Jim, the Chairman of the Deacons, had been ill for quite some time. His pastor had been very faithful in visiting him several times each week. Every time he visited him, he would read a passage of Scripture from his Bible and pray with him.
On this particular day he forgot his Bible and asked, “May I borrow your Bible, Jim?”
“Certainly. Son,” he shouted, “bring my favorite book. The Pastor wants to read something to me.”
Immediately his son appeared and handed the Pastor his “favorite book” - the TV Guide.
A Psalmist spoke of his favorite book with these words: “I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in Your Word...never take Your word of truth from my mouth for I have put my hope in Your laws...I will obey Your laws for ever and ever.”
Notice the significance of what the Psalmist read: When he sought the “ultimate” truth he turned to the Word of God. No matter who challenged his beliefs he would answer them with God’s truth. In God’s Word we find the best way to live and the most comfortable way to die. It answers all of our questions, contains a solution for every one of our problems and a cure for all of our ills.
It also provides the reason for being optimistic. “I will walk, in freedom!” No bondage. No worries. No fears. No doubts. Nothing in this world can take away the gracious gifts God gives us if we accept His Word.
Prayer: How thankful we are, Father, for Your Word that contains a solution for every problem in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 119:42 then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
After a sermon on “Hospitality Evangelism” the Harts were convinced that they should invite their unsaved neighbors to dinner. Their pastor clearly and carefully explained a process to witness God’s plan of salvation after the meal.
On the night of the dinner, the host and hostess were both anxious to begin and end the evening with real-life situations and Christian standards that presented “God at work in their household.”
After sitting down for dinner, Mr. Hart said to five-year-old Bruce, “Would you please say grace?”
Shy and overcome by the drama of the situation he said, “I don’t know what to say.” Naturally, there was an awkward pause while they attempted to recover from this serious setback to their strategy to witness to their neighbors.
“Well, dear,” said Mrs. Hart with a forced smile, “just say what Daddy said at breakfast this morning.”
Obediently, Bruce folded his hands, bowed his head and said, “Oh, God, we’ve got those horrible neighbors coming to dinner tonight.”
Truth came straight from Bruce’s heart because he was filled with innocence and openness, trust and honesty. Bruce spoke the truth naturally because his heart was pure!
But what about the rest of us? Do we speak the truth?
Truth comes from our hearts when we least expect it. And it comes from what we put into our hearts. David explained it this way: “You desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” Our God is a God of truth and wants His character to be within us and flow from us. If we fill our hearts with His Word, His truth will flow from us.
Prayer: Father, give us no rest until we fill the smallest space in our hearts with Your Word so we live and speak Your truth each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 51:6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. 
Great golfers know the meaning of follow through. In fact, they have a saying that sums up its importance: “Where you end up tells a lot about how you got there.” In other words, the lack of follow through severely limits the distance the golf ball will travel.
As in golf, so in the Christian life: follow through is what matters most!
On one occasion, when giving instructions about what it meant to be one of His disciples Jesus said this: “Truly you are my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” In only a few words, Jesus presents a complete picture of discipleship.
Christian discipleship begins with accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord. It acknowledges our sinful condition and that He alone can save us by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave.
Christian discipleship requires that we constantly remain in God’s Word. We must listen carefully to the voice of God that speaks to us as we read and meditate on His Word and spend time with Him in prayer. Unless we take time to be with Him and open our minds and hearts to Him we will never come to know Him.
Christian discipleship demands that we live a life of obedience to the teachings of God’s Word. We study God’s Word to learn what He would have us to do and live as He would have us to live. The truth that Jesus gave us is designed for action not intellectual satisfaction!
Follow through for the Christian means that we behave what we profess to believe. It is being faithful to Jesus’ teachings.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be more than believers who simply know what You taught. May we surrender our lives completely to You and live Your truth each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The defendant was being sworn in before he was to testify. After placing his hand on the Bible he was asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”
“I do,” he answered.
“Now,” asked the judge, “what do you have to say in your defense?”
“Your Honor,” he replied, “with the restrictions you’ve placed on me, I can’t say anything!”
Lying is as old as recorded history. It was Satan who told the first lie in the Garden of Eden when he said to Eve, “You won’t die.” In one brief sentence he was able to bring into question all of the promises and privileges that God offered Adam and Eve. Ever since that day telling lies to deceive and destroy others, has been a common practice.
Paul has some strong advice for Christians, however. He says, “So, stop telling lies!” Because the Holy Spirit has given us a new nature, we are to behave in new ways. One of them is to speak the truth, at all times, in love.
God has blessed us with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And if the Lord controls us, He will control what we say. He knows our hearts and we know His truth. Whenever we speak the truth filled with His love, it can become a beautiful thing to those around us.
Prayer: Give us courage, Father, to surrender our minds and our mouths to You and always speak honestly and honorably. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
Solomon refuses to let us forget the theme of Proverbs. So, once again he reminds us of its significance and then demonstrates how we are to apply it to our daily activities and its effect on our present life and ultimately our life with Him in eternity. “The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Perhaps a more accurate and easily understood way to translate this verse is “The fear of the Lord is life indeed!” Life, when lived in this manner means that those who accept and live life the way God designed it to be “need never fear the Lord.”

