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AskMe #2491720 03/23/11 06:09 AM
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Hebrews 1:14 (The Message)
14 Isn't it obvious that all angels are sent to help out with those lined up to receive salvation?

In the early church there were those who would argue that angels were given a higher importance than Jesus Christ. The apostle quoted scriptures saying, �But he says to the Son, You're God, and on the throne for good; your rule makes everything right. You love it when things are right; you hate it when things are wrong. That is why God, your God, poured fragrant oil on your head, marking you out as king, far above your dear companions.� God calling The Son, God shows Jesus was truly God and truly man. And now Christ reigns as God over all the angels who are His servants to help those lined up to receive salvation.

Anne Rice, whom the media has called the Queen of the Occult, has sold millions of novels about vampires and witches. Several of her books have also been made into movies, even starring Hollywood big-shots like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. But since a near-death experience in 1998, Anne has had a change of heart�she's turned to Christ. In 2005, she stunned her fans by declaring, "I promised from now on that I will only write for the Lord." Her November 2005 release, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, portrays Jesus as a 7-year-old, and the veteran author worked painstakingly to avoid contradicting Scripture in her interpretation of Jesus' life. The book was released in November 2005, and as of December 7, 2005, it remained on the New York Times bestsellers list at #8. In the afterword of Christ the Lord, Rice summarizes what she has found in Jesus, calling him "the ultimate supernatural hero" and "the ultimate immortal of them all." In an interview with Christianity Today in December of 2005, Rice said, "Christianity achieved what it did because Jesus rose from the dead." [Jennie Yabroff, "Anne Rice Has Gone from Goth to God," Newsday.com (11-21-05);]

God came to this world as Jesus Christ giving up all His titles as God in order that we could find salvation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who sits at the right hand of God ruling over everything, including angels.

AskMe #2492047 03/24/11 06:45 AM
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John 12:44-50 (NLT)
44 Jesus shouted to the crowds, �If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. 45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. 47 I will not judge those who hear me but don�t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. 49 I don�t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.�

Jesus gives an account of His mission to the world. The mission was to bring true comfort, joy and hope to the people where before there was always an affliction of darkness. Christ came to be the light of truth to show the world how to find God and eternal life.

Many watched the news as Chilean miners were trapped deep underground in a dark cave. There was no light to guide them other than the flashlights that would not last. There was a loss of hope, joy and comfort as they remained there in the dark helpless to do anything about their situation. In the same way the sin of the world has trapped people in darkness. Sin has cut off hope, comfort and keeps a person in the dark about the joy they could have. We feel hopeless to overcome the darkness of sin. People try on their own to overcome sin, but like the miners flashlights it is only a matter of time before sin covers them again. Christ is our light in this world. Jesus came so that we could find salvation in His sacrifice for us. Jesus did not come to judge, but instead to rescue us from the judgment of sin that is to come. Place your faith in Christ so that you may walk in joy, comfort and hope instead of a dark path of sin.

AskMe #2492419 03/25/11 06:19 AM
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Romans 5:6-8 (NLT)
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

The apostle describes the condition of the world when Christ came; the world was nothing but utterly helpless sinners. Then he puts Christ�s sacrifice in perspective for us. A person might be willing to die for someone worthy though it would be unlikely. Yet Christ died for us who were unworthy. God showed us His great love and mercy by sending His Son Jesus, our Savior, while we were yet sinners.

