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Friday, August 17, 2018

Up From The Pit

August 17

(Jonah 2:6-9 NIV) “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God. {7} "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. {8} "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. {9} But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord."

(Psalm 40:1-4 NIV) “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. {2} He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. {3} He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. {4} Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust…”

Imagine sinking down so low that you reach the roots of the mountains. That’s where Jonah ended up because he would not go God’s way. But Jonah cried out to God, and the Lord in His mercy brought Jonah’s life up from the pit. God graciously gave Jonah a song of thanksgiving and a message of salvation. Then Jonah preached and people were saved. David also found himself far below where he should have been, mired down in the mud of sin and alienated from God. But the Lord heard David’s cry and lifted him out of the slimy pit. God gave David a rock to stand on and a new song to sing. Then David wrote songs that people are still listening to today. God is the same today as He was yesterday. Salvation still comes from the Lord to those who cry out from the pit. Put your trust in the Lord today. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mansion or Shack

August 16

(John 14:14 NIV) "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. {2} In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. {3} And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. {4} You know the way to the place where I am going."

(Genesis 35:1-4 NIV) “Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau." {2} So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. {3} Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." {4} So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.”

God’s will is that we inherit the mansion He is building for us. But to move into His holy mansion, we will have to move out of our shacks of shame and burn them to the ground. We need to feed the fire of God’s Spirit and make ashes out of the slums of sin where we have lived for so long. We will need God’s grace to do that! Grace helps the foolish wise up. It helps the deceived wake up. It helps the disobedient straighten up. It helps the childish grow up. It helps the cold hearted fire up. Grace sets the captive free. It changes hate to love and cruelty to kindness. It transforms persecutors into preachers. It changes the meek into the mighty. It transforms marriages, families, cities, and nations. And it can save you. Are you ready to move? Are you ready to light a fire? Or will you be keeping the shack? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Finding God With Us

August 15

(Psalm 139:7-12 NIV) “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? {8} If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. {9} If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, {10} even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. {11} If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," {12} even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

(Jeremiah 23:24 ESV) “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.”

(Isaiah 55:6 NIV) “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”

Jesus came to earth to be found, but He is not always found in great cathedrals or mega-churches. He turns up in humble places like a feed trough in a small backwater town. We often find Him in unexpected places: eating with tax collectors and prostitutes; touching the lepers and the outcasts; walking on the stormy seas of life, calling to us to not be afraid. He can be found in jails and on death beds… in automobiles and on playing fields… on sinking ships and in cancer wards... on the battlefield or on the radio. He can be found anywhere, by anyone, if we will just open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts. Have you found Him? Do you hear Him? You need not go far. God is omnipresent; everywhere at once. There is no place He is not present or cannot be present. So wake up, listen up, wise up, and open up. God is with us. Jesus is near. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Our Creator God

August 14

(Genesis 1:1-4 NIV) “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. {2} Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. {3} And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. {4} God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”

(Colossians 1:16 NIV) “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

(Revelation 4:11 NIV) "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Many today who consider themselves enlightened, scoff at the idea of a Creator. Creation has been downgraded to a “personal belief”. That’s code for “Keep it out of the public arena”, and most certainly, “Don’t teach it in school.” Creation has been relegated to the status of mythic fable. Taking its place has been the theory of evolution. This theory contains some truth, but has mutated into “the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. It has become a religion with the aura of the Holy Grail. It has even been described as “the unifying theory of science”, as if all science would fall apart if evolution was not there to hold it together. But God was here before science. God’s conversion of nothingness and chaos into form and order is the reason laws of science can even exist. God reigns over science, not the other way around. The truly wise will always remember this. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day