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A PIECE OF WOOD

HOSEA 4:12

“My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of infidelity has led them astray, and they have been unfaithful, departing from their God.”

I have mentioned before in my blogs that my dad was a great carpenter. He had a way with wood. He could take a piece of wood and turn it into something beautiful. He could make furniture or build a building. But one thing my dad never did was turn a piece of wood into an idol.

Israel had gone after the false gods of the land and had made idols to represent them. They would bow down to a wooden figure that had been carved by man. Why was this wrong? Commandment number 2! God had told them through Moses to never make any kind of image to worship. He was the only one worthy of worship, and no image could represent Him.

APPLICATION

I have missionary friends around the world who live in places where this is very common. In fact, in some countries there are thousands of temples with tens of thousands of idols that people worship. This isn’t just an Old Testament story. It’s still going on today. Satan still has people fooled into thinking all those idols mean something.

Here in America where I live, we don’t see that as much. But we certainly have our idols. We may not go to a temple and bow down to them, but we sure worship them. We bow down to entertainment and power and money and lust. We pour out our affections on things that can never give us peace. They are just like those wooden idols in Israel.

Are you being faithful to God? Are you bowing down only to Him? He is the one, true God deserving our praise. Don’t let anything come between you and pure worship today. Give Him your affections. Give Him the honor due His name.

I will bow before no other god. I will lift my hands to You alone, O Lord. You are worthy of my praise.

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DELIBERATE SIN

HOSEA 2:5

“For their mother has committed prostitution: She who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’”

I have to admit that I mess up a lot. In the eyes of God, that’s sin. I fall short way too often. Most of the time it is accidental, as it should be. You may have heard it said, “Before salvation, we chase sin. After salvation, it chases us.” Sin, for a believer should be an accident. We should never deliberately choose to sin.

Here in today’s verse we see Gomer has chosen to sin. And even as a prostitute, she didn’t wait for the men to come to her. She went after sin. She chased sin. She was sin-crazed, so to speak. And God is showing Israel that they are the same way. They are chasing after sin. They are choosing to disobey.

APPLICATION

Well, the application is pretty plain. We should not be going after things we know are displeasing to God. We should not be doing things we know are sin in the eyes of God. If we have any doubt, we should stop. As a believer, we have the benefit of the Holy Spirit living in us. He is our sin-o-meter. If we listen, He will warn us far in advance.

But most of us have that meter turned down so low we can’t hear the warning signal. We like flirting with sin. We think we can get away with it. Well, you can’t. Sin will always be revealed. It may not be come out until later, but it will come out. Listen to the Spirit. He is your friend.

Today, stop and ask yourself if you are chasing after anything that is sinful. It may surprise you to find out something you thought was harmless is actually sinful. The devil loves to disguise things to distract us. He loves to lure us into complacency. Just ask the Lord. He will tell you, but you have to listen.

Father, keep me far away from the temptations of this world. I long to walk with You in holiness.

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Be Back Soon

Many of you may be wondering what happened to my daily devotional blogs. Well, the Lord told me to take a break. Now, I don’t mean He spoke to me out loud, but He did had not directed me to a new book of Bible to start. He was saying “Wait.” So, I have been waiting.

I have been writing these devotional blogs every day since January 1, 2016. I truly miss writing these every day. I believe the Lord will give me a new direction by February 1. So watch for the return of the blogs then.

I am also searching for a new way to get these out to everyone. I got off FaceBook a couple of weeks ago because of all the stuff that was going on in Social Media. Please pray God directs me how to disseminate His messages to me each day.

Thanks for being a loyal follower of my blog. I will be back soon.

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THREE

1 JOHN 5:7-8

“7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

I really couldn’t think of another title for today’s devotional. It’s pretty straight forward. We’re talking about witnesses. That is someone who can personally vouch for or speak on behalf of something. They have first-hand knowledge. Have you ever been called as a witness? If you tell the truth, it’s no big deal, is it?

