1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 258: What Does God Say?


Acts 17:12
Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Thoughts for Today:

"Here's what I think. What do you think?" Too often that is a typical discussion among Christians on just about every topic we encounter. I hate to tell you this, but what I think or what you think doesn't matter much. What we should be discussing is what God (through the Bible) says about it. From our passage today, that is what led many of the Jews to believe as well as a number of prominent Greek women and men. It was their independent study of what Paul said, validated by Scripture, that led to their belief (Acts 17:13, "[they] examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true").

The most authoritative answer to any question or problem is what God says about it through His Word. Are you having an ethical issue with a work project? Don't ask Dr. Phil, ask God through Scripture. Are you having problems in your marriage? Don't ask Dr. Ruth, consult the Bible. Are you having a problem with a son or daughter at home? Don't rely only on Dr. Dobson's opinion (as good as it might be); always independently validate through Scripture that it is indeed God's intended solution. Then you (like the Jews and Greeks) will believe; not in man's words but in the Word of the Father, and you will have confidence that what you are doing is right.

Questions to Ponder:

When you are confronted with a difficult decision, who do you consult with -- a friend, mentor, or spouse? How serious are you about listening to what God says about your problem? Do you find it difficult to relate Scripture to every day life and to your immediate problem?

The key here in verse 13 is in the word "examined"; this does not mean a superficial reading of God's Word, but rather a careful inspection and study in great detail in order to gain understanding. That is why I asked the question -- How serious are you about finding what God says about your problem? God's answers aren't quick and easy, but the right answers never are.

Questions to Ponder:

For those of you who are parents, how committed are you to helping your children memorize Scripture?
In Deuteronomy 4:10 the Lord instructs us to, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children."
Are you spending enough time teaching your children the Word of God?
If not, when will you start?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Sowers of Seed, appreciate this thought;
"we can count the seeds in an apple, but God can count the apples from a seed."
May the seeds you sow be blessed and fruitful.
brother george

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Building Upon a Foundation


Acts 17:1-3
When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ" he said.

Thoughts for Today:

When witnessing to a non-believer, do you find it easier to talk about Jesus to someone who has no religious background, or one who has had some exposure to the Bible growing up? As our passage today indicates, I think Paul would have picked those with a religious background to witness to first. Why? My own story might provide some insight.

I was raised in a Christian home which included attending church regularly (whether I wanted to or not), singing in the youth choir (over my objections), and going to Youth Fellowship on Sunday nights (which was okay because there were girls there). However, despite my parents' best efforts, I did not come to know Jesus.

Upon turning eighteen (which was when I got to make my own decisions about faith) my choice on Sunday mornings was to either sleep in or go surfing; certainly not get dressed up to attend a boring church service. Now you may think that I am an awful person (and son), but I had never heard God calling me into a relationship with His Son. And while this may be my story, a similar one is being played out by children becoming adults in thousands of homes across America, much to the concern of their parents. Many kids aren't choosing Jesus. But parents take heart, the story continues.

In my early thirties, I experienced a life changing event so devastating that I stood to lose everything I thought was important. During my most vulnerable moments I would pray, "God, if you are there talk to me, tell me how to make things right." Every time I prayed that prayer, Scripture would come to mind; verses I had long ago been forced to memorize and had since forgotten. For example Psalm 23, especially verse 4, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Ultimately this experience led me to begin reading a Bible. Scripture then introduced me to the person, nature and purpose of Jesus Christ -- God called me as one of His "elect", and I am happy to say my name was written forever into "the book of life". The rest is history so to speak.

I do have a point in all of this and it is quite simply -- all Scripture points and leads to Jesus. My parents knew that when they took me to church and forced me to memorize Bible verses when I didn't want to. They knew the Word would lead me to Jesus one day. That is also one of the reasons Paul always started with the Jews first. They already had the Scriptures imprinted on their hearts; He only had to help them see how it all pointed to Jesus.

Questions to Ponder:

For those of you who are parents, how committed are you to helping your children memorize Scripture? In Deuteronomy 4:10 the Lord instructs us to, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children." Are you spending enough time teaching your children the Word of God? If not, when will you start?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 243: What Does it Take to be Certain?


Acts 16:25
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

Thoughts for Today:

I find it so encouraging that, having just been falsely accused, flogged, stripped naked, beaten some more, then thrown in prison -- Paul and Silas' response is to sit on the floor of their jail cell (they had to sit because their feet were in stocks) praying and singing hymns to God so loud the other prisoners could hear. This is a true picture of faith as expressed in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." It is from this position of certainty that Paul and Silas are able to praise the Lord despite their predicament.

