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Monday, May 21, 2018

Loving Our Neighbors

May 21

(Luke 10:25-37 NIV)  "On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" {26} "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" {27} He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind' ; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" {28} "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." {29} But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" {30} In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. {31} A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. {32} So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. {33} But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. {34} He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. {35} The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' {36} "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" {37} The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise.""

In Christ’s day, the Jericho Road was known as "The Way of Blood". It was a rugged, narrow mountainside road with steep drop offs, leaving little place to hide if accosted by bandits. There was no place to run when attacked. Many a traveler had been beaten and robbed there. Jesus told the story of one of these victims. He had been mugged, stripped of his clothing, and left for dead. “Good people” from the finest of churches saw the beaten man, but passed around him and did nothing to help. They couldn’t be bothered. They didn’t want to get involved. Only a Samaritan, who would have been despised by religious Jews, showed compassion and “had mercy on him”. With this parable Jesus taught us to love even those we consider enemies. He also drove home the point that religious fervor is worthless without love in action. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Persistent Prayer Pays

May 20

(Luke 18:1-8 NIV)  "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. {2} He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. {3} And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' {4} "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, {5} yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'" {6} And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. {7} And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? {8} I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?""

Delayed answers to prayer are usually for our benefit. God knows what we really need and when we need it. If we always got what we prayed for the moment we prayed for it, the results would be disastrous. God’s timing is always better than ours. He always knows more than we do. We are called to persist in prayer, not because God is stingy and needs to be pestered into action, but because persistence is beneficial to us. Persistence in prayer doesn't make God more willing. It increases our awareness of what He desires to give us, which is not necessarily what we want, but what we need. Keep God high and lifted up in your heart. Our view of God will always affect how we pray. God loves us and wants the best for us. His timing is always right. Pray accordingly. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Therapy for Dysfunctional Prayer

May 19

(Luke 18:1-8 NIV) "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. {2} He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. {3} And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' {4} "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, {5} yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'" {6} And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. {7} And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? {8} I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?""

Persistence in prayer requires that we overcome some common dysfunctions. We must conquer our doubting spirits. Persistent faith is foundational to persevering prayer. We must deal with discouragement when prayer isn’t answered promptly. God’s timing will hardly ever match ours. We must fight disillusionment which festers with negative thoughts about God. We must resist questioning God’s goodness when we don’t get everything we desire, exactly when we want it. We must abort the slide down into disassociation where we give up on prayer because we’ve given up on Jesus. God is not a vending machine where we put in a small bit of ourselves and expect something sweet in return. Prayer is a means of drawing near to God, not a method for getting what we want. Stay close to God and you will stay close to prayer. Stay close to prayer and you will stay close to God. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, May 18, 2018

Is This All There Is?

May 18

(John 16:33 NIV) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

(2 Corinthians 5:1-4) “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. {2} Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, {3} because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. {4} For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.”

Nowhere in Scripture does God ever promise that life on earth will be easy. In fact, what Jesus promised is that in this world we will have trouble. There is this “groaning” that takes place while we await our resurrection. Life is hard. Sin infects everyone born of a human father. It weighs us down and causes us pain. God knows this life will be burdensome at times. He knows we will often struggle under the heavy load. He knows our lives will be coupled with pain, loss, grief, and death. Any joy we experience will be tempered with sorrow. That’s why he assures us again and again that there is another life coming; a life without pain and suffering. Like Jesus, we will someday overcome this world, and death will be swallowed up by life. Believers, thanks to Jesus we have an eternal home in heaven where there will be no more tears and no more groaning. Hallelujah! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fences or Faith

May 17

(Matthew 15:10-20 NIV) "Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. {11} What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.'" {12} Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" {13} He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. {14} Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." {15} Peter said, "Explain the parable to us." {16} "Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. {17} "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? {18} But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' {19} For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. {20} These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'""

In Christ’s day, the Pharisees saw God’s law as a fence line. It marked the boundaries of God’s territory, and woe to the man who crossed that line. To avoid ever crossing that line, they kept moving the fence further back from the original boundary. They called these added fence lines “traditions and laws”, and they declared them equal to the original laws of God. They also made a huge assumption. They assumed that keeping these traditions and laws made one closer to God. As a result, they began to focus almost exclusively on externals. How things looked on the outside became more important than what was on the inside. This is what legalism does. It makes what we eat, or how we dress, or how we sing, more important than having faith in God’s grace for salvation. Jesus dubbed the Pharisees, “blind guides”. They still are. Don’t follow them. Follow Christ alone. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Cross-eyed Christians

