Hunger is a good thing. It is a gift from God that tells us when we need to replenish the food that fuels our bodies. However, you need wisdom to know how to feed your hunger. For instance some foods are almost addictive, but they contain useless calories. Meanwhile other foods may not be as tasty but they contain the nutrients your body needs.
As I have gotten older, I have learned that I must control what I eat and drink. Sometimes I like a soft drink but I have found water to be the ultimate thirst quencher. Within reason cake and candy is alright, but fruits and vegetables are always better for you. Because of His goodness God has given us taste buds so that we can enjoy food and drink. God has declared all food and drink to be good. But as with all good things, the key to healthy hunger is moderation.
Okay, now you have received advice on eating from a old guy with diabetes. But I don’t really want to talk about eating the right food. I want to talk about having a healthy hunger. Proverbs 15:14 says; “ A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while a fool feeds on trash.” I am a physical diabetic today because for years I ate trash and junk food without moderation. Most of us today are spiritual diabetics because of the unmoderated trash that we have put into our heads, hearts and spirits. God says we need to develop a healthy hunger for righteous knowledge.
Hunger is a good thing. But feed your soul wisely. Stop feeding your mind junk and trash. Become addicted to righteous knowledge and develop a healthy hunger for God’s Holiness. Do this and you will defeat the spiritual diabetes that has crippled so many Christians.
Esther is a young woman who has a choice to make. Her family, friends and people face extermination. She must choose. Will she put her life in danger and try to save her people? Or will she do nothing and watch as everyone she loves is destroyed. Her uncle Mordecai tells her that she was born, “for such a time as this.” She chose to put her life on the line and she was used by God to help save her people.
You and I are here in this place and this time. You did not choose this time and maybe didn’t choose this place, but here you are. I would like to suggest that you may have been chosen for such a time as this. You were uniquely created for the responsibilities and opportunities of your life.
Like Esther you have choices to make. Maybe your choices are not as drastic as hers but they are yours to make. I take that back, your choices are just as drastic as hers. Your choices are life shaping for you and everyone in your life.
You may never stand before a king, but every day you will stand before someone. If you will be like Esther, you can make a positive impact on this world, but you must choose wisely. Today choose righteousness, choose wisdom and choose kindness because you never know whose life you maybe saving. After all you were born for such a time as this.
Let me say a few words about the sanctity of human life. It is my belief that the Creator ordains life and HE sees as precious, each breath and heartbeat of every life. However, we live in a time when mankind has clashed with humanity. Today for many, human life has been deemed to be disposable.
Today in the United States, thousands of babies will be killed through government sanctioned abortions. Moreover, the murder of unborn babies are being paid for with our tax money. (Last year the nation’s largest abortion provider, “Planned Parenthood” received over $500 million dollars from the American taxpayers.) How does it make you feel to know that the government took your hard earned tax money and used it to pay for the murder of innocent babies?
The term “Assisted Suicide” is well known and if we live long enough, I believe we will see the day when the practice of euthanasia will receive a seal of approval of the liberal Democratic party. When this happens the term, “Assisted suicide” will become “Insisted suicide” as the government becomes more active in deciding who is worthy of life and who is not.
Human life is precious to God, but this nation has developed a culture of death. The unborn and infirm are considered by some to be inconvenient and so they are killed. When I hold a tiny newborn baby or the hand of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, I sense the blessing of God on their lives. It is then that I pray, “God Have mercy on this land. We have fallen so far, please draw us back to You.”
Well, I saw it on Facebook. A young boy is confused; he thinks he is a girl and he wants to be a girl. But he was created by God as a boy. His parents know this. They try to help him by sending him to a Christian counselor. The young boy commits suicide, most likely because he had been influenced by evil people who have an agenda to pursue. These people with an agenda to pursue then write a story about this boy and placed it on Facebook. In this story, they smear the boy’s Christian parents as intolerant bigots. They blamed them and the counselor for the boy’s death. This is called propaganda.
Here is the problem; some good people read the tear-jerking story about the young boy and are moved emotionally. They “like” the story and “copy and repost” it to their social media page. Never mind that the story does not tell the whole truth. Never mind that the story attacks God’s will and righteousness. Never mind that the story attacks Godly parents, all that matters is that their emotions prompted them to continue this propaganda.
