Monday, June 19, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: Ezra 6-8, John 21

Psalms 91-95

 

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: Nehemiah 10-11, Acts 4:1-22

Psalms 86-90

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: Nehemiah 7-9, Acts 3

Psalms 81-85

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: Nehemiah 4-6, Acts 2:22-47

Psalms 76-80

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: Nehemiah 1-3, Acts 2:1-21

Psalms 71-75

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 Ezra 6-8, John 21

Daily Bible Reading: Ezra 6-8, John 21

Psalms 61-65

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: Ezra 3-5, John 20

Psalms 56-60

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Sunday, June 11, 2017 See you in worship!

Daily Bible Reading: 22 Chronicles 32-33, John 18:19-40

Psalms 51-55

 

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36, John 19:1-22

Psalms 46-50

 

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Friday, June 9, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 22 Chronicles 32-33, John 18:19-40

Psalms 41-45

 

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Thursday, June 8, 2017 2 Chronicles 30-31, John 18:1-18

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 30-31, John 18:1-18

Psalms 36-40

 

 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Monday, June 5, 2017 2 Chronicles 23-24, John 15

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 23-24, John 15

Psalms 21-25

 https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Sunday, June 4, 2017 See you in worship and Bible Study

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 21-22, John 14

Psalms 16-20

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

June 3, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 15-16, John 12:27-50

Psalms 11-15

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Friday, June 2, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 17-18, John 13:1-20

Psalms 6-10

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 15-16, John 12:27-50

Psalms 1-5

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 13-14, John 12:1-26

Psalms 119

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 10-12, John 11:30-57

Psalms 146-150

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

 

Sunday, May 28, 2017 See you in Church

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 4-6, John 10:24-42

Psalms 136-140

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Friday, May 26, 2017

Daily Bible reading:  1 Chronicles 28-29, John 9:24-41

Psalms 126-130

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 25-27, John 9:1-23

Psalms 121-125

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 22-24, John 8:28-59

Psalms 116-120

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily Bible Reading:1 Chronicles 19-21, John 8:1-27

Psalms 111-115

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life + everlasting. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Pray for yourself…

Pray for others…

Have a blessed Day!

Saturday, May 20, 2017 – Worth the wait!

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 10-12, John 6:45-71

Today’s Reading in The Story is found on page 467 with the words, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven…” and ending at the end of the chapter. (Read in your bible Revelation 21:1-22:21)

Waiting. No one really likes to wait. And that’s not just an acquired attribute! I have noticed that our newest grandson doesn’t want to wait even a second for his food. Why? Because don’t like to wait.

Unfortunately, there are times in our lives when we just simply have to wait.  We have to wait our turn in line. We have to wait our turn in traffic. We wait nine months for the birth of children (unless they come early).  But the truth is: anything worth having is worth the wait.  Waiting for eternal life will be worth the wait, the sacrifices, and any suffering we have had to endure in this life.  We need to pray for patience, James writes,

James 5:7 (NIV) Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

When you’re bringing in the harvest, you’re thinking about what’s ahead:  Pay day!  After a long time of waiting, Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled!

Isaiah 35:10 (51:11) (NIV) The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

You can hear the echoes of Isaiah’s prophecy in this chapter 21 of the book of Revelation:

Revelation 21:1-3 (NIV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

The prayer we been praying so long, “thy kingdom come”, has finally been answered and the reality: it was never about an earthly kingdom, it was always about the heavenly kingdom, the eternal kingdom.  Remember Christ’s words of the night before he suffered death?

John 18:36 (NIV) Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

The work of the cross and the empty tomb lived out in this world, and for us who live this life, but their ultimate outcome was for us to be in the new world and the new life without the effects of sin, satan, and death in the Kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:4-5 (NIV) He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

And when the old has passed away, the new has come: it’s all new – everything’s new!

THIS is the day the LORD has made for us, by His Cross, death and resurrection.  This is the day we been waiting for all of our lives. If you’re reading this, you are still waiting. But, if you’re reading this, know for certain, that as sure and Christ died and rose, and has promised He is coming soon, this day which He has made is coming and when it comes, it will be worth the wait.

God, be with us in our waiting. Help us, Holy Spirit, in our waiting that we may be faithful. Help us that in our faithfulness we might be obedient to Christ in all things. Help us to be obedient to Your great commandment – to love You with all our heart and love others as You loved us, and striving to accomplish Your great commission – to go into all the world making disciples of all nations – that we may prepares ourselves and many others for that day when eternity will break-in for all people, for all times, in Jesus’ name. Amen!

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved, to sin no more.

Friday, May 19, 2017 Books were opened!

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 7-9, John 6:22-44

Today’s Reading in The Story is found on page 466 with the words “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.” and ending on page 467 with the words, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”   (Revelation 20:11-15)

It was a short reading today.  Only five verses, but they were five verses full.  Today we were introduced to “The Great White Throne” and the Judge is seated on it.  Heaven and earth have passed away.  Satan has been defeated and thrown into the lake of fire. And everyone who has ever lived appears before the Judge.  It is the Day of Judgment. It’s also called the Day of Wrath.  The separation of the sheep and goats.

Revelation 20:12 (NIV) And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

Books, plural, were opened. One for the blessed dead who died in the LORD and one for all who will be forever separated from God. All were judged according to what they had done.  Jesus told the 12 this day was coming in Matthew 25, just before His death and resurrection:

Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV) 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The sheep – that you and me who believe – “inherit” the Kingdom. It was never their works or good deeds that made their welcome into eternal life a reality.  It was their faith alone in Christ alone.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

And what about our “good works”?  Our faith in the Son of God transformed all the deeds of the “sheep” into “good deeds” in the eyes of our God.  The lack of faith in the Son of God made all of the deeds of the “goats” “unpleasing” to God. Hence, all of the unbelievers “works” were “evil” before God, warranting the judgment:  ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41 (NIV))

Revelation 20:15 (NIV) If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

O when the Saints (when the saints)
Go marching in (marching in)
Now, when the Saints go marching in (marching in)
Yes, I want to be in that number
When the Saints go marching in Jesus’ name. Amen.

By the way, if you search all the Scriptures, you’ll find the phrase, “the book of life” mentioned seven times. (Psalm 69:28, Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12,15)

Thursday, May 18, 2017 Celebration and Worship!

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 4-6, John 6:1-21

Today’s Reading in The Story is found on page 465 starting with the words, “Then a voice came from the throne saying” and ending on page 466 with the words “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”  (Read in your bible Revelation 19:5-16)

Two words from today’s reading.  First: Celebration. Eternity is going to begin an endless party –  A celebration!

Revelation 19:7 (NIV) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

Jewish weddings lasted up to a week in biblical times, but the wedding banquet in heaven is going to go on forever. Isaiah was the one who first intimated that heaven will be a banquet of celebration that never ends.

Isaiah 25:6 (NIV) On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines.

The Best of meats (no more concerns for cholesterol) and the finest wines (only the best forever).

But that’s not all we’ll be doing. We will be worshiping forever. If you have ever wondered what you’re going to be doing in heaven, worship will certainly be at the top of the list.

