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AskMe #2603548 03/08/12 07:22 AM
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Psalm 90:12-17 (The Message)
12 -17 Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! Come back, God�how long do we have to wait?�and treat your servants with kindness for a change. Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we'll skip and dance all the day long. Make up for the bad times with some good times; we've seen enough evil to last a lifetime. Let your servants see what you're best at� the ways you rule and bless your children. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

In these verses we hear David�s petition of prayer to God. First David asks we learn to use wisely our days of life because they are limited. Second David asks for God to be with us and not stand away due to our sin, but instead hurry towards us because of our repentance. David looks for the joys and blessing of God knowing that he provides mercy. Lastly David asks that God�s work be confirmed in us.



As I turned 29 in life I suddenly sensed mortality and that my days of life were limited. Maybe it was because I was aware my next birthday would take me into another decade. There were things I had wanted to accomplish in my youth, but many of those dreams were slipping away. I dreamed of being a pilot in the Air Force. I had a scholarship to attend college under the Air Force ROTC program. I was looking forward to this dream. As I was about to turn in the scholarship papers I took an eye exam and found my vision was imperfect. The astigmatism in my eyes was going to prevent me from becoming a pilot and with that my dream slipped away.

I had friends in school that died at an early age for various reasons so I knew life wasn�t permanent. I had been a witness to those who passed away from disease, accidental events, suicides and even murders. I knew my days were numbers just like everyone else.

God helped me come to terms with my mortality by realizing I still had days to live. I could not dwell on the past and what had or had not happened. Instead I had to look to the future and trust God would be there with me. I had to keep moving forward doing what I was doing. I had to work and provide for my family. I realized God even had plans for me to work on.

God wants to confirm the work we are doing in our lives. God wants to show us we have a purpose. We need to pray as David did and ask God to be with us. God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do.

AskMe #2604562 03/12/12 04:59 AM
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1 John 3:20 (NLT)
20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

Throughout the apostle�s writing, John has been giving reassurance God knows us and we know God because of His love. In this verse we are reminded God is greater than anything we can feel about ourselves. While our conscience condemns us for our actions, God is the great judge who provides mercy and grace because of His love for us.



The Greek word used in the verse above for guilty is kataginōskō, which means to find fault, blame, accuse and condemn. In our daily lives we often feel the guilt of sin, but God has already promised us that when we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and to cleanse us from that sin. We are not to carry that guilt for it will turn into shame and weigh heavily upon our shoulders.

In the Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, �No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.� We often do this by showing the world we are ok when we really are not. We may walk around with a smile, but we carry around a bundle of guilt on our shoulders. The guilt could be from present actions or something from long ago.

The apostle John tells us God already knows the things we have done. We are not hiding anything from him that He does not already know. We need to realize in most cases we have done the best we could do. We make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes might even be very big. Making mistakes is a part of our humanity. It is how we learn about life and as a result we hopefully become wiser.

Guilt is not caused by what we do. Instead guilt is a burden we add in hindsight. We realize the consequences and then we apply guilt. We second guess ourselves and think, �I should have known better.� Yes, maybe you should have known better but for whatever reason you did not see the consequences that were ahead of you.

God does not want us to carry guilt; so are you willing to forgive yourself? Are you willing to realize maybe you did the best you could at the time?

One more important question, if God is willing to forgive you, do you think you are greater than God that you can�t forgive yourself? Let go of the guilt and let go of the shame.

AskMe #2605768 03/15/12 05:54 AM
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Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
6 Don�t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God�s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

These are words of encouragement from the Apostle Paul telling the church not to worry about anything. Instead they were to pray for all their needs and give glory to God for the things they had already received in this life. For God give peace beyond measure which guards the hearts and minds of those who believe in Jesus Christ.



In Preaching with Sacred Fire, E. V. (Ed) Hill, who pastored Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, tells the story of how "Mama's" love and prayers changed his life. During the height of the Depression, Hill's real mother, who had five children of her own, didn't have enough food to go around, so she sent four-year-old Ed to live with a friend in a small country town called Sweet Home. Ed just called her Mama. As he was growing up in Sweet Home, Mama displayed remarkable faith which led her to have big plans for young Ed. Against nearly insurmountable obstacles, Mama helped Ed graduate from high school (the only student to graduate that year from the country school) and even insisted that he go to college.

