Showing posts from 2013

Luke 1:51-53 — Let’s Do This

“He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. “He has filled the hungry with good things; And sent away the rich empty-handed. “He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.” —Luke 1:51-53 NASB Mighty deeds are often done by ordinary people. Those whom we consider heroes of the Bible were not heroes to themselves. They were ordinary people who collided with God during their walk of faith. Let’s look at some of these heroes. Elijah was “a man with a nature like ours” (James 5:17). Moses begged God for release from his role as a “liberator.” Jacob foolishly wrestled with God. Job begged God to kill him. Jonah ran from God. Peter denied Jesus. Thomas doubted Him. All in all, these men and women of the Bible did not see themselves as the

Luke 1:46-50 — Defeat Depression with Praise

And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. “For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. “For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. “And His mercy is upon generation after generation Toward those who fear Him. — Luke 1:46-50 NASB Mary must have longed to understand her mysterious God. Her giant doubts must have terrorized her as she tried to reason how she could do all of the will of God and not be destroyed by it. But here Mary teaches us the way to joy. When the burdens of life are too much for you, do not see it as a suffering that has come only to you. Read the Scriptures and you will see that nearly all of God’s servants have suffered from depression. Men and women throughout history have felt despair, and endured a spiritual depression that can rarely be shaken off by intention alone. But there is a way to

Luke 1:39-42 — Be a Blessing

Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" —Luke 1:39-42 NASB How glorious of God, who is everlasting Spirit, to put Himself at risk—to make His hazardous journey into flesh. In doing so, He affirmed every person whom He touched. No idea is so essential to our hope as that which teaches that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. Consider Mary and Elizabeth. Both wonderful and fragile, they were the means by which God became a human being. They share a heavy secret. One was so old that she was well past childbearing age. Elizabeth’s old-age pregnancy must have been the brunt of community gossip. Then Mary came and affirmed Elizabeth

Luke 1:26-38 — Thanks, But Why Me?

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall

Luke 1:13 — Faithful Trust

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. —Luke 1:13 NASB Trust can be difficult to maintain. Trust affirms that we believe when we have no evidence to do so. Trust demonstrates that we believe that God is in charge and will do what He has promised. Zacharias was old. He had served in the temple all of his life, giving God his all. Zacharias and Elizabeth had no children. But even then, Zacharias still hoped that God would so bless him. Zacharias then received his answer. He would have a son and name him John. This was a child of significance. God had special plan for this child, and that made an old man very glad. When we trust, we become partners with God. We are never through trusting. The older our trust, the greater is our confidence. Consider the image of a leathery old man holding a newborn baby. A child of purpose held in the arms of fait

1 Kings 17:8-16 — Flour and Oil

Flour and Oil by James M. Thomas The LORD’s word came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her, and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” As she was going to get it, he called to her, and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” She said, “As the LORD your God lives, I don’t have a cake, but a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jar. Behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do as you have said; but make me a little cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and afterward make some for you and for your son. For the LORD, the God of Israel says, ‘The jar of meal will not run

Titus 2:11-14 — Celebrate His Coming

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. — Titus 2:11-14 NASB Christians are are currently celebrating the season of Advent. The word comes from the Latin term "adventus," meaning "arrival." The time is marked by the four Sundays preceding Christmas, and is a season set aside to help Christians prepare. Advent prepares us not only to commemorate Jesus' first, humble arrival in a manger, but also helps us more fully invite Christ into our present lives while anticipating His final, glorious coming. Christians of all backgrounds can benefit from preparing for Christmas throu

God Can Use You to Do Anything

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. — Zechariah 4:6 KJV Bible Zerubabel was part of the first group of Jews to travel from Babylonian captivity back to Jerusalem during the first year of Cyrus, King of Persia. Zerubbabel went on to be the Perisan governor of Judah and to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Through the prophet Zechariah, who was instructed by an angel, God told Zerubbabel to remember: All would be acomplished not in Zerubbabel's power, but by the Spirit of God. So often, we make excuses for why we think God cannot use us. We may blame our health, our background, or our education. And we just accept that we will never make a significant impact. But God reminds us that it is not by our might or by our power that He works, but it is by His Spirit. Do you have a problem? Call on the Lord. No problem is too big or too small for Him. D

Meditate On and Be Guided By God's Word

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.  — Joshua 1:8 With the death of Moses, Joshua prepared the children of Israel to enter Canaan. God counseled Joshua by telling him to be strong and courageous, to meditated on God's commands and to do them. The people knew Joshua was the right man to lead them. In the past, Joshua had proven his trust in God. When Israel's twelve spies were sent to quietly explore Canaan prior to the Israelites' entry, most of the spies were afraid the Canaanites would defeat them, even going so far as to describe the inhabitants as giants. Only Joshua and Caleb expressed confidence that God would assure their success in taking the land (see Numbers 13-14). All of Israel must have remembered the trust of Joshua and Caleb on that day, beca

A Daily Prescription

Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, "Rejoice!" Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. -- Philippians 4:4-7 WEB Here is a prescription for living, written by the Apostle Paul: All day, every day and in every thing, we should celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ--really celebrate Him! We should make it clear to all that we support them and want to help them in any way that we can, remembering that Jesus is with us always, and that He is returning soon--perhaps today! We should not fret or worry about anything. Instead, we should pray. All of our joy, our sorrow, our concern, and our gratitude should be conveyed to God in an ongoing conversation of prayer. In this way, the fullness of God's peace will come to us,

Your Future Begins Now

Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 3:13-14 WEB Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. — Acts 20:32 WEB Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, “If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” — John 8:31-32 WEB "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,—the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you." — John 14:16-17 WEB Regardless of your past, today can be a new be

God Loves the World. Do We?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. -- John 3:16-17 WEB God does not love the corruption in this world. But He does love His creation. He loves the people, each and every one. But do we? Do you ever get fed up with people? Do you get tired of their lies and selfishness? Do you ever encounter people that you think are so terrible that maybe everyone else would be better off that person just went straight to hell right then? God does not think that way. God loves the people in this world. He loved them enough to die for them. And He has never changed His mind. Remember this the next time you are having difficulty with someone. You are dealing with someone God loves, a child of God, though they may not realize it or accept it! No matter how you classify yourself, whether