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AskMe #2422177 08/30/10 06:24 AM
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James 4:7-8 (ESV)
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.


In the Greek language the words �submit yourselves� means to arrange in a military fashion under the command of a leader. When used outside of military purposes it was a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden. James says we should have a voluntary attitude of cooperating with God so that we might resist the temptations of the devil and instead draw near to God and away from Satan.


The New American Standard Translation of Isaiah 29:13-14 says, �Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.� While the people of Israel thought they were drawing near to God with words and other actions their hearts were resisting God. They thought they understood God, but they were only following tradition and rote behavior. God let them know He was going to show them wonderful things if they would submit to Him. -- Two farmers prayed for rain, but only one plowed the fields. One farmer was resistant to his faith but the other farmer submitted his faith to God doing what he knew he should do even though he had to wait on the results. Are you doing what you should be doing and following through on your faith? Or are you just going through the motions with God?

AskMe #2422653 08/31/10 06:40 AM
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1 Samuel 17:32-37 (NLT)
32 �Don�t worry about this Philistine,� David told Saul. �I�ll go fight him!� 33 �Don�t be ridiculous!� Saul replied. �There�s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You�re only a boy, and he�s been a man of war since his youth.� 34 But David persisted. �I have been taking care of my father�s sheep and goats,� he said. �When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I�ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!�


These passages begin the story of David preparing to battle Goliath the Philistine. Goliath was a giant among men. His size alone imposed fear on those who saw him. He was an experienced man of war who had fought since he was a youth. David was just a young boy with a fair, ruddy complexion; but he was ready to face a giant of a man. David explains that �When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death.� He might have been just a boy, but he had been dealing with the responsibilities of a man and now he was ready to put His trust in God to fight against someone no one else would dare fight.


David was alone to himself most of the time as a young boy tending the family sheep. David had learned to defend against lions and bears that would attack the sheep. David knew God was the only one he could turn to in desperate times for no one else was there. David was a young boy seeking after God for his wisdom and his protection. The prophet Samuel referred to David when he said, �The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart� and yet David was a child. So this young boy had become a man before his time, but he was able to do so because he placed his trust and faith in God. By trusting God David was able to face the giants in his life. From reading the history of David we know David wasn�t perfect, nor did he always do what was right; but David was always seeking after God because he knew God was the one who he had to turn to in time of need. Whatever David could not do he counted on God to do. Do you trust God to do the same in your life?

AskMe #2423043 09/01/10 06:50 AM
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1 Kings 1:11-16 (NLT)
11 Then Nathan went to Bathsheba, Solomon�s mother, and asked her, �Haven�t you heard that Haggith�s son, Adonijah, has made himself king, and our lord David doesn�t even know about it? 12 If you want to save your own life and the life of your son Solomon, follow my advice. 13 Go at once to King David and say to him, �My lord the king, didn�t you make a vow and say to me, �Your son Solomon will surely be the next king and will sit on my throne�? Why then has Adonijah become king?� 14 And while you are still talking with him, I will come and confirm everything you have said.� 15 So Bathsheba went into the king�s bedroom. (He was very old now, and Abishag was taking care of him.) 16 Bathsheba bowed down before the king.


Adonijah, a son of David, claimed title as king without consideration of his father. In disobedience Adonijah thought by keeping others ignorant of his intents he would succeed in his actions. Nathan, David�s friend and prophet, knew God desired Solomon to be king so he sent Solomon�s mother Bathsheba to speak to King David. David was now 70 years old and physically weak. Caring for him was a secondary wife Abishag obtained by court members for his comfort.


Adonijah was allowed to rise to king because no one was contesting the action. Solomon was the true king appointed by God and his advisers should have known this. Yet his advisers were more interested in seeking out a wife for David to give him comfort; enabling David with the same past failures. They were concerned about looking out for their welfare instead of following God�s intent. As Christians we must rightfully put Jesus on the throne as our Lord and Savior. We must submit to His authority as obedient children and we must not waste our lives by ignoring His word. Stay concerned about God�s desires and not the desires of others.

AskMe #2423571 09/02/10 06:57 AM
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1 Kings 2:1-4 (NLT)
1 As the time of King David�s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon: 2 �I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. 3 Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. 4 If you do this, then the Lord will keep the promise he made to me. He told me, �If your descendants live as they should and follow me faithfully with all their heart and soul, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.��

As David was near death he gave charge to his son, Solomon, the following: Be a man, observe the requirements of the Lord, and follow in the ways of the Lord. He also wanted to let Solomon know of God�s promise that one of David�s descendants would always sit on the throne of Israel as long as the leaders observed God�s decrees, commands, regulations and laws.

