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HisDaughter
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« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2011, 04:38:35 AM »

Sit Down!
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Exodus 2:11–15

Moses was a frightened and disillusioned fugitive running, escaping for his very life. His vaunted education now meant nothing to him. His knowledge of hieroglyphics and Egyptian culture gave him no comfort. His military victories seemed hollow. Thanks to his rash act of violence, that same military wanted to kill him. And with every step, he probably groaned within himself over his untimely deed, saying things like, "Life is over. God can never, never use me. I'm absolutely finished."

Maybe that's where you are today as you read these words. This man Moses lived thousands of years ago, but the situation I've just described may seem as contemporary to you as today's stale bread in your kitchen. You say, "I've worked so hard. Tried so many things. Pushed myself so relentlessly. But it's gotten me nowhere. Nothing has worked for me. It's curtains."

Believe it or not, you may be closer than ever in your life to a spiritual breakthrough. You won't quit running in the flesh until you get to the endless, waterless sand dunes. When you finally get there, when you finally stumble to a stop in the pitiful shade of some sun-scorched rock, you will be saying to yourself, "Will God ever, ever use me?" And there you'll sit.

When the self-life finally sits down, the well of a new life lies near. When will we ever learn that? Highly qualified, capable people prefer to be on the move; sitting down goes against the grain. Yet when that broken forty-year-old named Moses finally slumped to the ground at the end of a self-driven life, fresh, cool drinking water was available right next to him.

Sit down. That's right, my friend, sit down!

You have run far enough. You have pushed long enough. You have fought, demanded, and manipulated your way for too many years. God has finally grabbed your attention. He is saying, "Quit! Stop! Let Me handle it! Sit there on the hot sands of the desert where you have brought yourself. Look at what lies next to you. It is a well, full of fresh water." Soon it will be God's delight to bring up the bucket and refresh your soul. Sit still. Stay there. Be quiet. Listen.

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« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2011, 08:58:43 AM »

Upwards with Max Lucado

QUESTION #121:
My job requires lots of overtime, so I can’t attend many of my kids’ school activities. My wife worries about this a lot. Could this have a negative effect on our kids? Or on my relationship with them?


As a father of three girls, I struggled with the same issues. As God blessed my ministry, more and more calls came in from all over the world, wanting me to speak at churches, conferences, and grand openings of supermarkets. It was hard to say no at first. I felt every opportunity was from God.

Finally I realized that every time I said yes to something, I had to say no to something else. It’s called Max’s Yes Law of Inverse Dynamics. Look it up! It says this: with every yes in your schedule, there is an equal and opposite no reaction. When I said yes to another speaking engagement, I said no to another family dinner. When I said yes to another meeting, I said no to my girls’ volleyball game. When I said yes to another book tour, I said no to taking a walk with my wife.

So how do we show people that we love and believe in them? There are many ways to express those feelings—verbal affirmations, love letters, phone calls, even a quick text message saying, “I’m thinking of you.” They’re all good, but there’s one that’s the best.

I talked about it in my book A Love Worth Giving:

Do you believe in your kids? Then show up. Show up at their games. Show up at their plays. Show up at their recitals. It may not be possible to make each one, but it’s sure worth the effort . . . You want to bring out the best in someone? Then show up.

Now that my girls are all grown up, believe me, I’m glad I made that decision to show up before it was too late. Now (cue “Cat’s in the Cradle” in the background) I miss those Meet the Teacher Nights and seeing their papier-mâché volcano at the science fair and sitting in the stands at the big volleyball meet, even if they were on the bench the whole time.

When it comes to kids and family, it is a lot easier to make money than to make up lost time.

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« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2011, 09:54:03 AM »

God Said So
In His Presence: Matthew 4:1-11

by Dr Tony Evans

“The tempter came and said to [Jesus], ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” ’ ’’(Matthew 4:3-4).

What should we do when we face Satan’s lies, especially the lie that God’s Word cannot be true? Jesus was faced with a legitimate need—the need to eat to sustain Himself. His need wasn’t wrong. Jesus had the power to do what was suggested, but to do it at the demand of Satan would have been satisfying Himself apart from God.

What proceeds out of God’s mouth must be our foundation for everything. It must be the foundation for counseling, for work, for our families, and for our finances. God has given us His definitive Word, and His Word addresses everything that is relevant to us today. Christians who do not believe His Word and obey it do not see His power demonstrated today. God does not want us to pay homage to Him; He wants us to believe Him and act on faith. Faith believes God in the absence of empirical evidence.

