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Archive for the month “January, 2015”

Keeping your Frogs for one more night.

WomanCoffeeExo 8:8-10 And Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Pray to Jehovah that He may take away the frogs from me and from my people. And I will let the people go, so that they may sacrifice to Jehovah. And Moses said to Pharaoh, Glory over me! When shall I pray for you, and for your servants, and for your people, to destroy the frogs from you and your houses, so that they may remain in the river only? And he said, Tomorrow. And he said, It shall be according to your word, so that you may know that there is none like Jehovah our God.

Mat 17:15-21 Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and grievously vexed; for oftentimes he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him here to Me. And Jesus rebuked the demon, and he departed out of him. And the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus apart, and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.

“I’ll start tomorrow.” Have you ever heard that phrase? Seems like we have an entire generation of I’ll start tomorrow, I’ll pay for it tomorrow, and I’ll do that tomorrow.   Pharaoh wasn’t much different. His magicians could reproduce similar feats to Moses and Aaron so he wasn’t all that convinced that there was a God behind the release of the Hebrews. Apparently he thought the Hebrews were being idle and murmuring about a few days of vacation. It wasn’t until the frogs became really annoying before Pharaoh asks Moses to pray and make it stop. Moses prays and God stops the frogs. The frogs all die and are piled into heaps and the land stinks of dead frogs.  But, since things are not so bad after the frogs are dead, he decides to go back on his word and refuses to let the Hebrews go.

How does a heart harden? Inexperience with God. Pharaoh has no experience with God and most if not all the stories of Joseph and how God saved Egypt are all forgotten. When Moses and Aaron appear they get no more respect than Cheech and Chong would get when approaching previous Presidents. Pharaoh is remotely impressed with the competition between his magicians and Moses. However, the frogs get his attention. Then after they are gone it’s not that bad and since he’s not a believer yet, he ignores the reality of God and shoves His request aside.

Take soda pop for example, it tastes great, might give you a zip if it has caffeine in it and adds a little something to the meal or snack. That same wonderful tasting “adds life” chemical concoction also dehydrates the body, causes issues with the spine, gives off symptoms similar to MS and the list goes on.   All of the acid in it does make a great toilet bowl cleaner, however. Once people start drinking pop they find it extremely difficult to stop until the frogs start popping up everywhere. Aches and pains that won’t go away, back popping, dry hair and skin, and an overall feeling of tired etc. Then they see something on Facebook or the news about the bad things associated with soda pop. They start connecting the dots and think about getting rid of that frog tomorrow. “I’ll stop drinking pop tomorrow, I don’t feel that bad.” Like Pharaoh it’s not until we go down the path of destruction a little further and we lose our “firstborn” do we become believers in letting something go.

The disciples were also having a little problem with getting rid of something. A man brings his lunatic son to have the devils cast out. They couldn’t do it. Jesus annoyed with them and their unbelief tells them a little story. If they just had a TINY, TINY bit of faith similar to the size of a mustard seed it would have worked. But since they were not up on their game he teaches them about prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting helps them remove their unbelief and changes their character so God can work through them. We don’t pray and fast to get God to move. We pray and fast so we can see and receive for our life what he has already done through his son Jesus.

Well things are not that bad. I’ll start praying tomorrow. I’m having trouble hearing from God so I’ll fast tomorrow. I could really use a “word” from God so I’ll start reading the Bible tomorrow.   All of you seeking a “word” for you today. There is a book called the Bible it has pages and pages filled with words just for you and what you are going through right now. You don’t have to keep your frogs another minute. Stop whatever you are doing and pray for God to show you his word for your situation. Google it. Generally a “what does the Bible say about….?”can quickly generate a location of a few scriptures for you to look up that can change your life in the next few moments. Then study the word to find out “Your” scriptures. These will be the ones that are just special to you when you read them. You’ll know when you find them. Something on the inside just breathes a sigh of relief and you literally “feel” it. You’ll know.

How bad do things have to get? Do you need a swarm of flies too or are the frogs enough for you? Losing something is at the end of the rebellion of Pharaoh.   Do you want to lose a relationship, a toe (diabetes), overall health (smoking, processed foods), marriage (pornography, flirting), the list is endless in today’s world.

Let’s listen to Jesus shall we? Get up on your game in this life. Have a regular time of prayer, reading the word, and fellowshipping with God. Then when we need something extra, we separate ourselves from the everyday by blocking off some alone time to rejuvenate and to tell our bodies NO, for a while. You can start today don’t wait until tomorrow. Tonight Kiss your frogs goodnight and goodbye forever.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, show us where we are being like Pharaoh, what are we keeping in our lives that we need to let go? Please reveal it to us before we lose something. Alert us with sirens on the inside if we are ingesting something harmful to us. If we are putting off changing things until they get worse, wake us up. Help us to be sensitive to that small quiet voice of peace. Help us to turn off the world for a moment so we can hear you. Inspire us to meet with you and regularly practice your principles and learn your ways. That way when we are called to play a position “In the game,” we are ready and able to do your will with unwavering confidence. In Jesus name, Amen (so be it.)

