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AskMe #2300473 01/07/10 06:09 AM
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Titus 2:14-15 (NLT)
14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. 15 You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don�t let anyone disregard what you say.

In Titus 2 the apostle Paul writes to Titus about teaching others by example. Whether old or young, man or woman, free or in bondage they were to live out their lives according to God�s word. Not only were they to live for God, but they were also instructed to teach others. Paul reminded Titus Jesus gave His life to make people His own people, freeing them from sin and allowing them to do good deeds. He also reminded Titus he had the authority to correct others when necessary.

American composer, writer, singer and evangelist wrote the beautiful words for �Hallelujah! What a Savior!� - Man of Sorrows! what a name for the Son of God, who came ruined sinners to reclaim. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood; sealed my pardon with his blood. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Guilty, vile, and helpless we; spotless Lamb of God was he; full atonement can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior! Lifted up was he to die; "It is finished!" was his cry; now in heaven exalted high. Hallelujah! What a Savior! When he comes, our glorious King, all his ransomed home to bring, then anew this song we'll sing: Hallelujah! What a Savior!

If these are the words of your heart give praise to our Savior and shine as a good example for others to follow.

AskMe #2302921 01/11/10 05:43 AM
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Mark 14:66-72 (NLT)
66 Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by 67 and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, �You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.� 68 But Peter denied it. �I don�t know what you�re talking about,� he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. 69 When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, �This man is definitely one of them!� 70 But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, �You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.� 71 Peter swore, �A curse on me if I�m lying�I don�t know this man you�re talking about!� 72 And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus� words flashed through Peter�s mind: �Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.� And he broke down and wept.

Jesus was arrested and Peter followed Jesus and the crowd into the priest�s courtyard. Peter listened as the priests hurled accusations against Jesus, spat on Jesus, beat Jesus and insulted Him. Peter remained to the back of the crowd because he did not want to be identified as one of the disciples. He denied knowing Jesus 3 times just as Jesus told Him would happen.

It is interesting Peter was willing to risk being identified as a disciple of Jesus because he wanted to be close to Jesus to see what would happen to Him. Peter loved Jesus. Often Peter said he would die for Jesus, yet fear overcame him and he distanced himself from the Lord. How often do we let troubles put distance between us and God? We love the Lord. We might be willing to serve Him. But there are just times when our fears put us at a distance. Pray God will always keep you close and always be ready to give a bold witness for our Lord and Savior!

AskMe #2303623 01/12/10 06:04 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 writing to the Philippians the Apostle Paul states it was Christ who first possessed or as the KJV says, apprehended him. The Greek word means to lay hold of, obtain, and to make one�s own. Paul recognizes it is Christ�s love for him that moves him forward. Paul knew he was not perfect, but because of Christ he was able to put the past behind him and move forward towards a day of eternal perfection.

Years ago I ran in the New York Marathon race. I wasn�t the fastest runner. My goal was to finish and not be last. After I completed the race, I returned to my hotel room where I listened to the news about a woman with Multiple Sclerosis who was still out there on the streets of New York and had been there for over 12 hours. She had to walk the 26.2 miles with crutches and the disease that inflicted her made every step labor intensive. However she was determined to finish the race even if she was the last person. About twenty four hours later out the hotel window we could see a crowd of people encouraging this woman the final steps to the finish line. It took her over a day to complete the New York Marathon, but she never gave up on the race and the finish line was her reward. The Bible tells us to press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Even if you are struggling, don�t give up the race; hang in there until the finish line.

AskMe #2304127 01/13/10 05:40 AM
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Psalm 46:1-3 (NLT)
1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

The psalmist reflects on the almighty God. God is both a place of refuge and strength in times of trouble. Events may occur that we might fear but God is still in control. Earthquakes, falling mountains and surging waters are not enough to remove the psalmist�s trust in the Lord.

Today I ask we might pray for those in Haiti. The people of Haiti have experienced a devastating earthquake yet we know God is in control. Lord God we ask for your mercy upon the people of Haiti. We pray for victims that aid and relief would become available son. We pray for those who have lost loved ones that you Lord would give them comfort. Lord we pray the people would seek you for answers and find hope in Your promises. Lord we give praise for your strength, mercy and grace. In Jesus name, Amen

AskMe #2304918 01/14/10 05:44 AM
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Psalm 40:17 (ESV)
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!

