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AskMe #1516747 11/09/06 08:31 AM
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Romans 5:6-11 (NLT)
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Here in Romans the Apostle gives a testimony that Jesus Christ died for us. We were in a very bad spiritual condition with no way of being justified before God. But at the right time Jesus came into this world, willing to die for each and every person. Jesus justified us even as sinful as we were by dying on a cross as a sacrifice for us. Who would be willing to die for someone else, not many? But because Christ gave Himself for us we can be restored to a right relationship with God by having faith in Christ. Christ lives a glorious eternal life and because of Him so can we.

The twin towers were filled with people when two jets struck the building on September 11, 2001. Hundreds of people were trapped; condemned by terrorist who decided these people must die. The intent of the attackers was cruel and heartless. Brave souls rushed into the burning buildings in an attempt to rescue those who were alive. They put aside their own fear of death trying to help others live. There is an attacker who every day tries to take the physical and spiritual lives of people. Jesus told Simon Peter, "Simon, Simon! Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Satan wants to do the same to all of us. But Christ rushed in to save us from the burning fires of ******. Christ led us to a way of escape and helped us find freedom. He gave us a guide in the Holy Spirit that we may continue to find our way. And He returned us to God that we may once again have fellowship with Him. Praise Christ for His sacrificial love. Give thanks for His unfailing love.

AskMe #1516748 11/13/06 07:55 AM
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1 Samuel 13:8-13 (NLT)
8 Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. 9 So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself. 10 Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, 11 but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?” Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. 12 So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.”
13 “How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.

King Saul’s men were quickly slipping away in fear from the Philistines. Saul had been told to wait seven days on Samuel the prophet before taking any action. Yet Saul could not wait as he had been instructed. He felt as though it were up to him to take action. He put aside the plan that had been given by Samuel. What Saul offered in offerings was not for God, but for his own sake. Therefore Samuel told Saul he had not obeyed God and his kingdom would come to an end.

As the Christmas season draws nearer there will be presents given requiring assembly. Now as many will do they will unload everything out of the package and start putting it together without reading the instructions. They may get to the end realizing there are parts missing or they have made a mistake in putting the product together. Because they were not patient to stop and read the instructions they lost valuable time and even possibly damaged what they were working on. God wants us to stop and take time to read and understand His instructions. He gives us His plans for life in His word, the Bible. But many of us will hurry through life and not take the time to read about the things we should do. Because of it we end up missing blessings God has provided just as Saul did. Stop and take time to read God’s word. Pray God would help you in the understanding of the scriptures. Pray His words you read can be applied to your life. Look to God for wisdom and understanding.

AskMe #1516749 11/14/06 07:50 AM
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Philippians 1:3-6 (NLT)
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in my every prayer for you all making request with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ.

At Philippi Paul was scourged and put in confinement; and yet he remembers the Philippians in a joyful way. Paul remembers who his God is and thanks Him for allowing these people to find salvation. The Gospel is the good news of Christ dying for our sins and being resurrected to life that we may live freely. Paul says he is confident Jesus Christ has started a life changing work in the lives of the Philippians and will continue that work until they meet Jesus eternally in heaven.

What things are you confident in when it comes to this world? Are you confident your car will start this morning so you can go to work? Are you confident the lights in your house will always come on? Are you confident your job is secure and will never be taken away? Just how confident are you in life? Paul said there was one thing he was confident of and that is Jesus Christ changes lives and continues to change lives. This is something we can be assured of and confident in. Once you have Christ in your life there is no need to doubt; He is working inside of you to create a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT translation)” Are you thankful for the new life Christ has given you? Praise God for His Son who died for the sins of the world. Praise the Son for His loving sacrifice that we may life eternally. Pray and give thanks for the gift of salvation that God has provided.

