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Welcome To God's Family!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Word for Today
www.thewordfortoday.com.au/
Written by Bob and Debby Gass

'...This man welcomes sinners...' Luke 15:2 NIV

Let's look at two sinners Jesus welcomed:
First, Matthew. As a tax collector working for the Romans, he was hated by his own people, the Jews. But Jesus had special plans for him. Because he was skilled in keeping records Jesus not only saved his soul but salvaged his talents. As a result he ended up writing the first of the four Gospels. Do you still think God can't use you? Not a chance. The fact Matthew invited Jesus over to his house for dinner is surprising. The fact Jesus accepted was truly amazing, given the times. They didn't understand why 'This man welcomes sinners.' Second, Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus so badly that he climbed up a tree. He was willing to go out on a limb to find God. 'When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly. All the people...began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner." But Zacchaeus...said to the Lord..."Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody...I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house"...' (Luke 19:5-9 NIV).
The Bible says that God '...is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him' (Hebrews 11:6 KJV). So be diligent in your search. Be persistent in your quest and relentless in your pilgrimage. Turn away from the puny pursuit of possessions and positions and seek the Lord. You will not be disappointed!

Read the Bible in a year
www.biblica.com/bibles/daily-
reading/


Old Testament Reading
Exodus 15; Exodus 16
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Exodus+15%3B+Exodus+16&versio
n=niv


New Testament Reading
Matthew 28:1-20
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Matthew+28%3A1-20&version=niv


Psalms Reading
Psalm 21:8-13
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Psalm+21%3A8-13&version=niv



The Bible on one page
www.home.roadrunner.com/~cher
okee/TheBibleOnOnepage.html

  


Wait and Prepare Yourself

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Word for Today
www.thewordfortoday.com.au/
Written by Bob and Debby Gass

'The time has come, He said...' Mark 1:15 NIV

The Bible says: 'After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming..."The time has come...The kingdom of God is near"...' (vv14-15 NIV). The average preacher takes three years to prepare for a ministry that will last thirty years or so. Jesus did the reverse. He took thirty years to prepare for a ministry that would last just over three.
What's the point? The quality of your preparation determines the quality of your performance. The world's greatest pianists invest hundreds of hours into practice before a concert. That's because they know those grueling hours of preparation will allow them to give their best performance. World champion boxers don't become champions in the ring; they are merely recognized in the ring. Their 'becoming' is a result of their daily routine. Something important is happening at each stage of your development. For example, God can introduce you to someone today who will play a major role in your life twenty or thirty years from now. If you're in a hurry you may not stop long enough to connect with them. Think what a loss that would be. Waiting also reveals the weakness in your plans. Haven't you looked back and said, 'Thank You, Lord, for saving me from that!' Each chapter and season of life has a benefit and a product if only you will look for it.
Before Christ launched His ministry, we read: 'Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man' (Luke 2:52 NIV). Jesus understood the value of timing and training. He was willing to wait and prepare Himself. You must too.

Read the Bible in a year
www.biblica.com/bibles/daily-
reading/


Old Testament Reading
Exodus 13; Exodus 14
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Exodus+13%3B+Exodus+14&versio
n=niv


New Testament Reading
Matthew 27:45-66
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Matthew+27%3A45-66&version=niv


Psalms Reading
Proverbs 4:20-27
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Proverbs+4%3A20-27&version=niv


The Bible on one page
www.home.roadrunner.com/~cher
okee/TheBibleOnOnepage.html

  
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The Blessings of the Compassionate Heart (3)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Word for Today
www.thewordfortoday.com.au/
Written by Bob and Debby Gass

'...They gave themselves...to the Lord and then to us...' 2 Corinthians 8:5 NIV

Have you ever encountered a homeless person, given them some money, watched them shuffle away and wondered, 'Have I just paid for their next drink or rewarded laziness?' In some cases you may be right, in other cases wrong. So what should you do?
In 2 Corinthians 8, God gives us a plan we can understand and follow. The Macedonian church did it this way: 
 
(1) Both the well-off and the needy participated. They all gave, even those in 'extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity...[and] gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability' (vv2-3 NIV). 
  
(2) They gave gladly, not under pressure. '...Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing...' (vv3-4 NIV). 
  
(3) Their giving flowed from their devotion to Christ. 'They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us' (v5). They didn't give to impress others or for a tax deduction or to get the preacher off their backs or because they 'felt bad' for the needy. No, it was a natural response to being in love with Jesus. 
  
