Saturday, May 28, 2011

Genuine Love

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good."
Romans 12:9

The word “hypocrite” in classical Greek meant someone who wore a mask in a play. The real actor could not be seen. God tells us that love should be genuine and not pretend. And that we are to hate what is evil, because evil things hurt people and damage relationships, including our relationship with God. In Proverbs 6:16-19 we find some of the things that God hates. 
"There are six things which the LORD hates, 
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, 
And hands that shed innocent blood, 
A heart that devises wicked plans, 
Feet that run rapidly to evil, 
A false witness who utters lies, 
And one who spreads strife among brothers."
Regarding love, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 defines it for us:
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 
Genuine love. The way God intended love to be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Take Time to Listen

"The unfolding of Your words gives light; 
It gives understanding to the simple. 
I opened my mouth wide and panted, 
For I longed for Your commandments."
Psalm 119:130-131

It has become common for God's people to be so busy that they don't take time to stop and listen to His voice.  He has something He wants to tell us, and we should be eager to hear from Him. The Bible is full of His instruction, but if it's sitting on the shelf gathering dust it won't do us any good. Nor will simply breezing through scripture as if it was an item on our "to do" list, to be checked off among our other daily tasks. But if we stop and read and meditate, allowing God to speak to our hearts and minds, then we will gain wisdom to help us during life's challenges. God has something He wants to tell you today. Are you listening?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Great Faith

"He was amazed at their lack of faith." Mark 6:6

When I study the record of Jesus' return to His hometown of Nazareth after all the preaching and miracles He had performed, it saddens me to think of how His people rejected Him. They refused to believe that the same Jesus who had worked as a carpenter amongst them was also the Son of God. Their Savior. Their Messiah. How tragic. And yet we see the same reaction to Christ today. People will accept His "good teaching" -- they'll even accept His blessings -- but they will not accept that He came to save their souls. And so they reject Him. They reject the gift of salvation He so freely offers. They reject His grace. Mark tells us that in the atmosphere of rejection in Nazareth, Jesus "could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them." This does not mean that Jesus was powerless to perform miracles, for certainly He performed many miracles in the presence of Pharisees and Sadducees, who did not believe He was God. No, Jesus was able, but He chose not to honor the obvious unbelief of those stubborn people, healing only a few who believed. Never let it be said of me that Jesus is amazed at my lack of faith! Instead, my prayer for myself and you is that Jesus will be amazed at the size of our faith. That He will say of us as He said of the Roman Centurion in Luke 7:9, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thirst Quenching Truth

"Then He said to me, "It is done I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost."
Revelation 21:6

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. The Alpha is the first letter and the Omega is last in the Greek alphabet. The "First and the Last" has the authority to declare that what will happen is as good as done. All believers can count on being with Him eternally. To those who spiritually "thirst", Jesus offers Himself, the Life Giving Water, at no charge. "What does a thirsty man do to get rid of his thirst? He drinks. Perhaps there is no better representation of faith in all the Word of God than that. To drink is to receive - to take in the refreshing draught - and that is all. A man's face may be unwashed, but yet he can drink; he may be a very unworthy character, but yet a draught of water will remove his thirst. Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating." (Spurgeon)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Eternal Rock

"The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
         And exalted be God, the rock of my salvation," 
2 Samuel 22:47

Our God is dependable. He is our eternal rock. All else may fail, but He never will. He is mighty to save and in His care we can rest without fear. Exalt the Lord, for He is worthy of our praise!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Fear Exchange

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
John 14:27

There is much in our world that can cause us to be fearful. Natural disasters, economic uncertainty, and political unrest around the globe. How do we settle our minds in these times? We can use the tools the world has to offer, but they are temporary and we can't count on them for lasting peace. Jesus understands this and offers us a different kind of peace; a peace that never leaves. When we enter into a relationship with Him, we begin to look at life differently. We study His words and they transform us. Yes, there is trouble in the world; Jesus said there would be. But He also said He had overcome the world (John 16:33). The same Jesus who has power over death, has power over everything going on in our crazy world.  And He has the power to quiet our hearts. When we go to Him and admit our fear, a great exchange takes place. He takes our fear and exchanges it for His peace. Something the world can never do.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Let There Be Light

"Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." Genesis 1:3

You can't talk about God without talking about light. He brought light out of darkness in the creation of the earth. Darkness cannot co-exist with God. It is impossible. "God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all"(1 John 1:5b).  His kingdom is described as "marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). He sheds the light of His truth to all the world. When Christ returns "He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart" (1 Corinthians 4:5b). Those who belong to the Lord are the holders of His light. Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). Are you shining God's light? 

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