AskMe #1516750 11/15/06 08:17 AM
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2 Kings 2:15-18
15 When the group of prophets from Jericho saw from a distance what happened, they exclaimed, “Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 “Sir,” they said, “just say the word and fifty of our strongest men will search the wilderness for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has left him on some mountain or in some valley.” “No,” Elisha said, “don’t send them.” 17 But they kept urging him until they shamed him into agreeing, and he finally said, “All right, send them.” So fifty men searched for three days but did not find Elijah. 18 Elisha was still at Jericho when they returned. “Didn’t I tell you not to go?” he asked.

Elijah the prophet had just vanished because he was taken by God into heaven by a chariot of fire. Those around Elijah and Elisha had just seen what happened. So they approached Elisha and asked if they should go look for Elijah. Although Elisha already knew what happened to Elisha he was shamed into agreeing with the men. When they could not find Elijah the men returned to tell Elisha and Elisha’s response was a “I told you so.”

Shame is a powerful negative motivator. Peer groups will use shame to cause a person to do something they are uncomfortable with. A person may feel shame after a sinful act. The shame can leave them burdened and ridden with guilt. In an addiction cycle shame will cause negative emotions to build until a person is triggered into acting out again. Webster’s dictionary says shame is a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety. 1 John 3:19-20 says, “Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” God knows what we have done and He forgives us when we repent of our sin so we do not have to feel shame. In Hebrews it says, “For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” Romans 14:22 says, “Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.” And Romans 5:16 says, “For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.” There is no need to feel shame because of Christ dying for your sins. Instead move forward knowing the grace of God is with you. Pray and repent of your sins. Ask God to remove the shame that goes with them. Ask God for peace in your life that you may no longer feel shame, but instead feel victory.

AskMe #1516751 11/16/06 07:55 AM
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1 Kings 13:15-19 (NLT)
15 Then he said to the man of God, “Come home with me and eat some food.” 16 “No, I cannot,” he replied. “I am not allowed to eat or drink anything here in this place. 17 For the Lord gave me this command: ‘You must not eat or drink anything while you are here, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.’” 18 But the old prophet answered, “I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this command from the Lord: ‘Bring him home with you so he can have something to eat and drink.’” But the old man was lying to him. 19 So they went back together, and the man of God ate and drank at the prophet’s home.

A man, known only as a man of God, was traveling alone towards Judah. Hungry, because the Lord had told him not to eat in that area he was about to face temptation. An older prophet had heard of this man from his sons. The older prophet went to meet the man of God to invite him to his home. Apparently the older prophet wanted so much to talk with the man of God he lied in order to gain the man of God’s trust to come eat with him. Against the instructions of God, the man of God ate and drank in the older prophet’s home.

When are you most tempted to sin? The term “HALT” indicates critical moments when a person should stop and realize they are vulnerable to be tempted by sin. HALT represents hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. These words reflect mental and physical conditions of a person. They are often triggers that might lead a person into temptation. A hungry person may be nervous and excitable because their body needs food. An angry person reacts out of their emotions. A lonely person is desperate for company and will seek out others in desperation. A tired person responds bitterly out of exhaustion. What if the man of God had stopped to realize God had not told him he could eat with the older prophet? Instead the hunger, the loneliness and tiredness clouded his judgment. 1 Kings 13:20-22 goes on to say; Then while they were sitting at the table, a command from the Lord came to the old prophet. He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. You came back to this place and ate and drank where he told you not to eat or drink. Because of this, your body will not be buried in the grave of your ancestors.” The man of God was killed along his way to Judah. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Pray God will always show you the escape to your temptations. Pray you might endure in those critical moments when you are tempted.

AskMe #1516752 11/20/06 07:53 AM
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1 Peter 3:9-12 (NLT)
9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. 10 For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.11 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. 12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

In these verses Peter gives instruction on how to behave toward those who are against you. A person is not to repay an evil deed with evil, but instead should offer the person something which blesses them. Peter reminds us this is God’s request and He will in return give back blessings for the blessings you offer.

