2015-02-01.mp3Click Above to ^ Play Audio
Looking In the Right Mirror
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4
The world’s best fashion designers are concerned with the total look of the models they send down the catwalk. They must have perfect accessories and the right hairstyle, make-up, etc. And it’s the same with God. He created you as a whole person with specific features, personality traits, and emotional strengths. He designed you to be a vibrant, thinking, feeling and fully-functioning human being with your own unique attractiveness. But He endowed you with more than just physical appearance. He gave you talents and spiritual gifts – inner qualities He wants you to develop and use for His purposes. What you are on the inside should determine how you see yourself on the outside. When your looks determine your worth, a few extra pounds can wipe you out; so can magazine covers that trumpet beauty without character. You’re looking in the wrong mirror! The Bible says, ‘Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within…’ (vv. 3-4). When your self-worth comes from God instead of people, you can wear a $10 outfit from a charity shop or a $1000 one from an up-scale boutique. You are fine either way, because you recognize that your outer appearance doesn’t define who you are, or determine your worth in God’s eyes. Inner beauty can’t be bought, taken off a rack, applied like make-up or put on like a new suit. It’s an ‘inside job’. So look at yourself today in God’s mirror and try to see what He values most: inner beauty.
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me gifts that determine my “inner beauty” and my worth in Your Eyes – as you see me through Jesus Christ. Amen
2015-01-31.mp3Click Above to ^ Play Audio
Jesus Can Heal You
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Luke 13:12
The Bible says: ‘As Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been …bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight… He called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed”…Then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God! But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day’ (vv. 10-14). Notice three things about this woman: 1) She had a long-term problem. It was a visible condition everyone could see. But many of the people we meet have problems within: situations they’ve wrestled with for years; issues so painful that it causes them to ‘act out’ what’s going on inside them. They need to be handled with care and compassion. 2) No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t straighten up. She had a burden that nobody but Jesus could lift, and she would never be free until He did so. Can you relate? Are you trying to medicate your pain through tireless work, wrong relationships, or mood-altering substances? Have you become so used to your problem that even when you’ve a chance to be delivered, you won’t let it go; it’s like your security blanket? Jesus will set you free if you turn to Him! 3) What she needed was a touch from Jesus. The church she went to couldn’t help her. The pastor actually condemned Jesus for healing her on the Sabbath. Away with powerless religion that has no answers! Today turn to Jesus, by Whose stripes we are healed, within and without.
Heavenly Father, the ultimate healing You provide me is Salvation and eternity with You where I will be whole. You also – by Your Will – heal here and now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
2015-01-30.mp3Click Above to ^ Play Audio
The Teacher – Part 2
All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. John 16:15
The Holy Spirit, Who is your Teacher: 1) Wants you to search God’s Word for answers and direction. He doesn’t want you to be passive and simply accept whatever comes into your life. He wants you to turn to His Word for insight; to find divine solutions to the human problems confronting you day in and day out. He wants you to stand on His Word instead of lying down and saying, ‘I guess this is just the way it’s got to be’. Your Bible is a road map that will never steer you the wrong way. It’s a sword you can fight with, and win every time.‘ …Meditate in it day and night…do according to all that is written in it. For then you will… have good success’ (Joshua 1:8). 2) Wants you to grow by following in the footsteps of Jesus. The word ‘disciple’ is our translation of the Greek word mathetes, which means ‘a learner or student’. In Jesus’ day, disciples not only learned from the teacher’s lectures, but also by observing and experiencing every aspect of the teacher’s life. That’s how Jesus trained His disciples. And finally the time came when He could say to them, ‘The works that I do shall [you] do also’ (John 14:12). Peter, James and John, ‘the inner circle’, had a more intimate relationship with Christ. That was not because He loved them more, but that He had a particular plan in mind for them. (Maybe they got into trouble more and Jesus had to watch them more closely!) What’s God’s plan for you? That’s what the battle in your life is about. Satan will do all he can to put distance between you and God. Don’t let him!
Heavenly Father, guide me through Your Word so that I can learn not simply by what You said but by what You did. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
2015-01-29.mp3Click Above to ^ Play Audio
The Teacher – Part 1
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the greatest Teacher of all. Here’s why: 1) Because He will interact with you. When you are interested enough to ask questions, the learning process has really begun. Your questions don’t bother God if they come from a hungry heart. Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find…’ (Matthew 7:7). It’s okay to be inquisitive. God doesn’t want you to be passive and just accept everything that comes into your life. He wants you to question Him so that you can find clarity and direction. 2) Because He wants to teach you how to live. That means showing up every day for class, and not just every once in a while. It means listening intently, taking notes, and doing the reading assignments you’re given. It means trusting that the Teacher knows what He’s talking about, and that the knowledge you’re receiving will equip you to go out and succeed in life. You may not see much value in what a teacher is telling you right now, or think it relates to you personally. Perhaps you’re only interested in passing the test, graduating, and getting out of school. No, passing tests only proves you’ve a good memory, not that you’ve really learned! A good teacher’s goal is to create in you: a) a hunger for knowledge; b) an ability to seek out and understand things when he or she is no longer around; c) a willingness to put what you’ve learned into practice. You say, ‘How can I know I’m truly learning?’ John answers, ‘…Continue to live in Christ, as [He] taught you’ (1 John 2:27).
Heavenly Father, help me to ask You questions and to seek Your Word for answers to the questions I have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
2015-01-28.mp3Click Above to ^ Play Audio
Keep Praying and Believing
Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, Luke 11:5
Your need moves God’s heart, but your faith moves Him to action. So keep praying and believing. Jesus gives us two illustrations of this: 1) ‘…Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves…he calls out from his bedroom, “Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and [we] are all in bed. I can’t help you.” But I tell you this – though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.’ (Luke 11:5-8). Why will God answer your prayer? To protect His reputation as One who makes covenants and keeps them. 2) ‘There was a judge in a certain city… A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, “Give me justice”…The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said… “I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!”…’ (Luke 18:2-8). Bottom line: the God you serve is just, compassionate, able and willing to meet your needs, so keep praying and believing.
Heavenly Father, help me to trust you knowing that You know my heart and You have a plan. Help me submit to Your Will and not mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen