So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 2 Kings 5:14 NKJV
The commander of the Syrian army suffered from leprosy. He earned the favor of God and king. A servant told him there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him.
The commander traveled to the home of Elisha. The prophet told him, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”
The commander went away in a rage. He was convinced to return and do as the prophet said. He obeyed even though he did not understand. And he was instantly healed.
The leader of a powerful army took advice from a slave girl. He traveled to a nation his people looked down on with contempt. He asked for help from the prophet of an unknown God. It was his pride that angered him. He returned in humility.
God asks us to do things we do not understand. Our feelings and emotions contradict the commands of God. We must override our feelings and emotions. We must obey God!
We live in a world with rapidly changing values and morals. The Word of God never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. His righteous standards never change. His love never fails!
God gave us our feelings and emotions. He did not tell us to make decisions based on them. Our feelings and emotions constantly change. We cannot make rational decisions based on them. We must learn to make our decisions based on the commands of God!
Leprosy is symbolic of sin. Sin destroys lives. With our finite minds and limited our understanding we cannot always determine which things are sinful and which are not. God provides a clear definition of sin. It is found in the bible.
God is calling us to walk by faith and not by sight. He is calling us to obey His righteous commands even when we do not understand them.
Pride is the sin that led Satan to lead a rebellion against God. It is a sin that so easily besets us. It brings division into the Body of Christ. It brings calamity into our lives!
Jesus wants us to walk humbly and uprightly today. He wants us to obey the Word of God today.
When Jesus tells us to do something it is for good and not for evil. He would never deprive us of any good thing.
If you obey God’s commands He will bring healing and restoration into your life!
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
Paul described himself as having a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet Him. Paul prayed three times for the Lord to remove it.
Was Paul’s prayer not answered because he did not have enough faith? Maybe he did not use the correct formula for praying? Or was it because he did not go to the correct religious leader to pray for him?
Paul’s prayer was answered. He just did not receive the answer he wanted. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan but God allowed it. It was God’s will for Paul to be afflicted. If it was not God’s will the Lord would have removed it!
Paul went on to say he takes pleasure in infirmities, reproaches, needs, persecutions and distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul learned that when he comes to the end of his strength and resources he is strong in Christ. It is also when Christ is strong in him!
God blessed me with an opportunity to share what He taught me when my world was flipped upside down. When I called out to Jesus the words I heard were; “My grace is sufficient for you.”
The hardships and trials that turned my life upside down gave me an opportunity to share my faith with the world!
I do not enjoy sharing trials and hardship. I do not like talking about my struggles. I would rather speak about the blessings God pours into my life.
God is blessing me. The Lord is enlarging my faith. Jesus is giving me a heart of compassion for suffering people. He is giving me a testimony I can share with hurting people.
God is blessing you through the trials and hardships you face today. He is giving you a heart of compassion for suffering people. He is giving you a testimony you can share with other people.
It is when we are the weakest that God can accomplish the most in our lives. It is when we are the weakest that we offer the least resistance to the work God wants to accomplish in us and through us.
Jesus wants you to experience the power of His grace today!
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV
There is a war raging all around us. It is taking place in the spiritual realm. It impacts the physical world.
Satan cannot defeat God so He vents his rage against us!
It may seem as if we are outgunned overmatched and easily defeated by our enemy.
Jesus does not intend for us to be victims. He created us to be victorious. Jesus does not want us to be passive onlookers. He wants to engage us into action for His glory and honor!
God has chosen us to join Him as He defeats His enemy one heart at a time. The prize in this war is the souls of people God created in His image and likeness.
We are not demon hunters. We are not called to chase down God’s enemies with silver crosses or red letter bibles. Jesus wants us to fight in His spiritual army with spiritual weapons. The weapons God calls us to employ are love, humility and submission to Him.
God wants us to be armed with the same mind that was in Jesus. He wants us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We must take control of our thought life. The thoughts we allow to take root in our minds drive our emotions and our actions!
A soldier must insure his weapons can be carried safely into battle. If we have not brought every thought captive to the obedience of Christ we are more likely to injure our own troops than thwart the enemy’s schemes.