Interestingly David�s first charge to Solomon was to be a man. The Hebrew word means a male. So Solomon was to show what David considered to be the attributes of a man. We know David relied upon himself most of his life without a good role model and now David is trying to insure Solomon will seek out how a man should act. Unfortunately Solomon carried forward some of David�s behaviors, such as having many wives. Even though Solomon was granted wisdom beyond anyone else he did not see how the impressions upon his life had caused him to fall away from God�s decrees. Solomon tried to be a man like David while keeping God�s laws. Yet Solomon should just have been a man following God and not following in past footsteps of his father.

AskMe #2423938 09/03/10 06:56 AM
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James 4:17 (NLT)
17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.


James reminds the Christian that a person who does not do what they ought to do is sinning against God. The Greek word for sin is hamartia, which means to be without a share in, to miss the mark, to be mistaken, to go and do wrong, or to wander from God�s law. So a person can sin not only in what they do, but also in what they do not do. So an act of omission can be a sin just as much as an act of commission.


We become involved with sin in two different ways. First, if we know what we should not do and we do it is counted as a sin towards us. Second, if we know what we should do, and we fail to do those acts then it is counted as sin towards us. In John chapter 9, �Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.� The Pharisees were good at following rules, but they were weak in their ability to do what was right for others. Their sins of omission weighed just as heavily on them as their sins of commission. Fortunately we have a savior in Jesus Christ who died for the penalty of our sins. Because of Christ the Holy Spirit guides us to know what is right and good. Yet our sinful nature still calls and we find at times we don�t do what is right or we fail to do well. It is in our failures we find strength in Jesus. It is because of Jesus we have hope to overcome our sins. It is because of Him we will have eternal life.

AskMe #2424821 09/07/10 07:06 AM
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1 Kings 2:5-10 (NLT)
5 �And there is something else. You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me when he murdered my two army commanders, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He pretended that it was an act of war, but it was done in a time of peace, staining his belt and sandals with innocent blood. 6 Do with him what you think best, but don�t let him grow old and go to his grave in peace. 7 �Be kind to the sons of Barzillai of Gilead. Make them permanent guests at your table, for they took care of me when I fled from your brother Absalom. 8 �And remember Shimei son of Gera, the man from Bahurim in Benjamin. He cursed me with a terrible curse as I was fleeing to Mahanaim. When he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, I swore by the Lord that I would not kill him. 9 But that oath does not make him innocent. You are a wise man, and you will know how to arrange a bloody death for him.� 10 Then David died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.

These verses are the final words of King David to his son Solomon right before his death. Memories of rights and wrongs come to David in his final moments. David gives charge to Solomon to care for those who have been good to the family and to take justice as Solomon saw fit against those who had done evil. David acknowledged Solomon was wise and that he would know what to do.

These last words of a father to his son played an important role in Solomon�s duties as King. David gave three instructions; one of peace and two to ensure justice. When Solomon wrote Proverbs 27:10 he may have thought of his Father�s instruction; for his words say,�Never abandon a friend�either yours or your father�s. When disaster strikes, you won�t have to ask your brother for assistance. It�s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.� And while Solomon remembered that thought he also remembered the orders of his father to seek justice upon Joab and Shimei. Solomon went on to carry out plans which lead to their death. As King, Solomon was tasked to carry out justice. While some may view Solomon�s actions as vengeance they fell under the duty of the king and Solomon acted properly in his authority as king. Often we do not agree with the justice our government applies, but it is a responsibility given by God. For the bible tells us that government exists because of God. Even Christ respected the government of his time although the government�s actions lead to his innocent death. Pray for our leaders that they may use justice wisely and apply it with wisdom. Pray God would lead them to do all that is right.

AskMe #2425193 09/08/10 06:23 AM
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2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy letting him know that he is remembered in Paul�s prayers. Paul remembers Timothy for his faith, and the faith he shared in God with his mother and grandmother. Paul wanted to remind Timothy to use the gifts God gave him that he would share the Gospel of Christ with others. Then Paul wrote the words above to encourage Timothy not to be afraid, but instead keep a sound mind that depended on the love and power of Christ.