Tony Campolo, in the sermon "The Year of Jubilee," said - I went to my first black funeral when I was 16 years old. A friend of mine, Clarence, had died. The pastor was incredible. From the pulpit he talked about the Resurrection in beautiful terms. He had us thrilled. He came down from the pulpit, went to the family, and comforted them from the fourteenth chapter of John. "Let not your heart be troubled," he said, "'You believe in God, believe also in me,' said Jesus. Clarence has gone to heavenly mansions."
Then, for the last 20 minutes of the sermon, he actually preached to the open casket. Now, that's drama! He yelled at the corpse: "Clarence! Clarence!" He said it with such authority. I would not have been surprised had there been an answer. He said, "Clarence, there were a lot of things we should have said to you that we never said to you. You got away too fast, Clarence. You got away too fast." He went down this litany of beautiful things that Clarence had done for people. When he finished�here's the dramatic part�he said, "That's it, Clarence. There's nothing more to say. When there's nothing more to say, there's only one thing to say. Good night. Good night, Clarence!" He grabbed the lid of the casket and slammed it shut. "Good night, Clarence!" Boom! Shock waves went over the congregation. As the preacher then lifted his head, you could see there was this smile on his face. He said, "Good night, Clarence. Good night, Clarence, because I know, I know that God is going to give you a good morning!" The choir stood and starting singing, "On that great morning, we shall rise, we shall rise." We were dancing in the aisles and hugging each other. I knew the joy of the Lord, a joy that in the face of death laughs and sings and dances, for there is no sting to death.

AskMe #2496717 04/12/11 05:52 AM
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Proverbs 12:1 (NLT)
1 To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.

This proverb makes the point that one should enjoy the wisdom discipline brings to a person. For when one hates to be corrected they miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow from their mistakes.

The proverbs were given to us in the Bible so that we would learn how to live in a wise manner. They allow us to live well in this world that God has created for us. The major theme in this proverb is we all need to be open to advice. There are some who will close off the thoughts of others before they even speak. There are some who will pretend to listen while ignoring the wisdom being shared. I once heard a parent say I did the best I could do, when in actuality they �did the best they knew how to do.� There is always room to learn and grow in God�s wisdom. Be quick to listen and slow to speak so that you can hear the wisdom in the words of others.

AskMe #2497214 04/13/11 06:19 AM
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Revelation 2:24-25 (The Message)
24 -25"The rest of you Thyatirans, who have nothing to do with this outrage, who scorn this playing around with the Devil that gets paraded as profundity, be assured I'll not make life any harder for you than it already is. Hold on to the truth you have until I get there.

In these verses Jesus is speaking to the Thyatira church. He notes there are many who are doing impressive work and are persistent in their love and faith for Him. Yet there are some who have allowed immoral acts to be brought into the church. Jesus tells those who are faithful to hold on.


In his book The Unexpected Journey, Thom Rainer shares the story of Kathi, a woman who left behind a life of witchcraft and Wiccan paganism to become a follower of Jesus Christ. Immediately after her decision to become a Christian, she describes to Thom how God delivered her from the powers of evil in her life, as well as her physical deafness (Kathi had been suffering progressive hearing loss for years).

That next day [after I accepted Christ], we left on our family vacation, camping on the beach. I found a small � church for us to attend. Most of the time when I lip read, I am able to follow less than half of what someone is saying. But I was able to understand every word of the preacher at this church.

When the service was over, I spoke to him and asked him how he was able to speak so well for lip readers. He was puzzled, as he had done nothing special. I explained to him my condition of deafness, and he asked to pray for me. No one had ever done that before, but he did pray for my hearing to be restored.

After Kathi and her family returned to their camp site, Kathi fell violently ill. She was confined to the camp site's bathhouse for hours, vomiting to the point of dehydration. "It was at that point that I sensed God was speaking to me again," she says. "He told me that the other gods I had been worshiping had to go. Up to that point, I had seen my conversion as a lateral move. I still had my other gods. I wasn't convinced they were evil or that paganism was wrong. But now God said they had to go. I hesitated at first because I had become so comfortable with these other gods. They had been with me for many years."

Thom writes an account of what happened next for Kathi:

Kathi soon obeyed. She started calling each of the gods by the Egyptian names she knew and telling them in Jesus' name they had to go. There were many of them, because the ancient Egyptians had a deity to represent every facet of life. Kathi also told anything she had worshiped as a Wiccan and anything she had remembered from the folklore of her childhood that it had to go, too. "They resisted at first," she said. "But once they heard the name of Jesus, they left. As each god left, I saw them as they were, no lovely masks anymore. Instead, they had horrible, evil faces. It scared me witless. I knew then that these were no gods at all, but demons."

