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The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10 What if wisdom were not a body of facts but a relationship? As children of the Enlightenment, we tend to want enough data in order to make a logical decision, but according to Scripture, wisdom has a foundation in the fear of the Lord. This kind of fear is different than what we often think of. This fear is a reverence and awe for God that fills us so much that it dictates every decision that we make. When we base our understanding of the world around us upon God’s nature and character in Scripture, we enter into true...

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Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. – Exodus 20:8-11 When God finished creating the world, He rested. And He set aside a way of resting for all of His creation to observe from that day forward. God did not rest because He was tired; He rested to show that everything was complete and perfect in Him. Nothing else was needed. It was finished. When we keep God first in our life we stop living like we are gods, as if everything depends upon us. We show that God is in control of all that He created-including us! If we live in the reality that God is the only true God, we do not have to live frantic, frenzied lives. Because God is great and powerful, we can rest. And now, the amazing truth is, we can live a life of Sabbath rest because of Jesus’ completed work on the cross. There is nothing left to do…it is...

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Your Weakness: God’s Power Made Perfect

Your Weakness: God’s Power Made Perfect

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)   Hi! I got your note saying you don’t think you can do what God is telling you to do during this next decade. You may be surprised to hear me say this, but I agree! If God called you to do it, then you shouldn’t be able to do it without him. In fact, if you could do it without him, then it’s really not a God-thing. I know you feel that God is asking you to do something that works against your strengths. But God has called you and that means his strength is working through you and that will make you sufficient for the task. God’s Word says your weaknesses, doubts, and insecurities are no surprise to God. You may try to hide them from others, but you can’t hide them from the one who created you. The truth is, God created you with weaknesses. And, since he’s God, he couldn’t have made a mistake. Is it possible he created you with weaknesses in order to keep you on your knees before him? With you dependent upon him, you’re able to do all things through him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13–14). This also means God won’t let you use weaknesses as an excuse for not doing what he’s asking you to do. If God is calling you to a monumental task, then he’ll give you everything you need to complete the task, starting with the Holy Spirit working within you. My friend, God didn’t call other people to this task! He called you and in his strength you can do it. The God-who-loves-you is with you for every step you take as you follow Jesus toward your...

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Something Out of Nothing

Something Out of Nothing

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “The earth was formless and empty…and God said, Let there be light” (Genesis 1:2–3, NIV) TODAY’S WORD Do you need a miracle in your life for something that seems impossible? With man it may be, but we serve the all-powerful God, and He can create something out of nothing! He can make a way when there seems to be no way and open doors that seemed closed forever! Genesis tells us that in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth, but before He spoke the world into existence, it was formless and void. If God can make the world out of nothing, He can take the empty places in your life and create something beautiful, too! He can speak light into your darkest hour. He can take your formless dreams and give them shape. He can resurrect your dormant gifts and talents! He can make your crooked places straight! Remember, you are created in the image of almighty God. There’s power in your words, and there’s power when you’re in agreement with Him. Start saying what God says about your situation. Speak life to your broken dreams today. Speak hope into the hopeless places. Keep an attitude of faith and expectancy because He will turn things around for you and create something out of nothing! A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father in heaven, I trust that You are willing and able to make a way for me where there seems to be no way in my life. Fill me with Your peace and faith. Give me a vision for all You have for me and help me to always speak Your words of truth and life. In Jesus’ Name....

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Be An Answer To Jesus’ Prayer

