John 6:35 NKJV – Where does my nourishment come from?

“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.””

I like this verse because it always causes me to think about where I receive my nourishment. I’m not talking about actual food and drink. That’s for my physical body. But where do I go to receive nourishment for my mind and soul.

Bread was a basic staple in the diets of those living in biblical times. To this day, there are places of business where you can buy fresh baked breads of various kinds. There are bread makers that you can purchase if you are inclined to make fresh baked bread right at home. I admit that fresh baked bread is very good and I enjoy it from time to time.  It’s also said that a person can live longer without food than without water to drink. Some experts say that a person cannot live longer than 3 days without water. But this verse directs our focus to the true “Bread of Life” and the “Living Water” that keep us spiritually alive.

What Jesus is saying here is that if you come after Me, you shall never feel hungry. If you believe in Me, you will never thirst. If we pursue Jesus as if He would fulfill our emptiness from natural nourishment, He would fill us with His spiritual nourishment which lasts for eternity. “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14 NKJV)

Everything on this earth is temporary. “For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NKJV) The visible world is passing away. The unseen world is what is most important and most real. If we put our trust and faith in the things of this world, the things will eventually all die away. Then what do we have left? We are left with emptiness and a need to look for something else to fill the void. And if we continue to fill the void with things of this world, the cycle of emptiness is not broken.

But if we place our trust and faith on the things that are eternal (the unseen world), these things will never die away. If we hunger and thirst for truth and hope and the answers we are looking for, and we eat and drink from the truth and hope and answers of the Lord, we are given eternal nourishment. And God promises we will never go hungry or thirst again. Where will you place your trust and faith?

Friend, I don’t know what you are facing or where your struggles lie, but if you are seeking after the world for a solution, know that the solution grounded in the world has a life span and will die someday.   But Jesus Christ offers you an eternal solution and that is grounded in His grace, His mercy, His love, and His salvation for you. I’m asking you. What choice will you make? If you choose Jesus, it all starts with a prayer. A prayer that believes that Jesus died for your sins and that You desire to have a personal relationship with Him. His love, His Mercy, and His grace await you. Jesus loves you with an everlasting love and desires to spend eternity with you.

Dear Jesus, I need some answers and the world is not able to give me those answers. I feel lost without any help. I’m told You love me and that I can find the hope I’m looking for in You. Please help me, Jesus. I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe You died for me and You defeated my sin when You rose from the grave. Come into my life Jesus and be my Savior. I give You my life. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

 

Matthew 18:10 NKJV – The little girl story I’ll never forget

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

Nancy and I were reminiscing the other day, back a number of years ago to a very special meeting we had with a little girl in the hospital. We were asked to visit her and to pray for her. She had terminal cancer. We were so blessed to go. We took her a teddy bear.

When we arrived her parents were with her along with some family friends. After some time for everyone to get comfortable, I was asked to pray. I sat down next to her and took her little hand in mine. I remember feeling that this little girl and I were connected someway. While I prayed, the little girl stroked my hand with her other hand. Time seemed to stand still. This little sweetheart of a girl went to be with Jesus a few days later.

I share this with you because prayer is a direct connection with the heart of God. I didn’t know if she would be healed. I just knew that I had to pray. What happened in her room that night changed all of us.

Nancy and I look forward to when we will see her again. She lived a very short life of 5 years, but I will carry her story until I see her again. She was very special, showed no fear, and her story will now touch a world.

Precious Lord, thank You for the opportunities that You give us to pray for others. I am so grateful that You gave me an opportunity to pray for this little girl. I rejoice that she is standing with You in heaven. Help us Lord to hear Your still small voice and respond in obedience. Lord, you capture our prayers and surround them with your mercy and grace and then take them heavenward for You to answer. Always for Your purpose and our good. We give You praise, Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Zechariah 7:9 NKJV – A Thanksgiving Message

“This says the Lord of hosts: Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.”

Guest Blogger: Social Media

The beginning of this prayer devotion is an excerpt of something that has been passed around on social media and shared with me. A big thank you to Pastor Scott. I thought I would share it here. (edited for clarity)

“It’s important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring thoughts and loving prayer right now. We need to set aside some time in loving support and care for those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind that hinder them from enjoying what we sometimes take for granted. Sometimes folks just need to know that someone cares. Nobody is immune from these things.”

Let’s think about this. What would Jesus do? Well, scripture tells us time and again that Jesus was moved with compassion. He looked upon the multitudes and was moved with compassion. Forgive me, Lord, for sometimes looking away because of what I thought was more important.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I was one of those folks as written above. When I was alone, not knowing if anyone cared, someone contacted me. I was a new believer, but knew no one I could call upon. My old friends had gone. And then a wonderful family in the Lord asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving. They cared. They invited me and my young son to their home where we were made to feel a part of their family. Their kindness continued for a few more years at Thanksgiving and even over a couple of Christmas Day celebrations. Those memories will never be forgotten and we are forever grateful. This wonderful family demonstrated “Jesus Christ Alive” to us.

During this Thanksgiving Holiday, why not take some time and give someone a call. Tell someone that you care and you love them. Maybe even invite them to your Thanksgiving celebration.

