Sunday, December 30, 2012

You Choose

But the good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God's message and produce a plentiful harvest for God – thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as was planted in their hearts.” Mark 4:20 The Living Bible

Jesus told a story about a farmer. This individual sowed seeds upon the ground. Some of the seeds were snatched up quickly by the birds of the air. Other seeds fell upon rocky soil. They quickly took root but then dried up in the scorching heat of the sun. Still others were choked by thorns. The last group of seeds fell upon good soil. These sprouted, flourished, and multiplied.

The seed in this story represents the word of God sown into the soil of men's hearts. The first group signifies individuals who hear the word, but allow Satan to immediately steal God's word from their hearts. Those who have hearts like rocky soil, receive the word with joy but when trouble or persecution comes, they withdraw. Those that have hearts overcome by thorns, allow the word of God sown into their hearts to be choked by a love for money and worldly desires.

But then there are those who have hearts that understand and obey the word. They allow the Lord to turn their hearts into gardens that bring forth a harvest within them. The truth is that we have a choice as to how we will respond to God's word. When we hear God's word we have a decision whether or not to accept it, whether or not to put it into practice.

We can choose, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to resist the devil when he tries to steal God's word from us. We can turn from shallow living and learn to endure. We can run from carnal desires and embrace Jesus' way of living. We can seek God for revelation knowledge and wisdom and choose to obey His every word. By doing these things, we decide to have an abundant harvest. We actually can choose our destiny in God.

Let's receive God's grace and ability. Let's live empowered lives and let's choose to receive and obey God's word. Then we will enjoy great spiritual success and the harvest within us will spread out to many. We will become sowers of the word ourselves.

Dear Father God,

I ask you to fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit. I choose to turn from those things that hinder Your working in my life. I choose to read Your word and put it into practice.  I choose to follow hard after You. Thank you Lord for giving me the ability to do this. Then, enable me to spread Your word to others. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Conversation

Here is something the Lord spoke to me this morning.  I hope it is a blessing to you....

Dear Lord,

Good morning! Today we celebrate Your birth. Tom, I came for you and for your fellowman. I came for the children. I came for those lost in sin. I am Immanuel – God is with us. I was born of the virgin Mary. I was born to defeat death. I lived among the people of the world. I came to conquer sin, to defeat sin in you. I am your Champion, your Friend. I am love. Yes, I am love. I came to show the way to live. Live in My love. For love defeats the darkness. Love is the highest act of spiritual warfare. I defeated Satan at the cross, the place where My love was most fully displayed. Come shine My light this Christmas. Let others know about my love and about my story. Be bold, be strong for I am with you. Come and celebrate this Christmas. Receive My joy afresh and anew.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

If You Will Only Come

Blessed are those who morn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

Christmas time is known as a joyous time of year, but for some it is a difficult season. Those who have lost loved ones either by death, divorce, or separation may find themselves grieving over their loss while the jingle bells are ringing. If you find yourself in this situation, my word to you is to draw near to the One who came as a baby, but who now is our Risen Lord. And if you haven't yet met Him, He is the most wondrous gift of Christmas.

He will hold you in His arms; He will bring you great comfort, if you'll only come to Him. He wants to heal the wounds on the inside that maybe you have not told anyone about. He is our Healer, our Restorer, and our Savior.

Jesus came as a baby, the sinless God-child. Fully human, fully divine. He grew to become a man and was nailed to a cross. His sacrifice paid for our sin-debt. Come to Him and be made whole. Come to Him and be comforted. If you come to Him in full surrender, you will be blessed and you will be comforted. The word blessed means to be happy. God will give you joy, if you will only come to Him.

If you desire to know the Savior, please pray this prayer from your heart.

Dear Father God,

Thank you for sending Jesus to be my Savior and Sin-Bearer. Jesus, thank you for suffering for my faults. I surrender to you. I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I ask you to comfort me and be my Friend. I believe you love me. I want to have a relationship with you now. Thank you, Lord, for welcoming me into Your family. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Grief Visits

When grief visits a community
When evil prevails
When innocence is crushed

Through the pain
The Comforter holds us close
The Spirit wipes away the tears
Dispels fears
Gradually heals

The prayers of the saints
Unified, led by love
Streams of mercy
Cover the wounded like a warm coat

We ask why
When God is sovereign
Why did evil encamp among us?
Why did God not stay the hands of harm

But God allows each man
The freedom to choose
Though He pulls and tugs at the heart
Still we have the choice

And we have before us the decision to forgive
We can do our part to love
So let us pray
For the Comforter to come
To wipe away the tears
Dispel the fears
And slowly heal us all

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In the Middle of it All

In the middle of the hurricane
In the center of the storm
In the midst of chaos

When all is crumbling
When the end looks near
When fear unmasks
Its dark face before you

Find your joy in Jesus
Lift up your voice
Shout to the Lord
Sing praises to the One

When all looks bleak
When death stares you in the face
Praise the Lord of Hosts
He holds victory for the upright

If your future is unsure
One thing remains for sure
God will work all things
Together for your good
For those who follow Him
Those who Trust Him
Those who praise His name
In the middle of it all