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AskMe #2324847 02/17/10 04:44 AM
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Genesis 3:6-11 (NLT)
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. 8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, �Where are you?� 10 He replied, �I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.� 11 �Who told you that you were naked?� the Lord God asked. �Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?�

These verses describe the fall of man to sin. Adam and Eve took it upon themselves to disobey God by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Suddenly they were aware of what was considered evil and what might be considered good. Feeling shame they felt it good to create clothing for them and hide their sinful act from God.

Up until the point where man fell to sin Adam had walked in the cool mist of the garden with God. Adam had listened to God�s words and followed God�s desires. Adam was asked to name all the animals of the world and he did so without hesitation. But now both Adam and Eve could see what was considered good and what was considered evil. They knew their act of disobeying God and eating from the tree he commanded them not to eat from was wrong. They felt shame for the first time because of their sinful act. They felt their nakedness to the world. For the first time man attempted to act on good by clothing himself and hiding their shame from God even though God had walked with them many times as they were naked. Adam and Eve were attempting good apart from God. They thought their actions to be good would cover the shame of their sin. Unfortunately we still do the same today. When we sin and feel the shame of our sin we try doing something good thinking it will please God when what God wanted was for us to walk with Him and learn from Him. Yet we have chosen to learn our own way forsaking the desires of God for what is right and what is wrong. Pray and ask God to show you what is truly good that you may be able to follow His will and desire for your life.

AskMe #2327215 02/22/10 06:27 AM
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John 15:7 (NLT)
7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

As Christ speaks He tells those listening our fellowship with Him is maintained by allowing His words to penetrate our hearts. We keep close in prayer desiring to be with Him and understand Him even more. As our hearts agree with His then as we ask according to His will those prayers will be heard and answered.

The following article was taken from Decision magazine, April 2007; � 2007 Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; all rights reserved; David M. Howard, "An Answer to Prayer," Decision (April 2007); pp.34-35

He arrived at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, during my junior year, 1947-48. A German who had spent time as a prisoner of war, he was now working as a janitor, sweeping the halls and cleaning the restrooms of Blanchard Hall.

Many of my fellow students had served in World War II; some had even been prisoners of war themselves. We heard that this man had served in the German military forces, but we knew nothing else about him. Had he been a Nazi himself? Or was he one of those young men who were obligated to serve their country regardless of political opinions? We did not know. And since he spoke almost no English, we could not communicate well with him.
The janitor had a pleasant smile, and we enjoyed greeting him in the hallways as he carried out his duties. As far as we knew, he was not a Christian, so Jim Elliot (who would later be martyred, along with four other missionaries in Ecuador) got the vision to start praying for him. Jim rounded up several more of us and challenged us to pray that this young man would give his heart to Christ. We would get together from time to time and pray especially for this German, who remained a mystery to us.

After a time, he left Wheaton and we lost track of him. We only hoped that somehow the Lord would be working in his heart to bring him to salvation. After a while he faded from our thoughts and memories.

In 1978, I was invited by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization to help organize and direct a consultation on world evangelization, which eventually was held in Pattaya, Thailand, in 1980. In January 1978, I met for the first time with the full membership of the Lausanne Committee, composed of Christian leaders from all around the world under the leadership of Leighton Ford as chairman and Billy Graham as honorary chairman. Our meeting was held in Hamilton, Bermuda.

One afternoon we had some free time, so a number of us strolled around the streets of downtown Hamilton. I was standing at the waterfront with another committee member as we looked at some of the ships tied up in port. One was a large British submarine. My companion, who was from Germany, looked at the submarine and commented, "I served in Hitler's submarine corps." I was fascinated, so I asked for more details.

He said, "Toward the end of the war, as the Allies were sweeping across Europe and crossing the Rhine River into Germany, Hitler pulled most of us off the submarines and naval vessels, which were no longer of much use to Germany, and put us in the front lines as infantry.

"I was on the front lines in Holland, where I was wounded. This was the best thing that ever happened to me, as I was abandoned by our troops in retreat and was captured by the British. They sent me to a hospital in England. The rest of my contingent retreated eastward and was captured by the Russians. Most of them were never heard from again."

I asked him what happened next. He went on to explain that he had gone from England to the United States for a period of time. He said his name was Peter Schneider, and he was the chairman of the board of directors of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Germany. He spoke perfect English, and so served as Billy Graham's interpreter whenever Mr. Graham preached in Germany.