So what is the result of good people “liking and reposting” this propaganda? Simply this, other confused young people who may have some respect for you see you as having approved of this story. Your approval encourages them to reject God’s will and continue in their confused state of mind.
This does not just apply to this story, but many other stories I have seen on Facebook. I have seen good people spreading propaganda about policemen, legalizing drugs, euthanasia, and many other things that are simply wrong. If you are a child of God you need to stop doing this.
The bottom line is this; emotions are fickle but God’s Word is not. When you are bored or have a lot of time on your hands don’t just sit and mindlessly accept everything you read on the internet. God made you with a brain, use it. And stop spreading propaganda.
I found a dead bird lying under a bush. There were no wounds on its body, nothing to show why he died. It looked as if it had just come to the end of its life. As I looked at the tiny remains, I thought about the life and purpose of a bird. What is a bird’s purpose? Well, it seems a bird’s purpose is to live, raise its young and sing. By doing what it was placed here to do, it fulfills its ultimate purpose, which is bringing glory to its Creator.
Consider the lifespan of the average bird. Many can live up to ten or twelve years. Some live much longer while others have shorter lives. A bird’s life can be hard. When the harsh wind and cold rain of winter comes, they cling to a branch, fluff their feathers and endure. After that the hot dry days of summer may make their food hard to find. But you never hear a bird complain. You will only hear bright, cheery songs from the birds. Their song should remind us that God is always good and greatly to be praised
As I sit here on this beautiful morning, I watch the warm sun melt last night’s frost. As the sun rises, I hear a coyote howl and turkeys gobble. In the distance an owl gives one last hoot and close by doves are faithfully cooing to their lifelong mates. Quietly, I listen as the birds begin their symphony of praise to a Creator that only mankind can know.
Yes, it is true; we who are created in the image of God are the only ones who can know God. And yet when it comes to glorifying God, the birds put us to shame. We are the apple of God’s eye and yet more often than not our voices are lifted in grumbling and complaining. Listen. Our salvation was purchased by the Blood of Jesus so shouldn’t we out sing the birds. The bottom line is this. No matter what is going on in your life, God is worthy of all honor and praise and glory.
It is Sunday morning. I’m scheduled to preach in a few hours. I get up early to begin my day with prayer and reading God’s Word. The moon was in the dark stage last night, so as I sit on the back porch with my Bible and a cup of coffee, it is utterly dark outside. The sounds I hear are night sounds. Frogs and bugs are singing the songs that they have been given to sing. Two owls communicate over long distance about their night’s work. As I sit and listen to the night sounds, it occurs to me that the darkest night is part of God’s plan and it is always followed by the rising sun.
Indeed the darkness is already fading. The bugs and frogs have signed off for the night. The birds have begun to sing to the glory of God. In the eastern sky, the clouds begin to be a portrait in motion. They reflect the red and yellow colors from the sun that I cannot see yet. As I look to the east, a tiny glimmer of brightness breaks the horizon. Then with stately grandeur the sun ascends above the tree line. Darkness has been driven away and the sun has risen.
Now, the sun rises every day and every day it is always beautiful. It never gets old because every sunrise is a new sunrise and everyday is a new day. However on the first day of the week, the rising of the sun is extra special because it reminds me of another Sunday. On that day, some women walked in the darkness listening to night sounds. They were going to a tomb to anoint a dead body. But they ran home in the light with the birds singing. These ladies had a message to share, “ the darkest night has given way to the brightest day because the Son is Risen.
Now no matter how dark the night is, I will never be discouraged. I know that God sends the darkness so the Light will be magnified. The Son of God is the Light of the world. In Him is no darkness. Christ in me is my only hope of glory. Everyday is a day that the Lord has made but no day is as great as the Lord’s day and I will always rejoice to see Sunday rising.
Every decision we make in life is based on the value or worth of things, experiences, or people. In fact everything in life is a transaction of sorts. Whether we are getting married, buying a house, or going on vacation, we are always making an exchange. Jesus said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” From this passage of scripture we learn this, in every transaction be sure what you gain is worth what you are giving up.