There is an old saying; two wrongs don’t make a right. How many times have you ever seen someone doing something wrong and you become overwhelmed with the feeling it just isn’t right? Then moments later you start thinking, well if they can do it, why can’t I? It could be something as simple as watching others break in line and then deciding you are going to do the same. Or you may choose to call them down in a harsh way, not realizing they needed the love of Christ in their life. What example did you just set by your reaction? We do not have to build our happiness on the unhappiness of others. When we take our own actions against someone else we take control out of God’s hands. Our bitterness, hatred, vindictiveness all become our own self induced misery. Eventually God may take disciplinary actions on us. In Matthew 7:1-2 it says, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” The next time someone does something to you which causes anger, stop and pray that God would help you to understand others and the hurts they may have in their life. Pray you would be a witness of His love and not of your own anger. Pray retribution would be taken from your hands and placed in the loving hands of the Lord who knows how to deal with another’s sin.

AskMe #1516753 11/21/06 07:54 AM
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Mark 10:42-45 (NLT)
42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The disciples had become indignant towards James and John for making a request to be seated on each side of Jesus when He came into His kingdom. James and John did not understand the request they were making and neither did the other disciples understand the cost of the request. So Jesus explained to them to be a leader in His kingdom they must first be a servant to others. Jesus had come to serve and offer Himself as a sacrifice. Life was not about ruling, it was about serving.

In the movie STAR TREK II: The Wrath of Khan, the spaceship Enterprise is nearing a catastrophic explosion. The only way for the crew to be saved is for someone to enter a chamber being bombarded with radiation to perform repairs. Mr. Spock, knowing death will be the result of entering the chamber goes in to make repairs. In his dying breathe he tells the captain, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one”. This is the point Christ was making to the disciples; a willingness of self sacrifice for the sake of others. They had to learn to be willing to go to the point of sacrificing their own life to care for others if they wanted to lead in His kingdom. How willing are you to give of yourself for others? Pray that you might be a servant to others. Ask God to strenthen your faith to give of yourself. Ask that you might be a blessing to others.

AskMe #1516754 11/27/06 07:42 AM
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1 Peter 3:18 (Holman Christian Standard)
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.

Peter makes the point Christ was not immune from suffering, although Christ could have bypassed all pain and suffering. Christ chose instead to suffer for the sins of al” men by substituting Himself for our iniquities that we might be able to stand justified before God. And although there is a physical death, there is an eternal spiritual life after death with God.

After attending a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Queen Victoria asked the chaplain if there was a way to be absolutely sure of an eternal life after death secure with God. The chaplain responded he didn’t know if anyone could be “absolutely” sure. The response was published in the Court News. John Townsend, a friend of George Muller who was a great man of faith, read the quote and after giving the question consideration and praying, responded to the queen.

To Her Gracious Majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria, from one of her most humble subjects:

With trembling hands, but heart-filled love, and because I know that we can be absolutely sure even now of our eternal life in the Home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following passages of Scripture: John 3:16, Romans 10:9,10? These passages prove there is full assurance of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for those who believe and accept His finished work.

I sign myself, your servant for Jesus' sake.
John Townsend

Many prayers were made on behalf of this letter and two weeks later a response came.

Mr. John Townsend:

Your letter of recent date received, and in reply would state that I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to. I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God's grace to meet you in that Home of which He said, 'I go to prepare a place for you.

Victoria Guelph

Salvation through faith in Christ is repeated over and over in the scriptures. It is a gift we can presently possess and is not just a mere promise in the future. Our faith does not depend on our goodness, but instead our trust in the Son of God. God’s word is true, infallible and reassuring that we can spend eternity with Him no matter what we have done. Give thanks for God’s Son who died for your sins and the sins of others.

AskMe #1516755 11/28/06 07:50 AM
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Luke 11:2 (KJV)
2 And He said unto them, "When ye pray, say: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so on earth.