Revelation 19:5 (NIV) Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!”

If there was ever a clearer message about WHOM we worship, I don’t know of one more direct than this one in our reading today!

Revelation 19:10 (NIV) At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

We won’t be worship angels!  They don’t deserve our worship.  The “saints” who’ve gone before us don’t deserve it either.  Both deserve our thanks, but never our worship. Not now in this life, and NOT then in the next. There is only One who deserves our worship and praise.  God in Three Persons.

Revelation 4:8 (NIV) Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

1      Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

2      Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3      Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

4      Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three persons, blessèd Trinity!

 

AMEN and AMEN!

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017– Heaven is a glorious place!

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 1-3, John 5:25-47

Today’s Reading in The Story is found on page 463 “…After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing…” and it ends on page 465 with the words, “The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”  (Read in your bibles Revelation 4:1-5:14)

Heaven is a wonderful place,
Filled with glory and grace,
I want to see my Saviour’s face,
Heaven is a wonderful place.

Nice song, but it doesn’t begin to capture and express what we’re reading today in The Story. After you’ve seen what John saw, how do you go back to life as usual?

Revelation 4:2-3 (NIV) At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.

The graphic doesn’t justice to what John saw.

Revelation 5:5 (NIV)
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

HE is the ONE and only, the lion of the tribe of Judah. He is no longer the suffering servant, the humble Jesus. He is the Risen and exalted Christ in charge of all things.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (NIV) 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

He is the Risen and Ascended Christ ruling all things right now, for the sake of His Church. But the day is coming when He will hand everything back to the Father.

Revelation 5:6 (NIV) Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

When you see Him in eternity, you’ll recognize Him as Christ still bears the marks of his crucifixion for us to see, for all of eternity, to remind us of what the Lamb of God did to win our salvation.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the imagery of this apocalyptic book.  Yet each image is presented to the reader to see who this Christ, crucified, risen, ascended, and REIGNING Christ – sitting at the right hand of God – truly is!

Take each image separately. Give thanks to God for each new picture of our Jesus, the Christ. Each one portrays a different aspect of his being and provides us with a new reality for our faith and our hope.

When all thy mercies, O my God,
my rising soul surveys,
transported with the view, I’m lost
in wonder, love and praise.

Through all eternity to thee,
a joyful song I’ll raise;
for O, eternity’s too short
to utter all thy praise in Jesus’ name. AMEN!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 –Church – How are WE doing?

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 24-25, John 5:1-24

Today’s Reading in The Story is found on page 461 with the words “…”To the angel of the church in Ephesus write…” and ends on page 462 with the words, “…Spirit says to the churches.” (Read in your bible Revelation 2:1-7, 3:1-6, 14-22)

“Take a couple of deep breaths. Now, just breath normally…” Can you tell I’ve been to the doctor’s office recently?  My Dr. spoke those words to me, as he listened to discover the condition of my lungs and heart. It’s part of the basic medical “check up”.

We could do the same a “check up” on ourselves, spiritually-speaking.  How is your worship life going?  “Are you getting to church every Sunday? Are you reading God’s Word daily?  Are you praying throughout your day for yourself and others?  How’s your faith?  Is it growing in grace, knowledge and service?  Are you serving and giving so that the work of the church and the proclamation of the Gospel will be done?

In our readings today from Revelation 2 & 3, the LORD of the Church, the RISEN Christ sends a letter, a “church check up” to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Only He’s not asking: He’s diagnosing.  In each letter, the LORD of the Church, identifies a matter in the church to be dealt with.  Here are the matters:

  1. “you’ve lost your first love” – return,
  2. persecution is coming – be faithful,
  3. stop embracing false teachings – repent,
  4. idolatry and sexual immorality are poisoning the church – repent,
  5. you have a reputation for being “alive,” but you’re “dead” – repent,
  6. “false believers” are among you – beware,
  7. “lukewarm” Christianity is unacceptable.

Why does the “LORD of the Church” send these letters of encouragement and warning?  Christ loves His bride, the church.  He loves her enough to be “honest”!  He loved her so much that He purchased…

Acts 20:28 (NIV) “…the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

He paid the ultimate price to purchase the church. He shed His own blood and gave up His

life. Before His suffering, death and resurrection He told the 12,

Matthew 16:18 (NIV) “…I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

The church is in good hands.  It’s in the hands of Christ. And what does He the LORD desire for His Church?

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

He wants His Church to be a lampstand, not hidden, but shining brightly, revealing HIM to a world living in darkness.

He designed His Church to be a light house…warning all who will hear of the dangers ahead.

He planned for His Church to be a light guiding those in darkness…

Psalm 43:3 (NIV) Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

The good news is:  The LORD of the Church has promised to ransom His church once and for all times.

Lord of the Church, Lord Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice and Your love for us.  Send Your Spirit upon Your Church today, on Your people pour Your power, that we may be salt and light in an ever-darkening world.  In Your name, Alpha and Omega, First and the Last, in Jesus’ name. Amen 

1     The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heav’n He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

3     Though with a scornful wonder
The world sees her oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.

4     Through toil and tribulation
And tumult of her war
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Monday, May 15, 2017 –I didn’t see that one coming!

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 22-23, John 4:31-54

Today’s Reading in The Story is found on page 459 and ends on page 461 with the words “…lampstands are the seven churches.  (Read it in your bible Revelation 1:1-20)

We’re used to seeing these pictures of Jesus:  Jesus in the nativity, Jesus with the little children, Jesus on the cross. The first 3 pictures we’ve seen before, many times, but today’s picture of the Jesus of Revelation 1 is a new one.

This new picture (from Revelation 1) takes the incarnational Jesus to a whole new level.

What kind of picture come to mind from the reading today?  If you didn’t know the other pictures of Jesus, this one, could be a very “scary” image of the Christ.  Thankfully we know the ONE Who loved us enough to wear a crown of thorns and suffer the death on a cross.  So today’s new image from the book of Revelation is ONE we can rejoice and hope in.

Revelation 1:13-16 (NIV) 13 and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

He is the ultimate soldier.

Revelation 6:2 (NKJV) And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

When He goes into battle no one can stand against Him.  He has earned the right to be called,

Revelation 19:16 (NIV) On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

He is the eternal Christ, the first and the last,

Revelation 1:8 (NIV) “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

And because we know Him by the other pictures, this Picture of the Christ does not bring about fear, but strengthens our faith and leads us to praise Him for:

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God!

1      A mighty fortress is our God,
A trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from ev’ry need
That hath us now o’ertaken.
The old evil foe
Now means deadly woe;
Deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight;
On earth is not his equal.

2      With might of ours can naught be done,
Soon were our loss effected;
But for us fights the valiant One,
Whom God Himself elected.
Ask ye, Who is this?
Jesus Christ it is,
Of Sabaoth Lord,
And there’s none other God;
He holds the field forever.

Amen.

 

Saturday, May 13, 2017 Called to a Holy Life

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 17-18, John 3:19-36the story invite 1

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting where we left off yesterday at the transition on page 403 (chapter 28) and concluding on the bottom of page 405, with the end of the chapter.