It is easy to lose sight of what God intended life to be. If we look at life the way God created us to be a reflection of His image, we will more likely than not discover that it is quite different from how we plan to live. It is not “adding” the fear of God to our lives, but living life as God specifically designed it to be and being afraid of not meeting His expectations. God created man to have a “divine dimension” above and beyond our “humanity.” God intended our manner of living to be evident and obvious to others.

First, God “designed” us to be devoted to Him alone. He is at the center of our “soul” - the sum total of our life - including our feelings, thoughts and actions. Everything we think and feel and do are all focused on pleasing Him. We are dedicated to building His Kingdom on earth by using the gifts and talents He has given us to honor Him. It is living life in, through and for Him.

Secondly, whatever we do proceeds or has its origins in Him. Others see His character in us: His love and grace, mercy and forgiveness; His compassion and comfort and care of and for others. We will do His work in His world by doing His will.

Finally, we do these “things” by applying His wisdom to our lives and following His guidance every moment of every day.

Prayer:  Lord, all this must seem impossible. But it is possible if we surrender our lives to You and follow Your leadership. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 19:22 What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.

In ancient Greece the theaters had no scenery and the actors wore no costumes. To portray a character, however, they carried hand-held masks which they would place in front of their faces. It was designed to portray the character of the person in the role they were playing. They would walk onto the stage, mask in hand, and when speaking, hold it before their face.

The word hypocrisy, as we know it today, had its roots in the Greek word hupokrisis. It meant “acting a part in a play or feigning to be what one is not.” In other words, a hypocrite is one who wears a “mask” to hide their real identity.

John addressed hypocrisy when he wrote, “If someone says I belong to God, but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth.” Strong words that leave no “wiggle room.”

True Christian faith results in consistent Christian living. John is confronting all of us because Christian faith results in Christian living and Christian service. If we profess to be “Christian” but do not demonstrate Christlike behavior in “word and deed,” we are wearing a mask to present ourselves as someone other than who we truly are. We are “feigning” to be who we are not.

John is encouraging us to look at our behavior in the light of God’s Word. He says candidly that “the way we act gives us the assurance that we belong to Christ!”

Prayer: Father, we are all capable of hiding who we truly are from others. But we cannot hide ourselves from You. May we come out of hiding and be truly Christians. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 John 2:4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.
It was the first day in her new position as the secretary to the president. As she was being given her first task, she wanted to appear confident and competent.

Listening carefully he said to her, “These accounts that I am giving you are very important. They are the foundation of our income. I want you to go over each of them at least three times to make sure that all of the numbers are correct before you return them to me. Your results must be right!”

Working anxiously for quite some time, she finally completed her task. She went to him and handed him the results of her efforts. As he took the papers from her hands she said, “Sir, I want you to know that I exceeded your expectations. I went over each page ten times and there are ten different answers.”

When asked the way to heaven and eternal life, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

This statement in John’s Gospel is one of the most basic and important passages in all of Scripture. If anyone anywhere wants to know the way to God and eternal life, this is the one and only answer. Jesus, with no hesitation, declared once and for all that He is the Way. Some may argue that this declaration and proclamation is too narrow. But in all reality, it is wide enough for anyone, anywhere to enter at any time.

Prayer: Thank You, Heavenly Father, for sending Your one and only Son into the world to become, if we choose, Our Savior and the Way to eternal life with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: John 14 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.(Read more...)
It was a tense trial. The man who was facing serious charges needed someone to testify to his trustworthiness. One of his friends was called to the stand as a witness. He was asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

He quietly responded, “Yes I do.”

The judge turned to him and asked, “Do you understand the meaning of that oath?”

“Yes, your Honor, I do,” he replied. And then added, “But under those conditions I don’t have much to say.”

What a careful, cautious response. He had much that he could say, but he was clear about what he would not say.

Whatever we put into our minds determines what comes out of our mouths and is seen in our behavior. Paul advised us to program our minds to “Think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and worthy of praise.” What a challenge!

If we take Paul’s advice seriously and pause to consider what we allow to enter our minds, we might be quite surprised. As people of “habits” we do things out of routine that have been established over the years.

Whatever we look at or read, think on or talk about will influence our minds and hearts. Take care!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, fill our minds with thoughts that come from Your Word that will draw us so close to You that we will speak words of praise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Read Colossians 3:9

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the phrase, “the naked truth?”

It’s because of an old fable. The mythical character Falsehood, who embodied the essence of all lies, so it says, stole the character Truth’s clothes. Truth, unwilling to dress in Falsehood’s garments, chose to go naked. Thereafter the character of Truth, when portrayed in classical paintings and other art, was unclothed.

Dare to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. No one needs Falsehood’s gift of gab or garb.

There’s a lie of speech. It’s easy to make up a story when making an excuse for not doing, or for not having done, something.

There’s a lie of silence. Some furnish approval of sin or fail to apprise of sin by silence.

But the Bible says, “Lie not.”

Prayer: Father, take from my life all dishonest and dishonorable things, take from my mind all untrue and ugly thoughts, take from my lips all deceitful and damaging words: through Christ, our Lord. Amen.