Sunday, November 30, 2014

Why Did Jesus Teach in Parables?

by Alfred Edersheim
Compared to His earlier teaching during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus's turn to parables might seem odd. He'd used clear instruction to teach His followers how to live and about the Kingdom of God, and He'd exhibited the Kingdom in a tangible way through His miracles. But suddenly, when the crowds come to hear Him, He hops into a boat and speaks in parables, stories about sowing seeds and gathering wheat (Matthew 13).

When the disciples ask Him why, since they obviously noticed the change, His answer may seem even more astonishing: "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it has not been granted" (Matthew 13:11). In other words, the parables are meant to divide the crowd. While this may seem as if Jesus denied some people access, the difference He means is not in the message—but in the response.

The parables themselves present clear stories from everyday events that many in the crowd would recognize. Jesus did not code His teaching to prevent some people from understanding, since all equally would understand the imagery. All those gathered there certainly comprehended the aspects of the stories related to their everyday lives. Instead, His teaching divided the listeners into two groups based on their own responses.

His miracles had attracted many, and others had perhaps been astonished by His earlier teaching. But the parables themselves, just as in the story of the seed falling on various places (Matthew 13:3-9), revealed the true nature of their responses and their real decisions. Those committed to the Kingdom of God would seek and find further understanding. But those uncommitted—perhaps listening only because of the initial excitement—would reject the teaching as unintelligible.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Resist the Devil

Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. - James 4:7 
As believers, we face so many obstacles that can take us away from serving the Lord. We have thoughts that control us, wants that consume us and feelings that move us. Because none of us were born understanding God’s ways, our natural inclinations work against living out a Spirit-filled life. Coming to Christ means that we lay aside our natural inclinations and ask the Lord to fill us with His wisdom instead. That process is known as submitting. To submit means to be under obedience. So we take what we want to do, what we feel is right to do and what we think is best and tell the Lord that we want His Will instead. Waiting on God and trusting Him begins.
To resist the devil means that, after we have submitted to God, we go to the Word of God to counteract our thoughts, feelings and wants. The devil is fully aware of who we are and how we think. As a result, he uses our desires to entice us to keep from submitting. We start questioning the love of God and His motivation. We begin to fear and hold on to our thoughts, feelings and wants, instead of trusting and letting go. We have to realize that the devil is alive and well. His desire is to use your fleshly desires against you so that you sin against God.
Jesus resisted the devil by the Word of God. Now, if the Living Word, Jesus, needed to speak forth the written Word, the Bible, to resist the devil and have him flee, how much more do we need to submit to God in this pattern also? Trust Him; in faith speak forth and pray the Word of God. Believe Him, submit to Him and the devil will flee from you. It is a promise–God’s promise!
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.

Friday, November 28, 2014


When I was a young turkey, new to the coop, 
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop,
Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow, 

And he told me there was something that I had to know;
His look and his tone I will always remember, 

When he told me of the horrors of..... Black November;
"Come about August, now listen to me, 

Each day you'll get six meals instead of just three.
"And soon you'll be thick, where once you were thin, 
and you'll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin;
"And then one morning, when you're warm in your bed, 

In'll burst the farmer's wife, and hack off your head;
"Then she'll pluck out all your feathers so you're bald 'n pink, 
And scoop out all your insides and leave ya lyin' in the sink;
"And then comes the worst part" he said not bluffing, 

“She'll spread your cheeks and pack your rear with stuffing."
Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat, 
I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat,
And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked, 

I'd have to lay low and remain overlooked;
I began a new diet of nuts and granola, 
High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola;
And as they ate pastries, chocolates and crepes, 

I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes;
I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half, 
And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed;
But 'twas I who was laughing, under my breath, 

As they chomped and they chewed, ever closer to death; 
And sure enough when Black November rolled around, 
I was the last turkey left in the entire compound;
So now I'm a pet in the farmer's wife's lap; 

I haven't a worry, so I eat and I nap;
She held me today, while sewing and humming, 
And smiled at me and said "Christmas is coming..." 

Expressions of Thanksgiving
Upon receiving a present, we ordinarily thank the giver. This should be true of divine gifts as well.

God tells us that all good gifts are from Him (James 1:17). What’s more, He instructs us to “always [give] thanks for all things” (Ephesians 5:20). But how can we adequately express our gratitude to the Lord?