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  2 Timothy 1:1-5, 8-12; 2:1-9; 3:10-17; 4:6-13.

One might say that Timothy was the Apostle paul’s protégé.  He was a young pastor whom Paul had trained and whom Paul took a personal interest in as he grew in his faith Holy lifeand ministry.  Paul provided Timothy with both instruction in the faith and encouragement in his ministry.

As Paul encouraged Timothy, he also gave instruction in living a holy life, set apart for the work of the kingdom.  He encouraged Timothy to comport himself as a believer and to always express the love of Christ to others.

In his instruction and encouragement, Paul never ceased to provide a good godly example.  Notice how he acknowledged Christ in everything?  He continually praised and Finish the Race-Titlethanked God as he instructed timothy in how he should act as a minister of the word and a follower of Christ.

In our reading today, we see how all of his instructions to Timothy also act as instructions to us.  We also should be expressing our thanks to God regularly for the example of our parents and other believers in our lives who helped us to understand God’s will and our salvation through Jesus Christ.

Maybe you were the first generation of believers in your family. If that’s the case, Paul encourages you to use the example of Timothy’s grandmother and mother as they instructed him in the faith. So too, we should be instructing the next generations in the faith.

Jesus Christ is the one who provides us with our salvation.  We are encouraged to read 2 tim. 3.16the scriptures and to learn God’s word by regularly studying the Bible.  We read:  16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

As we live our lives as Christians, let us be encouraged to do the good work that God intends for us as we live out our calling to a holy life, set apart for God.  Like Paul, we too want to fight the good fight, by keeping the faith and sharing the Gospel.

We are called to a holy life for Christ.  Let us live out our calling today and everyday as we live for the Lord!

Prayer:  Lord, so often I forget that I am called to a holy life, set apart for the work of Your kingdom.  Help me to study the scriptures every day so that I may know You better and so that I may truly act as one of Your children.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

Friday, May 12, 2017 Encouraging Faith

Daily Bible Reading:  2 Kings 15-16, John 3:1-18 H-Icon_Ch30_Chain

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting with the transition near the top of page 452 (chapter 30) and ends before the transition on the top of page 456 with the words, “…undying love.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Ephesians 1:1-10, 16-23; 2:1-22; 3:14-21; 4:1-6; 5:21-33; 6:1-4, 23-24.

Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians sometime in AD 60–61, around the same time he wrote Colossians and Philemon, as he sent all three letters by the hand of Tychicus, accompanied by Onesimus.  It was during this time that Paul sat in Rome undergoing his first Roman imprisonment , making Ephesians one of the four epistles commonly known as the Prison Epistles. The others are Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

In Paul’s other epistles, or letters, that he wrote to other churches, we see him address specific issues or challenges that those churches were encountering.  So he wrote those letters to either correct them, or encourage them to lead godly lives.  But Ephesians, and our reading today, are different because they deal with topics at the very core of what it means to be a Christian—both in faith and in practice—regardless of any particular problem in the community.

ephesians-1.21Paul began his letter with praise to God for His creation, as well as for His incredible grace that He shows to His children.  Paul expresses praise to God for the salvation He gives us through Jesus Christ, and encourage the Ephesians with the knowledge that god has supplied them with faith, which is given to both Jews and Gentiles.  But He gave this faith to them because they were made alive in Christ through His death and resurrection, freeing them from their sins and adopting them as God’s children.

The reading today is one of the most uplifting and encouraging piece of writing ever produced by Paul.  We should be encouraged, just as were the Ephesians, as we read this.  Paul clearly describes our salvation as provided by the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, out of love for all humankind.

After Paul explains how all have been made alive in Christ, he further encourages believers, both Jews and Gentiles, that we are all one body under Christ.  What an amazing gift!  That God would send His Son to allow all mankind to become His children!

Paul then encourages the Ephesians and us as believers that he prays for the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith.  He prays for future generations to have faith and to grow in the riches of God’s salvation.  What a blessing!

Furthermore, Paul admonishes all believers to be unified in the faith and to grow in maturity.  That means that we as believers should not be fighting with one another, but Ephesiansbe dealing with one another in brotherly love as followers of Christ.  That’s not always easy, is it?  But Paul encourages us to be reminded of whose children we are, so that we will act accordingly and in so doing, be an example for those who do not yet believe.

Paul continues with instructions on good Christian living.  He encourages husbands and wives to love one another and to respect one another.  The example he gives of the relationship between a husband and wife is that of Christ and His bride, the church.  As he gives examples, we see how this instruction is beneficial to marriages, as well as to the body of Christ.

He further provides advice to Christian households.  He speaks of honoring fathers and mothers.  He instructs all children to honor their parents.  He also encourages fathers not to “exasperate” their children.  In other words, he is saying that parents should follow the example of Christ ad raise their children to love and honor the Lord.

We close today with this benediction from Paul:  Ephesians 6:23-24 (NIV) 23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for the encouragement that you give us today in the letter from Paul to the Ephesians.  We need your encouragement because it is sometimes difficult to live a Christian life.  Help us to lead a godly life and to love one another as You have loved us.  Amen.

 

Thursday, May 11, 2017 The Gospel is Proclaimed

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 13-14, John 2   Crown_Logo_Horizontal

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on page 446 (chapter 30) at the transition paragraph and it ends before the transition paragraph on page 452 with the words, “…without hindrance!”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 27:1-28:31.

Talk about a great odyssey.  About seven hundred years earlier or so, Homer wrote The Odyssey about the adventures of Odysseus, the Greek hero.  The Romans of Paul’s day would have recognized his character as the great Ulysses.  But either way, he had nothing on Paul as far as living through adventures.  The fact that Odysseus was a fictional character, makes the adventures of Paul even more amazing.

But what was most amazing was seeing the hand of God as He protected Paul through rough seas and as He delivered Paul from potentially being killed by Roman soldiers as they contemplated killing their prisoners when they were preparing to scuttle their ship.  Through stormy weather and dangerous conditions, Paul kept his faith and continued to share the Gospel.

acts-27-28-paul-prophet-of-the-mediterraneanjourney-to-romeWhen we see how his circumstances were so incredibly dangerous on his journey at sea, we could understand him becoming frightened and worried about his safety and that of his shipmates.  But Paul never wavered in his faith in the Lord.  He continued to encourage the soldiers and the crew.  He even shared with them that God had given him a vision that they would all live through this ordeal.

What an incredible witness!  Paul never stopped sharing the Gospel of Christ with everyone whom he met.  How are you doing with sharing the Gospel with other in your life?  For Paul, it didn’t matter if his life was threatened or if his life was going well. He continued to share the love of Christ and the message of salvation with Jews and Gentiles wherever he went.

In fact, in our reading for today, we see that once they were saved from the stormy seas, Paul shipwreckedPaul stayed in Malta for quite some time, sharing the Gospel with them.  Then they went up to Rome and Paul preached the Gospel to the Jews there and told the about how the Gospel was also to be shared with the Gentiles.  Paul stayed in a rented house in Rome for two years, telling them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

When do we tell people about Jesus?  Do we ever talk about Jesus outside of church and Sunday school?  Paul spoke from the scriptures that he knew, namely the Old Testament scriptures, from which he shared the plan of salvation with the people.  As we see from our reading, the Gospel was proclaimed.

