Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Value Of Commercials

R. T. Williams was surprised to realize that he was on an elevator with Lee Iacocca who was then the Chairman of Chrysler Corporation. In his excitement over the chance encounter he blurted out, “Mr. Iacocca, I really enjoy your commercials!”
“Sir,” replied Iacocca, “I couldn't care less what you think of my commercials. What I want to know is what kind of car do you drive?”
Iacocca was very aware of the fact that the commercials had no value unless people purchased and drove Chrysler cars. In like manner we need to ask ourselves a similar question. What value are the things we do for our Lord if they do not bring people to Christ as Savior and Lord?
Recall the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew. John tells us that they knew about Jesus since He had talked with them previously. When Jesus called them, they knew what kind of a man He was and were willing to give up everything that they had to follow Him.
Here's a question we must answer: Would the people who know us be willing to accept Christ as their Savior because of the difference He has made in our lives? Do they believe our faith matters?
Prayer: Lord, we are living examples of what it means to be Your followers. May our lives be so attractive that they will draw others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 4:18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Sun Will Shine Again

It was a cold, windy, rainy day. A poorly clothed newsboy stood in the doorway of an apartment building trying to escape the elements. Each time a bus stopped at the corner and the people got out he shouted, “Morning paper! Get your morning paper here!”
A warmly-dressed man purchased one of his papers and noticed how poorly he was dressed. Attempting to offer him some comfort he said, “This certainly is bad weather for you, son. I'm sorry for you.”
“I don't mind it much,” he replied. “The sun will shine again.”
The Psalmist had good advice when things seem to be unbearable. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart sad? I will put my hope in God!”
Discouragement is said to be one of the most common occurrences in everyone's life nearly every day. We make careful plans and then something blocks them or someone gets in our way. We become distracted and give up “what might have been” because we forget about God. If we focus on God's ability rather than our limitations, the “sun will shine again.” Take courage. Hope in God and believe.
Prayer: We look to You, Lord, in faith knowing that Your strength can sustain us in the difficult times if we truly trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Diamonds From A Dungeon

His family must have spent a fortune on his education. He studied under the greatest teachers of his day. He was thoroughly trained in law. Became a well-recognized warrior. Traveled extensively. Enjoyed athletic competition so much that he knew all the rules and measures used to evaluate athletes. One day God spoke to him in a dramatic way and his life was changed forever. He put his complete trust in God and decided to follow Him to the ends of the earth. Eventually, things changed. Life did not become easy for him, but difficult. As a result of his obedience, he suffered shipwrecks and stoning. He faced death from maddening mobs and whips that lashed his body. Even though he was thrown into prison, his spirit was never shattered nor his faith flawed.
How did Paul endure these hardships? He turned his dungeon into a mine of diamonds. He wrote some of the world’s finest letters, inspired early church leaders, formed the theological foundation of Christianity and endured hardships as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
It was while he was in prison that he wrote, “We know that all things work together for good.”
Prayer: Father, help me to find Your comfort in conflict, Your solace in sorrow and Your encouragement in times of discouragement: in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Monday, March 28, 2016

He Died For You

When the body of President Abraham Lincoln was moved from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois it was taken through Albany, New York. In the crowd at Albany were a mother and her young son.
Lifting the child up the mother cried, “Son, take a good look at that man. He died for you.” As a leader of a nation she saw Lincoln’s work and death as a sacrifice for the country.
There was another man, Jesus, who did indeed die for us. But His death was different. His death was that we might have forgiveness for our sins. His death was for our salvation. He died that we might have eternal life through Him and live with Him in heaven. When He died, He did not stay dead – but rose from the grave.
We need to take a good look at Jesus. We need to see that in Him we have someone Who loves us and cares for us; someone Who will hear and answer our prayers; someone Who will give us peace when we are going through difficult times.
But first, we must accept Him as our Savior and make Him the Lord of our Life!
Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize that in Your death You give us Life. May we accept the salvation that You offer us and live our lives in service to You: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Resurrection