Give thanks with sound. We can speak of our gratitude to the Lord in private or in public. Thanksgiving can also be conveyed through music—Jonah 2:9 says, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you” (niv). God delights in heartfelt gratitude expressed musically, whether through informal singing or in choirs and orchestras.

Give thanks by living holy lives. As a response to God’s goodness and faithfulness, we should honor Him with our obedience. Paul expressed it this way: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1).

Give thanks through generosity. If we’re truly grateful for what we receive, we’ll gladly share our time, money, gifts, and resources. It is easy to become possessive of what we deem ours, forgetting that it is actually from God; then, with an attitude of selfishness, we might hold His blessings tightly. What we should do, however, is give back to the Lord joyfully.

How do you express your gratitude to God? Take time today to identify some of His countless blessings in your life, and offer Him heartfelt thanks.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Putting this in writing as I type
What a task to undertake 
But folks---as you read make no mistake
Giving Thanks to the Father above
Spreading  out His Awesome Love
To you in this family and all my friends
Who've  stuck together through thick and thin
We praise You Oh Father God
We adore you and You are the Only God
Giving thanks today for You sending Your Son
The thieves and murderers lost and us down here Won
All living creatures ---- all living things
All the nourishment to the body that these days bring
We've been fed with spiritual, physical, and emotional love
Being with ones we love, thinking of ones who've gone on
Knowing they are at peace now, they have a new song
Dreaming we are, and trying out hardest
To reach out and grab your Hands and know
Now is the  time to reap the most awesome harvest
We are clinging to You as would  a leech
Away from the wordily and out of it's reach
Ending this little ditty ---- Sending blessings
And praying for showers of more
Rain on us Lord, let us not be of thirst
We love You Lord, We'll be with You at Last
Because You are the One, and You are the First
The Alpha and Omega you are
The Father--the Son---and the Holy Ghost
The Maker and Creator of this great earth.

Let us give All the Praise and Glory to You Lord
You are the Song, and You are the much Spoken-Of Story
By Shirley Updike
November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Prayer

A 4-year-old boy was asked to pray before Thanksgiving dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation.

He began his prayer, thanking the Lord for all his friends, naming them one by one.

Then he thanked the Lord for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank the Lord for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cranberry sauce, the pies, the cakes, even the Cool Whip.

Then he paused, and everyone waited -- and waited.

After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, "If I thank the Lord for the broccoli, won't he know that I'm lying?"

You Are Probably Overdoing Thanksgiving If...

* You spill more food on you than the local soup kitchen dispenses.
* Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the Lazy Boy.
* The gravy boat your wife set out was a real 12' boat!
* The potatoes you used set off another famine in Ireland.
* You receive a Sumo Wrestler application in your e-mail.
* You set off an earthquake seismograph on your morning jog on Friday.
* Pricking your finger for cholesterol screening only yielded gravy.
* You have 5 TV sets all side-by-side to catch all 5 football games.
* Representatives from the Butterball Hall of Fame called twice.
* Your arms have gotten too short to tie your shoes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Simply Give Thanks

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." – Luke 18:17

On Thanksgiving Day when I was five years old, snow started to fall. This was unusual for our area, and it stirred my young heart with excitement. I remember jumping up to catch the flakes in my hand, not the least bit worried about the roads becoming slick, although my dad would have to drive on them later and he was probably concerned. I just trusted that he would get our family safely home from my uncle's house after our holiday dinner.

When I went into the kitchen, I found my mom checking on the amount of food and worrying that there would not be enough mashed potatoes to go around. Others seemed concerned about where everyone would sit. However, I once again simply enjoyed the coziness of my uncle's small house and basked in the mouth-watering aromas coming from the delicious dishes being prepared. I was quite sure there would be enough potatoes, and I was content to sit on the floor if need be. While others worried, I explored my uncle's glass bookcase filled with treasures.

Seeing through the eyes of a child with simple trust and faith has countless benefits. As Christians, we have many Bible promises of God's care and provision, yet we may occasionally still find ourselves worrying about matters. Sometimes these cares even consume our thoughts. If this happens, we need to channel our inner child and remember that God, our Heavenly Father, will never leave us alone or without help. Just as I was able to place complete trust in my earthly father, we can put our complete trust in our Heavenly Father. He has everything under control and He never fails in His love, care, and understanding toward us.

