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AskMe #1516707 08/23/06 06:36 AM
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Galatians 2:19-21 (NLT)
19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God's approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Paul is speaking to Peter letting him know it is Christ who he trusts in. He has come to realize he could not meet God’s approval even in keeping the law as he knew how. But now Christ lives in him. And while he is still made up of flesh and blood, the spiritual flesh which cries out for sin is no longer in control. He states if we could be saved by keeping all the laws there would have been no need of God’s plan of salvation.

For most of us since we were children had this core belief developed in us that says, “If I work hard, if I am good and do what I need to do I will receive a reward”. There were the times we might have been told if we get a good report card then money or an activity will be the reward. Or maybe you were told clean your room and we can go off. Around vacation time it might have been said, behave or we won’t go to Disney. And even songs would repeat this message, such as, “you better not pout, you better not cry, you better be good” letting us know our actions controlled the future outcome of gifts under the tree. It’s no wonder some have a hard time believing the gift of salvation is handed to us freely?? Through faith, belief and love of Christ we find salvation as a free gift. There is nothing we must do first; there is nothing we have to finish; and it’s not dependant upon how good we are at the moment. The song verse says it best, “Just as I am, without one plea,But that Thy blood was shed for me, and Thou biddst me come to thee, O-Lamb of God I come, I come.” CHRIST WANTS US JUST AS WE ARE. No need to go back to those childhood beliefs. No need to follow each law perfect to the letter. No need for reliance upon ourselves. All He wants from us is to come to Him. Have you gone to Jesus? Have you asked Him to be your savior? Or maybe you need to go to Him to let Him carry your problems and burdens, He says he will. Pray that your heavenly Father will open your eyes to the grace and mercy of His love. Ask for an understanding of how He would so freely give His love to us. Pray you will do your best for Him, not because of gains to be made, but because of your love for the one who paid your debt to sin.

AskMe #1516708 08/24/06 06:34 AM
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Genesis 35:1-3 (NLT)
1 God said to Jacob, "Now move on to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to worship me--the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau."
2 So Jacob told everyone in his household, "Destroy your idols, wash yourselves, and put on clean clothing. 3 We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has stayed with me wherever I have gone."

God was moving Jacob, because his sons Levi and Simeon had killed all the men of the nearby town in revenge of their sister who had been raped by Shechem who lived in the town. God told Jacob to move back to Bethel where Jacob had committed himself to God. Jacob ordered everyone to clean out their idols and cleanse themselves to prepare for the journey. Jacob knew God was with him wherever he went and he knew God was moving him because of his concerns for his son’s actions.

At this point in his life Jacob was confident God was with him wherever he had gone. God had blessed him with a family and possessions. And now Jacob was ready to follow God again without question. Jacob had matured in his belief of God. For when Jacob first met God at Bethel, “Then Jacob made this vow: "If God will be with me and protect me on this journey and give me food and clothing, and if he will bring me back safely to my father, then I will make the LORD my God.” Jacob had a lot of conditions about forming a relationship with God. Jacob wanted protection, he wanted clothing and food, and he wanted to return safely to his father. Without these conditions being met Jacob wasn’t sure if he was going to accept God. But God proved to Jacob to be faithful even though Jacob lacked in faith. There is a hymn that says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, but to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” How many of us have sang that song and then went on not realizing the truth in those words. Some who have just started growing in their faith think it takes a spiritual experience to learn happiness. But happiness comes from trusting in God. Proverbs 11:23 says, “The godly can look forward to happiness, while the wicked can expect only wrath.” Are you trusting and obeying God? Do you look forward to the happiness He brings? Pray your faith will be strengthened. Ask God to let the happiness into your life that comes from obedience to Him. Be ready always to trust and obey when God calls.

AskMe #1516709 08/28/06 07:02 AM
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Proverbs 28:23 (NLT)
23In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery.

A person who flatters another may do so and win their favor for a period of time. But eventually the one being flattered may come to the truth and be convicted of sin for their pride and vanity. Under conviction they will find displeasure in the words they have hurt and turn against the flatterer. Those who are frank do so with the pain of being rejected. They may find their honesty is not immediately well received. But once again as the person is convicted of their sin the one who is honest is appreciated for their reproof.

