God

Do Not Worry and do not give up


“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:25-27)

My friends, I do not know what burden you carry to the cross today, but whatever the situation do not worry and do not give up. Your heavenly father knows what you need and in due season you will reap a harvest beyond your comprehension.

The crippled man who came to the pool of Bethesda for healing every day never gave up. Even though, his chances of getting into the pool at the right time was slim to none, he never stopped trying. But when it was due season, he reaped a harvest. This time he did not have to compete to get into the pool. Jesus came by and healed him.

Of course, it is hard for anyone to stay focus on God when his or her world is falling down. And it is doubly difficult if you have come to the cross for months, perhaps years, yet your situation remains the same.

Nevertheless, let me urge you to use the crippled man as an example and hold on a bit longer. Do not give up. The Scripture says, …”Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

Do you worry about moral decay in America and the world?


Recently I read a very disturbing article, captioned: “What is this world coming to?” The article arrived in my Inbox, and I believe Stephen Altrogge whom I do not know wrote it.

Obviously, Stephen is a follower of Jesus Christ, and he is every bit as concerned as most of us are about the moral decay of our society and the world in general.

Here are some excerpts of what Stephen writes:

“Every so often I hear someone say in despair, “What is this world coming to?” This kind of comment usually comes in response to a doomsday report of some sort.
1. Statistics shows that kids are more sexualized now than ever and that 70% of kids will have sex before graduating high school!
2. A new report says that 45% of Americans think that God wants them to be happy more than anything else!
3. A pew poll report shows that church attendance is at the lowest mark in twenty years!

When we hear these kinds of reports and stats, our gut instinct can be to throw our hands up in despair, panic, or disgust. We are shocked at the behavior of young people these days. Shocked at the levels of immorality at universities. Shocked at the apathy of people toward spiritual things. Shocked at the spike in gay marriages. Shocked at the smut being produced by Hollywood. Shocked at the increase in sexual promiscuity in our culture. What is this world coming to?”

The apostle Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, warned us about these things. In a letter to Timothy, he writes the following:

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) 8 These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres” (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

So, my good friends, do not be dismayed about the troubling things you see today. The worst is yet to come. But if you stayed committed and faithful to God, the one who gave up His only Son as a ransom for your sins, then at the end you will hear the words, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant.’

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Are you a modern day Pharisee?


The Pharisees in Jesus’ time were revered by the people, but Jesus had very harsh words for them.

These pompous, holier than thou men towered over the people like mighty guardians. They were members of a religious sect who often clashed with Jesus over His interpretation of the Law.

The name Pharisee means (separated one). Hence, the Pharisees separated themselves from society to study and teach the law, but they also separated themselves from the common people and labelled them religiously unclean.

Regardless, the Pharisees commanded respect from the masses because of their pious persona. Still, Jesus was not impressed. He saw them as empty shells and scolded the group for unnecessary punishments they placed on the poor.

In a scathing rebuke of the Pharisees found in Matthew 23 and Luke 11, Jesus called them hypocrites and exposed their sins. He compared the Pharisees to whitewashed tombs, which are beautiful on the outside but  are filled with dead men’s bones and uncleanness on the inside.

 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. ” (Matthew 23:13).

“Woe to you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things” (Matthew 23:23).

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs that indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27-28).

Getting into the boat with Jesus does not mean you trust Him


Sailing (1 of 1)

Jesus had just finished healing the sick and casting out demons. The crowd overwhelmed Him. He needed a break, so He instructed His disciples to crossed on the other side of the lake.

The Bible said, ” Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You are men little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him” (Matthew 8:23-27).

Apparently, the disciples, who had been with Jesus for a long time did not know Him. They had seen Him cast out demons and healed the sick, yet they did not trust Him. Do you?

When do you trust God?


Many people turn to God in times of need, but in times of plenty they do not think God is necessary. For those people God is the last resort. Quite the contrary, Jesus demands that His followers depend on God for everything, including provision and security. Not only when their backs are against a wall but also when things are going good..

Therefore, one should avoid using God as last resort.The practice is dangerous and seldom bears the desired fruit in a timely manner. If anything, it is akin to a soldier waiting until he or she gets caught in a fire-fight before putting on the armor. Further, God do not work according to man’s timing. The Bible says: “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). Therefore, your last-minute request for deliverance may not be forthcoming according to your timing.

Let’s suppose Daniel waits until the guards threw him into the fiery furnace or the den of hungry lions before he starts reaching for God’s protection. What do you surmise would have happened to him? Do you think the Book of Psalm would have been in existence, if young David had put off trusting God  until he confronted Goliath?  Not a chance. Instead, David, who was not a stranger to adversity, challenged and defeated the mighty philistine. He knew God was his helper, and God never fails.

So, despite the critics, good things do happen when people trust God, but one should not wait until the last-minute to do so. The Psalmist said: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, (Cloth yourself in His armor and leave the rest to Him) and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4-6).

A Prayer of Freedom


Happy 4th!

Dear Lord,

There is no greater feeling of liberation than to experience this freedom from sin and death that you have provided for me through Jesus Christ. Today my heart and my soul are free to praise you. For this, I am very thankful.

On this Independence Day I am reminded of all those who have sacrificed for my freedom, following the example of your Son, Jesus Christ. Let me not take my freedom, both physical and spiritual, for granted. May I always remember that my freedom was purchased with a very high price. My freedom cost others their very lives.

Lord, today, bless those who have served and continue to give their lives for my freedom. With favor and bounty meet their needs and watch over their families.

Help me to live my life, in a way, that glorifies you, Lord. Give me the strength to be a blessing in someone else‘s life today, and grant me the opportunity to lead others into the freedom that can be found in knowing Christ.
Amen

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