She took Ed to the bus station, handed him the ticket and five dollars and said, "Now, go off to Prairie View College, and Mama is going to be praying for you." Hill claims that he didn't know much about prayer, but he knew Mama did. When he arrived at the college with a dollar and ninety cents in his pocket, they told him he needed eighty dollars in cash in order to register. Here's how Hill describes what happened next:

I got in line �, and the devil said to get out of line �, but I heard my Mama saying in my ear, "I'll be praying for you." I stood in line on Mama's prayer. Soon there was [another new student ahead of me], and I began to get nervous, but I stayed in line �. Just about the time [the other student] got all of her stuff and turned away, Dr. Drew touched me on the shoulder, and he said, "Are you Ed Hill?" I said, "Yes." "Are you Ed Hill from Sweet Home?" "Yes." "Have you paid yet?" "Not quite." "We've been looking for you all this morning," [he said]. I said, "Well, what do [you] want with me?" "We have a four-year scholarship that will pay your room and board, your tuition, and give you thirty dollars a month to spend." And I heard Mama say, "I will be praying for you!"

AskMe #2607507 03/20/12 06:11 AM
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James 5:13-16 (NLT)
13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James the half-brother of Jesus writes on the power of prayer. He gives some of the reasons we might quickly seek to pray such as having a hardship, being unhappy, sickness, revealing sin and to give praise to God.



I once got to meet Pastor Dr. Tony Evans as he spoke to a group in Greenville, South Carolina. Dr. Evans is a respected leader in evangelical circles. The first African-American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), he served as an associate professor in DTS� Pastoral Ministries Department in the areas of evangelism, homiletics and black church studies. He also served as chaplain for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and presently serves as chaplain for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Dr. Evans has served as the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for over 34 years, witnessing its growth from ten people in 1976 to now over 8,500 congregants with 100 plus ministries.

Dr. Evans spoke of a time when he was in college and married to his wife Lois. Like any young struggling couple attending college they were met with financial burdens. One morning Lois told her husband it was time to pay bills and she had been praying for their financial needs because she knew they were short on funds. As Tony left for school that morning he was praying about how God could provide to meet those needs. On the way to class Tony stopped to see if he had any mail. In the mailbox was an envelope and as he opened it he found a check for $500. Someone had anonymously left the money for Tony and his wife with the school. Excitedly he called Lois to tell her the good news. She then responded, �It was a check for $500, wasn�t it?� Tony asked, �How did you know?� $500 is what we needed and that is what I was praying for.

James said, �The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.� If we don�t pray God can never answer our prayers. Lois prayed because of their hardship and God responded with a generous gift to meet their needs.

AskMe #2608287 03/22/12 08:15 AM
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Hebrews 1:13-14 (NLT)
13 And God never said to any of the angels, �Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.� 14 Therefore, angels are only servants�spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.

In this chapter of Hebrews the apostle writes about Jesus being greater than any angel. He wants to make the point that Jesus is God, with God and has the authority of God. For the apostle writes in verses 8-9, �But to the Son he says, �Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.� Jesus is not an angel, but God Himself.



What does the Bible tell us about angels? The Bible says they were created by God. Angels fall into two categories they either followed God or they followed after one of their own -- Satan. The angels who follow God serve Him, abiding by His will and doing what is good, just and right. Those who chose to follow Satan follow in the path of Satan to commit evil acts against mankind. These angels we know as demons.

Focusing on the angels that follow God we know the following about them from the Bible. We know they are protectors. They fight the spiritual battles we cannot see taking place against our world. Angels are comforters � bringing comfort in our times of need. Angels can express feelings of joy as they rejoice over sinners who come to know God through Christ. Angels have great power, but their power does not exceed that of God. Even Satan is under submission to God; although Satan would say otherwise for he is the author of lies. Angels bring messages of importance. They heralded the birth of Christ in praise and in heavenly song. Angels were said to have the appearance of men, yet they stood out among men as something special to behold. Angels follow God�s will to destroy evil where it exists in abundance. Angels watch over us and come to our rescue and defense. Angels are not people and people are not angels. God created mankind without the power of angels, but in return God loves mankind greatly. God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus Christ to die for sin that we might have eternal life in heaven.

Jesus is far greater that any angel. Jesus is God, our savior, our defender, our protector, our comforter, our assurance, our blessing, our helper, our Lord and more than we can fathom. Angels take care of us because God wills it. Jesus takes care of us because He is God and He loves us deeply.

AskMe #2610478 03/28/12 07:56 AM
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Job 6:24 (NLT)
24 Teach me, and I will keep quiet. Show me what I have done wrong.

