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Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
7 �Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Here Jesus encourages us to pray by saying �Ask and it will be given to you.� He goes further in saying we must seek out the answers we need and we must be willing to open our hearts to those answers so that we may understand them. For Christ knocks at the door of our heart wanting to join us in fellowship, but if we do not know Christ then we lack the wisdom to let Him in.



In Philippians 4:3 The Bible speaks of a person named Clement who was a Christian follower, who worked with others in sharing The Gospel of Jesus Christ. His parents were pagan, but he ended up being converted to Christianity. Clement wrote letters that share his thoughts and feelings towards Christ. Some of the words in his letters are even quotes from the other apostles. Clement sought out the truth about various religions and found what he was looking for.

In 1 Clement (c. 96). "Worship in the Early Church," Christian History, Issue 37,Clement writes this prayer: We ask you, Master, be our helper and defender. Rescue those of our number in distress; raise up the fallen; assist the needy; heal the sick; turn back those of your people who stray; feed the hungry; release our captives; revive the weak; encourage those who lose heart. Let all the nations realize that you are the only God, that Jesus Christ is your Child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.


Let us all learn to pray for those in need and continue to ask until we know God�s response. For if we do not ask or do not seek then we will not find the answers we are in search of.

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James 1:5 (NKJV)
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Here is an encouraging word for every discouraged person. When we are lacking in understanding we can humble ourselves and ask anything of God without fear. It�s God�s promise to us.




In his spiritual memoir A Stranger in the House of God, author and Moody Bible Institute professor John Koessler tells the story of his younger brother George. Since childhood, George's life consisted of heartache after heartache: because of a collapsed lung shortly after birth, he struggled with a learning disability that made him the butt of far too many jokes�even from his own family; his first wife cheated on him after being married for less than a year; he was permanently laid off from the only job he knew how to do well at the time. As the pain snowballed, George hit rock bottom. Because he hadn't kept in touch with George, Koessler was unaware of what was going on in his brother's life. A literal wake-up call concerning George's condition came late one night. Koessler writes:

I awoke from a sound sleep with a sense of dread, compelled to pray for my brother. In particular, I felt impressed to ask God to spare his life. The longer I prayed, the more anxious I became, sensing George was in some kind of grave danger�

A week later I got a phone call from my father. My brother's roommate contacted him saying George had tried to commit suicide. Despondent over his life, he slit his wrists with a kitchen knife. "He really meant business," my father said. "If his roommate had come fifteen minutes later, it would have been too late"�

My brother's roommate discovered him about the same time I was asking God to spare George's life.

With the encouragement of family and friends, George partnered with God to put his life back together. He learned how to cope with his learning disability and overcame his depression with the help of medicine. He worked difficult, trying hours as an emergency medical technician in order to earn a college degree�which he earned with honors. All the while, he was taking the all-important steps toward a life of faith. After meeting his second wife, Jan, at a church function, George committed his life to Christ.

George's transformation stirred in him a deep desire to serve others spiritually. This man, weighed down for so long by such profound pain, would eventually become the chaplain for the Detroit Fire Department. Koessler closes the chapter concerning his brother with these words about George:

He doesn't regret the difficulties he has faced. He doesn't see them as unfortunate twists of fate or himself as a victim of circumstance. He sees them as tools wielded by the gracious hand of God. "Without them," he says, "I wouldn't be the person I am today."

George doesn't consider any of his accomplishments remarkable. "I'm just a survivor," he says. "I'm no hero." Perhaps not to others. Certainly not to himself. But he is to me. [John Koessler, A Stranger in the House of God (Zondervan, 2007), pp.188-189]

AskMe #2778333 01/24/14 10:46 PM
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No Parade

[Love] does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.

��1 Corinthians 13:5

In an old village in England, this inscription was reportedly found on a tombstone: "Here lies a miser who lived for himself and cared for nothing but gathering wealth. Now where he is or how he fares, nobody knows and nobody cares." How would you like to have that written on your tombstone? How much better it would be for others to say of our lives, "This person was always thinking of and caring for others."

The Bible tells us that "[love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own" (1 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, true love has good manners. This is something that is largely lost in our culture today. There's a prevailing attitude that seems to say, "If my behavior offends someone else, that's their problem. They have to get over it." But as Christians, we need to realize we are part of the body of Christ, and as such, we should consider what other people are experiencing. We should care about others. The world does not revolve around you or me. We should put the needs of others above our own.