May 16

(Luke 15:22-32 NIV) "The father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. {23} Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. {24} For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. {25} "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. {26} So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. {27} 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' {28} "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. {29} But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. {30} But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' {31} "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. {32} But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'""

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the older son’s anger betrays an ignorance of his father’s nature. He didn’t understand his father’s heart of mercy. Instead of respecting it, he resented it. He openly announced his faithful goodness and publicly denounced his brother’s sins. He seethed at the celebration of the sinner coming home. After all, had he not been the faithful one? That older son represents the self- righteous pride and indifference of many in the church today. Christian, in your past, you were like that prodigal son. But now that you’ve served the Lord faithfully for years, the danger is in your becoming like the older brother. Mercy is not nearly as attractive when it is offered to sinners who have offended us. We must love everyone God loves, because if we look down our noses at others for too long, we will just end up as cross-eyed Christians. Not a pretty sight. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Head Home

May 15

(Luke 15:11-24)  "Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. {12} The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. {13} "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. {14} After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. {15} So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. {16} He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. {17} "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! {18} I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. {19} I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' {20} So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. {21} "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' {22} "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. {23} Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. {24} For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.”

Many times, wanting to be free of restraint is the very thing that gets us lost. We chafe at the boundaries and rules and begin running blind. It can take years of running into things for us to realize that unbridled freedom is an enemy, not a friend. The “free life” can end up costing us everything we have. Are you tired of church people with their morality and their Bibles? Are you weary of God’s word, telling you what you should and should not do? Fine! Go your own way. Ignore God’s commandments. He will not chain you to Himself. But know this: when it all comes crashing down, remember that God still loves you. He is not sitting around at the pearly gates with a stick, ready to beat all His children who get in late. He celebrates their homecoming and He will celebrate yours. He’s been waiting and watching for you. Head home! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, May 14, 2018

A Bitter Pill

May 14

(Matthew 6:9-15 NIV) “This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, {10} your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. {11} Give us today our daily bread. {12} Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. {13} And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' {14} For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

One of two things is true about Christians who will not forgive. Either we have not truly experienced and accepted the forgiveness of God - or we have received that forgiveness and decided to live in disobedience to the will of Jesus. There are no loopholes in Christ’s call to forgive those who trespass against us. Our mind may rebel at the idea of bad people “getting off the hook”, but that’s exactly what happened when we cried out to God. We were “on the hook” and Jesus forgave us, released us, and set us free. It’s called grace. We didn’t deserve it or earn it, but we received mercy and are commanded to pass it on to those who need it. Forgiveness may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but unforgiveness is worse. The bitterness produced by unforgiveness is a killer. It consumes us from the inside out. Give it up! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Big Things from Small Things

May 13

(Acts 17:26-27 NIV) “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. {27} God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

(Hebrews 11:11-12 NIV) “By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. {12} And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

(Romans 5:19 NIV) “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

God loves to take small things and make them into big things. God loves to take one man and alter world history. God used one man, Abraham, to start a movement of faith that changed billions of people. God used one man, Moses, to humble the mighty Egyptian empire. God used one young shepherd boy named David to bring down a giant of a man named Goliath, and with him, the entire Philistine army. God used one prophet named Elijah to whip the 450 prophets of Baal and an entire empire controlled by the evil Queen Jezebel. God used one baby named Jesus, born to poor parents in a tiny village called Bethlehem, to change man’s destiny and the history of the world. And that’s why God wants to use you. You could very well change history if you will just say, “Yes!” -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Short Effective Prayers

May 12

(Luke 18:9-14 NIV) "To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: {10} "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. {11} The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. {12} I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' {13} "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' {14} "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."" 

(Luke 23:39-43 NIV) ""One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" {40} But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? {41} We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." {43} Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.""

