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AskMe #1516667 05/31/06 06:24 AM
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Judges 19:26-29 (NLT)

26 At daybreak the woman returned to the house where her husband was staying. She collapsed at the door of the house and lay there until it was light. 27 When her husband opened the door to leave, he found her there. She was lying face down, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said, "Get up! Let's go!" But there was no answer. So he put her body on his donkey and took her home. 29 When he got home, he took a knife and cut his concubine's body into twelve pieces. Then he sent one piece to each tribe of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it said, "Such a horrible crime has not been committed since Israel left Egypt. Shouldn't we speak up and do something about this?"

A man of the tribe of Levi had a concubine who had been unfaithful and had returned to her father’s home. The Levi had gone to persuade her to come home and her father welcomed him. Her father provided meals and celebration and enticed him to stay a while, but eventually he said he had to return with her back home. On his way back he stopped with her and his servants in the town of Gibeah. While he was asleep the men of the town there took his concubine and abused her and left until she died on the door step. The husband in rage and anger cut up her lifeless body and sent a piece to each tribe of Israel to say shouldn’t something be done about the sin that is taking place in this day and time?

Vaccinations are given to make people immune to certain types of viruses. If you give someone just enough of a weaken virus they become exposed and will eventually not feel the effects when exposed to the stronger virus. It seems like sin goes after us in the same way. We keep getting exposed to sin in small amounts, but sin keeps growing in our society where like the virus when it becomes big we just don’t feel the big impact. Things that happen today just did not happen 40 or 50 years ago and would probably shock people who are no longer alive. Then go back another 40 or 50 years and it would shock that generation of people, because even the thoughts of rock & roll were horrifying. Maybe somebody does need to stand up and ask the questions, has such horrible crimes been committed since America became a country? Pray that God would move in the life of His people and that each one would commit their lives to Him. Pray they would stand up to do right in His sight. Pray for your own committed life to Him.

AskMe #1516668 06/01/06 06:49 AM
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Hebrews 12:16-17 (NLT)

16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau. He traded his birthright as the oldest son for a single meal. 17 And afterward, when he wanted his father's blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he wept bitter tears.

The apostle is saying in Hebrews to not trade away eternal salvation for even the smallest thing like Esau did. He gave away an entire birthright just for a meal and then wept over what he had done, not for the sin, but for the penalty of the sin.

From one generation to the next fathers pass on blessings to their children. Sometimes there are hopes and dreams that are passed on. Maybe a father or a grandfather has a dream of building a business and it finally comes true in a son or a grandson. Years ago many an immigrant left their country seeking the new land of American in order to find a blessing for a new generation of people. The Bible says, "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth" (Psalm 127:4 NASB). In other words there reaches a point where children have been safe and secure like arrows kept in a quiver. But at some point you have to take them from a quiver, point them in the right direction and let them go. And hopefully you have blessed them enough with the Lord’s teachings that they know the right path to follow. Pray for your children that they might know the Lord’s wisdom. Pray for those who teach. Ask the Lord to lead our nation and bless it. Let Him be a blessing to you.

AskMe #1516669 06/05/06 07:08 AM
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Isaiah 39:5-8 (NLT)
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Listen to this message from the LORD Almighty: 6 The time is coming when everything you have--all the treasures stored up by your ancestors--will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. 7 Some of your own descendants will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon's king." 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "This message you have given me from the LORD is good." But the king was thinking, "At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime."

Isaiah relays a message to Hezekiah from the Lord that all the possessions he will leave to his ancestors will one day be carried off to Babylon due to his vanity and pride. Then Hezekiah responds knowing the Lord has just revealed his sin saying “the message is good”. For God could have brought destruct in the present time for Hezekiah’s sin, but God chose to wait until a future date and remove the objects so precious to Hezekiah. For instead of leaving a legacy of blessing, Hezekiah is leaving a path to destruction.

Matthew 6: 21 says, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.” Hezekiah obviously had his thoughts on his earthy treasure and not God. He opened his doors to the enemy and let them walk in and look at everything he had. He allowed them free access to roam around and do their will. Hezekiah had done the same with sin. He had opened the door to sin and let sin come into his life. Sin had come in and was allowed to roam freely and take control. Even when it was acknowledged, Hezekiah wasn’t overly grieved about his sin, but instead thought it good his sin was found out, but that another generation was going to pay the debt. Where are your treasures? Here on earth or are they being stored up in heaven? Pray that your may find your treasures in heaven with God. Seek to find the treasures God has in store for you.

