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AskMe #1516807 03/15/07 06:26 AM
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Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Paul uses the same expression, meµden merimnate, for “don’t worry about anything” as Jesus used when he spoke in Matthew 6:25 saying, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” There should be care and diligence in our service as Christians, but distrust and worries are only perpetuations of our sin. It is not until we turn our problems over to God that we experience true peace. He is able to guard our hearts and minds as we follow the example Christ set for us.

Worry is the thief that steals the joy from our lives. Worry can take a small problem and magnify a mole hill into a mountain. It causes us to loose sight of the important issues in life. In Matthew 6 Jesus said we worry about so many things we miss out on life. If you start worrying about how well you are dressed for a party you miss the fun of the party. If you worry about all the details of a trip, the trip becomes a burden instead of a delight. Our thoughts become skewed and they begin to consume us. We loose sight of who we belong to and what He is capable of. Jesus told us how God cares for the birds and the flowers of the field. Our worry tells God we believe we are less important than those. And what do we gain by worry? It is wasted effort that cannot add a single moment to our life, but instead takes away from our life. It paralyzes us, hinders us and keeps us from moving forward. Because of our human nature we talk internally to ourselves until the problems overrun our mind. Here is where we should stop and talk to the one who can take care of our problems and needs. It is here we need to pray to God and tell Him our concerns. We must ask God for help and we must do so with thanksgiving realizing God gives us what we need and not what we want. God gives us a promise at the end of verse 7, “His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Have you turned your worries over to God? Maybe it’s time to stop and pray.

AskMe #1516808 03/19/07 05:13 AM
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James 1:2-4 (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James, the half brother of Jesus, says things which cause you trouble in life should be considered an opportunity to find great joy. The trials and temptations may be numerous and varied so it is up to us to put on the armor of God to protect ourselves. And like any soldier when his combat skills are put to the test and he survives, he grows in the wisdom that he can endure adversity. We may also grow in our confidence of God as we win each battle that comes towards us.

There are some people in this world who have a dreaded fear of things, such as spiders, driving, dogs, heights, etc. One approach a doctor will use to help calm these fears is to introduce the person slowly over a period of time to the object that frightens them. As they build confidence there is nothing to fear they can approach their phobia more secure and sure of themselves. One lady who was scared of spiders inched closer every day with the encouragement of her doctor until she could be within a close range of a tarantula. Finally she was able to pick up the tarantula and hold it in her hand. In a similar way God allows trials and temptations to enter our life. God never gives us more than we can endure and He is there with us helping us through each trial and temptation. He gently guides and leads us so that we might not bear the burdens alone. The more confident we become we are able to take on more difficult situations and even help others through their storms in life. Pray that you might develop full, perfect and complete in the Lord. Pray for joy even in the midst of difficulties know the Lord is building your character.

AskMe #1516809 03/20/07 07:32 AM
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Philippians 3:12-14 (NLT)
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

In this writing Paul acknowledges he is in a state of imperfection. Paul was under a conviction to press forward, to perfect himself like Christ, leaving behind the failures and sorrows. There is happiness and salvation waiting ahead as we move closer to our heavenly prize. And the ways of heaven is where Paul kept his mind focused.

There is a 40 year old woman named AJ that lives in California. AJ has a unique problem called hyperthymestic syndrome. It’s a big name that means she has a perfect memory. Using no special tricks to help her memorize, she can recall events in detail that happened on particular dates. Pick a date between 1974 and present and she will tell you what day of the week it occurred on. Her recall capability is instant and deeply relates to her life or the lives of those who interested her. She once was asked to write down all the dates for Easter from 1980 to present and she did so, writing all 24 in 10 minutes along with everything she was doing on those days. But even with what seems like a perfect memory, she missed one of the dates. A year later when she was asked to perform the same task she got all the dates right. While we can strive to be perfect in our Christian life, there are times when we just won’t get things right. There are times we mess up, fail, do the wrong thing, and wished we had done something differently. We move towards the perfection God wants for us, but there will be times when we stumble and we just have to get up and try again. What if AJ had said I missed a date, I’m not going to try any more? But instead the next time she was able to make the correction and get things right. It’s why we keep running the race, when we fall, God lifts us up and we keep running the race looking forward to that day of perfection.

