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JEREMY'S LIFE JOURNAL AND OTHER THOUGHTS
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Tuesday, 27 February 2007
"WHAT AM I DOING?"
SCRIPTURE: Mark 7:6-13
6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." 9 And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.' 11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban' (that is, a gift devoted to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."

OBSERVATION:
Jesus said to the Pharisees that they were hypocrites because Isaiah was right about them when he said that they honored God when they spoke but their hearts were not with him. That they worshipped him in vain, and that their teachings were just rule made by man. That they were more worried about traditions instead of following the commands of God. He then gave an example that Moses told them that if a man curses his mother and father, he is to be put to death. But they say that if a man basically curses his parents by saying anything I have ever done for you is a gift to God, then he doesn’t have to do anything else for his parents, there by nullifying God’s word for the sake of there tradition. They did many things like that.

APPLICATION:
This brings up a question I have to ask myself. What am I doing that is more tradition instead of God’s will. Am I truly obeying God or am I just following a man made way of doing things. Sometimes the answer is yes and othes no. I have to check myself often or else I can fall into letting my traditions become God and my God become nothing to me.

PRAYER:
Father, I pray that you continue to open my eyes to my faults and to where I have to make correction. Father I thank you for this verse today. It is a reminder to me to make sure my focus is on you and your will instead of tradition. Father I can’t follow you if my tradition becomes my God. Keep my heart from it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 4:41 AM CST
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Saturday, 24 February 2007
A STUBBORN PEOPLE
SCRIPTURE: Numbers 14:36-45
36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it-- 37 these men responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. 38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived. 39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they went up toward the high hill country. "We have sinned," they said. "We will go up to the place the LORD promised." 41 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.

OBSERVATION:
All the men who went out and spied the land were killed by a plague because they gave a bad report and said they couldn’t take it. The exception was Joshua and Caleb. The Isrealites mourned for these men and the next morning they got up and started heading towards the promised land, say since they have sinned they will now go up to the promised land. But Moses warned that they are not to do that because the Lord is now no longer with them because they had turned away from them and they will be defeated. But once again they did not listen and sure enough when they got into the promised land, they were met by the Amalekites and Canaanites and they deafeated the Israelites.

APPLICATION:
I look at this scripture and countless others in the Bible and I ask myself, why don’t they get it. Man these people remind me of my own children who disobey until they get into trouble then they are miraculously willing to do what they are told after the discipline is dealt out and it is to late thinking it will change my mind. Well if my kids aren’t going to change my mind in this manner, what makes me think God will change his. God has shown me through the Israelites that I too have been stubborn and refused to obey God and because of this, I have suffered. The Israelites were not exactly the most bright of people at times but who am I. I am also God’s chosen people but I just like the Israelites do mess up. The only difference is to realize my mistake and humble myself before God when I make the mistake to receive his forgiveness. The Israelites here did not do that. They didn’t try to repent until it was to late. They could have come to God and repented and humbled themselves and said they were sorry for believing 10 ungodly reports instead of the report of 2 Godly men, but they didn’t. I need to watch myself more carefully so I don’t become like these Israelites and believe the ungodly instead of the Godly.

PRAYER:
Father I pray that you give me the strength, wisdom and the willingness to put my pride aside and follow you and your commands for me. I don’t want to be like the Israelites here. I want to be like Joshua and Caleb who saw you will working in your promises. Father, I just want to thank you for being with me and my family in this difficult time and I pray and know that you have great things in store for us. In the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 10:34 AM CST
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Wednesday, 14 February 2007
"FREEWILL" OFFERING
“Freewill” Offering

SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 23:37-38
37("'These are the LORD's appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire--the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. 38 These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD's Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)

OBSERVATION:
The Lord has just told Moses what and when the appointed feasts to be celebrated were and that they are to be sacred assemblies for bringing the prescribed offerings to the Lord each day. These offerings are in addition to the Lord’s Sabbath’s, their gifts, and anything else they promised as well as all the freewill offerings given to the Lord.

APPLICATION:
I was reading this and I just got slapped in the face by it. I have been in some discussion forums lately over various subjects. The subjects are not what mattered, but the important question that came up in these discussions is. Do we have a freewill or freedom of choice? I for instance believe we were created with a freewill or the ability to choose. The ability to choose whether we are going to follow God or the world, worship and praise him or just do our own thing. I see the Bible full of examples of people making choices without God interfering in their choice.

