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God Is Always With You

God Is Always With You

Isaiah 41:10, 13
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

Thought for the Day
I am sure you have heard the story of Joseph, how he was sold into slavery, then thrown into prison. There are a couple of thoughts that I have, these are very important for you to understand if you are to receive all of the Lord’s blessings He has for you.

In life you can do everything right, follow God, live a Godly life, and still end up in “Life’s prison”. Joseph may have been a little cocky in his young age, but surely did not deserve to have his brothers turn on him and be sold to be a slave. He also could have easily slept with Potiphar’s wife, but he chose to do the Godly thing and run, he ended up in prison.

Life is what you make of it. Joseph, if anyone, had every right to be angry and bitter towards God. After all, he did the right thing, and this is what “Doing the right thing” landed him; in prison. Joseph instead accepted where God had him. I can imagine it is not where Joseph thought he would have been, but he knew God was in control. Wherever you are in your life, whatever your situation, GOD IS WITH YOU. When Joseph was a slave, GOD WAS WITH HIM (v39:2) When Joseph was in prison GOD WAS WITH HIM (v39:21,23) Let me say this again, wherever you are, GOD IS WITH YOU, and if God is with you, you are blessed, all you need to do is accept His blessings

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Nothing Surprises God

Nothing Surprises God

GOD is always previous, what does that mean to you? To me, it means nothing is a surprise to GOD. GOD knows everything about you, HE knows the past, the present, and your future. Nothing surprises HIM, nothing!

Here is where we struggle, we do not know the future. We know the past, and can do things to learn from our past, but in life, there are going to be surprises. So, when something bad happens in our lives, we feel all alone. We feel that we have to solve the problem all on our own. We might even get a little mad at GOD and ask how could You let this happen to me? Have you ever been there?

Now, here is what we need to remember. This bad thing that is happening to you, is not a surprise to GOD. GOD knew this was going to happen to you. Since GOD knows this about you, he has been working days, months, maybe even years to help or prepare you for this problem. So when we cry to GOD and say, “How could YOU let this happen?” GOD looks down, smiles, and says, “My child, I knew about this a long time ago, let me show you the way out.”

If you remember, we had a surprise this month. Remember the devotional I am Tested we had a surprise with the IRS and owing quite a few taxes. My first reaction was to freak out, but I really tried to put all my trust in Jesus and that He would take care of us. I am happy to say Jesus did. We had the best month in sales that we have had in the history of the company. EVER.

Jesus had been working even before our problem happened. I noticed that the first of this month we had unusually large sales, hence the saying GOD is always previous. GOD was working on my problem even before it happened. HE is amazing, isn’t He? 

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Are You Excited To Be A Christian?

Focus Scripture
13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts
my soul hates.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

Thought for the Day
When you read this, you might think to yourself that this was written long ago for the people of Israel. But was it? Can’t you see GOD saying this to our culture? I cannot bear your corrupt churches. When you spread your hand out in prayer, I will not listen. Your hands are full of gossip, lies, jealously, and hatred. Sounds like verses that could apply to 8 out of our 10 dying churches in America.

It is so easy to get in a routine. It is easy to loose sight of Jesus’ vision for us. We live in a world where we are stretched out everyday. We have to constantly fight what society is tell us. Watch out for #1 or maybe, It is a dog eat dog world. It is easy to let satan in the middle of our church and let him start to pick it apart bit by bit. Soon, after fighting all this, you may find yourself going through the actions, church and worship become empty and meaningless.

I believe that we all need to do a heart check every month or so. Make sure that we are still excited, if not, what will make you excited? Are you just going through the motions at church? If so, what will make you become more involved?

Are you letting personal feeling; jealousy, anger, and bitterness interfere with your relationships at church? If so, what will it take for YOU to mend them? I am sure that you could come up with a few of you own. I know that I can.

So, when was your last heart check, how did you score?

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Love Your Enemy

Love Your Enemy

Focus Verses
Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the
LORD.