AskMe #1516810 03/21/07 07:30 AM
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Hebrews 11:32-40 (The Message)
32-38 I could go on and on, but I've run out of time. There are so many more— Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets....Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn't deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world. 39-40 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.

Paul points out those who proved their faith in God. They were able to accomplish many things in God’s power. Some were protected, while others who stood firm were tortured and killed. And some had to live apart from everyone because of their faith. And as great as these were, our faith and their faith comes together because of the salvation, grace and mercy offered by Jesus Christ.

Imagine a parade of past great heroes marching by as you stand along the side of the road. You recognize them for all the great things they have done and you applaud and cheer out for each one that passes. These people had great faith and accomplished much. Then one of them steps over to where you are and invites you to walk in the parade with them. You hesitate thinking you are not worthy to be with these great heroes. Then he looks at you and says, “We had to look forward to the hope and promises of God, but you have already received them through faith in Christ. Because of Him you are worthy to walk with us.” The book of Revelation says, “And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it. Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Christ is worthy and His victory has given us salvation over sin. Praise God for His son Jesus, the one who is worthy!

AskMe #1516811 03/22/07 06:58 AM
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Ephesians 1:13-14 (NLT)
13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

Paul tells the Gentiles they are saved by Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Christ are given the Holy Spirit to live and dwell within them. The Holy Spirit is a promise, a guarantee of our eternal life with God. We were all made to praise and glorify God, but because of the salvation we were given it should motivate us even more.

There once was a Japanese emperor who commissioned an artist to render a painting of a bird. After several years the artist had not delivered a painting so the emperor went to the artist and demanded an explanation. The artist took out a blank canvas and proceeded to paint. In no time the artist had created a masterpiece. Confused, the emperor asked why there had been such a delay when he was able to create such a beautiful piece of work. The artist pulled out armloads of drawings depicting feathers, wings, heads, and feet. The artist explained he could not complete the painting until all of the pieces were properly made and they could come together into a single painting. God said we were predestined to be conformed to the image of His son. The artist in our life is the Holy Spirit who leads us to spiritual maturity and growth. We are transformed bit by bit from pieces of God’s love and perfection until the day where we are complete. Our transformation takes patience and time to complete and not until we enter into the holy presence of God’s kingdom will the work be finished. One day we will be like the image of Christ, a completed masterpiece of God’s work. Praise God for Jesus whose death on the cross brought us life. Praise Him for His holy spirit who transforms us into the likeness of Christ.

AskMe #1516812 03/26/07 09:14 AM
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Matthew 6:5-6 (NLT)
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

As Jesus talks to the crowd he is encouraging them to pray privately so their prayers don’t become public spectacles. Prayer is about the relationship with God and not about showing off for others. If we are to let God tend to our prayers we must be humble in attitude, not proud or given to vainness. The problem Jesus saw were people praying publicly for their own honor and recognition. It’s not man who should be pleased with our prayers, but God.

This is a part of a children’s song that you may know:
Oh, be careful little mouth what you say (repeat)
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love.
So, be careful little mouth what you say!

The words in the song relate to what Jesus was saying in Matthew. We need to be careful of our words we speak in front of others, whether its prayers we are praying, or our Christian testimony or anything that might bring shame and disrespect to the Lord. Our lives are not like TIVO where we can rewind and start back at another point. Once we say something or perform an action it is there for everyone to see. And if it brings dishonor, it dishonors our testimony to God. Pray your words will always give honor to God. Speak to God privately so that others do not think you are trying to call attention to yourself. Carefully choose words so you will not have to worry about taking them back.

AskMe #1516813 03/27/07 06:46 AM
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Romans 7:21-25 (NLT)
21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Here we find the apostle stating a principle he has discovered; when he tries to do right, eventually he does wrong. And it can’t be argued he isn’t trying, because he says he loves God’s law with all his heart, so the motives are correct. But he finds his sinful nature still wants to make him a slave to sin. It causes him misery, but he finds hope in Jesus, because Jesus will free him from a life dominated by sin and death.