The Lord has done so many wonderful things for us. He provided for our salvation, He loves us unconditionally, He is able to meet any need we bring to Him, and He has prepared a home for us in Heaven. Why would we worry over details that God has promised to handle, when we could just trust in Him and enjoy all that He has provided? While we celebrate and give praise to the Lord during this Thanksgiving season, let us be as little children in our trust and devotion to Him.

Thanksgiving Weather Forecast

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190º. The kitchen will turn hot and
humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34º in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

How to tell if you're celebrating a Redneck Thanksgiving  If...  
- You've ever had Thanksgiving dinner on a Ping-Pong table.
- Thanksgiving dinner is squirrel and dumplings.
- You've ever re-used a paper plate.
- You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say 'Cool Whip' on the side.
- You've ever used your ironing board as a buffet table.
- Your turkey platter is an old hub cap.
- Your best dishes have Dixie printed on them.
- Your stuffing secret ingredient comes from the bait shop.
- Your only condiment on the dining room table is ketchup.
- Side dishes include beef jerky and Moon Pies.
- You have to go outside to get something out of the 'fridge.
- The directions to your house include "turn off the paved road".
- You consider pork and beans to be a gourmet food.
- You have an Elvis Jell-o mold.
- Your secret family recipe is illegal.
- You serve Vienna Sausage as an appetizer. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Putting the "Thanks" Back in Thanksgiving

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalms 118:1
An old pastor and his wife invited a new young couple in the church over for Thanksgiving dinner. As the couple entered the home, they smelled the wonderful turkey and all the trimmings in the kitchen. As the four made their way to the dining room table, there was a great feast before them!
But as the young wife scanned the table, she noticed something out of place. Among the turkey, dressing, casseroles, and pies were three Chinese takeout cartons and a plate of egg rolls!

"I know what you're thinking," the old pastor said. "Why is there Chinese takeout on the table?"

"You see," he continued, "23 years ago on Thanksgiving Day, my dear wife burned the turkey and started a fire in our kitchen! In fact, our entire kitchen nearly caught fire and the whole Thanksgiving meal was charred black!"

"So after the fire department left," he chuckled, "we ordered Chinese takeout and that was our Thanksgiving meal! And every year since, we've had Chinese takeout as a part of our meal to remind us to be thankful for what we have!" 

This year, I hope Thanksgiving isn't just a holiday for you. It should be a way of life for every Christian. We serve a wonderful God who sent his Son to die for you. So as you continue to reflect on what you are thankful for this year, remember God's blessings in your life! 


For more from PowerPoint Ministries and Dr. Jack Graham, please visit


New Jersey High School Student Takes on Atheists in Court over Inclusion of 'Under God' in Pledge

Russ Jones | Contributor | Friday, November 21, 2014
A New Jersey high student is standing up against an atheist lobbying group in its attempt to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. 
For the second time, the American Humanist Association has filed a lawsuit claiming the Pledge of Allegiance discriminates against children who don’t believe in God, according to Charisma Magazine.
Described as John and Jane Doe and the child, the Monmouth County family, sued the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in February.
Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School, is fighting back.
"I've been reciting the Pledge since preschool, and to me the phrase 'one nation under God' sums up the history and values that have made our country great," Jones said in a video. "I think it's empowering to know that, no matter what happens, I have some rights the government can never take away. No student should be silenced just because some people disagree with timeless American values."   
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents Jones. Freehold, New Jersey attorneys James A. Paone of Lomurro, Davison, Eastman & Muñoz in are acting as local counsel on the case.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Victory Over Unforgiveness

Daniel 6
Immediately after teaching His followers to pray, Jesus gave a warning about allowing unforgiveness to reside in the heart. He said that those who refuse to forgive others won't be forgiven by the Father.

Do not misunderstand Jesus' meaning here. Believers don't lose their salvation when they refuse to forgive. Rather, they break fellowship with God because their unrepentant attitude gets in the way of regular confession and repentance. The Lord cannot ignore sin, and His Spirit will bring wrong behavior to the believer's attention until he or she deals with it.

Forgiveness is an act of the will more than an act of the heart. Often people don't feel like being merciful to someone who has wronged them. But a resentful spirit grows into a terrible burden. The Lord knows that forgiveness is best, even when it is difficult.

You won't deal with a sin until you see it as God does. So assume full responsibility for your unforgiving attitude, and acknowledge that it is a violation of His Word. Claim the divine mercy He offers, and ask Him to enable you to lay aside anger and resentment against the other person(s). As part of the decision to move forward in grace, make a habit of praying for those who hurt you. And if God so leads, seek their forgiveness for your wrong attitude.