Lo, there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it; his appearance was as lightening and his clothes were as white as snow. For fear of him, the guards trembled and became as dead men.
And the angel said to the women, “Be not afraid I know that you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He is risen. He is not here. Why seek the living among the dead? Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful man and be crucified and on the third day rise again.’ Come now and see that place where He lay. (Then they remembered His words.)”
“Go quickly and tell His disciples and Peter that He is risen from the dead, and lo, He goes before you into Galilee. There, you will see Him as He told you.”
Some went away with fear and trembling and said nothing because they were afraid. Others went away quickly with fear and great joy and ran to tell the disciples.
Prayer: Father, how grateful we are for Your victory over death and the assurance of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The First Easter Parade

Constantine the Great is credited with being the originator of the Easter Parade. It began on the first Easter Sunday following his conversion. On that day, he ordered the members of his court to wear their finest garments to honor and celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
What will we wear for our Easter garments this year? New clothes covering an old nature? Costly garments hiding a deceitful heart? Changing our apparel will not change our attitudes or our actions.
When we walk with the Lord, He will make all things new from the inside out. He is able to change our old nature into one of His making, a deceitful heart into one devoted to loving Him and our stale thoughts into fresh new insights into the way He wants us to live.
When we turn our lives over to the Lord, we will not need to worry about what we wear or where we walk in a parade. We will be covered with His grace, demonstrate His goodness and reflect His greatness wherever we are.
Prayer: Lord, sometimes it is easier to dress the part than to live the part of being a Christian. I ask that You give me the strength to live my life through the power that comes from the Holy Spirit: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 3:1-14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Friday, March 25, 2016

When Only The Best Will Do

Josiah Wedgewood was the founder of one of the world’s finest pottery businesses. It was his practice to walk through his plant carrying a little hammer. Whenever he detected the slightest defect in any of his earthenware, he would break it and shout, “Only the best is worthy of the name of Wedgewood.” That is why his china has maintained the reputation of being among the world’s finest.
Have you ever considered what it means to be called “Christian?” It means that we are being called by the name “Christ.” What a privilege! But are we worthy?
Often individuals find fault with the way some of us who are called “Christian” behave. It is not that those in question “believe” wrong, it is simply that they do not “behave” right. It is an observation about how they live and what they do. The world finds no fault with Christ, but has difficulty understanding why those who represent Him do not live as they are expected to. Perhaps this is why many do not receive Him.
Too many of those who claim His name find it easier to “talk” as He did than to “walk” as He walked.
Prayer: Father, it is sometimes difficult for me to walk as You walked. Please give me Your strength and courage to live for You: through Christ. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by Him.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Turn Care Into Prayer

After an experiment failed, Lord Kelvin said to his students, “Gentlemen, when you are face to face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery.” This is true not only in learning but also in living.
David was face to face with a difficulty and he came upon a discovery.
If it had not been for David’s pains there would not be many of the Psalms. These treasures came out of his trials. He went from strength to strength because he went from struggle to struggle.
The person who has no trials has no triumphs. Joseph’s prison was the path to the palace. If he had not become Egypt’s prisoner, he would not have become Egypt’s prime minister. Even Job’s boils became his blessings.
And in heaven there are no crown wearers who were not cross bearers on earth.
Are you in distress? It is not to overwhelm you but to grow you. Turn care into prayer and your trials will become your triumph.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that I can come to You when I am overwhelmed with trouble. Thank You that You listen to me. Help me, Lord, to give my trials to You: in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tremble And Sin Not

Some folk were called “Quakers” because they quaked at the presence of sin and the preaching of the Scriptures. David must have wished for a congregation of “quakers.” He said in Psalm 4:4, “Stand in awe, and sin not.” It means, “Tremble and sin not.” But many have reversed the verse. They say, “Sin and tremble not.”
Perhaps the greatest mistake in the world today is that men and women have lost their fear of sin. If you want to play with something dangerous reach into the heavens and play with forked lightning, or reach into the fireplace and play with hot coals, or reach into the forest and play with a rattlesnake, but don’t play with sin.
Two boys poked a piece of copper wire around a live rail on the subway tracks. There was a bright flash and a loud cry as ten thousand volts of electricity passed through their bodies. Was that dangerous? Yes, but not as dangerous as playing with sin. So pay attention to Psalm 4:4, “Tremble, and sin not!” And remember, where sin is mighty, the Savior is almighty.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to search my heart and to understand when I have sinned. Give me wisdom and help me to turn away from sin when the evil opportunity presents itself once again: in Thy Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Traveling Life's Highways