These are the words of Jesus who was showing the disciples to pray. The disciples had come to Jesus and asked Him to show them how to pray as John the Baptist had taught his followers to pray. Jesus starts by saying God’s name is hallow or greatly respected; set apart for holy use. As Jesus continues He asks God’s will be done on earth in the same way that it is done in heaven.

In this world there are names people quickly recognized. If someone says “George W. Bush” most will instantly recognize it as the name of the president of the United States. You can watch as a known movie star walks though a crowd and everyone stares because of who they are. Often these people set themselves apart, away from the rest of us. We have a God who is magnificent in every way. His name is holy and to be set apart from all other names. Yet God asks us to call Him Father, a very close and endearing term. God’s name may be set apart, but God desires to be close to each and every one of us. Maybe you feel alone in this world or need someone close you can talk to. God is always there waiting for you to come to Him in prayer. And as your heavenly father He wants you to talk to Him about your life, your needs, your future and your love for Him. Pray Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so on earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

AskMe #1516756 11/29/06 07:33 AM
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Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

In this proverb from King Solomon the Hebrew word for heart is “leb”. It refers to the inner most part of a person, their soul, their mind, knowledge, conscience, desires, emotions, passions, and their courage. It is a word that represents the person. King Solomon said the heart should be guarded for those inner most parts determine a person’s course of life.

How many of you as a child was given the responsibility to watch after an item but either misplaced it or broke it? Most children are not mature enough to handle major responsibility. It is why many of the proverbs speak to parents about guiding their children in the proper way of life. But what happens when a child is not guided through life? What happens when the home is full of dysfunction or sin? The child cannot guard their heart because they have not been taught how. The course of life the child should have followed gets off course. Maybe they fall into sins that will affect them throughout adulthood. Maybe they bear the scars of pain that keeps them from the right relationships. Romans 6:16 tells us that we become a slave to that which we choose to obey. As a child we often had no choice, but as adults we do. Maybe we need to examine our past and seek what God wanted us to be instead of where sin led us. Pray for God to reveal your course of life. Ask Him to help guard your heart from future sins. Pray that you would become the person God desires you to be.

AskMe #1516757 11/30/06 07:56 AM
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Mark 12:28-31
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The religious leaders of the law had been coming to Jesus asking questions. They hoped they might be able to trap Him in some answer where they could accuse Jesus of breaking religious law. One leader had been listening and so he asked Jesus a question out of his own desire to learn. The man asked what the most important commandment is. Jesus responded with two, to love God fully, and to love your neighbor as you would yourself.

Around Thanksgiving and Christmas there are holiday parties taking place. People invite others from all around to come and enjoy the festive occasion. They entertain their guests in their homes as though there were a part of their family. Jesus said we should love our neighbors as ourselves. The word used for love is the Greek word agapao, which means to welcome, entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly, and to be content and well pleased with. How would you feel about inviting a neighbor who had questionable character? What if you knew they participated in certain sins you disapproved of? If you disregard the commandment Jesus gave to love your neighbor are you subject to sin? Pray that you will learn to distinguish the sin from the sinner. Pray that you can love the sinner just as Jesus would.

AskMe #1516758 12/04/06 07:32 AM
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1 Kings 1:5-6 (NLT)
5 About that time David’s son Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, began boasting, “I will make myself king.” So he provided himself with chariots and charioteers and recruited fifty men to run in front of him. 6 Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “Why are you doing that?” Adonijah had been born next after Absalom, and he was very handsome.