God's love is not provoked. It is not aroused to anger. It thinks no evil, which means it doesn't keep a record of wrongs. When someone has been wronged and says, "I can't believe you did that! I keep records. I don't get mad; I get even," that is not God's love.

Has someone taken advantage of you? Forget about it. Did they do it again? Don't worry about it. Let it go. It doesn't matter. That's how God's love is.

Caring about others more than we care about ourselves is more than good manners. It is godly love.


(From Harvest Ministries)

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Are You Winterized?
Julia Bettencourt


"...in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ��Philippians 4:11-13


Growing up in Ohio, I learned the meaning of cold and winter. Of course I didn't truly understand it until I grew up and moved to a warmer climate. Now if I go back to Ohio in the winter, I can barely stand the cold. When I was little my whole world was Ohio and I actually thought it was normal to wear several layers of clothing and be bundled up so much you couldn't move, dig out driveways of snow, scrape ice off your car, and do all the other things that go along with snow, ice, and winter.

In our spiritual lives, we all have "winters" too and we have to winterize for them in order to face them. When winter comes it is a time of bleak and dark dreary days. We must face the fact that winter can be hard and trials are hard. Just like the season of winter, our spiritual "winters" can leave us discouraged, lonely, and depressed.



When we are going through trials and hardships, we sometimes tend to let our guard down and it's so easy for worldly influences to take over in our lives. It seeps through the cracks around the doors and windows just like the winter air. It may be the influence of worldly friends, worldly music, worldly thinking. It all can work overtime on us as we face trials in our lives. We've got to dig out the caulk and weather stripping and block those cracks and holes. Using God's Word is the best way to do this. If we have it in our hearts, it can help stop the winter air of the world from seeping into our lives.

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee."�� Psalm 119:11


During the winter it is easy to develop a bad attitude. It doesn't take much at all for some of us. In comes the dreary days, the cold and chill, and drip...drip...we have formed those icicle attitudes. We become cranky and out of sorts with our family and anyone who we come in contact with. We also tend to complain more about anyone and anything.

When we are in the midst of a trial we sometimes automatically go into icicle attitude mode. We don't have any fellowship with anyone to help encourage us through our trial because who wants to be around us? We have to remember that no one else can fix our bad attitudes. Only we can do that. It's not easy either to adjust your attitude during a "winter" because the weight of that ice is bearing down on us. I've found that the simplest way to start working on adjusting a bad attitude is to take a step back and just remember who God is and who we are not.

"Be still, and know that I am God:" ��Psalm 46:10


Winter can bring so many things along with it. Blizzards being one of the worst as the effects it leaves is so devastating. Circumstances in our lives can also be devastating. Bills mount up. Family members get sick or even die. Relationships get sour, and many other circumstances weigh down on us until we think we can't go on because we can't see what's down the road. I think that during these times we need to remember that God sees the outcome. He's our Potter and we are the clay.

"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he
hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."�� Job 23:10


Better bundle up because if you are going trough a trial, then depression is going to come nipping at your heels sooner or later. Just like the dark and bleak days of winter have a depressing effect on us, trials seem to frost our lives with depression. The problem is that when we are in the midst of a "winter", it is so easy to just let it nip away at us. I think depression is one of the worst things of a "winter" because I've had my problem with it and it still seems like it is always there looming and wanting to nip...nip away. There's no easy way out of depression but keeping our lives in tune with God can help guard against it. Regular personal devotions and a time with God each day can go a long way in dealing with it.

"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry
aloud: and he shall hear my voice." ��Psalm 55:17
Prepare Your Winter Emergency Kit.

When you live where you have severe cold you know that there are things needed in order to prepare to endure the winter. As Christians, when our "winters" and trials come into our lives we must learn to prepare for them as well. Here are a few basic things we should have on hand.



Have some things on hand to sustain you through. Memorized Scriptures can help more than anything. Just a phrase of Scripture to grasp in the dead of our "winter" can be a great comfort to us.


During a "winter" some people forget about attending church and fellowshipping with other Christians. How much more it is needed when trials come into our lives. Having fellowship with other believers strengthens us. We need their love, support, and prayers. It becomes a real warmth to us.