Job gives a response to his friend Eliphaz as he suffers from injuries placed upon him by Satan. Job differed in his opinion about the cause of his suffering, but he was willing to listen to reason. Matthew Henry said, �It is the undoubted character of every honest man that he is truly desirous to have his mistakes rectified, and to be made to understand wherein he has erred; and he will acknowledge that right words, when they appear to him to be so, though contrary to his former sentiments, are both forcible and acceptable.�



The wise person is willing to examine themselves and see if they are at fault. They are willing to listen to reasonable arguments against them. They are willing to remain silent while the opinions of others are voiced. The Bible tells us we often believe we are wise when it comes to the things we do and the thoughts we have, but God knows the real intentions of the heart. We may be thinking we are acting justly only to find out our thoughts are flawed.

Take the time to listen to all the views of others and examine your motives. Look to see if you are truly following God or following after your own views and desires. Be willing to say �show me what I have done wrong� and then remain silent to hear what is said.

AskMe #2610776 03/29/12 04:35 AM
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1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God�s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul tells us we are to be thankful in all circumstances. We don�t get to pick and choose what we want to be thankful for; instead be thankful always in the good times and in the bad times.


Louis Szekely, known professionally as Louis C.K., is an Emmy and Grammy award winning American stand-up comedian, television and film writer, and actor. He is the star of the FX comedy series Louie, which he also writes, directs, and edits. Louis C.K. appeared with Conan O�Brien and presented a comedic routine that started with "Everything's amazing right and nobody's happy." It obviously grabbed the attention of many people. As of February 2009, just one clip had over 5.5 million views on YouTube. Comedians speak to a crowd in a way that the crowd wants to hear; so the transcript is edited for all audiences to read. Here is what Louis C.K. said to poke fun at our ingratitude and impatience:
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In my lifetime the changes in the world have been incredible. When I was a kid, we had a rotary phone. We had a phone you had to stand next to, and you had to dial it. Do you realize how primitive that was? You were making sparks. And you would actually hate people who had zeroes in their number because it was more [work]. And then if you called and they weren't home, the phone would just ring lonely by itself.

And then if you wanted money you had to go in the bank�and it was open for like three hours, and you'd stand in line and write a check. And then if you ran out of money, you'd just say, "Well, I just can't do any more things now."

Now we live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on [a] generation of spoiled [people] that don't care. This is what people are like now: they've got their phone, and they go, "Ugh, it won't [work fast enough]." Give it a second! It's going to space. Will you give it a second to get back from space? Is the speed of light too slow for you?

I was on an airplane, and there was high-speed internet �. And I'm sitting on the plane, and they say, "Open up your laptop, you can go on the internet." It's fast � it's amazing �. And then the thing breaks down. They apologize, "The internet's not working." And the guy next to me says, "[O, great] this [stinks]." Like how quickly the world owes him something, yes, he knew existed only ten seconds ago.

People come back from flights, and they tell you their story, and it's like a horror story �. [They say], "It was the worst day of my life. First of all, we didn't board for twenty minutes. And then we get on the plane, and they made us sit there on the runway for forty minutes." "O, really, and what happened next? Did you fly in the air, incredibly, like a bird? Did you partake in the miracle of human flight?" Everybody on every plane should be constantly [screaming], "WOW!" You're flying. You're sitting in a chair in the sky!

Here's the thing: People say there are "delays" on flights. Delays, really? New York to California in five hours! It used to take thirty years to do that, and a bunch of you would die on the way there and would meet a whole new group of people before you got there.
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Maybe, just maybe we have forgotten how to be thankful for what we do have. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God�s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

AskMe #2611961 04/02/12 06:38 AM
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Matthew 16:26 (ESV)
26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

In this verse Jesus is speaking to His disciples. There are two questions asked, 1) what happens if a person gains all the worldly possessions they desire and then loose there life?; and then a question that is the reverse logic of the first question 2) what would you give up to keep your eternal soul?


According to a Gallup poll conducted in May of 2004, 90% of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit; the percentage has remained somewhat constant for the past 60 years. In the survey 81% of Americans said they believe in heaven, 10% are unsure, and 8% do not believe. Prior to 1974 the belief in hell ranged from 56% to 71%. The 2004 study showed overall 70% of Americans believed in hell, 12% were not sure and 17% did not believe in hell. It is apparent from the study that the majority of Americans believe in God and there is an eternal afterlife either in heaven or hell.

For a moment let�s assume you are part of the majority that has come to a point in their life they believe in God and they believe in an afterlife either in heaven or hell. If God asked you, �Why should I let you into heaven?� what would be your response? After searching the internet for answers to that question, here are some of the responses people gave:

-Because all my life I've done the best I can for myself and other people. I've never intentionally hurt anyone. And besides that, I've adopted lots of homeless cats and dogs and given them a home."

