No Excuses

Making excuses is nothing new. Some of God’s choicest servants in the Bible made excuses when God called on them to do something. One of them who made excuses when God called him was Moses.

In Exodus 3 & 4, God called Moses to go back to Egypt to deliver the Israelites. Immediately Moses began to make excuses.

Exodus 3:11 – But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Regardless of the excuses that we make for not doing the will of God, God always has an answer. And just like God wanted to use Moses, God wants to use you.

With the help of the Lord, let’s purpose in our heart and life to stop making excuses and be who and do all that the Lord is calling us to!

Today Is The Day

God has a wonderful plan for each of our lives. He has appointed the times and seasons for our lives. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”(Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Far too many have allowed the day of their salvation to pass, and the results were disastrous. One of the saddest scriptures in the Bible is found in Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

2 Corinthians 6:2 – (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Delay is unreasonable, dangerous, and foolish. To neglect Paul’s appeal would be to defy and displease God.

Given the fact of hell, mankind in his sin is in a terrible situation. Why would anyone delay repentance? Yet many do, even while admitting their sin and even seeing their need for salvation.

There are several reasons not to delay repentance.

One problem with delaying repentance is that no one knows the day they will die. And after death comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Another reason to not delay repentance is that, every time we refuse to repent, we continue to sin and our hearts get harder (Hebrews 3:7-8). Every time a person says “no” to what’s right, it becomes a little easier to say “no” the next time, too.

Also, the harder a person’s heart becomes, the more “force” God will have to apply to bring him or her to repentance. “Some people will change when they see the light. Others change only when they feel the heat.” — Traditional.

Tragically, there is a point of no return. God may eventually stop trying to bring the chronically rebellious to repentance and give them over to their own ways (Romans 1:28). We never know when this point of no return is, so the best thing to do is timely repentance.

2 Peter 3:9
[9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

“NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME”! “NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION”! Not tomorrow, not next month, not next year. NOW!

Always Something To Be Thankful For

Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, “Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.” Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, “We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.” —Daily Bread, August 26, 1989.

The Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth to settle in what became the United States of America can teach us an important lesson about always finding “something to be thankful for”.

During the first long winter, seven times as many graves were made for the dead as homes were made for the living. At one point their daily food ration was down to five kernels of corn each.

However, the next summer’s crop brought hope, and Governor William Bradford decreed that a day be set aside for feasting and prayer to show the gratitude of the colonists that they were still alive. From that time forward, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to give thanks to God for His gracious and sufficient provision.

Scripturally, we find the topic of thanksgiving nearly from cover to cover. Of all of God’s gifts, the greatest one He has given is the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. For this gift of His Son, the gift which meets our greatest need, the Apostle Paul says, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

According to today’s standards, the Pilgrims had almost nothing, but they had a profound and heartfelt gratitude to God for His love and mercy. We, like the Pilgrims, have a choice. In life there will always be those things that we can complain about, but there will also be much to be thankful for.

“Rejoice evermore.” “Pray without ceasing.” “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Why Doesn’t Satan Just Give Up?

“Does Satan exist?” The Bible explicitly informs us of the existence of Satan. He is described as the enemy of man (Genesis 3:15), the father of lies John 8:44), and the accuser (Revelation), among other things. The very name “Satan” means “adversary.” Isaiah 14:12-17 explains that Satan was originally an angelic being, but he decided he wanted the honor and worship due only to God and was thrown out of heaven (Ezekiel 28:11-17).

Ever since he was cast out of heaven (along with the angels who chose to rebel with him), Satan has made it his purpose to oppose God and lead people into rebellion as well.

Satan persists because he has one main goal: to block God’s WORK in any way possible.
—Rev. Billy Graham.

But we have no reason to be intimidated by him, as his power is infinitely inferior to God’s.

Perhaps Satan still expects to WIN. After all, he totally rejects everything about God—including His promises. —Rev. Billy Graham.

Despite Satan’s self-delusion that he can defeat God, Satan is destined to fail. The death of Christ on the cross is the basis for Satan’s final defeat and one day He will be defeated once and for all!

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Fearless

Gideon is a faithful man mentioned in Judges 6-8; Hebrews 11. His life reveals many lessons that show us how to submit to God’s will and purpose.

God calls Gideon to deliver Israel from the hands of their enemies. Through the power of God, He mightily used Gideon to remind the Israelites that it is God alone who can save them from troubles and pain.

From Gideon’s example we can see how God uses ordinary people to accomplish His plans. We also learn that no matter how great the odds against us may be, our faithful God is sovereign, and He will always see us through whatever battles we face in life, as long as we remain faithful to His calling and obedient to His commands!

Just like God worked in Gideon’s life, He is working in your life also? Place your will, your life, your all on this altar and watch God use you in a great way!