The first order of business for God’s people is not to cause harm to His troops. If we engage in stinking thinking we bring disorder to the battle.
God wants us to submit our thought life to Him so He can use us to bring prisoners out of bondage. God can use us to pull down spiritual strongholds and crush vain imaginations that are exalted against the knowledge of Jesus!
When we submit our thought life to God He shows us who He wants us to pray for. He guides us to the people He wants us to share the gospel with!
God can use us to set people free from bondage to unbelief. He can use us to share His love with the unlovable if we fight our battles in Him and for Him!
Put on the mind of Christ so God can gain glory and honor. Humble yourself and submit to God’s will so the gospel can spread to every corner of the world. Share the love of Jesus with people so they can be saved!
We are hard pressed, on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed-Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NKJV
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. What treasure?
The Gospel is the treasure. It is carried about by the people of God. We are the body of Christ. The glorious God of creation lives in us and through us today!
We hear so often how important it is to surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. Why is it so important? So God can accomplish His purpose in us and through us!
When the Lord revealed Himself to Paul God sent Ananias to pray for him. God told Ananias, He (Paul) is a chosen vessel of Mine. I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.
Paul did suffer greatly for the Name of Christ. We all know that. I do not think any of us can explain exactly why he had to suffer so much. Peter’s suffering was shorter and less painful. John lived a long full life. So why did Paul have to suffer so much for his faith?
It does not matter why Paul had to suffer so much for the Gospel. What matters is how Paul suffered for the cause of Christ.
Paul suffered trials troubles and tribulations. But was not crushed beneath the weight of them. He was confused by them but never gave up hope. Paul was persecuted by men but never abandoned by God. He was beaten and left for dead but God sustained him!
Paul carried about the death of Jesus everywhere he went so that the resurrected Christ could be manifested in him and through him everywhere he went!
Paul never did anything in his own strength or power. Almighty God lived in and through Paul to will and to do of His good pleasure!
You may be hard pressed on every side by trials troubles and tribulations today. You might be confused by them. But you do not have to be crushed by the weight of hardship. Do not give up hope. God has not abandoned you. Jesus will sustain you!
God lives in you and through you to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is His good pleasure to use you for His glory. It is His good pleasure to love you!
Don’t give up, don’t give out and don’t ever give in. Surrender your heart and life to Jesus Christ!
You are a chosen vessel of Jesus Christ. God can and will accomplish His purpose for your life. The Lord can use you for His glory and honor today!
To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV
When I was saved the Lord opened my eyes to discern saved people from unsaved.
Everyone I saw belonged to one camp or the other.
Saved people walked in the light. The unsaved walked in darkness. It is not that I thought of one group better than the other. I did feel a sense of unity with saved people. There was a feeling of uneasiness in my interaction with the unsaved.
Our service to God is a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord. We are a sweet smelling aroma to people who have received everlasting life. We are a stench of death to people walking towards eternal separation from God.
We could never produce a sweet smelling aroma to God or an aroma of life to His people on our own. God uses us to disperse the fragrance of Him through our faith in Jesus!
The Lord reminded me of my father’s friend. I ran into Raymond while visiting the owner of a senior center. My father had already passed into eternity. Raymond was at the end of his life. He was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease.
Raymond was working with a therapist. I walked over to say hello to his wife. I asked her if he would remember me. She said she didn’t know but that I should say hello and find out.
I walked over to Raymond held out my hand and asked if he remembered Joe Garcia. His voice was very weak but I heard him say yes. He took my hand and stared straight ahead. After a few minutes I sensed it was time to go. Raymond would not let go of my hand. He held on until he was forced to let go.
Why did Raymond cling to me? Raymond held on to me because he could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in me. I was an aroma of life to him!
I took my wife to the hospital. She was in severe pain. A nurse transporting a patient walked towards us. As she came near the patient looked at my wife asked how she was feeling and laughed loudly. We were the stench of death to her.
God wants us to know there is a battle taking place in the heavens above and on the earth below. Our faith in God engages us in that battle. We are a blessing to Jesus and His people. We are a stench of death to people who walk in darkness.
