Saturday, December 21, 2019

December 21

You can tell by the signs of the times what season we are in. It is necessary for you to take a stand for what is right, and align yourself with what God considers good. Be careful, the enemy will lead you in a direction contrary to God’s word, and you will be pulled into his trap. Every political party has its problems, but you will know if you are aligned properly if your allegiance to a party lines up more closely with the Bible. The murder of the unborn, the deterioration of Christian values, being convinced that wrong is right, the list goes on, you get the picture. I’d rather die than align myself with a party that thinks it’s okay to kill the unborn, or the partially born! Those are sick humans, and the enemy has ravaged their minds to believe it’s right. If you consider yourself a Christian, and agree with a woman’s right to choose death for her child, you do not know Jesus and need to seek him with all your heart. Also, be careful who you believe, the enemy will disguise himself as a beacon of light, hoping to confuse weak minds. If you never open your Bible and seek the truth for yourself, you are more likely to fall into the trap of the enemy. I know that I may have touched on nerves this morning, but I’m tired of being vague. Jesus told it like it was, and didn’t hold back, and that’s what you’re getting from me today.

You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. Luke 21:17-19

Friday, December 20, 2019

December 20

For several years in a row, about this time of year, my daughters and I would enjoy the Victorian Christmas Stroll at the H. B. Plant museum at the old Tampa Hotel, which is now the campus of The University of Tampa. Then we would have dinner, and enjoy a performance of The Nut Cracker, at the Performing Arts Center, which is now called The Straz Center. This is a reminder that nothing stays the same. The kids grow up and have families, and start their own traditions, and what you once enjoyed, falls away. Trying to recreate it is nearly impossible, but the memories of those special times of the past will linger forever. 

One thing that will also go away is marriage, when we reach eternity. There is no need for marriage in heaven, because there is no longer death, or need for procreation. We won’t need companionship because our Savior will be all we need. However, here on earth and in this age, we still have to replenish it with people, so things are expected to change. Until we reach eternity, we must resign ourselves to the fact that the only thing sure, and unchanging is Jesus; that’s why we need him.

And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. Luke 20:34-36

Thursday, December 19, 2019

December 19

When I read the parable of the minas, I get a sick feeling, because I know that most people are like the servant that the noblemen called wicked, who took what was given to him, and hid it. I compare the wicked servant to those whom Jesus calls lukewarm, and spews them from his mouth. Jesus wants us, his followers, to take what he has given us, and invest it in others by bringing more to know him. We are each given a portion according to our ability, and we are to use it diligently to increase the kingdom of God. Those who use what they have and increase it, will be given more, but those who do nothing, even what they have, will be taken away. If you don’t do a lot, you must at least put what you have in an account that earns interest. Here’s how: tell at least one person about Jesus who will bring others into the kingdom, or let others know you follow Jesus, don’t hide it, by doing that, others will want the peace you have. For those who have children, this is easy, make sure they know about Jesus, and follow through on their commitment to him. For others, don’t be afraid to live your life for Jesus, it’s not an easy lifestyle, but it is very rewarding. 

He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ Luke 19:22-24

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

December 18

Shopping is one of my least favorite things to do, but add to that a two year old, it then becomes unbearable! He was restless through the night, and was still tired. As I pushed the cart through the store, he saw things he recognized, and cried out for them. I then became “that person” who allows the child to cry, and pitch-a-fit in the store. I think I was still tired from his restlessness too, because most of the time I would just buy him what he wanted. I couldn’t get out of that store fast enough! 

Jesus tells a story of a judge that didn’t fear God or respect man. This woman kept coming to him, demanding justice. He kept refusing, but because of her persistence, and relentless behavior, he decided to give her justice so she would stop bothering him. Imagine going before our Father who loves us, and being persistent, and in prayer day and night. Jesus says that he will give justice speedily! Stay relentless in prayer, and have faith that the One who loves you will bring you to justice! Believe me, as a grandmother, if had needed to shop any longer, I would have given in to that tired little sweetheart.

And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:7-8

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

December 17

It is very important the we recognize when we have been favored by God. Our lives are not free from drama, and sometimes we have situations that require us to handle things that God has set before us. That means we may have to listen to the Holy Spirit, and follow his directions carefully. It’s not always pleasant, but when you don’t press, or push, and you allow God to work out the details, everything falls into place as he sees fit. God will not send you into battle without a plan, it’s not your plan, it’s his! The great part about doing things God’s way, is that he will give clues as you go, and let you know you are headed in the right direction. Make sure you take notice, and give thanks to him at each moment during the process. 

After ten lepers cried out to Jesus to heal them. As part of the process for healing, Jesus gave them instructions to go show themselves to the priest. When one of them noticed that they were healed, he ran to Jesus and worshiped him, and gave thanks. The other nine ran off. Is this not telling you to make sure you thank God in the process? Don’t wait until everything is accomplished, thank him as you go. He won’t leave you hanging, you will know that you are following his plan because he will give you clues.

When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:14-16

Monday, December 16, 2019

December 16

My favorite thing to do when I go to the beach is to search for seashells. For some reason, it delights me to pick up the carcasses of dead sea creatures. They are like little jewels that are masterfully designed. Once in a while, I will pick up one that has a rotting corpse hidden within its swirly little shell, and I won’t know it until it sits for a couple of hours waiting in my sink for me to rinse them off. It’s not easy getting the rot out of shells, and most of the time I end up throwing the bad one away. I have so many shells, after years of collecting them, that I give most of them away, but keep the most precious for myself. You could say that these seashells are unrighteous wealth, treasures lying on the beach, which is on someone else’s property. The rotten one is the price I pay for my ill gotten gains, but giving them away makes it better. When you give to the needy, is like storing up treasures in heaven. Though our earthly wealth could be called “unrighteous wealth,” giving back, helps turn the unrighteous, to righteous. Our best bet is to collect and store our treasures in Heaven where it will not rot or rust. 

If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? Luke 16:11-12

Sunday, December 15, 2019

December 15

Have you ever walked into a church feeling vulnerable, knowing you needed to be there, and noticed every person that ignores you? That’s the enemy, bringing on discouragement. Most people are just doing their own thing, because they need to be there too, but the enemy makes you aware of every “Pharisee” in the church. He wants you to go home feeling wrecked, so you don’t go back again. Jesus, on the other hand, welcomes you in, no matter how bad, or how deep you’ve fallen into sin. He is there to pick you up, dust you off, and forgive you of even your most heinous sins. When you make that commitment to him, all of Heaven rejoices! You broke through the biggest barrier by walking through the doors of the church. Never let people discourage you, if they do, they are dealing with sin more destructive than your own, have pity on them, rather than feel shame because of their behavior. Jesus made it a point to welcome the worst sinners of the day, so they would know that there was hope for them. He has great compassion for each and every sinner, and will come after you until you find your way into his arms. 

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7