Saturday, February 22, 2020

Fruit of the Word...

"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.

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Main Thing...

"Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”" -- Matthew 8:21-22
Life can become so busy that we lose sight of our priorities. On occasion I've been so busy preparing for a trip that I forgot to fill the gas tank. I had a family in our church years ago so preoccupied after church that they left without their daughter. There are some matters that should hold our interest above all else. We need to keep the main thing, the main thing.
Jesus may seem to be quite cruel at this point in his response to this disciple. But, he knew far more about this man than words can express. He knew the heart of the matter and there was something in the picture that was keeping this disciple from the goal. We may have excuses galore that explain why we need to put off spiritual callings. Yet, the Lord knows when we have just lost sight of our priorities.
Have you proposed reasons for putting off the spiritual disciplines and demands of today for another time? Has the Lord called you to a task that you are procrastinating over? Don't lose sight of the goal my friend, and keep the main thing, the main thing!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Life saving blessing...

"She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased." - Luke 8:44
Penicillin based antibiotics were a tremendous discovery. Serious life-threatening diseases were stopped in their tracks as the medicine was administered. The devastating expectations that plagued families in years gone by were no longer feared. Long term deterioration of health was simply arrested by a short term treatment. Finally, a life saving blessing.
The lady that we are reading about in the above passage was worn down by twelve years of illness and failed efforts of treatments. The heartache had become as much a condition of despondency and frustration as the illness itself. No matter where she turned, there was absolutely no hope. But, then the day came when she "touched the fringe of His garment". Finally, a life saving blessing.
Have you come to end of the road in search of an answer my friend? Have you been plagued with spiritual, emotional and physical devastation and discouragement for years? Has any degree of hope simply slipped through your fingers? Well, take a moment to reach out and "touch the fringe of His garment". Come to Jesus in faith and you will find... Finally, a life saving blessing.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

"He Worked for You"...

"Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him." - Luke 8:37-39
You will often see an ad that highlights an average person who gives testimony for some new medicinal treatment. They will talk about their physical problem and they may mention many others who suffer in the same way. Then you are given the amazing details of how this new product can help you, because in the words of an average person like you, they say..."It worked for me".
Sometimes we resist the actual source of help. We may be intimidated or just filled with doubt. We need to know someone like us who has been helped. The day Jesus cured a demon possessed man was one of those occasions. Jesus was asked to leave because the locals were "overcome with fear". Jesus left in a boat, but not in his heart. He sent the cured man, an average person like them, back to say "Jesus can help you" because... "He worked for me".
Has the Lord done great things for you? Has he changed your life and set you free from sin, guilt and fear? There are those in your world who resist the preacher and church. But they know you; work with you, live next door to you. You're an average person just like them and you've been helped by Jesus. Take time today to tell someone you know, how much Jesus can do for them, because... "He worked for you".

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Use it or lose it ...

"Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him." - Luke 8:18
In the Gym there is a phrase; "Use it or Lose it". Such is the case when you fail to work a certain muscle group. The tight muscular look softens up and the strength of the muscle lessens over time. If you haven't worked that area for a while, you painfully realize how much you've lost when you go back to training.
In spiritual matters the above phrase is just as apropos; "Use it or Lose it". The Lord is not suggesting a mean and uncaring robbery of some to bless others. The point is simple; when you value the truth and nurture it in your soul, more understanding will come. But, when you blow off the process of learning and growth, you will even lose what you have. 
I have met many believers that have known the Lord for a long time. Some of them are well established in spiritual and Biblical wisdom, but others know very little. The words for today my friend are: "consider carefully how you listen". Remember, "Use it or Lose it".

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Monday, February 17, 2020

You've got to believe ...

"And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith." -- Matthew 13:58
No matter how skilled and well trained a physician may be, if the patient has no faith in him, there can be little accomplished. Without faith the patient will fail to cooperate with the doctor's directions. The resources for healing may be abundant, but when doubt prevails we will remain as sick as ever. You've got to believe.
The need for faith in spiritual matters is even more significant. While the Lord alone brings about the miraculous, he looks for believers. He is the abundant resource of all that we need for spiritual and tangible needs. But are we people of faith or doubt? As we read in James 1:6-7, "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord" You've got to believe.
How much is the Lord doing in your life today? Are you seeing a powerful work of spiritual growth and dramatic provision day by day? Or are you doubtful that God will do anything in your life? The writer of Hebrews noted the sad outcome of those who lacked faith in 4:2, "...but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." He is still a God of the miraculous, but to experience his power, you've got to believe.

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Weeds or Wheat?

"Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn." - Matthew 13:30
Have you ever noticed when you weed your garden that you occasionally pull out a flower while pulling the weeds? The roots of some weeds intertwine so much with the flower you just can't separate the two. While there are other measures you can take to rectify the problem, sometimes you just have to lose the flower.
The church can be much the same as your garden. Jesus knew that unbelievers were going to be found in the church. His counsel was to leave them alone until His coming. Unlike the garden, apart from extenuating circumstances, we are not directed to pull them out. The wisdom in this counsel is multifaceted. Over time unbelievers very well might be converted, and during this time believers will hopefully grow stronger and more secure in the Lord.
This parable should alert us to the fact of unbelievers sitting in church pews. The difference between believers and unbelievers may often be difficult to discern on the surface. So every believer should be faithful in their conduct, testimony and witness; especially with the church family. And be careful my friend to consider the words of  2 Peter 1:10, " Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure..."

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