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Are You Ashamed Of Him?

February 24

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God to salvation
for everyone who believes,
for the Jew first and also for the Greek."
Romans 1:16

Some keep quiet about their faith because speaking about Jesus is not "politically correct." They worry what people will think of them if they say anything about Jesus Christ or their faith in him.

He died for you publicly. He was stripped of his clothes and hung on a cross beaten and bloodied, publicly. For you. How can you be afraid to speak of him?

Yes, there is a cost. Most will NOT want to hear you speak of him. And some, even among your relatives, will reject you. The Gospel is not a Gospel of cheap grace, it is costly. The heart truly dedicated to Christ will be willing to endure whatever he must for him.

After being beaten and thrown into prison, Paul and Silas were heard singing praises to God at midnight. Lord, I so desire to have that mentality, to praise you openly and publicly, for you are worthy of all praise and glory and honor, no matter what man might do to me. For I love you with all my heart, and am eternally grateful for you giving yourself for me.

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and a man's enemies will be those of his own household.
He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.
And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
Matthew 10:34-37


Why Do They Refuse To Retain God In Their Knowledge?

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,
God GAVE THEM OVER to a debased mind,
to do those things which are not fitting;"
Romans 1:28

People who choose a life of sin -OF COURSE they do not like to retain God in their knowledge. Before Adam sinned, he walked with God. But after he sinned he HID from God.

"And this is the condemnation,
that the light has come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light
and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed."
John 3:19-20

What is the remedy?

Repentance.

If you've been running away from God, don't continue on the path that leads to destruction. Repentance brings a wave of relief, and peace to the battered soul. Come to him. He is the source of peace.

Who Are The Saints?

February 22

"To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called saints:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 1:7

A "saint" is NOT a holy person that the Catholic church has canonized after death. In fact, that incorrect teaching has led to all sorts of deception including the idea that we are to pray to "saints" in heaven, which is in direct contradiction to the Scriptures which tell us we are not to pray to ANYONE other than God.

A saint is a person on earth who has been born again through faith in Jesus Christ, sanctified by his blood. It has nothing to do with goodness. It has to do with sanctification. The lowliest believer yet with faults, is called a saint in the Scriptures, not by his goodness or lack thereof, but by being sanctified through faith in Jesus Christ.

Evolution Denies The Creator

February 21

"You alone are the Lord,
you have made heaven,
the heaven of heavens, with all their host,
the earth and everything on it,
the seas and all that is in them,
and You preserve them all."
Nehemiah 9:6

WHY are teachers required to teach children "the theory of evolution?"
WHY are they forbidden to teach that God created all that is?

Evolution is "a theory."
Creation is a fact.
Otherwise, the Bible is not true.

Who among you dares to proclaim that the Word of God is not true?
And why are teachers REQIRED to perpetuate this lie, or lose their job?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Genesis 1:1

"For by Him ALL things were CREATED
that are in heaven and that are on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and IN HIM ALL THINGS CONSIST."
Collosians 1:16-17

See a YouTube video series of short clips that dramatically show how he holds all things together, how "in him all things consist." This is awesome:

THE MAJESTY OF GOD



Don't Put It Off

February 20

"And after some days, when Felix came
with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish,
he sent for Paul and heard him
concerning the faith in Christ.
Now as he reasoned about righteousness,
self-control, and the judgment to come,
Felix was afraid and answered,
'Go away for now, when I have a convenient time
I will call for you.'"
Acts 24:24-25

But he never did.

Like most people, he heard the Gospel but it bothered him so much he sent Paul away saying, paraphrased, "maybe later." But for most, "later" never comes. In this country the Gospel is preached everywhere, in churches, on the radio, on tv -- most have heard it, and most put it off to consider "later." That's a very dangerous game to play. You don't know in the morning whether you'll be here at night. MANY have gone into a Christ-less eternity because they put off dealing with the Gospel.

"...behold, NOW is the accepted time;
behold, NOW is the day of salvation."
2 Corinthians 6:2

Don't put it off.