Daily Scripture Reading: Exodus 7-8, Matthew 17

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Daily Scripture Reading: Exodus 7-8, Matthew 17

Scripture reading for January 24   Pharaoh in the Old Testament and the Disciples in the New Testament both experience something that many still struggle with today.    Check out the devotion later on tonight on “Keeping your frogs for one more night.”

From out of your Mess, is there a Messiah?

 

2015 Reading through the Bible Devotion. Day 12

From out of your Mess, is there a Messiah?

Gen 29:22-25 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid. And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?

Mat 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Have you ever felt you were at the wrong place at the wrong time and the circumstances were out of your control? Take Leah for example, she had no intention of marrying Jacob. Jacob had no intention to marry her and was in love with Rachel. Laban however, had other plans. He switched Leah for Rachel and since Jacob was drunk he had no idea who he was with until morning. What is surprising here is how angry Jacob was. Wasn’t he there at Laban’s in the first place because he switched himself for Esau and stole his blessing?

Laban tells Jacob that the firstborn is married first and then gives Jacob Rachel also. Wow, I would imagine that Leah like a normal girl would have hoped that her marriage would be to someone who loves her and wants to be with her. What happens is exactly the opposite. He never wanted to be with her and didn’t love her. Now how is that for a beginning to a hopeless relationship? Jacob agrees to fulfill her ceremonial week in order to get what he really want’s from Leah’s family, which is Rachel.

Leah is now stuck. She is in a hopeless marriage with a man that never had any intention of falling in love with her. What he wanted from her family is Rachel not her. God opens Leah’s womb and she winds up having 6 boys and 1 girl. She also has two other sons from her handmaid Zilpah.   After Leah conceives and gives birth to her fourth son, in spite of all that she is going through she decides that “Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah.”

Deciding to praise the Lord in the midst of her circumstance speaks very highly of Leah. Leah served God and relied on him to fulfill her dreams. It was obvious that Jacob was going to do the least amount of charity for Leah since he really loved Rachel and never intended on marrying Leah in the first place. Can’t really blame him, what do you do in that situation? Divorce was not an option and it wasn’t Leah’s fault she was forced into a situation she never wanted either. You just do what you gotta do to survive.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus is now calling his 12 Apostles and getting ready to send them out. He gives them specific directions. They are not to go to the Gentiles; they are to go minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.   Through Leah’s son Judah, (The son she named after praising the Lord) down the generational lines comes Jesus.   Out of her mess would later on come a Messiah that would send his 12 Apostles to the lost sheep of the 12 tribes of Israel. He gave them power against unclean spirits, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

There is an old praise chorus that says “It’s amazing what praising can do, Hallelujah, Hallelujah. I don’t worry when things go wrong. Jesus turns them into a song. It’s amazing what praises can do, Hallelujah.” (Not sure who wrote this song)

Let’s just say for Leah, deciding to praise in her mess did later turn out to have amazing results for all of us. We all are at times thrown into situations that we didn’t expect or can control. Deciding to Praise the Lord in the middle of our Mess just might bring us a way of salvation from numerous circumstances too.

Let’s Pray: Dear God, help us to look to you and Jesus for our salvation in situations that we never intended to be in. Give us the strength to Praise you in the middle of our mess. Let us look to you instead of at our situation. Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. In Jesus name, Amen (so be it.)

Daily Scripture Reading: Genesis 29-30, Matthew 10: 1-23

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Stripping Strife from our Life

 

ID-100114874 Businessman Cover His Head with bag by pakorn www.freedigitalphotos.net

Gen 13:8  And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Stripping Strife from our Life.

Let there be no strife between us for we are brethren. Abram and Lot are living in the land south of Egypt and between Bethel and Hai.  Both of them together have too much for that area to support.  Those responsible for the herds of cattle are fussing and fighting over the water, places to graze the cattle and numerous other issues.  At this point, Abram makes a decision and gives Lot an opportunity.

“If you go to the Left I’ll go to the right, if you go to the right I’ll go to the left.” Lot looks out at the land and chooses the plain of Jordan for in his eyes the land was well watered everywhere.  Basically he chose the best and left the rest.   Before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah it was a lovely place.   Later in the story we see God tell Abram of his plan for him and gives him some directions and promises.  All the land is for him and his seed forever plus his seed will be as numerous as the dust of the earth.  Abram made the right decision to remove strife at all costs.

