Monday, November 26, 2012

Prayer is the Key

When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.  (Acts 12:12 NLT)

  Prayer is the key that opens the door to the heart of God.  When needs arise, prayer is our means of getting  with the one who can help.

   The disciples learned the value of prayer by observing the life of Jesus.  Jesus went alone up the mountain to pray, but he also got together to pray in small groups.  The disciples saw this and asked him, "Lord teach us to pray..."  (Luke 11:1)

   There is a sense of togetherness when small groups get together to pray.  Praying together over common needs draws people closer into a community relationship.  Why not find someone to pray with today?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making Concessions

"The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD'S anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his hand and the jug of water, and let us go."  (1 Samuel 26:11)

   As parents, we made many small concessions when the children were growing up.  Little things, like what flavor of ice cream to buy, or what kind of cake to bake.  Should we take a relaxing ride into the country (riding in the car with five kids is never relaxing), or take them to the park and turn them loose?

   Making concessions for the benefit of family, work, or the Lord is not a sign of weakness, but of love.  We have never regretted making concessions to bring joy to the hearts of our children.  What made them happy also made us happy.

   God made a gigantic concession in sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you and me on Calvary's cross.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Slippery Path

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, and out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  (Psalm 40:2 NLT)

   Many times God has kept me from falling while on a slippery path.  Oftentimes I have gotten bogged down in the mire of sin because of my own wrongdoing.  I ignored the road side warning signs in the Word of God and skidded off the proven path onto a slippery one.  Once confession is made God is right there to reach out his hand and lift us back up onto solid ground.

   I remember one time driving my daughter home from a flute lesson.  We were coming over a hill when you couldn't see the other side until you reached the top.  As I crested the hill and started down the other side, I saw a man walking toward us in my lane.  I swerved to avoid striking him and miraculously missed running into the ditch.  To this day I don't know how we avoided an accident except that God must have dispatched an angel to watch over us.  I breathed a sigh of relief and said, "Thank you Jesus!"

   Aren't you glad that God has his angels watching over you?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Concealing Sin

"People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy."  (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

  King David tried to conceal his act of adultery and went so far as to murder the husband of Bathsheba, but eventually his sin was revealed.  God used the prophet, Nathan to confront David with his sin.  Fortunately, David was willing to repent and confess his sin, but the consequence was the death of his and Bathsheba's son.

   It is never wise to conceal sin.  Sweeping it under the rug will not remove the dirt or make the floor clean.  No matter how great our sin, if we repent and confess it openly to God, he will forgive and cleanse our hearts. Keeping short accounts with God will result in freedom from worry and promote spiritual growth.  1 John 1:9)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Who cares?

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai:  "Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh.  Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are."  But Jonah go up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3a NLT)

    God called Jonah to take a message to the people of Neneveh, but Jonah ran away from the Lord.  He didn't run away because he didn't like God; he ran because he hated the Assyrians.  He knew they were an evil people, but he was also aware that God was a gracious and forgiving God.  He was afraid that God might want to give them a chance to repent, and he didn't want that to happen.

   What does this teach us about being a follower of God?  When you are a follower of Christ, you lose the right to choose whom you will love.  The whole message of John 3:16 is that God loves everyone, and sent his son to die so that everyone will have the opportunity to choose eternal life rather than death.  The bible specifically says, "Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  (Romans 10:13)