There is a story call the King’s New Clothes, which is about a King who buys some new clothes from a tailor. But the tailor makes up a story about this magnificent set of invisible clothes. Anyone who is wise will see the king dressed in splendor. But those who are fools will see the king just as he is without a stitch of clothing on. Everyone heard of the king’s new clothes, and instead of admitting they saw nothing, they flattered the king about his new clothes so they would not appear to be a fool. Eventually one child spoke up and told the king he had no clothes on. The king quickly realized he had been the fool with everyone around him. We can be covered in sin thinking there is nothing wrong. Some will even go along with you to tell you the sin is ok and you are justified for participating. But there are some who choose “the truth” and state the wrongness of the sin. And eventually just like the king realized he was a fool, the person will realize the foolishness of the sin and despise those who allowed them to continue in it. It might be difficult to confront sin in a persons life, but it’s better for the sin to be confront than for the person to be like the king walking around as a fool. Pray God will give you the boldness to confront sin. Speak up when sin is evident around you and don’t let others fall prey to it.

AskMe #1516710 08/29/06 07:35 AM
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Psalms 34:4-8 (NLT)
4 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. 6 I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears. 7 For the angel of the LORD guards all who fear him, and he rescues them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!

Here in these verses we find David reflecting upon his prayers to the Lord. Fear can torment a person. But it is our unbelieving distrustful fear that is our sin. The Lord can provide relief from that fear and replace it with joy. God can even remove the shame of sin that recreates fear and makes one live with uncertainty in their lives. And the Lord provides his angels who like body-guards are there to protect from the malice and power of evil that comes our way. There is delight in trusting in the Lord and rewards of joy for those who trust.

There was a TV show that put people in situations of unusual fear. In one show “friends” drove their pal out into the desert where UFOs were supposedly spotted. Once there they pretended the car broke down and would not restart, as if the battery had died mysteriously. It was dark and hard to see, but those in on the prank got out checking on why the car would not start. Of course the person who the prank was being played on also got out. Then from the shadows of the dark rocks came menacing alien like creatures. The friends responded in fear, running and fleeing, which left the victim of the prank to create his own hysterical fear. Fear is the anticipation of things yet to happen. Once the prank was revealed the fear quickly disappeared. But the fear was so great in anticipation the creature was real and sure to hurt the victim of the prank; the victim ran screaming and shaking. Fear drives us in many other ways. Out of fear we may respond to loved ones harshly and in negative ways. Fear can even cripple daily life to where a person becomes depressed about their situation. Fear can even affect a person physically to the point they become sick. Fear may even make us fail and repeat failures. It’s no wonder David sought God to remove the fear from his life. Is fear holding you back or causing you to respond the wrong way to others? Pray to the Lord about your fears, telling Him what they are. Ask for joy to replace those fears and let God work in your life. Remember you are protected by God and His angels and there is nothing greater than can protect you from anything that comes your way.

AskMe #1516711 08/30/06 07:08 AM
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Jeremiah 7
8" `Do you think that because the Temple is here you will never suffer? Don't fool yourselves! 9Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and worship Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, "We are safe!"--only to go right back to all those evils again? 11Do you think this Temple, which honors my name, is a den of thieves? I see all the evil going on there, says the LORD.

Jeremiah has been commissioned to reprove the people of Israel for their sins in God’s name. The people have fooled themselves into believing going to the Temple will rid them of the sins they continue to hold on to. Jeremiah reminds them the Lord sees all that goes on and nothing goes pass Him that they will not be judged for.

As a kid, we played a version of dodge ball where you ran to avoid being hit by the persons who were in control of the ball. But there were safe zones, and if you made it to one of the safe zones, even if you got hit by the ball it did not count against you. This is exactly what the people of Israel were thinking. They thought they could run to a safe zone, the Temple, and no longer face consequences. Even though sin had fallen on them, they felt a false sense of safety being in the Temple. They had forgotten their relationship with the Lord. It wasn’t the temple protecting them; it was God. It seems the further people get away from their relationship with God, the more they trust in “things” of God. Things won’t save us, things won’t help us in our time of need, things do not provide grace and nor do they provide mercy; only a relationship with the Living Lord provides salvation, comfort, grace and mercy. What about your relationship with the Lord? Do you feel safe because you are surrounded by ‘things’ of God or do you feel safe because God surrounds you? Pray for a growing relationship with the Lord. Pray that you will seek Him out and not trust in false hope. He is your power, strength and comfort. Turn to Him, always turn to Him.

