Friday, July 04, 2008


Today we celebrate liberty and freedom. Those words mean different things to different people. Here is how those concepts are defined in God’s view…

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

Because the LORD has anointed me

To bring good news to the afflicted;

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to captives

And freedom to prisoners; Isaiah 61:1 NASB

For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 NLT

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. Galatians 4:4-5 NLT

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:7 NLT

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 NKJV

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13 NLT

I will walk in freedom,for I have devoted myself to your commandments. Psalms 119:45 NLT

If you love Me, keep My commandments. John 14:15 NKJV


Thursday, July 03, 2008


Life is filled with choices. We will all make some bad ones, but how can we increase the odds of making right choices, right decisions, more often?

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers. Psalms 1:1 NLT

See, it isn’t just your mom and dad saying it! God said it first through the Psalmist, King David.

2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,

meditating on it day and night. Psalms 1:2 NLT

While we today are not under the law (no one can keep all 613 commandments) because of the grace of Jesus and His sacrificial death on the cross at Calvary on our behalf, we are to study His Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) and consider how it applies to our lives.

3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,

bearing fruit each season.

Their leaves never wither,

and they prosper in all they do. Psalms 1:3 NLT

Jesus often referred to the results that our lives produced as “fruit.” If we are doing good things, hanging out with good friends and obeying the authorities over us we will produce good “fruit.”

Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:17 NKJV

The good news is that when we choose to depend on Him (Jesus) and let Him help us…we will produce good “fruit” and everyone around us will notice.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5-6 NKJV

Obviously, if choosing to hang out with good friends, studying and meditating on God’s Word and bearing good fruit brings a lasting joy and blessings to our lives, the opposite choice must produce depression, gloom and at the very least, short-lived “joy.” Here’s the rest of Psalms 1

4 But not the wicked!

They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.

5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.

Sinners will have no place among the godly.

6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly,

but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalms 1:4-6 NLT

In the words of Jesus from verse six in John chapter fifteen,

6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

The choice is ours to make. The stakes are high. Think about it…


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


There is a marked difference between how God thinks we should act (as He puts forth in His Word, the Bible) and how the rest of society believes we should act.

The title of an article intrigued me the other day, so I opened it to see what the author had said. The title of the article was “How to find inner peace amidst outer chaos.” Dr. Mercola, who puts out a newsletter on health related issues, wrote it.

The phrases following “The WORLD” were part of Dr. Mercola’s answer to how we are to find inner peace. Immediately following are Bible verses addressing the same issue.

The WORLD: Learning that saying “no” to others is saying “yes” to yourself.

The BIBLE: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

The WORLD: Trusting your instincts -- they won’t steer you wrong. Realize, too, that if you’re too distracted you may not be able to recognize these inner cues.

The BIBLE: Trust in the LORD with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;

fear the LORD and shun evil.

Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV)

As you can see, there is a marked difference in ideologies. Here is God’s answer to how to experience inner peace…

Get to know God and His Son Jesus…

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2 (NIV)

Have faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior…

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1 (NIV)

Let Him be your Lord…

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 (NIV)


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)


Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I saw a statistic not too long ago that stated, 86% of all people pray (yes, teenagers too!). They may not know to whom they are praying, but they are looking for help; they are looking for answers.

The problem is, so many of us think we have to hear a booming voice from heaven that gives us the answer to our prayer. Let’s look at an example from God’s Word about how he answered the prayer of King Hezekiah…

15And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16Give ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God. 2 Kings 19:15-16 (NIV)

The answer didn’t come to him in a booming voice or even in a little voice inside his head (or heart). It came through the prophet Isaiah…

20Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him… 2 Kings 19:20-21a (NIV)

Isaiah is now a book in the Bible. God’s words that were spoken through him were written down. The words that God spoke through Moses, Jeremiah, Matthew, Luke and all the other authors in the Bible were written down so that we could find answers in God’s Word.

How about this prayer…”Lord, I don’t know what to do.” Could these be possible answers?

  • Love each other

7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 (NIV)

  • Help others

Look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27b (NIV)

21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 (NIV)

Or how about this prayer…“God, I’m so mad at my friend, I don’t know what to do”

Could these verses be an answer from God?

14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

21Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV)

The point is God has answers to our concerns. He also has promises concerning what we can expect from Him…

8The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

29But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)

The answers to our question, concerns and prayers to God can be found in His Word. We simply have to take the time to look! (If you’re interested in speed, get a software version of the Bible and use the search feature!!!)


Monday, June 30, 2008


Sometimes we look at calamity as being entirely evil…death, wars, accidents and things like these. In the book of Second Kings, we read about the Israelites being captured and deported from their land…

5The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. 6In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes. 2 Kings 17:5-6 (NIV)

What a horrible thing to happen. It surely must have been from the devil, right?

Hear the Word of the Lord…there is an accounting for sin, yes even the sin of an entire nation.

7All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. 2 Kings 17:7-8 (NIV)

Was this punishment undeserved? Perhaps the people didn’t know!

13The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” 2 Kings 17:13 (NIV)

What about us in the United States? Have we been warned? Has God sent His servants to warn us? What about the preachers and teachers that proclaim the message of God’s Holy Word…are we listening to them?

Does this scenario sound familiar?

29Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places. 30The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; 31the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought. 2 Kings 17:29-33 (NIV)

Now when he says, “they worshiped the Lord,” he is saying, “They went through the motions.” Listen to the next verse…

34To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 2 Kings 17:34 (NIV)

Does that scene sound familiar? Here in the United States today do we not have a similar situation? Do we not have more and more people that are just “going through the motion” but worshiping something else like position in their particular social circle or “church”, career advancement, new cars, new houses, or just plain old money?

Do we not have people from other countries living here that worship Allah, Jah, Amlak, Brahman, Vishnu, Artemis, and a myriad of other gods? Yet it is becoming more and more “taboo” and considered “narrow-minded” to worship the One True God who Created us.

Do we not see more and more of our children being sacrificed to the gods of selfishness, addiction and apathy? Should we not expect God to punish us as He did the Israelites?

Here are the first three of the Ten Commandments…

6“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

7“You shall have no other gods before me.

8“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Deuteronomy 5:6-10 (NIV)

We must pray for our nation. We must pray for a return to God, the only God, through His Son and the Way that He prescribed…

9That 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 (NIV)

12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV)


Sunday, June 29, 2008


God’s ways are not our ways. His timing does not necessarily match up with our idea of appropriate timing. We usually want it NOW. God may say, “Wait.”

We are often driven by emotions and feelings to do certain things at certain times. God, however, sees the whole picture. He sees every possible thing that could happen if we go down a certain path at a certain time and He knows which one is the best one for us to take. He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Often He will use other people to help us with this type of decision. Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t.

The Apostle Paul was advised not to go into the amphitheater in Ephesus when his traveling companions were dragged in by an angry mob…

30Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. Acts 19:30-31 (NIV)

Paul listened to their advice. Had he gone in to the amphitheater, his life may have been ended prematurely and he might not have had the opportunity to continue to share the message of Jesus Christ with others. He would not have been able to share his testimony and the gospel with the council in Jerusalem, King Agrippa and his wife, Festus the governor, the people in Malta, the sailors on the ship that transported him to Rome or the Jews in Rome.

He listened to God speaking through others and was able to preach Jesus as the Messiah for many more years.

We all need to listen to the counsel of other Christians when it comes to the proper timing of things in our lives. God often uses others to speak with us. Of course, the first thing to do is seek God’s wisdom and advice through his word, but be prepared to have him answer you by speaking through circumstances and the godly people that you surround yourself with.