Saturday, July 28, 2018

July 28

I have potted plants flanking the entry to my home. As I was walking by, I decided to check to see if they needed water. One of the plants holds water like a cup, when I looked inside I saw a frog who had made it his own personal hiding place and swimming pool. Even though it’s one of those slimy tree frogs, and it freaks me out when they try to jump on me, it is beneficial because it’s probably eating the mosquito larvae that can live inside the plant. The Bible says that all things are permissible, but not everything is beneficial. It was talking about eating meat that was sacrificed to idols as the example. In my situation the frog is both permissible and beneficial. That’s not the case with my friend, she is terrified of frogs. When she comes to visit, I will have to make that frog vacate his home. The point is, your conduct should not lead anyone astray or affect the conscience of someone else. Your conscience will be clear, but if it causes someone else to stumble, don’t do it. That frog would cause my friend to get hurt. That’s the point of this; you don’t want to cause someone else to sin or be hurt because of your actions.

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

Friday, July 27, 2018

July 27

We’ve had such heavy humidity that the windows are fogged up and dripping everyday. A couple of days ago, I noticed that these weird circles had formed on a couple of the windows. What in the world! I’m not sure how they got there because we have screens on them. It’s not like someone came by and drew them on there, if they had, someone would have seen them milling around my house. So I looked it up online and interestingly, someone else had noticed similar circles on their windows. What I found out was, it may have been the suction cups used to install them. Could the marks still be there after 15 years? Maybe? It makes me think that the windows have never been cleaned! I’ve never cleaned them myself, but I haven’t been here that long. This is a good lesson for all of us. Just because you look clean and polished it doesn’t mean you will stay looking that way. Something that has made an impression on you tends to show up when things get heavy. Pay attention to your reactions when you are under stress or pressure - those are the things you need to work on and clean up. 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Thursday, July 26, 2018

July 26

The book of Hebrews is rich with explanations. Why did Jesus have to die to save us? Or, maybe you’ve never thought about why the Bible is divided into The Old Testament and the New Testament. There may be other people that are able to cover this more thoroughly than I can, but this makes perfect sense to me. More often than not, rich people and some who are poor that have something valuable to leave, prepare a last will and testament to help procure the distribution of their valuables upon their death. As long as they are alive, their will can be changed, revoked or altered. If a receiver of the valuables makes an enemy of the one making the will, they could lose their inheritance. The will is not set in stone until the one who made the testament is dead. So, the New Testament is the last will and testament of our Savior Jesus Christ! In order for it to go into effect, He had to die. I would go on to say that those who die without accepting their portion of their inheritance, which is eternal life, lose - big time!

 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hebrews 9:16-17

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July 25

This is how good God is, He doesn’t want you to suffer from a guilty conscience. I’ve been doing a lite study of Hebrews, and the writer is trying to make it clear that the temple and the sacrificial offerings that were required of Israel, were all symbolic. It was a living example of what was to come. One of the points that He stresses is that they were all human based and that the only way to truly clear your conscience is through the sacrificial offering of Jesus. Though He was of human flesh, He is God, and there was no purer blood. Only His blood can completely wash away your sin. If you are still feeling guilty over an action you took, it’s time for you to give it over to Jesus, once and for all. Stop carrying it around! He wants you to be free of it. There are too many people out there who don’t know Jesus and are suffering from guilt, and they need to know that it’s possible to live without it. If you, who know Jesus, are still carrying around your past, how are you going to convince anyone to trust Jesus?

(which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, Hebrews 9:9

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July 24

Life is ever changing. One minute everything seems perfect and then the next minute you are in turmoil. Even this morning, as I sat with the sun blazing in the sky at what seemed like a glorious, sunny day, I watched and within minutes a storm rolled in, the sky became gray and thunder began to rumble. Things are never the same, but they’re never different either; in the sense that we expect life to change, but we are never ready for it. This is why we need our Savior, He is unchanging. We don’t have to worry whether He woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We don’t have to wonder when the next shoe will drop because He’s the same yesterday and today, and He will be the same tomorrow. People change, Jesus does not! Though you may not be able to count on the person next to you to always be there, you can count on our Savior. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. Rest easy in that promise today. He is our Rock when storms begin to roll!

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrew 13:8

Monday, July 23, 2018

July 23

Do you look at your senior pastor and think that he is the only person who can help you because God has given him a special gift? I used to think like that. It’s true that God has given pastors a gift, probably many gifts, but He has also given gifts to those who are not in the pulpit every Sunday. In my church, we have a women’s group that meets once a month, but between our meetings, we see one another at church and other functions and through social media. I love seeing these women gathering around to lift up a sister in Christ in prayer; it is so beautiful! We all have things we struggle with, and need others that we can count on to help us battle a real enemy whose attacks are relentless. So, the next time you feel like you need to run to your pastor for support, look around, there are others who have a heart to minister. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to your pastor, but they can be very busy, and if there is someone else, reach out to them. Remember that He has commissioned all of us to serve the saints.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 1 Peter 4:10

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 22

Waking up at 2:30 in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep easily, is frustrating. Every problem that I have came to mind and was rehashed over and over again. I prayed every prayer I could think of, quoted scripture, and begged God to help me go back to sleep. Eventually, I did, but morning came all too quickly and the lack of sleep made me sluggish and tired. We need our rest to function properly, but sleeping in the sense that you are not giving respect and honor to the Lord by being watchful, will not serve you well. Our time here on earth is short and we need to be vigilant and stay awake and aware. Seeing what is going on all over the world, we can be sure our Savior will be returning soon to gather the crops. Weeds are growing rapidly and the separation of the wheat from the tares seems imminent. Be on your guard, hold on to what you have, He is coming soon.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23