Salvation prayers need not be lengthy. God looks at the heart of the one praying more than the words in the prayer. A good example of a short salvation prayer in scripture is, “God, have mercy on me a sinner.” That certainly worked. Or how about, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” These are more than prayers for forgiveness. They are prayers of genuine repentance. Prayers for forgiveness are often prayed to relieve guilt. Prayers of repentance are prayed by those who sincerely want to change directions - people who are sick and tired of sin and its fruit. Guilt relief and repentance are two different things. One is being sorry. The other is being sorry enough to change. If you want to get right with God, a short and simple prayer of genuine repentance is certainly a good start. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, May 11, 2018

Choosing or Chosen

May 11

(Joshua 24:15 NIV) “… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

(Ephesians 1:4-5 NIV) “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love {5} he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…”

Somewhere in the Christian world today, two people are going at it over the issue of “pre-destination vs. free will”. Denominations have split over whether we choose God or God chooses us. But if you extracted all the Bible verses concerning these two positions and placed them on a set of scales, they would probably weigh about the same. Philosopher Forrest Gump pondered this question and confessed he didn’t know if his momma was right and we all have a destiny, or if Lt. Dan was right and we all just float around randomly like a feather on a breeze. He concluded that maybe it was both, and that both were happening at the same time. Even Gump figured this one out, and he didn’t need a theology degree to get it done. Maybe both sides are right, so why don’t we stop beating each other up over the question? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Bad Yoke Up

May 10

(2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV)  "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? {15} What harmony is there between Christ and Belial ? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? {16} What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." {17} "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." {18} "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.""

We Christians are so foolish with our hearts sometimes. We fool around and fall in love and the last question we think to ask is, “Where do you stand with Jesus?” And if we do ask and get a negative answer, we assume our love interest will change someday and become a follower like us. But how can that happen when we won’t follow God ourselves? The Scriptures forbid the “yoking” of believers with unbelievers. If we don’t obey God’s word, why should our new love? You see, God knows that when we are unequally yoked, we’re the ones likely to change. And when we go to the church and ask them to bless our bad yoke up, we get angry when they say no. We ask God to bless something He has forbidden since the beginning of time, and when He won’t change His word just for us, we end up going godless. And then we wonder why our relationships are such a mess. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Walk By Faith

May 9

(2 Corinthians 4:5-7 NIV)  "For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. {6} For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {7} But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

(2 Corinthians 5:7-10 NIV)  "We live by faith, not by sight. {8} We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. {9} So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. {10} For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad."

Scripture calls us to walk by faith, not by sight. This is not natural for us -- it is a learned process that calls for discipline. Walking by sight demands that we get what we want from God or we will stop believing. Walking by faith turns that upside down. When we walk by faith, we realize it’s not about what we get from God -- it’s about what we give to Him and for Him. It’s not about what we accumulate -- it’s about how much we give away. It’s not about how much we stow away here on earth -- it’s about what we store up in eternity. When we walk by faith, we grow to realize that it’s not about these “jars of clay” and whether or not they survive -- it’s about the contents of our jars and whether or not those contents glorify God. The jar is temporary -- the contents are eternal. Walk by faith, not by sight. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Seeing the Eye Doctor

May 8

(2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NIV)  "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. {18} So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

(2 Corinthians 5:1-4 NIV)  "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. {2} Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, {3} because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. {4} For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."

After our eyes have been fixed, we never see things the same again. Our risen Lord changes the way we see this world. What attracted our gaze before Christ, no longer commands our attention. Jesus changes how we see life. Once we have begun to focus on the things that are unseen, we can better endure trials and tribulation. We know that our troubles are temporary and in some way are preparing us for glory. This knowledge outweighs the pain and the suffering we experience. We kneel in prayer, to stand for Jesus! We walk away from sin to walk with God. We die to ourselves to live for Christ. We even die for Jesus if called to, because we know that this world is temporary. We believe that these tents we inhabit will only last for a season and that our heavenly dwelling is eternal. Can you see it? Fix your eyes. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, May 7, 2018

Where’s Your Cross?