The other side of the argument is that people are preordained by God to follow him and the rest are not. If we believe and put our faith in Christ, God chose them and that while you are going to make some choices in life, the choice or exercising of freewill to choose to follow God is not possible because we are chosen to serve him. They do make some valid points. But one thing that kept coming up is that no where in the Bible is the term “freewill” brought up. So you can see why this particular verse just flat out slapped me in the face because up to this point I could agree with that statement.

Once I saw this I had to do some research because I didn’t know what a freewill offering was. I went to 5 different translations in this verse (KJV, NKJV, ASV, NIV and NLT) and they all mentioned the freewill offering. I then decided since I didn’t know what a free will offering was, I better go and find out. I discovered it is a type of Peace Offering. Here is the definition of a Peace Offering according to the Nelson Bible Dictionary.

“SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS”
Peace Offering. This sacrificial offering was also called a heave offering and a wave offering. This was a bloody offering presented to God. Part of the offering was eaten by the priest (representing God's acceptance) and part was eaten by the worshiper and his guests (non-officiating priests or Levites and the poor, Deut 12:18; 16:11). Thus, God hosted the meal, communing with the worshiper and other participants. This sacrifice celebrated covering of sin, forgiveness by God, and the restoration of a right and meaningful relationship with God and with life itself (Judg 20:26; 21:4).

There were three kinds of peace offerings: (1) thank offerings in response to an unsolicited special divine blessing; (2) votive (vowed) offerings in pursuit of making a request or pledge to God; and (3) freewill offerings spontaneously presented in worship and praise.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

It lists the three different types of Peace Offerings: Thanks, Votive (vowed) and Freewill. And the definition of the freewill offering is an offering that is spontaneously presented in worship and praise.

I then decided that if I had been told that freewill is not in the Bible and I just found it during my daily Bible reading then how many other times is that word listed in the Bible and what is the context. I discovered that the word freewill is mentioned 22 times in the NIV all in the Old Testament and all of them referring to the freewill offering. 18 of those dealt with the rules for the offering (where, when, how etc), 3 times it talks of people lifting up the offering and once God is chastising Israel and mentions how they brag about their freewill offering. I also checked it in the KJV and the word came up 17 times again all of them in the Old Testament, 16 of which have to do with the offering itself and one in reference (Ezra 7:13) to who had the freewill to go to Jereusalem in letter from Artexerxes. Out of those 16 concerning the offering, 14 again dealt with rules and how to, etc. 1 discussed a particular person who was in charge of doing the offering and one that was someone lifting up a free will offering of the mouth in Psalm 119:108

In this definition there are two word’s that really stuck out; freewill and spontaneous.

I looked up freewill in the Strong’s Greek/Hebrew Dictionary and it came up with the follow translations for the word.

OT:5071
nedabah (ned-aw-baw'); from OT:5068; properly (abstractly) spontaneity, or (adjectively) spontaneous; also (concretely) a spontaneous or (by inference, in plural) abundant gift:

KJV - free (-will) offering, freely, plentiful, voluntary (-ily, offering), willing (-ly), offering).
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:5069
nedab (Aramaic) (ned-ab'); corresponding to OT:5068; be (or give) liberal (-ly):

KJV - (be minded of ... own) freewill (offering), offer freely (willingly).
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Freewill is defined in the Webster’s Dictionary as “voluntary or spontaneous. Voluntary choice or decision, freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.

I find it interesting that in both the Hebrew and the English definitions freewill refers to being voluntary or spontaneous. I then decided to look up the definitions for voluntary and spontaneous.

vol•un•tary:
Pronunciation: 'vä-l&n-"ter-E Function: adjectiveEtymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French voluntarie, from Latin voluntarius, from voluntas will, from velle to will, wish -- more at will
1 : proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent
2 : unconstrained by interference : SELF-DETERMINING
3 : done by design or intention : INTENTIONAL
4 : of, relating to, subject to, or regulated by the will
5 : having power of free choice
6 : provided or supported by voluntary action
7 : acting or done of one's own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation

spon•ta•ne•ous:
Pronunciation: spän-'tA-nE-&s Function: adjective Etymology: Late Latin spontaneus, from Latin sponte of one's free will, voluntarily
1 : proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint
2 : arising from a momentary impulse
3 : controlled and directed internally : SELF-ACTING
4 : produced without being planted or without human labor : INDIGENOUS
5 : developing or occurring without apparent external influence, force, cause, or treatment
6 : not apparently contrived or manipulated : NATURAL

