Sunday, December 28, 2008

Devotional of the Week December 28-January 3

Proverbs 16: 1-7

"The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth inquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."

May the love and peace of God rest and abide with us all during this holiday season, and throughout the new year. Love, peace, happiness, and prosperity is my New Year's wish.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Proverbs 17:22

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."

'This the season to be jolly. Let us over the course of the next 1-2 weeks take time out to be jolly and merry. Let us turn off the negative news on the TV that is forcing itself upon us during this holiday season, which is threatening to spoil our holiday fun. Let us instead focus on what is happy, pleasant and cheerful. Crying over the economy is certainly not going to fix it, but it will definitely cause us to become depressed. Why should we lose our health and peace of mind over something we cannot change, such as the economy? Let us therefore do the healthy thing, which is to change those things we can change, and leave the rest to God. May we all have a happy and holy season, filled with joy and gladness.

Devotional of the Week December 21-27

Psalm 51: 10-19

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from they presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach trangressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."

God is not impressed with our money! You cannot buy God's favor by donating or giving large sums of money to His church or other ministries, while hiding behind a heart of sin. Seek cleansing for your sin first. Repent and turn away from doing wrong; then God will reward you with His blessings when you do give to His cause.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

1 Timothy 6:10

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Money is just an object. It is currency used to purchase goods and services and is very valuable. What gets us into trouble is not that we value money, but that we value money more than anything else in life. For the sake of making a buck, people sometimes commit crimes, lie, cheat, murder, etc. and hurt others. The love for money becomes the driving force behind their motives, and money is placed on a higher pedestal than anything else.

Let us reassess the value we place on money, and see it just for what it is - a useful tool of value and not an object to be cherished above all else.

Devotional of the Week December 14-20

Psalm 107: 1-15

  1. O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
  2. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
  3. And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
  4. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
  5. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
  6. Then they cried out unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
  7. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
  8. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
  9. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
  10. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
  11. Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the coundsel of the most High:
  12. Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; and they fell down and there was none to help.
  13. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
  14. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
  15. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

'Tis the season to be jolly, trah lah lah lah lah. Let us spend our time praising God and giving thanks to Him for ALL He has done for us throughout the year. I know it is tempting for us to give into sadness and despair because of the many trials of life, but we should never let such negative thoughts rob us of our joy. Worrying never solved anything, and it might also make the problem feel much worse than it really is! The power to think positive is just as much within our reach as the power to think negatively. All we have to do is choose. Do we choose sadness and despair, or do we choose thankfulness, gratefulness and praise? Do we choose feeling down and out or do we choose an attitude of a cheerful spirit? I would rather be broke and happy than broke and sad! Rejoicing in God will give us the strength to overcome ANY problem. When He sees a cheerful and thankful heart rejoicing in Him, He empowers us with what we need to overcome the storms of life.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Matthew 7:11

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

We have been told by economists time and time again that the only way to increase economic prosperity is to go out and spend, spend, spend. When you spend money, you are putting money into the economy, stimulating business and producing jobs, which in turn produces more money and more businesses and more jobs. Herein lies a Biblical principle which teaches that generosity tends to prosperity while stinginess tends to economic depression. In Proverbs 11: 24-25 it says, "Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed" (New Living Translation).

In the upcoming Christmas season do not hold back on giving to others just because you heard on the news that we are in an economic recession. Holding back on money will certainly not improve the economic situation, unless of course your are unsure of your job situation and finances, and then you will have to be more viligant with your money. Be assured however that being generous and going out and buying good gifts for others is NEVER a waste of money! Just make sure that the money you are spending is yours, and is not borrowed money such as money from credit cards. May you all have a great season of spending and giving.

Devotional of the Week December 7-13

Isaiah 7: 10-14

"Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the LORD himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

We have now entered into the Christmas season. I pray that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, and are now preparing yourselves to have a happy and holy holiday season. Let us use this time not to indulge drunkeness and excess, but as a time of wholesome reflection, joy and fun, and sharing the Christmas message of peace and goodwill on earth to all men.