May 7

(Matthew 16:24 NIV)  "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

(Matthew 10:38 NIV)  "And anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

(Luke 14:27 NIV)  "And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

Jesus said that anyone who wanted to come after Him would need to be ready to deny themselves, take up a cross, and follow Him. There are three operative words in this call to action. First: “deny”. Deny who? Deny yourself. This is not a call to deny that we exist, but a call to deny that we rule. It’s a call to make what God wants more important than what we want. Second: “take up/carry”. Take up what? Take up and carry our cross. We all have a cross. We can locate it if we are really interested. We must put down our selfish interests and take up Christ’s interests. We must be ready to crucify our desires and suffer for the faith if need be. Third: “follow”. Follow who? Follow Jesus. Follow Him so long and so hard that we become like Him. Our old leader was Self. Our new leader is Jesus. Take action today: “Deny, take up, and follow!” -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Different Hope

May 6

(2 Corinthians 4:7-18 NIV)  "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. {8} We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; {9} persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. {10} We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. {11} For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. {12} So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. {13} It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, {14} because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. {15} All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. {16} Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {17} For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. {18} So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Everything created by God has an expiration date. That date is known only to the Creator Himself. Unless the Lord returns for His Church, everyone reading this page will one day cease to exist here on Earth. “Dust to dust” is more than a cute phrase. Because of the resurrection, Christians have a different hope than the rest of the world. We do not despair when death threatens and God does not seem to be coming to rescue us from it. We are not destroyed by what kills our body because we have a treasure inside these “jars of clay”. We belong to Him. We know this world is not our home. We are transients here on earth. We do not focus on things that are temporary because we know that not a single one of them will last. Instead we fix our eyes on the eternal God. We fix our eyes on Jesus. “And the things of earth grow strangely dim.” -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Can I Get a Witness?

May 5

(1 Corinthians 15:3-8 NIV) “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, {5} and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. {6} After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. {7} Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, {8} and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

(Acts 1:8 NIV) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

(Acts 4:20 NIV) “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."

In many modern day court cases, guilt is often established on the testimony of one or two eye witnesses. Did you know that over five hundred people saw Jesus alive after His death on the cross? That’s more people than saw Columbus discover America. In the end, we must believe the resurrection of Jesus Christ by faith, but it’s not a blind faith. It’s a faith based on the eyewitness accounts of those who saw Christ’s resurrection. It’s a faith evidenced by all the saints who have given their lives for Jesus down through the ages. It’s a faith bolstered by billions of believers around the world today. It’s the faith that changed your life and gave you a testimony about God’s mercy and love. Doubting all these witnesses is like saying those who witnessed the last presidential inauguration were hallucinating. Witnesses count… then and now -- and you are one of those witnesses. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, May 4, 2018

Today is the Day

May 4

(Numbers 14:41-45 NIV)  "But Moses said, "Why are you disobeying the Lord's command? This will not succeed! {42} Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, {43} for the Amalekites and Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword." {44} Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord's covenant moved from the camp. {45} Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah."

(Matthew 24:36-44 NIV)  ""No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. {37} As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. {38} For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; {39} and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. {40} Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. {41} Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. {42} "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. {43} But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. {44} So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

Most people want God’s blessing. It’s just that they want other things more. As a result, many do not actively seek God. It comes down to priorities. The things of this world crowd out building a relationship with the Lord. Christ taught that there is a day coming when the blessing of God will no longer be available. The door of heaven will be shut. The time for choosing will be over. There will be shouts of joy and there will be weeping and wailing, but fates will have been sealed and there will be no recovering the blessing after this time. That day could be today. In preparation for that day, we should never assume that goodness can replace godliness. We must never be presumptuous about God’s grace. Seek after it. Embrace it. Live it. Now is the time to give your life to Jesus. Today is the day of salvation. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Billion Witnesses

May 3

(1 Corinthians 15:1-8 NIV) “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. {2} By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. {3} For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, {5} and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. {6} After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. {7} Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, {8} and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

God breathed life back into Christ and He rose from the dead. The resurrection was God’s stamp of approval on the perfect sacrifice for our sins. It was God’s way of saying, “Mission accomplished.” It is indeed finished. Christ’s resurrection is the linchpin of the gospel. If there was no resurrection, there is no forgiveness of sin. If there was no resurrection, we who have believed are fools for wasting our time on faith. If there was no resurrection, there is no reason for the church to exist. But Jesus rose from the dead. Hundreds of people saw him alive and billions of people have been transformed by the risen Christ. Those who doubt can do nothing but doubt. They cannot change the reality of the living Christ and a believer’s new life in Christ. The changed lives of billions of believers speak loudly about the resurrection’s reality. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Legacy of Sincere Faith

May 2

(2 Timothy 1:5 NIV)  "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."

(Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NIV)  "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. {7} Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. {8} Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. {9} Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Paul described Timothy’s faith as “sincere”. What is a “sincere” faith? It's what our faith looks like when we think no one is watching. It’s what our faith looks like when held up in the direct sunlight. The word used for “sincere” comes from the marketing world. In Paul’s day, some tents that sold clay jars were purposely kept dark so hidden flaws could not be seen. A wise buyer would take the jar outside and hold it up to the sun to see if there were any cracks or flaws. If there were none, the jar was “sincere”. If your faith was a jar of clay and was held up to the sun, would it show any cracks? Would it hold water? Sincere faith often comes from a legacy of faith. It is modeled in the consistent living of parents and grandparents. Obviously, this takes more than just “Sunday religion”. If your jar is not sincere, your children will eventually see through you. Work toward a sincere faith. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Clinging to Death

May 1

(Romans 6:6-14 NIV) “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- {7} because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. {8} Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. {9} For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. {10} The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. {11} In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. {12} Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. {13} Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. {14} For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

Jesus comes into our lives to make all things new. But often, we stash something away -- something we don’t want to let go of yet. It could be a bitter memory or a longing, a habit or an attitude, a relationship, or an addiction. Like a souvenir, we treasure it and refuse to give it up. We enjoy seeing it again in our secret times. For some reason, we value this memento of our bondage more than we value our freedom. It continues to call to us even when we lay it aside. Listen! Can you hear Jesus saying, “I came to bring you new life; why won’t you let me finish? Why do you insist on hoarding these reminders of death?” Today, in a moment of clarity, let life fill every part of your body. Dispose of that last dark thing. Throw it in a coffin, close the lid, and bury it deep in the ground along with the dead man that you once were. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, April 30, 2018

Wherever They Are

April 30

(Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)  "Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' {38} This is the first and greatest commandment. {39} And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' {40} All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.""

(Acts 1:6-9 NIV)  "So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" {7} He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. {8} But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." {9} After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight."

A lost person is a lost person whether they live in the 10-40 Window across the ocean or in the house with no windows across the street. It doesn’t really matter who or what they worship. It could be the god of Money, the god of Nature, or a cow. Unless they meet Jesus they are all destined for the same godless eternity. We need to think long and hard about that truth. Those who say we should spend the lion’s share of the Church’s time, energy, and money reaching those people in the 10-40 Window need to also recognize the value of that unbelieving couple just down the street. Those next door neighbors of yours are just as likely to be lost as that native of wherever, and without Jesus, hell will be equally horrible for both. We have a lot of work to do… across the sea and across the street. Let’s get busy. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Significant Giving

April 29

(2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV)  "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

(Mark 12:41-44 NIV)  "Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. {42} But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. {43} Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. {44} They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on.""

It’s easy to say we have faith. It’s much harder to live it out, especially in the way we give. But, that’s our calling. More than that, it’s a command. Obedience to God in giving requires recognition of how much God has given us and faith that he will care for us in the future. The widow in Mark, chapter 12 didn’t give ten percent. She didn’t just keep the law. She gave one hundred percent. That’s faith giving. To do that, she had to fully put her trust in God’s provision. The poor widow’s gift of faith was commended by Christ and is remembered two thousand years later. Will what you give be commended by Christ and remembered for thousands of years to come? Significant giving requires significant sacrifice and significant faith. It’s easy to say we have faith. It’s much harder to live it out. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Non Discriminatory Nets

April 28

(Matthew 13:47-50 NIV) “The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. {48} When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. {49} This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous {50} and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

(Ephesians 1:13 NIV) “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,”

The Gospel is like a net that catches everything in its path. The net does not discriminate, but the angels do. There will be a sorting day and not all netted fish will be "keepers". When the angels sort the fish, they will sort according to God’s standard, not ours. Those who are not “keepers” will be thrown into the fiery furnace, where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Those who are “keepers” will enter the kingdom with Jesus. And so we learn that on that day, when the net is drawn up, it won’t be enough just to be among the fish in the net. What will matter is if we have what the angels are looking for: the mark of the Spirit. That’s what will separate the “keepers” from those who are thrown away. Do you have the Holy Spirit’s mark on you? Are you a “keeper”? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, April 27, 2018

