Grace for the Moment

Once again, I am taking up reading the Bible in a year (I have yet to accomplish this). I have this Grace for the Moment Daily Bible that includes quotes from books from Max Lucado. I enjoy it alot and I loved the introduction that Max Lucado wrote for this book:

Dear Friend,

May the words of this book, God’s book, grant you eternal strength. May he steal your heart with heaven-glimpes and steel your character with strength-portions.

He will. God will meet your needs of today, today. This is his plan, help in the hour of need. Grace for the moment. The concerns of tomorrow will be met tomorrow. Provisions for next week will arrive next week. God meets the needs of the day, each day.

For that reason Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us the food we need for each day.” (Luke 11:3)

Bread represents our basic need. We need only a couple of things every day: breath, bread, a cherry-topped choclate ice cream sundae…(ok, the cherry is optional). Christ explains God’s schedule for meeting such needs. Day by day. We don’t pray for an annual allotment or monthly shipment of bread. He gives not a bakery or a truckload. He gives daily portions.

When the wilderness wandering Israelites grew hungry, he responded with daily downpours of manna and coveys of quail. God told them to gather just enough food for the day, but some didn’t listen. “But some of the people did not listen to Moses and kep part of it to eat the next morning. It became full or worms and bgan to stink…” (Exodus 16:20)

Don’t we likewise? Try to solve tomorrow’s problems with today’s resources and today stinks. It gets wormy. Jesus could not have been more forthright: “Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have it’s own worries. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own” (Matthew 6:33-34).

Trust God, friend. “Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can recieve mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” (Hebrews 4:16, empahsis mine).

God gives grace for the moment. And in this moment, through these pages, may he amply provide for you.

Max Lucado

Here is a link to Amazon for this devotional bible: http://www.amazon.com/Grace-Moment-Daily-Bible-reading/dp/B000V4R2L0/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1293946497&sr=1-5

Speaking God’s Truth

‎2 Timothy 4:2-3 (New International Version)
2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

2 Timothy 4 (The Message)
1-2I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
3-5You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant
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I find myself really upset. You know that kind of upset where it goes all the way into my throat. I’m choking on my thoughts. I never pretend that I am all holy. More times than not, I fall short of the standard God has set for us. Does that mean that I shouldn’t speak the Word of God? Should I stand back and let people ostracize other Christian for speaking what is so clearly in the Bible? It infuriates me that we as Christian make other Christians feel bad about calling us to live to a higher standard – a standard that been set by God’s Word. It should always be done in love, but anytime I have seen anyone remotely suggest that we aren’t living the life Christ called us to, it always jump to, OOHHHH we aren’t supposed to judge. Yes, we are not to judge, but we are allowed to examine spiritual fruits. We don’t have to right to condemn people to Hell – God reserves that judgement for himself – only He knows who is truly GOOD or EVIL. But, we are as Christian allowed to “speak the truth in love” and let our fellow brethren know if they are going down a path that is unholy. Perhaps if many more of face our fears and let go of our need to be accepted and liked by everyone (and when I say we, I really mean myself), we would stand up PROUDLY and UNASHAMED of what the Bible proclaims. Not to say we should beat people over the head with God’s Word, but I find more often that not, we (really meaning I) want to be considered a “cool Christian” and will let thing slide under the radar that we really shouldn’t. I think that is why we have the decline in morals in our society because we have become afraid of proclaiming the truths of the Bible so now we just all sit in the luke warm pot of soothing everyone egos and making everyone feel like it’s okay to do whatever you want even when it contradicts the Bible. Let’s face it – we don’t want others hold us accountable to God’s standards because we might actually have to give up some of our own bad behaviors. It’s much easier to sit in the luke warm pot of nothing than to light the fire of God’s word under our behind and other’s for that matter. I’m not saying that we should start pointing out faults and saying I’m holier than you – because those of you that speak the truth in love, know that it’s really about love, not about making someone feel worthless or less than. When I feel God calling me to speak the truth in love, it brings me tears – it’s because I love that person so much and I have deep respect for that person. It’s nothing that is done in hate or maliciously.
So, why does this verse (above) strike a chord with me – because I believe whole heartily that there are many of us who just want to take the warm fuzzy parts of the Bible and disregard the parts we don’t like. Many of us “Christians” are soothing our egos and our sins by listening and believing “spiritual junk” because that is what our itching ears want to hear.
 
As I end this, I feel the Holy Spirit weighing heavily on my heart, because I know that I do things on a daily basis that I am not proud of, things that I know God wants me to give up. Hear me when I say, I am not perfect. I AM NOT PERFECT. But, I will not let my guilt, my shortcomings be Satan’s tool for not speaking God’s Truth or for twisting’s God Truth to suit my own selfish ego and needs.
1 Peter 1: 13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

A different side of Jesus….

During my small group Bible Study, this verse was giving to us to look at (in reference to another study)….

Revelation 19
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. 12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. 15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. 16 On his robe at his thigh[e] was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

I know I have read this verses before and I know I have discussed with other what it will be like when Jesus Returns. The image of Jesus was so striking in my mind and so very different from the Jesus that we know about. The Jesus that I always think about is the one who came and die for our sins. The one who told us turn the other cheek. This was just a reminder for me about who God and Jesus really is and really a reminded that what I believe isn’t a joke. God takes His Word very seriously and this is a price to be paid. I can only say that I am truly thankful that Jesus has paid that price for me. I am glad that I will not have this wrath against me. And I really tremble in fear for those that will witness this and be on the opposite side of his iron rod. As one of my class member joked in class.. and I hope to be on a white horse behind him with a shirt that says “I’m with Him!” But really just a striking image of Jesus… and one that I hope not to forgot.