In the Garden of Eden, Eve stumbled over this type of faith. She failed the test because she did not believe something she had never seen—death. When it’s difficult to believe God but we place our faith in Him anyway, that’s faith.

One Minute Please

Faith is believing something is so, even when it is not visibly so, that it might be so simply because God said so.

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« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2011, 09:27:53 AM »

Know God’s Written Word

In His Presence: 1 Corinthians 1:4-5

by Tony Evans

“The devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, “He will command His angels concerning You”; and “On their hands they will bear You up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” ’ Jesus said to him, ‘On the other hand, it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test” ’ ’’(Matthew 4:5-7).

We can be certain that Satan knows the Bible. He knows what it says and how to twist it into half-truths when it serves his purposes. Satan pulled a portion of Scripture out of context to serve his purposes. It isn’t enough for us to know the words in the Bible; we need to know the context. We need to understand the basic principle that the Word of God never violates: God does not contradict Himself.

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” ’ Then the devil left Him”(vv. 8-11).

One Minute Please

If the Living Word, who wrote the written Word, needed to use the written Word to get Satan off His back, then think how much more we need to use the written Word of God to fend off the devil!

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« Reply #49 on: May 25, 2011, 09:22:15 AM »

Does Sin Have Consequences?

In His Presence: 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

by Dr Tony Evans

“From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die”(Genesis 2:17).

When Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden that she would not die from eating the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he emphasized his lie: “You surely will not die!” (Genesis 3:4). By telling her this, he was implying two things: God’s Word could not be trusted, and there would be no consequences to her disobedience to God. Satan’s fourth lie in this passage was that you can rebel against God and get away with it.

Sin is a violation of the law of God. Just like “No trespassing” signs say we are subject to prosecution if we violate the trespassing laws, God said to Adam and Eve and the rest of the world that when we have violated His law we will suffer the consequences. God’s law is a reflection of His character. He doesn’t make rules just to make rules. His guidelines and regulations reflect what He is like.

One of the chief definitions of sin is that which is contrary to the holiness of God. At the root of the word holy is the word separate. At the root of the word separate is the concept that God and sin cannot inhabit the same environment. He is wholly separate.

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Because of God’s purity and holiness, God never gets used to filth. We may get used to it, but according to His nature, God cannot.

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« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2011, 11:56:18 AM »

Can We Believe the Bible?
by Max Lucado

Can we believe the Bible? How can we know it is anything more than a collection of sayings and stories? Can we truly believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

There are many reasons I believe in the Bible. Here are a few:

Composition. It was composed over sixteen centuries by forty authors with one central theme. Written by soldiers, shepherds, scholars, and fishermen. Begun by Moses in lonely Arabia, finished by John on lonely Patmos. Penned by kings in palaces, shepherds in tents, and inmates in prisons.

Forty writers, most unknown to each other, writing in different countries and three different languages, separated by three times the number of centuries since Columbus discovered America—was it possible for these authors to produce a book of singular theme unless behind them there was one mind, one designer? The Bible is remarkable in composition.

Durability. It is the single most published book in history. The top seller for three hundred years. Translated into twelve hundred languages by an army of translators. Bibles have been burned by dictators and banished from courtrooms, but God’s Word continues. The death knell has tolled a hundred times, but each time the grave is opened, and God’s Word continues. The Bible is remarkable in durability.

Prophecy. The pages of your Bible contain more than three hundred fulfilled prophecies about the life of Christ. A substantial biography was written about Jesus five hundred years before he was born. Can you imagine if the same occurred today? Can you imagine if we found a book written in 1900 that prophesied two world wars, a depression, an atomic bomb, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King? What would we think of the book? Wouldn’t we trust it?

Applicability. Paul says the Bible “is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right” (2 Tim. 3:16 NCV). Apply the principles of stewardship to your budget, and see if you don’t get out of debt.

Apply the principles of fidelity to your marriage, and see if you don’t have a happier home.
Apply the principles of forgiveness to your relationships, and see if you aren’t more peaceful.
Apply the principles of honesty at school, and see if you don’t succeed.
Apply the Bible, and see if you don’t agree—the Bible works.

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« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2011, 12:36:51 PM »

Amen! - Excellent!
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« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2011, 07:24:06 AM »

Respect for God’s Laws
by Dr Tony Evans
In His Presence: Hebrews 12:1-2

“To Adam [God] said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat from it,” cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to the dust you shall return’ ’’(Genesis 3:17-19).