Just as Paul continued to proclaim the Gospel, so too should we be sharing our faith in Jesus Christ with people in our lives.  We are not under the threat of death like Paul was.  paul a prisoner in RomeWe live in a country that allows us to worship God and study our scriptures without governmental interference.  What a blessing we have!

So let’s go share the Gospel today.  The Gospel will be proclaimed, because that is the will of God.  Let’s be a part of that wonderful proclamation of the Gospel message!  Share your faith in Jesus with someone today!

Prayer:  Dear God, Paul went through so much turmoil and danger, yet still proclaimed the Gospel.  Help me to be bold to proclaim Your saving message to others in my life.  Give me the courage and the words to say. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 The Plot Thickens

Daily Bible Reading:  2 Kings 10-12, John 1:29-51   H-Icon_Ch30_Chain

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on the transition on page 441 (chapter 30) where we left off yesterday and ends before the transition on page 446, with the words, “…under guard in Herod’s palace.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 21:27-23:35.

Yesterday we read about Paul finding out from the prophet that he would be bound by the Jewish leaders and handed over to the Gentiles.  Today, we see that that is exactly what happened.  But as Paul went through the persecution and beating by the Jews in Jerusalem, he was able to gain protection from the Romans because he was a Roman citizen and because they wanted to avoid a riot.

Paul before the high priestIt is interesting to see how God use the disagreements and conflict among religious leaders to delay what was happening to Paul, and then allowed him to be saved by the Roman soldiers so that God plan to have him handed over to the Gentiles could be fulfilled.

It’s not that this was really good news, because paul knew that ultimately he would die for the Gospel. But for Paul, it was good news because he was able to be used for God’s purposes. He also, because of this strange circumstance, was able to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jews at Jerusalem, first.  Then, he was taken to Caesarea to be able to speak before Governor Felix.  That would allow him to tell the good news of the Gospel to the Gentiles in that place.

It is quite an example for us to see that actions of Paul.  He did not just give up, but he did rely on God in his circumstance.  He understood how the law of the Romans would protect him as a Roman citizen, who could then be removed from the custody of the Jews in Jerusalem and be taken to the Roman governor at Caesarea.  Paul used the wisdom that God had given him to work within the legal system as it existed, in order to be faithful to God’s plan.

Paul never wavered in his faith in God to do His will.  So often, when things are going arrest-of-paul-in-jerusalem-to-be-sent-to-prison-in-caesareabadly for us, we blame God or someone else for our circumstance.  Instead of relying on God and His good and perfect will, we try to make things turn out the way we want them.

Instead of manipulating our life circumstances to fit our desires, we need to follow the example of Paul and rely on God for guidance in our lives.  Not everything in our lives will go well for us all the time.  But we cannot blame God for the evil that befalls us.

God is good.  God is perfect. God is God.  We cannot understand His good and perfect will all the time, but we need to have faith that He knows what is best for us.  Paul relied on God for everything, and God invites us to do the same.

You may be going through a very difficult time right now.  Ask God for guidance and ask Him to be with you and to protect you through life’s challenges.  He will always be with you, just like He was for Paul.  Remain true in your faith, because God will be with you always.

Prayer:  Lord, so often I feel as if life is getting to me.  There are so many times when I cannot see anything good coming from my circumstance and I begin to question You.  Help me to put my faith in You, so that I will rely on You and trust in You always. Amen.

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 The Lord’s Will Be Done

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 7-9 John 1:1-28 Crown_Logo_Horizontal

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting at the middle of page 440 (chapter 30) with the paragraph where we left off yesterday and it ends at the bottom of the same page, just before the transition on the top of page 441.

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 21:7-15.

How much faith do you have to count on God to know what’s in your best interest?  In our story today, Paul was told by a prophet named Agabus who had come down from Judea that he would be bound by the Jewish leaders when He went to Jerusalem and Agabus -Paulwould be handed over to the Gentiles.

Paul knew what that meant.  He knew what he was in for.  He knew that when he went to Jerusalem he was in for a judgment from the Jewish leaders that would ultimately lead to his death.  He knew that this judgment would be against him for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not only was Paul aware of what this meant, but the people of the church at Caesarea also knew what the prophet was talking about.  They pleaded with Paul not to go, because they did not want him to die.  But Paul was prepared to go anyway.

Paul used this time with these people to teach them about faith in God.  He used the opportunity to show them what it meant to rely on God for His plan to be done.  He told them that he was ready, not only to be bound, but also to die in the name of Jesus.

How many of us would be willing to die in the name of Jesus?  Many times in our daily lives, we think of being insulted as a Christian as if it were the same as being persecuted.  But when we look to this situation and the example of Paul, it is clear that we are nowhere near the persecution that Paul would encounter.

So Paul testified strongly to his fellow Christians that he was ready. He made it clear that it was his honor to have served the Lord for His purposes.  And He considered it an honor to suffer and die for the name of Jesus Christ.

With that testimony, he convinced the people of the church at Caesarea that he was doing God’s will.  Once they saw that he would not be dissuaded, they left it up to God.  They declared: “The Lord’s will be done.”

What an example for us in our daily lives! This is not specifically about us dying for the Gospel, although as Christians we should be prepared to do so.  This is more about understanding that our God is the Creator of the universe, who sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us and to save us from our sins so that we can be with Him in eternity.your-will-be-done

Since God is God, and He knows everything, we need to be willing to place our lives in His hands.  We need to pray that God’s will be done in our lives.  When we pray that God’s will be done, we need to have faith that our heavenly Father knows what is best for us, even when we do not understand.  When life is challenging and difficult, pray that the Lord’s will be done.  And with that, you can leave your cares in God’s hands and He will help you.

Prayer: Lord, help us to place our lives in Your hands.  Give us the faith to declare: “Your will be done, Lord!”  We are weak vessels and it is often difficult for us to let go of control in our lives.  Help us to have the faith we need to rely on You for everything in our lives.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

Monday, May 8, 2017 Finish the Race

Daily Bible Reading:  2 Kings 4-6, Luke 24:36-53H-Icon_Ch30_Chain

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on page 439 (chapter 30) and it ends in the middle of page 440 at the end of the paragraph that concludes with the sentence: “Then they accompanied him to the ship.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 20:13-28, 36-38.

In our reading today, it is easy to get the idea from his actions and the description of his travel itinerary, that Paul was working from a sense of urgency about everything he did.  Ephesus farewellHe wanted to reach Jerusalem in time for Pentecost, so he went along the route that would ensure him the most efficient means by which to get there on time.

However, he also had a sense of urgency to meet with people who were from the churches he had either helped or started along the way.  In today’s reading he especially made it a point to meet with the elders of the church at Ephesus.  He wanted to say his goodbyes because he was aware that he was moving closer and closer to his own death.  He knew that he would be put to death for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How many of us worry about being killed for telling people about Jesus?  Has it ever crossed your mind that someone might kill you for telling others about your salvation that Jesus gave you?  Paul was in the early Christian church, which was under direct persecution from, not only the Roman government, but also from the religious Jews, especially the leadership among them.