Bottled water in a winter emergency is a must. We need it to survive just like we need the Living Water. We need Christ and His Word to live. Relying on Him will keep us from a parched existence. Drink in His love, His promises, His blessings, and His strength. Looking to Him in the face of our trials and circumstances will help see us through our "winter".


The electricity may go out because of the weight of snow and ice on the power lines so we always need a light source to have on hand. God's guidance is our light source. We can't get through our daily lives, let alone our "winters" without following God's direction and leading. Staying sensitive to God's leading will keep us going in the right direction and will help us to see a little more clearly.
We will all have "winters" in our lives, but choosing how we deal and prepare for them can make all the difference in the world.

(From Creative Ladies Ministry)

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Proverbs 27:12 (NIV)
12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Where there is temptation it is easy to be thrust into the middle of sinful and dangerous situations. With the sinful actions come consequences that must be dealt with. The prudent man however sees the problems which are to come and avoids the temptation. He forecasts the dangers and hides himself appropriately.



There are obvious warning signs, such as DANGER � High Voltage. We know that is something we should not touch and if we do there could be grave consequences.

I can never forget there were kids playing hiding seek at a local mall where my grandmother worked. Outside one of the entrance doors were large transformers that were marked, DANGER � High Voltage. Unfortunately the doors to the transformers were not locked and one of the young teens playing hide and go seek missed the warning and climbed inside the transformer. He was electrocuted almost instantly.

In high school a friend of mine went to the lake with a group from the high school track team. There were warning signs up about deep water and to take precautions if you could not swim. Unfortunately my friend did not know how to swim and ventured out to the rocky dam. He fell from the rocky dam into the lake. Others saw him, but by the time they realized he was in trouble it was too late - he drown.


The Bible gives us many dangers to watch out for. The Bible also gives us examples of people who ignored the warnings and suffered the consequences. Sadly there are still those of us who do not heed those warning signs and we find ourselves suffering the consequences of sin.

Father I pray for those reading that you would always provide an obvious warning to the temptations we face. I ask that you teach us from you word what to avoid so that we may not sin against you. Father I ask that you protect us as you have done for so many others of the past. Keep us safe in this world and keep us from the sin that wants control of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

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John 4:24 (NKJV)
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.�

The duty of one who loves The Lord is to worship him in spiritual and truthful way. The should follow the essence of God and treat others as God would treat them.



Chuck Broughton, writes in "Reflecting God's Nature," in the Discipleship Journal (Jan/Feb 2003), on pp. 35-36: I was riding the crowded subway in New York City. Every 10 to 15 seconds or so, someone behind me shouted unintelligible words. The first time, I ignored them. After several outbursts, however, I turned around to see that they were coming from a disheveled man behind me.

Sitting fairly close to him was a woman reading a newspaper. As I watched, he reached out, touched her knee, and quickly brought his hand back. Not getting any response, he did it again a few seconds later. It seemed like a game a small child might play; each time, his face showed that he was pretending not to have touched her. No one said anything, but those sitting near him exchanged nervous glances and began to inch away.

I was caught off guard by what happened next. The woman put down her paper and looked at the man. I expected her to rebuke him. Instead, she politely engaged the man in conversation. "Do you know where your stop is?"

He nodded that he did.

"Do you need any help getting to where you need to go?"

He shook his head no.

I don't know what motivated this woman to treat a stranger on the subway with such kindness. But the way she asked these questions showed that she was genuinely concerned for his welfare. She chose to respond to him as a real person with real needs, not just as an annoyance on her commute.

The incident reminded me of how the Apostle Paul saw people: "We regard no one from a worldly point of view" (2 Cor. 5:16). Many people on that subway car including me had looked at the man from a human point of view. In contrast, the woman who spoke to him reflected the perspective Paul described. She addressed him as a person who had inherent worth.


How are you addressing those around you? Are you seeing them as God sees them, precious in His sight?

AskMe #2779183 01/29/14 08:01 AM
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Mark 9:25 (NIV)
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, �Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.�

Before making this statement Jesus The Bible tells us this in the preceding verses, �They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, �What were you arguing about on the road?� But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.� Jesus knew their thoughts and explained that those who want to be first in the lives of others must become last to themselves. Mother Teresa is one such modern day servant who served many, often putting her own needs last. I remembered her and so too many others will remember her for her servant�s heart.