Another word that popped up into my head was the word choose because in Deut 30:19 we are given the option to choose life and death, blessings and cursings and God tells us to “choose” life. This shows me freewill. I checked how many times the word choose came up in the Bible. In the NIV 66 times and KJV 59 times both in the Old and New Testaments. Many times it is talking about God choosing and sometimes it is talking about us choosing. God has shown me that we are made in his image and he chooses. Since we are made in his image we also choose. I also looked up choose in the dictionary both Hebrew and Websters. This is what I came up with.

OT:977
bachar (baw-khar'); a primitive root; properly, to try, i.e. (by implication) select:

KJV - acceptable, appoint, choose (choice), excellent, join, be rather, require.

(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:972
bachiyr (baw-kheer'); from OT:977; select:

KJV - choose, chosen one, elect.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:1262
barah (baw-raw'); a primitive root; to select; also (as denominative from OT:1250) to feed; also (as equivalent to OT:1305) to render clear (Eccl 3:18):

KJV - choose, (cause to) eat, manifest, (give) meat.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:6901
qabal (kaw-bal'); a primitive root; to admit, i.e. take (literally or figuratively):

KJV - choose, (take) hold, receive, (under-) take.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

OT:1254
bara' (baw-raw'); a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): -choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

NT:138
haireomai (hahee-reh'-om-ahee); probably akin to NT:142; to take for oneself, i.e. to prefer:

KJV - choose. Some of the forms are borrowed from a cognate hellomai (hel'-lom-ahee); which is otherwise obsolete.
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Websters definition:
choose: Pronunciation: 'chüz Function: verbInflected Form(s): chose /'chOz/; cho•sen /'chO-z&n/; choos•ing /'chü-zi[ng]/ Etymology: Middle English chosen, from Old English cEosan; akin to Old High German kiosan to choose, Latin gustare to taste transitive verb
1 a : to select freely and after consideration b : to decide on especially by vote : ELECT
2 a : to have a preference for b : DECIDE
intransitive verb
1 : to make a selection
2 : to take an alternative -- used after cannot and usually followed by but

1choice:
Pronunciation: 'chois Function: noun Etymology: Middle English chois, from Anglo-French, from choisir to choose, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German kiosan to choose -- more at CHOOSE
1 : the act of choosing : SELECTION
2 : power of choosing : OPTION
3 a : the best part : CREAM b : a person or thing chosen
4 : a number and variety to choose among

5 : care in selecting
6 : a grade of meat between prime and good

If free will means voluntary or spontaneous and voluntary is defined as making a choice and choice means to choose and choose means to select, well frankly it is clear to me that I have been given the ability to select, which means to choose, which is my choice to voluntarily and exercise my freewill to praise and worship God or to choose him which is life and blessings.

What is the freewill offering again? Remember according to the Nelson’s Bible Dictionary it is an offering spontaneously presented in worship and praise. Or another way to look at it is an impulsive or sudden choice to praise and worship God. God is showing me here that he is giving me a choice to follow him or not. This was not an offering that was forced on them, it was an offering that they chose to do. Why because they wanted to. Why wouldn’t this apply today. I have the freedom to choose whether I want to praise and worship my Lord and savior or not. I praise God to opening my eyes to this.

Someone told me that to say that if I have a freewill than I am saying I am more powerful than God. My will is more powerful or overrides his. I never said my will was stronger than his but I am saying I do have the ability to exercise my freewill and choose him. I have been saying that for sometime but I to never saw it in the Bible I happened to come across a verse in my daily Bible reading that mentioned “freewill” and through the wisdom of God and his grace in my life he has put into my heart I can choose to worship and praise him, to send up my own freewill offering or not. Am I still chosen of God. Yes as believers we are all chosen. But how did I get to that point. By using my freewill and choosing him.