We could not fight the war raging in the heavens above and the earth below in our own strength and wisdom. We can do all things through faith in Jesus Christ!
Wage war in the spiritual realm by trusting Jesus Christ with your life!
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoid the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge-by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:20-21 NKJV
Paul made a commitment to pass on to Timothy all that was entrusted to Him. What did the Lord entrust to Paul? What is passing on to Timothy? Paul is entrusting Timothy with the Gospel, the good news that God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save us.
Jesus sacrificed His life so we could live in intimate relationship with Him. So we could receive the love of God the Father and return His love. God raised His Son from the grave as evidence the Father accepted the sacrifice of Jesus as payment for our sin.
Paul is instructing Timothy to hold fast to the truth that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is God. All people who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Paul tells Timothy God called Him to be a minister of reconciliation. Paul is reminding Timothy our relationship with God is not based on anything we do. It is based on what God has already done!
Paul tells Timothy to keep the main thing the main thing. Not to get caught up in arguments over non essential issues. Paul tells Timothy to remember we are not starting a new religion.
The world already has enough religion. Our relationship with God should be viewed more as a love story than as a religious system!
God is speaking the same words to you. Jesus did not sacrifice His life so you could practice a religious system. God is calling you to live out your life as a love song to Him. God is calling you to lead other people to Jesus!
There are people who know about God but do not have a relationship with Him. They can talk about the love of God but have never experienced His love. There are people who can teach the bible forward and backwards but it does not impact their lives.
God wants you to live in a loving relationship with Him. He desires your love more than any other thing in heaven above or on the earth below. God wants you to love Him with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your strength.
Jesus wants to work in you and through you to will and to do of His good pleasure!
God wants you to stay focused on Jesus Christ. Don’t argue over unimportant issues. Jesus wants you to be a minister of reconciliation between Him and His people. Jesus wants to restore everyone to a loving relationship with Him!
Guard what was committed to you. Profess your faith in Jesus Christ to everyone you meet!
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 NKJV
Strong marriages stem from choices and commitment. Godly marriages do not spring forth from emotions!
Most marriages result from two people who are initially attracted to each other. We put our best foot forward as we get to know each other. We fall in love when we are at our best. When the honeymoon is over we see each other at our worst.
As the years go by we may not be quite as attractive as we once were. We may not try as hard to please each other. We may begin to consider our own needs first. We make mistakes. We hurt each other. We can even become bitter and resentful.
We cannot pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness in every area of life except for our relationships. We cannot fight the good fight of faith alone. Marriage is the relationship most like our relationship with Christ. That is why the Lord calls us His bride.
Our emotions can betray us in our relationship with Jesus.
There may be times when you feel Jesus does not love you. You may feel God has abandoned you. There may be days when you do not feel like worshiping the Lord. There may be seasons when you do not feel like serving God. You may feel like living for yourself at times.
God chooses to love you. His decision is not based on emotion!
God wants you to love Him. He wants you to serve Him. God wants you to worship Him. He wants you to make a decision to live for Him regardless of how you feel!
People are suffering through trials and hardship today. You may be one of them. You may feel God has abandoned you in your time of need. He has not. He will never abandon you. God has not failed you in any way.
If you doubt the Lord or are struggling in your faith this is the day for you to fight the good fight of faith. Fight through the emotional turmoil!
Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called. Fight the good fight of faith in Jesus Christ today!
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1Timothy 6:6-7 NKJV
Godliness is living in relationship with Jesus Christ. It is living according to God’s will. Godliness is allowing the Lord to live His life through us!
The things that make us unique did not occur by random chance or evolution. God created us just as we are today. He is in the process of molding us and shaping us into the image of His son.
We have all admired other people. We may have wished we could be like them. Some of us wish we were taller or thinner. Perhaps you wish you were smarter. Many of us wish we had more money. We could go on and on until we become bitter and resentful.
God created each of us in His image and likeness. He created us just as we are for a purpose and as part of His eternal plan. The Lord wants us to be content with who we are and what we have!