Awlwyn Balnave, of Calgary, Canada tells a personal story. A few years ago, an old acquaintance of mine served as a police officer in a northern native settlement in Canada. One day a rabid wolf wandered into the aboriginal settlement. My friend eventually shot it, but not before it attacked a young man and his grandmother in their home, making kindling out of a chair the young man used to protect himself from his attacker.

There were about 150 sled dogs in the village�more than a match for one sick wolf�yet the intruder was left alone to do her work. Why? My friend explained that in order to prevent the dogs from fighting and wounding each other, they had each been tied to wooden stakes spaced far enough apart to prevent them from reaching any neighboring animal. Because of this, the wolf walked freely among the dogs, killing some and badly wounding others. In isolation they were no match for their foe, and they suffered terribly for it.

What a picture of the need for every Christian to belong to a body of believers. Alone and isolated, Christians present themselves as much easier prey for the schemes of the Enemy of our souls.

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Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Christ was often presenting a message of love among the people. Here the apostle follows up with that message saying we should remain humble before others; we must present ourselves in a gentle manner; we must be patient and we should do all of this with the love of others in mind.



My mother, brother, and I lived with my mother�s parents growing up. My mother was a single mom trying to support two boys and the only way for her to make it was to share expenses with my grandparents.

The house might have been a little tight. It was a 1958 house, ranch style, with 2 bedrooms. We had 3 adults and two young boys living in this house built for a small family. Yet it never seemed to faze either of my grandparents.

My grandfather in particular was a very gentle and patient man. I can remember a day where my brother put on a pot of oil on the stove because he wanted to cook some French fries. It�s the way you did it back then, because there were not any French frying machines. To make the story short we left the house to pick up some fried chicken from Maryland�s Fried Chicken without my younger brother telling me about the oil on the stove. We returned with the chicken just as my grandfather was arriving home from work. Walking in together we noticed smoke and the reflections of a fire coming from the kitchen.

This is where I really saw my grandfather�s patience at work. He slowly removed the burning pot, took it outdoors and extinguished the flame. Then he quietly went and retrieved his ladder, a bucket and sponge. He filled the bucket with warm soapy water and started to wipe down the smoke blackened walls and cabinets of the kitchen.

My grandfather never fussed at my brother, but instead said it was an accident. He stayed calm the entire time just wiping down the walls to remove the soot. And he did it all with a gentle attitude.

This is how we are supposed to live among each other. Instead of reacting with anger, we should react with understanding. Instead of making a bigger matter of it, we clean up the mess. And most of all show the grace and mercy of love, as my grandfather did, by telling us it was all ok and things would be fine.

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That's a great example of a patient man.

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Psalm 86:5 (NKJV)
5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

It is comforting to know the goodness of God�s nature. For God is long suffering and is ready to forgive those who seek redemption. God is also abundant in His mercy to those who call upon Him.



Steve DeNeff and David Drury write in Soul Shift by Wesleyan Publishing House, 2011, p. 55: One time, my dad wanted to congratulate me on something I had accomplished in the sixth grade. He took me to K-Mart and made a wide sweeping gesture with his hand toward the whole store from the entrance. He said, "To congratulate you, I'll buy you anything in this whole store tonight." My eyes widened as I thought of the possibilities.

At the time, I didn't have a full grasp on how money worked or how much money Dad had. So I sort of limited things in my mind. I didn't even look at the huge stereo systems, expensive bikes, or anything that cost more than one hundred dollars. Instead, I chose a cassette tape case that was less than fifty dollars. I was content with just that case. It was more than I could afford myself, for sure, so I chose that one. It was nice. Only many years later did I find out from Dad that he had one thousand dollars cash in his pocket that night. What's more, he brought his checkbook just in case that wasn't enough. In my selection, I limited his blessing in my life.

Imagine how much God has in his pocket for you. You don't ask God for all the spiritual power you could because you forget that you are his child. Like me and my earthly father, you don't realize all he could do for you, in you, and through you.

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Ahhh, I will not be like the father in that story!

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Proverbs 23:29-35 (ESV)
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things.

This proverb calls attention to addiction in the lives of people. Sometimes it starts with problems in life that draw a person into a need to feel better about them. The problem is they think substituting something into their life, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex and many other things will comfort the problem. Yet they are drawn into deeper problems, which are often hard to escape from.



