ARE YOU LIKE YOUR MOMMA?

“Continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it.” 2 Timothy 3:14

As I sat down to write this morning I was prepared to talk about the fact that I had just finished reading through the Old Testament and looking forward to starting on the New Testament. I really want to begin reading about Jesus and His life and how it affects me and my life.

Before I started as I always do I read Pastor Warrens post in Daily Hope and then the post in Our Daily Bread because many times what I read in those two daily devotionals gives me ideas about things to write about. As I read today’s Our Daily Bread it reminded me of my mom. She was the driving influence in my becoming a Christian and a big part of why I write. She guided me, influenced me and loved me even when I acted out. My dad was a big influence also but it was my mother that taught me about God and how much He loves me, she was a great example to our entire family.

As I read the verse above it talks about who we learn from, about how we know and remember who taught us the greatest “life’s lessons”. I realized that it’s not just mothers but each and every one of us who has influence on the people we know and love and even strangers that we meet every day.

As Arthur Jackson says in the quote below God uses faithful men and women to show (teach) others about His love, all the more reason for us to let His light shine through our daily lives, the things we say and do.

“Today, as well as in Timothy’s time, God uses faithful women and men to mark future generations. Our prayers, words, actions, and service can be powerfully used by the Lord while we live and after we’re gone. That’s why my siblings and I still rehearse things that were passed on to us from Momma. My prayer is that Momma’s legacy will not stop with us.”   Arthur Jackson – Our Daily Bread

Lord, thank You for the light in my life that was my mother, let me light up the path in the lives of others as she did for me
Thanks for listening, Dave

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WHAT DOES JESUS WANT FROM YOU?

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1John 4:10

“What does Jesus want from us? He wants us to love Him like He loves us.”

“He loves us just as we are not as we should be because we will never be as we should be”

“We want to be loved by God but don’t feel loved when life happens. We so often forget that He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins.”

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”          Romans 8:38-39

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Where do we get our strength? We get our strength from Him, from His love for us.

These are some of the highlights from Pastor Gunter’s sermon yesterday. As he told us, we all want to be loved by God and as we are told repeatedly in the Bible Jesus does love us and He wants us to return His love for us.

Lord, I realize that my love for You can never compare, never come close, to Your love for me. Thank You for loving me, someone who can never repay or return that kind of love
Thanks for listening, Dave

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WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;   6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

“If David were writing Psalm 23:3 today, he might say, “God keeps me on track.” The Good Shepherd doesn’t just feed us. He leads us. He doesn’t just correct us. He directs us.

You may wonder then, “Why is it so difficult to figure out what God wants me to do with my life? Why does God’s will often seem hidden? Is God playing games with me? Does God enjoy confusing me?” Of course not.

God has given us a roadmap: the Bible. God has given us a compass: our conscience. God has also given us a personal guidance counselor: the Holy Spirit. Clearly, God wants to lead us in the paths of righteousness. This is important to understand, because God never intended for you to figure out the steps of your journey without him.

How you get on mission and how you succeed at your mission are God’s responsibilities. Your responsibility is to seek his guidance and obey his directions. “                                         Pastor Rick Warren – Daily Hope

 

I don’t know about you but I often wonder why, I often question God’s reasons for things that happen in my life and yet I still trust in Him and His plan for me and my life. When it comes to wondering what it is that God expects of us I especially liked the part of Pastor Warren’s post that says that God gave us a conscience so we could figure it out.

I don’t know about you but when I listen to that inner voice (I believe its God speaking to my heart) I never make bad decisions. It’s when I don’t listen that I get into trouble.

Lord, let me always listen to You, listen to my heart
Thanks for listening, Dave

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I’M A BROKEN VESSEL, A CRACKED JAR OF CLAY

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.          2 Corinthians 4:7

We are all like broken vessels, we can’t hold God’s goodness inside of ourselves it leaks out as fast as God refills it. If not for grace through the blood of His Son we would be empty.

You’ve heard the gospel song, “There’s power in the Blood” well those words are absolutely true and in that song we are ask, “Would you be free from the burden of sin, Would you o’er evil a victory win?”.