AskMe #1516670 06/06/06 07:04 AM
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Ecclesiastes 10:11 (NLT)
11It does no good to charm a snake after it has bitten you.

Solomon provides much wisdom throughout Ecclesiastes in his own search to understand the world and humanity. The enchantment should come first, because trying to charm afterwards does no good.

There are positive lessons which can be learned from the verse above. A person can learn they should be charming in order to gain the approval of others. It does no good to walk in with criticism and harsh words and then expect others to follow you. It’s like a snake that bites them and then expects them to be charmed. The Bible teaches us to respect others and to love them. There are many good words in the Bible on how we should live our daily lives. Take some time and spend it with God when you can. God will bless those moments with Him. Pray that you might learn His lessons of life for you. Pray that His blessings will be abundant and help you touch others lives.

AskMe #1516671 06/07/06 06:50 AM
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Mark 13: 31-37 (NLT)
31Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever. 32"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33And since you don't know when they will happen, stay alert and keep watch. 34"The coming of the Son of Man can be compared with that of a man who left home to go on a trip. He gave each of his employees instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35So keep a sharp lookout! For you do not know when the homeowner will return--at evening, midnight, early dawn, or late daybreak. 36Don't let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for his return!"

Jesus is talking to the disciples about His return. He lets them know no one knows when it will happen but God the Father alone. And He warns them not to be idle, but to kept watch for His return.

Another day passes in history when man has decided it might be the end of the world. Even Hollywood movie makers took note of the date 6/6/06 to release some of their movies to play upon the biblical numbers. But God has told us no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen. Instead we are to be like the gatekeeper staying alert. We want to follow Christ so that we know where He is when He returns. John 10: 3-5,”The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't recognize his voice." Isn’t wonderful to have a savior we know? Give praise to our Lord. Remember He will return in Glory and Honor. Pray for those who don’t know Him and give thanks for your own salvation.

AskMe #1516672 06/08/06 07:04 AM
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Genesis 39: 22-23 (NLT)
22 Before long, the jailer put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. 23 The chief jailer had no more worries after that, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him, making everything run smoothly and successfully.

Joseph had been blessed by the Lord and was serving in Potiphar’s house after being sold into slavery by his brothers. But Potiphar’s wife had accused Joseph falsely of making advances towards her, which had caused Joseph to be placed in prison. Instead of falling into despair and misery Joseph made the best of his situation and allowed the Lord to work through him even in prison. There he took care of everything where even the jailer didn’t have to worry.

We have choices in life where we can either let life defeat us or we can choose to be victorious in Christ. From the moment Joseph got into Egypt he could have taken the attitude, “my brothers sold me in slavery I might as well give up”. But instead he allowed the Lord to encourage him and he served the Lord with all his heart and faithfulness. Even in a prison where there is usually hopelessness Joseph was put in charge of everything, which also meant he became accountable for any problems that occurred. Any disorderly conduct by the prisoners would have meant swift punishment for Joseph. Yet Joseph took care of everything and the Lord was with him and he was successful. Joseph counted on God to help him through the difficult moments of his life. Are you counting on God to see you through to make everything run smoothly and successful? Pray God will be there to help you in your moments of need. Pray for success in your life and that struggles will vanish and life with become like a calm lake. Turn to God instead of turning to the world.

AskMe #1516673 06/12/06 07:20 AM
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1 Corinthian 5:9-13 (NLT)
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don't even eat with such people. 12 It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you."

Paul is writing about those who practice certain sins and who they should avoid, but he wasn’t talking about unbelievers, he was talking about people right there in the church. For he goes on to say if we avoided the other sinners everyday we would have to leave the planet in order to avoid them. God judges the non-believer, but the church is to police their own. Even the scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