Sometimes It Takes Fasting

February 19

"Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava,
that we might humble ourselves before our God,
to seek from him the right way
for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
...So we fasted and entreated our God for this,
and he answered our prayer."
Ezra 8:21, 23

In both the Old Testament and the New Testaments, the Scriptures speak often of fasting. If you're up against a seemingly impossible situation, or if you're interceding for someone who seems hopelessly bound in some sin or affliction, prayer with fasting is a very powerful tool. It can change everything. It can break the wicked streak in a person, it can cut the yokes that keep people in bondage to sin or to obsessions, it can set free those who are oppressed. Prayer with fasting is a mighty tool in the hands of a believer.

"Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the bands of the yoke,
to free the oppressed,
and break every yoke?"
Isaiah 58:6

The very first thing to do though, is to set aside time to go before the Lord uninterrupted and pray for guidance before you begin. Let him lead you, speak to you, encourage you, direct you, that your prayers might avail much.

"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
James 5:16

And then wait in confidence, paying close attention to what he gives you as feedback.

Singing Praises At Midnight

February 18

"And when they had laid many stripes on them,
they threw them into prison,
commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
...But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God,
and the prisoners were listening to them.
...Suddenly there was a great earthquake,
so that the foundations of the prison were shaken..."
Acts 16:23, 25, 26

Every time I read this, I marvel all over again. I marvel at the depth of Paul and Silas's love for the Lord, so complete that they are found singing hymns in prison, after having been savagely beaten!!! I wonder if I, after being beaten, would be found singing hymns to the Lord.

I'll share a favorite incident concerning this passage. My sister, my daughter, and granddaughter and I were sitting around my table sharing and praying. We had been discussing this very verse, marveling at the kind of dedication and love that could motivate Paul and Silas like this, when all of a sudden - just as in this verse, there was a small earthquake that shook the building. We just looked at each other, our jaws open, stunned, amazed.

Conclusion:
It was obvious to each of us that we must aspire to have the depth of consecration, and the extent of trust that will motivate us to sing hymns and praises to God even in our very hardest times. This is so pleasing to the Lord that he will move heaven and earth in response. Discipleship means walking with a totally different mindset than what we walked in previously. Instead of anger, we are to praise. Instead of grief, we are to rejoice. These things do not come from a fallen human nature, these things come from growing in the Lord and learning his ways. Once we can do this, we will see earthquakes that will open doors we never thought possible.

There Is No Papacy

February 17

"Therefore I judge
that we should not trouble those
from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,
but that we write to them
to abstain from things polluted by idols,
from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood."
Acts 15:19-20

The context:
Some Pharisees were troubling new Gentile believers, saying they needed to be circumcised before they could join the church. So the churches sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem to present the question to the apostles and elders of the church.

The council decision:
"And after they had become silent, JAMES answered, saying,
'Men and brethren, listen to me ...Therefore I judge...'"
Acts 15:13 - Acts 15:19

"Therefore I judge..."  Who was speaking? NOT Peter. It was James who was the head of the council.

The point:
.There is no such thing as a papacy.
. When the council at Jerusalem made a decision on the issue of circumcision,
   it was James who made the judgment, not Peter.
. Peter was the apostle to the JEWS
. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles
. And in another place Paul actually rebuked Peter,
   which he wouldn't have done if Peter was the "pope." (Galatians 2:11)

There is no reference in the Scriptures of Peter being the head of the church. He was not the leader of the first church in Jerusalem, James was.

The whole issue of the papacy is based on a misinterpretation of Scripture and is categorically false, and has introduced heresy upon heresy ever since.



Tribulations Are Necessary

February 16

"We must through many tribulations
enter the kingdom of God."
Acts 14:22

Why is it that most believers come to the Lord through many tribulations?

Our fallen human nature doesn't seek God. Our fallen human nature focuses our attention on our interests, our dreams, our plans, and ourselves -- and most people who are actively pursuing their goals and interests have little interest in the things of God.