It is pretty obvious to me. If you want to disagree, that is ok. I feel God has really revealed a lot to me this morning. I say we have a freewill, the freedom to choose. If you say we don’t have a “freewill” or the freedom to choose then well, that is your choice. I don’t want to fight over it. I just wanted to take the time to share what I have found out.

PRAYER:
Father, I don’t know where to begin but to say thank you so very much for this revelation in my heart today. Man do I ever feel revived because of this. I thank you so much for showing me and teaching me. I know I am growing in your word and in your will for my life. Father I praise you and worship you. Not because I have to but because I want to. Father thank you so much. In the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, 12 February 2007
Bad Day
SCRITPURE: Psalm 13
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

OBSERVATION:
How long, Lord. Will you forget who I am for eternity. How long will you hide your face? How long must I have conflict in my heart and thoughts. How long will my enemy defeat me? Look on me and answer, Father. Bring light to me or I will die. My enemy will say that they have defeated me and they will celebrate my defeat. But I do trust in you, in your love, in your salvation. I will praise your name Lord in song because you have been good to me.

APPLICATION:
This Psalm starts of kind of somber. I have felt like this today. I have questioned why I am feeling the way I am. Why things aren’t going the way I want. Why am I losing patience with the ones I love. Why don’t I feel the peace of God. But this Psalm reminds me that he loves me. That I do trust in him and I realize that God has saved me. He does love me and will always love me. He hasn’t left me. He is still there. Even though I can’t see him and I don’t feel him. He is there.

PRAYER:
Father, I thank you so much for still being there for me. Lord I have just had a tough time today. I haven’t felt you and I haven’t felt much like being around people. God thank you so much for all that you have done for me. I know that you love me. I pray for a better day tomorrow. I want to see you. Lord, I also lift up my job situation to you. I pray that I recognize and have wisdom on the door that is open for me. Is it in trucking or is it somewhere else. I pray this in your name. Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 9:26 PM CST
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Friday, 2 February 2007
THE OBEDIENT HERO, ANANIAS
SCRIPTURE: Acts 9:10-19
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered. 11 The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight." 13 "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name." 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name." 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

OBSERVATION:
In the town of Damascus, there lived a disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision and told him to “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul of Tarsus, because he is praying. He is seeing you in a vision coming to him and placing your hands on him so that he can see again. Ananias said that he had heard many things about Saul and all the bad things he had done to Christians in Jerusalem. That he has come to arrest anyone who calls on your name, this was given to him by the chief priests. The Lord told Ananias to Go because Saul was chosen as his way to bring the name of Christ to the Gentiles and to the people of Israel. Saul would be shown how much he would have to suffer because of the name of Jesus. Ananias went to the house that Saul was in and laid his hands on him, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who had appeared to you as you were coming here, has sent me to you so that you will see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something similar to what scales would look like fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He got up and was baptized and the ate and regained his strength.

APPLICATION:
You know, most people when they hear the name Ananias, they think of the Ananias and Saphira just a few chapters before. People know about the story of Paul on the road to Damascus. But how many people have stopped and thought about the bravery of Ananias. I mean I look at it this way. He has just been told that he is to go and lay hands on Saul of Tarsus, the man responsible for the arresting and persecution of many Christians and the Lord is now telling you to go and lay hands on and pray for him. I imagine that I probably would have been scared half out of my mind and I imagine that he was as well. But despite the fact that he was concerned, because he had heard the stories about Saul, he still went and did the Lord’s bidding and helped launch the ministry of one of the greatest hero’s in the Bible, a man that God used mightily and a man fully on fire for God. This is an inspiration for me for you never know, I might be asked to do something for God someday, that is just as scary, but God could use me, and I could launch the career of the next Paul. I will never know. I could very well be the little known man, that launched the next Paul. But I will never find out if I don’t act in obedience no matter how scared I am. He stepped out in faith, so should I.

PRAYER:
Father, throughout your word, you have used time and time again people who it seems at first are small and insignificant and they end up doing great things. Father I pray that when the time comes that even when I am troubled and scared about what I am about to face, that I am obedient. I want to grow to the point that I am obedient in what you tell me. Father, I have a ways to go in that, but I am growing day by day. Thank you Father for teaching me how to trust in you in adversity. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 12:01 AM CST
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Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Am I There Yet
SCRIPTURE: Acts 7:54-60
54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

OBSERVATION:
When Stephen finished speaking, the crowd was angry at him. But Stephen, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the Glory of God with Jesus standing to the right of the Father. As he looked up he said, “Look, I see heaven and Jesus is standing on the right hand of God.” When he said this the crowd covered their ears, screaming as loud as the possibly could. Then they charged him and dragged him out of the city and began to throw stones at him. The crowd laid their clothes at the feet of a man named Saul. As they were throwing stones at Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He then fell down on his hands and knees and cried out, “Lord, forgive them of this sin.” After saying this he died.