- I'm only 15 but I'd say I know I have done bad in my life, but please forgive? I've helped many in need.

- I've never been intentionally cruel and I never told anyone they weren't going to heaven because they held different beliefs.

- I would tell him that I don't deserve to enter heaven because I have sinned too many times to count.

- I would say "What makes you think you're in any position to be gatekeeper? You're the one who created this mess in the first place!"

Those are guesses by people, but what does The Bible say? The Bible says man sinned and brought the punishment of sin upon himself. God did not make the mess we are in; man did by his selfish act of sin. God is the creator of everything and as the creator He has the right to decide to do with what He has created. Because of God�s love and mercy towards us, God provided salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus died on a cross as payment for sin. Jesus rose back to life defeating death to show us there is an eternal life. When a person places their faith in Jesus, Jesus stands before God making them right in God�s sight. The Bible says Jesus is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the world. It says, �This is real love�not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.� Because Jesus makes our sin right before God our faith in Jesus allows us into heaven. So if God asks, �Why should I let you into my heaven?� the answer is because I have faith in Jesus who died for my sin. If you are not sure you have ever placed your faith in Jesus tell God right now, �Father God, I know I am a sinner, I desire to change and I turn my life over to Jesus placing my faith in Him as savior and redeemer.� When you place your faith in Jesus know there is nothing that is not forgivable, not one thing. Jesus has redeemed you so you can live eternity in heaven.

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Romans 6:1 (NLT)
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?

The apostle asks an important question to Christians which he gives a reply, �Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.� God�s grace is not an excuse to sin, but instead a reason to live.

Switzerland has a toll system that requires you to pay an upfront annual fee. Once you pay your fee a sticker is issued for your windshield that is good for the year. Traditionally, traffic police give motorists the whole month of January to purchase the sticker. There is no penalty for driving without it during that month�it is a month of grace. But when the first days of February come, expect to see the traffic police on the autoroute exit ramps checking for cars without the sticker. No more excuses are accepted; no more time is given. The grace period has ended.

God always provides us a time of grace, but eventually there are consequences for our actions. We should not take advantage of God�s grace for our own selfish purposes. Instead we should take the opportunity to make a correction in our life that aligns us with God�s will.

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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 tells us Christ has purchased our freedom and taken us from the darkness of sin and brought us into His Kingdom to be free from sin.




New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof wrote about where he chose two Cambodian prostitutes and attempted to buy their freedom from their brothel owners in an article �Bargaining for Freedom�. He selected young women who were there against their will, willing to tell their story, and actually wanted to leave prostitution.

The first woman, Srey Neth, was a simple transaction. For $150, Kristof left with the girl and a receipt.

Her Mom�s situation proved more difficult, since the brothel owner demanded more money. Kristof writes: After some grumpy negotiation, the owner accepted $203 as the price for Srey Mom�s freedom. But then Srey Mom told me that she had pawned her cellphone and needed $55 to get it back. "Forget about your cellphone," I said. "We�ve got to get out of here."

Srey Mom started crying. I told her that she had to choose her cellphone or her freedom, and she ran back to her tiny room in the brothel and locked the door. With Srey Mom sobbing in her room and refusing to be freed without her cellphone, the other prostitutes�her closest friends�began pleading with her to be reasonable.

Even the owner of the brothel begged her to "Grab this chance while you can," but Srey Mom hysterically refused to leave. Srey Mom only stopped crying when Kristov agreed to buy back the cellphone too. Then she asked for her pawned jewelry to be part of the deal.

--- So often are we not the same? Christ has purchased our freedom and then we want to turn and run back to our sins. We find reasons, unjustly, to return to that sin. Yet we keep hearing Christ say, �We�ve got to get out of here!� Listen to Christ and flee from the sin holding you captive.

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Mark 7:20-23 (NLT)
20 And then he added, �It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person�s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.�

In this passage Jesus was spoke to the crowd in response to a question asked by the religious leaders that were present, ��Why don�t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.� In response Jesus said, �All of you listen,� he said, �and try to understand. It�s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.� Then Jesus went on to list those things that defile a person that come from one�s own sin nature.



The Pharisees were worried about touching anything that was ceremonially unclean. They had rituals and rules for how everything should be deal with because they thought it might bring sin upon them. This was far from the truth. For Jesus pointed out it was not those things outside of man that defiled man, but instead the sin nature that lurks in the hearts of men. There is no one on this earth who does not have the potential to commit the acts of sin listed above. King Solomon gave us this word of wisdom in Proverbs 4:23, �Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.� Just think about the sins listed above the consequences that follow if one of those sins are committed. Each of those sins can have a great impact upon a life and will change the course of one�s life. For the person who murders they may find themselves in prison for a lifetime. For the person who deceives they may never be trusted. For the person who commits adultery they may lose their family and respect of others. Sin can impact your life greatly. Fortunately Jesus frees us from the bondage of sin and provides grace and mercy for what we may or might do. We may face earthly consequences for sin, but Jesus has forgiven us and made our sins right with God. Place your faith in Jesus and know He loves you.