This is from a psalm of David who recognizes God is his helper and deliverer. It is a message for those in distress and affliction to trust in God and find comfort in Him as well.

Matthew Henry, a Presbyterian minister and Bible commentator said of David�s psalm. David himself was one of these: I am poor and needy (a king, perhaps now on the throne, and yet, being troubled in spirit, he calls himself poor and needy, in want and distress, lost and undone without a Saviour), yet the Lord thinketh upon me in and through the Mediator, by whom we are made accepted. Men forget the poor and needy, and seldom think of them; but God�s thoughts, towards them are their support and comfort. They may assure themselves that God is their help under their troubles, and will be, in due time, their deliverer out of their troubles, and will make no long tarrying; for the vision is for an appointed time, and therefore, though it tarry, we may wait for it, for it shall come; it will come, it will not tarry.

AskMe #2307886 01/20/10 06:07 AM
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Proverbs 20:9 (NLT)
9 Who can say, �I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin�?

In this proverb King Solomon challenges anyone to prove them self sinless. At the time he is also questioning if there is anyone who is even capable of doing so. For King Solomon reasons there are none who can say, ��I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin�.

Searching one�s own soul and heart can prove difficult. There are many who may say they are good and just, but let someone else examine their life. When someone else is watching the sins which might go unnoticed are revealed. I think about those with addictions. An alcoholic for example will deny they have a problem with drinking. They will even be intoxicated and say �I�m not drunk. I just had a few.� They deny their own sin. Then there are those who tell lies big or small to gain favor, self esteem, or defend against what they should know in their heart it is wrong. How can we who are corrupted by sin remove our own sin when often we don�t even see it? It is why we have a Savior Jesus Christ who forgives our sin and cleanses us that we might become righteousness. There is hope of a sinless eternal life where we can be pure and free from sin and it is given to us by the mercy and grace of our Lord.

AskMe #2308705 01/21/10 06:16 AM
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Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

The words of the Apostle Paul remind us to imitate God in everything we do. Not just some things, but everything. God loved us so much that He gave His son Jesus as a sacrifice to atone for sin. The sacrifice fulfilled its purpose and was pleasing to God that all men might be saved. Therefore we should live life showing God�s love to others.

The Reverend Matthew Henry commented on how we should love that �this godlike grace should conduct and influence our whole conversation, which is meant by walking in it. It should be the principle from which we act; it should direct the ends at which we aim. We should be more careful to give proof of the sincerity of our love one to another. As Christ also hath loved us. Here the apostle directs us to the example of Christ, whom Christians are obliged to imitate, and in whom we have an instance of the most free and generous love that ever was, that great love wherewith he hath loved us. We are all joint sharers in that love, and partakers of the comfort of it, and therefore should love one another, Christ having loved us all and given such proof of his love to us; for He hath given Himself for us. The apostle designedly enlarges on the subject; for what can yield us more delightful matter for contemplation than this? Christ gave himself to die for us; and the death of Christ was the great sacrifice of atonement: An offering and a sacrifice to God; or an offering, even a sacrifice�a propitiatory sacrifice, to expiate our guilt, which had been prefigured in the legal oblations and sacrifices; and this for a sweet-smelling savour.� Without a doubt God loves us and we should love ourselves and others.

AskMe #2311096 01/25/10 06:06 AM
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James 3:17 (NLT)
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

James is urging believers to take hold of the wisdom of God and put it to use in daily living. This wisdom should be used to help others and not to be hoarded in a jealous manner. This wisdom James talks about is pure, peace loving, gentle, compromising, merciful, good, shows no partiality and is always sincere. It is wisdom that comes from a holy and great God.

In the night God appeared to King Solomon and said to him, �Ask what I shall give thee.� King Solomon responded, �Give me now wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people that is so great?� King Solomon wanted a wisdom that would benefit the people of his country. He wanted to be able to respond as though God were responding to others. So God granted him wisdom and much more. We all need to seek after the wisdom of God. In that wisdom we find how to love others in the right way. In that wisdom we provide mercy and grace when it is needed. Remember it is not human wisdom we seek, but the wisdom of a holy God.