But Paul knew that it was coming. His own death was imminent.  But he also knew that there was nothing he could do, but to rely on the Holy Spirit and continue to spread the gospel where ever he went.  Knowing that his time on earth was short, he sought to win the race by telling as many people about the gospel as he could.  He also made sure that those whom he had taught would understand the urgency and do the same.

What is the urgency for you of sharing the Gospel?  Has God touched your life in any Acts 20.24way?  If He has, you can tell your story to others, just like Paul did.  We have the benefit of knowing that in our country right now, we need not fear for our lives if we share our faith with someone. But not everyone can say that. Did you know that persecution of Christians is rampant in many places around the globe?  Africa is an example of a place where many Christians are in danger of losing their lives because of their faith.

But the OTHER truth about the oppression of the Christian church in Africa is that it is the place in the world that is seeing the most rapid growth of the faith!  Christians in Africa have a great sense of urgency to spread the Gospel, knowing that they only have a limited time in which to share that faith. Like Paul, they want to make sure that they finish the race that is this life by sharing the love of Jesus with as many people as they can.

Acts 20.24So what’s our excuse? Shouldn’t we have the same sense of urgency about sharing our faith? No, we do not have the level of oppression against our faith that they do.  What we do have is the Gospel and the story of how God has blessed us and how He came into our lives and transformed them!  We need to go through life as Christians as if we’re in a hurry to finish the race.  Because we know that none of us knows how much time we have.  What we do know is that we have right now, so let’s work to finish the race.  Let’s be like Paul and have the sense of urgency to share the love of Christ with everyone we meet!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, so often we fail to realize the finite time that we have on this earth.  We fail to understand the urgency and importance of sharing your love with others by telling them our story of faith and how You have helped us in our lives.  Give us the desire to finish our race so that we can share eternity with You and as many others as possible. Amen. 

 

Saturday, May 6, 2017 – Called to be “Saints”

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 21-22, Luke 23:26-56

Today’s reading in The Story begins on page 432 with these words, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set…” and ends on page 437.  Romans 1:1-4, 7, 16-17; 3:19-28; 4:1-8; 5:1-11; 6:23; 8:1-4, 12-18, 28, 31-39; 12:1-8, 23-29; 15:23-33

Romans 1:7 (NIV) To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Two expressions stand out in the opening words of Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians:

“Loved by God” and “called to be saints”

I get the loved part.  “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son….”  I’m in God’s world, therefore, God loves me.  The evidence of His  love is His Son, crucified and risen for me (and you too!).  I get that and I am grateful for that.

BUT the “called to be saints”, that’s a different story.

You’ve probably never thought of yourself as a “saint”.  I suspect when people think of “saints” they are thinking of people of renown.  People like the beloved apostle Paul, who gave his life as a missionary for the sake of the Gentiles.  Maybe you think of Stephen (Acts 6-7), who was martyred for his faith.  Surely, any and all of the disciples/apostles (minus Judas, of course) come to mind. Martin Luther, the great reformer, who 500  years ago this October 31st, started the great reformation.  In our day and time, Mother Teresa, and many, many others whose names point us to lives they lived for God and others, all in the name of Christ.

But you might be surprised if you look through entire Bible you’d find that the Psalms reference the “saints” of the LORD numerous times.  Here are a few:

Psalm 16:3 (NIV) As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.

Psalm 30:4 (NIV) Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name.

Psalm 31:23 (NIV) Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.

Psalm 34:9 (NIV) Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.

Psalm 149:9 (NIV) “….This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the LORD.

When the Psalmist is writing, he is talking people who are alive, not dead, and they are people just like you and me.

In Paul’s letters, you’ll find them alive, living in the church at Rome…

Romans 1:7 (NIV) To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

You’ll encounter saints at the church in Corinth…

1 Corinthians 14:33 (NIV) For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,

2 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV) All the saints send their greetings.

You’ll meet them in Ephesus…

Ephesians 1:1 (NIV) Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Saints were among the citizens of Philippi…

Philippians 1:1 (NIV) Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

Among the believers at Colossae…

Colossians 1:12 (NIV) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

And tomorrow, look around the place where you worship and you’ll see them there, too.  In fact, the next time you look in the mirror, don’t be shocked, but you’ll be looking at a saint.  How can this be?  It’s true.  You are a saint, by the grace of God and your faith is evidence of your “sainthood”.  And like the Christians in Rome, you, too, are …

Romans 1:7 (NIV) “…loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you, God my Father for loving me for the sake of Christ Your Son.  I am by grace through faith one of Your saints, a holy one, sanctified by Your Holy Spirit, and now I have peace with You through my Savior Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave Himself for me!  May I never forget or forsake my calling in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday May 5, 2017 – The Galatians – The Real Deal

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 19-20, Luke 23:1-25

Today’s reading in The Story begins on page 429 with the words, “Paul, and apostle – sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus…” and ends with these words on page 431 with these words, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.” Gal 1:1-9, 3:1-5, 10-11, 23-28, 5:1, 13,19-26, 6:18

Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

Galatians 1:11-12 (NIV) 11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

I can prove to you “my ministry is genuine.”  Just look at my prior life. Paul’s ministry is from above. It is not a “manmade” Gospel.  He and his message are authentic and the proof is His life before coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul was passionate to destroy the Christ’s church until…

Galatians 1:15-16 (NIV) 15 “God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,

His life in Christ was not anything he expected.  But Paul’s prior life verifies the authenticity of his faith and new life in Christ.

Gal. 1:23-24 (NIV) They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

What else can explain the 180-degree turn-around of Paul’s life!?!? Nothing except grace and faith.  As you read through Galatians, their “issues” become the opportunity for the Apostle to address some deep theological concepts from which come some of the greatest expressions of the Gospel:

Galatians 3:1-5 (NIV) You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

I am so glad for this letter.  Our life in Christ will ever only be a matter of faith, not our ability to keep the law.

Galatians 3:23-28 (NIV) 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. 26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Now that faith has arrived, it is as if the doors of the prison we were in, are open and we are free.

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Freed by our faith in Jesus.  Freed we are no longer slaves to the LAW. 

Galatians 5:13 (NIV) You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

But our freedom is not a license to sin…

Galatians 5:19-26 (NIV) 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Our Freedom is to walk away from our old lives, under the law, and to live a new life under the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gracious God our Father, how foolish we are whenever we are tempted to think that it is our own goodness that makes us “fit” to be Your children. Help us, Holy Spirit, to crucify our old sinful self each day, with its passions and desires, that we may live in the freedom of our faith, empowered to live by Your presence in us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Thursday May 4, 2017 – The Corinthians!