John is following his thought from verse 6. And here in verses 7 and 8 he calls forth the three witnesses which testify about Jesus. I love the last phrase in verse 8 – “and the three are in agreement.” The actual Greek says, “these three are in one.” That’s awesome. The water, the blood and the Spirit all speak to who Jesus is.

APPLICATION

Speaking the truth about something is important. Our kids should be taught to always tell the truth. If you know the truth, speak the truth. Falsehoods and lies will lead you to more and more trouble. It gets hard to keep the facts straight, and pretty soon you’re telling lies to cover lies. We should always point others toward the truth.

Our children, even our young children, can be witnesses for Christ. They can share the truth about Jesus to anyone. What’s really great is that most people will let them talk. They may shut us down, but they will listen to a child talk about God. For the Lord’s sake, teach them to do that every chance they get. They may just plant the seed that could lead someone to accept Christ as Savior.

Are you bearing witness to Jesus? You may be only one witness and not three, but you can be an effective witness. Our lives should be a witness to what He’s done in our lives. He has done so much, hasn’t it? Why in the world would we ever miss an opportunity to tell someone that? And by doing that we are being obedient the One who has delivered us. Amen?

I will tell others the great news of my salvation. I will be a witness to the works You have done in my life and point others to You.

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ARE YOU IN CHAINS?

2 PETER 2:19

“promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.”

Have you ever felt defeated and overcome? Who hasn’t at some time in their life? The Greek word for “overcome” is only used three times in the New Testament – here in this verse and in the next verse and also in 2 Corinthians 12:13. It means to be defeated or overcome, to be made to feel inferior. Have you ever felt that way? Be assured that is not of God.

The enemy wants to enslave you to those thoughts and feelings. God never wants us to feel inferior. He is in the building up business. Satan, on the other hand, makes it his goal to bring us down, to make us feel less than we were created to be. Do not be enslaved by those thoughts. Allow the Lord to break those chains of corruption. He wants you free.

APPLICATION

Play a game with your kids. Get some various size links of chain and label them with tags that name various sins we commit. Get some heavy chains if you can and even attach some weights to them. Start putting the chains on your kids, starting with the lightest weight. Once you put it on them, have them walk around the room. Add the additional links of chains and weight, each time having them walk the room.

Keep adding the chains and weights until they can’t walk anymore. Now they are getting the picture. The more sin we allow in our lives, the more we are weighted down. We can’t possibly walk with Christ as He intends with these heavy weights on us. The good news is He can remove them all with just the slightest word. Ask your child how they feel once all the chains are removed. I bet they will feel relieved.

Are you walking around right now weighted down and enslaved by your sins? Have you allowed others to draw you into a lifestyle of bondage? Break free today. Jesus has the ability to break any chains that bind you. Will you trust Him to do that today in your life?

Father, forgive me for wearing the chains of bondage. Break me free from any and all chains that bind me. I want to follow You.

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IT’S HERE

I cannot believe it’s here! Book 1 of the 3 Volumes (volumes 2-3 to follow in 2020). God orchestrated this and used AMG Publishers (Steve, Amanda, Ebony, Rick, others) to make it happen. Can’t wait to see how the Lord will use this in the lives of families.
I will have books available at Woodland Park beginning Sunday, November 3. Would make a great Christmas gift for a family. Price is $14.99.
Or you can order through amgpublishers.com, amazon books, Christian Book Distributors or Lifeway. Just search for the title or author.
To God be the Glory!

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Advice, Career, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Disciplemaking, Evangelism, Family, Fatherhood, Inspirational, Mentoring, Ministry, Modeling, Motherhood, Parenting, Surrender, Uncategorized, Witnessing

SUPER GLUED


1 THESSALONIANS 3:13

“so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”

That may sound silly – super glued! But I love that stuff. When something needs to be held tight and not move, pull out the super glue. Just make sure you have it set in the right place, because once the glue is applied, it’s not moving.

That’s the meaning behind the word “establish” in today’s verse. God will super glue your heart “without blame in holiness.” Of course, everything God does is eternal. He doesn’t mess around with temporal stuff. So, if He establishes your heart, He intends it to last for eternity.