From 1861-1865 the Civil War was fought in the United States. What was a single country was suddenly pulled into two different directions. And even though many of the same goals, many of the same beliefs, and many of the same dreams and hopes were there, the country fought against itself. Its members warred against each other, one part struggling for dominion over the other. Sin can be pictured much the same way. A person suddenly finds themselves at war with themselves. Their goals, hopes, dreams and beliefs are still there, but sin is fighting within them trying to gain its independence. Sin is looking to defeat the person and bring death and destruction. It is a war the person feels taking place and if it were not for Christ it would be a hopeless battle. But Christ has already had victory over sin, He has won the battle and we can rejoice with Him. So while the battle still takes place the victory has been given and we have hope. Have hope in Jesus Christ. Pray God will strengthen you against the attacks of sin. Praise God that sin has already been defeated. And while it still feels the battle is taking place, praise God for His Son who has given us victory.

AskMe #1516814 03/28/07 06:39 AM
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Jeremiah 33:23-26 (NLT)
23 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 24 “Have you noticed what people are saying?—‘The Lord chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!’ They are sneering and saying that Israel is not worthy to be counted as a nation. 25 But this is what the Lord says: I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky. 26 I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them.”

God gave Jeremiah a prophecy about Judah and Israel. The people had broken their covenant with God and they were feeling as though God had abandoned them. Yet it was the people who had abandoned God. God gave His reassurance to Jeremiah that He would not reject His people. God said just as He would not change the rules governing the universe, neither would he change His promises to His people.

As the people were about to go into the promised land Moses spoke to them and said, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” What an encouraging word that God would not fail them or abandon them. But God also gives us an encouraging word out of 2 Corinthians 4, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.” How wonderful it is to know God will always be with us no matter what the circumstance. Pray and give praise to God that he will not forsake or abandon you. Thank Him for always being there with you providing His love, mercy and grace.

AskMe #1516815 03/29/07 06:42 AM
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1 Timothy 2:1-3 (The Message)
1 -3The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

Paul tells Timothy we should pray for everyone we know and that it is important to pray for our leaders. We need to pray for the leaders so that our lives do not become chaotic and take away from our time with God.

As I was driving into work and listening to the radio, a woman called the radio station to ask if they would pray for her brother-in-law who is going in for brain surgery. He has a tumor in a place near the spinal cord and it is threatening his life. It was obvious this is a very serious operation. This woman was reaching out, asking everyone to pray. It’s exactly what Paul said we should do. We should look for opportunities to pray for others. We should pray by whatever means we have. Pray for this man and the doctors ministering to him. Pray for his family as they fear what could happen. Pray for those who know him that this could be an opportunity for God to speak to them. Pray even though this is difficult that someone will be blessed. Pray God would let you see the blessings of your prayers.

AskMe #1516816 04/02/07 06:21 AM
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John 12:2-3 (KJV)
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

The time for the death of Jesus was coming near. It was 6 days before Passover and in these verses we find Jesus eating with his close friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Martha was serving the food. Lazarus was sitting with Jesus at the table. But Mary was taking the time to anoint the feet of Jesus.

In a previous story about Mary and Martha we find the following verses in Luke, “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. 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!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."” So once again in John we find Martha busy serving those around her, while Mary anoints the feet of Jesus where she had sat previously listening to Jesus talk. It was not long until Jesus was to die and Martha is still going about doing busy work, while Mary is taking the time to be with Jesus and show her love and appreciation to Him. Many of us are no different than Martha, we spend a lot of busy time, but we aren’t spending quality time with out Lord. We feel it more important to be performing tasks than just sitting, listening and talking with out Lord. Pray we find more time to spend with our savior. Pray we show Him the love and respect he deserves.

AskMe #1516817 04/03/07 07:13 AM
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Exodus 12:21-23 (NLT)
21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. 23 For the Lord will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.