“For we walk by faith, not by sight:” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Fear & Faith

2 Kings 6:14-17
[14] Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
[15] And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
[16] And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
[17] And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

2 Corinthians 5:7
[7] (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Elisha reveals the plans of Ben-Hadad. He then orders him captured and surrounds Dothan with troops. Elisha’s servant, understandably upset when he awoke and found the Israelite city surrounded, cried out in despair: “Alas, my master! how shall we do?”

This is a question most of us have asked, or will ask, at some point in our lives. We probably will ask it more than once! There is nothing wrong with asking such a question in the face of overwhelming opposition. But how we respond is important for us, though.

What if we actually believed the following to be true about us?

Psalm 125:1-2
[1] They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
[2] As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

Look up, have faith, beloved. Because whether we see, or don’t see, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” (2 Corinthians 5:7). You and I are never alone! We can trust God who holds us (world) in the palm of His hand.

The prophet Elisha was fearless before his enemies. We can learn from his example.

“Fear may fill our world, but it doesn’t have to fill our hearts.” ― Max Lucado

“All In”

Following his arrest in Jerusalem, Paul had the opportunity to defend himself before the Roman governor Festus. Festus solicited King Agrippa’s help (Ac 25:12-27).

Paul first told of his old life but he then told of the Lord’s appearance to him and how he had since been obedient “ALL IN” (totally committed) to God and to declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul asked King Agrippa if he believed the prophets. Agrippa replied, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian” (Acts 26:27).

King Agrippa represents those who are HOLDING OUT on the Lord. People on the verge of coming to Jesus, but for some reason, they are holding out, close, but still not saved!

“ALL IN” -You really shouldn’t expect God to expect anything less. When God sent Jesus Christ He went all-in. When Jesus died on the cross He went all-in. Jesus gave all of His life for us and He wants us to give all of our life to Him.

“God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him”
—Andrew Murray.

Inspired in part by Matthew West song titled the same, “ALL IN”.

Spiritual Vision

Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem. He is headed to His death at Calvary. As He moves in that direction, He is surrounded by people who are blind to Who He is, though He tried to tell them and show them many times.

Though they can see the world around them, they can’t see the truth of God’s love and plan for their lives. Why? They are spiritually blind.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” 
—Helen Keller.

Bartimaeus could see nothing with his physical eyes, yet he could see things on a spiritual level that others were blind to.

“And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47).

Today, God wants us to look into our own heart. He wants us to let Him speak to us and show us that what He did for this blind man, He can do for each and everyone who will call on Him by faith as Bartimaeus did!

He cried for the “Right Thing” (Mercy)! The “Right Person” (Jesus)! And at the “Right Time” (Immediately)!

Is Jesus passing by your heart today? Is He calling you to come to Him? He has been, hasn’t He? Today is your day! Today is the day when Jesus is near. Today is the day of your salvation. Come to Him and come now!

“Fear Is A Liar”

Isaiah 41:8:10 – Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Fear has been a part of the human existence since the fall of man in Genesis 3:8-10. Even in the Bible, we can see where men were stalked by their fears:

1. Abraham lied about Sarah out of fear – Gen. 12:11-13.
2. Jacob displayed fear of Esau – Gen. 32:6-8.
3. Moses feared Pharaoh – Ex. 2:14.
4. Moses feared Rejection – Ex. 4:1.
5. The Disciples feared the storm – Matt. 8:24-26.

Nothing has changed! People are still caught in the grip of their fears. Everyone, regardless of how brave they seem, is afraid of something. And often, we who are Christians are as bad or worse than the unsaved when it comes to fear.

We fear darkness, disappointment, disease, embarrassment, heights, old age, being alone, snakes, spiders… We fear failure, the future, criticism, people, witnessing, and a host of other things…
 
The ironic thing about our fears is God doesn’t want us to fear, as long as we fear Him! We fear men so much because we fear God so little.
—William Gurnall.
 
Luke 12:4-5:
[4] And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
[5] But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Inspired in part by Zach Williams song titled the same, “FEAR IS A LIAR”.

Christ, The Lord of Glory!

The Apostle John was called by the Lord Jesus to write the Book of Revelation. It is a Christ-centered book. John (and us) was to “fear not”.  “It is the scariest book in the Bible. Yet it is also one of the most comforting, reassuring, and exhilarating.” – Ray Stedman.
 
Muck like the dark and dismal Friday when Jesus was crucified and buried. Faith fled, joy turned to sorrow, and all hope seemed to be lost. But in just three short days, “upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning”, “as it began to dawn”, “when it was yet dark”, everything changed. Because Jesus Christ, The Lord of Glory arose from the grave on “Resurrection Sunday”!

Matthew 28:5-6:
[5] And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
[6] He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
 
Revelation 1:17-20:
[17] And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
[18] I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Because of Good Friday (crucifixion) you can look back and not be afraid.
Because of Easter (Resurrection Sunday) you can look ahead and not be afraid.
Because of Ascension Day you can look up and not be afraid.
Because of Pentecost you can look inward and not be afraid.