There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.-Proverbs 23:17-18

Do not envy wicked men,
do not desire their company;
for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble. – Proverbs 24:1-2

Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice,
or the LORD will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from him. – Proverbs 24:17-18

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
and the LORD will reward you. – Proverbs 25:21-22

Thought for the Day
This concept is one that I have struggled with in the past. Well….. to be honest, it is still a hard one for me. I am getting better, I find the closer I come to Christ, the less this world appeals and has to offer me. So let’s take a look at what GOD is commanding us.

First, we are to keep our eyes and thoughts upward. This is not easy, because we live on this planet, and the things of this earth appeal to us. Let’s face it, we have to have money to live and function. Money brings some sort of a short lived, empty happiness. Plus, alot of the pleasures of this earth look appealing, sex, drugs, and alcohol to name a few, but these are empty. Some days it is much easier to be mean and hurtful to people, then to bite your tongue and build people up.

A lot of these acts that we discussed are the ways of a sinner. Some days when I am tired, and a little discouraged, the sinful ways look pretty nice. I sometimes get envious of how easy these people have it, having no moral rules to live by, it seems too easy. But, I am a warrior, so I tighten up my belt, pray, and continue to fight the good fight.

So then, when one of these wicked sinners falls, we are told not to gloat, or be happy, or think, HA! You deserve what you get! Then if that is not hard enough, we are told to be nice to them, and provide for them when they are in need. Are you sure that this is right, maybe this is one area that GOD really did not mean this? Right?

WRONG! This is exactly what we are to do. We need to be the light of this world. Yes, sin looks and is fun, that is why it is called a temptation. But, sin is short lived and VERY EMPTY! It brings sadness and death. There are a couple of things that we need to remember:
Our joy and happiness are in heaven with Jesus, not here. We are just visiting here, this is not our home, so of course we do not feel at peace here.
Revenge is the LORDS, PERIOD!

I would guess that most of these “Sinners” are very lost and unhappy. They may have forgotten to be “Nice.” You may be the only ray of Christ’s light that they may experience, they are on their way to hell, to spend an eternity with satan. NO ONE deserves that punishment, we MUST rescue them.

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How Honest Are You?

How Honest Are You?

The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him. Proverbs 20:23

When you read the above verses, at first you may think that they do not apply to me. I am not in business or I do not deal with money and selling products to people. But, I believe that these verses are more about being honest and the integrity of each of us.

When looking at these verses I looked at other translations, I like the way Eugene Peterson states the same verse in his Message Bible:

“Switching price tags and padding the expense account are two things God hates.”

After reading it this way, it brings more of a modern day flair to it. It makes the verse apply to more of a broad range of people. I would guess that we all at one time or another deal with people and their money. Maybe it is a personal sale, garage sale, EBAY, or it may be some kind of work issue.

These verses have always weighed heavy on my mind, especially since we have our own business and make our own rules. In dealing with other people, I have found they always have an opinion of your dealings, then, if you throw money into the equation it becomes very personal. I have found that you could give a person something free, and they would feel that they are being overcharged….. seriously, we have seen it.

So, sometimes you can’t rely on the opinions of others. And if you are like me, I feel bad or guilty when these people speak up about your dealings. GOD gave you intelligence and I know that HE does not want you being taken advantage of. So how are we to know when we have stepped out of line?

The Holy Spirit. If you have a good feeling and peace inside, I would say the Holy Spirit is giving you the OK on what you are doing. If you do not have a good feeling or you are uneasy about it, I might re-examine your motives, be honest, and see if you are not being honest with yourself or with God. One other way that I have done a self-check on myself; I imagine that Jesus is standing right over me and watching me. If I feel good, then it is most likely good, if not……. well……….

Remember that other people can not always be a gauge with your motives and honesty, the ultimate judge is Jesus and the Spirit that is within you.

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Commit Yourself To The Lord

Commit Yourself To The Lord

Commit Yourself To The Lord

Commit Yourself To The Lord

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends even the wicked for a day of disaster. – Proverbs 16:3-4

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. – Proverbs 16:9

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs – 19:21

Thought for the Day
Stop for a minute and think of how many decisions that you make in one day? Hundreds…..maybe thousands? I would bet that a large portion of your decisions would be quick, split second decisions. What am I going to wear? What am I going to eat? What TV program should I watch?