Be An Answer To Jesus’ Prayer

Many times I have said to friends and viewers of LIFE Today, “If you want your prayers answered, seek to be an answer to someone else’s prayer!” As Betty and I have supported other missions and ministry endeavors all over the world, we have seen the things we were able to do or provide come as a direct answer to someone’s prayer, not just a need met. When we give attention to the concerns of our Father and hear the heart’s cry of others, there is no question that God grants us light in our darkest moments and we become a fruitful garden, truly an ever-flowing stream. Recently I have found myself overwhelmed by a deep yearning to be an answer to Jesus’ prayer. For centuries, dedicated believers and the general public have repeated the words of the model prayer Jesus gave the disciples in Matthew 6. Every phrase has become increasingly precious to me, especially, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” which is preceded by the necessary manifest power of His kingdom coming – not a future reward, but the present prevailing reality of His majestic power. Living with an awareness of God’s kingdom now increases our sensitivity to everything in the spiritual realm. God is ever-present in transforming power which can and should be revealed through our yielded lives. Meditate on this truth! My personal focus now and for the rest of my life is to see Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17 fulfilled in our day. Our Lord expressed excitement to His Father about the glory that had been revealed through Him to His followers now being revealed to the world through them. Very specifically, He addresses something we have everything to do with if the prayer is to be answered. He desires that we each become one with the Father as He (Jesus) is. We are to capture the heart of the Father because we have been totally captivated by His heart. His will becomes our will, His concerns our concerns, and His focus our focus. As we submit to Him “presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds to know what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”1 Jesus prayed for us to be protected from the evil one and to become holy, consecrated by the truth of His word. Paul referred to this process as being “washed with the water of the word.”  Jesus taught that abiding in Him enables us to know the truth that sets us free. It is critically important – absolutely necessary – for us to come into this oneness...

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The Sufferings of His Broken Heart

The Sufferings of His Broken Heart

Go with me for a moment to witness what was perhaps the foggiest night in history. The scene is very simple; you’ll recognize it quickly. A grove of twisted olive trees. Ground cluttered with large rocks. A low stone fence. A dark, dark night. Now, look into the picture. Look closely through the shadowy foliage. See that person? See that solitary figure? What’s he doing? Flat on the ground. Face stained with dirt and tears. Fists pounding the hard earth. Eyes wide with a stupor of fear. Hair matted with salty sweat. Is that blood on his forehead? That’s Jesus. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Maybe you’ve seen the classic portrait of Christ in the garden. Kneeling beside a big rock. Snow-white robe. Hands peacefully folded in prayer. A look of serenity on his face. Halo over his head. A spotlight from heaven illuminating his golden-brown hair. Now, I’m no artist, but I can tell you one thing. The man who painted that picture didn’t use the gospel of Mark as a pattern. Look what Mark wrote about that painful night, he used phrases like these: “Horror and dismay came over him.” “My heart is ready to breakwith grief.” “He went a little forward and threw himself on the ground.” Does this look like the picture of a saintly Jesus resting in the palm of God? Hardly. Mark used black paint to describe this scene. We see an agonizing, straining, and struggling Jesus. We see a “man of sorrows.” (Isaiah 53:3 NASB) We see a man struggling with fear, wrestling with commitments, and yearning for relief. We see Jesus in the fog of a broken heart. The writer of Hebrews would later pen, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death.” (Hebrews 5:7 NIV) My, what a portrait! Jesus is in pain. Jesus is on the stage of fear. Jesus is cloaked, not in sainthood, but in humanity. The next time the fog finds you, you might do well to remember Jesus in the garden. The next time you think that no one understands, reread the fourteenth chapter of Mark. The next time your self-pity convinces you that no one cares, pay a visit to Gethsemane. And the next time you wonder if God really perceives the pain that prevails on this dusty planet, listen to him pleading among the twisted trees. The next time you are called to suffer, pay attention. It may be the closest you’ll ever get to God. Watch closely. It could very well be that the hand that extends itself to lead...

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He Sees

He Sees

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul” (Psalm 31:7, NLT) TODAY’S WORD God sees and cares about everything that happens in your life. He’s seen every wrong that’s been done to you. He’s seen every unfair situation. He told the people of Israel, “I have seen your affliction. I have seen how badly you were treated those 430 years that you were in slavery.” Then He went on to say, “I have come down to deliver you.” When God brought them out, they didn’t come out empty-handed. God made their enemies hand over their gold and silver. God vindicated His people, and He will vindicate you! Maybe someone has wronged you today. You could easily become bitter and angry and spend your life trying to pay them back. However, if you will give it to God and let Him do it His way, scripture says He’ll pay you double for your trouble! Today, know that He sees where you are, He sees where you’ve been and He sees the struggles of your heart. Release the struggle to Him and let Him reward you with His everlasting promises. A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father God, today I choose to release the struggles in my heart. I release the offenses and wrongs done to me. I choose forgiveness. I choose peace. I choose to let You be my vindicator knowing that You love me and care for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. Source: Joel & Victoria...

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