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 16-18, Luke 22:47-71

Today’s reading in THE Story begins on page 419 with the words “While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth…” and ends on page 429 ”My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.”  Acts 18:12-28, Act 19:1, 8-20, 23-41, 20:1;  1 Cor. 1:1-3, 10-13; 3:1-11, 21-23, 5:9-13, 6:18-20, 10:14-20, 10:14-21, 12:1,4-6,12-18, 27, 13:1-7, 15:1-25, 51-58, 16:19-24

1 Corinthians 1:2-3 (NIV) To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s opening words in his first letter make the Corinthians sound like the greatest group of believers who ever lived.  But when you read through all the “issues” that were present in that congregation, you might be tempted to change your mind.  Here are a few of their issues:

fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners…

And that is just the list that comes 1 Corinthians 6.  Yet, when the Gospel of grace turn them into believers, everything changed. Paul attributes their new life now to this:

1 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV) I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

Where would they be without the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? The same place where 2/3rds of the world is today:  LOST! HOPELESS! They are facing a grave that will usher in an eternity of suffering, shame, and most of all, an eternal life without God, and they don’t even know it, and worst of all, most don’t care!

Except for “grace” that’s where they we would end up too. But here is God’s promise to all who by grace believe:

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NIV) He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

God will keep us strong to the end…blameless on the day of Christ, and not because we are faithful, but because God is faithful.

So…even when the temptations of life come our way…

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

That’s grace.  God will not let temptations come our way that are too strong for us to resist OR He will provide a way for us. What is that way?  Better question is: Who is that way?

John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus is our way out.  When we give in to sin’s temptations, He leads us out through the forgiveness of sins, promising that “nothing can separate us from His love.” Jesus always has been our WAY out and He always will be!

Proverbs 4:11 (NIV) I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.

And our prayer?

Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness…make straight your way before me. When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, accompany me that I will not fear, comfort me with your rod and your staff, anoint my head with your oil of mercy, that goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Your house O LORD forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.   (portions of the prayer came from Psalm 5:8 and Psalm 23)

 

Wednesday May 3, 2017 – The promise of living a Christian life!

Daily Bible reading: 1 Kings 14-15, Luke 22:31-46

Today’s reading in THE Story begins on page 415 with the words, “After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.” It ends on page 419 with these words, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Acts 18:1-11; 1Thess. 1:1-10, 2:1-8, 17-20, 3:1-13, 4:16-18, 5:16-28

The first words in our reading today tell it all!

1 Thessalonians 1:4-8 (NIV) For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,

Like the bell on a Sunday morning in a small village or town, sounding to every ear that “Worship is about to begin,” so the lives of the Thessalonians, their faith in Christ, their works prompted by love were “ringing out” to the neighboring world “the LORD’s Message”.

In this unfinished world, we are the hands of Christ.  In this world that is waiting to hear the good news, we are the voice of Christ announcing to every ear that Christ, the Son of God, has come, suffered, died and rose from the dead!  Jesus promised the first eye witnesses of the resurrection,

Acts 1:8 (NIV) “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Luke 24:47 (NIV) “…repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

It started in Jerusalem, it quickly, like a YouTube video gone viral, the Gospel went out putting sinners to death, and bringing to life again, a new creation in Christ.

The calendar in your office or kitchen displays that time has passed since that first century, BUT the evidence that Christ is still alive, living in our world today through His church, through us, is greater today than ever before.

More than 2 billion people alive today call Jesus Lord and THEIR Savior. Imagine what that could mean to the unbelieving world today.  We are three years away from reaching the entire world in Jesus’ name…IF each of us, who believe, who have been charged with the command to “Go and make disciples of all nations” reach just one soul this year and one soul next year.

By the numbers, this is a job that can be done.  By the love of the crucified and risen one, it is a task of love that must be done for the sake of the lost.

It’s time we got to work.  So where will you start?  Follow the early church’s example and methodology.  They started in their homes.  They moved through their neighborhoods.  And as they shared their faith, they connected people to Jesus and the movement of the 11, became 500, then thousands, in barely a month.  11, 500, 3000 (were added on the day of Pentecost), more than 3500 all in the first 50 days and it started with the 11.

What could happen if all 2 billion of us, began praying for the Holy Spirit to use us to speak and act in the name of Christ to the people we know today who are NOT connected to Jesus?

I know that NOTHING will happen without you and me, but I promise that with the Holy Spirit we can share our faith and lives with an unbelieving world in Christ’s name.

Help us, Holy Spirit, to hold out the word of life—not that we may boast on the day of Christ, but that the lost and erring may come to believe.  Give us Your grace, O God, that when it is required of us to be poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from our faith, give us faithful hearts and lives to rejoice that we may suffer for the sake of Christ, and live not for ourselves, but for Him, who died and was raised for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 What must I do to be saved?

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 12-13, Luke 22:1-30

Today’s reading in The Story begins on page 412 with the words, “On the Sabbath we went outside the city…” and ends on page 415 with the words, “On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue” Acts 16:13-40; Acts 17:1-10

It is the eternal question: “What must I DO to be saved?”  Unfortunately, the question begins with the wrong premise.  I CAN’T DO ANYTHING to be saved!  There, we’ve said it.  The elephant is in the room.  Thankfully, Paul addresses from a jail cell the matter quickly and completely in a single thought:

Acts 16:31 (NIV) They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”

It doesn’t get any more clear than that!

Salvation is not about what I do.  Even my faith is not something I “do”:  it is a gift I receive. The same man who offered the definitive word about salvation, at a jail in Philippi, taught the Christians at Ephesus:Image result for ephesians 2 8-9

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godnot by works, so that no one can boast.

Break down the words and expressions and the richness and promise of these words just keeps growing.

saved” – is an action in past.  It has been completed.  But not by you, or me, but by Christ.

Romans 6:10 (NIV) The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Hebrews 7:27 (NIV) Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

Hebrews 9:12 (NIV) He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

ONCE for ALL.  Christ’s work did it for all mankind, for all times, forever. And no sinner’s sin, can undo what Christ has done for us.

“saved through faith…not by works”  You can stop holding your breath, wondering, “Have I done enough?”  “Have I offset my sins with good works, enough good works that God will pay me the wage of eternal life?”  You can stop wondering and worrying.  It has always been faith, even from the beginning.  Adam broke faith with God when He listened to his wife instead of the LORD of all creation.  But God’s love broke through Adam’s sins.  The LORD came looking for Adam and found him hiding.  Offered Adam and Eve coverings for their sin so that they could stand before God again.  Which is where we now stand:

Romans 5:2 (NIV) “…we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

What must I do to be saved? Wrong question! But I’m glad the jailer asked it, for now we have the answer, NO, we believe the truth.  I am saved by believing in the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Father, I don’t know where to start.  Do I begin by praising You for what Christ has done for me, or thank YOU for loving me, for loving the world so much that You willingly offered Christ to DO what I couldn’t, so that I can be Your child, a part of Your family forever?  By a gift of grace I now believe! Help me, Holy Spirit neither to take for granted what my Savior has done for me, nor to let the evil one lead me to question my salvation by what I do or fail to do.  Increase my faith that I may never doubt, but always believe and trust in my Savior, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Monday, May 1, 2017 In Jail for your faith!

