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Monday, April 24, 2017

A House on the Rock

April 24

(Matthew 7:24-27 NIV) "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. {25} The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. {26} But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. {27} The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

(Luke 6:47-49 NIV) "I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. {48} He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. {49} But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.""

(James 1:22 NIV) "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

We must put the word of God into practice. Jesus told a parable about two houses. One had a foundation of solid rock -- the other was built on sand. The houses represent people. Our spiritual foundation must be built on more than just knowing God’s word. It must also include doing the word of God. Putting God’s word into practice makes our foundation solid. Christians today are dropping like flies because knowing God’s word has somehow become more important than doing God’s word. It doesn’t matter how much scripture we know if we are not willing to live by its truth. Doing the word of God is the antidote for anemic Christianity that crumbles during times of storm. Putting God’s word into practice is the foundation of a strong spiritual house. Christians who ignore this principle end up crumbling like houses built on shifting sand when the storms of life come. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, April 23, 2017

New Music Files

April 23

(Psalms 40:1-3 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."

(John 8:36 NIV) "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

Once Jesus sets us free we must take steps to remain free or we can slide right back into bondage. We all have music that plays in our heads -- songs learned long ago, some good and some bad. God wants to reprogram our player and fill it with new music, but we hoard our old music files. We stash them away for safe keeping. For some strange reason we don’t want to erase them completely. Our old songs can be memories, longings, habits, hang ups, grudges, attitudes, or addictions. We just can’t seem to let them go. Even though we have been abused by them, they still hold a place in our hearts. Christians, we have a choice to make -- we can live with the corrupted music files from our old days in bondage, or we can delete them and download God’s new music. We cannot enjoy complete freedom in Christ until we stop singing the old songs. Hit that delete key today. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Troubles and Faith

April 22

(Genesis 32:28-31 NIV) ""Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." {29} Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there. {30} So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." {31} The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.""

(Genesis 35:10-11 NIV) ""God said to him, "Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel." So he named him Israel. {11} And God said to him, "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.""

One indicator of the Bible’s integrity is found in the honest way it treats its heroes. Nobody escapes the omnipresent, omniscient gaze of God. Consider Jacob. His mother spoiled him rotten. His father favored his brother Esau. His parents struggled in their marriage. Jacob became a manipulator and a deceiver. His brother hated him. His uncle cheated him. His marriages were a mess. His wives fought constantly. His in-laws despised him. His children grew hostile toward one another. His son slept with his wife. His daughter was raped. His favorite son went missing. His land and his life savings were lost in a drought. He never saw God’s greatest promise come about. Jacob’s life was far from perfect, yet God used him in a mighty way. And therein lies the good news… if God used Jacob, He can certainly use us. Continue to trust God during the tough times. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day  

Friday, April 21, 2017

God’s Sovereign Mercy

April 21

(Exodus 33:19 NIV) "And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

(Romans 9:13-16 NIV) "Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." {14} What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! {15} For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." {16} It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy."

Being declared “righteous” by God doesn’t necessarily mean we have lived a righteous life. It means we are saved by grace through faith. It doesn’t always mean righteous in deeds -- it is about being made righteous in the eyes of God. This is difficult for us to understand, but in the end, this is what really matters in eternity. We can live most of our life on the wrong side of God, but end up on the right side. God can take our broken, fragmented souls, and declare them healed and whole in a moment’s time. The thief on the cross near Jesus is an example of this kind of mercy and grace. So we must accept this truth: God is sovereign and will have mercy on whomever He chooses to have mercy. God doesn’t need our approval or permission to declare someone righteous and forgiven, nor does He really care about our opinion. He is the sovereign Lord. He is God, and we are not. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day