The power to forgive, the power to save, the power to make us pure so that we will be accepted into Heaven, all of that power comes from the blood of Christ and all of it comes from God.

As the title says, “I’m a broken vessel” and I pray that what leaks from my cracks is God’s grace, grace through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that others see Jesus leaking from those cracks.

Lord, help me to remember that without You I would be empty and lost
Thanks for listening, Dave

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AN EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH – THE TRUTH

Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve itRomans 12:19

The Bible actually says that God’s going to even the score. Judgment is coming one day. People who were mistreated, misjudged, or treated unfairly will receive justice. But it is not your job to avenge yourself:       Pastor Rick Warren – Our Daily Bread

Have you ever wanted to hurt someone who had hurt you? Have you ever gotten angry and yelled at someone who had made you mad? If you can say no to these questions then you are a better person than I am because I have wanted to hurt someone who had hurt me and I have yelled at someone that made me mad. I’m not proud of my behavior but the truth is the truth.

The fact is that getting mad, getting even, is exactly the opposite of what God expects from us. Many of us use the “eye for an eye” thing as a way of excusing our bad behavior.

In Matthew we are told, “38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” Matthew 5:38-39

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we are supposed to get even with those who offend us or do us wrong in fact exactly the opposite.

Social media has become the “get even” means of interaction these days. You can talk about what you believe and even things that no one would ever believe and when someone questions you or your motives you can unload on them and they in turn unload on you. I can’t say that I never get caught up in the drama any more than I could say I have never yelled at someone who made me mad but I realize more and more how easy it is to get caught up in arguments that make myself or others mad and then lead to saying things that shouldn’t be said. Maybe we all need to step back away from all types of social media and recognize how harmful it can be. Maybe if we were to write on paper what we are so eager to post and then read it back and imagine someone was writing it to us we would think twice about putting it out there for the world to see.

Lord, let my angry thoughts, my angry words stay where they belong, in my mind
Thanks for listening, Dave

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THINK ABOUT THIS

‘ …They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “they are my people, and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”               Zechariah 13:9

As I was praying I was thanking God for who I am, for my creation. It occurred to me that without God’s plan, knowing what and who I would be even before creation that I literally would be nothing! I wouldn’t even be a mote of cosmic dust floating around the cosmos!

So many today, no matter if they believe in God or they don’t, have no idea that if not for God they wouldn’t exist, they would literally be less than nothing. Not only would they not exist neither would anything else, or at least nothing that we would know about or recognize.
In Ephesians we are told, “Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love Ephesians 1:4

As I think about this I am overwhelmed with emotion, thinking that if God hadn’t thought about me, wanted me to exist not only would I not be here but none of my children or grandchildren or great grandchildren would have even been a thought, much less a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

What I’m asking you to do this morning is to just stop and take a moment. Contemplate who you are, what you are and where you are and realize that if not for God we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Makes you want to thank God doesn’t it?

Lord, thank You for Your creation that made my life possible
Thanks for listening, Dave

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THERE IS NO NEED TO WORRY, IT’S UNDER CONTROL

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:12-13

Do you find yourself watching the news morning and night, hanging on every word about anything that comes out of the broadcaster’s mouth, all of the latest news about all of the ongoing events of the day?

I have to admit that I watch quite a bit of news but get none from the internet. I realize that both can be corrupt or fake but for some reason I like the news on TV.

So, having said all of that it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the things going on in our country and the world we can easily fall into the trap of worrying about things that we don’t have any control over.

The thing we always have to remember is that nothing happens that isn’t according to God’s plan. All of the things happening all over the world are under His control, they happen according to His plan. So if that’s the case is there any reason to worry? That doesn’t mean we just sit back and watch it happen, we continue to do what we have always been directed to do, spread His word, let others see Him through our words and actions.

When you realize that there is no reason to worry it frees us up to see the wonder of the world around us, to love and enjoy our friend and family, instead of worrying about what’s going to happen next.

Lord, never let me forget that You have it under control
Thanks for listening, Dave

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HOW DO YOU TALK TO GOD?

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant Psalm 25:14

When we pray we are all talking to God, but what about when we’re not praying?