Immediately after they were gone, Kathi felt better. She left the bathhouse and went to her family and began to tell her husband what had happened. When he responded, she heard every word he said�but she did not have her hearing aids in her ears. She was able to hear everything�the ocean, the birds, and her children's voices. Kathi has never stopped thanking God for what he did for her.

[Thom S. Rainer, The Unexpected Journey (Zondervan, 2005), pp. 121-122]

AskMe #2498142 04/15/11 06:36 AM
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Proverbs 21:3 (ESV)
3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

King Solomon reminds us it is better for a person to do what is right, to live by godly laws, and exhibit justice as the Lord would show. Trying to say I gave up this or I gave up that only promotes self, but doing what is right towards others lifts other�s lives up as well.

2 Chronicles tells us the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes. God desires to see justice properly administered, not twisted and perverted. King David said God would judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. The same justice would be given to orphans, widows, the poor and the afflicted. David knew God loved justice and hated evil. Solomon his son said it was not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent. Solomon also encouraged us to speak up for justice and to ensure it is administered properly. In Ecclesiastes Solomon said, �Don�t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. �

Think about today, who seems to receive pardon when justice is put away, the rich or the poor, the famous or the unknown? Man has forgotten how to administer proper justice. We can even see it in our laws. There was a time a judge could hand down a proper sentence for the crime committed, but now judges are required to hand down a sentence based upon a strict law (red tape and bureaucracy). A student who innocently takes a knife to school in their lunch box is punished just as harsh as someone who takes a knife with the intent to cause harm. We have watched as the rich and famous manipulate the court systems, which the poor face harsh times. We all need to be praying God would restore the justice of the land so that all might receive that which is fair and just. May God extend His love, mercy, grace and justice to all!

AskMe #2498364 04/15/11 02:47 PM
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Welcome back, AskMe. I have missed your devotionals and prayed that no ill had befallen you.


Preach the Gospel every day. When necessary, use words.
St. Francis of Assissi
Fred_in_VA #2499057 04/18/11 06:45 AM
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Proverbs 18:13 (NLT)
13 Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.

Some people take pride in being quick trying to give a response before they even understand the full point of what is being said. They think the matter to be so plain they give no consideration to the person speaking. They miss the point of the words spoken and in the end they will feel both shameful and foolish.

[Sun Sentinel, November 08, 1998|ANN LANDERS Syndicated Columnist]
�Dear Ann Landers: I have enjoyed your column for a long time and always thought it would be nice if I could send something as sort of a "payback." Well, I have found what I've been looking for. The Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyers Journal printed the following questions actually asked of witnesses during a trial. The responses to some of the questions were given by insightful witnesses. This is not a put-on. It's for real. -- Ronita in Center Line, Mich.

Dear Ronita: What a thoughtful friend you are. My thanks for sending it on:
1. Now, doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
2. The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
3. Were you present when your picture was taken?
4. Were you alone or by yourself?
5. Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?�

Often we react before thinking through the things we are about to say. It becomes even worst when emotions are tense and angry. Instead of stopping and listening even to themselves the person blurts out a statement. Watch someone in a tense argument sometimes and you may see a person answering before they even hear the complete statement from the other person. They are letting emotions irrationally drive their statements and they are not taking time to consider the feelings or the words of the other person.

Fred_in_VA #2499058 04/18/11 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fred_in_VA
Welcome back, AskMe. I have missed your devotionals and prayed that no ill had befallen you.

Thank you Fred. I was on an extended vacation with family out of the country. As Dorothy said, there is no place like home. So thank you for the welcome back.