In these verses Moses is giving instructions about the Passover that is to take place. The people are told to follow a few simple steps and the lives of those inside of the home would be spared. But for those who did not follow these steps the death angel was to strike dead the first born male of every family and every flock. A later verse said, “Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.”

Every day we make choices in life. We choose when to cross a street. We choose whether we are going to following the rules for crossing the street that are set in place for the safety of our life. For instance if we choose to cross the street, but choose to ignore the sign flashing in front of us that says, “WAIT – DO NOT CROSS” we take our lives into our own hands. The people in Egypt were given the chance to live by following the instructions Moses set forward from God. Those who choose to take their own lives into their hands and disobey; they suffered the consequences for their decision. But those who choose to follow God’s word lived. The bible says there was not a single Egyptian home where someone had not died; but we need to understand there are many dying a spiritual death in homes today. These people have chosen not to follow God’s word, and reject His plan of salvation for us all. God allows us to choose life or choose death and because many reject His Son Jesus Christ they have chosen death. Pray that you can be a witness to those who need Jesus in their lives. Pray for your family, neighbors and friends that they might come to know the saving grace of God and choose life.

AskMe #1516818 04/05/07 05:08 AM
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John 18:12-14 (NLT)
12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13 First they took him to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”

The death of Jesus is approaching. He has been taken captive by the religious leaders and quickly led away. They stopped at the home of Annas perhaps as a place they could gather away from everyone and ensure the backing of the leadership. Quoted here was the son-in-law of Annas, the chief priest Caiaphas. His previous words indicate He desired to see Christ die to put down what he considered a rebellion. The irony of his words is that through the death of Jesus, Christ did die for the people.

In the Star Trek movie the Wrath of Khan Spock gives his life to repair the warp engines so desperately needed to retreat from an impending explosion. His sacrifice saves the crew, but results in his death. His final words were, “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” In the verses above Christ is nearing the point where he will give his life willingly for the many putting aside Himself and His own needs. Christ knew he was about to be beaten, tortured, and mocked. He knew the painful future as nails were about to be driven into His flesh. Worst of all He knew all of man’s sin would be placed on Him and the Father would abandon Him in His final moments of agony. This man Jesus Christ knew He was putting aside the needs of the one because the needs of the many outweighed all the pain and torture He would go through. Jesus Christ did this for you, me and the rest of the world past, present and future. Praise Jesus who sacrificed himself for us. Praise Him for choosing our needs over His own. Praise Him for loving us so much that He gave His life for ours.

AskMe #1516819 04/10/07 06:57 AM
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Hebrews 3:3-6 (NLT)
3 But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. 4 For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God. 5 Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. 6 But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.

The people are familiar with Moses, so Paul is pointing out the greater glory and excellence of Christ above Moses. Christ is the maker of the house and all belongs to Him whereas Moses only shared in God’s glory and owned nothing. God drew out the ground plans for the church. He placed everything in its proper place. And everything of His church is His.

I have a miniature dachshund at home named Lucy. Lucy is a fairly good natured dog, but there is one thing I have learned about her. If I give her a special dog treat she will take it to her bed and hide it there with her. If I attempt to reach in and pick her up and she has a treat hidden she will respond with a growl and enough of a snap to let me know she wants me to back off. Now you would think the dog could reason that I gave her the treat so I no longer want it, but instead desire for her to have it. But when I get near it she jealously guards it as though I never had a part in helping her obtain the treat. Unfortunately we are the same way with God. God hands us everything that is His for us to use and care for. Then we jealousy protect it as if it was ours all long. We forget about returning a portion of it to God or even giving Him thanks for what He has provided. Instead we want to snap back and complain that we don’t have enough. Stop and think about all that God has given you. Even your life is His. Pray and praise God for all his gifts. Thank Him for providing abundantly in your life.

