Month: December 2013

Last Minute Gifts…That Money Can’t Buy

I didn’t put the list together but it’s worth passing along; especially if you’re still shopping for someone on December 23rd!

1. Keep a promise.

2. Keep a secret.

3. Share a dream.

4. Send her favorite flower.

5. Let someone have the last word.

6. Return a smile.

7. Laugh at his story – again.

8. Let someone in line, in front of you.

9. Listen to a child.

10. Listen to an adult.

11. Say something nice to someone.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

P.S. – Don’t use this list to be a cheapskate!

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Strength

We’re called to love God with all of it that we have (Mark 12:30). A post-converted apostle was called to give it to his brethren (Luke 22:32). Jesus received it from the angels who visited him (Luke 22:43). What is it? It’s spiritual strength! And without it we’re sitting ducks for the devil.

A strong spiritual strength can do things that Samson never imagined. It caused a man named Saul to stand stronger for the cause of the Lord than he had stood against it (Acts 9:21-24). This same man would go on to tell the church at Philippi that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13). And the proof of that confidence wasn’t written on a plague, picture or plate that hung on his wall – it was seen in all the different ways that he suffered through weakness so that the strength of God could be used and seen through him (2 Corinthians 1:8-10, 12:9; 2 Timothy 4:14-18).

A strong spiritual strength has nothing to do with the outer muscles of the body. A strong spiritual strength has everything to do with the inner muscles of the soul. It’s the inner man that’s called to move mountains by faith (Mark 11:20-23; Ephesians 3:13-19). That’s why the faithful rely upon the Lord as their strength – because they know that the strength of flesh’s arm will inevitability fail (2 Chronicles 32:1-8; Psalm 18:2, 52:1-9; Isaiah 31:3).

If we lean upon our own strength we will fail spiritually, but if we rely upon the one who doesn’t grow tired, then he will bear our weariness and weakness for us (Isaiah 40:25-31; 2 Corinthians 12:10). EA

“We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. For He brings down those who dwell on high, the lofty city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He brings it down to the dust.” Isaiah 26:1-5

What Are We Letting Jesus Use?

To help prepare for His entrance into Jerusalem Jesus told some of His disciples to:

“…Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.” (Mark 11:2-3)

What an interesting moment. What a lesson for them. What an opportunity to examine ourselves!

Of the things that we own, or better yet, of the things that we have been given, what have we given to the Lord so that it may be used for His purpose? Perhaps we should ask, of the things that we have been given in our life, is there something that we refuse to let loose of for Jesus?

More than likely you have had several years to give something that has been given to you so the will of God may be accomplished.

What of our time have we let loose of? What of our resources have we let loose of? What have we said no about?

Are we holding on tighter and tighter to the rope or untying the knots?

Intentions tie a knot in the rope of our resources much like the no’s do…they may be even a little trickier to untie in reality. Sometimes we plan on letting the Lord use our “colt” when we’re finished with it. But isn’t it amazing how we keep finding things to do with it though!?

So what are we letting Jesus use in his service? It’s a good question.

One more thing – have you ever noticed that the Lord didn’t ask for the colt? Just saying. EA

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Did The Water Earn It For Them?

Read Exodus 14. Now, did the use of water earn the children of Israel their freedom from Egyptian slavery?

Read Exodus 30:17-21. Now, did the use of water earn the priests the right to serve within the Tabernacle?

Read 2 Kings 5:1-14. Now, did the use of water earn Naaman his cleansing from leprosy?

Read Acts 22:1-16. Now, if the grace of God could use water to free the children of Israel from their bondage, and the grace of God could use water to sanctify the Levites, and the grace of God could use water to cleanse Naaman from his impurities, then what makes a person today think that the use of water earns anything from God when it comes to his or her salvation? EA 

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37-38)