AskMe #1516712 08/31/06 07:02 AM
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Psalms 19:12-13 (NLT)
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep me from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.

David acknowledges even he does not know all the sins he has committed. So David asks God that those sins he is unaware of might be cleansed from him. But then there are those sins he knows he has committed willfully. He knows at times some of those sins take control of him and he does not stop in his sinful nature. But he knows if God cleanses him and restores him he will be free of the sin that has left him feeling guilty.

Have you ever let your car just get to the point where it needed to go to the carwash? The sparkle and luster of the car was hidden by the dirt and grime that had accumulated over time. What started out as a bright shiny car gradually over time became dull. In a way that is a representation of sin in our life. When we come to Christ we get polished up, taking on a new attitude and living for Him. But gradually over time sin creeps in and starts to build up. We may not even notice at first the sins we are committing because we are blind to them. Or we may allow ourselves to fall into sin because the flesh lures us there. After a while we are tarnished and tainted by the sin in our life just like the car that eventually looses its sparkle. But we can go to God and repent and ask forgiveness for our sin. 1 John 1;9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Have you been cleansed by God? Pray God would remove the sins from your heart that are known and unknown. Ask Him to restore you and cleanse you. Look forward to a renewed life in Christ.

AskMe #1516713 09/05/06 07:26 AM
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Romans 14:11-12 (KJV)
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

These verses in Romans say that a person is accountable to God the creator. No one is excluded from their life’s account.

In the movie Flatliners, Keifer Sutherland meets the new day’s sun as it’s starting to rise and says, “Today is a good day to die.” In the Star Trek series, the Klingon warriors as they prepare to do battle will often use that same quote. Apache warriors were probably the start of this motto as they used something similar in their language to say this is a good day to die. But the question arises; it is really a good day to die? I remember someone once saying, “What if Jesus showed up right now, would you be proud of where you are or would you be ashamed?” Our days should be filled with the idea of living for God and being accountable to Him. King David wrote the words, “Who is the man that is delighting in life,That is loving enough days to see what is good?” Not all of us see the good in life, but Christ can change that. As we give our lives to Him and allow ourselves to be accountable we can see the good that takes place. Life is good and we should be using it to share our love of God with others until God says come home. If we are going to be accountable to God in the end, we should start living as someone who is accountable to Him now. Pray that you would love life and seek to do God’s will while you are here on this earth. Pray He would hold you accountable to follow Him.

AskMe #1516714 09/06/06 06:50 AM
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1 Corinthians 13:11-13 (NLT)
11 It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 13 There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.

Paul is telling us children do not have the comprehension and knowledge as that of an adult. They only partially and incompletely understand the meaning of things given them. In the same way we only partially understand and comprehend the wonders of heaven. Not until one has arrived in heaven will they fully know all God has done and planned. This is in comparison to God who knows ALL and knows everything there is to know about us. Then Paul summarizes his thoughts by saying three things will endure; faith, hope, and love. These are the 3 components of grace, but without love, grace could never exist.

How often when you were a child did you wish you were grown up? In Jr. High everyone wanted to be in High School. In High School everyone wanted to be in college. And in college everyone couldn’t wait until they had their first job. And unlike Peter Pan who remained a kid we matured and grew older. Yet in our spiritual walk with God we are often still children, learning, trying to understand who God is, and how to perform His will. In Ephesians 4:11-13 it says, “It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God—a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ’s full stature.” God wants us to grown in spiritual knowledge and has given us tools to do so. He also gave His son Jesus Christ as an example of a person fully mature in His spiritual walk. The question is, are you still maturing or have you remained an infant? Pray God will continue to develop you spiritually. Ask Him for a deeper understanding of His grace, mercy and love. And while you learn let His love be evident in your life.