AskMe #2312536 01/27/10 06:37 AM
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Luke 10:17-20 (KJV)
17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

Seventy disciples returned from a long journey to proclaim they cast out demons in the name of Jesus. They were excited about what had taken place. Jesus reminded them to rejoice not that the demons were subject to them, but rather they were going to enjoy the eternal life of heaven. Jesus confirmed the preaching of the gospel broke down the kingdom of Satan. In some way it was also a warning to not let pride take hold as it did with Satan.

In Matthew 12:29 Jesus said, �How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then He will spoil his house�. Without the power of Christ it is impossible to struggle against the powers of Satan. Without the salvation of Christ, Satan had free reign over this world. It is through the power of the gospel, which is the good news of God�s merciful salvation in Jesus Christ, that Christians can work feely to do the will of God. Satan, the serpent, caused Adam and Eve to fall to sin. For that God said, �And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.� This was an indication of the struggle that would pursue between Satan and man. Yet we see Jesus telling the disciples that He will give them the power to tread on serpents and scorpions. Through Jesus Satan and his demons lose their power to hold us through sin. No long is it Satan who holds the power to the world, instead it is Christ who reigns.

AskMe #2313240 01/28/10 06:00 AM
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Romans 6:23 (KJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The apostle tells us death is due us as wages for the sins we have committed. In God�s eyes there is no one sin greater than another or one of lesser importance. Any sin committed goes against the holy nature of God. All that are servants to sin must expect to be paid and that payment is death - eternal separation from God. Yet God in his loving mercy and grace offers a free gift of eternal life through His son Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus and Jesus only that we can gain eternal life with God.

The Bible speaks of two different men named Lazarus. The first was a beggar, riddled with sores who would beg at the gates of a rich man for something to comfort him. This Lazarus died and went to be with God in heaven. There he was comforted by the promise given to Abraham about the coming of The Savior. Jesus clearly tells us this Lazarus was in heaven while the rich man ended up in hell. It was there the rich man suffered worst than the beggar ever experienced while alive. The rich man was separated from God, tormented by painful memories, and in physical distress. The second Lazarus was a friend of Jesus who was the brother of Martha and Mary. The second Lazarus died from an illness and was laid to rest in a tomb. Yet the Bible tells us Jesus brought Lazarus back to life and Lazarus emerged from the tomb where he lay. Jesus has the power over life and death, both physical and eternal. Because of His perfect sacrifice we are able to overcome death and live an eternal life with God. Give praise to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Thank Jesus for the suffering He endured to set us free from sin.

AskMe #2314149 01/29/10 06:25 AM
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Proverbs 29:7 (NLT)
7 The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don�t care at all.

In this verse King Solomon states there is a duty to watch after the rights of those who are less fortunate. Judges, juries, and witnesses should be fair to all; not just the rich or the influential. But sadly there are those who take advantage of the poor because they do not have the resources to plead their case properly.

We have seen court trials where the influential and rich are able to sway opinion through high price lawyers. Yet the poor must endure by the grace allotted them. Sadly financial resources can affect the outcome of a court decision. A person with limited resources may try to stand against a wealthy government, but they are often backed down as expenses grow. The poor generally receive less counsel than those who are rich. They suffer for their poverty. We should remember all are guaranteed a fair and reasonable trial in our country, which is a precious liberty. Yet there are some countries that oppress the poor. Pray for the less fortunate that godly people would stand up for their rights. Pray they would have equal and fair judgment in the courts. Pray God�s people would ensure justice is preserved.

AskMe #2315751 02/01/10 06:02 AM
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Romans 7:14-17 (NLT)
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don�t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don�t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

When the apostle says the law is spiritual and good he reminds us we were to live a good life; a life free from sin. God�s spirit is always calling to us to do what is right. It forbids spiritual wickedness, murder, adultery and other sins. It commands spiritual obedience calling us to follow and worship God. Yet sin clouds our judgment. We want to do what is right. We hate it when we do the wrong things. So we must agree it is the sin living within us that causes us to move away from the desires of God; otherwise we would listen to what we know is right.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is a tale of a dual personality that struggles against itself; one good the other evil. From chapter 10 of the book is this quote, �With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two." According to the bible the true is we should have been without sin; but sin entered our lived, corrupted our thinking, and we began to choose against our desires. To God we are a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde knowing what we should do, but then turning away from our true nature to something we are not. Pray Christ would open our eyes to sin and help us in the moments of our weakness. Pray we might obey God and follow His desires for our lives.