Suddenly my mind began to spin, dredging up memories of 30 years earlier. Peter Schneider? That was the name of the janitor in Blanchard Hall for whom we had prayed!

I asked, "Peter, were you ever at Wheaton College in Illinois?"
"Why yes," he replied. "I worked there as a janitor, sweeping the halls and cleaning the restrooms in the main administration building."

My heart leapt with joy. I burst out, "Peter, were you a Christian at that time?"

"No," he said. "I became a Christian later, at a YMCA camp in Wisconsin. When I was at Wheaton I knew almost nothing of the Gospel."

My excitement continued: "Peter, you would have no way of knowing this, but I must tell you what happened during your time at Wheaton. Jim Elliot got a vision to pray for your salvation. He organized several other students, including me, to pray that you would come to know the Lord. We could not witness to you, because we spoke no German and you apparently had learned almost no English yet. But we prayed faithfully for you in those days. We used to greet you in the hallways, and you always responded with a pleasant smile and a nod."

My exhilaration knew no bounds. Here I was, standing at the waterfront in Bermuda with a key evangelical leader from Germany who was committed to proclaiming the Gospel to the world�and for whose salvation I had prayed!

As my mind harked back to 30 years earlier and the prayer meetings we used to have asking God for the salvation of Peter Schneider, I could only bow in humble thankfulness for the way God had so abundantly answered those prayers. We never could have dreamed where this young janitor and former prisoner of war would end up.

Peter was equally moved and grateful as he realized how a few young men, whom he never really knew, had played some role in his coming to salvation and to the profound ministry that he now had as a colleague of Billy Graham.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8�9).

AskMe #2327833 02/23/10 06:21 AM
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Colossians 1:13-14 (NLT)
13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

The Apostle writes the Colossians to inform them how God through His son Jesus rescued us from heathenish darkness and wickedness that dominated our lives through sin. Jesus purchased our freedom and forgave our sins so that we could move from a state of darkness to a state of light. Ephesians 5:8-9 states, �For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.�

Writer, Philip Yancey, recounts for Christianity Today, a story of prostitutes who were brought into the light and out of the darkness they were living in. �Juanita, for example, was sold into sexual slavery by her own mother at the age of four. While other children went to school, she worked in a brothel, earning for her mother the higher rates paid for young girls. Eventually she had two children of her own, whom her mother took from her. With no education and no other skills, she continued working in the brothel, in the process becoming addicted to alcohol and cocaine. One day a customer grew enraged when she wouldn't do what he asked, and hit her on the head with a baseball bat. She lay in a hospital bed, desperate. "I got on my knees and pled with God. I wanted somehow to escape prostitution, to become a real mother to my children. And God gave me a vision. He said, 'Look for Rahab Foundation.' I didn't even know the word Rahab." She found the organization's phone number, though, and a few days later Juanita showed up, bruised and bandaged, at Rahab's door. "I need help," she said, sobbing. "I'm dying. I can't take it anymore." A kindly woman named Mariliana took her in and told her about God's love. "I couldn't believe the hope on Mariliana's face," Juanita recalled. "She smiled and hugged me. She gave me a clean bed, flowers in the room, and a promise that no men would harass me. She taught me how to be a real mother, and now I am studying a trade to live for the glory of God."� [1] Praise God that He provides light even when we are surrounded by darkness.

[1] Philip Yancey, "Back From the Brothel," http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/january/24.80.html

AskMe #2328447 02/24/10 05:59 AM
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Ephesians 4:17-19 (NLT)
17 With the Lord�s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

The Apostle, speaking by the authority of Christ, tells the Ephesians to change the way they live. They should no longer live as not knowing God, but live as people who are close to God. Their minds and hearts should be open to God and not closed like those who do not know God. For those who do not know God allow the darkness of sin to harden their hearts so that they follow after their own desires.

In July of 1945, the battle cruiser USS Indianapolis was returning from the mission when it was hit by a torpedo. Quickly sinking, in 12 minutes three hundred of the twelve hundred men died. The remaining 900 were left in the ocean without food or water; 316 survived. Many died from the temptation to drink the ocean water. The chief medical officer recorded how he tried to stop the men from drinking the ocean water knowing they would quickly perish. He slapped those who became manic in an attempt to bring them back to a state of sanity. Yet men drank the ocean water thinking they were quenching their thirst only to find out they were hastening their death. Many today try to quench their thirst with sin. They think their indulgence will bring satisfaction; but in reality it only hastens death.

