Friday, May 14, 2021

Nothing But The Truth!

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 no matter the situation or cost?

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: You desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Psalm 51:6

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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Taking The First Step

Addictions – whether alcohol, another kind of drug, food, or sexual addiction – will lead to certain destruction and finally death unless the addict completely stops engaging in the self-destroying behavior. As simple as that sounds, it is not easy to do. Why? Because addicts must take “the first step” – admit their addiction, its pervasive power over every aspect of their lives, and finally recognize their inability to control or stop their self-destroying behavior and surrender that addiction to God.

David said it one way and Paul another way. David said, “I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only have I sinned.” And Paul said, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.” Two powerful statements from two of God’s most honored servants that are different in words yet identical in meaning. Two men crying out to God in a moment of extreme desperation asking for God’s love, mercy, grace, salvation, and healing. It describes their battle with sin, their inadequacies to be victorious over sin, and their desire to please and honor God.

We can never underestimate the strong hold that sin has in and over our lives. Nor do we recognize our powerlessness to overcome sin in our own strength. Unfortunately, one of the most used talents Satan gives to us is denial. If we do not admit that there is sin in our lives, we do not have to deal with or confront it. We too easily enjoy our sins and are willing to live with them, unaware that they are slowly destroying us.

Robert Burns said that it would be wonderful if someone could give us a gift that would enable us to see ourselves as others see us. God is that “One” and did it in His Word and in the life of His Son. Now it is up to us to “admit what is” and call on Him for His salvation.

Prayer: It is too easy, Lord, to deceive ourselves by denying the dominating power of sin in our lives. Convict us to admit and confess our sins. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: For I know my wrong-doing, and my sin is always in front of me. Psalm 51:3

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Turn Now!

“At the next intersection make a complete ‘U’ turn and follow the direction to return to your original route,” said a calm voice wanting to correct the driver who failed to follow the “commands” coming from his GPS. “Then, in five hundred feet, make a left turn and resume your route.” It was not normal to listen to an unknown and unfamiliar voice to provide information that would direct a driver to a destination he had never seen before.

Following directions from an unknown source is risky. Trust becomes a critical – if not the most critical – factor. How do we know if the person who is giving us advice is credible and trustworthy? Is that person looking out for our best interests or wanting to play a game with our life in the balance? No doubt all of us, at one time or another, have found ourselves on a route that was wrong – either by being careless or by making a mistake.

David decided to follow a route that would take him in the wrong direction. He went against God’s GPS. As a result, he ended up being guilty of a series of sins that came from giving in to a powerful temptation. It set in motion a chain reaction that follows the normal sequence of sin: first, he faced temptation; secondly, he refused to listen to the warning of the Holy Spirit; thirdly, he refused His route of escape; fourth, he committed the sin and then suffered the consequences of the sin on himself and others. What a tragic route he followed. But out of this tragedy there was his triumph. A “voice” said to him, “you have sinned! Repent!” And he was listening.

When David heard God’s voice, (His GPS), he admitted his sins and made a “u” turn. He asked God to forgive him, and He did. “Have mercy on me,” he cried, “and blot out my transgressions.” If we, like David, listen to His voice and follow His “commands,” He will lead us safely in paths of righteousness. Are you listening to God’s voice?

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the directions for our lives we find in Your Word. May we follow them carefully and consistently and seek Your way - always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: O God, favor me because of Your loving-kindness. Take away my wrong-doing because of the greatness of Your loving-pity. Psalm 51:1

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

A Love That Knows No Limits

Forgiveness, above everything else, is a sign of love. The more we love and value another person, the quicker we are to forgive that one if they have hurt or harmed us, injured or insulted us. Love, especially true God-like love, will forgive quickly and completely.

On the other hand, when someone does something that is designed to harm us, knowing that it will offend us deeply or cause us great pain, that is another matter completely. We normally – even usually - replace forgiveness with grudges and wait for an appropriate opportunity to get even or settle the score.

David was threatened by his guilt and needed God’s forgiveness. It is obvious in the opening verses of Psalm 51. His guilt was destroying and overwhelming him. And he could find nothing within himself that provided him any assurance that God would forgive him. He knew that he did not deserve God’s forgiveness. So, he appealed to God’s “loving kindness, His steadfast love, His great compassion, His eternal compassion” – all words that are included in the translation of God’s hesed – God’s love. Why did he find it necessary to ask God to “blot out my transgressions, wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin?” He feared God’s wrath for breaking God’s commandments,

David realized the significance and seriousness of his sins. According to the laws that governed the children of Israel at that time, God would not forgive him for what he had done. He was frightened! Where could he go? What could he do? Only one option.

Appeal to God for His mercy, faithfulness, and love. And God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love have always been and always will be available. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse of all unrighteousness.”

Prayer: How thankful we are, Father, for Your never-ending, always-available, yet undeserved love, mercy, grace, presence, and forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: O God, favor me because of Your loving-kindness. Take away my wrong-doing because of the greatness of Your loving-pity. Psalm 51:1

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Need Help? Want Hope? Here's Your Source!

On one special occasion, Queen Elizabeth decided to honor a nobleman for his service by giving him a ring. As she presented him the ring she said, “If you are ever in trouble, send the ring to me, and I will help you.” What power that ring represented.

But there is one who is much more powerful than a king or a queen, a president or a premier who is available to us: “The Mighty One, God, the Lord,” declared the Psalmist. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you will honor Me,” is His enduring promise.

The language of The Mighty One is incredibly significant. He did not say, “Don’t call me – I’ll call you when I have time.” Nor did He say, “That problem’s insignificant” or “Your concern does not matter to me,” or “I’ll refer that to someone else later.” Our God, who is richer than the richest and stronger than the strongest and the greatest friend we can have, says to each of us, “Call me when you are facing troubles and need help. I’m always available.” Is that not exciting? If you are facing a difficult problem as you are reading this Seed, you can stop – right now – and know that He is waiting for You to call on Him.

Not only is He available, but He gives us the assurance that He will deliver us. What good is His availability if He is too powerless to protect us, too weak to fight for us, or too poor to meet our needs? Whatever trouble we are facing – large or small, ours or someone we love – He guarantees a timely, effective, and positive solution. He will deliver us when we call!

But He does make one simple request of us: “You will honor me.” The goal of our prayer must not be to bring attention to ourselves for what He has done or will do for us, it must always be to bring honor to His name in all we do!

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the hope we have in You and Your willingness to hear our prayer and Your ability and willingness to answer them and show Your care for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Call on Me in the day of trouble. I will take you out of trouble, and you will honor Me. Psalm 50:15

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