Not all church discipline results in restoration, even though we call it church restoration, in some cases it does not, and then after some time, sometimes it’s years, that the person realizes the sinfulness of their behavior and they repent. People come back years later saying, “When you put me out of the church, I was wrong. I was in sin, I was deceived. I was wrong. A woman named Gwen was in a church, but she was sinning openly. The whole community knew of it. The church went through various steps of trying to restore her and went all the way to the step of putting her out of the church. She turned around and sued the church for defamation of character and for bringing her name into disrepute. And juries, as juries are want to do, rule in favor of the parishioner and awarded her $205,000 in actual damages, an $185,000 in punitive damages and $45,000 in interest. That’s quite a blow for a small church Churches have a constitutional right to discipline members, statements made to the church members about disciplined members are conditionally privileged. Churches have broad authority to discipline clergy. Churches have constitutionally protected rights to discipline a former member, who has withdrawn from the membership, if the former member has effectively waved his or her right to withdraw from membership. That’s why many teach church discipline in their new member classes. The purpose of disciple is restoration, not punishment. But many view it as punishment they seek to do more vengeance towards the church. When you see a brother or sister who has fallen, help to seek restore them in case regarding yourself. Pray for God’s wisdom to heal and restore. Pray for God’s wisdom to understand.

AskMe #1516674 06/13/06 06:42 AM
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Luke 14:31-33 (NLT)
31 "Or what king would ever dream of going to war without first sitting down with his counselors and discussing whether his army of ten thousand is strong enough to defeat the twenty thousand soldiers who are marching against him? 32 If he is not able, then while the enemy is still far away, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace. 33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.

Jesus is talking to a great crowd that is following him and He starts to explain the cost of being one of His disciples. He provides several examples along with this one about a king planning to go to war. Jesus asks the question, what king would match 10,000 soldiers against 20,000 soldiers without sitting with his counselors and discussing the chances of winning the battle. If the counselors see the possibility of defeat then they can hope for a peace term before battle. Jesus said no one can be His disciple without giving up everything for Him.

What if you had been in charge of the battle and your commander said I want you to take these 10,000 men to lead the fight. And as you start to gather your intelligence about the enemy you find out there are 20,000 of the enemy waiting ahead for you. You now know that you are outnumbered 2 to 1. What do you do? You call in your advisors, your counselors and ask their advice on a plan, the best strategy, the best possible plan of attack, or the best solution you might choose. Is our life not just the same? Every day we face the enemy. We face a battle with sin. We face tough decisions and need plans and strategies and counsel to get us through. Who better to give us the advice than the Lord Jesus Christ? Pray for the wisdom and counsel or Jesus. Pray He would lead you through the battles of life. Let Him give you the strategies to plan your life to its fullest.

AskMe #1516675 06/14/06 06:47 AM
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James 3:6 (NLT)
6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by ****** itself.

James is telling us that we should give care to the words we use. The words that come from your mouth can change the whole course of your life. They can cause destruction and ruin. He compares the tongue to fire, which once let loose in a forest, will run out of control until finally there is nothing left that it can burn. He says the fire comes from ****** itself.

Have you ever known a small child that bites defensively? Maybe an older sibling starts to push or hold back the child and it feels defenseless so it attacks the only way it knows by biting back. Most parents try to correct the behavior because they know it can damage and harm the other children and it’s not a behavior to be rewarded. Many times people strike out defensively with words when they should have held back, but it was all they knew to do at the moment. It was a behavior they never learned to correct and it’s one that could set their entire life on a course of destruction. Words can bite and be more painful than a physical wound. James is right when he says the tongue is full of wickedness, but the good news is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can help us control what we do and say. We just need to remember to stop and allow Him to work in our lives and give Him the reins and let go of our need to be in control. Pray that Christ might be in control of your life, managing it day by day.

AskMe #1516676 06/15/06 06:49 AM
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Lamentations 1:19 (NLT)
19 "I begged my allies for help, but they betrayed me. My priests and leaders starved to death in the city, even as they searched for food to save their lives.

In Lamentations the miseries of Jerusalem are being laid out before God. The city is laid in ruins as most of the people have been taken as prisoners. The few who are left wander around looking desperately for food. They have begged their allies for help, but they have deserted them in their time of need.

Proverbs holds some wise verses for living, “People curse those who hold their grain for higher prices, but they bless the one who sells to them in their TIME OF NEED; A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in TIME OF NEED; Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own TIME OF NEED.” Like those in Lamentations there comes a time when everyone has a time of need. And when those they count on desert them in that time of need, it is called betrayal. It is as though the ones they could count on have become their traitors. You can see in today’s world as people look at the cost of rising gas prices they feel the gas companies and government are becoming traitors to the common people. But are we also failing others in our own lives to help and reach the needy? Do we minister to those in need or those seeking out Christ? Pray that we may not betray those who have a time of need. Pray we may give time of ourselves to help others and share the love of Christ.