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Psalm 103:6 (NLT)
6 The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

This psalm of David gives praise to the Lord. Matthew Henry said of verse 6, �Truly God is good to all: He executes righteousness and judgment, not only for his own people, but for all that are oppressed; for even in common providence he is the patron of wronged innocency, and, one way or other, will plead the cause of those that are injured against their oppressors. It is his honour to humble the proud and help the helpless.


I read the following from a friend I went to high school with concerning an attack on her son. I took it from her Facebook page for others to read so you might pray for her and her son:

�HELP>>> My son Warner was assaulted in 5pts (University of S.C. Campus area) last Thursday April 5/6 around midnight. It required extensive surgery. It has changed his life and he had just qualified for nationals 4 Olympics! PLS PLS help me. Pics b4 or after surgery are too graphic 4 here. He left Beys and crossed the street to Harpers. He was headed to car parked on Green St at Group Therapy. Investigation moving tooooooo friggin slow. THIS is my son...HELP! heartbroken�

Can you hear the urgent plea of a mother who is looking for justice for her son? Can you hear the worry and concern of the opportunities that might be taken away from this young man? Do you see a broken heart pleading for our help?

Recently there has been a lot of news coverage about the Trayvon Martin case. Their family sought justice for their son and rightly so. Had it been my son I would have been sitting in the police station and prosecutors office until some action was taken. When your child is harassed, bullied, harmed, hurt, beaten or murdered justice is demanded. They lost a child and there needs to be an explanation, an investigation and a process of justice to determine the facts.

I read an article from comedian Jon Lovitz who spoke out against the bullying of a friend�s daughter. Lovitz posted a picture of their handiwork, saying, �Swastikas in sh** left on my friend�s front porch were done by three 14-year-old girls, driven to the house by one of the girl�s mother.� Lovitz says the bullied girl�s grandfather was a Holocaust survivor. How can a parent allow this action to take place??

Actor/Comedian D.L. Hughley recently wrote a news post as a letter to Trayvon Martin sayin, �Like your parents, and countless other Americans, I want justice for you and the life that you will never get to live.� We all want justice for Trayvon and we want it done correctly.

Let us pray God will provide justice for all our youth. Let us be united as one people under God to see these issues addressed. Let us work together as friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, as neighbors, family and as a community to put an end to what are senseless attacks against our youth. I ask prayer for my friend Tami and her son Warner. I ask prayer for Trayvon�s family and the girl and her family that was bullied. Let us pray for all the innocent who have been wronged.

Father God we ask your love, mercy and grace to be upon these families. Lord we pray you would take up for our youth and bring about justice. Lord please bring us together as one people seeking to do what is right. Allow us to be your hands, your feet, your eyes and your mouth working for justice. AMEN

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Luke 10:25-29 (NLT)
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: �Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?� 26 Jesus replied, �What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?� 27 The man answered, ��You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.� And, �Love your neighbor as yourself.�� 28 �Right!� Jesus told him. �Do this and you will live!� 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, �And who is my neighbor?�

In this passage Jesus is speaking with the religion leaders and one of them tested Jesus with a question about inheriting eternal life. Jesus knew they did not understand His purpose to bring salvation to all men. So Jesus asked the leader what the Mosaic Law said. The man gave a response that said love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said, �Right, do this and you will live�, for Jesus knew man was incapable of always loving God and his fellow man as he should. The religious leader knew it too and wanted to justify his actions by asking who his neighbor was.



It was at this point Jesus replied with a story: �A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. �By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. �Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, �Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I�ll pay you the next time I�m here.� �Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?� Jesus asked. The man replied, �The one who showed him mercy.� Then Jesus said, �Yes, now go and do the same.�

You can tell Jesus is speaking to the religion leader with this example by using two religious people, one a priest and the other a Temple assistant. Most likely both had gone through a ceremonial cleansing to perform their duties and therefore felt they would be defiled by touching this man. A Jewish man, one of their own laid hurt and they passed him by. In doing so they ignored the Mosaic Law of loving God and loving your neighbor. They failed and mostly likely would continue to fail. Yet a Samaritan who was a neighbor, despised by the Jewish people came to the rescue of this Jewish man.