For most, it takes the frustrating of our plans, our dreams and our interests, to bring God and our need for him to our attention.

The most pitiable person is he whose life is going on as he planned and as he desired; for as long as this goes on, he remains unsaved.

"Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter."
Dwight L. Moody


All The Prophets Wrote About Him

February 15

"To him all the prophets witness
that, through his name,
whoever believes in him
will receive remission of sins."
Acts 10:43

From Genesis and on throughout the Old Testament, the prophets have portrayed Jesus in every book. It's a worthwhile study to take a look at the prophecies of the coming Messiah, and the "types," which portray Him.

A "type" is a picture showing a story about the mission of Christ. For example, Abraham brought his beloved son up Mount Moriah to sacrifice him. His son bore the wood on his shoulders. What a picture of the Father providing his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, the son perfectly willing to carry out the Father's will as he bore the Cross upon his shoulders as they went up to Calvary.

Another is the story of Joseph being sold by his brothers. Joseph was away and thought dead for a long period of time, only to become the means of saving his brothers when he was made the ruler in Egypt and provided for them the means of sustenance during a famine, saving them from death.Is

And there are many, MANY more, the Bible is full of them, and this thing alone is proof of the veracity of the Scriptures. The Bible is about Jesus Christ from Genesis all the way to Revelation.

The Domain of The Murderer


February 14

"And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus
and disputed against the Hellenists,
but they attempted to kill him."The D
Acts 9:29

Why is it that they were always trying to kill God's people. Jesus, then Peter, Paul, and the other disciples? Why not just ignore them? What harm were they doing? But no, they wanted them DEAD.

This kind of hatred is certainly not normal human reasoning. It's so unreasonable, yet so consistent, that it is obvious that it's Satan himself who inspires the depth of hatred that leads to this kind of murder. Whether he works through Herod and the Roman empire, or through the Muslims of our day Satan is the murderer.

"You are of your father the devil,
and the desires of your father you want to do.
He was A MURDERER from the beginning,
and does not stand in the truth,
because there is no truth in him."
John 8:44

Satan comes to destroy and he means to destroy YOU. Jesus, on the other hand, gives life. Turn to Christ, and he will give you life. Don't stay in the domain of the murderer when instead you could have abundant life.

"The thief does not come except to steal,
and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly."
John 10:10

Delving Into The Occult Provokes God To Anger

February 13

"...he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery,
and consulted mediums and spiritists.
He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger."
2nd Chronicles 33:6

All forms of the occult are absolutely forbidden. And this kind of sin brings a curse. The most common manifestations of a curse resulting from delving into the occult are mental illness and premature death, often the death of the sinner's child or children.

Not only is involvement in the occult an abomination, but the Lord says any PERSON who does any of this is an abomination.

Why?

Because there are only two sources of supernatural power, God and Satan. If one makes contact with a medium or fortune teller, the power being contacted is demonic, the power the medium contacts  is from the Satanic kingdom. The Bible is very clear, in many passages, that we are to go ONLY to the Lord and approaching any form of the occult is spiritual adultery.





When Your Enemies Are Giants

February 12

"Be strong and courageous,
do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria,
nor before all the multitude that is with him,
for there are more with us than with him.
With him is an arm of flesh;
but with us is the Lord our God,
to help us and to fight our battles.
2nd Chronicles 32:7-8

The stories of Israel time and time again portrayed them as out-numbered, against enemies far too strong for them. Indeed, most of Israel's stories are of the David-and-Goliath type. And that continues to this very day as they are again surrounded by enemies who hate them and who vow to drive them into the sea. We'll see what happens when those enemies come against the God of Israel!

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime
were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures
might have hope."
Romans 15:4

The stories of the Old Testament were written to reveal God to us. He is the God who does the impossible, who saves us from enemies too strong for us. Are you up against an enemy far too strong for you? Take it to the Lord and put your trust in him - and you will see the salvation of the Lord.