AskMe #1516677 06/20/06 06:24 AM
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Ezekiel 16:30-34 (NLT)
30 "What a sick heart you have, says the Sovereign LORD, to do such things as
these, acting like a shameless prostitute. 31 You build your pagan shrines on
every street corner and your altars to idols in every square. You have been
worse than a prostitute, so eager for sin that you have not even demanded
payment for your love! 32 Yes, you are an adulterous wife who takes in
strangers instead of her own husband. 33 Prostitutes charge for their services--
but not you! You give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come to you. 34 So
you are the opposite of other prostitutes. No one pays you; instead, you pay
them!

God is letting Israel know where they have come from. He found them from
nothing but a pool of blood and brought them to glory. And now they are doing
shaming and despicable things. They are acting as an adulteress, which carries
the penalty of capital punishment. But instead of receiving gifts they are
giving gifts to bribe their lovers. God tells them what a sick heart they
have.

God had taken Israel from nothing and built them into something mighty. The
verses reminded me of the movie Bruce Almighty as Bruce becomes angry with God.
God allows Bruce to see what it’s like to have power and exist like a god for a
while. As he is given much and allowed control over many things he finds life
is not as easy as he thought. Bruce quickly looses control and cannot ever
contain his own temptation. He uses his power in wrongful ways and calls
himself Bruce Almighty as thought he has risen above God. His temptations cause
all kinds of misdeeds to occur, including the separation of his wife. Yet all
of us are so similar in that when God provides us with things we have for daily
living we sometimes forget when it comes from. We sometimes ignore The One who
blessed us and has gotten us through life. Let’s not be like Israel paying for
sin, but let’s return to God and ask his forgiveness for departing from Him.
Pray that your heart may be repentant and filled with love for the Father. Let
us long for His love and return to Him.

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John 2:23-25 (NLT)
23Because of the miraculous signs he did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many people were convinced that he was indeed the Messiah. 24But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew what people were really like. 25No one needed to tell him about human nature.

The same Greek word that said people were convinced Jesus was the Messiah is the same Greek word that said Jesus did not trust the people. While He showed them signs and people were convinced, Jesus knew their hearts and knew their intentions. It would only take a gathering of a mob to hand him over to the authorities.

There is no one who understood more about human nature than Jesus. Think about an architect as he walks through a building he designed. The architect spent months, maybe years on the design and layout of each feature in the building. He knows where every hallway, every door, every room, every closet is placed. Jesus is our architect and designer and intimately knows each one of us. He comes to live in us and be a part of our lives. In Revelations it says, “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.” Isn’t it human nature to want to be friend and share intimate and close times together? Your savior loves you and longs to be with you. He even says, “I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.” Who knows us better that Christ Himself? He knows this world and the good and bad that it is filled with. Pray that the door to your heart may be open when Christ knocks. Allow him to enter those places that need to be filled. Ask Christ to share with you in times in of quiet and stillness. Pray that His blessing might be upon you.

AskMe #1516679 06/21/06 05:57 AM
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PSALMS 78:36-39 (NLT)
36 But they followed him only with their words; they lied to him with their tongues. 37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. 38Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and didn't destroy them all. Many a time he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! 39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone in a moment like a breath of wind, never to return.

The people followed God, but their hearts were not into following Him as they should. They only spoke words that made it seem as though their intent was to follow God. Their actions gave them away as they did not follow God’s covenants. Yet God was merciful too them. He could have destroyed them at anytime, yet he chooses to forgive them of their sins knowing that they were weak in the flesh, corrupted by their evil nature. God knew their life on earth was short and so he was merciful and showed compassion towards the people and did not destroy the ones He had created.

When life stops, it’s gone in a moment like a breath of wind, never to return. I once visited with a friend from church a few days before he died from cancer. Several of us went to share a bible lesson with him one Sunday morning as we knew it might be the last opportunity to have one with him. When we first arrived his wife had just given him his medications to knock out the pain, but he found the strength to sit up and share God’s word with us and fellowship and pray. It was a sweet time as we understood the love and grace and mercy God had prepared for this dear man. He was ready to be with the Lord and had no fears about it. He knew his sins were forgiven and that Christ had died on the cross for Him. He knew God could have unleashed his fury on him as a sinner, but instead has chosen to give him grace and mercy. And now it so close to the time to meet his maker he had a peace that was indescribable. Pray God give us all the strength to be prepared when our day comes near. Pray for the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ to be abundant in our lives. Let our life be a testament to Him and let us serve Him while we are able. Praise Him with our lives in daily devotion to Him.