This story shows how a person despised by the Jewish people felt compassion for a Jewish man who was in serious trouble which his Jewish neighbors passed him by. We are all to love like this man, but we are to also realize eternal life comes through Jesus Christ who gave His life for our sin, because all the good works we try to do will eventually fail.

AskMe #2618730 04/24/12 08:11 AM
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Ezekiel 18:31b-32 (NLT)
31b For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don�t want you to die, says the Sovereign LORD. Turn back and live!

These are the sovereign words of our righteous and just God who desires a good long life for people. God has good plans and wants to give us an expected end to our lives.


As I wrote above, God wants to provide us with an expected end to our lives, but often our choices interrupt God�s plans for us. God planned a wonderful, eternal life for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but that was interrupted after Adam and Eve made their own sinful choices. God planned the rescue of Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot�s wife refused to obey the warning given by the angels not to look back to their former life. She ignored the warning looked back and suffered the consequences of her actions.

Sometimes death comes at unexpected times, not by God�s plan, but as a result of Satan�s work of killing, stealing and destroying. Jesus said in John 10:10, �The thief�s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.� The thief is Satan who desires to take away what God has planned for or given to us. We can look at Job who loved and obeyed God. It was not God who went against Job, but Satan. Satan was the thief who took Job�s family, workers, possessions, and even his health. Job however proved his faith to God and God blessed and restored Job.

We must remember God�s will for us does not mean that His will is always the conclusive end. God�s will is that everyone would be saved through the salvation of Jesus Christ. But will everyone be saved? No, for some choose not to partake of God�s plan of salvation.

So why does God allow those who have placed their faith in Him to be persecuted and even killed for His sake? --- Because God wants to reach out to those who do not know Him. Our souls are already in His hands. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. God wants to reach out in love to those who don�t know Him for their worldly death means an eternal separation from Him. God is willing to sacrifice some of His own children, just as He allowed Christ to be sacrificed, to reach a lost and hurting world. Count our trials and tribulations as a blessing for God is using us to fulfill His purpose.

AskMe #2620761 05/01/12 07:13 AM
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Psalm 75:9-10 (NLT)
9 But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 For God says, �I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.�

This is the Psalm of Asaph, son of Berechiach. Asaph was assigned by David to give prophecy through music. Matthew Henry tells us about Aspah�s proclamation: 1. He will praise God for his elevation, not only at first, while the mercy was fresh, but forever, so long as he lives. The exaltation of the Son of David will be the subject of the saints� everlasting praises. He will give glory to God, not only as his God, but as the God of Jacob, knowing it was for Jacob his servant�s sake, and because he loved his people Israel, that he made him king over them. 2. He will use the power with which he is entrusted for the great ends for which it was put into his hands.


Jesus spoke these words to us in Mark 12:29-31 - �The most important commandment is this: �Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.� The second is equally important: �Love your neighbor as yourself.� No other commandment is greater than these.�

These words are important for we know we must first love God beyond anything else. Next we are to take the love we have received from God and extend it to others. When we love others God uses the love He has given us to break the strength of the wicked. When we love hearts soften. When we respond to anger with compassion hearts begin to melt. When we show kindness to others they see the benefit of love.

As we love others God develops us and increases our capacity to love. We find ourselves ministering to others we might not have ministered to before. We find ourselves availed to help when possible. We find ourselves loving naturally as God intended.

Let us all give praise to God for what He has done in our lives so that we may be used to work in the lives of others. Let us sing praises and rejoice that we can love fearless because of our Lord and Savior.

AskMe #2622195 05/04/12 07:12 AM
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1 Timothy 1:5-11 (NLT)
5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions. 7 They want to be known as teachers of the Law of Moses, but they don�t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently. 8 We know that the law is good when used correctly. 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

In these verses we find the Apostle Paul writing Timothy about the law. Those who have faith in Christ should not become engaged in meaningless instructions concerning the law for the law was intended for the lawless. Instead believers in Christ should be filled with love that comes from their own pure heart, a clear conscience and genuine faith in the promises of God.



Jesus instructed those who followed Him that they should love one another. Jesus even went as far as saying, �If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.� In other words if a corrupt, unjust person can exhort money from individuals and love those who they are close to; how does that differ from a Christian only loving those they are close with. The commandment to us was to love one another. Not just some, but all people.