Daily Bible reading:  1 Kings 10-11, Luke 21:20-38

Today’s reading of The Story is found on page 407 and ends on page 411 with the words, “they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.”  You can also read in your bible in Acts 13:1-6, 27-33,38-39, 42-52; 14:1-18

I’m not certain I would have made a great first century Christian!  I’m pretty well convinced, that I could NOT have replaced Paul as the missionary to the Gentiles.  When Paul enumerates the struggles he faced being a Christian missionary I stand in awe of his life, sacrifice, faith, and steadfastness. Here’s what I mean:

Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (NIV)

Would you have made it through all of that?  Even if you’re not Paul, just being a first century Christian publicly confessing Jesus Christ, Risen from the dead, was to put your life on the line.  Yet, “somehow” Paul made it through it all, and so did the “first Christians” and that “HOW” Paul confess too:

Image result for by the grace of god i am what i am1 Corinthians 15:10-11 (NIV) 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

He attributes his accomplishments and faith to the grace of God.

“Amazing grace that saved a wretch like me!” Those are not Paul’s words, even though they sound like him.  They are the words of John Newton, a slave ship captain, who later, “by the amazing grace of God,” came to believe, and like Paul, he spent the remainder of his life in service to Christ and His church.

What is this thing called grace and why is it so amazing?

Romans 5:15 (NIV) But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Grace is not a “thing,” grace is a person who came into our world in the person of Christ.

John 1:14 (NIV) The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:16 (NIV) From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

Image result for for you know the grace of our lord jesus christ2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Grace makes those who receive it, RICH before God.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Grace makes life livable, in the day-to-day and in impossible situations and circumstances.

WE PRAISE, YOU, God our Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort and grace, for YOU comfort us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from You. And just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. Make your grace abound to us, O God, that we may in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we may abound in every good work by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus’ name alone. Amen.

 

Saturday, April 29, 2017 Released for God’s Purpose

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 6-7, Luke 20:27-47

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting where we left off yesterday at the transition on page 403 (chapter 28) and concluding on the bottom of page 405, with the end of the chapter.

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 12:1-24.

If you were put into jail and shackled by your wrists and placed between two armed guards, do you think you would ever have a chance of escaping?  Unless of course you’re someone like MacGyver, or maybe Jane Doe from Blindspot, you would never expect to be able to get out of such a jam.  You could pretty much count on your “goose being cooked.”

Well, in our reading today Peter was in that exact circumstance.  He was under extreme guard, awaiting trial before Herod, with the expectation that he would be convicted by the court and subsequently executed.  Peter was in a prison cell, shackled, and guarded by a guard at either side of him.  Now THAT is heavy guard!

But God had a plan for Peter and it did not include remaining in prison.  In fact, we can look back to the words of Jesus to hear what He had in mind for Peter.  Matthew 16:18 “18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”  Not the gates of Hades, nor the prison cell of Herod could hold Peter, because God chose for him a different purpose.

Sometimes, our lives make us feel as if we’re shackled.  We feel restricted by our responsibilities or because of our own weakness. When that happens, we can become frustrated.  Sometimes we even wonder if God has a plan for us at all.

But as we look to Jesus, we see that He freed us from the shackles of our lives.  He has released us from the sin and darkness and doubt of our lives, so that we are freed for His purposes.  God has a plan for us.  That’s why He sent Jesus to release us from the shackles of sin.  He freed us so that we are not held hostage by this sinful world, but are instead released to do His will!

Herod’s soldiers and his prison could not hold Peter, because God had greater things in mind for him.  The prison of our own sinfulness and the world in which we live cannot hold us back from doing God’s will and being a part of God’s plan.  We are released for God’s purpose, so we can help to spread the good news of salvation to a world that is still in the prison of sin and the devil.

Pray that God will give us the words to share with others. Pray that He gives us compassion to show His love to everyone we meet in our daily lives.  God will release us to do His will and to share the Gospel.  Once He does, it’s up to us to share His love and salvation message with others.  Peter couldn’t be held back by prison and shackles.  Let us remember that we are already unfettered to share Jesus and that He will give us the Holy Spirit to give us the words to say.

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for releasing me from the shackles of my own sins, so that I might be free to be used for Your purposes.  Bless my words and actions so that they will help others to know of Your love for them.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

 

Friday, April 28, 2017 Three Sheets God Made Clean

Daily Bible Reading:  1 Kings 3-5, Luke 20:1-26

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting with the transition near the top of page 401 (chapter 28) and ends before the transition on page 403 with the words, “…impure or unclean.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 10:1-28.

What an interesting story we have today in our reading!  Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, a member of the Italian Regiment living and keeping the peace in a Jewish community in Caesarea asks to hear the Gospel message from Peter. What an odd thing this was for that time. Jews did not associate with Gentiles, and they certainly were no fans of the Roman government or its official who lived in their midst.  But this man of influence requested to hear the Gospel.

A big reason why this is remarkable is that up until this point in the young history of the early Christian Church, only Paul had been the Apostle to the Gentiles.  Prior to this, the original disciples had been only reaching out within the Jewish population, primarily around Jerusalem and its vicinity.  But here we see an instance of God forcing the issue with His followers, and providing a catalyst for the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles that Jesus had charged them with during the Great commission of Matthew 28.

God provided Peter with a vision that further clarified that the dietary laws did not pertain to properly following God’s will and to the spread of the Gospel.  He made it clear to Peter that He had now made the food of the Gentiles clean. More importantly, He had made the Gentiles acceptable to receive the Gospel.

The culture of Judaism was so ingrained in the disciples, that they were having a difficult time leaving their associations with other Jews, so they could spread the Gospel to the ENTIRE world, as Jesus had instructed.  God had to use the vision of the sheet coming down from heaven that was filled with all kinds of non-kosher animals and foods to make His point clear to Peter that he and the apostles needed to expand their reach and spread the Gospel to all the world, including the Gentiles.

Cornelius was one of the first in a long line of Gentiles who later heard the word of the Gospel from the mouth of Peter, and then the other apostles.

What a wonderful message that is for most of us who are reading this message today! Most of us are not God’s original Chosen People.  Most of us are not Jews. But thanks be to God, that He told the apostles not to make any distinction.  h told them to share the Gospel with the Gentiles, starting with Cornelius and his household.

Even as Gentile believers we sometime want to make distinctions about with whom we should share the Gospel. But God doesn’t want us to make distinctions, either. He wants us to share the Good News of the Gospel with ALL people!  Let’s try to share Jesus with someone we don’t usually talk to today.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words and to open their heart to hear and believe the Gospel that you share.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, open the hearts of all whom I touch who do not know Jesus.  Help them to hear from me the good news of their salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017 Turning Around for Jesus

Daily Bible Reading: 1 Kings 1-2, Luke 19:28-48  

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on page 398 (chapter 28) at the transition paragraph and it ends before the transition paragraph on page 401 with the words, “…increased in numbers.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 7:51-60; 8:1-8; 9:1-31.

Yesterday we read about how Stephen bore up under the false accusations of those who desired to do him harm, because he was preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Ultimately, we read today, Stephen was taken forcefully out of the city and stoned to death.  But even as he died he begged God to forgive those who were doing him harm.  He forgave them for their wrongdoing and asked God to forgive them, too!