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Ester 10:1-3 (NLT)
1 King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout his empire, even to the distant coastlands. 2 His great achievements and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Media and Persia. 3 Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he worked for the good of his people and was a friend at the royal court for all of them.

Mordecai had a cousin Esther who was a very, beautiful woman. She married King Xerxes and Mordecai became an appointee in the king’s court. Mordecai overheard a plot to kill the king and because of saving the king he was granted special privileges. Mordecai a Jew and Xerxes a King of Persia, the two worked together for the good of the people.

Kings Xerxes had reached a point in his leadership where he could have chosen to allow evil to continue or allow good to have a chance. Certain members of his royal court sought to destroy the Jews and had requested the king to issue and order to the effect. But King Xerxes did not realize Queen Esther was included in the order and therefore ordered those who created the plan to die. Then he allowed the Jews to defend themselves against those who sought to kill them, because his order could not be rescinded. But many others became loyal Jews and followed Mordecai as their leader deciding to follow good rather than evil. Their hearts turned to do what was right instead of wrong. Only a handful of enemies remained and the Jews and those who became loyal to them destroyed their enemies. In the end those who were to destroy became the destroyed. God had given his people a plan to raise them up and deliver them when before everything had looked hopeless. The beauty and grace of Queen Ester saved these people from destruction. God has a plan for your life. He wants you to live a full and abundant life with Him now and eternally. Jesus Christ offers Eternal Salvation to all who seek Him. Praise Christ for the blessings of his Salvation. Praise Him for His greatness, His mercy and love.

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Luke 10:38-40 (NLT)
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

Jesus had stopped in the village of Mary and Martha to visit with them. Mary was the same one who had poured the perfume on Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. Mary sat listening intently to Jesus while Martha scurried about trying to make preparations. Martha then went to Jesus out of frustration and asked Him if he didn’t care that Mary had left her to do all the work. She said, TELL HER TO HELP ME.

Some of us can identify with Martha. We live our lives rushing about trying to get things accomplished. It seems we have no time for ourselves. We wished there were more hours in a day so we could get more things done, yet it seems like things just keep overwhelming us. It is as though life were trying to drown us with everything that has to get done. And like Martha we probably miss something else very important, Martha looked at Jesus and ask Him for Mary’s help. If only she had asked for Jesus to help. She could have known the internal peace Jesus would have offered Martha she could have settled down, relaxed, and enjoyed the moment instead of being so concerned on the presentation of the everything. We forget our Lord is there to help is our moments of frustration, hurrying around, work, and daily life. Isn’t it time to slow down and call upon the Lord? Pray for the Lord to bring calm and stability into your life. Pray for the peace and relief of stress you need to handle daily life. Pray that the Lord would minister to your needs.

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1 Kings 19:1-2 (NIV)
1 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."

Elijah had shown the people the one true God. And because they had once again come to believe they killed all the prophets of Baal. Jezebel a worshiper of Baal was angry with Elijah for what he had done and was out to seek his life. Her statement was, may “the gods deal with her, be it ever so severely” if she did not deal with Elijah. Jezebel died by being thrown to the ground from her palace by her eunuchs and then she was eaten by the dogs before they could recover and bury her body.

Unfortunately this world forgets who the creation is and who the creator is. Elijah knew, but the prophets of Baal and Jezebel did not understand. Elijah turned to his God and allowed Him to demonstrate great powers in front of all the people, while the prophets of Baal were powerless to do anything. Jezebel made the statement that she wanted her gods to deal with her, but it was the Almighty Lord and God, the Creator of the Universe, the One who sits on High, The Name Above All Names, the Alpha and the Omega, who Jezebel ultimately had to deal with. He was the one in control and no other god. In Psalms 97:1 it says, “The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.” Do you know that the Lord reigns in your life? Do you acknowledge Him and give Him credit? Pray that the world may know God and not the false gods of this world. Seek a more intimate, personal relationship with God. Pray that you might know Him more.

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Romans 11:33-34 (NLT)
33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! 34 For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor?

Paul has often written on the grace of the Lord, but here he writes on God’s wisdom and knowledge. Something so great none of us can understand, nor has anyone been able to understand from ages ago.