AskMe #2499569 04/19/11 06:44 AM
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Proverbs 19:11 (NLT)
11 Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

There are two rules a wise man will follow. The first is that one should control their anger until they understand all the merits of the provocation. The philosopher Plato said to his servant, "I would beat thee, but that I am angry.�� Give it time, and it will cool. When a person takes time to reflect upon and understand their feelings often the anger they are feeling will subside and reason will return to them. Second a person should not be over critical in their resentments. The person who can hold back their anger and express their emotions on pleasant terms will gain much more respect. Calmness and peace is endured much more greatly than strife and anger.

Fighting rush-hour traffic from suburban Maryland to Washington D.C., can cause its share of near misses and irritating moments. One morning, a young lady darted her compact car from a side street into the stream of traffic immediately in front of a driver, forcing him to brake sharply. He avoided hitting her by inches and was obviously furious. Within seconds, traffic stopped at a red light, and I watched him pull up behind the offender, leap from his car, and stride angrily toward hers. Clearly, he intended to give her a royal bowling out. Seeing him coming, the very attractive young lady jumped from her car and ran to meet him--a big smile on her face! Before he could say one word or know what was happening, she had thrown her arms around him, hugged him tightly, and planted a passionate kiss on his lips! Then she was back in her car and driving away, leaving her antagonist standing in the middle of the street still speechless and looking somewhat confused and embarrassed--but no longer angry! [B.R. Holt, Caldwell, ID. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."}

Perhaps the woman�s actions were a little drastic on both accounts, but she knew she was in the wrong and wanted to defuse the situation. And while her approach was a little extreme it did leave the man wondering about his anger. It is better to defuse the anger in our hearts rather than to let it fester and create damage to our hearts and character.

AskMe #2500020 04/20/11 06:46 AM
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Numbers 22:27-31 (KJV)
27 And when the [censored] saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the [censored] with a staff. 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the [censored], and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? 29 And Balaam said unto the [censored], because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. 30 And the [censored] said unto Balaam, Am not I thine [censored], upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. 31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

God had given Balaam specific instructions to follow, yet Balaam was intent on following his own desires. As he rode off on his [censored] to meet others to go against God; angels of the Lord were placed in front of him as a warning. Had Balaam been able to hear and see God as he thought he could he would have been able to see the angels, but he did not. It was his [censored] that finally lay down and refused to go further. Even when the [censored] spoke to Balaam he did not see the wonder in its speech. Instead he had to admit he didn�t understand the actions of the [censored]. The God allowed Balaam to see he angel with sword drawn ready to strike and it was then he fell to his face in humility.

1 Corinthians 1:27 says, �But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;� Balaam, a supposed wise man could not see the wrong or danger before him. It took an [censored] to explain the consequences that lay before him. Most would be amazed an animal would talk and give reproof, yet Balaam was so fixed on obtaining what he desired he couldn�t even see the reality before him. God gives us plenty of warning signs to help us move away from sin, but like Balaam we are so wrapped up with our own desires that we would miss God�s direction even if an [censored] spoke to us.

AskMe #2500518 04/21/11 07:29 AM
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Proverbs 21:10 (NLT)
10 Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.

The character of a wicked person has a strong inclination to perform mischief. His soul desires not only having the evil in hand, but also in seeing it and having pleasure in it. This comes from the root of sin, wickedness lying deep within ones soul and its lust conceives sin and brings it forth. There is a strong aversion against doing what is right and no man is spared that stands in his way. His neighbors find no favor and they stand closest to the path of his sinful nature.

Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister, George McDonald said, "Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it." Man always seems to think he wants the best of everything, but the problem is man does not want what is really best for him. His desires turn evil and the extremes he takes to gain what he thinks he desires hurt other people; even close neighbors and friends. But God understand exactly what we need and we need to be asking God to direct us. We need to let God intervene and change our hearts so that we desire good instead of evil. Turn your life over to God and see where He will lead you!

AskMe #2501001 04/22/11 06:59 AM
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John 16:9 (NLT)
9 The world�s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.