AskMe #2329507 02/26/10 06:40 AM
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Galatians 6:10-17 (KJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The Apostle reminds the Galatians they are to depend upon the Lord for their source of strength. Using the illustration of a Roman solider, Paul identifies the attributes needed to battle against sin. They were to be truthful, righteous, ready to share the gospel and keep their faith in God. Their salvation was their head gear, protecting their thoughts with the words of God.

A soldier would never enter the battle field without preparation to defend self against the attacks of the enemy. A soldier understands they must be prepared for attacks. They watch out for the tricks of the enemy who tries to deceive and lure them into a false confidence. They have to put aside their doubts and face the enemy with confidence that those who stand with them also support them. And while on the defense, no normal soldier who has seen battle wants to associate with death. Instead they hope for peace, for life, and for freedom from oppression. Standing against sin is a similar battle. One must prepare in order to defend. One must keep faith in the Lord knowing He stands firm with them. One must seek peace, desire life for others, and defend what they believe. So be strong in the Lord!!

AskMe #2330833 03/01/10 05:54 AM
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Deuteronomy 1:19-25 (NLT)
19 �Then, just as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said to you, �You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the Lord our God is giving us. 21 Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don�t be afraid! Don�t be discouraged!� 22 �But you all came to me and said, �First, let�s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.� 23 �This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes. 24 They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported, �The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.�

Moses reminded the people of Israel that God had lead them to the good land He promised them. Moses was trying to encourage them telling them not to be afraid or discouraged. Yet the people wanted to explore the land and see what they were about to occupy. So they sent scouts who returned with fruit and said, �The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.�

One of Israel�s problems was they often doubted God. God kept His promises to the people, but over and over again they would rebel against God. Yet God continued to watch after them, protect when He said He would protect, and provide when He said He would provide. But here again there was doubt among the people. Much like Thomas who had to see the wounds of Jesus, the people had to see the land God was giving them. How often today do we let ourselves become discouraged because we forget the promises God has made to us? How often do we question what God is ready to provide because we doubt His ability? Pray your faith in God would be strengthened and that you would clearly see what God is doing for you. Give praise to the Lord for all the blessing He bestows upon us. Be content in the Lord, always acknowledging what He has done for you.

AskMe #2331337 03/02/10 06:21 AM
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Psalm 34:3-4 (KJV)
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Saul desired to kill David because of jealousy over David�s accomplishments. So David fled to Gath where the officers and King Achish feared David, for he had won many battles. Hearing their fear and fearing what they might do; David pretended to be insane. During this time it was wrong to kill an insane person so they set David free. In the Psalm above David praised the Lord for his greatness in giving him wisdom to escape from others who sought to kill him.

How often do we make God smaller than He really is? Is there anything He cannot accomplish? Is there any miracle He cannot make happen? Can God restore us when we have been broken? Can God heal those who we think they cannot be healed? God is able to accomplish far more than our expectations, but we need to have a relationship with the Lord, depend on Him and look to Him for answers. Instead of seeing God small let us magnify Him to the great and wonderful God He is. Let us exalt His name knowing He can deliver us from many troubles and pains. There have been times I thought there was no hope, but looking back God was able to do what was the impossible. Praise God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. May God attend to your needs and bless you as you walk with Him.

AskMe #2331758 03/03/10 06:00 AM
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Acts 28:7-10 (KJV)
7 In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: 10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

The Apostle Paul was a prisoner and was being transported by boat when a storm ran the boat aground. The centurion allowed the men to swim to safety for Paul�s sake even though the standing order was to kill any who might flee. Once on the island, the people there witnessed Paul being bit by a viper as he gathered fire wood. Those who saw this thought surely Paul was cursed and would die. He was thrown into the water by the ship wreck and even surviving that he was bitten by a poisonous snake. Yet Paul lived and did not show any signs of being bitten. The people then believed Paul to be something special. They allowed Paul to pray and heal the father of the chief. Paul then went on to heal many others even though he was still a prisoner.

Paul had a purpose in life and that was to share the message of Christ with those who would listen. Even as a prisoner Paul reached out to many. Even as a prisoner Paul was willing to assist others in need. Paul understood his faith in God was his strength, his rock, his shield. He understood the power of prayer and its effective use. He prayed for those needing salvation. He prayed for those who needed healing. He prayed that God might be glorified. Paul prayed and gave praises to God. Christ changed Paul and gave him a clear understanding of who he was and his mission for God. Like Paul, reach out to others in the name of Christ. Pray for those who need healing. Give God praise for all that happens in your life knowing even the difficult times are meant to strengthen you.