Fear is a powerful emotion. Fear can be both healthy and destructive to our lives. The healthy benefit of fear is to let us know when we need to be alarmed. Fear motivates us to avoid harmful situations and keeps our senses aware of pending danger. However fear without reason can be unhealthy in our lives. This type of fear comes from the depths of our imagination. We begin to believe unsubstantiated thoughts that we do not turn over to God. As we dwell on these thoughts alone to ourselves they begin to grow until fear starts to overwhelm us. I�ll use myself as an example. There was a time I went for a medical test. I got a call from the doctor�s office saying they wanted me to come in and talk to the doctor about the results. My mind started to imagine all the possibilities of what could be wrong. When I finally saw the doctor he said nothing was wrong, but he did want to run a couple of more tests just to make sure there were no other problems. In my mind I had already imagined the worst because I was not trusting God to see me through the experience. I learned a lesson, wait on the facts and keep a sound mind until those facts are understood. In the mean time ask God to take away the fear and allow God to love you through the emotions you are feeling. God wants to take away your fear.

AskMe #2425479 09/09/10 06:59 AM
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James 1:20 (NLT)
20: Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.


These words from the Apostle James follows his words that every man should be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. The anger James refers to is impulsive, exhibits a temper and violent emotion. It was associated with punishment inflicted in misery upon those found guilty by a magistrate. This type of anger was sinful in God�s eyes and did not lead to righteous behavior.


King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:17, �The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.� If your words will lead to angry confrontations it is better to remain silent; for the wise know when to speak and when not to speak. The anger of men is not the same as the anger of God. For man�s wrath of anger leads him away from the righteousness of God. The Apostle Peter who himself was easy given to anger said in 1 Peter 2:1, �So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.� Even when we raise concern for what seems just and right we must not let anger stand in pretence of our cause to serve God; for we only fool ourselves. God is more than capable of handling problems without our angry actions. The Apostle Paul tells us our anger will give the devil a foothold in our lives and we should rid ourselves of such behavior. Anger is a secondary emotion driven by such emotions as hurt, fear, bitterness, guilt, self judgment, jealousy, and frustration. From many different emotions anger builds and erupts into abusive behavior whether the abuse is words or actions. Take time to examine the emotions which may be leading you to anger and pray God would give you wisdom to deal with your emotions. Pray He would bring healing to your life and help you remain silent and calm during the moments of an emotional storm.

AskMe #2425737 09/10/10 06:22 AM
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1 Kings 3:7-9 (ESV)
7 And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?"

King Solomon sleeping and in prayer acknowledged the great responsibility he had as king and that he required God�s wisdom to see through his duties. Solomon asked God for the wisdom and discernment he needed to govern the people and to know what was right and wrong. From a just request God granted Solomon his desire and so much more.

The apostle James tells us, �If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.� God desires to hear our requests that are a requisite to our service for Him. We should ask with confidence, not looking to the world for an answer, but instead depending upon God for His blessing. We should not be as King Ahaz when Isaiah spoke to him saying, �Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want�as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.� But the king refused. �No,� he said, �I will not test the Lord like that.� Instead we are to pray like Solomon, asking in confidence and asking for that which aligns itself with the will of God.

AskMe #2426407 09/13/10 06:45 AM
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2 Peter 2:20-22 (NLT)
20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: �A dog returns to its vomit.� And another says, �A washed pig returns to the mud.�

Peter speaks of those who have learned of the saving grace God offers through Jesus, but then turn away from the truth which sets them free to return to the burdensome slavery of sin. These people are worst off than before for their lives are now in conflict to the righteousness God calls them to follow. Instead of following God they have returned to their previous sinful ways.

Perhaps Peter remembered the words of Jesus when he wrote the verses above. Jesus said in Matthew, �When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, �I will return to the person I came from.� So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.� Jesus was telling those listening that a person cannot leave themselves empty and without purpose to live for God or their emptiness will be filled with more sin than they previously experienced. The abandonment of living for Christ is worst than the ignorance of not knowing Christ for it is condemning a way of righteousness and pours contempt on God�s grace.

AskMe #2426687 09/14/10 05:46 AM
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2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NLT)
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

The Apostle Paul accounts for the sufferings endured as they have followed Christ. But even in those troubles there was always hope; for God was always with them. While enemies may attack and friends let us down we are never forsaken by God.