APPLICATION:
There are many tragedies that happen in the Bible, but few are more tragic than the stoning of Stephen. Stephen was a powerful man of God, filled with the Holy Spirit and on fire for Jesus. He challenged the religious people of his time and died for his faith in Christ.

What amazes me the most is how he did not curse them or condemn them in anyway, but he forgave them. He still showed compassion and love for them. Only someone fully in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit could accomplish this in this kind of trial.

Now it is time for a dose of reality. The question I have to ask myself is, am I to that point? I would like to say that I am but then I would not only be lying to God, but I would be lying to myself. Am I closer this year than last year? Yes, but I am still not to the point where I know that I could forgive people while they are killing me. I know that I still need to work on loving people more. And how can I do that? By loving God even more. In order to forgive I have to first love. And I will admit that I don’t love people all the time.

PRAYER:
Father, I do love you. You know that I love you, but you also know that I still have a tendency to harbor anger at people in my heart. I have a long way to go in learning how you are able to fully love us even though we hurt you. I am stronger in you but I still have a journey ahead of me. Only when I truly put away the thoughts of my carnal man and operate in your wisdom can I love people, the way you love me. I know I will get there but I can’t do it without you. Thank you Father for teaching me patience and love. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 7:50 PM CST
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Sunday, 28 January 2007
JUST AN AVERAGE JOE, WITH THE POWER OF GOD
SCRIPTURE: Acts 4:13
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

OBSERVATION:
The Pharisees and religious leaders of the day saw how courageous that Peter and John were and took notice that they were just an average person, not schooled and they were surprised and they remembered that they had been with Jesus.

APPLICATOIN:
Any Christian knows that Peter and John were just ordinary men when they were called by Jesus. Just your average person. But as you read through the gospels and then through Acts and the remaining books of the Bible then you see how the grace of God through the Holy Spirit gave them the strength to stand and talk boldly the gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ. If God can use fishermen and others who have no formal schooling on the word of God, then I know that the Father can use me like he used them. I need to let the Holy Spirit guide me and I know that I will be able to stand up against the Pharisees and the evil of today. God’s grace will be sufficient for me and will strengthen me to speak boldly in wisdom and understanding.

PRAYER:
Father , I thank you for the Holy Spirit lifting me up and giving me the strength I need to stand up and speak boldly your gospel of love and salvation. Jesus is the only way to you and I know your power in me is going to help me stand on the promises of your covenant. You have promised that you will never leave me or forsake me and it is because of that promise I know that I can stand against any foe or odds that may come my way. You give me the strength I need to stand in the fire and know that you are there for me. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 7:52 PM CST
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Thursday, 25 January 2007
REMEMBERING AND TELLING
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 13:8-9
8 On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' 9 This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand.

OBSERVATION:
On the day of the Passover the fathers were to tell their sons that the reason they do the things the way they are doing because the Lord delivered them from Egypt. They did this to remember that they are to keep the Lord’s instructions of the Passover in their hearts because the Lord is the one who brought them out of Egypt by his power.

APPLICATION:
When I read this today, God placed it in my heart to remember what he has done for me. He has forgiven me. He has provided his plan of salvation for my life. He has delivered me from the death to come because of my sins which is separation from. It is a reminder of how much he truly loves me. It reminds me that the blood of his Son has been placed on the door frame of my life so that the death passes over me. He gave his Son for me and not just me but all mankind. Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to give himself as a sacrificial lamb on my behalf and behalf of the whole world. For me to keep this love bottled up inside does no good. I am to tell people how much the Father truly loves his children. How that he loves us so much that he was willing to save us despite how much it was hurting him to see his Son suffer on the cross. How can I keep that bottled up inside me, especially when it is ready to explode. If I keep it inside all it does is benefit me to a measure. But if I let that river of life burst through the dam of my heart and spill out into the world, it not only benefits me but all those around me and it benefits the kingdom of God.