I find that some of the best parts of my relationship with God are when I just have a conversation with Him. I find that I can talk to Him about anything that’s on my mind. I don’t have to hide or keep anything from Him because, what’s the point, He already knows everything about me, even the things that I’m ashamed or embarrassed about, things that I wouldn’t tell my closest friend. Do you understand what a relief it is to not have to hide anything, to have no secrets about anything and to still know that you are loved and forgiven?

After I pray at night when I go to bed is one of my best times to talk to the Lord. I talk to Him about my wife and our relationship, my children and problems they are having what’s going on with the grandkids or just to thank Him for my day and about what’s going on in my life in general. Do you know what? I fall asleep as we talk and I sleep like a log. Those times when I do wake up in the night I often just say hello and thank Him for the life He has given me. I wake up in the morning in a good mood with a good outlook on my day and so thank Him for that as well.

You may think I sound a little corny but being able to discuss my life’s issues with Him makes it easier for me to see things more clearly, to put them in perspective and trust me, things are always better when you can look at them from His perspective.

Lord, You have blessed me in so many ways I just want to thank You for listening
Thanks for listening, Dave

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WHO’S THE SHEPERD OF YOUR LIFE? IS IT JESUS?

“Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. 2 The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.” Zechariah 10:1-2

When I read these two verses this morning I thought to myself, we are truly sheep. Sheep are not smart animals, left to their own devices they get into all kind of trouble, have all kinds of problems. Sheep need a shepherd to keep them safe, to keep them out of trouble.

Isn’t that what we need? Don’t we need a shepherd to guide us and keep us safe? We used to have one, so did our country but in the last few decades we seem to have lost our shepherd, we have lost our way.

So, let me ask, what’s happened to our country that we wander aimlessly like we are lost? Did our shepherd abandon us and leave us to fend for ourselves? No, exactly the opposite, just like the dumb sheep we are we have wandered away from Him. Some are trying to remove Him from every aspect of our lives and do you know what? It’s working, we listen to “diviners who speak deceitfully” and take their advice.

It seems to me, that just like the dumb sheep that we are we aren’t even smart enough to realize that we are being led astray. We have been misled so slowly that most of us don’t even realize what has happened. We look around and say to ourselves, what’s happened, how did we get to this point.

Many of us wonder what’s the answer, how do we get back to where we were, where is our Shepherd? I’ll tell you what I think; I believe we need to listen. Don’t you know that the Shepherd is worried, concerned, about us? Don’t you know that He is calling for us to return to His flock?

But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” Luke 8:21

What we need to do is listen to His voice and return to Him.

Lord, open our ears so that we may hear Your voice calling us
Thanks for listening, Dave

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WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIAN ARE YOU? ARE YOU LIKE SAUL OR MORE LIKELY PETER

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:1-4

Before Saul became a Christian he was a terrible human being. He was a Roman and his job was to persecute Christians and he had many of them killed. He stood by in the crowd and watched as Steven was stoned to death. (Acts chapter 6) Do you know what? He was converted by God and became the Apostle Paul the author of at least 8 books of the Bible and possible as many as 13. As terrible a person as he was, God had a plan for him and used him to convert millions to Christianity.

Or maybe you’re like Peter, chosen by Jesus as He began His ministry as one of the 12. One of Jesus’ favorites who, when Jesus was taken to go before the high priest, denied knowing who He was, denied being one of His followers. Imagine having told Jesus that he would never deny him he did exactly that!

“Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.”                      Luke 22:54-62

Even though he betrayed his Savior, his friend, Jesus forgave him and he went on to write two of the books of the New Testament! We aren’t told about the sins Paul committed but he was human and so wasn’t perfect either, we just know that He was also forgiven by God.

So I’ll ask you again, what kind of Christian are you? If you are like Peter, if you are like me, you are the fallen kind. Oh we may not have denied Christ to others like Peter did but we don’t have to, we fail Him every day. The good news, the great news, is that, like Peter, He forgives us. His grace washes us as clean as snow over and over and who knows what great things He has planned for us to do.

Let’s be the kind of Christians that thank God everyday for what He has done for us.

Lord, I can’t comprehend Your love and how You can forgive me over and over I just know I would be lost without it
Thanks for listening, Dave

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