Month: April 2016

Taking a Break

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. – Acts 3:19-21

Good morning all, I trust that this day finds you in good health and growing in your love for Jesus.

I have been asked, “What happened?”, as I haven’t posted for the last few days. All is well, just taking a bit of a break during our 5 day reading break. After four months of posting every day, I wanted to take a few days to refresh so that I can get back into the saddle on May 1st with some renewed vigor.

I love these verses, mostly because of those words, “that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” It is far too easy to get busy and distracted from Him, the only One who brings lasting refreshment. How grateful I am that through a broken heart, He saved me. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit led me to repentance, that my sins have been washed away, and when I stop long enough to listen to him, great refreshments comes. I pray that for you as well.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. As I type this, I am already looking forward to our reading in May. Be blessed.

In Christ alone, 

Ron

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April – Day 25

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists. • Blaise Pascal

New Testament

  • Mark 9:14-32
  • 1 Cortinthians 16

Old Testament

  • Psalms 94
  • Ruth 4

All things are possible through faith. However, we must take care to pray such things in God’s economy. I can believe all I want to be a professional football player, but that is not going to happen. I want to learn to believe for only those things God desires for me.

When we find ourselves plagued by unbelief, we must pray, “Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief.”

Whenever the Lord has opened great an effective doors for us, you can bet that there will be adversaries. This is why we must watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, and be strong. We mustn’t get discouraged when the weak appear to triumph. It will only be as long as the Lord allows.

What a tense moment it must have been for Boaz to wait to see if Ruth would be redeemed by her kinsman. I love how honorable he was. I love that Jesus came through the lineage of an Israelite and a Moabite woman. God gave Jesus for ALL people.

Lord, lead us this day in your truths. Help our unbelief when we are weak. Give us the faith we need to believe in things that are bigger than us, but not too big for you. In Jesus name…amen. 

April – Day 24

A beginner must look on himself as one setting out to make a garden for his Lord’s pleasure, on most unfruitful soil which abounds in weeds. His Majesty roots up the weeds and will put in good plants instead. Let us reckon that this is already done when the soul decides to practice prayer and has begun to do so. • Teresa of Ávila

New Testament

  • Mark 9:1-13
  • 1 Corinthians 15:29-58

Old Testament

  • Psalms 93
  • Ruth

We can learn a lot from Peter. For one, make sure that we know when to keep our mouths closed and not say anything. We must be very careful of the company we keep lest we be corrupted.

If there is no resurrection, then we might as well “party hardy.” Thanks be to God for the Holy Spirit who reminds us that this is not what we should do and that the resurrection is quite real.  Flesh and blood cannot be resurrected unto eternal life until it is perfected. This is why Jesus came. He swallowed death and gave us victory!

It is good to be reminded that the Lord reigns and is clothed in majesty. His testimonies are not only sure, but “very sure.” Holiness adorns his house, and therefore should adorn our lives.

I love the story of Ruth and Boaz. Such a great testimony of letting the Lord pick our spouse. Boaz was an honorable man, and if people would wait on the Lord, He would bring such men and women into the lives of those desiring to be married.

Oh Lord, help us to seek you first in all things and above all wait for you to act. You indeed are clothed in majesty and your testimonies are very sure. Through faith in Christ, have too have been clothed in majesty. May we grow in our understanding of these truths so that they might direct our lives. In Jesus name…amen. 

April – Day 23

  

The medieval Church believed that the resurrection of Christ marked a new time for all of humanity. • Timothy Radcliffe

New Testament 

  • Mark 8:31-38
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-28

Old Testament 

  • Psalm 92
  • Ruth 1

The paradoxes in the Bible are intriguing. Everyone is looking for a way to be saved. Jesus said that if we want to save our lives, we need to be willing to lose them. The gift of salvation is free, the cost is our lives.

Who can deny the resurrection. Paul testified that 500 people had seen Jesus alive at one gathering, many of whom were still alive at the time of his writing about it. If Christ is not risen, we are to be pitied by others, we are still in our sin and heap of trouble. My transformed life testifies to the risen Christ.