King David understood God was always with him even in moments of discouragement and despair. In Psalm 138:7 he wrote, �"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou shalt stretch forth Thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and Thy right hand shall save me." There are times when life can be discouraging. Many times our discouragement comes from focusing on the problem instead of trying to see what God wants to show us. For instance when the Israelites heard there were giants in Canaan they began to weep because they saw their limitations instead of seeing God�s awesome power. Job faced the misery of physical illness and in his bitterness he declared God wasn�t fair, but God was showing Job something special about himself. Rachel was bitter and discouraged about not having children and even said to Jacob, �Give me children or I will die!� Rachel was letting a situation she had no control over discourage her. Yet God had the power to answer Rachel�s prayers and He did so. Elijah came to a point of wanting to die after the emotional and physical exhaustion of running from Jezebel who wanted to kill him. Ironically what he was trying to avoid he was desperate to seek because he wasn�t paying attention to what God was ready to do; for God had 4,000 other men who would stand with Elijah against Jezebel. Like those before us instead of focusing on our problems we need to focus on God�s ability. We need to remember His promises, see His awesome power, and understand that which we can�t change, God can.

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John 5:43-45 (ESV)
43 I have come in my Father�s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.


Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious leaders. These leaders continue to reject Jesus, while accepting the false teachings of others. They had great respect for Moses and claimed to follow the law given by him by God. But Jesus tells them Moses would be a witness against them for not obeying what God commanded.


The Jewish leaders were Bible scholars of their time. They knew all the words, but failed to know the Author. They practiced religion. They knew the laws. They knew the stories, but they had such pre-conceived ideas and failed to see the Author when He was standing in front of them. These men were witnesses to miracles performed by Jesus; yet they claimed the good done by Christ was of the devil. God had manifested Himself right in front of them, but they failed to recognize the one they claimed to know so well. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said, �'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.� Jesus wants to fellowship with us. He wants us to know His miracles come from Him and not by chance or science. We receive grace from our sins because of Jesus dying on the cross, yet we too turn back to rules for our religion. Open the door of your heart to Jesus and take time to get to know Him.

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Deuteronomy 1:41-43 (NLT)
41 �Then you confessed, �We have sinned against the Lord! We will go into the land and fight for it, as the Lord our God has commanded us.� So your men strapped on their weapons, thinking it would be easy to attack the hill country. 42 �But the Lord told me to tell you, �Do not attack, for I am not with you. If you go ahead on your own, you will be crushed by your enemies.� 43 �This is what I told you, but you would not listen. Instead, you again rebelled against the Lord�s command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight. 44 But the Amorites who lived there came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased and battered you all the way from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before the Lord, but he refused to listen. 46 So you stayed there at Kadesh for a long time.


The Israelites had sent spies into the Promised Land. When they returned the spies who saw the land said two things; the land the Lord was providing was indeed good and there are giants there who were mightier and taller. Moses tried to reassure the people God was with them, but their lack of faith and trust caused the hand of God�s blessings to be removed. Instead of repenting for their sin they decided to take their own actions. In arrogance they went into the land to fight and the Amorites who were indeed larger and more powerful defeated them. The Israelites then cried to the Lord over their sorrow, but God refused to listen for He had told them not to go.


Abraham Lincoln said, �Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them. To deny it, however, in this case, is to deny that there is a God governing the world.� When we grasp hold of an opinion without looking to God for guidance we often find there is a difference of purpose between God and ourselves. In our arrogance we pursue our own purpose just to find out we lack the understanding and wisdom to see what lies ahead. Our plans often will fail and it is then we seek God because we are miserable in our failure. Learn to seek out God�s purpose and plans before executing your own. Let God be your guide to wisdom and understanding. Let God fight your battles and trust that His results are for the best benefit of all. Remembering King Solomon�s words, �Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.�

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Revelation 2:7 (NLT)
7 Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

This verse is repeated several times in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 as Christ speaks to the various churches. It was given at the end of the verses directed to the specific churchs. The purpose was to remind them of what had been just said and to also remind the church to listen to the Spirit of God as He speaks to them instead of listening to their own thoughts and voices.