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Galatians 6:1 (NLT)
1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

This message from the Apostle Paul is about grace which should be extended to a Christian who has fallen into sin. Those in the church who have demonstrated their own godly behavior should humbly help and gently lead the person away from the sin. They should be strong enough in their faith that they too do not succumb to the temptation for which they are trying to assist.

�Becoming the first man to climb Mt. Everest proved to be a dangerous adventure for Sir Edmund Hillary. After scaling the mountain Hillary lost his footing on the way down, but his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, held the line taut and kept Hillary from falling by digging his axe into the ice. Tenzing later refused special credit for saving Hillary�s life by saying �Mountain climbers always help each other.�� (Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 11) As Christians we should be willing to reach out and keep another brother or sister in Christ from falling further into sin. Our first reaction should not be one of judgment, but of a desire to help the person overcome their problem. For if we push a person away from the church without helping them they become even more bitter and wonder if there really is such a thing as mercy and grace.

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Proverbs 3:9-10 (KJV)
9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

Proverbs 3 gives advice on trusting in the Lord. One of the steps in trusting God is to rely upon Him. This proverb tells us we should honor God by returning the first portion of what we receive to Him. As we trust and obey His word the Lord reassures us there will be plenty for our needs.

You may have seen some docudramas or the show Hoarders about people who hang on to everything. They fear something will happen if they are not retaining their possessions. It is an OCD type problem where anxiety drives the person to feel out of control if they have to part with their belongings or do not have enough of something. They continue to fill their house until it is overflowing with endless clutter. They never have peace although they continue to keep item after item. While most of these people have dealt with life traumas and mental health issues there are others of us who refuse to even let go of a part of what the Lord has given us. The Lord shares His wealth with us so we might benefit others. Instead of trusting God to meet our needs we become hoarders for our own pleasure. We take and take what should have benefited someone else to give ourselves non-essential pleasures.

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1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)
33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

The Apostle Paul is describing how order should be maintained within the church. He has given them specific instructions through this chapter of 1 Corinthians and he reminds them God is not the author of confusion. God brings peace and understanding; not chaos and confusion.

There are times we want to blame God for the confusion and mess taking place in our lives. Instead of accepting responsibility for our own actions we try to turn that responsibility over to God. After all God is suppose to handle everything in our lives, right? But The Bible tells us Satan is the one who deceives and creates lies. It wasn�t until Adam was tempted by Satan and fell into sin that he was ready to blame God for the woman that God gave him. Remember God doesn�t create the confusion in our lives; it is created by sin and Satan�s temptations. God wants to bring peace into our lives. It is why He gave his son Jesus to die for our sins.

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1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)
33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

The Apostle Paul is describing how order should be maintained within the church. He has given them specific instructions through this chapter of 1 Corinthians and he reminds them God is not the author of confusion. God brings peace and understanding; not chaos and confusion.

There are times we want to blame God for the confusion and mess taking place in our lives. Instead of accepting responsibility for our own actions we try to turn that responsibility over to God. After all God is suppose to handle everything in our lives, right? But The Bible tells us Satan is the one who deceives and creates lies. It wasn�t until Adam was tempted by Satan and fell into sin that he was ready to blame God for the woman that God gave him. Remember God doesn�t create the confusion in our lives; it is created by sin and Satan�s temptations. God wants to bring peace into our lives. It is why He gave his son Jesus to die for our sins.

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Mark 2:15-16 (NLT)
15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus� followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, �Why does he eat with such scum?�

Levi was a tax collector for the Roman government. When I think about those who were Roman tax collectors, I think about the more modern day crime syndicates who extort money for so called �protection� of a business. Most tax collections were greedy and often use their authority to take more than required as profit for themselves. Tax collectors were considered some of the most despised people because of the burdens they placed financially on people. Their wealth obtained them some of the most disreputable sinners as friends. In the verses above a dinner party gathered with Levi�s friends and tax collectors. Levi invited Jesus to attend dinner and Jesus accepted. The Pharisees, the religious leaders, could not believe Jesus, who intimately knew the law, would gather himself with such sinful scum.