A bitter and resentful spirit doesn't fit who we are in Christ. Nor is it healthy to carry an angry attitude through life. That's why Scripture emphasizes the need to forgive. Choose to be liberated from your burden--Jesus promised to make us free when we release our sins to Him (John 8:36).


Zimbabwe: 11 People Die in Church Service Stampede

Eleven people were killed and Thursday (Nov. 20) after a stampede occurred after a church service in Zimbabwe.
Christian Today reports that a service featuring prominent Pentecostal pastor Walter Magaya drew 30,000 people. After the service, the crowd rushed toward a single exit because police had closed other doors. In the struggle to exit the stadium, concrete walls were broken down and police fired tear gas into the crowd which prompted the stampede. 
Four people were killed instantly and seven died after being transported to a nearby hospital. Numerous others sustained injuries. 
Of the eleven who died, three were children and one woman was pregnant. 
Senior Assistant Commissioner Shadreck Mubaiwa said, "Police tried to rescue people but they were overwhelmed by the crowds. It is unfortunate that people wanted to rush out, which made it difficult to contain the situation." 
Pastor Magaya had already left the stadium when the stampede occurred. He returned to the stadium and called it “the saddest moment of my life.”
Magaya said, "This was our event and as a church we have to take the blame for the tragedy. It is still too early to say what caused the stampede but the fact that the stampede took place at the venue means that part of our system failed to function."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Is There Such a Thing As Coincidence?

by Jon Walker

"Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, `Would you give me a drink of water?'" (John 4:6-7 MSG)

During this week of Thanksgiving, give some thought to this question: Is there such a thing as coincidence?

In Kingdom reality, there simply cannot be. Random doesn't happen in God's Kingdom. Oswald Chambers says God is the Great Engineer, creating circumstances to bring about moments in our lives of divine importance, leading us to divine appointments.

Was it a coincidence that Jesus came upon the woman at the well? Was she just a random woman who walked into a discussion of God's grace and omnipotence and then told a whole village about God's forgiveness? Would God have left that all to chance?Would he do any less in the details of your life?

The Bible says God actively works within our circumstances. And so we cannot judge our situation apart from God's wisdom. In other words, we must leave it up to God to interpret our circumstances. Only he is capable of understanding all the facts, and only he sees the significance of every detail.

This is a critical question to answer in your life: Is God active in your current circumstances or not?

Talk About It
•    Why would God not be involved in your circumstances?
•    If you believed God had your best interest at heart, how would you view your current circumstances differently?

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Read: 1 Cor. 15:54-67
"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God!" (1 John 5:4,5). Carnal man has not the capacity nor the means to fortify himself against the destructive forces of this world. As vessels of clay we know only discouragement and defeat. So long as we walk the earth we are subject to its evils and temptations. Each of us has the same struggle as that described by the Apostle Paul.

"For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD...For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 7:22-25; 8:2).

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or peril, or sword! ....Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:35,37).

"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory .....The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"

Friday, November 21, 2014

Love Gives

16 "For God so loved the world that He gave . . . . 

20 ". . . I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 

Love is only expressed through giving. If there is no giving, there is no evidence that love exists. The only proof of love is giving. Giving is the action that demonstrates love. 

So, the measure of your giving is the measure of your love. The more you give -- of yourself, your time, your attention, your affection, your patience, your treasure -- the more you love. This is what Jesus meant in John 15:13. 

JOHN 15:13 NKJ
13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 

Why did Jesus say there was no greater love than to give your life? Because you can't give any more. That's total commitment! 

So, whenever you see "love" in a sentence, you may substitute "giving" and express essentially the same meaning. 

JOHN 13:35 NKJ
35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." 

By understanding that love results in giving, we see that Jesus indicated His disciples would be known for their giving. We are to be famous for our giving! This is the way Jesus indicated people would know His true followers: by their giving. (Not our fighting, our preaching, or even our correct doctrine.) 

We see in the early days of the church, this is exactly what happened. 

ACTS 4:34-35 NKJ
34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,
35 and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. 

Don't think that your gifts should only go to churches and preachers. Jesus made it clear that giving to any believer was the same as giving to Him. 