(4) The church leaders received, oversaw and distributed their collective giving. They didn't give naively, trusting the integrity of the unknown and unproven. Their leaders handled and distributed their gifts openly, consistently and with accountability. They knew the finances were handled honestly '...in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men' (v21).
Bottom line: you can give without loving, but you can't love without giving to those God loves.

Read the Bible in a year
www.biblica.com/bibles/daily-
reading/


Old Testament Reading
Exodus 11; Exodus 12
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Exodus+11%3B+Exodus+12&versio
n=niv


New Testament Reading
Matthew 27:11-44
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Matthew+27%3A11-44&version=niv


Psalms Reading
Psalm 21:1-7
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Psalm+21%3A1-7&version=niv


The Bible on one page
www.home.roadrunner.com/~cher
okee/TheBibleOnOnepage.html

  
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The Blessings of the Compassionate Heart (1)

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Word for Today
www.thewordfortoday.com.au/
Written by Bob and Debby Gass

'Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!...' Psalm 41:1 NLT

Even in a bad economy most of us are still better off than others, and better off than we have ever been. We may lack the latest, the biggest, the finest and the fastest, but we seldom lack the necessary, right? Now God doesn't 'guilt-trip' us, but He does want us to 'Consider [remember, be mindful of] the poor.' The Bible says, 'He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered' (Proverbs 21:13 NAS). Could this be a key to your prayers getting answered? To be comfortably provided for is a blessing, but you must not forget those in need.

What is God's attitude toward the poor? And what does He expect of us? 'If there is a poor man among your brothers...do not be hardhearted or tight-fisted toward [him]...and give him nothing...you will be found guilty of sin' (Deuteronomy 15:7-9 NIV). Helping others is an obligation, not an option. In Scripture the tithe took care of God's work and God's servants, but it was also to be shared with '...the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat...and be satisfied' (Deuteronomy 26:12 NIV). God said: 'If one of your countrymen becomes poor...unable to support himself...help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you' (Leviticus 25:35 NIV).

The truth is, we've been called to feed, shelter and clothe the needy (Isaiah 58:5-12). God is compassionate and generous to the poor, and He asks us to follow His example.

Read the Bible in a year
www.biblica.com/bibles/daily-
reading/


Old Testament Reading
Exodus 4; Exodus 5; Exodus 6:1-12
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Exodus+4%3B+Exodus+5%3B+Exodu
s+6%3A1-12&version=niv


New Testament Reading
Matthew 26:31-46
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Matthew+26%3A31-46&version=niv


Psalms Reading
Proverbs 4:10-19
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Proverbs+4%3A10-19&version=niv



The Bible on one page
www.home.roadrunner.com/~cher
okee/TheBibleOnOnepage.html

  


Seeing the Hand of God in It

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Word for Today
www.thewordfortoday.com.au/
Written by Bob and Debby Gass


'...Lord, open his eyes so he may see...' 2 Kings 6:17 NIV

The Bible records: 'When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those are who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O Lord, open his eyes so he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha' (2 Kings 15-17 NIV).
By God's power, the servant saw angels. And God can help you to see His hand at work in what you're going through today. He never promises to remove us from our struggles, but He promises to change the way we look at them. After listing many of his problems, Paul writes: 'In all these things we have complete victory through Him...' (Romans 8:37 GNT). We'd prefer another phrase. We'd opt for 'apart from all these things,' but Paul says, 'In all these things.' The solution is not to avoid trouble, but to change the way we see it. God asks, 'Who gives a person sight?' Then answers, 'It is I, the Lord' (Exodus 4:11 GWT).
God let Elisha's servant see an army of angels, Jacob see a ladder that went into Heaven, and Saul of Tarsus see Jesus on the road to Damascus. The blind man said to Jesus, '...I want to see' (Mark 10:51 NIV), and he walked away with clear vision. Today ask God to let you see His hand in it.

Read the Bible in a year
www.biblica.com/bibles/daily-
reading/


Old Testament Reading
Exodus 1; Exodus 2; Exodus 3
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Exodus+1%3B+Exodus+2%3B+Exodu
s+3&version=niv


New Testament Reading
Matthew 26:1-30
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Matthew+26%3A1-30&version=niv


Psalms Reading
Psalm 19:1-6
 www.biblica.com/bibles/chapte
r/?verse=Psalm+19%3A1-6&version=niv



The Bible on one page
www.home.roadrunner.com/~cher
okee/TheBibleOnOnepage.html

  


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