There are definitely consequences to sin. Sometimes we don’t connect the problem with the cause. In this case, when Adam sinned, he affected the world of work. Even the ground was cursed. Though Satan denied that there would be death upon eating the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, a lot of the dying wasn’t immediately evident. Economy was affected. Adam and Eve’s family felt the results of death in the discord within. Their bodies began to die. Ultimately, they died physically as well.

We can cut a flower from its stem. It dies right away because it is separated from the source of life, but it doesn’t appear dead immediately. The longer it is unattached, the more evident death becomes. One thing we must realize about sin and consequences is that we can choose the sin, but we cannot choose the consequences.

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We must respect God’s laws.

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« Reply #53 on: May 31, 2011, 09:07:58 AM »

The Cure
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence: 1 John 1:9

“The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel”(Mark 1:15).

Sin is more than just a problem in our lives. Many of our troubles are the consequences of sin. Sin always carries a consequence. Some of us may be suffering consequences for many years. Aren’t you tired of living with these consequences? God has a cure—repentance.

Repentance is God’s way of restoring harmony and removing the impregnable wall that goes up when we’ve lost our close fellowship with Him. Repentance is the decision to turn from sin in order for God to bring an end to the judgment He has wrought on us. Repentance repairs relationships.

The Greek word metanoia means a change of mind. It is often translated as repentance. It involves a change of heart, a new way of looking at life. Only one aspect of metanoia is repentance. It is much more like a rebirth. Metanoia involves a realization or new way of looking at ourselves. Like David who said: “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13), we need to wake up to the fact that we have sinned against God and God alone. We have offended God.

True repentance involves regret. We should feel sorrow over our sin, not just sorrow over the fact that we got caught. “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom” (James 4:8-9). We need to be broken-hearted before God about our sins.

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Have you gotten sick over your sins yet?

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« Reply #54 on: June 01, 2011, 08:29:24 AM »

Another Lie
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence: 1 John 2:15-16

“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist”(Acts 17:26-28).

Satan understood that he could not get rid of God. Before man was created, He tried to elevate himself to God’s level. That way, he could do what he wanted to do, and God could do what He wanted to do. Satan did not want to be reminded that God created him.

In the Garden of Eden, God established a boundary. He limited Adam and Eve’s access to one tree. The boundaries created dependency. As mentioned in the above verse, God desires that we should seek Him. The limitations are meant to guide our search for Him.

When Satan approached Eve at the restricted tree, he told her: “God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Satan’s fifth lie in this third chapter of Genesis was that we could be equal with God. Satan was offering Eve an impossibility. He was telling her that she could become like God by eating the fruit. However, we can never be like God. He is unique. Satan encouraged Eve to rebel against her creatureliness as he had done earlier.

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God creates boundaries to establish the Creator/creature distinction.

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« Reply #55 on: June 02, 2011, 09:15:24 AM »

God Is Unique
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence: Nehemiah 9:6

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me. Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; yes, let him recount it to Me in order, from the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming and the events that are going to take place’ ’’(Isaiah 44:6-7).

There are no other beings like God. He is entirely unique. Anyone trying to equate themselves to the status of deity is practicing idolatry. God establishes His uniqueness in so many ways. “ ‘You are my witnesses,’ declares theLord, ‘and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me’ ’’ (Isaiah 43:10).

When God placed the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden and placed a limitation on the man He had created, He was saying that He is God, the Creator, and Adam was man, the created. He lay down a clearly marked line that Adam and Eve were not to cross over.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God”(Isaiah 45:5). Satan, in the Garden of Eden, held out to Adam and Eve the idea that they could cross over the line and become like God.

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God is so spectacular that it will take all of eternity for us to get to know Him.

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« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2011, 09:27:50 AM »

By Max Lucado

QUESTION #145:
In most of my prayers I ask God for things I need each day. These are legitimate needs. (I’m not asking God to make me a millionaire, just to help me pay the mortgage.) Is God really concerned about the necessities of my life?

“Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3).

What is this daily bread Jesus spoke of, tucked inside the Lord’s Prayer? A loaf of warm Italian bread on my doorstep every morning? That would be nice.

Bread is a staple of every culture. From flat bread to yeast-filled loaves, grain has been mixed with water and oil and placed over a fire by every civilization. What’s the first thing a restaurant brings before the meal? Bread. (Okay, maybe Mexican restaurants don’t, but those chips are made from grain. They’re just fried in oil.)

But how about a slight change to the daily menu: “Give us this day our daily mocha chocolate chip ice cream” or “Give us this day our daily beluga whale caviar”?

Those are luxuries, not necessities. Sorry, God does not promise those.

Bread is a valued necessity, tasty and welcomed, but certainly not extravagant.