These are the spoken words of Jesus. Jesus speaking to the disciples about His impending death Jesus knows they are grieved; but he encourages them it is for the best so that the Holy Spirit may come. The sin Jesus refers to in the verse above is the disbelief in His Holy Salvation through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave to follow. He tells them the Holy Spirit will convict the world of its sin, and of God�s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.

The world has a wide host of people with various beliefs. Some do not believe God exists. Some are so strongly opposed to God they have created their own belief system to prove God does not exist. Some just do not care one way or the other, while some may not have even pondered the question of God�s existence. There are those who believe in various gods while others believe they are part of a universal god. There are many beliefs, but Jesus said the world�s sin is that it refuses to believe He is God. The mathematician, philosopher, and physicist Blaise Pascal suggested even though the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. Pascal formulated his suggestion uniquely on the God of Jesus Christ as implied by the greater context of his Pens�es, a posthumously published collection of notes made by Pascal in his last years as he worked on a treatise on Christian apologetics. This theorem is often referred to as Pascal�s Gambit. Pascal believed why ignore the possibility there is a God when there is so much to gain than to ignore God and loose what he has to offer. And what does God have to offer, eternal salvation through His son Jesus Christ, along with his mercy, love and grace!

AskMe #2501654 04/25/11 06:44 AM
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Luke 24:44-48(KJV)
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

Christ appeared to the disciples again after his resurrection to strengthen their faith. They first feared His appearance but they gained confidence it was Christ as He spoke with them and dined with them. Christ then opened their minds to understand the meaning of the scriptures and that what must have happened did happen. Christ rose from the dead and now repentance and remission of sins was to be preached to all nations. These disciples were the witnesses to His words.

Chuck Swindoll, in Embraced by the Spirit (Zondervan 2010) wrote:

One of my most unforgettable moments happened when I was about ten years old. My father served our country during World War II in a plant in our hometown, building all sorts of interesting equipment for the massive tanks, fighter planes, and bombers that defended us in lands far away. Dad worked too long and too hard. As a result he suffered a physical breakdown. And on its heels came an emotional trauma that puzzled everyone, including the doctors.

I was convinced in my heart that my dad was going to die. He may have had such thoughts too, because one night he called me into his room for a somber father-son talk �. I remember leaning hard against his bed, listening carefully to a voice that was hardly more than a whisper. I thought I was hearing him for the last time. He gave me counsel on life�how I should live, how I should conduct myself as his son. The counsel wasn't long, and then I left and went across the hall to the room that I shared with my older brother. All alone, I lay across my bed and sobbed, convinced that I would never see my dad alive again.

That scene still haunts me. Even though my dad recovered to live � I still remember the night he talked to me. Something very significant is wrapped up in our final words. Consider the night in Jerusalem when the Lord and his disciples gathered for � what we call "The Last Supper." Less than twelve hours after [that meal], Jesus was nailed to a cross; a few hours later, he was dead. Jesus understood the significance of those moments and the importance of his last counsel. And so he gave them exactly what they would need to carry them through the rest of their days.


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Hebrews 3:13 (NLT)
13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still �today,� so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.

The apostle advises believers they should give warning to each other about sin which encroaches into their lives. Believers should be doing this on a constant basis for each day we have on earth is a blessing from God. Because we do not know if tomorrow will come then today is our day for improvement, our day to dispose of sin, and our day to focus on God.

Maybe you have had this experience before. You go to leave a department store, but the clerk forgot to remove the security tag. As you walk through the door the alarm suddenly goes off. People look towards you wondering if you are going to run or wait to have the tag disarmed. You stand there feeling somewhat awkward as if maybe you are guilty of something you did not do. You know you are innocent and wonder what people are thinking. Just remember Christ stood before Pilate beaten for a crime He never committed. When the people were given the choice to set Jesus free or let a hardened criminal free, the people cried out �Free Barabbas�. Jesus was totally innocent, yet He was crucified, a man without sin. His innocent blood was the sacrifice for our sin. Thank God even when we feel guilty our guilt and shame has already been paid for in full by Christ.

