Sunday, August 28, 2016

"But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” -- Mark 4:20
The gospel is carried throughout the world every day. As usual, many will reject the message as nothing more than foolishness. Yet, there will be a select few that will receive the truth with great joy. Their lives will be changed and in the years ahead they will produce a wonderful spiritual harvest.
What kind of soil are you today my friend? Has the gospel story fallen upon your heart and produced a great crop of thirty, sixty or even a hundred fold? Or has this message passed from your memory like the morning dew? May the good news about Jesus change your life and deliver you from the fruitless pursuit of worldly gain and unending worries! Search the Word everyday for spiritual light and share the Lord with those who still walk in darkness.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored." - Mark 3:5 
“The millennium is at hand. Man has invented everything that can be invented. He has done all he can do.” These words were spoken by a bishop at a church gathering in 1870. Someone commented, “I think man will learn to fly.” The bishop replied that this was blasphemy. “Don’t you know that flight is reserved for angels?” The bishop was Rev. Milton Wright, father of Orville and Wilbur. Only open hearts can fly.
Jesus found the very same attitude among the religious elite of his day. God had broken into their lives and they were closed to the possibilities. They had reached the point where they worshiped their traditions more than God. If the miraculous couldn't fit into the traditional setting, it was rejected. The stubborn heart distressed Jesus because he knew that only open hearts could fly.
Are you ready for God to do the miraculous in your life my friend? Will you allow him to break into your life in ways that may challenge your traditions? When you pray for the Lord's intervention are you prepared for the change he might bring? Remember, only open hearts can fly.

Friday, August 26, 2016

"Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” - Mark 2:3-5 
In the latter years of her life on Long Island, my mother-in-law had reached the place when doctor visits were a regular affair. We did our very best to get her to various appointments when we were in town, but when we were unavailable she was quite blessed with a number of friends that helped. The trips were often lengthy and quite time consuming, but her friends were wonderfully gracious. 
Bringing people to the Lord can be just as difficult. The paralytic in this passage was blessed with four friends who were determined to bring him to Jesus. They were willing to do anything necessary to make this happen. With a little creativity and hard work, four men succeeded in bringing their friend to the Great Physician.
Every day the Lord uses creativity and hard work to bring people to himself. Are you ready and willing to be one of those who will bring others to him? Do you know someone who needs the Lord today? Will you make the effort to carry your friend or neighbor out of the brush and down the road to the Great Physician?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." - Mark 1:35 
What more can be said? If the Master found it necessary to start the day in solitary prayer, what about his servants?

"The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully affected the world for him, have been men who spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature of their lives. Charles Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God. Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in the morning. Of him, one who knew him well wrote: “He thought prayer to be more his business than anything else and I have seen him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining.” John Fletcher stained the walls of his room by the breath of his prayers. Sometimes he would pray all night; always, frequently, and with great earnestness. His whole life was a life of prayer. “I would not rise from my seat,” he said, “without lifting my heart to God.” Luther said: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.” He had a motto: “He that has prayed well has studied well.” - E. M. Bounds in Power through Prayer

If you're too busy to pray...  you're too busy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

“'Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.'” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." -- Revelation 22:12-14
As we open our Bibles and begin with the first three chapters of Genesis, we find Adam and Eve prohibited from eating of the tree of life and escorted through the Garden gates. Their sin brought about the fall of all mankind and eternal separation from God. History tells the sad tale of continued rebellion and godless living throughout the ages. Would there be any hope for ever returning to the Garden and the tree of life? The last page of our Bibles gives a resounding YES!. "Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." You see the beginning doesn't always determine the final outcome.
Is your life filled with a cascade of failures my friend? Do you feel that there can be little change in the months ahead? Well, there is hope for anyone who will come to the Lord for a new beginning. Jesus is one beginning that will always determine the final outcome because...  He is the "Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty." -- Revelation 20:14-15
"Say it ain't so Joe... say it ain't so!" There are circumstances in life that are just too horrible to think about. So, what do we do? We will find some way to put them out of our minds, or we'll rework the facts so they don't sound so bad. Better yet, we just deny their reality.
The fact of eternal condemnation is one of those horrible truths that many people want to deny. We are so happy to embrace the promise of eternal life for the believer, but heaven forbid that anyone who rejects Christ suffer the pains of an eternal hell. Setting aside all the arguments of why this makes sense theologically, may we just accept the written Word of God as true? "If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." 
Is your name written in the book of life? It is if you have trusted Jesus Christ alone as your only means of Salvation. Are the names of your family, friends and neighbors in the book? If so, you have reason to rejoice, if not there's a word from Jude 23 for you... "...snatch others from the fire and save them". 

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints." -- Revelation 19:6-8
The day is coming when we, the church will be the bride in the greatest wedding of the ages. We will come to that day after millenniums of waiting. Centuries filled with God's people patiently waiting will have come and gone. All the hopes of years gone by will finally be realized. It will be our wedding day and we will be overwhelmed with joy.
Are you weighed down with the pressure and stress of living my friend? Do you wonder if life is just about preparing and never arriving? Does it seem that we have been waiting for Jesus forever? Be assured my friend that the wedding day is on God's calendar and will take place on time. So live and serve in hope and great expectation. Our wedding day is coming... and we will be overwhelmed with joy.