Phillip Seymour Hoffman was an actor who many may know from the movies The Hunger Games, Charlie Wilson�s War, Mission Impossible III, Path Adams and many other movies. Phillip died Sunday from what appeared to be an overdose of heroin. He was found with the needle still in his arm.

I want to offer prayers, condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of Phillip. He was a talented actor and I know he will be missed by many. It is sad a talent such as his was taken from us so early in his life.

Friends I encourage you, if you know someone who is addicted to any substance, whether it is alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or even spending money relentlessly they do not have; I encourage you to speak to your friend. They may not listen, but at least you are starting a conversation with them they need to hear. Whatever you do, don�t enable them by going along with their problem. Always put take them to a place of safety and escape. Always be their guide and love them enough to keep them safe.

There have been too many lives ruined by addiction. Let us all declare that we will do what it takes to help remove these addictions from the world. Let us be a rock of safety for friends. Let us call on Christ for help and assistance. Let God show us what we can do to rescue someone from the traps the enemy had set for them.

Father I pray Phillip Seymour Hoffman�s death with is not vain. Father we know you can take the things meant for evil and turn them into something good. I pray Phillip�s death will be a wakeup call for many. I pray those who are trapped by addictions will turn from them before it is too late. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Psalm 18:1-2 (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord. He sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang: 1 I love you, Lord; you are my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

David sings the praise of his heart because of God�s love, mercy and grace towards him.



Fear can often cripple us unjustifiably. We focus on the possibilities of one item and come to a conclusion that is often wrong. A post in the June 1, 2010 Newsweek magazine gave some real statistics that show how fears can control us.

- Murders: 14,180 (2008)�Suicides: 33,289 (2006)
- Children abducted by strangers: 115 (1999)�Children who drown in pools: 288 (2006)
- Burglaries: 2.2 million (2007)�Identity thefts: 8.3 million (2005)
- Shark attacks: 28 (2009)�Dog bites: 4.5 million (estimate)
- Americans killed in terrorist attacks worldwide: 33 (2008)�Americans who die from seasonal flu: 36,171 (est.)
- Deaths by allergic reaction to peanuts: 50-100 (est.)�Deaths by unintentional poisoning: 27,531 (2006)
- Fatalities in airline accidents: 321 (2005)�Fatalities in car crashes: 34,017 (2008)


I know for a fact every time my wife gets on a plane, she flies with apprehension. There is no basis to her fear other than someone she does not know is in control of the airplane. Yet when I�m driving the car she is usually the passenger and feels very content. The statistics above show she is more likely to die in a car crash than in an airplane accident and yet she is still more afraid to fly on an airplane.

There were times David lived in fear. He knew there were enemies trying to kill him. He knew even his own king Saul was jealous of him and had his soldiers looking for opportunities to kill him. Yet David trusted in God. He recognized God was the foundation of his strength. God was his place of safety that he could turn to in desperate moments.

When you are afraid give you fears to God. Let God be your place of safety. Let God shield you from thoughts that could render you useless in life. Let the love, mercy and grace of God be evident in your life. Let The Lord take control of your life and put you at ease.

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Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We are both flesh or body and soul. The flesh desires what this world has to offer, while the soul desires what God has to offer through eternal life. There is a continuing conflict inside of us. One part desiring to do what is right and good; while the other part draws us to those things which on the surface may seem fun, but will ultimately destroy us. Therefore we should allow ourselves to be transformed by God by renewing our mind with good things. We should prove to ourselves that which is good, acceptable and the perfect will of God.



Most of us would like to assume that we're the masters of our own thoughts. But marketing professor Jonah Berger argues that we're influenced much more than we'd like to admit by "triggers." Triggers are subconscious thoughts that influence how we act. Berger gives two examples.

First, a research team examined how music triggers can change how we shop at the supermarket. They subtly replaced the store's Muzak with music from different countries. Some days they played French music while other days they played German music. Then they measured the type of wine people purchased. When French music was playing, most customers bought French wine. When German music was playing, most customers bought German wine. By triggering customers to think of different countries, the music affected sales. The triggers spilled over into behavior.

