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He That Is Forgiven Much Loves Much

Luke 7:36-8:3 In response to the those who questioned His willingness to allow a woman who was a sinner to wash His feet, Jesus told a parable: "There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged" (Luke 7:41-43, KJV).

The Lord Is One God

Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25 The Jewish people say this phrase, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord," whenever they are gathered together at a temple or synagogue. Jewish people and Christians do have much in common. Both are sons of Abraham, both are believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and both are chosen by God to be a special people.

What We See in Others Is in Ourselves

Luke 6:39-7:10 So often I stand in judgment of others, and soon discover I am guilty of the very same things I see critically in others. You've heard the old expression, "When you point your finger at someone, four fingers are pointing back at you." Isaiah 58 speaks of God's chosen fast, and one of the things listed we need to fast from is the pointing of the finger. If our church could go on such a fast, we would have unity in the church.

Prayer Vigils

Luke 6:12-38 Over the years I have experienced many prayer vigils. One particularly comes to mind. Our little neighborhood women's prayer group decided to spend all night in prayer at my home. We tried to pray from 8 at night to 8 in the morning. We failed miserably. We kept falling asleep, and often we talked more than we prayed simply because we knew if we closed our eyes we would be off to sleep again. Jesus, however, did not have any problem spending a whole night in prayer. This scripture says Jesus continued all night in prayer.

God's Divine Meat Grinder

Psalm 66:1-20 Have you ever been through God's divine meat grinder? Some people today do not believe that God tests us, but the Bible says clearly that we are tested by the Lord. The request by God for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac was clearly a test from God. God, however, is not the tempter. James tells us that we are led astray by our own lusts and then tempted. He says, "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil" (James 1:13).

The Kingdom of Heaven: Here or Near?

"Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons." (Matthew 10:7-8, NLT)

Choosing to Enter God's Presence

Psalm 65:1-13 It was a cold wintry day, and someone was knocking violently at my door. I looked through the peephole to discover two frightened young ladies who seemed desperate. Then I heard dogs barking in the background. I opened the door, and they said, "Please let us in!! Some dogs are chasing us!!" They were going door to door selling magazines, and some neighborhood dogs were following them. I let them in quickly, and they ended up staying with me for two hours. They were so relieved to find a refuge in my home. After some conversation and some hot tea, one of the ladies asked, "Don't you get lonely in this big house?" My husband was at work, and my children were at school. I answered, "No, I never get lonely because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are always with me, and we have a tea party every day." Suddenly one of the ladies said with urgency in her voice, "We've got to go now." I guess they thought I was crazy, but at least my statement finally made them leave.

Discretion

Proverbs 11:22 Today's proverb is one of my favorites. Whenever I meet a woman who lacks discretion, immediately I have this mental picture of a pig with a beautiful gold-jeweled ring in her snout. Sometimes I have to battle this image in my mind, because it does cause me to be closed to anything this woman might have to say.

The Anointing for Ministry

Luke 4:1-32 So many in this day are seeking the anointing, but few realize that we already have the anointing. We have the same anointing for ministry that Jesus had. Isaiah lists seven aspects of this anointing of the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 11:1-2:

Casting Our Cares Upon Jesus

Psalm 62:1-12 David gives excellent advice in the psalm. He exhorts us to trust in the Lord at all times and to pour out our concerns and cares before Him. I learned how much God does love for us to cast our cares upon Him several years ago.

Jochebed

Numbers 26:52-28:14 One morning I was waking from a night's sleep, and I heard the name "Jochebed" in my spirit. I knew it was the Lord calling me Jochebed. I got up and looked up the name in the Strong's Concordance and found that Jochebed was the mother of two sons and a daughter. Both of her sons were priests. She was the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. The name Jochebed in Hebrew means "the Lord glorified."

A Good Prayer for Children

Luke 2:36-52 From the time my boys were very young I prayed they would all have the same excellent spirit that Daniel had. Daniel had favor with man, and he had much wisdom. He also lived to be an old man. In this passage we see Jesus as a young boy honoring both His heavenly Father and His earthly father. Even though He knew He had to be about His Father's business, He was willing to subject Himself to Mary and Joseph and return with them to their home when they found Him in the temple. Our pastor recently preached a good sermon about how Mary should have first looked in the temple for Jesus because it was considered the house of God. She knew Jesus was the Son of God. After looking for three days, Mary and Joseph finally found Jesus among the doctors in the temple. He was intently listening, but He also shared with them some of His thoughts. They were astonished at His wisdom. The Bible tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth and increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.

The Lord Is My Defense

Psalm 59:1-17 When we were in St. Petersburg, Russia, for an evangelical music festival designed to reach Jewish people, one of the musicians sang a song that I'll never forget. The phrase "He is my defense" was repeated over and over again in the song. That phrase still resounds in my spiritual ears. God truly is our defense, and David knew this even though his enemies surrounded him and used their tongues as swords against him. He knew that God was his strong defense. David said, "God shall let me see my desire upon my enemies."

Bringing Heaven to Earth

Jesus' mission of revealing the kingdom could be identified with one word: righteousness. We are told, "For the kingdom of God is…righteousness" (Romans 14:17, NKJV). Jesus tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). To put it simply, righteousness means "right in the eyes of God."

God Said It, I Believe It, I Receive It

Numbers 22:21-23:30 This passage relates the story of Balaam, a prophet who was certainly not perfect, but a prophet who knew God was true to His Word. Balaam said, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Num. 23:19, KJV).

When Nothing Is Impossible

Luke 1:26-56 We like to quote so often the phrase in this passage, "For with God nothing shall be impossible." If God did not have to work through men, His power on earth would be unlimited. However, even though nothing is impossible with God and He does all things well, the stark reality is that we as Christians do not allow Him to do the impossible in our lives because of our lack of faith. The story comes to mind when the disciples came to Jesus for help in casting a deaf and dumb spirit out of a little boy. Jesus told them they were unable to do this because of their lack of faith. Then He said, "O faithless generation." Nothing is impossible with God when we put our complete faith and trust in Him.

When to Trust in the Lord

Psalm 56:1-13 The Bible exhorts us in many verses to trust in the Lord at all times. There is, however, a special time when we need to say aloud, "I trust in the Lord." That special time is when fear comes upon us. David writes in this psalm,"What time I am afraid, I will trust in You." If you are familiar with David's history, you will know he was provided with many opportunities to be afraid. He constantly was surrounded by enemies, and in the psalms David reveals some of the secrets to overcoming fear. He certainly became an expert at this. David was quite sure that fear would always present its cold, clammy handshake throughout his life. David, however, learned not to shake hands with the devil and receive fear.

The Perfect Sin Sacrifice

Mark 16:1-20 God is a God of infinite detail. He made sure that Jesus fulfilled every requirement for a sin sacrifice according to His laws. The account in Mark of Mary Magdalene bringing sweet spices on the Sabbath to anoint Jesus' body reveals a very important fact about Jesus' burial.

Pleasing Men

Mark 15:1-47 This passage in Mark gives the details of what led to the crucifixion of our Lord. Pilate was warned by his wife in a dream not to harm Jesus, but Pilate was a man pleaser. We hear these chilling words: "And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified" (Mark 15:15, KJV).

The Glory of God

Numbers 14:1-15:16 God told Moses, "As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." Moses was pleading with God not to destroy the Israelites for their disobedience. He made his appeal on the basis that all of Israel's enemies would see their destruction and would believe that God was not able to save them. God's response was that His ultimate plan for the earth would be fulfilled no matter how disobedient man was. He told Moses that the day will come when His glory will fill the whole earth.

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