On the other hand I would guess that you make some decisons that might require more thinking than just a split second. In making these decisions you might try and weigh the outcome of the decision. What happens if I choose this way, or that way????? Stop and think for a minute, how many of those decisions do you wish you would have chose differently, so that the outcome would have been different? I know that I have made TONS to decisions that I wished I could have changed.

I know that Christ cares about every decision that you make. He may not be so concerned what shoes you wear, but He wants to see you make the best decisions for your life. He WANTS to bless you. So knowing that Christ wants to bless you, how many of you give Him the chance to bless you?

Alot of decisions that we make, do not have to be decided right them. We have time on our side, but we feel that we have to quickly decided right now. Why is that? Maybe we feel better when we can check that off our list of things to do?

As the verse say above, if you commit to what you are going to do for the Lord, He will make your plans succeed. You see if you included Jesus, He can direct you, or change events in your life to help you make a better decision. Jesus has all the events lined up to make you a sucess, you just need to ask Him to be apart of them.

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Insight Into the Scriptures

Numbers was written by Moses, again. It was written around 1450-1410 B.C. The setting for Numbers is the wilderness of the Sinai region. The purpose of Numbers is to prepare the Israelites to enter the promise land.In verses 3:47-51 Moses speaks of redemption money and shekels. The average weight of a shekel was around 11.4 grams. Five shekels would have represented about half a year’s wages.

Scripture Reading Leviticus 26:11-17

“I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.”But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.”

Think & Grow

This weekend I was finishing up Leviticus. God had just given Moses and the Israelites a lot of rules and regulations, God does a great job of wrapping it up in chapter 26. This is a really interesting chapter that would be worth your time reading. God basically says, I know that I have laid down alot of rules, but, if you follow them I will be with you and walk among you, life will be good. But, on the flip to side of that, if you choose not to follow my rules, life is going to be tough. Not only will you have “Life” to deal with, you will have my anger. Not a good place to be. But, because I am a God of love and mercy, if you do mess up, just confess to me and I will remember my promises I made with your fore fathers.

As I finished I could not help to think, that has to apply today as well as back then. God lays out 2 pretty simple rules in chapter 26, no idols, and observe my Sabbaths.So how are you doing with these 2 simple rules? In this day and age idols are everywhere, anything that you put before God is a modern day idol. Your car, home, money, hobbies, relationships, ipods, computers…… the list could go on and on! How about keeping a day for God, or are you running around 24/7 no rest, no time for God? We are told in chapter 26 if the Israelites followed these rules, God would provide for them, the floodgates of heaven would open up. Have your floodgates been flooding or trickling?

One point I would like to make, when ever we hear floodgates opening up, sometimes we think, MONEY, yea God is going to give me money. We have to learn to think beyond money, money is needed and very helpful, but money never means happiness. Your inner soul at peace, being there when God moves, relationships, family…… those are the true floodgates opening up. So, how are your floodgates?

Closing Prayer

My Heavenly Father,It is so hard Father to not be of the world nowadays. Please help me to focus on just You Father, please help me to not surrender to the enemies doubts and tugs on my heart that makes me wander. Father You are so loving, giving and kind, how can I deserve that? But I thank You for always being there for me and I pray that You will help me to stay focused on You, give Glory to You and Lord know that I love You very much.

In Your Name I pray, Amen

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floodgates

Open Your Floodgates

Insight Into the Scriptures

In Leviticus 19:27, the significance of trimming the hair for men has symbolic value as a sign of manhood or virility.Cutting one’s body was a cultist practice, this was done to attract a god’s attention, or to ward off the spirits of the dead. In Leviticus 20:2-5 you will read about “Children of Molech  this was the practice of sacrificing children to Molech (Idol worship).

I would encourage you to read Leviticus 20. It is a short chapter that has a lot of solid values.As I was reading this chapter, most of the punishment for these sins were death. I couldn’t help but to be thankful, I thought that if we were living back then, most of us would have been killed, myself included. Thank you Jesus!I know that this passage is the Old Testament, but it has wonderful core values!

 Leviticus 19:9-10

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.”

