Saturday, January 31, 2009
One day he decided to invite the Lord to come home and stay with him. When
the Lord arrived, this young man offered him the very best room in the
house. The room was upstairs and at the end of the hall. "This room is
yours, Jesus! Stay as long as you like and you can do whatever you want to
in this room, remember Jesus, its all yours."
That evening after he had retired for the night there came a loud knocking
at the front door. The young man pulled on his robe and made his way
downstairs. When he opened the door he found that the devil had sent three
of his demons to attack the man. He quickly tried to close the door but one
of the demons kept sticking his foot in.
Sometime later, after a great struggle, he managed to slam the door shut and
returned to his room totally exhausted.
Can you believe that," the man thought. Jesus is upstairs in my very best
room sleeping while I am down here battling demons. Oh, well, maybe he just
didn't hear. He slept fitfully that night. The next day thing went along as
normal and, being tired as he was, the young man retired early that evening.
Along about midnight, there came such a terrible ruckus at the front door
that the young man was sure that whatever it was would tear the door down.
He stumbled down the stairs once again and opened the door to find that were
dozens of demons now trying to get into his beautiful home.
For more than three hours he fought and struggled against the demons from
hell, and finally overtook them enough to shut the door against their
attack. All energy seemed to fail him. He really didn't understand this at
all. Why won't the Lord come to my rescue? Why does he allow me to fight
all by myself? I feel so alone. Troubled, he found his way to the sofa and
fell into a restless sleep.
The next morning he decided to inquire of the Lord about the happenings of
the last two evenings. Quietly he made his way to the elegant bedroom where
he had left Jesus. "Jesus," he called as he tapped at the door. "Lord, I
don't understand what is happening. For the last two nights I have had to
fight the demons away from my door while you laid up here sleeping. Don't
you care about me? Did I not give you the very best room in the house?"
He could see the tears building in Jesus' eyes but continued on, "I just
don't understand, I really thought that once I invited you in to live with
me that you would take care of me and I gave you the best room in my house
and everything. What more can I do?"
"My precious child," Jesus spoke so softly. "I do love and care for you. I
protect all that you have released into my care. But, when you invited me to
come here and stay, you brought me to this lovely room and you shut the door
to the rest of your house. I am Lord of this room but I am not Master of
I have protected this room and no demon may enter here."
"Oh, Lord, please forgive me. Take all of my house -- it is yours. I am so
sorry that I never offered you all to begin with. I want you to have control
of everything." With this he flung open the bedroom door and knelt at
Jesus' feet. "Please forgive me Lord for being so selfish."
Jesus smiled and told him that He had already forgiven him and that He would
take care of things from now on. That night as the young man prepared for
bed he thought, I wonder if those demons will return, I am so tired of
fighting them each and every night. But, he knew that Jesus said that he
would take care of things from now on.
Along about midnight the banging on the door was frightening. The young man
slipped out of his room in time to see Jesus going down the stairs. He
watched in awe as Jesus swung open the door, no need to be afraid.
Satan stood at the door, this time demanding to be let in. "What do you
want, satan?" the Lord asked. The devil bowed low in the presence of the
Lord, "So sorry, I seem to have gotten the wrong address." And with that, he
and the demons all ran away.
There is a moral to this tale. Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He
will take all that you give Him, but nothing more. How much of your heart
have you given to the Lord? Are you keeping a portion of it away from Him?
Perhaps the attacks are coming more and more each day. Why not let the Lord
fight the battles for you? He is always victorious. I have found that God
made man simple, all of man's complexities are of his own devising.
-- Author Unknown
Thursday, January 29, 2009
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
God's grace is amazing. It not only takes care of our sin problem through the cross but also strengthens and sustains us every day of our lives. The Lord never wavers in His good purpose for us, nor is He ever thwarted. His sustaining grace is the answer to our . . .
Difficult circumstances. Being a Christian does not exempt us from painful trials or unpleasant situations. The apostle Paul knew this firsthand. When he presented the good news of the gospel, some believed but many opposed him. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, he wrote that he had been in danger everywhere he went. He experienced rejection, beatings, and arrest but did not give up. God's grace continually upheld and strengthened him.
Personal suffering. Paul also spoke about the thorn in his flesh, which caused him great torment. Three times he asked God to remove it but the Lord answered no. Why? Because the Lord said that His grace was sufficient. It would provide what he needed to succeed. Grace had already taken the apostle from condemned to forgiven and from outsider to beloved child. Because he experienced the undeserved love of God, this zealous persecutor of Jewish believers became a missionary spreading the good news about Jesus.
The apostle declared that he was content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, and persecutions because he had experienced the Lord's all-sufficient grace. He knew that God would continue to help him in every situation, and that regardless of his circumstances, living in the favor and love of God was enough. Is that true for you?