AskMe #1516715 09/07/06 07:24 AM
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Isaiah 59:9-15 (NLT)
9It is because of all this evil that deliverance is far from us. That is why God doesn't punish those who injure us. No wonder we are in darkness when we expected light. No wonder we are walking in the gloom. 10No wonder we grope like blind people and stumble along. Even at brightest noontime, we fall down as though it were dark. No wonder we are like corpses when compared to vigorous young men! 11We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves. We look for justice, but it is nowhere to be found. We look to be rescued, but it is far away from us. 12For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us. Yes, we know what sinners we are. 13We know that we have rebelled against the LORD. We have turned our backs on God. We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies. 14Our courts oppose people who are righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found. Truth falls dead in the streets, and fairness has been outlawed. 15Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who tries to live a godly life is soon attacked. The LORD looked and was displeased to find that there was no justice.
Isaiah is addressing the people on the issues of sin. These words show sin is against us. Even when things should be right and perfect, sin corrupts. We expect light and yet the darkness of sin shadows the light of this world. Like a bear coming out of hibernation we desire to be fed with righteousness and justice. We know we ourselves have been sinners and have turned away from God at times. Even trying to live a godly life is difficult because of the sin in this world. Even God is displeased there is no justice.
Three pastors were at a conference; one of them suggested sharing their secret sins with each other. The first pastor said, “I’ll start, my secret sin is gambling. I love listening to the sound of money go into the slot machine and eventually hearing the cha-chine of winning.” The second pastor said, “My sin is that I am lazy. I don’t do my own sermons, because I copy what I can from others.” The third pastor said, “I’m a gossip and I can’t wait to repeat what I have heard.” While it’s meant to be humorous there is truth in the joke. There are those living as Christians, even pastors who we respect, that hold onto the sin in their lives. As Christians we are to be the light of the world, but when we allow ourselves to walk in darkness there is no light to be found. The world remains dark in sin waiting for someone to shine. Are you shining as a Christian? Have you removed the sins covering your light? Pray to God in repentance asking Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask that you might shine in this world as a testimony to Him. Pray for strength and endurance that you may keep away from sin.

AskMe #1516716 09/11/06 07:05 AM
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Ezekiel 33:17-20 (NKJV)
17 “Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! 18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. 19 But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways.”

Ezekiel is speaking for the Lord and is challenging the Israelites on their statement “the way of the Lord is not fair.” He said the Lord allows the righteous to turn from their righteous ways, but the consequence is death. On the other hand he allows them to turn from their sinful ways and the reward is life. Because the Lord is fair and just they are receiving a warning about what happens. Then the Lord says they will each be judged for their own ways, not as a group, but independently.

Anyone who has been around children enough will eventually hear the words, “it’s not fair.” These words are usually heard when a child feels the parent is not giving consideration to their desires and wants. Instead of listening to the reason of the parent, the child just wants what they have their mind set on. And without listening to reason they say the parents are not fair in their actions. Usually it is the desires of the flesh driving them to their wants and that is why the parent says “no” and is trying to guide them in the right way. The Israelites were children spiritually and it was their own desires they were interested in. They wanted to be able to do wrong and at the same time have the rewards of doing right. And it’s the same way today, people want to do wrong and receive the rewards for doing right. Look at how many people cheat in athletics by using illegal substance and then still want to keep the rewards they obtained. Have you ever done the same in your life? If so pray and tell God and let Him know it was wrong and burdens you. Pray that you learn to do right and ignore the desires of the flesh.

AskMe #1516717 09/12/06 06:54 AM
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Colossians 4:2
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Here we find the apostle speaking on prayer. Prayer is something that is not just for us, but for the sake of others. In devoting yourself to prayer the apostle says a person should be able to focus their attention on God by having an alert mind. Distractions should be put out of the way so that time with God will be uninterrupted. Prayer should always be done with a thankful heart, knowing God will fulfill his promises.

