Saturday, November 26, 2011

What A Friend We Have In Jesus!

Reading from the Book of John 15:9-17
 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Some things in Scripture are harder to understand and believe than others. Christ, the Sovereign Creator of all things, the offended Judge who declared the penalty for sin to be death, the One who willingly died to pay that penalty and redeem us from bondage to sin, now calls us His friends. Certainly we would like to consider Him our friend; but are we really His friends?
Actually, Christ said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you". We are His friends by conscious choice on His part, even though He knows more about our inward nature than we will admit to ourselves. He has demonstrated His friendship by the greatest act of love imaginable, when He voluntarily died to save us from our sins. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". Furthermore, for His friends He promises, "Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you".
His love for us surpasses human love. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love that your joy might be full". He has "ordained" us as friends so that we "should go and bring forth fruit, and that our fruit should remain". What joy!
There should be a response on our part to His friendship. Almost as a self-evident fact, He states, "Ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you", among other things, "that ye love one another".

What a friend we have in Jesus!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving To God

Psalm 75:1
We give praise and thanks to You, God, we praise and give thanks. Your wondrous works declare that Your Name is near and they who invoke Your Name rehearse Your wonders!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Reading from the Book of Luke 6:27-28,
and the Book of Matthew 6:14-15
 Luke 27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
 Matthew 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Luke 6:27, 28 teaches us how to deal with our enemies. Something is missing when we say that we forgive those who have hurt or offended us and go no further.

God tells us in His Word to forgive others, He does not stop there. He goes on to instruct us to "bless them". The word "bless" means "to speak well of." So one of our problems is though we pray and try to forgive those who offend us, we turn right around and curse them with our tongues or we rehash the offense again and again with others. This will not work.

It is not enough to merely say we forgive others, we must be careful not to curse them or speak evil of them even if we think they deserve it. Instead, we must do as Jesus did and pray for them, bless them, and speak well of them. Why? As we read Matthew 6:15 it is because by doing so, we bless not only them, but will receive blessings ourselves too. Hating those who hurt you is like taking poison and hoping your enemy will die. Obviously, anyone who did that would only be hurting himself. Why spend your life angry at people who probably do not even know or care that you are angry? These people are thoroughly enjoying their lives while you are miserable. Release them, let the offense go, drop it, and have the same attitude toward them that Jesus had toward His enemies.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Indwelling Spirit

Reading from the Book of II Timothy 2:14-19
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

You are bound by your words and by your declaration. You are also judged by them. That is why it is so important to place a guard upon your lips so that what issues forth from them is not only truthful, but also kind, positive, edifying, and in line with the will of God.

You can change your actions and behavior, but in order to do so you must first change your thoughts and words. To do that, you need the help of the indwelling Spirit of God.

Ask Him to help you. He will!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thinking About Thinking

Reading from the Book of Philippians 4:8
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Do you ever think about what you are thinking? If you are not careful, your thought life can lead you into problems. It is important to think before you act, and if you concentrate on things that are true, worthy of reverence and honorable, just, pure, lovely, kind and gracious, virtuous, and excellent, your actions will reflect God's character and heart.

The Bible presents detailed instructions on what we should be thinking about. You can see from Philippians 4:8 that we are instructed to think on good things, things that will build us up and not tear us down.

Our thoughts certainly reflect our attitudes and moods. Everything the Lord tells us is for our own good. He knows what makes us happy and what makes us miserable. When people are full of wrong thoughts, they are miserable, and I have learned from experience that miserable people usually end up making others miserable also.

Take a personal inventory on a regular basis and ask yourself, "What have I been thinking about?" Spend time examing your thought life. Think about thinking.