Saturday, June 4, 2011

Food For Even the Deer

"He gives food to every creature. 
            His love endures forever."
Psalm 136:25 (NIV)

God cares for all of His creation. He ensures that even the deer have enough to eat. Today a young deer nibbled on a bush in my yard. God brought the rain and the sun to grow the bush. I'm happy to share it with the deer and praise God for His beautiful creatures.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Deep Riches of Our Father

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
Romans 11:33-36

Are you a believer? If you are -- if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ -- then you are an heir to great wealth. For our triune God is rich in wisdom and knowledge. We can search the scriptures and spend hours studying  God's word, yet we still will only have made a tiny scratch in the surface of who He is. But isn't that exciting? To think that we have a God beyond comprehension who desires to have a relationship with us? Who desires that we know and believe Him, understand that He is the one true God, and be His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10)? And think about this. . .God doesn't owe us anything. He's not beholden to us in any way. He made everything, He owns everything. We owe our very existence to Him. How great is our God! To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Crown of Righteousness

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."
2 Timothy 4:7-8

The Apostle Paul ministered for more than 30 years, during which time his faith was severely tested. He was whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned (2 Corinthians 11). Often he was hungry, thirsty and cold. Finally, he was executed. Through it all he never turned his back on Christ. He had his eye on the prize --  "the crown of righteousness" from the Lord Himself --  and he longed for His appearance. "All who live in expectation of the coming of Christ, who anticipate it with joyfulness, having buried the world and laid up all their hopes above. Here is a reward, but it is a reward not of debt but of grace; for it is by the grace of God that even an apostle is fitted for glory. And this reward is common to the faithful; it is given, not only to apostles, but to all them that love his appearing. This crown is laid up - it is in view, but not in possession. We must die first." -- Adam Clarke

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God's Love Letter

"How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all 
their heart."
Psalm 119:2

The Bible is God's testimony to us. It tells us of His love and faithfulness, of His desire to have a relationship with us and the ultimate sacrifice He made to make that possible. His word is the truth we need to combat Satan's lies that there is no God, or if there is -- that He doesn't care for us. There is no blessing like the blessing we receive when we read scripture and allow the Lord to speak to us through it. He instructs us and guides us with each verse. It's His love letter to us and He longs for us to read it. To seek Him there with all our heart.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Like a Child

"Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:4

In the ancient Jewish culture, children were often dismissed, regarded as property and relegated to a "seen and not heard" position. But Jesus loved them and called them to His side (Mark 10:13-15). He pointed to them as an example of humility, with teachable spirits that believed without hesitation. When the disciples wanted to know who would be the greatest in Christ's kingdom, the Lord rebuked them and told them to humble themselves as a child. Humility is big on Jesus' list. He modeled it for us and spoke of it often. Looking at the children in our lives should remind us of our Savior's words and inspire us to resist pride.

Monday, May 30, 2011

True Freedom

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. "
Galatians 5:13

Freedom in Christ. What does it mean? When we receive Christ as Savior we are free to live within His grace embrace. No longer afraid to approach a holy God, we come to His throne room as a favored child enters her father's study; without fear of reproach. The Lord's love is unconditional and will never diminish. Nor will it increase.  Nothing we do can make Him love us less, or love us more. God's love is never dependent upon our performance. His love is simply constant  and thoroughly ours through Jesus. But we must be careful not to use our freedom to indulge our sinful nature. We're not free to be a stumbling block to others by the way we live. We are free to glorify God by thinking of others and how we can lift them up and encourage them. No longer bound by the selfish way we lived before we came to Christ, we now are free to live the life of love He's always longed to give us. This is true freedom. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

You Can't Out Give God

"The generous man will be prosperous, 
And he who waters will himself be watered." 
Proverbs 11:25

There is a principle that exists for Christians that should encourage us to be generous. That is, when we open ourselves up to bless others, we ourselves are blessed. If we have the gift of teaching and we endeavor to teach others from God's word, we find we are the ones who learn and grow the most. When we offer hospitality to others, our spirits are refreshed. If we willingly give from our bank accounts, God will replenish what we have given and often give us more.  I have seen this played out in my own life and the lives of other Christians countless times. It's just impossible to out give the Lord.
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