Lust is never satisfied. It must be continually fed. As long as we set our hearts on the desire for just a little more a little more will never be enough. Jesus wants us to set our hearts and desires on living a life of godliness!
The Lord does not expect us to be perfect. He does want us to have the desire to love Him perfectly. We do not have to live in fear of failing to live up to God’s expectations. Perfect love casts out fear!
Jesus wants us to be content with what we have so we can focus on things of eternal value. God does not want us to be envious or resentful of people who have more than us. The desire to have more can bring division among God’s people.
Ten years ago I was in a booming industry surrounded by people who seemed to be on the way to al life of leisure and luxury.
All of my hard work to achieve the American dream was a waste of time. The American dream is a myth invented by salesmen to induce buyers.
Nothing happens by random chance or accident. God freed me from the lust for just a little more. He gave me the desire for more of Him. Jesus will grant the desires of our hearts if they are good and godly desires!
If your set your heart on godliness you will discover the true riches of God’s kingdom.
The love of God, the peace that surpasses the wisdom of the wise and the circumstances of life cannot be earned. They can be yours through faith in a loving God who gives us what we need when we need it!
If Jesus is all you need you will always have enough!
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV
Paul tells Timothy to be careful how he lives and carries out his ministry. Paul tells Timothy to teach sound doctrine so he will lead people to Christ not away from Him. What sound doctrine? Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone!
When I was a substance abuse counselor I told my clients the way they choose to live affects people they love. When we are in sin we think we can harm ourselves without harming other people. That is far from the truth!
At a seminar I was told people believe things taught by others. People believe things to be true even though they have no evidence for their beliefs. A person’s perception of what is true determines truth for that person.
That is the basis for the lie that everything is relevant. There are no absolutes. This type of doctrine taken to the extreme teaches that what is true for you may be different than what is true for me!
To anyone who believes there are no absolutes and everything is relevant I have one simple question. Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?
You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know the natural laws that govern the universe are examples of absolute truth. We need food and water to stay alive. We need air to breathe. It does not matter if you believe these things are true or not!
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh. Jesus loves you. He desires your love. That is absolute truth!
People who rely on their intellect and education to determine the difference between right and wrong look for truth in the wrong places. God provided a book that answers our questions. It is called the Bible!
Jesus wants you to hold fast to truth. He does not want you to conform to the current trends, fads, farfetched fantasies and thinly veiled lies taught by people puffed up with pride. Hold fast to the truth that is found in the Word of God and you will be saved!
Hold fast to sound doctrine that is found in the bible so other people can be saved!
Live your life in the Truth so other people can be saved by faith in the Truth. Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. That is a truth that cannot be affected by time, chance or circumstance!
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. 1Timothy 2:5 NKJV
Paul tells us to pray for all people. He wants everyone to know the truth. What truth is Paul talking about? Jesus Christ is Lord of all. He is the Savior of the World. Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father. Jesus Christ is God!
People use the word god in many different ways. Quite often they are not talking about the God of the bible.
My wife and I left a financial meeting stressed out and fearful. My son overheard us talking. He said, “Dad I wish it could rain money, but it can’t rain money.” I said, “God can make it rain money if He wants to.”
My wife was thirsty. We stopped to get her a bottle of water. She got out of the car. My son followed right behind her. He reached down and picked up a hundred-dollar bill. I looked at it very closely. It seemed real.
We thought God gave us a miracle to strengthen our faith and meet our needs. We stopped to buy some groceries with our miracle money. God gave us grace. We were not arrested for passing a counterfeit bill!
God does not want us to be deceived.
We have all read stories about scientists, historians, archeologists or theologians who claim to have uncovered hidden truth. They may claim discovery of knowledge that has been withheld from us.
It is a conspiracy of lies and deception that is an ancient evil. God’s enemy and ours seeks to counterfeit the work of God in our lives. He wants to deceive us and draw us away from Jesus!
God will not withhold any good thing from you. He has not withheld truth from you. The Lord gave us His Holy Spirit to lead us and guides into His good and perfect will. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to reveal that truth that Jesus Christ is God!
The Lord gave you the Word of God. He gave His one and only Son for you!
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
If you have questions turn to Almighty God. He has the answers!
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