Out of this event, we see the story of the conversion of Saul, who became the Apostle Paul.  Paul made a complete turn around for the Gospel!  What an amazing story of how God took someone who had been persecuting His church and turned him around into one of the greatest witnesses of Christ the world has ever known!

With the cessation of the persecution of the church under Saul, Acts 9:31 tells us “31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”  Paul’s turnaround for Jesus allowed the Gospel to be spread more quickly than it had ever been previously outside of Pentecost!

God encouraged the whole early Christian church through Paul’s conversion.  People marveled at how God could use one of the greatest enemies of the church and turn him into one of the greatest and most effective witnesses of the Gospel that the world has ever known.

This was such a miracle that even the original disciples who were in Jerusalem were cautious.  They had their doubts about whether this could really happen.  So scared were they, that it took the convincing of Barnabas, whom they knew to be a true believer, to convince them to even speak with Paul!

Here we see a great example of the power of God’s word in the hearts of people!  Saul became Paul and was an advocate for the Gospel, after having been its chief persecutor. This is a miracle that rivals any physical healing that ever happened, or any material miracle like changing water into wine, or walking on water.  This change of heart by Jesus within the soul of Paul is one of the greatest miracles of faith ever written in the annuls of the scriptures!

And what’s even more amazing, is that this miracle of changing hearts and turning people around for Jesus is the great work of the Holy Spirit that takes place today.  Each and every day, through the word of God from the scriptures and the witness of God’s people to those who do not yet know Him, hearts are being changed and the miracle of faith is being realized at home, in our communities, across our country and around the world!

Today, we can be a part of this great faith miracle.  We can share our faith with others by being a godly example of love and compassion.  We can also witness by telling someone about how Jesus has changed our lives. Don’t miss the opportunity to help someone turn around to Jesus!  Bless them today!

Prayer:  Jesus, you did an amazing miracle in the heart of Saul by bringing him to faith through the work of the Holy Spirit.  Help me to be an active part of working for the spread of the Gospel by sharing You with someone today.  Amen.

 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 Wrongly Accused

Daily Bible Reading:  2 Samuel 23-24, Luke 19:1-27

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on the transition on page 397 (chapter 28) where we left off yesterday and ends before the transition on page 398, with the words, “…Are these charges true?”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 6:8-15; 7:1.

More and more, today we hear about people falsely accusing others of wrongdoing, simply because they don’t like what they are saying.  We see in the news that people are accused of hate speech for simply speaking the truth about difficult matters.  People no longer care to hear the truth.  They only desire to hear things that make them feel good about themselves.  They do not want to hear anything unpleasant.  We live in a time that Paul described in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”

In our reading today we observe that Stephen was a man who was filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom in the word of God.  So much so, that people were surprised by his ability to debate the faith and to tell people the message of the Gospel.  Because of this, there were elements within the synagogue who became jealous of him and tried to accuse him of blasphemy.  They alleged that he spoke against the law of God and against Moses.  Those were some serious charges, and they were completely untrue.

But Stephen remembered the words of Jesus as we read in Matthew 5:11-12 “11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  He did not stop speaking the truth of the salvation message of Jesus, in spite of the false accusations.

Just as there were those who falsely charged Stephen with blasphemy, so people will denounce you and your message, if it is of God.  Jesus said that His message would bring division.  In Luke 12:51-52, Jesus says “51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.”  So it was for Jesús, so it was for Stephen, and so it is and will be for you and me.  We will be wrongly accused, chastised, and ridiculed for the word of God.

But Jesus didn’t leave us alone to be falsely accused.  He didn’t leave Stephen.  He provided the Holy Spirit to Stephen to give him the strength he needed to persevere in the face of these false accusations.  And Jesus promised us, along with His disciples in Matthew 28:20b “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It wasn’t easy for Stephen and it isn’t easy for us, either. But Jesus promises to be with us always.  With that encouragement from Jesus, go and tell someone today about what He has done for you in your life.  You never know how the Holy Spirit will work in someone’s heart.

Prayer:  Lord, sometimes I feel persecuted for my faith.  Sometimes I feel wrongly accused by people who do not live you.  Help me to be strong in the faith.  Give me the full measure of Your Holy Spirit so that I may boldly speak the truth about Jesus to others.  Amen.

 

Monday, April 24, 2017 Why are You Looking at the Sky?

Daily Bible Reading:  2 Samuel 19-20, Luke 18:1-23

Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on page 389 (chapter 28) and it ends in the middle of page 390 before the transition on the next page, with the words, “…go into heaven.”

If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible:  Acts 1:1-11.

In the church, we call the events of this reading “the Ascension.”  It makes sense, because Jesus ascended into heaven.  He left the disciples on the ground and He was lifted up away from them and taken into heaven.  While He was leaving, His disciples kept looking up.  They wanted to watch Him the whole way.

It had all been so unbelievable at first, when He rose from the dead.  They could barely believe it.  But then they began to see Him more and more often.  They ate with Him and they talked with Him.  You can well imagine that they probably listened to Him a bit more closely than they had ever done so before.

But now, it was time.  His time on earth had come to a close and He needed to go to His Father in heaven.  On one hand, the concept was pretty amazing to the disciples. But on the other hand, they didn’t want Him to go.  They didn’t feel as if they were ready to manage the ministry without Jesus being physically there with them every day.

The disciples had been questioning Jesus about whether He was going to establish His kingdom on earth, now that He was raised from the dead.  But Jesus had corrected them, and reminded them that those were things for God the Father to do and that no one knew when He would do them.  But for them, Jesus said, they were to wait for Him to send the Holy Spirit, who would lead them on their mission forward.

Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit would give them power.  He would help them to do the work that Jesus had for them to do.  And that was to be His witnesses.  But not just His witnesses in their town or neighborhoods.  Jesus expected them to be witnesses first in their neighborhoods and town, but then to go out to the neighboring communities and to other areas of that region, and eventually to go to the “ends of the earth” as His witnesses to tell of His saving message!

That was their mission.  But right now, they were watching in awe as Jesus ascended into heaven away from them.  They were momentarily rudderless.  But soon they would have their direction and their mission as they became filled with the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes that’s what happens to us.  We become rudderless.  We are overwhelmed by life and the difficulties that we face.  Often times we fail to seek god’s direction and His will in our lives.  Instead we stare into heaven, wondering what to do, but never asking for help.

Just as God provided the Holy Spirit to the disciples, so too He provides us with His Holy Spirit, who gives us faith and inspires us to speak God’s word to others.  It is by the leading of the Holy Spirit that we too can be witnesses for Jesus.  But in order to do that, we need to stop staring into heaven and start looking around us for those who do not know Jesus.  In that mission, the Holy Spirit will provide us with direction and the words to say.  We too, are to be witnesses for Jesus.

Tell someone today what Jesus has done for you!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, We’ve heard the expression that sometimes we’re so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good.  Keep us from looking into the heavens and help us, with the power of the Holy Spirit, to be your witnesses in our homes, neighborhoods, communities and to the ends of the earth. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.