A chauffeur was being honored for his record of having driven for more than 45 years and never having an accident.
“What’s your secret?” asked the Master of Ceremonies.
Quickly he replied, “I stay away from dangerous places – places where accidents are likely to happen.”
What great advice. All too often we find ourselves in places or situations where danger is awaiting us. Acting carelessly, we sometimes get into difficulties that present problems that we cannot solve or are forced to make decisions that exceed our experience.
We can get great insight for living from God’s Word. The Bible puts it this way: “Hold on to whatever is really good. Steer clear of evil in any form.”
The Bible will give us insight into dangers and the destructive nature of sin. It will help us see sin for what it is – an enticing, inviting, ensnaring, and an easy path to self-destruction with no warning signs or signals.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to be alert to the dangers of sin that would wreck our lives. May we always be aware of the temptation to travel on unsafe roads. We know that Your Word will take us safely through life if we follow its directions: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:15-22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Monday, March 21, 2016

They Will Know When We Glow

Two miners had been searching for gold for months. Their efforts went unrewarded until one day when they struck it rich. They did not want anyone to know where they discovered their “fortune” until they staked their claim. But they needed supplies badly.
They decided to go into town, buy what they needed, tell no one of their discovery and return to their cabin.
In spite of their silence, when they returned to their cabin they discovered a large crowd waiting for them. Their happiness, joy and excitement gave away their discovery.
Whatever we have on the inside always appears on the outside. When God resides within us, His glory will be reflected through us.
One day Moses met with God. When he returned to his followers, his face glowed with God’s glory, letting the people know that he had been with God.
When you and I spend time with God, reading His Word and praying, others will know that we have been with Him. It will show in us and through us.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I know that others will see You in the things that I do, the places I go and the statements I make. Help me to spend time alone with You that I may reflect Your grace in my life: in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Exodus 34:28-30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

The Sword of the Spirit

Following the coronation of Edward the Sixth, a large procession began to make its way to the banquet hall to celebrate the historic event.
In front of the king and leading the procession were three soldiers carrying swords that represented the countries of England, Scotland and Wales.
“Stop,” protested Edward. “There is one more sword that should be with them. It is the Bible, the sword of the Spirit.” At his suggestion, a Bible was located and placed in the hands of a soldier who led the procession.
What a wonderful expression of the rightful place for the Word of God – at the beginning of any journey. If we want our lives to move in the right direction, we must always follow the guidance we find in His Word. If we want to be certain that we are going where He wants us to go, we must always let His instructions lead us.
If we begin the day with God’s Word, we will have His presence with every step. If we end the day with His Word, we will have His comfort throughout the night.
Prayer: Lord, we know that your Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our paths. May we realize that without knowing Your Word we cannot know Your way. May we always look for the guidance we need from the Bible: through Christ. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Joshua 1:1-9 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Shape Of The World

A teacher asked her class, “What is the shape of the world?” A little boy answered, “My father says it's terrible!”
How true! What is the reason? There is a rebellion against the Lord and the law of the land.
This revolt of evil is reported in the second Psalm “The kings of the earth plot against God.” They wanted to break the Spiritual cords and be set free from God.
Today children have cast off their cords of restraint and no longer respect their parents. Citizens have cast off their cords of restraint and no longer respect their policemen. Our homes have been turned into a jungle of robbery and rape, mugging and murder.
We are witnessing an attempt of the godless to snap the cords of Divine control, but it will only bring down destruction on our nation.
Whatever you do, do not turn against the Lord. Live for and worship Him. If you do, it will not matter who is against you.
Prayer: Jesus, we need help here on earth. Some people demand that God be excluded from public places. Some have even tried to take “Christ” out of Christmas. Give me courage to be Your witness. Thank You, Lord, that I know I can always talk with You and that You are always with me. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 2:1-3 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Happy Man