There are jobs in this world that demand a persons complete attention. The person cannot for one second take their eyes off the task or their life will be at risk. For instance those who work with cutting machinery need to remember at all times where the blade is in relation to the material. Iron workers keep their eyes on the hot materials to make sure it does not come in contact with them. Those working under the guidance of a crane lifting heavy materials have to be alert at all times. And yet while people watch carefully the things which may affect their life, they do not always keep alert in their prayers; or devote themselves to guarding their life, their family, and their friends with prayer. Prayer is the greatest resource in our life. It keeps us in contact with God. It opens our hearts to minister to others. It asks for safety for our family. And most of all it lets us ask for salvation from God. How devoted are you in your prayers? Are you always thankful for what God brings, even if it’s not what you expected? Pray God would help you to understand His blessings with a thankful heart. Pray when you can communicate with God and give Him your full attention. Love the Lord for what he has done for you.

AskMe #1516718 09/13/06 06:41 AM
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Psalms 83:18 (21th Century KJV)
That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

yada` shem [email]Y@hovah[/email] 'elyown 'erets is the Hebrew phrase this is translated from. God is triumphant over his enemies and those who would oppose His church. He is by His name self sufficient and self existent. He is above all gods, above all rulers, above all kings and presidents of this world. His final proof to all this will be the day every knee bows before Him. JEHOVAH our God is in control.


We have a God who desires a personal relationship with us. He has given us his name JEHOVAH that we might remember He is real and identifiable. Abraham called Him JEHOVAH HJIREH, for he said “In the mount of the Lord it might be seen.” Moses called him JEHOVAH HNISSI, for he said, “Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” When Gideon built and alter he called it JEHOVAH HSHALOM, for unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. God was very real to these people and they acknowledged Him as JEHOVAH. How real is God to you? Is He someone you talk with, someone you admire and love? Do you know he provides for you, cares for you, loves you and wants you close with Him? Pray you would know God’s true love for you and His desire for a personal relationship. Know that when you are in the family of Jehovah it is as real as the family you were born into.

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Isaiah 40:27-30 (NLT)
27O Israel, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? 28Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. 30Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. 31But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

The prophet Isaiah reproves the people because they do not see God at work. These people are perhaps captive by the Babylonians by their own fault and now they grumble because of their troubles. Isaiah reminds them of who God is and His love for them. He says everyone will grow weary without Him; even the youth, but God can strengthen all. They need to wait on the Lord, wait on his renewing strength and then they can fly like eagles and new grow weary in their walk.

All of us hit points in our life where we just feel exhausted from having to deal with everything thrown at us. There are times when it just seems everything hits at one time; maybe the car breaks down; maybe someone is ill; maybe it’s just an accumulation of things gone wrong. Life can wear us down, because when man fell in the Garden of Eden God said life would be difficult. But God also did not leave us alone; He is right here with us all the time. God watched over Adam and provided for His needs even after he told Adam about his labors and toils. God does the same for us; we just need to remember to ask for His help and wait on His answer. Let God renew you as you pray to Him and cast your toils upon Him. Pray for strength only the Lord can bring. Pray yours burdens will be lifted and eased.

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Ephesians 4:25-31 (The Message)
25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. 26 -27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. 28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can't work. 29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. 30 Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted. 31 -32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

The apostle Paul is writing to the Ephesians. In the verses he is talking about our character, which comes from God. God is not one to lie, and because of Christ we should not lie either; we are to tell the truth. And God does not get angry for unrighteous reasons, so we too are to watch our anger and ensure it is not used for revenge or allowed to give a foothold to Satan. If our anger is continuing into the night we should immediately resolve that anger and not let it continue. Honest work should be a way of life as opposed to stealing. The words of our mouths should honor God. Our words should build people and not tear them down; therefore it becomes a gift. And we do all of this so we don’t break God’s heart. We do it because we love the one who created us. And we learn to forgive just as God forgave us through Christ.

What if a group of people worked in a company and were hostile, angry, liars, stole from the company and talked filthy? How long do you think they would last as employees? Most companies would not put up with this behavior for long. Yet some people display this type of behavior and they ignore God. Maybe they think God should just put up with this type of behavior. But when we follow Christ we are given a new life and we should exhibit a new nature. In Corinthians 5:17 it says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Are you becoming new in your walk with Christ? Do you allow Him to show you the life He wants to give you? Pray that you might be able to abandon the old ways of life. Ask that you might reflect God ways instead of showing your old nature. Look forward to your renewed life in Christ.

