thebook

There is a saying which my mother taught me, “this book will keep you from sin…. and sin will keep you from this book”

The book is the Bible…. and it is so important for Christians to read it EVERY DAY…

One way to know if you have been “born again” is in your attitude and feeling towards  the Bible…. do you love it or merely tolerate it… or do you keep far from it.

It is not good enough simply to read inspiring books about the lives of other Christians or to read books ABOUT the Bible…. you must read the Bible itself and with the right spiritual approach…. you must read it  in FAITH… and not like you read “other” books.

Here are verses that support this:

Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man cleanse his way ? By taking heed according to your word”

Psalm 119:11 “Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You”

Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.”

Bible reading plans are a good way to make sure you read it every day….. BUT there is a danger of “RITUAL READING”… meaning that although you read it, the deeper impact of what you read…. on your personality…. is not effected.

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, Please guide us through reading Your Word and reveal to us the relevance to our lives… through Your Holy Spirit…. in Jesus name, we ask… Amen.

numbers

Judges 7:2 “The people who are with thee are TOO MANY for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, MINE OWN HAND HATH SAVED ME”

God wanted to MAKE SURE that it was abundantly apparent that an “IMPOSSIBLE” VICTORY had been achieved….. and this is the essence of a MIRACLE.

But why ?

The PURPOSE of miracles is to BRING GLORY TO GOD…. and cause us to THANK and PRAISE HIM for His wonderful attributes…. His LOVE, KINDNESS, MERCY  in caring for us.

But you will say, why don’t we see DRAMATIC and AWESOME miracles TODAY ? …. just like we did in the OLD TESTAMENT !

Hear Jesus words, Matthew 16:4 “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…” Matthew 11:20 “Then began he to upbraid the cities in which most of his mighty works were done, because they REPENTED NOT”

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament PROVE that although humans are “fascinated” by God’s miracles, the effect is only TEMPORARY…. incredible as it seems, even the most AWESOME “miracle” only brings immediate and TEMPORARY “Praise to God” from the majority who witnessed it…. of course God knew this all along, so why did He bother to do ANY “awesome and spectacular” miracles at all ?…. because WE humans need convincing…. as we, who have never seen any of these awesome miracles, READ THE BIBLE and see… time after time…. that these miracles had no LASTING SPIRITUAL EFFECT on most of the people who saw them… we must accept that we are no different… and we must worship and praise Him in our generation and circumstances and not always be seeking after “awesome miracles”….

and yet…. He is STILL in the “miracle business”…. every day in smaller (less dramatic) ways our lives are impacted by His supernatural care and provision for us….. that accident that “ALMOST took our life” and was avoided entirely…. the little prayer that was answered wonderfully.

The fact that just one or two DEDICATED BELIEVERS can bear much fruit…. and impact thousands of lives for Jesus…. these are all miracles, in the sense that they are impossible for us to do ON OUR OWN.

My friend, do not strive to do YOUR service for God…. but rather let GOD do His work through you….. in faith, WANT and EXPECT that He will “bear fruit” through YOUR life…. and then be SENSITIVE to the opportunities and circumstances in which you find yourself and He will guide you what to say and do (if you are truly seeking His guidance).

“TRUST and OBEY for there’s NO OTHER WAY…. to BE HAPPY IN JESUS…. but to TRUST and OBEY” John H. Sammis

…. may this Chorus become “a real experience” in YOUR life.

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, our very best welfare is assured by following Your directions…. no matter how much it might SEEM otherwise….. please forgive us when we fail at this… and don’t stop guiding us and giving us opportunities to “obey your Spirit”… in Jesus name … Amen.

gifts

Today we look at creativity, beauty, talent and ability…. all these things are blessings from God…. but what does a person do with them ?

We live in a society that actually “admires”  EVIL…. but within limits…. in the movies, the “bad boy” is the hero (as long as he is killing other bad boys that are not quite as “bad” as he is)…. on the stage, it is okay for performers to be sexually “explicit” as long as they dont go “too far” and become “pornographic”(by getting completely naked)….. EVIL within acceptable limits…. doing the work of satan but not actually worship him (knowing they are not good, but needing to feel that they are not bad either)

this cannot be acceptable for Christians….. if we are following Jesus, then we must have a higher standard… we cannot be entertained with “moderate” evil….

is there such a thing as Christian “entertainment” ?

There is nothing wrong with people entertaining each other in concerts, performances, plays, drama and dance…. but such activities should measure up to our Biblical standard of life…. we should not have to “forget” our Biblical calling for the experience … and then “resume”  our “sanctified” lives at a later time…  if we feel afterwards that was our “experience” , then our “entertainment” surely must have slipped below acceptable standards.

Here are the guidelines for Christian performers:

1. PRIDE – if you are “good”, it’s so easy to become “proud” of your “accomplishments”… and this affects your performances with “showing off”…. and the rest of your life with “superiority attitude”… so remember you have NOTHING that you were not GIVEN by God… and testify to this fact when all the people come “praising you up” after a “performance”.