AskMe #2332265 03/04/10 06:21 AM
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John 17:3 (KJV)
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

This verse comes from Jesus as He is praying on behalf of others. Jesus confirms the grand design of God�s plan and that is eternal life comes from knowing God and Christ. Jesus says there is only one true God and that is the one who sent Him as mediator for our sin.

If we closely examined our lives many of us would realize some of the sins we have committed over our life. If we had kept a journal of our sins over the course of life I am sure we would be surprised by the tally. Even keeping a journal we would miss many sins because of our failure to identify them or acknowledge them. I believe it would be a true statement to say we would find ourselves more sinful than we would ever dare believe. Jesus paid the price for each and every sin we have ever committed. God loved us so much that we are more loved by God than we ever dared to hope. Place your hope in Christ for He is The Redeemer of our sin.

AskMe #2332665 03/05/10 06:34 AM
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Matthew 7:7-9 (NLT)
7 �Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 �You parents�if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

These words from Jesus come from His sermon on the mount. Jesus talks about effective prayer. He said to keep asking and seeking in order to find an answer. For if we on this earth understand how to answer our children when they make a request; our Holy and Heavenly Father is able to do so much more.

�Travel back 200 years in Christian history to John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-pastor and hymn writer. He would receive almost unbelievable answers to his prayers because he believed in what he called "large asking." When explaining what he meant, Newton would often cite a legendary story of a man who asked Alexander the Great to give him a huge sum of money in exchange for his daughter's hand in marriage. Alexander agreed, and told the man to request of Alexander's treasurer whatever he wanted. So, the father of the bride went and asked for an enormous amount. The treasurer was startled and said he could not give out that kind of money without a direct order. Going to Alexander, the treasurer argued that even a small fraction of the money requested would more than serve the purpose. "No," replied Alexander, "let him have it all. I like that fellow. He does me honor. He treats me like a king and proves by what he asks that he believes me to be both rich and generous." Newton concluded: "In the same way, we should go to the throne of God's grace and present petitions that express honorable views of the love, riches, and bounty of our King." [1] God give out of love, but also holds back out of love when He knows our requests are wrong. Like a good parent God gives what we need, not always what we want.

[1] Passed along from Parables, an old newsletter that regularly featured illustrations for preachers

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Psalm 90:12 (KJV)
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

The psalmist writes asking God to help us number our days for the reason of learning to apply wisdom to our hearts. For when a person does not see the limitation to their life they frivolously waste the precious time they have. Knowing there is a set limit on our days of life helps turn us to wisdom so that we may enrich and increase our lives.

In the movie The Bucket List two men meet who have terminal cancer. Although they have nothing in common except their disease they develop a bond of friendship. They set out to fulfill a wish list of to-dos looking to accomplish things they had always dreamed about. Realizing they only had a short time to live the men worked through the list one item at a time. The Psalmist reminds us to look at our days as though each day may be our last. We are to use each and every day to the fullest to seek out the wisdom of God and apply it to our hearts. May we make the best use of our life so that others may see how we lived for God.

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Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT)
10 �The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

These are the words of God spoken through the prophet Isaiah. God informs the people like rain and snow which causes crops to grow the same is true for His word. God�s word produces the fruit He intends to reap. His word accomplishes what it was put in place to accomplish. And God�s word will prosper everywhere it is sent.

If you have ever had a chance to share verses from the Bible with someone who is searching for God it is amazing to watch God�s word prosper in the person as they listen. I once was in Washington, D.C. teaching a class. I flagged down a taxi, got in and the driver asked me how my day was going. I said, �Good, I was up early reading my Bible lesson for the week.� The driver then said something that surprised me. He said, �I don�t know about me and God. I wish someone could explain things to me.� So as we drove to where I was working I shared verses from the Bible explaining God�s plan for Salvation. I told the taxi driver how God loved us so much He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins. I explained how the Bible says salvation is a free gift for those who accept it. About that time we pulled up in front of the building where I was working. The taxi driver turned around and looked at me and said, �I don�t know what I need to do, but I want the Jesus you were talking about.� He then asked, �Would you pray with me?� As other taxis blew their horns for his spot we prayed and he asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. What a blessing it was to see God�s word in action. A year later I was working in Washington, D.C. again. I flagged down a taxi, got in and to my surprise it was the driver I had met a year earlier. I asked, �How is your day going?� He said, �Great, I have Jesus in my life.� Then he looked back and said, �Hey, you are the guy who told me about Jesus.� Once again God�s word prospered as it renewed my faith in what Christ does in the lives of people.