David had 19 sons and 1 daughter born to his wives. There were other children no listed which were was born to his concubines. The fourth son of David was Adonijah, who was born in the land of Hebron. Adonijah decided he was going to take over as King because David had become old. David had never participated much in the care of his children, in fact it says in the verses above he had never disciplined Adonijah at anytime. Even something as simple as asking, “why are you doing that?” had been overlooked. Like David it was said that Adonijah was a handsome man. And maybe too it was because of his outside appearance that David favored this son.
In Hebrews 5:7-9 it says, “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.” Even Christ was subject to the obedience of His Father God. Yet in the verses above we find David being emotionally detached from Adonijah’s behavior. In fact David was so consumed with the affairs of the kingdom, battle plans, and his own adulterous affairs he had never spent the time properly training and disciplining his children. Because of David’s absence in dealing with his children they grew up with very dysfunctional lives. Children need their parents involved in their lives. They need nurturing, teaching correction and disciple. And they need to learn about God and His love for them through their parents. Pray for families to become healthy, Godly families. Pray for the members of your own family to understand God’s desire for their lives. Pray you would be attached and involved with your family, guiding them always in the principles of God.

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Jeremiah 3:12 (21st Century King James)
12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: "`Return, thou backsliding Israel,' saith the LORD, `and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful,' saith the LORD, `and I will not keep anger for ever.

God’s anger is ready to fall on those who are in sin, but His preference is for the sinner to repent of their sin and return to Him. And when the sinner rejects the sin in their life and seeks out God, He is merciful and His anger fades. God does not hold His anger towards the repentant person, but instead forgives and forgets the sin ever happened.

Have you ever tried to make it to the top of a steep roof on your own? You may start out thinking it is going to be simple as you try to slide yourself slowly up the roof, but then you loose your footing and you slide back down. No matter what you try you find you just cannot keep the proper grip to keep you from sliding backwards as you attempt to make your way up. But then you attempt the climb with someone holding you steady with a rope. As the other person keeps a hold on you the effort to move towards the top becomes easy. With their help you finally reach your goal. Our life is like that in when we attempt to go through life on our own we slide backwards into sin. We have it in our mind we are invincible and can accomplish everything on our own, but that is not the truth. We need God in our lives to hold us firmly in place. We need to return to Him and ask Him for His help. And when we do God is merciful and gracious to help us through life. Are you sliding backwards through life? Pray and ask God to step in and help. Tell God you are tired of the sins in your life and you want to turn away from them. Pray God will minister to you and hold you firmly away from sin.

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2 Peter 2:20-22 (NLT)
20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

Peter had just finished an exhortation about those who indulge in sexual immorality. He said they promise a freedom and liberty, but like the pit they have fallen into are actually in bondage to sin. He then continues in these verses to discuss those who have found the grace of Christ and then fall away to sin. They become even more enslaved to the sin they once rejected. Peter says it proves out the proverbs that a dog returns to his vomit and that a washed pig returns to the mud.

In Matthew 12:43-45 Jesus is speaking, “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.” Peter probably remembered these words of Christ as he wrote about those who find grace and then fall back into sin. The misery for those who desert Christ is more unavoidable and intolerable than for others. Their sin becomes more inescapable as Satan keeps a closer guard on those he has pulled back into his control. In Revelation 3:10 Christ says, ““Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, 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.” Looking at the consequences of sin we must persevere; never returning to our previous filthiness, but instead living by the righteous and holy commandments of Christ. Pray Christ will lead you away from sin. Pray Satan will not have the opportunity to pull you back to him. Thank God for His mercy and grace found in His son Jesus Christ.

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Isaiah 1:15-18 (NLT)
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. 18 "Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

In these verses God is speaking against Israel through the prophet Isaiah. God lets the people know their prayers are being hindered because of their sins. Then He goes on to tell them to do the right things and quit sinning. They were to repent and therefore wash themselves of the sin. God says He is even willing to debate the issue, because He knows if they listen to Him their sins will be removed; their soul will be clean once again as the snow and the fresh sheared wool of a sheep.