APPLICATION

How do you apply this verse to yourself and your family? God can only establish your heart if it is yielded to Him. He won’t force you. As bad as you want your children to follow Christ, it is only possible if they surrender to Him. 

Our job as parents is to prepare our children’s hearts to be established by the Lord. That means we are consistently teaching them God’s Word. We know it won’t come back void. We are consistently teaching them to pray, so when the Holy Spirit draws them to surrender, they will know His voice. 

Have you fully, and I mean fully, surrendered your heart to Him? Does He have it all? If you are holding back, He can’t establish you as blameless or in holiness. If we insist of handling part of our heart ourselves, it will not be secure. Allow the Lord today to have it all.  He can handle it. He can secure it.

You are the Maker of my heart, therefore, You are the only one who can establish it. Thank You, Lord, for super glueing my heart today.

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Child Raising, Child Rearing, Family, Inspirational, Mentoring, Ministry, Modeling, Parenting, Uncategorized

ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR OTHERS?


VERSE OF THE DAY: 1 Thessalonians 1:2

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;”

I love how Paul tells ALL the Thessalonians these words. He was thanking God for all of them. Now, that’s hard for me to believe. Surely, there was at least one person in that church that Paul wasn’t entirely thankful for. I’ve been in a lot of churches, and I can’t think of a one where I was thankful for everyone. There always seems to be one who just causes me trouble.

Then Paul goes on to say he is praying for them. He, Silvanus and Timothy were praying for them. What do you think he was praying? I am sure he was reflecting on all they had done for him and the Lord. Who do you mention in your prayers?

APPLICATION

Teaching our children to pray is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a parent. Hearing them pray for Aunt Susie, Uncle Fred, the mailman and the dog down the street really warms your heart. Making mention of people!  That’s what they are doing.  They are doing the same thing Paul was doing.

Our job is teach them to talk to the Lord about others. They should pray for healing for the sick. They should pray for the salvation of the lost. And they should pray for wisdom for fellow believers to walk with the Lord. Whatever it is, they should pray for others and be thankful for them.

Who are you the most thankful for? Who are you praying for? Be like Paul today and give thanks for all, not just a few. Remember, God has placed each person in your life for a reason. Be thankful!

O God, I confess I am not thankful for everyone in my life. Give me Your love for them. Help me see them as You. Then I can be grateful for them and pray for them.

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READY TO FORGIVE


Best Verse: Psalm 86:5 “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.”

ANYONE

Man, O man.  This verse hit me hard.  I know God is always ready to forgive.  His will is that all men be saved, right?  What hit me hard was this question.  “Am I always ready to forgive?”  The answer is…No!  And that hurts.  Why am I not eager to forgive others?  What part of me won’t allow that?

It’s my old, sinful self.  It’s my flesh.  It’s my ego. It’s my hurt feelings. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  I don’t forgive because it’s all about me.  Wow! That is NOT godly, and for that I repent.  I need to be more like Him and forgive freely and willingly.

TEACHING MOMENT

Listen closely, mom and dad, grandma and grandpa.  Teach your children and grandchildren to forgive.  Teach them how to forgive.  Teach them why you forgive.  We forgive because He first forgave us.  We must exercise the same kind of mercy He shows us. 

But there is ONLY one way for your children to learn this.  You have to do it first.  Instead of talking about others, forgive them.  When someone hurts you, forgive them.  Let your children know, as much as is appropriate, that you have chosen to forgive that person because of Jesus.  You may want to retaliate or hold that grudge, but because of His love for you and them, you have chosen to forgive.

Who do you need to forgive right now?  I bet there is someone.  I bet there is someone in your life right now whom you are upset with.  Let it go.  Let the Lord Jesus love them through you.  Show them the mercy and grace you have experienced in Jesus.

Father of forgiveness, there is NO WAY I can forgive others.  But I know You can forgive them through me.  Help me today to die to myself and allow You to live and love through me.

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