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1 Corinthians 15:1-9 (NLT)
1 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you�unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I�m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God�s church.

The Apostle Paul states the Good News, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins. Christ was buried. On the third day Christ rose from the dead defeating death all in accordance with God�s plan. There were witnesses who could testify Christ lived after death. Even Paul says he saw Christ, although he did not consider himself worthy to do so after killing those who were following the Gospel of Christ.

Can a person change, absolutely! As a young man Paul stood and watched the stoning of Stephen for testifying about Christ. The book of Acts says, �They rushed at him (Stephen) and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul (later named Paul).�Paul continued to persecute Christians believing they were acting against the law of God. But then he met Jesus and his life was changed. Paul finally understood the purpose of the law and how it showed man�s need for Jesus. Paul�s heart changed to one of compassion and he began to reach out to those he had persecuted and he also taught others about Christ. Never give up on the belief God can change a person. Pray for those who need Christ that their hearts might be changed and their life transformed into one that pleases God.

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Ephesians 4:7-13 (The Message Translation)
7-13 But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,
He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.
Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

The apostle emphasizes the gifts Christ has given us to use to glory Him. Some were meant to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelist and some pastor-teachers to train others. It takes more than just a knowledge of Christ it takes faith to put these gifts into practice.

Proverbs tells us there is a difference between wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is to know facts; black is black and red is red. Wisdom is the ability to discern knowledge and make practical use of it. Understanding applies wisdom and makes practical use of it. When I first started dating my wife she invited me to go skiing on the lake with her family. I had never been on skis in my life; so I read everything there was to know about the subject. I had practical knowledge. I knew how to put on the skis. I knew how to position myself in the water. When it came time for the boat to pull me out of the water it was a different story. My face planted itself into the water each time the boat took off. I lacked the wisdom to put all the knowledge into use. I had never practiced what I knew and therefore fell flat on my face. I learned about understanding in that if the two handles of the ski ropes are not perfectly aligned they will always pull you sideways. Seems my future in-laws had worked on the ropes the morning before I used them and one side was about 4 inches longer when it was pulled taught. So I did not understand why the things I knew was not working out until my wife�s brother took my place and understood what was wrong. He had the knowledge, wisdom and understanding to know the problem. We can have knowledge of God. We can learn all the rules, but unless we have wisdom and understanding which comes through faith we can never properly apply what God wants us to know. Pray for wisdom that God will show you how to use your knowledge of Him and understand His desires for your life.

AskMe #2336318 03/12/10 06:36 AM
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Jeremiah 1:5 (KJV)
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

God speaking to Jeremiah approved of him as a chosen instrument, a prophet to speak to others. God had sanctified, or set apart Jeremiah. God was the creator of Jeremiah and God had established a purpose for him to speak to all nations so they might understand the true and living God.

Who do you let define you? Are you living for the purpose God created you for or have others defined you in some manner? I have known people who as a child that were told they were worthless. They lived in a dysfunctional family and it was how their grandparents taught their parents. These children lived with the stigma of feeling worthless until one day they realized that was not the truth. Unfortunately, some have never learned that truth. For God sees us as special and precious in his sight; to Him we are not worthless. I remember a friend telling me about a teacher who ridiculed him and made him feel stupid. He lived with that for many years. Yet I know him to be an intelligent person who has saved many lives. How precious is someone who devotes their life to saving others? My father was an abusive alcoholic whom my mom divorced when I was young. I never knew him, yet my mother had told me of his past. I thought of him as a horrible person who beat my mother and left his son. When I would get angry as a child my mother would say, �You remind me of your dad.� She was referring to my expressions of anger, but I took it to mean I was like my dad. Forty years later I meet a relative who knew my dad and he said the same words I had heard as a child, �You remind me of your dad.� Immediately I had horrific feelings overwhelm me. But then the relative went on to say, �You have a nose like he had.� My relative was talking about physical appearance and yet because of words I had let define me as a child I felt the fear of being like my father who had deserted me. We all need to look to God and let Him tell us who we are and what our purpose is. Seek answers from God and He will show you who you truly are.

AskMe #2337409 03/15/10 05:59 AM
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Proverbs 18:8
18 Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one�s heart.