Wealth and Money

April 27

(Luke 16:10-13 NIV) "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. {11} So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? {12} And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? {13} "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

(1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV) “But godliness with contentment is great gain. {7} For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. {8} But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. {9} People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. {10} For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Jesus taught that being eager for money leads to destructive behavior. Wealth, in and of itself, is neither sinful nor evil, but it is extremely intoxicating. Its seductive beauty has been responsible for many souls being led astray. Be very careful of imbibing its sweet nectar. Wealth is given to man to glorify God, but the temptation is always to use it for power, pride, and personal pleasure. Money can easily become our master and our addiction. The amount we possess has no bearing on the depth of our idolatry. Rich and poor alike are equally prone to worship at the altar of Money. That’s because greed is a heart problem, not a wallet problem. Our bank balance has nothing to do with our worship of money. This malady infects the human race at every socio-economic level. Money is the ultimate equal opportunity idol. Be careful, or it will charm the faith right out of you. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Better Shrewd Than Naïve

April 26

(Matthew 10:16 NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

(Luke 16:1-9 NIV) ""Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. {2} So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.' {3} "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg-- {4} I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.' {5} "So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' {6} "'Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,' he replied. "The manager told him, 'Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.' {7} "Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' " 'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.' {8} "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. {9} I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.''

The word “shrewd” often carries a negative connotation. We view “shrewd people” as shysters to be avoided. But being a Christian does not mandate being naïve. Jesus said we might all benefit from being a bit shrewder and implied that we could do that in a good way. He said people of the world know how to close a deal. They are persuasive, creative, aggressive, and persistent. The Church should take note. While we continue to build our walls higher and make it more difficult for people to get in, the world is busy dismantling barriers, widening its doors, and making it easier to participate. While the Church clings to archaic language and traditions, the world finds new ways for us to hear its message every day. Is it any wonder that more people are going the world’s way than God’s way? Without compromising the truth, consider how to be shrewder in the right way. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Power of a Few Words

April 25

(Luke 23:39-43 NIV) ""One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" {40} But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? {41} We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." {42} Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." {43} Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.""

One of the most poignant salvation stories in all of Scripture involves the thief on the cross near Jesus. He recognized Christ’s holiness and power as evidenced in his question to the other thief about his refusal to fear God. You hear him owning his personal sin as he confesses that he is being punished justly and getting what his deeds deserve. You hear his proclamation of Christ's innocence in his words about Jesus having done nothing wrong. You hear his acknowledgment of Christ's Lordship when he asks to be remembered when Jesus comes with the Kingdom. And to this repentant man, Jesus said, “Yes”. In this thief’s final hour, he chose repentance instead of rebellion. No time to straighten out his life… no time to be baptized… no time to join the church… just spoken into Paradise by our Lord. Have that conversation with Jesus today. He’s still listening... and He is still speaking. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tell Your Story

April 24

(Mark 5:18 NIV)  "As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him."

(Mark 16:15 NIV)  "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

(Matthew 28:19 NIV)  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"

The personal testimony is one of the most powerful methods of sharing the Gospel, yet it remains one of the least used tools in the lives of most Christians. If you have been touched by God’s grace, you have a story to tell. It’s your calling to share it. You don’t have to be a preacher. You don’t have to go to the ends of the Earth as a missionary. Just live so people can see a difference in you, and tell them your story when they ask why you are different. You don’t have to save them. That’s God’s job. Just testify to the truth with your words and your life. It’s not difficult when you’re telling the truth. It’s wrong to hoard your testimony. God rescued you for more than a trip to heaven. Jesus sent every person who ever followed him out to tell their story in some way. In many of His commands, the operative word is “Go!” So, go! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, April 23, 2018

For This Very Purpose

April 23

(2 Corinthians 5:5-11 NIV)  "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. {6} Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. {7} We live by faith, not by sight. {8} We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. {9} So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. {10} For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. {11} Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience."