Jesus said in Matt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God.  Making peace and removing strife is very important.  Many businesses, churches, communities, homes, the news, and the list goes on of places that are plagued with strife.  It isn’t seen as the destructive force it is.  We all know or have seen how a person under the influence of strife and an instigator of negativity can tarnish the workplace, church, home or a nation as we have seen of late.   Abram and Jesus both knew the importance of peace and to remove strife.

We may not be able to change the world, but how about our area of influence.  I have a friend that is an author and she is a genuine gift.  The only thing I’ve ever heard said about her is “You know she is the nicest person I know. She hasn’t let her success go to her head and I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say a bad word about anyone and she absolutely loves the Lord.”    Yep…she’s known as a child of God.  She works very hard at keeping the peace and she’s been very successful and blessed.  To know her she is a peaceful person and has a soft presence.  It’s really odd…you would never know the success she has had or the trials she has faced.  She is just a normal every day kind of godly person living life at its best with God in the center and peace at her side.  You know those people that have been through so much and survived by the grace of God that they just can’t help but be happy? They are choosing a life of gratitude instead of having an attitude.

Let’s Pray:  Dear God, help us to be mindful of our words and actions. Let us be peacemakers among our friends and family.  Where there is strife, give us direction on how to bring peace. Help us be a light in our area of influence and give us wisdom on how to strip strife from our life.    In Jesus name, Amen (so be it.)

Daily Scripture Reading:  Genesis 12- 14, Matthew 5: 1-26

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Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalphotos.net

an2g@2015

 

 

Dealing with Temptation

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Reading through the Bible in a Year Devotion 2015.    They say it’s progress and not perfection and you can’t improve if you don’t start.    I’m starting and I hope you’ll join me on this journey in 2015.   I’m sharing my daily inspiration throughout the year and I hope to inspire others.    It’s just me hanging with Jesus so I have no idea what topic or subject matter will come up over the year.

Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

After Noah and his family have left the ark and are working the land, they have a vineyard. Noah celebrates a little too much with his new wine and is passed out in his tent. His son Ham the father of Canaan for some reason decides to go his father’s tent and see what the old drunk man is up to.   Well he finds his father who in a drunken stupor has left himself uncovered.   Apparently, Ham looks on the old man with disgust and maybe a little pride wells up inside him to see the one who has maybe scolded him for drinking too much is passed out from his own overindulgence.   He wants to tell of his discovery. Maybe he wants to make himself look better or just to embarrass his old man. Who knows?

When he tells his brothers, I think he is a little surprised. The juicy gossip that was to make him look good has backfired and his brothers do not join in with his delight of seeing their father’s error. They do the honorable thing and find a blanket. They walk in backwards to not see their father and drop the blanket over him covering him.

Jesus goes through a round of temptation also in Matthew 4.   He has fasted for 40 days and nights and is a hungry man.   It seems the tempter comes when we are at a certain point in our life just to kick us when we’re down.  Or to rub whatever challenge we are going through in our face.   Similar to Ham he waits for the right moment to find joy in another’s failure. He taunts Jesus about his hunger. Oh poor baby are you hungry? Well here, IF you are the Son of God turn these stones into bread and eat.   Jesus answers him with the written Word of God.

Jesus shows us right here how to deal with temptation.   However you are tempted; use the written word to fight back.   If it’s an overindulgence of food use the word. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matt 4:4 KJV) Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. ( Deu 8:3b KJV)

If you’re tempted to gossip or as Zig Ziglar has said “Some people find fault like there’s a reward for it.”  Fight back with Phillipians 4:8. If it’s not of good report then don’t report it. Ham, his family, and generations were made servants to the honorable brothers due to his actions. Dealing with this can be tough. In a society that gets great entertainment out of gossip and belittling those around them, it’s easy to forget and fail.

If that’s happened to you pray about it.   Confess it and take God’s forgiveness and do a 180. If you need to make amends then go ask for that person’s forgiveness and move on doing the right thing regardless of their actions.

Even though Ham was at a different time and a different covenant, his actions took away his blessing. His position of authority was removed and he was to serve after his Brothers who were promoted due to their actions.   In today’s terms, Noah said Happy, Happy, Happy is the Lord God of Shem and Japheth shall prosper.  Now that’s a compliment and a good goal.   Having someone come up and say.   “The rightness in you and your actions must make God Happy.”

We also need to remember to be cautious around people. Like Noah, people make mistakes and we have a choice to cover them or share their mistakes. God help us all to do the right thing.

Let’s pray. Dear God, bring to our remembrance your word when we are faced with temptation. Help us keep it in our mind and use it to fight off undesirable situations. Let us focus on true, honest, lovely and things of good report. Help us to share one another’s successes and not their failures. Where relationships have been damaged show us how to make peace. Keep a guard over our mouths and help us to do what’s right in your eyes. Amen.

Scripture Reading for the Day: Genesis 9-11 and Matthew 4.

an2g (c) 2015

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Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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