40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' 

But God has not called us to give to others just so we could end up poor, also. NO! God has promised to multiply what we give, so we will have more to give in the future. 

38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

6 Remember this -- a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully."
8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 

So, based on God's promises, we can give to others in faith, with confidence that God will continue to supply all we need. 

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

(This verse gives us an idea of how giving was paramount in the thinking of early Christians.) 

JOHN 15:12 NKJ
12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 

If you desire to follow Jesus, love (giving) is not optional.
SAY THIS: As a disciple of Jesus, I will be a giver. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Stop Condemning Other Christians

10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 

Many Christians seem to have the idea that their job is to evaluate others and point out errors and shortcomings. But our job is not to condemn other Christians!

4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

We can share truth with an attitude of humility, respect, and concern for other's well-being, pointing out areas where we think they may not yet have a correct understanding of Scripture. But name-calling, fighting, and public ridicule should never happen among Christians! 

Privately correcting someone in humility is quite different from arrogantly condemning another brother or sister publicly. 

We can teach truth without mocking, ridiculing, and condemning others. Those who resort to such tactics often do so because they cannot convince based on the facts.
Whatever we do should be done in the spirit of Christ, to help people, not condemn them. 

Jesus said the world would know we are His followers by our love. So our enemy tries to stir up strife between believers.
JOHN 13:35 ESV 

35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." 

We are all in the same family. Instead of attacking our brothers and sisters, love should protect them and defend them. 

ROMANS 14:1-3,13 NLT
1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.
2 For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 

3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.
13 So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. 

There are many differences among Christians. We are all growing and learning. Not one of us knows everything. Even Paul, who wrote down much of the New Testament, said he only knew in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). 

We all have much to learn. So we should be slow in telling others how wrong they are. The Lord may have taught them something He has not yet taught us. 

Many are too quick to label all those who do not agree with them on every point of doctrine as a cult or some other name to put them down. 

Usually, those who are in the habit of putting down others do so in an attempt to elevate themselves. But God has already elevated us in Christ, so we don't need to fall into this trap.

19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. 

SAY THIS: My job is not to condemn people and call them bad names, but to bless them, help them, and pray for them. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Strength in Prayer

Jesus prayed! He would even disappear for an entire night of prayer. I’m thinking of one night in particular. The day began with the news of the death of John the Baptist. Grief-stricken, Jesus sought to retreat with His disciples, yet spent the day teaching and healing people who followed him. When it was discovered the crowd had no food, Jesus multiplied bread out of a basket and fed the entire multitude. In the span of a few hours, he battled sorrow, stress, demands and needs. He deserved to rest. Yet when evening came, he told the crowd to leave and the disciples to board their boat.

Mark 6:46 tells us, “He went up into the hills by himself to pray.” Lord, teach us to pray like that! To find strength in prayer. Teach us to experience a heart connection with God instead of settling for a prayer wish list for God!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Assurance in Trials

Romans 8:32-39
We all experience hardship, and trials can shake us unless we cling to truth. Let me share three assurances to remember when troublesome circumstances arise.

First, God will always meet our needs. This doesn't mean He provides everything we want. Instead, the Lord will bless us with all that is necessary to fulfill His purpose for our lives. His goal is to sanctify us, not simply to satisfy each immediate desire. 

Second, we're never alone. God promised to be with us always (Heb. 13:5). Loneliness often accompanies hardship, so we may feel deserted or opposed by family and friends. But our Father has sent His Spirit to be with us and in us, until the day He brings us to heaven (John 14:16-17). He is all we need--our advocate, guide, helper, and comforter. Recognizing His intimate presence gives us confidence in the midst of trials. 

Third, God's love is eternal. Regardless of our circumstances or poor decisions, His care is unconditional--even when He reprimands us. Loving parents allow disobedient children to experience the consequences of wrong choices; they recognize the benefit of learning from mistakes. Of course, there are also times when we are negatively affected by others' wrong actions. Even then, God is sovereign and allows only what will bring good in His followers' lives.

In difficult times, we can remember that God will meet all of our needs, is always with us, and loves us forever. Though Jesus said we would face troubles in this life, He offered encouragement: The ultimate victory is His. So keep in mind that trials are fleeting, whereas our Father's love is forever.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Completing the Work in You

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. . . . I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” - (Psalm 142:3,5, NIV)
Are you afraid of an uncertain future right now? Are you discouraged, feeling like you have failed in various areas of your life? If you have invited Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, then He is with you. And He will complete the work He has begun in your life. The Bible says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” - (Philippians 1:6 NLT).