Our heavenly Father delights in meeting His children's needs and fulfilling their desires. Yet many Christians walk through life with less than God's best. How can we avoid missing His blessings?
Psalm 81 provides insight. The writer refers to a time when the Israelites missed out on God's best for them. As we know from Exodus, the nation gratefully praised Him for their release from bondage. But they quickly forgot and worshiped other gods, complaining about their circumstances in the wilderness. This unhealthy pattern continued throughout the Old Testament, as the people would turn to Jehovah in time of need and then drift.
Verses 8-10 reveal God's perspective: "O Israel, if you would listen to Me! Let there be no strange god among you . . . I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it."
We, too, might have needs and desires that are unmet because of disobedience. Today, most people don't worship statues, as the wayward Israelites did. Our idols are less obvious--they might include a relationship, job, hobby, or anything else we put ahead of the Lord. Even making decisions based upon what others think can be idolatry; our choices should be based upon biblical principle and the Holy Spirit's guidance.
Ask the Lord to reveal anything that hinders your receiving His blessings. Listen carefully, and let Him help with the areas He brings to your attention. He is ready to guide you and bless you.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
During this life, hard times are inevitable. Some watch a loved one suffer and die; others are wrongly accused or mistreated. Then there are people who endure crippling ailments. The range of human pain is broad, but there's only one place of true comfort.
Today's passage speaks of great calamities, some due to natural causes and some caused by men (vv. 2, 6). We often feel bewildered during such trials, but verse 10 tells us where to turn: God's followers should be still and remember that He's the sovereign Lord of the universe. In our world of cell phones and deadlines, it's hard to stop for even a moment. But the key to dealing with difficulty lies in trusting the One in control of all things.
Instead of trying to manage the situation ourselves or pointing a finger in blame, we should actively wait, watching for God to move and trusting that He will act on our behalf (Isa. 64:4). This involves taking time to be alone with our Father--crying out to Him, meditating on His truth, and listening.
Human instinct urges us to take matters into our own hands; in contrast, the Lord requires that we patiently and expectantly wait upon Him. He also tells us to surrender what we think is right and instead submit to His plan. Unless our focus remains steady on Jesus, circumstances can overwhelm us.
What is your response when trouble arises? You can choose to accept difficulty as a blessing by letting it deepen your relationship with Christ. Whether your current circumstances are good or painful, take time to be still before the Lord.
Friday, January 16, 2009
have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image
of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes
over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has
no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning
and just inside the door of the Target.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature
messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I
got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt
and dust of the World. Memories of running, splashing so carefree
as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of
The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we
were all caught in "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said.
"What?" Mom asked.
"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.
"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.
This young child waited about another minute and repeated:
"Mom, let's run through the rain,"
"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.
"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the
young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.
"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and
not get wet?"
"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about
his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get
us through anything!"
Now the entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't
hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came
or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a
moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off
and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was
said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life.
A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom
"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD
let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.
Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as
they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held
their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked.
But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like
children all the way to their cars.
And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material
possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take
away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious
memories...So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities
to make memories everyday. To Everything There Is A Season And
A Time To Every Purpose Under Heaven! ( Ecclesiastes 3:1 )
Now they say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour
to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to
forget them. So now, take the time to keep in touch with your
friends, you never know when you'll need each other -- and don't ever
forget "to run in the rain!" Amen.
Author --Bob Perks
Saturday, January 10, 2009
A-lthough things are not perfect
B-ecause of trial or pain
C-ontinue in thanksgiving
D-o not begin to blame
E-ven when the times are hard
F-ierce winds are bound to blow
G-od is forever able
H-old on to what you know
I-magine life without His love
J-oy would cease to be
K-eep thanking Him for all the things
L-ove imparts to thee
M-ove out of "Camp Complaining"
N-o weapon that is known
O-n earth can yield the power
P-raise can do alone
Q-uit looking at the future
R-edeem the time at hand
S-tart every day with worship
T-o "thank" is a command
U-ntil we see Him coming
V-ictorious in the sky
W-e'll run the race with gratitude
X-alting God most high
Y-es, there'll be good times and yes some
will be bad, but...
Z-ion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Ed Dobson's walk with Jesus leads him to national stage
Posted by jhaywood January 09, 2009 23:23PM
GRAND RAPIDS -- When the Rev. Ed Dobson set out to live like Jesus for a year, he envisioned it as a private spiritual journey, not an avenue to national television.
But that's where the path took him.
The retired Calvary Church pastor appeared on "Good Morning America Weekend" on Sunday, recounting his year of living like Jesus. Program producers flew Dobson and his son, Daniel, to New York after reading a Press story about his experience on the USA Today Web site.