In a commercial a newly wed husband is talking to his new father-in-law on a cell phone. The father-in-law insists the son-in-law call him by his first name of Jim. The son-in-law then starts saying, “Ok, Jim, Jimmy, Jimmy Boy” and then goes into a rendition of the song Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care. Just after he says all these things, which could be either humorous or insensitive, the phone goes silent as the cell phone call is dropped. The son-in-law does not hear his father-in-law respond in a positive way. With no communication the son-in-law is left wondering where he now stands. Isaiah talks about our prayers not being heard because of sin. If we want to keep open communications with God we need to be willing to repent of our sin and turn back to Him. Unless we do our prayers are like silent words and we won’t hear what God is saying to us. Pray to the Lord and repent. Call upon His name and confess your sins. Listen and wait as the Lord responds to you.

AskMe #1516762 12/11/06 07:32 AM
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Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NLT)
5 This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength, and turn their hearts away from the Lord. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. 7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

There verses have no particular reference to any sin in the Israelites life. Instead they are a reminder not to put all trust in a person, but to instead put your full trust in the Lord. People are just instruments of God and it is God who supplies all needs. The Lord compares those who trust in people to those who trust in Him. Those trusting in Him are like flourishing trees, producing fruit and staying rooted firmly. Those not trusting in God are like the shrubs in the dessert, which barely survive.

We see it in the movies all the time. A person trusts someone just to find out they let down or betrayed by them. Some movies are even based on true facts where someone important in a person’s life let them down. But we don’t need a movie to tell us people will let us down. If you are counting on people to be perfect and fill your needs they are going to fail you. This is where trust in the Lord is needed. Even when someone fails us we can trust the Lord that He will use the opportunity to grow us and produce fruit in our lives. God is a never ending supply of fresh water that nourishes us and builds strength in is. Trust in the Lord today with all your heart and soul. Pray God will teach you about His love and faithfulness. Pray you might see the truth that only God is perfect and humanity is flawed. Thank God that he will be with you even when people let you down.

AskMe #1516763 12/12/06 08:06 AM
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1 Samuel 22:1-4
1 So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. 2 Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men.
3 Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold.

King Saul had threatened to kill David because of his jealousy. David fled to escape from Saul, so he hid himself in a cave that was easily defendable. Other men joined David, because David was a great military leader and they knew of his problem with Saul. David sought out shelter for his mother and father. Rarely is David’s mother mentioned in the bible, but here we see David honoring his mother and father by protecting them.

Hard times reveal what is under the surface of a person’s faith. David faced a hard life on the run from Saul. He had to live off the land and hide away in the darkness of a cave. David’s entire life had been filled with difficulties. It seems David was often neglected and left alone to tend the sheep of the field. His brothers mocked him. Saul took him into his courts at a young age so that David could play music to sooth him, but at the same time Saul sought to harm David. In all of this we never see his mother or father coming to the aid of David. In fact when Samuel was to choose David as king, David’s father did not even include him with the rest of the brothers. Psalm 27:10 says, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” David feared the abandonment from his parents. David even says in Psalm 69:8, “Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger.” In his desperate times his whole family abandoned him. Yet David knew God would hold him close in moments of fear. He knew God would rescue him and come to his assistance when no one else would. David’s troubles ran deep, but his faith ran even deeper. How deep is your faith in God? Pray that God would strengthen your faith. Pray God will create in you a faithful heart.

AskMe #1516764 12/13/06 08:06 AM
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Galatians 2:6 (Holman Christian Standard)
6 But from those recognized as important (what they really were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism)—those recognized as important added nothing to me.

In this verse the apostle Paul is referring particularly to James, Peter and John. These apostles had been with Christ in person and followed Him. Paul admits these men had a reputation that set them apart from others in the view of man. They were considered the support and pillars of the church. Yet even though these men appeared to have an advantage, Paul says there is no favoritism with God. Paul was called by God just as much as these men had been. And each was serving in their capacity as they had been purposed.