There are many reasons I’m glad that I am not God, one of them being that I’m the kind of person who starts projects and forgets them. I will be cleaning my desk and almost have it finished when I say, “I’ll do this a little bit later. I want to do something else right now.”

Aren’t you glad that God isn’t that way? He would be working with me, suddenly lose interest, and say, “I’m just a little tired of Greg. I think I’ll move on to someone else. I don’t feel like finishing Greg right now. Maybe I’ll come back later.” How terrible that would be if He left me hanging.

But He won’t. God will complete the work He has begun in our lives. He will complete the work of making us more and more like Jesus. It isn’t over, even if you have failed, even if you’ve made a mistake. You can still learn from that mistake and, with God’s supernatural help, get out of the situation you’re in and move on. Even if you’re in the hospital. Even if you’re in prison. God knows where you are at this very moment, and He knows what you are experiencing. He is saying to you, “Be of good courage” because He is with you. He knows there is a brighter tomorrow for you.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Redeemer

Why must the Our heavenly Father appear as a man? Because sin requires the death penalty and man who is a sinner could not redeem himself. Almighty God in His Own Person, must be a substitute to pay the ransom price in man's place. But God Omnipotent cannot die; He is "forever and ever."[Exodus 3.14; Psalms 90.2. Therefore, The Redeemer of mankind must become Man in order that He could be made sin and die.[Hebrews2.9;1Peter1.18-19. The Redeemer could not be a mere mortal Man either for if he was, he would have been involved in sin himself through Adam. If Jesus were simply a man, there would be no sacrifice that would be appropriate for all humanity. To meet all the requirements, there had to be a God/Man to meet both man's need and eternal God's requirements of a Savior. 

Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ is the answer and HE is the greatest lover of our soul. Thank You Jesus

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christian Character

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” - Matthew 5:14

The characteristic of a Christian should be marked by a giving heart, and by a heart that quickly forgives. People should see you as a person who is willing to give away what God has entrusted you with and also be willing to forgive no matter what. “You are the light of the world,” and as we live this kind of life, others will be drawn to us that we may in turn point them to Christ.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Gospel for Everyone

“The woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, ‘Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?’ They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.” – John 4:28-30 NASB

Some Believers feel afraid to share their faith. Others feel inadequate. One common excuse is believing that ministry is the responsibility of full-time Christian workers like pastors or missionaries. But a growing number of African Christians have realized that God has called them to minister to their people. They’ve concluded that the best way to reach Africans is for other Africans to testify about how Jesus has changed their lives. They are telling their own story in their own words, making it clear that the Gospel is for everyone in every nation.

A young woman, for example, recently confessed that she had been intimidated by the prospect of witnessing for the Gospel. But she gradually realized that God had placed her in a special place where she could “live as an example in the midst of widespread sexual immorality.”

Other Africans have realized that some doors are closed to missionaries but open to other Africans. One missionary leader has said that resistance “makes it increasingly difficult for traditional missionaries to enter their countries.” But the church in Africa is “strategically well-positioned” for modern mission frontiers.

These truths apply to Believers in every country. For all of us are special to God. He has made each of us with a unique personality and unique interests.

He has a specific plan for each life but also has designed us so we have a unique ministry. That He will bring people into our lives to whom we can minister.

In your life, be open to God’s leading and direction. Be sensitive to the people He brings into your life. Then faithfully share the Good News.

Today's Inspiration Prayer

Father, I commit my time, talent, and treasure to You. Open doors that I might share the Gospel with others. Thank You for Your special plan for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Ultimate Promise Keeper


"The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does." Psalm 145:13b (NIV)

A couple years ago, a loved one broke a promise to me. At first, I was shocked. This was someone I completely trusted. Someone I had shared my secrets and dreams with for years. We did life together and I believed with all my heart I could rely on this person.

My shock quickly turned to anger and regret. Anger that I'd been betrayed. Regret that I trusted this person in the first place. Moments of awkward silence and days of heartache followed.

How would I ever trust again? Could this relationship ever be repaired? What good is making a promise if it's going to be broken?

Anyone can make a promise, but let's be honest. How many of us have actually kept every promise we've made in our lifetime? A promise only has real value if it holds hands with commitment, faithfulness and perseverance.