King Solomon compares rumors to dainty morsels which are easy to take in. But once the person has taken hold of the rumor it sinks deep into their heart where is lingers to cause trouble.


The word rumor is defined by Webster�s as talk or opinion widely disseminated with no discernible source or a statement or report current without known authority for its truth. The Greek words used in the Bible indicate the words of a person who is a talebearer, a slanderer or backbiter. While rumors may contain some truth they are usually designed to distort the truth and hurt the person who is object of the rumor. When a person listens to rumors they are getting a false view of the truth. Some people will even believe rumors above a trusted friendship or family member; never once confirming the truth. King David said in Psalms, �Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.� There are powerful words from a man after God�s own heart. The next time you hear a rumor stop listening and instead confirm the truth. Do not participate in gossip that can hurt a neighbor or someone close to you. If you need to speak to a person about an issue, speak to them directly. Do not let rumors start by allowing your thoughts to be swayed by the rumor and opinions of others.

AskMe #2338011 03/16/10 05:05 AM
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1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (The Message)
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

The Apostle Paul teaches the Corinthians about the way of love. Without love he says there is so much he is missing. Then he goes on to elaborate what true love is.

Take the list above Paul gives us concerning love and use it as a checklist. Go through each item and think of someone you love. Carefully consider �Do I do these things?� and mark the ones where you know you fail. For the ones you mark pray and ask God to help you understand what you need to do and how to love deeper. 1 John 4:19 says, �We love because God first loved us.� Let us learn from The one true God who so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Let us love others as God has loved us.

AskMe #2338541 03/17/10 05:07 AM
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Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

The wisdom of King Solomon granted to him by God tells us love is able to prosper when a fault against someone is forgiven. Dwelling on the fault allows it to grow in the heart and builds resentment that is hard to overcome. Knowing this is true even for the closest of friends makes it so much more important to learn to forgive when we have the chance to do so.

Alexander Pope was a famous 18th century English poet. He was born into a Catholic family during a period of history where the English Church was at conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. Religious Catholic schooling was restrictive. It was a period of intense anti-Catholic sentiment in England, and at some point in Alexander's childhood, the Pope family was forced to relocate to be in compliance with a statute forbidding Catholics from living within ten miles of London or Westminster. Yet even with the religious turmoil in his life; Pope left us with a poetic quote many of us know today. It is a quote which reminds us of King Solomon�s words, �To err is human, to forgive is divine.� Humans make errors, have faults and sin. Yet God gives us the grace to forgive and release our anger. Christ said we should love one another and put aside faults. Christ even went further to give His own life to forgive our sins. Shouldn�t we learn to forgive and let love proper in our lives?

AskMe #2339030 03/18/10 05:11 AM
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2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (ESV)
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

The apostle speaks to a Christian�s faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said as believers in Jesus Christ we have the same faith; Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose back to life to defeat death. God through His grace and Mercy provides salvation from our sins so that we may come into His presence when our earthly bodies die. God�s grace and mercy extends to all so we can be thankful we will have others, family and friends, with us in heaven who will be giving glory to God.

This week a friend of ours passed away as her 16 year old daughter held her hand. Her life was quickly taken by bone cancer. She no longer exists here on earth; but I know her life continues in heaven for she believed in Jesus Christ, God�s merciful plan of salvation. I know if she were standing at the gates of heaven and God asked her, �Why should I let you into my heaven?� she would have said, �Because I placed my faith and trust in your Son Jesus Christ who died not only for my sin, but for the sins of the world. I know Jesus rose again to eternal life and I know He said I would be with Him if I had faith to believe in Him.� I know she is there in heaven. I know she is there with other friends and family who trusted Jesus as their savior. As long as we are here on earth it is never too late to ask Jesus Christ into our hearts and follow Him by faith. Have you placed your faith in Christ?

AskMe #2339612 03/19/10 05:20 AM
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1 Corinthians 13:11-12
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

The apostle relates to the Corinthians the process of maturing as a Christian. He gave an example that as a child he did childish things, but as he grew and matured he learned what the appropriate actions of a man were. Then he tells them we can only partially see what God has prepared us to be, but a time will come that we will fully know just as we have always been known by God.

The movie Peter Pan is about a boy who never grows up. He remains a child in a world of childish events. Unfortunately there are some who remain childish in their actions even though they should have matured and progressed. They have elected to remain somewhere in the past refusing to accept adult responsibility. God wants to show us who we can be when we fully mature in His grace. Pray God would allow you to see your childish ways and put them away so you can become who God intended you to be.

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