Is it important to listen to God? Of course, but many of us think we are listening when instead we are busy doing other things. In Jeremiah 25:3-4, the prophet Jeremiah declared the following, �For the past twenty-three years�from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until now�the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened. Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention.� Jeremiah was the last major prophet to speak to the Israelites for God. Jeremiah passed on message, after message for 23 years; yet no one was listening. The culture these people knew was about to be removed from existence and yet they were not hearing the message God prepared for them. Twenty three years and no one was listening! To those who believe in Christ STOP and LISTEN. It is time to hear what God has to say and act accordingly. Do not be like the churches listed in Revelation who needed to be reminded they should listen to the Spirit of God as He spoke to them.

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Mark 9:17-18;21-22 (The Messenger)

17 -18 A man out of the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn't." 21 -22 He asked the boy's father, "How long has this been going on?" "Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!" 23 Jesus said, "If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen." 24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, "Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!"

These verses follow Jesus approaching a crowd gathered around some of His disciples. The disciples had been trying to cast a demon out of a young boy, but they had failed. The crowd grew excited as they saw Jesus for many knew all things were possible with him. Jesus questioned the belief of the father and the father�s response was, �� I believe. Help me with my doubts!�

I often come back to the verses above as a reminder of the weakness of my faith in God and Christ. I do believe God and Christ can do all things in my life. I believe, but at times I have doubts. Philippians 4:13 says, �For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.� And I know from Ephesians 1:22 the Apostle Paul said, �God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.� So there is nothing Christ is not subject over; there is nothing He can�t change. I have the knowledge to believe, but sometimes like the disciple Thomas I wish I could just reach out and touch Jesus to know how real and close He is. I hear someone pray for something which seems impossible and I have my doubts it will be fulfilled. Yet a man like George Mueller prayed the impossible for the orphanages he ran in the 1800s and God answered his prayers. So like the man who wanted his son healed, I believe but I need help with my doubt. I confess those reading and to God I believe; but I doubt and I don�t want to doubt. Many of you may feel the same way. Maybe you feel God is not answering your prayers. Maybe you doubt God�s ability to do the impossible. God is more than able; we are the ones who place a limit on what He can do. Let us all pray God would take away our doubt.

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Romans 14:22-23 (The Message)
22 -23 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe�some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them�then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.

The apostle talking to Christians tells them to build a relationship with God so they understand what God desires of them. God has a purpose for each person and only through fellowship with our Lord and Savior can we know our purpose. More than just knowing God we understand who we are as a child of God. There is freedom and liberty in knowing Christ as Lord and Savior, but individual liberty should not impose itself on others either to persuade them or to discourage them. Let your conscience be free of guilt knowing that your life is consistent with what you believe.

Freedom is not a license for abuse. In our country we have many freedoms, but those freedoms do not allow us to act without responsible thought. For instance our freedom of speech is cut short when its intent leads to harmful disruption. Try yelling in a crowd of people �I have a gun and I�m going to shoot� and see how quickly your moment of freedom comes to an end. We have a freedom to enjoy the pursuit of happiness, but we cannot take from another person in order to secure our happiness. With freedom comes responsibility. 1 Peter 2:16 says, �Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God..� Our pursuit of freedom should lead to righteousness, peace, joy and fellowship with our Lord. Our freedom was not given to ignore what God desires from us, but instead it was given to help us fulfill His desires for out life. Romans 15:3-6 tells us, �For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME." For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.� Live as Christ did, not living to please yourself, but living to please God and you will find freedom.

AskMe #2428935 09/22/10 07:36 AM
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Proverbs 22:3 (NLT)
3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

There is a benefit to wisdom and taking wise thoughts into consideration. For the wise will see dangers heading their way and they take the necessary precautions to prevent those dangers from affecting their life. The wise are aware of the temptations they face and they put on God�s armor for defense. In the face of a storm the wise retreat to His strong tower for protection. The simple believe all things which flatter them and they are na�ve to the dangers awaiting. The simple thrown their selves into danger ignoring the warnings they have been given. Blindly they walk into sin and only repent after their consequences have been dealt.