In 2 Tim.1, Paul teaches Timothy that faith in Jesus was a faith worth having. Faith in Jesus is faith with a heritage. Each generation is given the Gospel and the responsibility to advance the Kingdom of God. Paul was willing to suffer anything for Jesus because of his Faith. Now you and I must decide what we are willing to sacrifice so that the next generation will inherit a Godly Heritage.
Faith in Jesus is faith with purpose. Our calling, our purpose is to glorify God and advance His Kingdom. This is faith with power, as the gospel of Christ is the power of God for Salvation. This is also faith with a promise as we believe and are persuaded that God is able to keep that which we commit to Him. Faith in Jesus is also faith that is seen, as others watch to see what we are willing to sacrifice for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Do not misunderstand the idea of faith as being worth having. Because the truth is there is no value, no worth, nor is there any power in faith alone. The value, the power of faith comes only from the object of faith. The object of our faith must be Jesus Christ. Our hope can be built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. He is our hope of glory. He is our promised peace. He is our Life. The next generation must inherit this Holy Faith in Jesus no matter what it cost us, because it is a Faith worth having.
I must confess, what I am about to say I find it difficult to practice. You see, I am a child of God. That means I am in Christ and Christ is in me. In Christ, I am a new creature. This means I can no longer see the world through the filter of the culture I was raised in. The love of Christ compels me to see people with the eyes of Jesus.
Consider the tenderness you always have for a small child. Most of us will always treat children with kindness. We know that their view of the world is simpler than ours. Because of their innocence, they do not have a complete understanding of their surroundings. For this reason we will stoop to their level and speak to them with words they understand. We don’t expect them to act like grownups
The tenderness you have for a child, our Savior has for all people. When the Pharisees falsely arrested and condemned Him to death, Jesus still loved them. When Pilate tried to wash the guilt from his hands, Jesus would gladly have taken him by the hand and led him into righteousness. And when the soldiers beat Him and nailed Him to the cross Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them because they don’t understand.” Jesus did not come into this world to condemn anyone. He came to bring salvation to all people. Because He sees everyone through eyes of Compassion, it breaks His heart when people reject His love
We often look down on people who have made bad decisions. Emotions, personal situations and cultural peer pressure often lead people to make poor life choices. We tend to see these people as people to avoid. But the people we try to avoid, Jesus sees as precious souls. If indeed we are in Christ and Christ is in us, then we will love as He loves and learn to see everyone through His eyes of Compassion.
The Roman soldiers dragged him from the dungeon. They made him pick up a heavy wooden beam. When the lash of the whip cut across his back, he started walking. He and two others carried the instruments of their deaths up the hill. Today he was going to die. It was what he deserved because he was a thief.
From the top of the hill came the thud of hammers and screams of agony as nails tore through flesh. The crosses were lifted into place. His long torturous death had begun. He looked over at the other men hanging on their crosses. He knew both men. One of them deserved to be there because he was also a thief. However the other Man did not deserve to be there. He was there because the religious leaders hated Him.
Even in his agony he wondered, “what is wrong with these people?” Like snarling animals they ridiculed and abused the Man in the middle. At one time, he even joined them and hurled insults at the innocent Man. But as he watched and listened, he realized this Man was the Son of God. He repented and begged Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom.
He heard Jesus cry out to His Father. The sun went black and the earth shook. Jesus said, “It is finished!” and placed His spirit into His Father’s hands. Later the soldiers pierced the Savior’s side, but Jesus was already dead.
Later using a heavy club, the soldiers broke the legs of the thief. Unable to lift himself any longer he suffocated. But he died with peace in his heart. He had met the Savior and he knew on this day he would be with Jesus in Heaven. It was the best day of his life.
It is you. The manger scene is all about you. You are lost in your trespasses and sin. But there is a gift for you. You won’t find this gift under a tree. The tree comes later, in the shape of a cross. You will find this Gift beautifully wrapped, in swaddling clothes, in a manger, in a stable. This devotion is an audio podcast. Click the link below to listen.