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Romans 9:19-23 (NLT)
19 Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” 20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? 22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.
Here in these verses the apostle discusses how God uses people differently for his own purpose. As the creator it is His right to create those as He wishes. The argument arises that if God creates someone for His purpose haven’t they simply done as He willed them? But the apostle argues that while God has the right to show His anger and power, He also has the right to be patient with those on whom his anger falls. We do not know all the facts as God knows; therefore who are we to question God.

Life is sometimes hard. Even King Solomon in his writings acknowledges that fact. We have to realize it was sin that made life difficult. It is sin that brought about the fall of man and changed a course of history. It is sin that leads people to do things contrary to God’s nature. It’s often said sin takes people further than they want to go, and keeps them there longer than they want to stay. There are some God has set aside to be examples of holy living. There are others God has chosen to illustrate the pain and suffering of sin. God does this that we might see sin and recognize its devastating effect. And God in his mercy shows patience more abundantly to those who He has chosen to illustrate the suffering of sin. God as the creator has all rights to do as He wills. He creates a purpose for our lives and sets that purpose in motion. Job realized as he argued with God who are we to decide we are more righteous than Him? Who are we to question His works when He designed every little detail of the universe? Jesus told a parable about workers paid to labor in the fields. Some arrived early in the morning to work, while others arrived later in the day. It seemed unfair those who came early received the same pay as those who arrived late in the day. When the owner of the fields was questioned about the money he asked were they not told they would receive a certain amount of money to which they responded yes. Then he asked them, was it unlawful to do as he pleased with what was his? Do you question if God has a right to do with your life as He pleases? Pray God will help you to understand His purpose for your life. Praise God that He is in control and has a plan.

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Jeremiah 32:37-41 (NLT)
37 I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. 41 I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.

God’s people had continued to sin in ways He had never taught them about. They worshiped other gods; they even sacrificed their children to gods. God was angry with their behavior. But here we see God making them a promise of restoration. He will pour out His grace and love and favor upon them. They will be brought back to one land and He will give them a purpose to worship Him.

Moses had spoken to the people in Deuteronomy 28:64-66 saying, “For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive.” These words held true over the course of history. The Jewish people were brutally tortured and put to death in concentration camps by those under Nazi rule. Even long before that the Romans took over their land scattering the people in many directions. The siege by Rome was one of the most terrible incidents of bloodshed and violence in history. But God keeps His promises and in 1948 Israel declared its independence as a separate country and brought back many of its people. In 1967 during the six day war Israel took back all of the city of Jerusalem. In 1980 Israel declared Jerusalem to be the capital, since it was complete and unified. But all of this is only part of the promises; for God also promised the coming of the Kingdom of Christ. It is a promise we can all hold onto. It is a promise of hope because just as the other promises were fulfilled, Christ will come and reign. Praise God that He is a God who keeps His promises. Praise Him for the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. Praise Him for the events yet to take place that He has already foretold.

AskMe #1516822 04/13/07 07:21 AM
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Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NLT)
17 He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ 18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.

Moses is speaking to the people to remind them to obey the commands of God. Here in these verses he tells the people to be careful of not taking credit for the blessings that come in life. Instead they should remember it is God who gives them success.

There are those times in our life where the storms come and we have to deal with the difficulties and hardships of life. These trials often turn us to God and strengthen our character and bring us closer to Him. James tells us these are to make us mature and complete, not lacking anything. But we are not always fighting the storms, for there are victories in life too. It is so much easier to turn to God when we are struggling than it is when things are going great. However God is even teaching us in those moments of success to count on Him that He will bless our lives. We should never become as arrogant as to think the victory is ours, for the victory is God’s. God desires for us to continue our close relationship with Him in good times as well as bad. Continue to trust God through the storms, but praise and trust Him through the victories. Pray and give God thanks for the victories and success in your life. Thank Him for all He has provided. Give Him praise for always being there no matter what the circumstance.

AskMe #1516823 04/18/07 07:12 AM
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Ecclesiastes 9:12 (NLT)
9:12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.

In this verse King Solomon tells us that we never know when tragedy will come in life. We never know what hardships we may be facing or that even death is near. These are not things for us to know as God has kept them from us. When they happen they are sudden and without warning.