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Ephesians 5:28 (NLT)
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.

God intended the husband and wife to be as one; unified in their thoughts; unified in their beliefs and unified in their dependence upon each other. So the apostle directs husbands they should love their wives and treat them with respect as though they were tending to themselves.

The following song lyrics are LEAD ME by Sanctus Real. They are strong words about the duty of a husband to lead his family. Read through the words and see if you can identify with what the writer is trying to express.

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I am called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't you lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing dreams that I could give up

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this out home
Lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone

Father, lead me, 'cause I can't do this alone




Christian lyrics - LEAD ME LYRICS - SANCTUS REAL

AskMe #2502920 04/28/11 07:11 AM
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Mark 14:3-5 (NLT)
3 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. 4 Some of those at the table were indignant. �Why waste such expensive perfume?� they asked. 5 �It could have been sold for a year�s wages and the money given to the poor!� So they scolded her harshly.

This story starts in the home of Simon in Bethany. Simon previously was a leper. Leprosy is caused by the organism Mycobacteriumleprae. It is not very contagious and has a long incubation period, which makes it difficult to determine where or when the disease was contracted. Leprosy has two common forms, tuberculoid and lepromatous, and both forms produce sores on the skin, but the lepromatous form is most severe, producing large, disfiguring lumps and bumps. All forms of the disease eventually cause nerve damage in the arms and legs, which causes sensory loss in the skin and muscle weakness. People with long-term leprosy may lose the use of their hands or feet due to repeated injury resulting from lack of sensation. Leprosy was misunderstood for years and people with the disease were placed in isolated leper colonies.

Usually the focus of these verses is on the woman pouring the perfume over the head of Jesus. Many who were there became upset that the perfume could have been sold to help the needy. They forgot or misunderstood Jesus was more than capable of tending to those in need. This woman did a good deed by pouring out her possessions for Her Savior who would pour out His life for her. But we need to remember Simon the leper. Without modern antibiotics leprosy was not curable and yet we find these people sitting and eating with a man who had been a leper. Usually the leper had to announce they were diseased and had to move away from those without the disease. Maybe because Jesus was present these people were not fearful of what they had seen Jesus heal. It is very reminiscent of modern times where HIV was not understood. At first people weren�t sure how it was acquired. Some cast blame on certain groups. People were isolated and separated from friends and families. The medical community has learned a lot more about HIV and AIDs. There are more and more people who are surviving, some who are even symptomatic free. We need to remember God commands us to love all people and care for them. Even while we may not understand a problem we need to trust God and allow Him to take care of the needs of others without imposing our judgment or criticism. We need to act out of love and let those in need know they are loved no matter what the circumstance. May each of us seek to love others as God loves us.

AskMe #2503406 04/29/11 07:06 AM
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Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

The apostle closes this chapter of Ephesians with praise to God for what He is able to accomplish in our lives. He gives notice of God�s inexhaustible capability to do more than we may ever imagine or ask for. The praise God receives comes from the collective church of believers in Christ Jesus and will carry forward for generations to come.

Skye Jethani, from the sermon "Church: The Wisdom of God on Display," said: A few weeks ago I was in Cape Town, South Africa, for a gathering of world Christian leaders from 200 countries. One of the speakers was the Anglican archbishop of Jos, Nigeria. His name is Benjamin Kwashi, and he shared a story that was horrific and inspiring at the same time. Jos, this city in Nigeria, has been rocked by sectarian violence for years now, primarily between Christians and Muslims. There have been endless cycles of violence and vengeance and hundreds of people killed. In March of 2009, a gang of people broke into the bishop's house to kill him. He wasn't home, but his wife was. They did unspeakable things to her, and they beat her and left her for dead. He found her, and she was still alive, but she spent most of the following year in recovery. A year to the day after this gang beat her, in March of 2010, they came back. They broke into his home again, and this time they did find Benjamin. They dragged him out of his house, and they were about to kill him. They had machetes and clubs. Benjamin asked for just a moment to pray before they began. So he knelt there on the dirt and began to pray.