There are many different addictions: alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping. It is difficult to estimate the number of Americans with these addictions, but it is safe to say they number in the millions. An addiction is a behavior that functions to bring about momentary pleasure to escape internal discomfort. Addictions are characterized by recurrent failure to control the behavior even though the individual faces significant negative consequences due to the behavior. Addictions alter brain areas over time that is critical to decision making, learning, memory and behavior control. This may help to explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addicts. In a survey by the Gallup Poll the words emotional, devastating and horrible were most often chosen by family members to describe the addiction of a loved one. People are led into addictions by many issues, whether genetic, mental issues, childhood trauma or social environments. It is not uncommon for a person with an addiction to have co-occurring addictions and disorders. But for all who are involved in an addiction the first step was making a choice that did not foresee the dangers ahead. The person was so intent on getting a fix for one problem they foolishly introduced themselves to a new set of problems. They just didn�t take precaution to prevent the addiction and they didn�t seek out wise counsel or ask for help. Instead the addict chose their own path leading to danger. A person can recover from an addiction, but successful long term recovery requires a lifetime commitment to healthy decisions and actions. Relapse can occur and all involved should prudent in the evaluation of their actions. Turn to the Lord for wisdom and let Him walk with you on your journey.

AskMe #2429234 09/23/10 06:18 AM
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1 Kings 11:1-3 (NLT)
1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women. Besides Pharaoh�s daughter, he married women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, Sidon, and from among the Hittites. 2 The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, �You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.� Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. 3 He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.

Solomon out of his love for God had built a temple dedicated to God. Now in Solomon�s old age his attention had turned from his love of God to his love of women. Solomon began to build shines for his wives dedicated to their foreign Gods. Solomon began to follow the practices of his wives worshiping gods other than the true God. God had warned Solomon what would happen, but Solomon still allowed his love of women to turn his heart away from God to follow the practices of his wives.

Romans 8:38-39 tells us, �And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God�s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow�not even the powers of hell can separate us from God�s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below�indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.� God loves us and there is nothing that can get in the way of His love for us. Yet we allow things of this world to get in the way of our love for God. Solomon allowed his love for women to separate him from God. The Apostle Paul writing to Timothy said it is our �love� of money that is the root of all evil. When our attention is turned to loving something more that we love God we lose sight of God�s purpose for us. In the book of Revelation Jesus says to the church of Ephesus, �But I have this against you, that you have left your first love�, for even while they did good deeds their affection for Christ and God had grown cool. Put your love for God first and don�t let your heart grown cool in your love for Him.

AskMe #2429596 09/24/10 06:37 AM
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Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
28 Then Jesus said, �Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.�

Jesus invites those weary and laid with the burdens of trying to fulfill the law to come to Him for rest. In Luke 11:46 Jesus said, ��what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.� The religious experts taught how to follow rules and laws, but they failed to properly teach God�s love and His desire for a repentant heart. So Jesus offers something not offered before, rest from a heavy burden by helping to carry the burden�s placed on the people.

Without a doubt there is someone reading this message that is carrying a heavy burden. Life has overwhelmed them and they cannot see the hope that has been placed before them. They feel failure and distress. They wish there was something that would ease their pain. They may already know Christ, but they have forgotten the words He gave us above, �Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.� There is nothing Christ cannot handle, but one has to turn over those problems to Christ so He can help shoulder the burden. We may believe there are things we must do to make life successful, but Christ will show us instead that maybe we should rest. Remember to turn to Christ in your times of need and Christ will teach you how to find rest for your soul.

AskMe #2430299 09/27/10 07:22 AM
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Hebrews 13:5-6 (NLT)
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

To covet is to have an over eager desire to obtain items of the world while envying those who have more than we ourselves have. The Lord reminds us to be content with what we have for His presence is always with us and He is our helper in times of need. We should have a bold attitude, not fearful, for there is nothing man can do that stands against God. And God will stand with you when you trust and depend upon Him.

God provides many promises for us in His word. Above we are told God will never leave or forsake us, never ,ever. How many friends or relatives can we say that about? We are told there is full forgiveness for those who have faith in Jesus. Who do you know that will forgive you unconditionally once you ask them to? God tells us the Holy Spirit indwells within us to set us free from sinful habits. Many of us fall into habits of sin and think there is no hope, yet God has said there is hope for us to be free from sin. Our eternal future is secure. God has promised if we place our faith in His Son Jesus our sins are forgiven and our eternal life in heaven is secure. God promises His love for us is greater than any we have known. When we feel unlovable, remember God loves us beyond measure. When we feel hopeless, remember with God there is hope. When we feel our sin and shame is too great to carry remember Christ said He will carry them with us. Everyone else may let you down in life, but God will not let you down. Give thanks for a God who ands to fellowship with you and demonstrate His deep love for you!

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