At Virginia Tech many people from many backgrounds fell quickly to the random shootings of a student who was troubled. Some people died while their heroic actions saved others. Others were caught totally off guard and never knew what happened. Thirty three people died in what has been called this nations deadliest shooting spree. While there were possible indications of the impending tragedy, those who died never knew that is how their day would end. For as King Solomon reminded us people cannot predict the hard times that are to come. So we must all be prepared to face an end to our life. Jesus told us “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Be ready to give the hope of Jesus Christ to others. Be ready to face eternal life knowing Christ is your savior. Be ready to face difficulties knowing God is watching over you. Are you ready? Pray and ask God to fill your life with His hope. Thank Him for the Salvation offered in His Son Jesus Christ. Pray for those who need God’s hope and understanding so they may too be ready.

AskMe #1516824 04/19/07 04:06 AM
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I knew that when my husband and I had this infidelity, I accepted that God awakened to go back to Him. I was a devout Catholic, but had always to make excuses for my Christian duties because my husband is not a Christian. And then, I came back to God through many different ways and accepted that God knocked so that I will return to the Father again. I cried so hard because "God has been so wonderful to forgive me of being a prodigal daughter! God is so great that He will do everything just for me to realize I need Him." Although, I'm still not fully recovered and is still hurt, I know that God is always with me, helping me carry my cross.

Yes, people learn to pray when we're in trouble. Let us not wait to be troubled. Let's not change our hearts in Him. Because He never does. He's always here with us...

hurt2004 #1516825 04/23/07 06:39 AM
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Galatians 5:16-22 (NLT)
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

The apostle Paul explains to the Galatians how the sinful nature inside of us desires to do just the opposite of what the Holy Spirit desires for us to do. There is a constant battle taking place that does not allow the freedom to do every good deed. In the verses Paul gives examples of what the sinful nature desires and he also gives examples of what the Holy Spirit directs us towards.

There are TV shows that have captured videos of criminals breaking into places and robbing what they can. Some of them are even humorous, such as the guy who broke into a store by climbing through an air vent in the roof. He didn’t think about the fact he would be hanging 12 feet above the floor as he dropped from the ceiling. Nor did he think about how he would escape once inside because the front door was made of non-breakable glass. Our sinful nature is like a thief that robs us of our joy in life. And unlike the humorous videos this seriously affects our life. Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” We can either give into the thief who will rob us or we can follow the Holy Spirit who will give us a rich and rewarding life. Pray the Holy Spirit would always lead you. Pray the sinful nature which tries to rob you will be captured and held in place. Pray for God to produce spiritual fruit in your life that brings you closer to Him.

AskMe #1516826 04/24/07 06:29 AM
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James 2:14-18 (NLT)
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

James, the half brother of Jesus, is writing to the tribes of Israel. He talks about a faith that was accepted without investment. The person “says” they have faith, but their actions do not follow their words and therefore men see their actions are not reconciled with their faith. God judges by knowing a person’s heart. Man judges by seeing what another does. So faith in Christ is necessary to find acceptance by God and ones good deeds are necessary to find acceptance from man.

Suppose you are sitting at a stop light and someone runs into the back of your car. Both you and the other person get out inspecting the damage and the other person says, “I’m a Christian, how about you?” You respond you are and as soon as you do the other person says, “that’s great, I guess all if forgiven?” They get back into their car and they drive off leaving you there looking at the dents and scrapes on your car. It seems the other person was only saying they were a Christian to get out of their responsibility to pay for the damages. They didn’t take responsibility nor were they repentant in any way. The driver of the damaged car is now left to feel they could not be a Christian or they would have taken responsibility for their actions. But God knows both of their hearts and He alone is the judge of their faith. But what good does it do for others to have faith, and not follow God’s word? It leaves a bad impression for the person who has been wronged. Therefore faith needs good deeds to be evident. How can one show their faith to others if there are no good deeds? Pray the good deeds of your life will be evident to others. Pray your faith will be strengthened as you practice the word of God. Give praise to a God who knows our hearts and knows where our faith lies.

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