were being envious of the “flashier” gift of tongues which, as Paul points out, is useful only to themselves and to no one else unless they were to interpret the message.

We have the same problem in this day, though perhaps more widespread. We see the “flashy” message of the movie stars, the rock music idols or the sports figures and are envious of their notoriety. We see politicians clamoring for positions by stepping on each other’s backs and yet, what an honor we regard it to be a senator, congressional representative or president!

Do we not have people in the church desiring to be “noticed” because of their musical abilities or perhaps the “position” that they hold?

The problems facing the church today are even more wide spread as the world system has wormed itself inside the doors and into the hearts of the people. And, I might add, without too much resistance.

We in the church must pursue love, as Paul puts it, and that primarily focused on the One who created us.

Matthew 22:37 - 40 (NASB) And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38. “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40. “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

We have to start at the beginning remembering why it is we call ourselves Christians and remembering what we are here on this earth to do. We are to be Jesus to the world, not to be the world and additionally claim Jesus.

Come out from among them. Be ye separate. Be holy as I am holy, says the Lord.

Pursue love. Chase after it. Work at it. Demonstrate it.

Love God. Love each other. Then…exercise the gift that God has given you to help your brothers and sisters in Christ.