AskMe #1516721 09/19/06 07:10 AM
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Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
8God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

As Paul writes to the Ephesians he tells them what God has done for them. Every changed sinner is a saved sinner. And it is a gift, not a reward that is given by God. Rewards are earned, but gifts are something received from another without indebtedness. God created us to do good things; that was His plan. But sin led us away from that plan, so God through His saving grace created us new in Christ so that we may live out the plan we were destined for.

Many of you have probably attended someone’s wedding. You receive an invitation in the mail and many times it has the notation R.S.V.P. The term R.S.V.P. comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". The person inviting us wants to know: are we going to be a part of the ceremony; or are we going to decline the invitation. So we respond back with either our decline or acceptance of the invitation. What is the cost to us? There is no cost. The wedding is open to us. The celebration at the reception is free and we are given full entrance as honored friends and family. But if we decline the invitation we aren’t a part of the ceremony, we loose the privilege to enter the celebration, and we are not considered a part of the honored guests. If God invited you to salvation, did you accept the gift or did you decline? It is our acceptance of His gift that brings us to salvation. If we decline then we have lost the right to be a part of the celebration, to be a part of the family of honored guests, and to partake of anything that is freely given us. Pray and give thanks for God’s free gift of salvation that he offers. Thank God for allowing us to be a part of what He has chosen to so freely offer us.

AskMe #1516722 09/20/06 07:07 AM
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Romans 15:1-4 (NLT)
1 We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. 2 We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in the Lord. 3 For even Christ didn't please himself. As the Scriptures say, "Those who insult you are also insulting me." 4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises.

In theses verse the apostle is saying there may be something a strong Christian understands not to be wrong, but a new Christian may find it to be unacceptable; therefore consideration should be given to not discourage the new Christian. We don’t want to cause the new Christian to fall away because of the things we might prefer to do. The strong Christian is encouraged even Christ didn’t do things for himself because of others; and Christ goes on to say that “those who insult you are also insulting me.” It gives us hope for the future knowing what God has promised us.

Here is a question to ponder, “What keeps our hearts fixed on Christ, our hope?” If we are to restrain ourselves and deny things we want for the sake of others, how do we maintain this hope we are to have? Paul gave us the answer in these words from Ephesians, “I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.” Paul is saying prayer is the answer. Through prayer we can gain wisdom and understand the future God holds for us. With that understanding we realize the promises, the hopes, and the rewards we are to receive. Realizing what God is giving us through Christ makes it easier to give up what we can obtain in this world. Christ gave himself up for us; do you realize what you will gain because of Him? Pray for God’s wisdom that you might now the riches of Christ and the hope we have. Pray you see the future with Christ more rewarding than anything we have here on this present earth.

AskMe #1516723 09/26/06 06:36 AM
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Genesis 33:1-4 (NLT)
1 Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two maidservants. 2 He put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. 3 He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.

Here in these verses Jacob reunites with his Brother Esau after many years. Esau had threatened to kill Jacob. Now the two brothers meet again; Jacob with his family and Esau with his 400 men. The meeting turned out to be one of reconciliation with all the emotions that surrounded their reuniting.

The account of Jacob reuniting with Esau shows how God can intervene and restore a relationship that was broken. At first it seems reconciliation might be impossible. Jacob lines up his family: women and children. Esau approaches with 400 men. If Esau were to decide to kill Jacob he definitely had the upper hand. Here was Jacob, with only the weakest with him, who had gained the birthright and was therefore to have dominion over Esau. Esau who had given up everything stood there in great power with his 400 men. Isn’t it strange how God works? Here was Jacob weak in power and Esau was mighty in power; yet God soften the heart of the strong Esau that he might reconcile with his brother. We might think there is no chance of ever reconciling with someone; but with God all things are possible. Is there someone you need to reconcile with? Pray God would move in your heart to open the door that would allow reconciliation to take place. Pray God would bring joy because of the relationship that is restored.

AskMe #1516724 09/27/06 07:19 AM
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Romans 9:13-16 (KJV)
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

In these scriptures the apostle refers to Jacob and Esau. He goes back to the Old Testament where God says He loved Jacob and rejected Esau. The theme in these verses is that God is in ultimate control, choosing who He desires. So it is impossible for man to say this is what I want or to say I have earned this through my hard efforts.