PRAYER:
Heavenly Father I pray that this river of life that is on the inside of me because of the sacrifice made with the blood of Jesus, flows out of my heart and into the world so that I can be used to better benefit your kingdom. Thank you Father for forgiving me and blessing me. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 4:37 PM CST
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Wednesday, 24 January 2007
"On The Road"
SCRIPTURE: Luke 24:13-32
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19 "What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." 25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

OBSERVATION:
Two men were walking on the Road to Emmaus when Jesus appeared with the, though they didn’t know it was him. They were discussing the events of the last few days and Jesus asked them about them. When they told them about the events of Jesus death, burial and how that his body was no longer in the tomb. Jesus told them about what the prophets had said about those very events and how that Christ had to suffer. As they approached the village they were going to, Jesus acted like he was going further but the men asked him to stay with them for the evening because the day was almost over. So he went to stay with them and as they sat down to eat, Jesus picked up the bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they realized it was Jesus and then he disappeared. They then asked, “Were our hearts not on fire inside us while the talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?”

APPLICATION:
As a Christian, I am traveling on the road of salvation. Just like these men I have a destination and I do meet people along the way. And through some of these people, Jesus reveals himself to me. Some times Jesus reveals himself to others through me while they are on their road. I know that when I get in the mode of Christ, which I will admit I don’t always do, his word does burn within me. My focus is more clear. How much I long for God to mold and form me to be more like Christ and be that stranger that some finds on their road. I still struggle with knowing how and where God is using me and recognizing those open doors but by the Grace of God, his power in my weakness, I am growing more and more everyday.

PRAYER:
Father, in heaven. Mold me in to the servant that you want me to be. I am weak but by your grace, you have made me strong. Through you Lord, I am a light unto the world. Open my eyes and help me recognize when I am growing and when you open a door for me to go through. Lord I thank you for surrounding me with people that provide good counsel and wisdom in my life. I want to the wise and full of understanding. Lord, put me on the road that someone else is traveling so that they may see Jesus in me. Thank you for walking with me in my journey and thank you for loving me the way that you do. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen


Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 12:43 PM CST
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Friday, 19 January 2007
JOYOUS PRAISE
SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:28-40
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.'" 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34 They replied, "The Lord needs it." 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

OBSERVATION:
As Jesus was on the road to Jerusalem and as he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the town ahead of you and as you come into the town you will see a colt, that no one has never ridden, tied up there. Untie the colt and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.” The disciples went into the town and found everything just as Jesus said they would be. As they were untying the colt the disciples were asked by the owners of the colt, “Why are you untying it?” The disciples told them, “The Lord needs it.” The brought the colt to Jesus, placed a cloak on it and sat Jesus on the colt. As Jesus went along the road, people put their cloaks across the road. As he approached the place where the road goes down to the Mount of Olives the disciples began to rejoice and praise God in a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” Some of the Pharisees told Jesus, “Tell your disciples to be quiet.” Jesus told them, “I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones would cry out.”

APPLICATION:
I love this story, even though I know that a week later that many of the people praising Jesus at this time, were the ones yelling “Crucify Him.” What I see God showing me here is how I should be praising him. I should be praising him because I love him. I should not do it because I am supposed to but I am to praise him because it is in my heart to do so. I think it is pretty neat how that Jesus told the Pharisees here that even if the disciples stopped that the stones would cry out. I see here that so much love and praise for the Lord was being lifted that earth itself couldn’t contain it and that it would cry out as well. That is very powerful to me because I see here the power that genuine, heartfelt praise can have in my life. I shouldn’t see praise as a duty but as a choice to show how much I love the Lord and what he has done for me and the world. I want my prayers, song, talk, walk, everything to show my love for him. That is the way it should be.

PRAYER:
Lord, I praise you so much for all things. I praise you in this prayer and I want to tell you that I love you. I praise you for the time I am having with my family. Lord, you complete me so much that I want to praise you even though my current situation is trying to tell me to turn against you. Lord, you are with me and love me know matter what my circumstances are. Thank you Lord for loving me and thank you Lord for blessing me. Thank you Lord for making me whole and saving my soul. Amen.

Posted by planet/jngrimes28 at 10:49 PM CST
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