When I was a little fellow, I caught some “lightning bugs” and sealed them in a jar. It was fun watching their tiny bright lights glow in the dark by my bed.
I woke up early the next morning to see their lights but the glow was gone. The lightning bugs were all dead.
It is like that with most people. Some think that happiness and pleasure are synonymous. But they are not a commodity that can be bought. It is a condition.
Others think that happiness and plenty are synonymous. But happiness is not derived from possessions, nor destroyed by poverty. Remember the story of the king who asked for the shirt of the happiest man in his kingdom? They found the man – but he did not have a shirt.
Happiness is not what happens to us, but what happens in us. It is the by-product of a life that is adjusted to the will of God and regulated by the Word of God. Seek God through Christ and let Him have His way, and you will be happy.
Prayer: Jesus, help me to remember that while worldly possessions may bring a temporary type of pleasure, the only true and lasting happiness comes from You. Help me to search the Scriptures daily so that I can understand Your way of life: in Your name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 1:1-2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Church of the Penitents

There is a church in South America that is built on a plateau 10,000 feet above sea level. It is called The Church of the Penitents. From its perch above the city it can be seen for miles. One of the most interesting facts about the church is how is came to be built.
For years, each member of the church would carry two bricks to the church site for each sin they committed during the day. It continued until they had enough bricks to build the church.
One day a visitor, fascinated with the story, decided to count every brick. When he completed counting the bricks he sat down and said, “I cannot believe the number of sins this church represents.”
Is that not one of the reasons for the church? A place where individuals can bring their sins and ask God for forgiveness? The church exists to evangelize sinners not entertain saints. It is to gather for prayer not meet for parties.
Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
If you have never responded to His call, won’t you do so today?
Prayer: Father, we thank You for the church that You established as a place for sinners to come and find Your salvation. Come into our hearts: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 9:13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tempted To Be Bad Tempered

Bobby Jones, one of the world’s all-time great golfers, began playing golf at the age of five. At twelve, he was the town’s best golfer. But he had a terrible temper.
When he was fourteen, he entered the National Amateur Tournament and lost. His Grandpa Bart said to him, “You’re good enough to win. But you will never win until you control your temper.”
Years later, after winning tournament after tournament, a reporter was talking to Grandpa Bart about Bobby. During the interview Grandpa said, “Bobby was fourteen when he mastered golf. But he was twenty-one when he mastered himself.”
It is a tragedy when we allow our tempers to control us instead of God controlling our tempers. His power is available to us when we surrender our hearts and lives to Him and ask for His Spirit to live within us.
If we do not master our tempers, our tempers will master us. God’s Word warns us to “Stop being mean, bad-tempered and angry.”
Prayer: Lord, there are times when I lose control of my faith and feelings and do and say things that I regret. Please take charge of my life and let me be the kind of person who reflects Your kindness at all times. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tell The Truth

TELL THE TRUTH
It was a crowded Sunday morning worship service when the pastor reminded his congregation of the church prayer meeting. Unfortunately, only two members came: the pastor and the three-hundred pound church janitor.
The next Sunday the pastor informed his flock that there was a “large and enthusiastic crowd” at prayer meeting.
The janitor became upset and accused the pastor of lying.
“But,” protested the pastor, “I did not lie. You’re large and I’m enthusiastic.”
There are times when we twist the truth to make ourselves or others look good or bad. Sometimes we offer a lie as an asset but it always proves to be a liability. There are times when we stretch the truth but it will always snap back and hurt us.
One translation of the Bible put it this way: “Stop lying to each other; tell the truth…when we lie to each other we are only hurting ourselves.”
Prayer: Father, often we are tempted to explain away our short comings or exaggerate the faults of others. Help us to realize that You expect truth and honesty from us and that You will hold us responsible for every word we speak: in Thy Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:25 (TLB) Stop lying to each other; tell the truth, for we are parts of each other and when we lie to each other we are hurting ourselves.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Showers For The Groom

A young boy asked his father, “Dad, don’t they ever give showers for the groom?”
“No, son,” he replied. “There will be plenty of showers for him after his bride begins to reign!”
What an introduction to marriage and the family! It would seem as though the father was describing his life and disappointments.
All of us want our homes to be a little bit of heaven on earth. But there will always be the realities of life. Problems invade every home at the worst possible time and with great intensity. But God established the home and He would have it to be a harbor in the time of storms and a refuge in days of distress.
If parents would assume their rightful places and follow the teachings of His Word, how different things would be. If prayer was practiced, Scriptures read and worship at the heart of family life, the storms could be endured and the family strengthened.
If we want our homes to be what God wants them to be, we must pray: “Here’s our family, live with us; here’s our home, be the Lord of it.”
Prayer: Father, living as a family is difficult at times. Help us to realize that in times of stress and strain we need You more than ever: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 5:20-30 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Serious Trouble