Broken promises hurt. They have the potential to sever relationships, bring heartache and wound deeply.

In this tough world we live in, struggles and heartache are inevitable, and they may leave us wondering: Whom can we trust? Is there anyone out there who actually keeps every promise?

The answer is a glorious YES and we find proof in today's key verse. Psalm 145:13b tells us, " ... The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does."

If you're like me and someone you love has broken a promise to you, this verse is like a brilliant sunrise, illuminating hope in the midst of your dark and dreary circumstances.

I've discovered three truths in this passage I'd love to share with you today:

God makes promises. Who are we that God would promise us anything? Yet, out of His love for us, He established many promises that are not hidden or secret. We can easily find them in Scripture. "God is not a human that He would lie ..." (Numbers 23:19a, NIV). When God makes a promise to us, it will be accomplished through His sovereignty.

God is trustworthy. We can count on God to fulfill His promises. He is dependable, reliable and worthy of our trust. God has already kept His greatest promise, by sending Jesus to die on our behalf so we can have eternal life in Him (John 3:16). If God fulfilled this sacred promise out of love for us, how can we doubt He will keep the other promises He has made?

God is faithful. Not just sometimes or when He wants to be. God is faithful in all He does (Deuteronomy 7:9). God is loyal to those He loves. He is 100 percent devoted to His children and nothing will ever change that. The vow He made to you is eternal.

Life is challenging. People will disappoint us. And, yes, as much as we try, we may even fall short in keeping some of our promises to others. But no matter what happens in life, we can hold on to this profound truth: God will never break His promises. Never. He is trustworthy and faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).

God will do what He says He will do. And that, dear friend, is something we can confidently rely on forever!

Lord, thank You for always keeping Your promises and loving me even in those moments when I haven't been faithful to You. Grow my faith and help me see You working in my life, so I can come to know You more. Let my trust in You increase as I learn to rely on Your faithfulness. Help me keep the promises I make to others. And when others have broken promises to me, let me never forget that Your promises and devotion extend for all of eternity. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

© 2014 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

True Love Is Given, Not Earned

by Tullian Tchividjian
The parable of the 11th hour workers is well-known (Matthew 20:11-14). The master of the house hires laborers in the morning to work his vineyard at an agreed-upon wage. At different points throughout the day, he hires more workers, including some that are hired at “the eleventh hour,” that is, an hour before the end of the workday. At the end of the day, he paid the workers who had worked the least first, and decided to pay them the wage that he had promised the laborers who worked all day. Understandably, the all-day laborers were excited to see this, thinking that they would receive some exponentially larger figure, since they had worked exponentially longer hours.

They were, of course, distressed to receive the same pay that they had agreed upon at the beginning of the day, the same wage as the 11th hour workers. When we read this story, it’s easy enough to understand why they feel cheated. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would.

But we forget that in the economy of the gospel, we are the 11th hour workers. Some people are pretty good at keeping it together, and so it’s easy to convince ourselves that we deserve some greater reward. But the truth is we’re far worse off than we think. Are you ever not “all you can be?” Do you have regrets from a damaged relationship? Do you have a dark secret that you can’t share with anyone? Jesus says, “You. You there that no one else thinks deserves much of anything. I’m here for you. Not because you worked hard, but because I am generous. I give you the same free gift, bought and paid for with my own life, that I give to those who you think are better than you.”

Jesus’ point is that what we need most–true love–is given, not earned. It is a free gift from God, earned for us by the work of His Son. It’s a love for which you never have to work.
(Excerpted from my forthcoming devotional It Is Finished: 365 Days of Good News)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Gospel Is Peace

by Ann Spangler

Most of us live in a world populated by people who don’t think like us. Either they don’t believe in Jesus at all or they don’t believe in Jesus the way we do. How can we live at peace with others even when our values and aspirations are worlds apart?

I like what John Piper has to say about the importance of daily being “stunned by grace in our lives.” As he told the staff at his church one day, “If we aren’t amazed by grace towards us, we will be a finger-pointing church mainly.” According to Piper, the key is to be more amazed that you are saved than that others are lost.(1)

Though I don’t care for finger pointing in general, I think Piper’s focus offers a healthy antidote to the notion that to get along with others in our multicultural, multi-theological world, you have to throw out your brains and your beliefs in order to pretend that all religions are equally valid.