Jesus tells us to ask for the necessities in life, but does he promise to provide them?

Soon after this plea for daily bread, found also in Matthew 6, Jesus presents his famous “Don’t worry” passage: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (v. 25). God takes care of birds, flowers, and grass and provides the basics they need to exist (vv. 26–30). Why not us? Aren’t we more important than a barn swallow, a multiflora petunia, and a blade of Bahia grass?

You bet a loaf of sweet sourdough we are.

In that statement comes a promise from God to provide his most important creation on earth with food, clothing, and drink (vv. 25–34). The necessities once again.

Jesus tells us to ask, then promises to give us the basics we need to survive.

So don’t worry; be prayerful. God has something wonderful for us baking in the oven. Can you smell it?

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« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2011, 09:10:26 AM »

The Staff of God
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Exodus 4:21–23

God was saying to his servant, "Moses, you simply go before Pharaoh and deliver the goods. He won't like it. He won't want it. Just bear in mind that even his stubborn, hardened heart is not outside My will." In the following verse, the Lord gave Moses specific instructions of what to say when he rammed into that brick wall. "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My first-born. So I said to you, 'Let My son go, that he may serve Me'; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn" ' " (Exodus 4:22–23).

To put it into the vernacular, that was a gutsy message. You walk out of the desert into a new land, get an audience with the king, stand before him eyeball to eyeball, and say, "Pharaoh, God says to let His people go. But because you will refuse to do that, your own son will die."

Wow! What a tough thing to say. Yet, it was the Lord's own words. It was a good thing Moses had already settled the issue of obedience to his Lord back in Midian. Moses didn't argue; Scripture doesn't report so much as a flinch. Forty years in the wilderness had changed the man. He was ready to be God's mouthpiece, whatever the consequences. In fact, from that moment on, he seemed to have a quiet confidence in his dealings with the feisty Pharaoh. Knowing he was in the nucleus of God's will, he must have felt invincible.
 
We could call any work done in the will of God "the work of righteousness." And in doing that work, you will be surrounded by peace. Deep within you, in the very outworking of that service and that obedient walk, you will enjoy quietness and confidence. The original Hebrew term rendered "confidence" here might be better termed "security." The King James Version translates it "assurance."
 
In other words, there will be a quiet, secure confidence when you are walking in His will. There will be an invincible sense of inner assurance, gently and humbly accepted. Every believer in Jesus Christ longs to experience such assurance. It comes from being in the flowing current of His will. It envelops us when we do God's will, God's way.

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« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2011, 08:54:14 AM »

Authentic Relationship
by Dr Gary Chapman

If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
—MATTHEW 5:23-24

It was Communion Sunday, and the pastor was preaching on 1 Corinthians 11—the passage in which the apostle Paul admonishes certain wealthy Corinthians for celebrating the Lord's Supper unworthily by shutting out their poorer brothers and sisters in the faith.

The pastor wanted to make sure his congregation went through a moral inventory before taking the bread and the cup. So to conclude his exhortation, he quoted Matthew 5:23-24 and then said, "Some of you have destroyed a relationship by something you did or said. Even if it might mean missing Communion, God would rather that you get up right now and go into the lobby to call that person and apologize."

In the silence that followed, a large number of people went to the lobby, pulling out their cell phones as they went. The shining looks on their faces as they came back made it clear that they had been through a spiritual bath and were ready to commune with God.

To be authentic in our relationships, we must deal with our failures by confession, repentance, and seeking forgiveness from others. In doing so, we prepare ourselves for deep and loving relationships.

Prayer

Father, show me ways my relationships could be more authentic through my own confession.

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« Reply #59 on: June 06, 2011, 09:34:24 AM »

Who Will Be Our God?
by Dr Tony Evans

In His Presence: 1 Peter 3:15

“If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”(Exodus 19:5-6).

When Satan tried to get Eve to take the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he put forth arguments that sounded convincing in her ears. He told her God was holding out on them. He said if they ate the fruit, they would be like God. He said God’s Word couldn’t really be trusted anyway.

There was something that Satan didn’t tell the first married couple. In disobeying God, they would be obeying Satan, making him their master. He knew that whomever we obey is our god. So the devil was not just offering Adam and Eve a bit of knowledge independently of God, he was offering himself as their new god. That is what he originally wanted as Lucifer, the angel of light. He wanted to be like God. We’re right back to the issue that caused the problems in the first place.

Moses said: “If you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 28:1-3).

One Minute Please

The issue today for us is whom are we going to obey? Who is the authority in our lives?

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