During World War II a Marine was huddled in his foxhole. He had not received any mail for weeks and was feeling lonely and afraid. One day, with bullets flying overhead and bombs bursting all around him, he was handed an envelope. Excited and joyful, he immediately opened it, expecting some encouraging words.
Unfortunately, it was a statement from a collection agency that read, “If this invoice is not paid in full within five days you will be in serious trouble.”
We often experience days that are filled with one difficulty or disappointment after another. Wherever we look, we seem to be under attack or in trouble.
But every difficulty becomes an opportunity for God. With His Spirit in our hearts, His Words in our minds and His angels around us, we know that His presence will sustain us.
Seek the Savior, and you will have His strength for life’s battles, His courage for life’s conflicts and His presence amidst life’s pain.
Prayer: Father, there are days when we all feel the stress of life’s battles and the loneliness of being abandoned. In the midst of the darkest days and the longest nights, may we learn to place our trust in You for our salvation: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 18:25-32 With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Salf-Made Or God-Made?

A man brought his arrogant, bitter and cruel boss home for dinner. He had spoken often about how difficult it was to work for him. Quietly, his son stared at the guest for quite some time but said nothing.
Finally, the boss asked, “Why are you staring at me?”
“Because,” said the boy, “dad says you are a self-made man and I’m wondering why you made yourself the way you are.”
The Bible tells us that we were created in the image of God, that we were designed to do the things we were created to do: love Him, worship Him and serve others.
Whenever we try to make ourselves into something other than what God intended for us to be, we end up in disaster. God has great plans for each of us. He wants our lives to be filled with the joy that comes from knowing His Son, Jesus Christ as our Savior. He wants us to feel the comfort of His presence. He wants us to realize that His peace is available when our hearts are troubled.
Most of all He wants us to give Him first place in our lives. When we live our lives the way He designed us to live our lives, we will live God-made lives.
Prayer: Father, there are times when each of us think mistakenly that we know what is best for us. Help us to seek You with all of our hearts so that we may be who You want us to be: in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Saved By A Storm

For months a homeless woman wandered the streets of her city alone and in agony. She did not know where she was, where she was going or even her name.
One day while walking in a park, a severe thunderstorm broke out. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck a tree close beside her and gave her a jolt. Immediately, memory returned, and she remembered where she lived. As the details emerged, she found her way back to her family and friends.
We read in the Psalms of a king who had a similar experience. Though no doubt he knew who he was and where he was, he had been wandering aimlessly. Once he asked God to teach him good judgment and knowledge, reminding Him that he was aware of His commandments and knew their value for his life. He admitted that he had gone astray and as a result was “afflicted.” Then he added, “It was good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn Your statutes.”
If we let them, the storms in our lives may serve to bring us back to, or perhaps even, much closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. It always seems as though the grass is greener after the rain.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when we experience the storms of life, help us to realize that You are there and that You want to bring us closer to You: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:65-72 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Salvation Is Of The Lord

“It took me forty years,” said an old man, “to learn three simple things: that I could not do anything to save my soul, that God did not expect me to save my soul, and that provided salvation for my soul when He died on the cross.”
Some friends wanted to free a prisoner. They smuggled a pistol into the prison to subdue the guard and a ladder to scale the wall. Then they arranged for the getaway car. “But,” asked the prisoner, “how do I get out of my cell?” “That is up to you,” they answered. He did not escape because he could not take the first step to get out of his cell.
God took the first step in our salvation. He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. Now, we must do one of two things: we must accept what He has done or reject what He has done. But some object and ask: “Why can’t I be neutral and leave the Lord alone?” Because He will not leave you alone.
This saving Lord is a seeking Lord. He is seeking to give each one all that he needs for time and eternity. It is your move. What will you do with Jesus?
Prayer: Jesus, I’m ready to take the first step. I know that I cannot do anything to save my soul. I realize that You did it all for me when You died on the cross and then arose on the third day. Come into my heart now: in Thy Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 3:8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Proof That Prayer Works