Because some in the church have been harsh and condemning in their treatment of people who don’t think like they do, it is tempting to conclude that disagreeing is always wrong. Better to keep peace by skirting the issues, pretending they don’t exist. But that would be foolish. Instead of buying into an ideal of political correctness, we need to learn how to contend for the faith in a way that persuades, not merely through the power of our words, but also through the power of the love we put into those words.

Our goal as Christians is not to win arguments but to spread the gospel so that others might join us on the side of marveling at the stunning grace of God.

(1) John Piper, “How Do You Remain Humble?,” The Christian Post, May 6, 2011, accessed May 13, 2011,

Monday, November 10, 2014

The 5 Best Things to Say to a Friend Today

Lysa TerKeurst
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:12-13 (NIV)
I remember sitting in the smelly middle school gym like it was yesterday.
I'd survived the awkward and much-dreaded moments of changing into my PE uniform in the girls' locker room. And now I sat on the hard bleachers listening to the squeak of tennis shoes, the uneven cadence of bouncing balls, the teacher's sharp whistle and the girls laughing behind me.
They weren't laughing with me. That would have meant I was accepted, wanted and invited in to be a part of their group.
No, they were laughing at me.
I was the subject of their gossip. I was the punch line of their jokes.
And it hurt.
I imagine you know that hurt too. Change the scenery and people, and this same hurt can be found in most of our lives.
• When your co-workers all make plans to go to lunch, but you weren't invited.
• When that other preschool mom says, "Several of us moms are concerned with how aggressive your child seems on the playground."
• When everyone else's social media makes marriage look dreamy and romantic as you're crying yourself to sleep.
Then a friend steps in with a gentle smile and a few simple words of encouragement and suddenly you're not alone.
I want to be that friend for you today.
In the midst of whatever it is that's made your heart feel knocked off-kilter, can I whisper what I believe are the 5 best things one can say to a friend? And then might you give the gift of saying these things to a friend today?
This list is from our key verses, Romans 12:12-13, in a section titled "Love."
1. "You're wonderful."
(Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope ...")
What a loving thing to infuse joyful hope into your friend's life by reminding her why you think she is wonderful.
The world is quick to tell us girls all the ways we fall short. We are hyperaware of our faults and frailties.
So, what a precious gift to remind a friend of specific ways she's a wonderful friend, a wonderful mom, a wonderful Jesus girl, a wonderful wife, a wonderful co-worker, a wonderful person.
2. "Me too."
(Romans 12:12, "... patient in affliction ...")
What a gift to remind a friend we all have afflictions, hurts, faults and tender places. We all get sick both emotionally and physically.
The patient friend freely gives grace because she so desperately needs it herself. "Me too" acknowledges that I'm no better than you, but together we can get stronger. It is such a loving and disarming admission that we're all in this together.
3. "I'll pray."
(Romans 12:12, "... faithful in prayer.")
Wouldn't it be wonderful to tell a friend you will absolutely be faithful in your prayers for her? I have someone who prays for me faithfully and even texts me Scriptures she's praying.
But here's what I really love about her. She doesn't just pray about my situations. She prays me through them. I honestly don't know how she hasn't gotten tired of praying for some of my same issues for so long. I get so tired of me ... but she never does. What a gift. A gift I know I must pass on by being faithful in my prayers for others.
4. "I'll share."
(Romans 12:13, "Share with the Lord's people who are in need ...")
When we notice a need in a friend's life, might we be willing to step in and be part of the solution?
I have a friend who lost every possession she owned due to a chemical spill in her home. So, we threw her a "Job (like the man in the Bible) Party." Each of us brought a few things to help her family start over.
We didn't come close to fully meeting their financial needs. But we helped build a foundation of restoration and gave this family the assurance that God was working on their behalf.
5. "Come over."
(Romans 12:13, "Practice hospitality.")
Welcoming a friend inside the sacred space of our home is such a needed gesture. There's just something about relationships that are less pixilated when we get eye-to-eye, voice-to-voice and talk. Really talk.
Over broken bread we share broken hearts. And then we celebrate the parts of us that are still intact. We reach across the table and across our differences to grab hold of the glorious bond of friendship.
Yes, these are 5 great things, maybe even the best things, to say to a friend. So, today, I pause and say them to you.
Now, I haven't quite figured out how to do that last one. It would be such a hoot trying to fit you all in my kitchen, but I sure am dreaming about it!
Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of friendship. Please show me who I can encourage today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.