2. MONEY – If your talent starts to make you serious money, it’s easy to follow the “worldly lifestyle”…. but do not… instead follow normal, reasonable lifestyle (the SAME lifestyle your audience lives)…. you DONT NEED money beyond that…. GIVE IT AWAY… to others who are in real NEED… and you will be BLESSED beyond measure.

3. INFLUENCE – Whether you wanted it or not, your life may become a “public” model to lots of people…. use every occasion as a witness for Jesus… you have a greater RESPONSIBILITY towards God…. because you have as much potential to further His work as you do to HINDER (or even destroy) His work in other peoples lives.

It is performers that DO NOT FOLLOW the above Christian guidelines that are responsible for the downfall of “Christian entertainment”…. for bringing it into disrepute… and for causing the heathen to blaspheme God and Christians.

FOR THE AUDIENCE…. rate every event according to these conditions… Philippians 4:8, Galatians 5:22 – 23

1. Did you feel joyful and peaceful after this event…. or do you feel guilty, sinful, dirty…. and in need of “forgiveness” ?

2. Did this event make you feel close to Jesus… do you feel that He would have enjoyed it too ?… if He had been sitting right next to you.

3. Do you feel more love for your fellow humans and for God as a result of this event ?

4. Did you feel to praise GOD for the talents that He has given to the “performers”…. or instead.. did you feel ENVIOUS of the performers and find yourself “wanting to be just like THEM” ? (worldly performers flaunt their lifestyle to the audience because they thrive on the audience wanting to be “just like them”…. and secretly, enjoy the fact that the audience can NEVER be like them)

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, may we use our talents for you…. and not be envious of those with different (or more talent)… Amen

miracles

The essence of a miracle is not how awesome it is COMPARED to “anything else”…. but rather that it happens when you need it most or as a direct answer to prayer.

NECESSARY CONDITION

FAITH….  he who comes to God must BELIEVE that HE IS and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)

1. How GREAT is your God ?? …. Do you believe that He can do ANYTHING ?  (Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:27)   …. if not, you will have doubts whether He can help you.

2. How important do you think you are to Him ?? ….. even if you believe that He CAN help you….. you may still NOT believe that He WILL help you…. particularly if you feel guilty and unworthy. (James 1:6 – 8)… First, cleanse yourself from all known SIN according to His Word… Second, rebuke FALSE ACCUSATIONS from satan.

You need both of these pre-conditions…… and there is plenty of failure around to discourage you…. lots of people who begged for various miracles got NOTHING…. so where does that leave you ??

Many people have wondered about the Bible passage Matthew 13:12 and again Matthew 25:29 …… and repeated in Mark 4:25 and Luke 8:18 …..  FOUR times so it must be quite important.

Does this position seem fair to you ? …. why should somebody get all in abundance and the other fellow get NOTHING…. surely, according to our thinking, the one with little should get some more…  that everybody might have EQUALLY…. since we are all equal in His sight ?

The fellow gets his little taken away because he does not use it in any constructive way, he is ungrateful and lazy…. the one who gets more (even though he has already) is appreciative and industrious with whatever he has been given.

In the natural world…. many of the poor will remain permanently poor no matter how much money you give them, because they quickly use it up UNWISELY and then want more (they have a MENDICANCY MENTALITY…. they are always wanting to be given what others have… they are always feeling disadvantaged and “unfaired”….  they are always envious of anyone with more than themselves, yet they do absolutely  nothing productive with what they actually have at their disposal (so it eventually gets used up and disappears). Meanwhile the successful are getting more and more because they put to WISE USE whatever they have at their disposal… and they really APPRECIATE the VALUE of even the “smallest amount” of anything and are always busy trying to find ways to put it to better use (they never waste time complaining or envying those who have more… because they are too busy “making the best” of what they have).

all people are NOT created with “equal” abilities… neither physically, mentally or spiritually….. this does NOT mean that anyone is “better” or “worse”…. because ALL have the responsibility of doing the best with whatever they have been given.

How does all this relate to miracles ? everybody may have the POTENTIAL  for a miracle… but those who regularly experience miracles, see more and more of them, because their faith and love for God grows… while those who see less and less miracles (or maybe none at all) eventually become so unbelieving that they may actually doubt the existence of the God who they once professed to believe in.

We NEED to remain in a state of THANKFULLNESS…. always giving thanks for what we have been given (whether little or much)

We NEED to seek WISDOM and GUIDANCE in our dedicated attempt to USE whatever we have been given (whether little of much).

We NEED to AVOID being COVETOUS of what anybody else has.

We NEED to AVOID BLAMING GOD  (or anyone else) for everything that “we do not like” about our lives.

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, help us to be ALWAYS thankful to you… for you are GOOD… and your GOODNESS endures forever ! … Amen.