Our life’s goal is to please the Lord. This world is temporary, but while we live here, God calls us to act in faith. He says, “Seek me. Come to me. Trust me. Follow me. Obey me.” God’s deep desire is that we walk by faith, not by sight. Walking by sight makes demands of God. Walking by faith realizes it’s about what we give, not what we receive. It’s not about survival, but about arrival. It’s not about the blessings accumulated in this temporary world, it’s about the treasure stored up in heaven. This life is really all about what comes next. It’s not about gaining stuff, but about gaining souls. This is why we try to persuade others -- eternity is at stake. The driving force in our lives should be faith, not fear. If we cling to life in this body and this world, we can never be fully at home with the Lord. God made us for this very purpose. This is why we make it our goal to please him. -- Friar Tuck's Word of the Day

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fixing Our Eyes

April 22

(2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NIV)  "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. {18} So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

(2 Corinthians 5:1-4 NIV)  "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. {2} Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, {3} because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. {4} For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life."

People of faith have fixed their eyes. They look at life and death differently than others. We do not give up, we rise up. Our goal is not survival but glory. We inhabit a tent of a body, with all the limitations of a tent. We groan, because life is hard as we await our resurrection. This does not surprise God. He told us it would be so. He knows the sin that infects our world and inhabits us all. He knows we struggle under the weight of our troubles. He knows this life is coupled with loss and pain and death. But the resurrection gives lasting hope. We look ahead to the day when we will be changed. Many will die with a whimper, but we who believe have a greater hope; a different future, as eternal life swallows up mortality. When our eyes are fixed, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is like the dawn’s early light. The bright and morning star has risen! Fix your eyes. Fix your eyes on Jesus. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Glory or Dust

April 21

(2 Corinthians 4:1-18 NIV)  "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. {2} Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. {3} And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. {4} The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. {5} For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. {6} For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. {7} But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. {8} We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; {9} persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. {10} We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. {11} For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. {12} So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. {13} It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, {14} because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. {15} All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. {16} Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {17} For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. {18} So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Christians, we live with one foot on Earth and one foot in eternity. We long for this body of death to be replaced with God’s eternal dwelling. We groan and await the day when what was weak will rise in power and our crumbling jars of clay will become glorious cups of gold. If we do not have this hope of resurrection, we can become bitter at the losses of life. We may even shake our fists at God and lament our birth. If we persist in this rebellion, we die with a whimper. Our unredeemed jars of clay break into a thousand little pieces and over time become nothing more than dust in the wind. But we who believe have a greater hope. Our faith trusts God for a better future. We are confident that death will one day be swallowed up by Life. We will not perish. We will have eternal life in glory. Only Jesus gives this kind of hope. Believe God! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, April 20, 2018

Runnin’ with the Devil

April 20

(Luke 8:27-29 NIV)  "When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. {28} When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" {29} For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places."

(1 Peter 5:8 NIV)  "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

When we make a habit of “runnin’ with the devil”, bad things happen. First comes isolation. The devil’s hyenas isolate us and separate us from those who love, help, and protect us. We go from “lone wolf” to “lost lamb” in short order. Lone Ranger Christians almost always end up on “Wanted” posters. We end up in lonely places. We stop going to church. We stop going to meetings. We stop reading God’s word. We hardly notice that we’ve left the house of God and are now living in a graveyard. High risk behavior becomes “normal”. The light of God grows dim. The darkness of death becomes palatable. We hardly notice its stench anymore. We live like we’re already dead. We become a walking corpse. Flee from this! You cannot fool the devil. He will always make a fool out of you. Cry out for God. Get back into fellowship. Light and life is found in walking with Jesus. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Called Publicly

April 19

(Luke 19:9-10 NIV)  "Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. {10} For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.""

(John 3:16 NIV)  ""For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

(Acts 16:29-30 NIV)  "The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. {30} He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?""

(Romans 3:22 NIV)  "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,"

(Romans 10:13 NIV)  "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

(1 Timothy 1:16 NIV)  "But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

No person alive is beyond God's power. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we’ve done, we can be saved and changed. Notice the inclusive words in the Scripture above: “whoever believes”, “everyone who calls”, “all who believe”. No one is beyond God’s reach. That includes you. When Christ rose from the dead, heaven’s door swung wide open and God said, “Y’all come”. But there is one thing we must do… we must believe. We must believe we need to be saved and we must believe that Jesus can save us. We must put our trust in Him. We must call on His name. We must make a decision and live like we’ve made a decision. Are you saved? You can be today. Do you know for sure where you will spend eternity? You can know today. If you are a “whoever” or an “everyone”, believe God and become a follower of Jesus. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day