An interviewer once asked renowned evangelist Billy Graham, "You have said that you think it's important to be still for a few minutes each day, and that it's important also not to take yourself too seriously. Why?" Mr. Graham replied, "Many centuries ago God said through the psalmist, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10). Why did he say this? The reason, I'm convinced, is because we get so busy and so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget God. We begin to think we are the center of the universe instead of God, and we begin acting as if He didn't even exist. Yet nothing is more spiritually and morally dangerous."

Sometimes we can find it difficult each day to park our ambition, worries, and interests long enough to "be still and know that I am God." Having a set time each day to study, pray and meditate helps a lot (mine is first thing in the morning). What then happens when a crisis occurs? We return to our source of certainty. It wasn't a fluke or the first time that Paul and Silas had turned to God -- it was their natural response. They didn't know how things would turn out in this particular circumstance, but they trusted God regardless. Despite being bruised, battered, and locked in a prison cell, Paul and Silas were the picture of faith, praying and singing hymns to God, fully at rest in the Lord.

Questions to Ponder:

Do you find it easy to rest in the Lord in your times of crisis? Do you spend time in prayer and worship when you are confused and uncertain about your future? If so it is probably because you have built your faith one day at a time through prayer, study and meditation on God's Word. If your first response is not to "Be still and know that I am the Lord," could it be that perhaps you need to spend more time each day with God?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

“Paul’s thorn in the flesh"

O.T.: Flesh;(basar),”body” (besar) “body”

N.T.: Flesh; (sarx) “body tissue”; (eshpar)”piece of flesh”;(tibehah)”flesh”


N.T.:messenger; (aggelos)”angels, demons, spies, angelic deceivers”
Paul’s thorn of which ever interpretation ( physical, temptation, evil opponent ) was allowed by God to keep Paul humble.

First interpretation considering the O.T. description of Isreael’s opponents as thorns.
God may have allowed Satans messengers (demonized angelic deceivers) to torment Paul.
The thorn may have been a false apostle causing trouble to the Corinthian Church.
So the thorn may have been one sent to proclaim evil and thus very painful to Paul.
God did not remove this torn (trouble maker) but gave Paul the grace to endure those ordeals.
God allows trails to humble and bring you to your knees for Spiritual victory.

2 Corinthians 12:7 (NKJV)
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

Another interpretation considering the N.T. flesh being body tissue as a very painful place to have a weakness, imperfection, or illness. Considering Paul was enduring a illness while he was visiting the Galation Churches. So Paul may have been suffering from the same sickness while he was visiting the Corinthian Churches. Or Paul may have been suffering from the injuries he received from being stoned.

Galatians 4:13-14 (NKJV) 13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first.
14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Acts 14:19 (NKJV) 19 Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

Regardless if you choose that Paul’s thorn was a worldly temptation, or physical illness, or Satan’s demonic angels these would all be of trails allowed by God. Paul in his place of weakness had God’s power for Paul’s preaching.

 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NKJV)
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Each of us will eventually have some trail that we must endure with God’s grace. So God may not remove your thorn, but God will provide the grace to bear it. This is God’s answer for you the assurance of God’s strength and grace with the companionship of the Son of God.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Beyond Just And Fair

Our Daily Bread

November 5, 2012— by Dennis Fisher

Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.Colossians 4:1

 Working conditions in England during the 19th century were abysmal. Men, women, and children labored in dangerous factories during the day and went home to dirty tenement slums at night. Many of the factory owners cared little for the well-being of their employees.

But during that time, the owners of the Cadbury chocolate company were different. Quakers by conviction and business entrepreneurs by giftedness, they focused on improving the working conditions of their 200 workers. The Cadburys built a state-of-the-art factory with heated dressing rooms, a kitchen, and recreational areas. And to care for the employees’ spiritual needs, the workday started with Bible study.

Colossians 4:1 tells us: “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” Certainly the Cadburys sought to give their employees what was just and fair. But their heavenly orientation motivated them to go a step further to meet physical and spiritual needs.

Though we may not own a company, we do have regular contact with a variety of people. As believers, it is important to be ethical in our dealings. We can also, with God’s enablement, care about others’ well-being through prayer, encouragement, and the meeting of physical needs (Gal. 6:10).

Lord, thank You for loving us and meeting our needs.
Often You bring people into our lives who need Your
love and care. Give us wisdom to creatively reach
out a helping hand that we might share Your kindness.

 God blesses us so that we can bless others.