"It was over before I knew it," Dobson said of the 3:43-minute live interview with show co-anchor Bill Weir.
Dobson said he wasn't nervous, having appeared on TV often as an aide to the Rev. Jerry Falwell before coming to Calvary in 1987.
"It was always you were arguing about something," Dobson said of those appearances. "It was nice for the first time not to argue about anything."
His year-long beard finally trimmed, the pastor talked of eating kosher, keeping the Jewish Sabbath and other challenges of emulating Jesus.
Blessing those who persecute you was one of the greatest, he said. He spoke of attending the funeral of a friend of Daniel who was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb and feeling anger toward those who planted it.
"I finally realized I had to pray for them and bless them, which is very, very hard to do," he said on the show.
Dobson also said he has drawn heat for voting for Barack Obama as the candidate he felt best represented Jesus' teachings. He has been criticized for that on the ABC and USA Today Web sites.
"I understand, to some degree, their reaction," Dobson said this week. "I wish I had been able to say that I don't have a lot of faith in any politician, no matter the party, and I really wrestled with voting for Mr. Obama, given that he is pro-choice. But I concluded that wasn't the only issue that was important, that I wanted to be pro-life from conception to the grave."
Dobson emphasized he is not saying everyone should have voted for Obama -- or that Jesus would have.
"I would encourage people, whether you've ever read the Bible or not, begin reading the Bible," Dobson told Weir, "and just listen to what God has to say."
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This coming year, I have decided that with God's help, I shall:-
1) Give up complaining . . . focus on gratitude.
2) Give up harsh judgments . . . think kind thoughts.
3) Give up worry . . . trust divine providence.
4) Give up discouragement . . . be full of hope.
5) Give up bitterness . . . turn to forgiveness.
6) Give up hatred . . . return good for evil.
7) Give up anger . . . practice patience.
8) Give up pettiness . . . put on maturity.
9) Give up gloom. . . enjoy the beauty that is around me.
10) Give up gossiping . . . control my tongue.
-- Author Unknown
SAILING INTO THE NEW YEAR
God built and launched this year for you;
Upon the bridge you stand;
It's your ship, aye, your own ship,
And you are in command.
Just what the twelve months? trip will do
Rests wholly, solely, friend, with you.
Your logbook kept from day to day
My friend, what will it show?
Have you on your appointed way
Made progress, yes or no?
The log will tell, like guiding star,
The sort of captain that you are.
For weal or woe this year is yours;
Your ship is on life's sea
Your acts, as captain, must decide
Whichever it shall be;
So now in starting on your trip,
Ask God to help you sail your ship.
-- Author Unknown
My prayer for you in 2009 is that you will:
* Accept the shortcomings in others and realize it is not your
responsibility to correct them, it is God's to perfect them
* Understand your own shortcomings and allow God to perfect them, in His
* Reach out to help those whom you can help
* Accept help from those who wish to help you
* Understand that God loves you
* Understand that God wants you to love others
May you have bountiful blessings in 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
How many people have lamented, If I had it do over again, I'd do it differently? "It" refers to decisions, actions, and conversations we'd like to take back. As King David mourned the sinful choices that made him an adulterer and a murderer, he probably thought about the righteous alternatives. Like David, we tend to make wrong decisions when we are ruled by our appetites rather than godly discernment (2 Sam. 11:4).
Foolishness of some kind often results when people give in to stress placed on body and mind. These "earthly vessels" are more vulnerable than we think. That's why Christians shouldn't make snap judgments when feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.). In those states, we are particularly at risk of making bad decisions with no lasting gain.
Craving immediate gratification makes for poor decision making. We need time to weigh a situation's merits and drawbacks. And we must consider potential long-term outcomes, particularly if there might be an eternal impact. Sometimes that process takes a few minutes, but in other cases, we might have to deliberate and seek God's guidance for weeks or months.
Satan is always on the lookout for a gap in the Christian soldier's spiritual armor, but physical, mental, and emotional vulnerabilities prove handy for his cause as well. Do not give the Evil One a toehold! Keep yourself fed, rational, in good company, and rested. Then you are prepared to make godly judgments on the spot rather than thinking of them in retrospect.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
By Power for Life Bible
God was pleased with what he made. An artist rarely likes what he or she has painted. Even the masters, such as Rembrandt and Monet, were frustrated with their words of art. But after creating the world, God looked at what he made and “saw that it was good.”
Imagine the power it took for God to think about the galaxies, the glorious oceans, waves, volcanoes, and beautiful earth in all of its majesty. Yet all of this was created with just a thought.
Our God is an awesome, omnipotent, all-powerful God.