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy sets out to find the mysterious wizard because he has a reputation for being able to help others. When Dorothy, the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man finally stand before the wizard they are greeted by an awe inspiring floating head of a man amidst smoke and fire. When they later return after their adventure to obtain the broom of the wicked witch, they find out the wizard is nothing more than a mere man behind the curtain who is really powerless to do anything. Sometimes we set expectations of others believing they are something more special than us. We may believe a pastor or deacon of a church is a man with great reputation who might even be better than some. Yet the truth is they are mere men just like the wizard. They have nothing more special than what we each have from God. God gives us each a purpose in life and shows no favoritism as it says in Romans 2:11, “For God does not show favoritism.” Those who sin are accountable. Those who do right in His eyes are praised. Give praise to God the Father who loves each of His children with equal passion.

AskMe #1516765 12/14/06 07:26 AM
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Amos 3:3
3 Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?

In this book of Amos God is calling the people to take notice of how they have been acting. They are given warnings about judgments which could take place if they do not repent and reform their ways. This verse is about being in fellowship, which is impossible to do if two people are going in opposite directions.

Generally I work on our company computers early in the morning when no one is using them. Recently I went into work driving on I-75/I-85 through Atlanta about 4am on a Sunday morning. I suddenly realized another car was on the same side of the interstate with me heading in the completely opposite direction. The car was coming almost straight at me just as fast as I was heading towards it. In those situations it is difficult to know what to do. You are not sure about the rational of the other person. You don’t know whether to move out of their way. But the worst part is you are traveling in opposite directions meeting each other at a speed around 110 mph which provides a great potential for error. It becomes a very chaotic moment. When a relationship is headed in opposite directions it creates chaos. Fellowship is difficult because someone is at odds with the other. And when it is the Lord you are at odds with it can only be one person in the wrong - you. Just like the car heading in the wrong direction you are heading for catastrophe. In those times you may think you are the only one who matters, but Isaiah 47:10-11 has these words, “You felt secure in your wickedness. ‘No one sees me,’ you said. But your ‘wisdom’ and ‘knowledge’ have led you astray, and you said, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other.’ So disaster will overtake you, and you won’t be able to charm it away. Calamity will fall upon you, and you won’t be able to buy your way out. A catastrophe will strike you suddenly, one for which you are not prepared.” Are you heading in the wrong direction? Pray and repent of your sins. Ask God to help you turn around and walk with him. Seek a fellowship with God that will add purpose to your life.

AskMe #1516766 12/18/06 09:15 AM
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Proverbs 17:1 (NLT)
1 Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

This is a wise verse from King Solomon. Solomon states that it would be better for a person to eat alone with a dry piece of bread crust than to eat in a household filled with feasting and with conflict. This is a simple lesson for many to understand.

If you have ever seen Christmas Vacation you probably remember the family gathering for a Christmas meal. One member has gotten senile and brings a cat wrapped up in a box. Cousin Eddie has arrived with his RV and is causing the Griswold’s all kinds of grief and concern. There are many negative comments thrown back and forth at each of the family members. Because of the way Clark handled getting a tree, a squirrel gets loose in the house and caused chaos. The whole family gets into an uproar. And Cousin Eddie who is unpredictable, kidnaps Clark’s boss because he didn’t pay out a bonus this year. It is a feast filled with conflict. No one is getting to enjoy Christmas because of all the events that are taking place. It is putting a strain on everyone’s relationships. And this is not the first year for their problems; it seems it has become a tradition where problems are repeated each year. Family gathering are meant to be joyful! They are a time to renew fellowship with each other. And Christmas in particular is a time when joy and peace should abound. Yet there are families who will continue to have Christmas family gatherings knowing the day will end in conflict and bitterness. The problems have gone on so long it is just expected someone is going to get angry, someone is going to fuss, someone is going to get their feelings hurt, and someone will walk way with broken fellowship. Instead families should seek to resolve conflict. They should do their best to put away differences, put away their dislikes, put away their hatred and come to terms with it in a way they can participate in a family dinner without problems. Christmas should be a time of joy and peace. Are there family conflicts you need to resolve? Pray that God would lead you with the words to say to family members. Put away your pride and be humble and accepting of other family members. Ask that God would make this year a new year filled with joy and peace.

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