Monday, May 16, 2022

More Amazing...

Today's Readings: OT - Psalm 106:20-48 / NT - John 2:1-22

"... Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” -- John 2:9-10
You shop for a new car. The salesman treats you like a long lost brother and after your purchase you're lost again. The car you buy is absolutely amazing for a while, then time passes and it's not so amazing anymore. That's how life is: things seem to get less amazing every day. Is there anything that gets more amazing over time?

Our Lord's first miracle tells us so much about his future ministry in our lives. When we first come to the Lord it is so amazing. The sense of peace and joy is overwhelming and we wonder if the feelings will last. But as time passes the peace and joy only grows stronger and deeper. Far from the way of our world, when the Lord does his work, it only gets more amazing over time.

It was best said in Isaiah 55:2, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare." Choose wisely my friend and look to the Lord for his provision. When he blesses, it only gets more amazing over time. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Psalm 107:1-22  / NT - John 2:23-3:15

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Share your joy...

Today's Readings: OT - Psalm 133; 106:1-19 / NT - John 1:29-51

"Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus." -- John 1:40-42
I wanted to tell the world the day I got engaged. I also wanted to tell the world the two days that my sons were born. We all have exciting life changing moments that motivate us to tell the good news to as many people as possible. Why do we make such an effort to spread the news? It's because we want everyone to share in our joy. 

When Andrew found the Lord and spent time with him, the very first thing he did was tell his brother. He was excited about finding the long awaited Messiah and he wanted everyone to know. He was overjoyed with his discovery and couldn't keep it to himself. He wanted everyone to share his joy.

Since you came to the knowledge of the Lord how has your life changed? Has the Lord blessed you in tremendous ways? Who have you told about these wonderful things? Why not be an Andrew today and share your joy with everyone?

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Psalm 106:20-48  / NT - John 2:1-22

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Be Amazed...

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 12:18-40  / NT - John 1:1-28

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." -- John 1:14
Be amazed my friend. Never take this for granted. Jesus, the Living Word, by whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16), in whom all things are held together (Colossians 1:17), became flesh.  The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), the Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) came to dwell among us.

He who made every tree, died upon a tree (1 Peter 2:24), for you and me. He who made every rock was placed in a tomb, cut in a rock, (Matthew 27:60) for you and me. He who made every lamb, became a sacrificial lamb (John 1:29) for you and me. He who made every blood cell, poured out his blood (John 19:34) for you and me. He who created the air that we breath, gave up his last breath (Luke 23:46) for you and me.

Be amazed my friend. Never take for granted that... "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us". Bow and worship... and give praise to the Living Word, Jesus!!

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - Psalm 133; 106:1-19 / NT - John 1:29-51

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Key...

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 12:1-17  / NT - Luke 24:36-53

"He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." - Luke 24:44-45
Some years ago I purchased audio lessons that promised to open a whole new world of foreign language. They were supposed to be the key that would bring instant understanding with very little effort. Well, after some time I disposed of them because I couldn't find the promised "key" to instant understanding.

As Jesus shared with the disciples, he didn't offer them a series of lessons or any other academic program. He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. As a result, as time passed we read, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) Jesus is the "key" to instant understanding.

Don't be afraid to open the pages of your Bible. Pray for understanding and read on. The Lord will give what you need and each day you will find new insight from him. Take the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation and look for the Lord on every page and you will find the "key" to instant understanding.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 12:18-40 / NT - John 1:1-28

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Do you really want Him?

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 11:26-47  / NT - Luke 24:13-35

"So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them." - Luke 24:28-29
"Stop by and visit sometime!" These words are heard quite often, but do they express a genuine invitation? For some people who live quite casually, the answer is yes. But for most, such words are just a social nicety. In most cases we only stop in and visit when there is a sincere request for our presence. We desire to know that we are really wanted.

This is quite an interesting moment as the Lord travels on the road to Emmaus. We are told that "He acted as if he were going farther". But those with whom He conversed "urged Him strongly" to stay with them. They were quite serious about their invitation and the Lord responded accordingly, "So He went in to stay with them". The Lord is no different than we are in this matter; He desires to know that He is really wanted.

Each day brings a new opportunity for close fellowship with the Lord my friend. The question is, do you extend a sincere invitation and "urge Him strongly" to commune with your heart in the quiet hours? He said it best in Jeremiah 29:13, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." He desires to know that He is really wanted.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 12:1-17 / NT - Luke 24:36-53

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Stand your ground...

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 11:10-25  / NT - Luke 23:50-24:12

"Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God." - Luke 23:50-51 
Have you ever considered the minority reports of the Bible? You will find Joshua and Caleb among the distressed spies, David among a frightened Saul and his army, Jeremiah among misleading prophets and Daniel among jealous peers. These were lone voices in an ocean of resistance when the easy road would choose passive agreement. Yet, we remember these men, not necessary for moving mountains, but for standing their ground in the face of opposition.

Joseph of Arimathea was one of those minority voices among the Jewish council members. He didn't have the sway or support to move the group away from crucifixion. But he wasn't about to be moved away from his personal convictions. He had not consented to the decision and he was now courageous enough to care for the dead body of Jesus. He couldn't move mountains, but he stood his ground and made a difference.

When you are pressed by the majority and still have strong convictions, what do you do my friend? Are you willing to speak up and sacrifice for what you know is right? Or do you cave under the pressure of the crowd? While you may never move mountains, you can certainly stand your ground for Jesus; and that will make all the difference in the world. 

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 11:26-47 / NT - Luke 24:13-35

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

It's simple...

Today's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 11:1-9; 2 Sam. 5:1-10 / NT - Luke 23:26-49

"Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”" - Luke 23:42-43
In 1969 I worked in a computer office with a system that filled the room. It was complex and huge. Today, the world is inundated with touch-screen tablets that have far more memory than the old room sized computer. They are easy to use and small enough to carry anywhere. Technology has come a long way to simplify things for the end user. Religion on the other hand has complicated matters of the soul continually throughout the centuries. Getting to heaven has become a real complex trip.

In the last hour of our Lord's earthly life he encountered a repentant criminal. In this exchange we discover the truth about forgiveness and eternity. The simplicity of "touching" Christ with a heart of faith opened the world of heaven without complexity. As a result of trusting Jesus, this man was transported to glory that day, and not a moment later. Getting to heaven was a real simple trip.

Walking with God in this life and into the next life has always been quite simple. Adding to the picture just makes things more confusing and less achievable. Jesus said, the life of faith is easy to live and small enough to carry anywhere; "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30) and at the end of the journey... getting to heaven will be a real quick trip.

Tomorrow's Readings: OT - 1 Chron. 11:10-25 / NT - Luke 23:50-24:12