There is a quote I have often heard in Christian churches, �Hate the sin, love the sinner.� Search your Bible, Google the words, but you won�t find that quote in scripture. The quote originated from Mahatma Ghandi, Indian nationalist, non-violent civil disobedience leader and follower of Hinduism � the world�s third largest religion. I have to confess I have heard the words so much in church I believed them to be from God. Worldly quotes are fine if they can help us to understand life, but we should not confuse these quotes with what God has told us to do. We never find Jesus condoning sin or condoning the sinner. Instead we find Jesus loving those around Him and challenging them to move away from sin.

Take the adulteress who the religious leaders were ready to stone. In John 8 The Bible tells us the following about Jesus: �They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, �All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!� Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, �Where are your accusers? Didn�t even one of them condemn you?� �No, Lord,� she said. And Jesus said, �Neither do I. Go and sin no more.�

The Bible tells us there are certain things God hates, but God never tells us to hate. Instead God tell us to love always. We need to make sure we are following the words of God and not meaningless discussions as Paul stated. There are many people today who think they are righteous, but turn to hate as a means to correct others. This is wrong and instead we should follow Christ by loving, encouraging, and challenging people to do what is right.

AskMe #2624428 05/11/12 06:26 AM
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Philippians 3:8-9 (NKJV)
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

The Apostle Paul writes in verses 4-6, �If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.� In other words if there was anyone who could boast about conforming to the law, being religious, coming from a background of people who loved God�s laws and was considered blameless in concern to the law � it would be Paul. However Paul knows he has lost his freedom, he has lost his status, he has everything he counted as meaningful and he is content having found faith in Jesus Christ. It is from his faith that he has found righteousness and now he considered everything else in his past dung.



Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a great preacher of Reformed theology at the Westminster Chapel in London posed a thought to his congregation. He said, "I want to talk to you today about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You may call it what you want, but I want to know, have you experienced the fullness of the Spirit I know all of you listening to me come as I do from a Reformed background. But it's not good enough. I know that all of you would want to say to my question about the Holy Spirit, 'Well, we got it all at conversion; there's no need for any more experience.' Well", said Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "I have only one other question to ask you. If you got it all at conversion, where in God's name is it"

The questions to ask yourself � Are you holding on to things of the past or are you allowing God to work in your life? Are you depending upon yourself and what you are or are you depending upon your faith in Christ?

Let go of the former rubbish in your life and allow your faith in Christ to fill you with the righteousness of God.

AskMe #2625841 05/15/12 06:52 AM
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Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Matthew Henry writes about the message the Apostle Paul is giving to the Galatians: In the former part of this chapter the apostle cautions the Galatians to take heed of the Judaizing teachers, who endeavored to bring them back under the bondage of the law. He had been arguing against them before, and had largely shown how contrary the principles and spirit of those teachers were to the spirit of the gospel; and now this is as it were the general inference or application of all that discourse. Since it appeared by what had been said that we can be justified only by faith in Jesus Christ, and not by the righteousness of the law, and that the law of Moses was no longer in force, nor Christians under any obligation to submit to it, therefore he would have them to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and not to be again entangled with the yoke of bondage.


Years ago when I was dating my wife I took her to the State Fair. We went on a day where you could ride unlimited rides and the crowd happened to be light. We had been there for a little while when we came upon the Rock-O-Plane that had no riders. The operator was just waiting for someone to hop on and go for a ride. We thought great; we can ride and enjoy it for a while.

The Rock-O-Plane for those who don�t know has spinning cages attached to a large wheel. Each cage spins independently while the large wheel is also turning. Its shape is similar to that of a Ferris wheel, but with seats that are enclosed and rock and roll as the ride turns. If the rocking builds sufficient momentum the seats will flip upside-down and end-over-end.

At first the ride was fun. However, because no one was riding the operator let the ride continue to run and run and run. As we came around each time the operator reached out and spun the cage harder. Everything became a blur and we started yelling for the operator to let us off. Unfortunately our screams only encouraged the operator to spin the cage faster and faster. We became nauseous and disoriented. Instead of having fun we were miserable. We had no control over what was taking place and our lives were literally spinning out of control. Eventually the operator had mercy on us and stopped the ride. We staggered off feeling very ill on the inside. It took us a while for us to recover from that horrible experience.

Proverbs 5:22 says, �The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.� Sin is like the ride was to us, tempting because it looked fun. As we found out however, the fun only lasted for a short while and then it became misery and we had to deal with the consequences afterwards. We were trapped and spinning out of control, but finally grace and mercy appeared. We can thank God for the promise of His mercy and grace, because without it we could be on sin�s ride for a while.

AskMe #2626453 05/17/12 07:19 AM
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Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)
19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.