When a couple is having marriage problems the best place to go is a marriage counselor. However, many couples walk into the counseling session to fix the other spouse. Before the counselor even gets a chance to speak, one of the spouses may have already rattled off all the reasons why the other spouse needs to change this or that. They haven’t even begun to listen to the words or advice of the counselor before they have arrived at a solution. Often we do the same with God. We have a great and mighty counselor, but instead of listening, we try to tell God what we want, what we need, where we want to go in life. We don’t stop to think just maybe He has a better plan for us. So take time to ask your personal counselor, God, what the best plans are for you life. I’m sure He has some good answers for you. Pray that God will counsel you on life and give you direction. Pray that God will give you discernment and understanding to follow through with His plans.

AskMe #1516684 06/29/06 06:35 AM
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1 Ch 22:5 (KJV)
22:5 And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the LORD must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.

David had wanted to build a temple to honor God, but because David had been a warrior, God felt a man of peace needed to build the temple. So God promised David a son who would be able to take on David’s desires. So David started planning for the future knowing that one day he would die, but also knowing God would keep His promise. David had a vision of what he was going to do and he set out on a mission to complete that vision.

In proverbs 29:18, it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This is illustrated in Lamentations where Zion, Jerusalem, is being talked about. It says her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD. These people had lost their purpose for living, their goal for life, their joy to come, their richness to be fulfilled, the happiness ever after, their spiritual redemption, their cleansing from sin, their newness in life, and so many more good things that came with having a vision to live for God. They missed the fullness of God’s blessings as they drew further away from God. Are you preparing for things God wants to bring to you and your children in the future? Are you investing in places of worship so your children will have a place to call church when they are grown? Pray and ask God how you can prepare for your future with Him. Pray that you might not miss out of having what you need for future opportunities when God calls you to action. Pray you always have a vision to do God’s work.

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Galatians 5:13 (NLT)
13 For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.

Paul tells the Galatians they have been called by God to live in, “eleutheria”, a liberty or a license to do a one pleases, but not in regards or relationship to salvation. But they must be careful not to let that same freedom satisfy their sinful nature, which is always hostile towards God according to Romans. Romans 8:7 says, “It never did obey God’s laws and it never will.” Instead they should take their freedom and use it to serve one another in love.

July 4th, Independence Day is our only holiday celebrating the freedom of the United States as a whole. The day is marked by patriotic displays, parades, banners and family gatherings for picnics and festivities. It is a day where people take off work to celebrate their freedom and go out to ballgames, and watch public displays of fireworks. Some have created special traditions like hot dog and watermelon eating contests as a way of settling disputes as to who is most patriotic. It is freedom being celebrated by everyone to acknowledge their independence. But there is a greater freedom to be found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ and many people celebrate His death, burial and resurrection during Easter. They are two different holidays. One is a holiday to remember those who fought to win our freedom to live free in this wonderful country of the United States of America. The other holiday is to remember our Savior Jesus Christ who died to win our freedom for eternal life with Him. Pray and remember the fallen heroes who died for us that we might be free and ask that this country may continue to be protected. Pray and give thanks to our Savior for His grace, mercy and love that gives us eternal freedom to be with Him. Give praise and blessing to the Father and Son who so richly bless us.

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Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)
43 "You have heard that the Law of Moses says, `Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. 46 If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Jesus is teaching to the crowds on the mountainside. The verse Jesus refers to is Leviticus 19:18, which says, “18"Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Notice it says nothing about hating your enemy, but Israel had grown to hate its enemies due to their captivity from their own disobedience to the Lord. They used other laws to justify their thoughts. But Jesus said God sends sunshine and rain both to the just and the unjust, to both evil and good. The crowd was to understand they should love all people, for even the most corrupt knew how to love. Jesus wanted them to be different from the world so they could be more like the Father in heaven.

If the most corrupt can love someone, why can’t the most loving love everyone? That is the question Jesus was posing to the crowd and it is the question that remains today. As those who love the Lord we are to reach out to everyone in a loving manner. We are to pray for those who are against us. We are to treat and respect our enemies with kindness. Those who might disregard our feelings, ignore us, wish ill will towards us, we are still to care for them as the Lord would care for them. After all, the Lord cares for us and He cared for us when we were sinners. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Is there someone you need to reach out to? Maybe there is someone you should have reached out to long ago? Pray the Lord helps you to heal the past. Pray as you go forward in life you can touch people’s lives in loving ways. Let people know you have the love of Christ living inside of you.

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