A stranger walked into our recording studio and was impressed with all of the equipment that we use. In fact, he had difficulty in believing that it took so much “stuff” to produce a one minute program. Turning to me he asked, “Where did you get the loot to buy all this?”
“From God,” I answered. “We ask Him for what we need and He always provides it to us when we need it!”
We walked to my office and paused in front of our “prayer board” which contained pictures of the items we were praying for. Looking at a folding machine he asked, “Think you’ll get it?” I replied, “I know we will. God answers prayer!”
With an unbelieving smile he sat down across from me. The phone rang and a voice said, “I just heard your broadcast and it blessed my heart. I want to do something for you. What do you need?”
“A folding machine,” I answered. “Order it,” he said, “I’m sending the check right now.”
“Wow! I’ve just seen a live answer to prayer!”
Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Prayer: Lord, we believe in Your power to answer our prayers. May we learn to pray with faith, believing that you will hear and answer our prayers: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Please Do Better

One day a television reporter received a letter from a young girl. It read: “When I grow up I want to do what you do. Please do it better!”
When we see others doing something, often anything, we are critical and think there are ways they could improve their work. And, it is much easier for me to want to change someone – actually, anyone – than for me to want to change myself.
Jesus said, “Judge not,” and He wondered how it was possible for us to see the speck in our brother’s eye in spite of the log that we had in our own eye.
One sure way to improve the quality of our lives is to turn them over to Jesus and to measure whatever we do by what He has done. When He imparts His wisdom in our minds, implants His strength in our bodies, instills His truth in our hearts, fills our hearts with His love, we will be so busy doing His work that we won’t have time to criticize others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to keep my eyes upon You, my ears open to Your voice, my heart available to Your love and Your life an example for me to follow. Let me be less critical and more compassionate in my relationships with others: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 7:1-5 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Let's Go To Church

“Dad,” said a small child getting ready for Sunday school, “When I grow up I want to be just like you. How old will I have to be to quit going to church?”
The father blushed with embarrassment and said, “Son, going to church is something we need to do all of our lives.”
Most parents are anxious that their children go to church. Unfortunately, many parents do not realize how important it is for them to set the proper example for their children. Going to church is one of the most important examples parents can set for their children. It demonstrates the value and priority they place on worshiping together.
Being a Christian without going to church is like a soldier going into battle without an army or a violinist preparing for a concert without any strings in his violin. A family trying to live life without worshiping together is like a ship with no rudder.
The Apostle Paul wisely said, “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back is drawing near.”
Prayer: Father, I admit that I need to be with others and worship and praise You. Help me to be faithful and join with others to honor You: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 10:25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I Brought Myself

For weeks the missionaries had been planning a special event for the children in the West Indies. They wanted to teach the children the importance of honoring Jesus. So, each day they reminded the children that there would be this “special day” when they were to bring a gift for Him when they came to Sunday school.
Finally, the moment arrived when the leader said, “Come, children, bring your gift to the altar.” Everyone stood, came forward, presented their gifts and then returned to their seats. One remained standing.
“Why are you standing there?” the leader asked.
“I have nothing to give the Lord except me, so I just stood here and prayed: “All I have is me, Lord. But I’m all Yours if You want me.”
And that’s exactly what He wants most.
Paul begs that we “present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
What an example this small child is to each of us. There she stood while others gave their gifts. But she gave God the most valuable gift – her body. Can we do less?
Prayer: Father, many of us have given all that we have except our bodies. But that is where we should begin. Help us to realize that nothing else is a gift of importance to You other than ourselves, and may we gladly give “me” to You: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Help!