How comfortable would you find yourself sitting with disreputable sinners? Would it be easy for you or difficult to sit down and have a conversation with those who might repulse most people because of their morals? Jesus came to heal the sick, not the healthy. Not just sick physically, but those who were sick due to sin in their lives. Jesus knew His purpose. Jesus knew he was God�s son. Jesus was not worried about what others thought, but instead cared about what His Father thought. Jesus determined to heal the sick reached out to them and was inclusive of them. May we be able to find in our own lives the strength and purpose to fulfill God�s will of ministering to others? Pray God will let you see people the way He sees them, broken, hurt, and in need of someone who cares. Be ready to share the good news of Christ and respond to others in love. Pray too you also know who you are as a child of God.

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Matthew 20:29-34 (ESV)
29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, "What do you want me to do for you?" 33 They said to him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened." 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

Two blind men desired to see. When they heard Jesus was near they cried out for His mercy because they knew of his miracles. Those following Jesus were more than likely listening to His teaching and when these men interrupted the crowd told them to be silent. Jesus knew the desire of the blind men, but He asked them a direct question, �What do you want me to do for you?� Jesus was testing their faith. They could have asked for money. They could have asked for food, but instead they asked that their eyes might be open to see.

These blind men give us an understanding of prayer. First the men cried out to the Lord that He might have mercy upon them. When they were told to be silent they cried out even more fervently. The answers to prayer become a cherished prize when they are sought earnestly in prayer. Second these men were humble. They cried for mercy even though they were rebuked. They could have cried out for alms or food, but they choose mercy. Third even in their blindness they had faith to believe in the miracles Jesus had performed. They had only heard, but never witnessed what Jesus could do. Still they called upon Jesus, Lord, Son of David to come to their aid. Their trust and faith was in the Lord. Fourth despite hindrances they persisted in crying out to the Lord. They didn�t give up, but desired for the Lord to hear them. Fifth upon gaining their sight they followed Jesus. In addition to their sight they desired a close relationship with Him and were willing to follow where Jesus went. So often we pray for our desires, but then we forget we should have a relationship with our Lord who loves us deeply. Ask the Lord to stand near and dwell on His love for you.

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Judges 6:14-15 (NLT)
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, �Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!� 15 �But Lord,� Gideon replied, �how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!�

Because the Israelites had fallen into a sinful nature, God allowed the Midianites to rule over the Israelites for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel the Israelites would hide out in caves, mountains or other secure places they could find. The Israelites fields were frequently raided leaving them with nothing to eat. Now we see the Lord telling Gideon to rescue the Israelites from the people who were overwhelming them. Gideon gives his reply, �But Lord how can I rescue Israel?�

Sometimes our �buts� get in the way. Gideon knew God was speaking to him, �but� he questioned God. Gideon even said, �If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me.� So again Gideon was thinking, ok you are going to help me God, �but� let me know you are real. How often do we start out with a phrase of good intention and then follow it with, �but�? For instance: I apologize, �but��. I am glad to help, �but��. Would love to donate, �but��. As Gideon later found out he needed to depend more on God and not himself. If our intentions are pure and we allow God to work in our lives there is no need to say �but�. When we need to apologize we do so without conditions. When we give we do so out of the goodness of our heart. When we help others we do so because we want to share the love of Christ. There usually are no reasons for �buts� except when we are not being fully honest with ourselves and others.

AskMe #2324240 02/16/10 06:11 AM
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Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NLT)
9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God�s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.

King Solomon ponders life and the hard work man faces. Solomon knows it was a burden placed on man when sin entered the world. Yet Solomon also understood there was an eternal life that we have not yet seen. Solomon concluded we don�t understand all that God has planned for us so for now enjoy life by enjoying the gifts God gives us.

As I was walking down a street in Georgetown, Virginia a man who was singing and holding a shoe shining kit stopped me and asked if he could touch up the shine on my shoes. He said, �Just $5 and it helps me with food and shelter.� So I agreed and started to talk with him. He said he was out of a job and homeless. He bought the shoe shine kit so he could earn what he called honest money. He said he knew God would rather have him earn money honestly instead of hustling people or selling drugs. He said this way I can give a little something to earn a little something. Even though he didn�t have much he was content. How many of us have so much and yet we cannot be content with our lives? Instead of looking for happiness we burden ourselves. As King Solomon concluded, would it not be better to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can in this life?

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