Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 22

There is a lot of inspiration and encouragement to be gathered from the people you surround yourself with. My friend, who is always ready to give a reason for her faith, shared with me her take on this subject. We sometimes balk at spending time with the saints as a Sunday ritual or being involved with anything we consider a "religious" activity. She explained it like this to someone she was talking to about Jesus and the subject of attending church: When you begin running, you read about it and learn all the ins and outs concerning it. Then you begin talking to other runners to give you ideas and encouragement, because of your common interest. You start hanging out with other runners! Going to church is the same thing, we need to surround ourselves with other like minded individuals to help keep us on track and accountable, just like with running. 

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21

Are you running into closed doors? Do you feel like things are moving too slowly? Are you having trouble hearing from the Lord? Maybe prayers aren't being answered as quickly as you had hoped. We all have times like these. This may seem a little odd and somewhat unnatural, but you need to break into praise! When all hope is gone and you've done everything in your own power, it's time to turn to the only one who can really do anything about your situation anyway, it's time to turn to Jesus! There are days where I wake up and feel that I'm at a dead end and I'm not sure what to write about. That's when I turn to Him with praise and my attention to worship. The door opens, my head clears of its clutter, and the words seem to just roll out and onto the page. This is your reminder that it's all about Him anyway, so if you start your day there He will show you why you need to keep on keeping on, even through adversity.

Start here with your praise:

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalms 100:1-5

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20

We have each been given particular gifts that enable the body of Christ to function as a whole. We must be connected to the mind of Jesus in order to function properly. We can't all do the same thing. If we all had the same gifts, the body would die. My strongest gift right now is writing, which is a part of the teaching gift. I use my fingers to write and, with technology, my voice. If I don't connect to the mind, my function is completely dead; the words are dead, the outcome is dead. The church is a complete body and we need each part connecting to the mind. Many of us have parts of our bodies that do not work as they should. If that individual part began to work again after being disconnected for a long time, it would need to practice and exercise to work properly. For that reason, we should exercise our gifts and stay connected to the mind of Jesus, you don't want to get rusty or have atrophy set in.

For more information about this, study 1 Corinthians 12.

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19

We have Anhinga, better known as water turkey, that like to fish in the lake behind our house. I saw one with what looked like nylon hosiery hanging from its beak. It let me get really close, then it flew off. It didn't know that I was just trying to help. In its mind, I looked like an enemy. I just hope someone comes along that can get close enough to touch it and rescue it. Jesus touched many who were willing to be healed. He even healed some that didn't know they needed healing like, the man from the tombs that was possessed by legions. His mind was totally overtaken and controlled by demons. With drugs so prevalent in our society, it's easy to recognize those who need help. They don't even know they need it because their minds are controlled by drugs, a tool of the devil. They may not let you get close to them, but keep praying that someone will come along and help rescue them from their prison.

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 18

Living in Florida, we are susceptible to having many different types of creatures trying to cohabitate with us. We've had squirrels living in our eaves, snakes slithering right in the door, birds in our chimney, and we've even had a cat enjoying the comfort of our attic. We've done our best to seal off their entry points, but sometimes they still find a way inside. There is one creature that I detest more than any other, and it's the rat! When they decide to move in with us, that's when the war begins! Sometimes our arsenal of weapons are not sufficient for the duty they are called to. For one, you don't use a mouse trap to catch a rat! They will just stand back and laugh at you after they set it off. You have to get out the big daddy traps when going after them! The same holds true when trying to fend off Satan, he's like the rat. You need to seal off his point of entry; stop the sin that brought him in. After that, prepare for battle with the full armor of God!

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:14-18

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to over five hundred men at one time, teaching them and giving them a new command. The resurrection was fantastic, but it was His appearance to so many people that really set in stone the truth about who He is. Knowing all that you know about Jesus, especially that He is God, what is stopping you from carrying out His commands? He won't leave you, and you can count on Him to help you when you're doing what He's told you to do. This particular command that I'm talking about is what we call The Great Commission! In it He tells us to GO! Go tell the world the gospel, the truth of who He is! We have so many excuses for not sharing Jesus with others, but the main excuse is fear. Do you know how many times God's Word tells us to have no fear or to not be afraid? Over 365 times! Let me tell you this though, you should fear God if you don't obey His commands!

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 16

Imagine, going to the tomb and finding two angels sitting where the body of Jesus was supposed to be! They were so frightened that they bowed in fear. What I'm surprised by is, when Jesus would appear to some, and they didn't recognize Him. But really, is that so far fetched? We have the accounts of many throughout the scriptures, yet, we don't recognize Him either! But look at Mary's heart, she was willing to move Jesus' corpse if she knew where they had put Him. Maybe He showed Himself to her after she made a commitment. It was a commitment to do more than she could probably handle. He called her name and then she recognized Him! Are you waiting to hear from Jesus? Maybe you will hear His voice after you commit yourself to Him! He will show you that He is not a dead body that you need to move, but is alive and calling your name! He is risen!

Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). John 20:15-16

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3