How many of you have had the opportunity to teach a teenager to drive? You let the teen sit behind the wheel. You allow them to start the car with a key. Then you watch as they put the car in drive and start moving down the street. If you remember the first time out there was probably concern for every mailbox along the road as you came precariously near. Stop signs were right there in front of you, but for some reason they seemed to be oblivious to the driver. All this time you have had to sit over to the side, squirming in the seat, helplessly out of control because you have put the control of the car into the teen’s hands. Maybe it was uncomfortable being that much out of control. But later as the driver improved you put more confidence in them and trusted their driving skill and began to relax. How does it feel to give control over to God? At first it might feel uncomfortable knowing you have no power, and cannot do anything of your own self. But as time goes on you learn to trust God and know He is in control and that His decisions are right and just. Are you willing to trust God and let Him be in control? Pray God will always be in control of your life. Ask that His mercy and compassion may be shown towards you. Praise Him for the righteous and holy God that He is.

AskMe #1516725 09/28/06 07:01 AM
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Psalms 105:19-22 (NLT)
19 Until the time came to fulfill his word, the LORD tested Joseph's character. 20 Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. 21 Joseph was put in charge of all the king's household; he became ruler over all the king's possessions. 22 He could instruct the king's aides as he pleased and teach the king's advisers.

Joseph had been made a slave for life. No other position in life could be any lower or more devastating to a person. Yet Joseph’s character held. Eventually Joseph was freed from slavery and put in charge of the king’s men and all his possessions.

On the TV show Everyone Hates Chris, Chris Rock the comedian said, “If you want to be of good character, then you have to watch your reputation.” In Ecclesiastes King Solomon said, “A good reputation is more valuable than the most expensive perfume”. And the wisdom from Proverbs says, ‘Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold’. Even God when choosing men to lead said, “Choose some men from each tribe who have wisdom, understanding, and a good reputation”. If Joseph had not been the friend he was to others in prison and if he had not been the model prisoner watching over others; it’s possible he would have been overlooked. His reputation stood out as noble and good even though he had been accused unjustly. Joseph was sold into slavery unfairly by his brothers. Definitely he was someone who deserved to be bitter and full of hate; yet his life showed his godly character. In a way Joseph was the foreshadowing of Christ. He was a man living by God’s’ word but living as the lowest of low. He was unjustly accused. And yet he came up from the prison, anew in life and was given rule over the kingdom and all its possessions. Has your faith been tested? James said, “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything”. Pray you may endure the tests and trials which come at you. Pray God would strengthen you in everyway. Pray for a good reputation that your character may be known in a good and holy way.

AskMe #1516726 10/02/06 06:46 AM
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2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (NLT)
11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you. Our hearts are open to you. 12 If there is a problem between us, it is not because of a lack of love on our part, but because you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am talking now as I would to my own children. Open your hearts to us!

In these verses the apostle Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church. He wanted them to know there is a great love for them. In the King James it says their heart is enlarged for them. In other words their love is overflowing. Paul then requests because his love is great for them, he desires they open their hearts to him.

NO TRESSPASSING, KEEP OUT!!! That was the sign I saw when I was a kid on a private piece of land that had a fishing pond near our house. All the kids in the neighborhood were always tempted to sneak onto the land and try to fish. Except there were these signs posted all around that said, no trespassing, keep out. It made everyone fearful to go onto that property; and to risk being out in the open near the pond was out of the question. It was even rumored the owner would come out with a shotgun to chase anyone away. There was something about knowing you had been told to stay off the land and the signs made it clear you should not trespass. Sometimes some of us make it clear we don’t want others trespassing against our heart. We put us signs so people know they should stay away. It may be looks of anger, disgust or moodiness. But people are able to read the signs and recognize our heart is not open to them. As God’s people are hearts should be open to others to show love and compassion. They should not see signs that say “NO TRESPASSING”, but instead should see an open heart that extends itself in love. Is your heart open to others or have you put up a no trespassing sign? Pray God would open hearts of those who need His love. Pray we would reach out and touch others lives. Ask that we may never close our hearts to those in need.

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