 Thought for the Day

Before Christ did some heavy work on my heart; if I passed a person on the street asking for money, or drive by the guy on that same street corner every morning, I would think to myself, Get a job you have legs, or If I did give that person money, I figured they would just use it for booze or cigarettes”. But, then God started to do some work in my heart, and those thoughts and excuses of why I did not help those people, left, and love and compassion started taking over.

In the verses above God told Moses to tell His people to do this, so that HIS poor and needy were taken care of. When you pass by a person that is poor and needy what is your reaction? Do you have my older state of mind? Maybe you pass by and say to yourself, “I’ll pray for that person”. I always try to think, how would Jesus handle this? I try to be Jesus in skin. Then, I think of the verse in Hebrews 13:2 where it says that some strangers I met, may have been angels.

We need to be Jesus here on earth. I do not know where your heart is, but I would encourage you not to look away, start with a smile, eye contact, or a hello. I know that by doing so, you will find yourself far more blessed that that person ever will be.

 Closing Prayer

My Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the grace and mercy you so lovingly give me everyday. Thank you for the angels you put on earth with us, I pray Father that I can be a good example for those around me including and mostly my family. Please help me to grow more, love more and be more like You. Father I continue to pray for those in the war. I pray for the families that are hurting and scared. I pray for the children that are over there fighting for our country, please protect them. I love You!

In Your Name I pray, Amen

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homeless

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Heb 13:2

 

This would be a example for when you feel like you are the only one in the world that is standing up for what ig good and right…. kinda of how Job must have felt..

You know the turmoil that is going on in my heart, mind and soul right now. My friends are casting me away because of my beliefs. They say that I need to be silent when it comes to speaking my mind these subjects like abortion. Well, who is going to stand for the unborn? They cannot speak for themselves!

Lord, You say it is wrong and I am standing with You on this. Lord, where are the men and women of faith? I am so distraught! I need core Christian friendships! I want to have those close bonds like Naomi and Ruth did, or like David and Jonathon did. I feel so alone, like Job did as his “friends” berated and accused him of being a sinner over and over again! Lord, please bring me some real friendships that will last into Glory! I am so thankful for Your Son’s precious blood that was shed for me! I love You! Amen

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Is God Using You?

Take Me

Are you being used by God?

Insight Into the Scriptures

The tabernacle was erected on New Years Day, two weeks short of the anniversary of the exodus event and exactly nine months after the people arrived at Mount Sinai.

Exodus 40:16, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27

16 Moses did everything just as the LORD commanded him. 19 Then he spread the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering over the tent, as the LORD commanded him. 21 Then he brought the ark into the tabernacle and hung the shielding curtain and shielded the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD commanded him. 23 and set out the bread on it before the LORD, as the LORD commanded him. 25 and set up the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD commanded him. 27 and burned fragrant incense on it, as the LORD commanded him”…… I think you get my point……. As the Lord commanded him.

 Thought for the Day

As I was reading the passage today, I noticed one phrase that came up again and again. Then I looked back at the old passages, and that phrase was everywhere.I was once told that while you were reading God’s word, if you read a word or phrase once, you might take note of it. If you have to read that word or phrase two times, you might want to take note of it, but if that word or phrase is mentioned as many times as “The Lord commanded”, God REALLY wants you to get this point.

Moses was an amazing person and had an amazing relationship with God. Why? Of course Moses was human and he made mistakes, but most of the time, when God told Moses to do something, Moses did it. Take the construction of the tabernacle, God gave Moses alot of detailed instructions. Moses did not let his ego or his knowledge play into it and say, “I think that the lampstand should be here and that the courtyard is all wrong, it should be 150 cubits on the south side instead of 100 cubits”. I can see a new HGTV show “Moses, Flip this Tabernacle”.

No, Moses did exactly what the Lord commanded him. If you find that you are not being used by God, or maybe your relationship is not where you want it to be, are you being faithful in the little things? Before God can use you for big things, you need to show Him that you can be faithful in the little things.

Closing Prayer

Father it is so wonderful to have You there to guide me through each day. I pray that you will use me each day to help better Your kingdom. I pray Father that You will help me with the little things in life that I will keep my eyes on You and show You that I am faithful. I love you!!

In Your Name I pray, Amen

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