A moment later he felt someone holding his hand. He looked up, and it was his wife. I still can't believe the courage of that woman. She could have run, but instead she broke through this line of the same people who had attacked her a year ago and knelt with her husband to pray with him, knowing that her life was over as well. And then a moment later, he felt someone holding his other hand. He looked, and it was his teenage son. Benjamin begged his son to leave so that he wouldn't be killed as well. And his son said, "Father, they've all left. They're all gone."

Why did they leave? Benjamin said he has no idea. And he knows they'll be back. I'd like to believe that the reason they left is that when this bishop and his wife were kneeling in the dirt in prayer, the manifold wisdom of God was put on display before the powers and authorities in the heavenly realm. There was wisdom and power there that these people could not comprehend, and they became afraid and they fled.

AskMe #2504327 05/02/11 06:53 AM
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Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT)

12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

The apostle writes the Philippians saying they always followed Paul�s instructions when he was with them. But now that Paul is apart from them he instructs them that they are to continue on their own to take to heart their salvation and work on the results of that salvation. In doing so they are to obey God, keep a deep reverence for Him and also show respect for His awesome power which deserves a reverential fear.

Bill White, pastor of outreach at Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount, California tells us Craig C. had been an alcoholic for more than a dozen years. He'd lost everything he had, including his wife and son, due to his selfishness and addiction. Things began to change after he gave his life to Christ, but he still fell regularly into his old habits. It didn't help that he'd lost his well-paying job and was clerking at a local grocery store that was well stocked with all his favorite drinks. After a few years of going back and forth between Christ and the bottle, he finally cut the ties, and, out of obedience to Christ, quit his job.

With no income and hope only in Christ, he was in desperate condition. After an interview with a sheet metal company down the street from his new church, he cried out to God. "God, if you give me this job I will give you my first paycheck." Surprisingly, he got the job.

He clearly remembers the day when he got his first paycheck. Stacks of bills needed to be paid. Penniless but determined, he endorsed it over to the church and walked it to the church office without waiting for the Sunday offering. That was the moment, he says, that changed his life because now he understood what it meant to trust God.

As of today, Craig has been sober for 25 years, he's a manager at that sheet metal company, and he serves as an elder at his local church.

Craig didn't need someone to take instructions from; instead he allowed Christ to work in his heart. He allowed Christ to help him work out the purpose of his salvation and Craig gave his life for the life Christ gave him.

AskMe #2504762 05/03/11 06:19 AM
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Galatians 1:11-20 (NLT)
11 Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. 12 I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religion�how I violently persecuted God�s church. I did my best to destroy it. 14 I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him 16 to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. 17 Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. 19 The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord�s brother. 20 I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.

Paul declares his salvation to the Galatians and that it was a salvation given to him through a direct revelation from Jesus. Paul heard and knew The Gospel for he had persecuted those following Christ for their beliefs. Paul did not believe the gospel of Christ, but instead put to death those who did. Then The Gospel was marvelously revealed to Paul and Paul believed. Christ was sufficient enough for Paul to give him a clear understanding of the Good News of Salvation. He had not even yet heard directly from any of the apostles. Instead Christ alone touched Paul�s life he believed.

Paul�s strength came from his faith in Christ. Paul had a genuine, believable conversion to Christianity. As Paul grew in his faith he said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, �And he [Christ] said unto me, My grace [Christ�s grace] is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I [Paul] rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.� Paul accepted the fact his strength to endure came from Christ. When Paul failed to do what was right, Paul knew Christ would renew and strengthen him. Paul was dependent upon Christ and gave Christ credit for it. Do you know where your strength and power to endure comes from? It comes from Christ who eases your burdens. Your joy comes from Christ who sees you through hardships. Your hope comes from Christ when things seem hopeless. Stop and give praise to Christ who is your Lord, Savior and provider. For in Christ all of your needs can be met.

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