Second, in 1997 Mars candy bars experienced a sudden spike in sales. The company was surprised because they hadn't changed their marketing plans. So what caused the surge in sales? That was the same year when NASA undertook their much-publicized Pathfinder expedition. Pathfinders destination? The planet Mars. The media attention the planet received triggered people to consume Mars candy bars. [Adapted from Jonah Berger, Contagious (Simon & Schuster, 2013), pp. 70-71]


Unfortunately we are often conformed to this world, shaped by the events that take place around us. This week I have seen several tragedies take place that I�m sure if the persons could have rethought their actions there would have been different results. We need to place our thoughts on The Lord and know what is good for us, what is acceptable for us to have a good life, and know God�s perfect will that we may fulfill the purpose of our lives.


Father I pray for those who are reading this devotion. I pray Lord that you would open their eyes to see the truth, to see the reality of the world, and that their minds would be transformed towards something good. Keep watch over us Lord for often the world causes us to stray; so keep us near to You that we may live according to Your perfect will. In Jesus name, Amen.

AskMe #2781424 02/06/14 06:49 AM
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Proverbs 21:21 (NLT)
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

There are none, no not even one, of us who are perfect for The Bible tells us, �For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.� Yet even in our imperfect state we can strive to pursue righteousness. We should not hold onto the thought, I�m imperfect therefore I will remain imperfect. For Christ can make us perfect through Him. We should walk with The Lord; learning His precepts so that we can have unfailing love for others and enjoy a righteous life with honor.



Not long before his death, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to the congregation at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church:

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don't want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize; that isn't important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards; that's not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school. I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody. [William Willimon, Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry, (Abingdon Press, 2002), p. 53; submitted by David Slagle, Wilmore, Kentucky]


If you want to be recognized in life, be recognized for the important things. Let others speak of you favorably. Let them acknowledge your love for others. Let them tell how you helped those in need. Yes, above all pursue righteousness and unfailing love that you might find a life of righteousness and honor.

AskMe #2781583 02/07/14 07:03 AM
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Psalm 97:10 (NLT)
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

In this psalm we are told if we love The Lord we are to hate evil. For as we draw closer to The Lord our desire for evil diminishes. We are told too that God protects the lives of those who follow him and rescues them in their time of need.



There are two commands I believe that draw us closer to people. The first is - love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. For when we have a deep love for the Lord our actions line up with those of God. We learn and understand from Him the purpose of our lives and how rich our lives can be. We begin to understand God and His great love for us and how He extends mercy and grace to each of us. It is through this personal relationship with The Lord that we gain knowledge of the Lord and understand His intent for our lives.

The second command comes from Jesus. In John 13:34-35 says, �A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.� Here in this verse Jesus tells us not only to love God, but to love all those around us. We are to build relationships with others. We are to extend love, mercy and grace to them, just as God would do for us.

Christians often have a misconception that in hating evil, we are to hate the people committing the evil acts. The truth is we are supposed to help people turn from evil. We can�t do that if we hate them, but we can do that when we love them and hate the evil that affects them. Remember we are to love one another, showing grace and mercy to all.

So let me ask this, when you see someone committing evil do you hate the evil or the person? Hopefully it is the evil act you hate and that you understand the impact it is having on the other person�s life. I never really knew my father because he was an abusive alcoholic. I never hated my father, but I did hate how alcohol had taken over his life. When the alcohol was missing from his life he could be a decent person. But let him start drinking and he would become someone you could fear.

Hopefully you see the distinct between hating evil, while loving the person and trying to help them. May God bless all your efforts and I pray God would show you how to direct people away from evil in their lives.

AskMe #2781918 02/10/14 06:41 AM
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Proverbs 10:27-29 (NKJV)
27 The fear of the Lord prolongs days, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. 28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish. 29 The way of the Lord is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

This proverb speaks to man learning many things from God that would keep him safe; because the wicked find their lives shorted by putting it in peril. God is a fortress of safety, but those who live outside of God�s ways often find destruction.



For years, the opening of ABC's The Wide World of Sports illustrated "the agony of defeat" through the painful ending of an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the slope, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head-over-heels off the side of the jump and bounced off the supporting structure.

What viewers didn't know was that he chose to fall. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp he realized that if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe landing zone, which could have been fatal. As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble.

The fear of the slope, the fear of flying too high, and the fear of the fall led him to change course. Fear led to life. The fear of the Lord likewise will turn us from the snares of death. [Jeff Arthurs, "Clearing the Debris," PreachingToday.com]


Remember, �The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shorted.� And keep this in mind - fear of the Lord is a respect of awesome greatness. The Lord can do such miraculous things that the results leave you with a fear of how great God is.