SO He Prospered

February 11

"And in every work that he began
in the service of the house of God,
in the law and in the commandment,
to seek his God, he did it with all his heart.
SO he prospered."
2 Chronicles 31:21

The most important word in this passage is the word "SO."

"But seek FIRST the kingdom of God
and his righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you."
Matthew 6:33

The most important word in this passage is the word "FIRST."

God has place in his Word his directions for success. If you seek God in all of your labor and do it with all your heart as unto him, you will prosper. And if you seek the Kingdom of God FIRST, all your need will be supplied.


He Is There -No Matter Where

February 10

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
though its waters roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with its swelling."
Psalm 46:1-3

There is no place, no circumstance, in which God cannot be reached. He truly is our refuge and strength, no matter what. No matter where.

"Where can I go from your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, you are there;
If I make my bed in she'ol, behold, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me."
Psalm 139:7-10



The Offense Of The Gospel

February 9

"Nor is there salvation in any other,
for there is no other name under heaven
given among men
by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

The "offense of the Gospel" is in its exclusivity. No, we do NOT all worship the same God. Allah is NOT God. Buddha is NOT God. And you CANNOT be saved by Allah or any other name given among men except the name of Jesus Christ.

On the Dome of The Rock mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is inscribed in Arabic, "God has no son."

"He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either;
he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also."
1 John 2:22-23

Most importantly is the bottom line: if all roads lead to God, the crucifixion of Jesus was unnecessary.

There must be something horrible to avoid, for Jesus to go through something as horrible as he did, for the salvation of men. He willingly took our place and received in himself the judgment on our sins. To suggest there is any other way, is a slap in the face of him who gave all as our atonement.



Just As I Am

February 8

"And it shall come to pass
that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord
shall be saved."
Acts 2:21

Don't wait until you conquer that one thing in life that holds you back from God. You'll never conquer it, and you won't be saved. Come to him just as you are and surrender yourself and your life to him. Let HIM do the work in you. He understands you fallen human nature. That's why he died for you. Don't put it off, bow before him now and receive his salvation. Let him change you, you will be amazed.

"Just as I am, without one plea,
except that your Blood was shed for me."

"Could my tears forever flow, could my zeal no languor know;
these for sin could not atone, thou must save and thou alone.
In my hand no price I bring, simply to thy cross I cling."






Afflictions Aren't Arbitrary

February 7

"O my Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."
Matthew 26:39

Sometimes the cross set before us seems too much to bear. But wisdom teaches us that God never arbitrarily imposes bad things upon us, but instead uses our afflictions FOR us, with PURPOSE, turning it all to our good if we willingly submit.

"...looking unto Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith,
who for the JOY that was set before Him
ENDURED THE CROSS..."
Hebrews 12:2

The cross is not a means to improve our behavior. The cross is not improvement, it's crucifxion. On the cross, we die to ourselves.

But it doesn't stop there. "Who for the joy that was set before him..."  The cross ALWAYS leads to joy!

"And we know that ALL THINGS
work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28




Be Conformed To His Sufferings -Willingly

February 6

"Even my own familiar friend
in whom I trusted, who ate my bread,
has lifted up his heel against me."
Psalm 41:9

One day years ago, the Lord spoke to me during my prayer time saying that I would be conformed to his sufferings, and would but taste of the things he endured. Have you been betrayed by a loved one? Have you been rejected? These are things that Christ suffered, and in being conformed to his sufferings we will taste of them too.

But the story doesn't end there. If we willingly submit to being conformed to his sufferings, we shall also reign with him. And that is a more glorious hope than anything we could imagine on this earth.

"...that I may know him
and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings,
being conformed to his death..."
Philippians 3:10

Friends, we have to grow up in the faith. Our goal for this life is not to be "happy." Our goal is to surrender to the plan God has for each one. Then we shall stand before him at the end and hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. ENTER INTO THE JOY OF YOUR LORD." Matthew 15:23  It will be more than worth it.

"If we endure, we shall also reign with him."
2 Timothy 2:12