It is good for us to think about His lovingkindness in the morning and before falling asleep basking in His faithfulness experienced throughout the day. If we find ourselves heavy hearted at bedtime, rest easy, His lovingkindness awaits you the next morning.

I love this picture of how much Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi’s faith in God must have been very attractive for Ruth to want to stay with her declaring, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Dear Lord, may we live sacrificial lives that are a testimony of our salvation, and faith in the risen Christ. Help us to expect to rise each day to your lovingkindness and experience your faithfulness throughout the day. In Jesus name…amen. 

April – Day 22

  

A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble. • Charles Spurgeon

New Testament

  • Mark 8:22-30
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26-40

Old Testament 

  • Psalms 91
  • Judges 20-21

I love looking at the many different ways that Jesus healed. Rarely were any two the same. In this particular instance, you get the feeling that the first time it didn’t take. Regardless of what happened, Jesus is the divine healer and knows what He is doing. Thank God!

When it comes to the spiritual gifts, all things are to be done decently and in order. God is not the author of confusion, the enemy is. This is comforting to me, in a confusing world where I am easily confused, God brings clarity. All truth is judged by His word.

This Psalm is a great reminder that in the midst of the battle raging around us, the Lord is unaffected by it. We rise victorious in Christ.

Don’t you love it when people remember your name? God knows our names. He sets His love upon us. How great is that!

Oh Lord, thank you that through Jesus we have an intimacy with you that assures us that you know our names. Give us hearts that seek to dry out and long to know you. In Jesus name…amen. 

April – Day 21

  

If the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? – The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:23)

New Testament 

  • Mark 8:14-21
  • 1 Corinthians 14:1-25

Old Testament 

  • Psalms 90
  • Judges 19

What does it take to soften a heart that has been hardened towards God? People’s hearts remain hardened until the Holy Spirit opens them. How thankful we must be that our hearts have been opened. We must protect ourselves from ever hardening them again.

It should be no surprise that of all the spiritual gifts in the Bible, tongues is the only one that one whole chapter is devoted to. Why? Because it is so terribly misunderstood and abused. Five understandable words are better than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Thank the Lord our lives are limited to 70 to 80 years. That is about all a heart can take in the sinfulness of the world in which we live. A far cry for the paradise man lived in before the fall. What an amazing thing that Jesus took every vile thing upon Himself for us.

There is nothing new under the son. These horrible perversions which we read about in the Book of Judges, unfortunately are not much different today. Come Lord Jesus come!

Oh Lord, we praise you and thank you for the Holy Spirit who drew us to a place of allowing you to permeate our otherwise hardened hearts. You are God, from everlasting to everlasting. Teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom. In Jesus name…amen. 

April – Day 20

  

I look forward to a great future for America – a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose. • John F. Kennedy

New Testament 

  • Mark 8:1-13
  • 1 Corinthians 13

Old Testament 

  • Psalms 89:19-52
  • Judges 17-18

People are always seeking a sign, some sort of proof that God is real. This boggles my mind. All a person has to do is open their eyes, look at nature all around them. If that isn’t enough, just look at people’s lives which were once so messed up by sin, and now they are whole and complete. Transfomed lives!

Without love, we are nothing but a clanging cymbal. At the end of the day, when everything else has ceased. Love will remain. Jesus is love, and the day is coming when we will see Him face to face!

Throughout the Old Testament we see images of Jesus as a preview of his first and second coming. The psalmist speaks of the covenant of David and how his seed will endure forever, His throne as the days of heaven.

Having your own personal priest doesn’t save you. When everyone does what is right in their own eyes, disregarding God, nothing but calamity follows, perversions beyond comprehension.

Oh Lord, we live in desperate times when everyone around us is doing what is right in their own eyes and we are suffering the consequences. Give us wisdom in this age to live for you and to encourage others to do the same. Holy Spirit give us a boldness to speak in the name of Jesus. In His glorious and matchless name we pray…Amen.