Precious Lord, thank You for Your love and compassion. Thank You that You teach us to demonstrate Your love in our lives. Help us Lord to see with Your eyes, hear with Your ears, and love with Your heart. Thank You Lord for all You give to us. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Daniel 6:10 NKJV – Matter of habit

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”

Recently, I was impressed by something I heard while having dinner in an old fashioned diner. There was an elderly couple who announced when their friend had arrived to join them, “Well, it’s about time you got here.” Now I don’t really know what their intentions were. It may have been a way they greeted their friends. (????) Or maybe, they had developed a habit of eating at the same precise time every day and they were running a little late.

This got me to think. I pondered what some of my habits are. Well, first, I must say that I believe we are a habitual culture. We like to have habits to put order in our lives. We like when we do something so much that we don’t have to think about it. Like driving the same way each and every time we go to the mall, or the grocery store, or even to church. I am a habitual man. I like the routine I go through at bed time. There are certain things I do that are the same each and every night. The certain way I have to arrange the pillows. The certain place I have to lie to be comfortable. When I used to cut my lawn, it was cut the same identical way each and every time. I found the most efficient way to cut it and never changed my pattern. No I don’t have to cut my lawn. Someone else does that for me. (Thanks, Austin.)

Anyways, there are a lot of habits. Some good, some ridiculous, and some not good. Yes, we may still have habits that we would love to be delivered from. This is where we need to continue in prayer. It’s all a process, but I would love to lose those bad habits. And I know that the Lord will deliver me of those bad habits as a result of my prayer.

And then there are the good habits like our foundational scripture talks about with Daniel. He knelt to pray three times each day giving thanks to God. And it says that, “as was his custom since early days.” Daniel had a habit to pray. Hallelujah!!! And that habit was established early in his days.

Having a prayer habit is so good. Keeping in the attitude of prayer helps develop that prayer habit. It also keeps your relationship with Jesus current and ongoing. One of the most precious times I have in daily prayer is when I pray with my wife, Nancy. Each night we end the day in prayer with and for each other. And even when we have been apart (like sometimes when I’m out of town on business), we have called each other and prayed together. We have a prayer habit of praying for our families and lost loved ones each night. We habitually pray for our pastors and church leaders.

Friend, there are good habits and bad habits. We can make the choice what to keep our focus on and what to be delivered from. It’s like this. Choose wisely.

Dear Lord, thank You that we can come to You to deliver us from those habits in our lives that do not honor You. Deliver us from critical hearts, judgmental minds, and unkind thoughts and actions. May we not just react to circumstances but stop to ask, “Does what I’m about to do or say honor You.” Help us always to choose wisely. Help us to grow in good habits like continual prayer and seeking a relationship with You. May You open up even more time in our lives to spend with You. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV – Do you believe?

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Oh Lord, thank You. Jesus charged his disciples to reach the world in the name of Jesus. What an incredible charge; blessed with a promise that He would never leave them. I’d like to share what a dear sister in the Lord. Jennifer, shared with me when I posted Matthew 28:18-20 on social media. Her reply and understanding of this scripture was a great blessing to me.

“I love this verse. If most people are like me we have always read and focused on the first part of this verse – making disciples, baptizing them, but less focus on what it says “teaching them to observe all the things that I have commanded you;” This part is sooooo important. So what does that mean for us? We are the beneficiaries – one of the disciples who have come from this commandment to our time today. I am one of the disciples that Jesus told his disciples to make, baptize and teach…. What did He teach His disciples to do? I’ll leave that up to the reader to look and see for him or herself. I want to do everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to do because I am one of them!”

This scripture verse is all about obedience to what the Lord commands. I have called Jesus my Lord and Savior for 15 years. His Word has taught me a lot about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. God’s Word has taught me that I can walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit. That I don’t have to worry about my own strength and power because the Holy Spirit lives and resides in me. When told His disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 NKJV), He was talking about the Power of His Holy Spirit living inside of His disciples and equipping them to do even greater things. What was the requirement to bring this to pass? “I say to you, he who believes in Me”.

That’s you and I when we believe in Jesus and call Him our Savior. Do you suppose that there would be a great change in believers if the true message of this verse would reside deep in our hearts? Not our minds, but our hearts. Do you suppose that we would have a much greater impact in serving God and His Kingdom if we only believed and were obedient? I mean, really believed and really obeyed. Do you suppose that our prayers would change to be prayers of faith spoken and declared in the Name of Jesus? Do you suppose that God would manifest His promise of greater things if we only believed? I do, on all counts.

Thanks Jennifer so much. I too, want to do everything that Jesus commanded the disciples to do because I am one of them. Friend, join me in believing and then being obedient to the commands of Jesus in His Word. Join me in praying like we’ve never prayed before, expecting and anticipating a miracle. Remember, revival starts in us. And remember this too, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Precious Lord, thank You for the promise that You will be with us always. Thank You for instructing us in Your Word so that as one of Your disciples we too, can make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that You have commanded. Help us Lord to discern those opportunities You give us and may we be obedient to Your call. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Don’t’ believe me, believe God!