AskMe #2782420 02/12/14 06:44 AM
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Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV)
26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Matthew Henry writes of this verse, �What is the care and aim of a good man: His root yields fruit, and is his strength and stability, and that is it that he desires, to do good and to be fixed and confirmed in doing good. The wicked desires only a net wherewith to fish for himself; the righteous desires to yield fruit for the benefit of others and God's glory.�



An article from Wired Magazine explored why AA has been able to help millions of people recover from an alcohol addiction. The article begins by stating, "Despite all we've learned over the past few decades about psychology, neurology, and human behavior, contemporary medicine has yet to devise anything that works markedly better." The question is: Why does AA help so many people find and maintain sobriety?

This article focused on one factor: the power in a small group of like-minded friends who provide support, honesty, and accountability. The article described how honestly sharing problems with a small group of supportive friends has been shown to help people overcome their problems. As a few examples:
In 1905 a Boston physician named Joseph Pratt organized weekly meetings for patients with tuberculosis. He was simply trying to teach them better health habits; surprisingly, he discovered that the groups also excelled at providing emotional support. He concluded that by sharing about their "common disease" they developed a "common bond."
In a more recent study at Stanford University, a pair of researchers reviewed over 200 studies on group therapy and concluded that group members "develop close bonds with the other members and are deeply influenced by their acceptance and feedback."
A 2009 study of those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder found that 88.3 percent of those who participated in group therapy no longer exhibited PTSD symptoms, versus just 31.3 percent of those who received minimal one-on-one interaction.
There is also evidence that the act of confessing one's faults to a few safe people�enshrined in AA's fifth step�helps in changing addictive patterns. According to the researchers, "Revealing one's deepest flaws and hearing others do likewise forces a person to confront the terrible consequences of their alcoholism�something that is very difficult to do alone."

Conversely, some research studies have shown how friendships can also lead us to adopt negative behaviors. For instance, a 2010 paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a person is 50 percent more likely to be a heavy drinker if a friend or relative is a heavy drinker. Also, a 2007 study concluded that a person's odds of becoming obese increase by 71 percent if he or she has a same-sex friend who is also obese. [Brendan I. Kroerner, "Secret of AA: After 75 Years, We Don't Know How It Works," Wired (6-23-10)]


Choose your friends carefully that you would have good and safe friends who look after you. Choose those who have their interest as well as yours at heart. Beware those who are evil for they will lead you down the same evil paths they follow. Stay safe my friends and choose wisely.

AskMe #2782682 02/13/14 06:49 AM
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Proverbs 13:10 (NLT)
10 Pride leads to conflict; those who take advice are wise.

Pride makes men impatient of contradiction in either their opinions or their desires, impatient of competition and rivalship, impatient of contempt, or any thing that looks like a slight, and impatient of concession, and receding, from a conceit of certain right and truth on their side; and hence arise quarrels among relations and neighbours, quarrels in states and kingdoms, in churches and Christian societies. Men will be revenged, will not forgive, because they are proud. [Matthew Henry�s Commentary]



Charles Spurgeon once said, �Get a friend to tell you your faults, or better still, welcome an enemy who will watch you keenly and sting you savagely. What a blessing such an irritating critic will be to a wise man, what an intolerable nuisance to a fool!�

Of all the sins, pride is one of the easiest sins to fall into. Pride caused Satan to fall from the grace of God, because he began to believe he was just as great as God. For most of us pride will often take hold when we start to accomplish something. We may have had help. We may have had God leading us in the right direction. However our own flesh takes over and says, �Look what I have done.�

Pride will cause one to ignore the advice of another, which is why the proverb says, �Those who take advice are wise.� We humble ourselves when we listen to others and consider their advice; for their wisdom may point out the flaws in our thinking. But when we ignore others due to pride, we are open to suffer our own consequences.

When we truly are humble, we open the way for God's promotion in our lives. Instead of having to promote ourselves, we life Him up. The result of this is that people are ministered to. As a reward for our humility and faithfulness, God raises us up.

AskMe #2782719 02/13/14 11:07 AM
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Dr. Harley also encourages us to address our faults and expose them to our friends, as Charles Spurgeon encourages in the text you quoted.

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