The apostle tells us the love of Christ is too great to fully understand, but we can begin to understand His love by placing our faith in Christ. We can pray so that we might begin to know him. Christians can pray to have a closer fellowship with Him and grow in their knowledge of Him. On this side of heaven if may be impossible to fully understand the love of Christ. However, here on earth we can receive the grace of God granted to us by Jesus Christ, which brings us closer to God and Christ.


One weekend, author Paul Tripp gave his teenage son permission to spend the weekend at a friend's house. But during the weekend Paul got a call from the friend's mother, telling him that his son was not at her home. (Her son had felt guilty about covering for Paul's son and confessed to his mom.) Paul was truly grieving that the trust between him and his son had been broken. He went to his bedroom to pray for God's help, and then it hit him�Because of his love, God had already begun a work of rescue in his son's life. �Now, rather than wanting to rip into my son,� Paul wrote, �I wanted to be part of what this God of grace was doing in this moment.� After giving his son a couple of hours to relax upon his return, Paul asked if they could talk. "Do you ever think about how much God loves you?" Paul asked his son. "Sometimes," he answered. "Do you ever think how much God's grace operates in your life every day?" His son looked up but didn't speak. "Do you know how much God's grace was working in your life this weekend?" "Who told you?" his son asked. �Son, you have lived your life in the light. You've made good choices. You've been an easy son to parent, but this weekend you took a step toward the darkness. You can live in the dark if you want. You can learn to lie and deceive. You can use your friends as your cover�or you can choose to live in God's light. I'm pleading with you: don't live in the darkness; live in the light." "As I turned to walk away," Paul says, "I heard his voice from behind me saying, 'Dad, don't go�I want to live in the light. Will you help me?'" [Paul David Tripp, Forever: Why You Can't Live Without It (Zondervan, 2011), pp. 151-153]

What a beautiful story to illustrate Christ�s love for us! Can you imagine Paul turning down his son once he said, �Dad, don�t go�I want to live in the light. Will you help me?� I can�t, nor can I imagine Jesus our Advocate and Helper who has called us out of the darkness and into the light, would say anything but �Yes, I love you and want to help.� We can see man�s capacity to love, but the love of Christ goes further than anything we can imagine. Seek out the love of Christ and place your faith in Him.

AskMe #2627871 05/21/12 06:56 AM
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Revelation 3:8 (NLT)
8 I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.

These are the words of Christ to the church of Philadelphia. Christ tells the church He takes notice of their actions and has seen their faith at work. They have little strength in what they do, but Christ gives them grace for not denying Him and continuing to work even though they can accomplish more. So Christ Himself is holding open a door of opportunity no one else can close against Him.



In Matthew chapter 16 Jesus asks The Disciples a question, �But who do you say I am?� to which Simon Peter responds, �You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.�

Jesus is the Son of the living God. He is the Messiah � the one promised to Abraham. Jesus is the one prophesied by the prophets. Jesus is the Christ spoken about to Moses, Abraham, David, Isaiah and others through angels, man and God. He came to replace the covenant of the law by replacing it with His obedience to God the Father through His sacrifice for all sin. Jesus was the one the people had been waiting for. He was the Son of David and Abraham�s chosen seed, the one to deliver all from captivity, the goal of the Mosaic Law, Yahweh in the flesh, the one to establish God�s reign and rule, the one to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, freedom to the prisoners and proclaim good news to the poor. He is the Lamb of God come to take away the sins of the world.

There are many people who do not seem to know the real Jesus. Instead they know a Jesus they have formed in their own image. There is hippie Jesus who flashes a peace sign and appears on posters wearing tie-dyed tee shirts. There is the Jesus of politics who is either for or against gay marriage. There is open-minded, tolerant Jesus who loves everyone except those we can�t tolerate or love. There is Sports Jesus who is there on the field to help a football team win, while the other team loses. There is politically correct Jesus trying to make sure no toes are stepped on. There is Guru Jesus who inspires us, but we don�t listen to His warnings of sin. There is Eco Jesus who says we should protect the earth. There is good example Jesus who sets a good example to become a better you.

Jesus Christ is not an image of what we want nor is He a reflection of our current mood or desires. Jesus is Lord of Lords. He is King of Kings. He is our Lord and our God. He is the Father�s son. Jesus is the Savior of the world the appeasing substitute for the sins we have committed. He is more loving, more holy, and even more wonderfully terrifying that we can imagine.

So instead of creating a savior of your own imagination, embrace The Son of God for who He is, holy, right, just, loving, gracious, merciful and kind. Embrace the one who holds open the door of opportunity to do His will even when our faith is weak. Embrace the one who sets you free from sin so you can live in freedom because He died for your sins and made you right with the Father in Heaven.

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