A teacher was encouraging his class to be kind and think of the needs of the people around them. “Remember, kids, you were put here to help others.”
“But,” protested one of the students, “what were the others put here for?”
Where would we be if no one helped us? What if no one taught us to read or write or do arithmetic? Sometimes we forget to think about all of the help that others have given us and focus only on ourselves. It is hard to imagine where we would be if no one ever took an interest in us.
So, if we have been helped, should we not also do the same for others? Indeed, we need to focus on the needs of others as much – or more – than we focus on our need. It’s important for us to be mindful of the many times God has helped us when we least expected it.
And here is something to remember: May we never forget the fact that every time we help pull someone uphill, we will find ourselves getting closer to the top.
Just for today, rather than pointing a finger at someone, hold out a helping hand.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be alert to the needs of others all of the time. May my eyes always be open to see their needs, my ears open to hear their cries and my heart open to feel their pain. Let me always help others: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 John 3:16-24 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Handicaps

One of the world’s greatest speakers from ancient Greece was Demosthenes even though he was born with a severe speech defect. To overcome his problem he would practice speaking with small pebbles in his mouth. After years of practice he overcame his difficulty.
The Apostle Paul said of himself: “I did not come with eloquence…” my “bodily presence is weak and (my) speech contemptible…” and “though my condition put you to the test you did not scorn or despise me.” Yet he was and is recognized as one of the greatest missionaries, theologians and teachers who ever lived.
Handicapped? Have problems? Lacking in skills and talents? Need to improve on the gifts God has given you? Listen to Jesus: “My grace is all you need, for my power is strongest when you are weak.”
When we look at ourselves and feel inadequate, we need to turn our thoughts to God and realize that we are His handiwork. He has important work for each of us to do. But we must be willing to give our all to Him and let Him work His miracles through us.
Prayer: Help me, Father, to take what You have given me, work with it, and use it to honor You in all that I do. You have been gracious in what You have given me, and I give it back to You for Your glory. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Help In Time Of Trouble

Two men were hunting in Africa. As they were walking across a shaky bridge, two lions started to chase them.
Realizing they may not make it, James said, “Pray, John!”
John, frightened, said, “All I can remember is: ‘Lord, make us truly grateful for what we’re about to receive.’”
“Not for the lions, John, for us!”
Sadly, it seems that most of the time when we call upon the Lord for His help, guidance, peace or comfort, it is when we are facing life’s biggest threats or problems. When life is pleasant and pleasurable we rarely pause to think about Him or thank Him for the good times. But when problems erupt and times are difficult we may not know how to begin or what to say. Perhaps it’s because we rarely pray when the sun is shining and good things are happening.
So what do we do? Develop the habit of praying at all times, and soon we will discover that “God is a very present help in times of trouble.”
Prayer: Lord, it seems that when I pray, I realize how much I truly need You and how little I can do for myself. I do know that there is never a time when I can get by without Your help: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Consultant On Call

They called him the miracle worker. It was a miracle if he ever worked at all.
But he went to church and was so moved by the message that he went forward during the invitation and professed to be converted. His family and friends were delighted when he prayed: “Dear Lord, save me and use me to Your glory.” Unfortunately, he added: “By the way, Lord, I’ll be available whenever You need me to give you or others need guidance or directions.”
God does not need our advice, He needs our attention. He does not need our suggestions, He needs our service. He does not need our words, He needs our wills. He does not need our heads, He needs our hearts.
More than anything, He wants our love–for if we truly love Him, we will labor for Him and live for Him. He also wants us to worship Him, and if we do, we will gladly and willingly work for Him. It is only when we make a definite decision to follow Him that we will make a daily difference in His world.
Jesus said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
PrayerHelp me, Father, to know Your will by studying Your Word that I may do Your work. Help me to live for Thee: through Christ. Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Delightfully Different

The other day I was visiting with an old friend. During the conversation I asked, “I understand that you married Jane. Why?”
“Because she’s different,” he replied.
“How different?” I asked.
“She’s the only one who would have me,” he explained.
But there’s One Who will accept everyone – unconditionally. Young or old, rich or poor – our condition does not matter. Jesus said, “Come to me,” and then He added, “if you do come, I will not cast you out.”
In all my years of serving God, I have never heard anyone say, “I came to Jesus, but He would not accept me.” It has been just the opposite. Many have told me that Jesus was the only One Who would have them. They knew that when they came to Him, they finally discovered the only One Who accepted them in spite of all that they had done.
To become a Christian, all you have to do is to come to Christ. Take Him at His Word.
Prayer: Father, I come to You right now with all of my faults and failures, all of my sins and shortcomings and exchange my guilt for Your grace and mercy. Help me to take You at Your Word: in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”