Sunday, November 22, 2020

Would You Trade Places With a King?

King Solomon was the richest man in the world at his time
(1 Kings 10:23). Would you like to trade places with him? He didn’t have electricity, television, the Internet, a cell phone, air-conditioning or heating. But you do.
 
Solomon didn’t have ovens, stoves, slow-cookers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, freezers, hot and cold running water, toilets, or purified water. But you do.
 
He had to ride a donkey or camel on dusty roads. He didn’t have a car that could drive 70 mph on paved highways, or listen to his favorite music as he drove, or have a GPS to guide him to his destination. But you do.
 
King Solomon didn’t have a grocery store filled with hundreds of choices of canned food, frozen foods, boxed cereals, bottled drinks, or pastries. But you do.
 
The king didn’t have hospitals, dentists, optometrists, glasses, chiropractors, hearing aids, or medicines to treat nearly every illness imaginable. But you do.
 
Solomon didn’t have a variety of restaurants serving American food, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, fast food, or buffets. But you do.
 
He didn’t have the entertainment like today—golf, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, movies or video games. But you do.
 
Perhaps you now understand that you live with far more luxuries than kings did in ages past. So, do you still want to change places? Probably not. But Solomon might love to change places with you!
 
Thankfulness is directly tied to your perspective, and you cannot be thankful until you actually look for and see the good things that you’ve taken for granted. “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Scales of Injustice?

Now that the election is over, there have been many accusations of voter fraud. Was there massive cheating? God knows if there was, or if there wasn’t. But what if there was massive voter fraud and the cheaters get away with it? God knows how to deal with those who unjustly tip the scales.
 
Proverbs 11:1 says, "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight." In biblical times, some merchants would cheat their customers by using two sets of weights when weighing merchandise. They placed lighter stones on their scales when they were selling so they could sell a lesser quantity for a stated price. Then, when they were buying from someone, they used heavier stones so they could obtain more than the stated price.
 
They could cheat their customers without them knowing it, but they couldn't hide their sleazy tricks from God because He called it “an abomination.” An abomination is something that is disgusting and intolerable to God, but the Lord was pleased when merchants used “a just weight,” meaning they were fair and just in their dealings.
 
When people cheat, they fail to realize God is watching and will punish them. Those who falsely balance the scales will suffer harmful repercussions for their actions. Proverbs 20:17 says, “Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." At first the bread tastes sweet, but then it becomes as unpleasant as eating gravel. Even if it seems like they’re getting away with it, they will one day answer to God for their abominable deeds.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, November 8, 2020

The Only Way to Defeat Fear

Are you afraid
about the uncertainty going on in our country? King David tells us how to get rid of fear.

After David killed Goliath, Saul became jealous of David and constantly tried to kill him. David knew he would be recognized anywhere in Israel, so he fled to Gath, hoping to live inconspicuously among the Philistines. He knew Saul would never look for him there.

Goliath was from the city of Gath (1 Sam. 17:4), and it didn’t take long for the servants of king Achish to recognize David. They even knew about the song the women sang after his victory over Goliath, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (see 1 Sam. 18:7 and 21:11). David was terrified when he heard the king’s servants talking about seizing him. “Now David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish the king of Gath” (1 Sam. 21:12).

Later, David wrote Psalm 56 about his experience when the Philistines captured him in Gath. In Psalm 56:3-4, he tells us how he overcame his fear. He said, When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You … In God I have put my trust. I shall not be afraid.” David knew fear can only be defeated by replacing it with trust in God. He said, “I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). 

To “put” means to transfer something from one place to another. When you put gasoline into your car, you transfer the fuel from the gas pump to your tank. So when you put your trust in the Lord, you stop trusting in yourself and transfer your trust completely to Him. How will you know if you trust Him? Your fear will leave and you will have peace in your heart.

PRAYER: “Lord, you know that I’m afraid. I choose right now to put my trust in you. I trust you to guide me and provide for me. I will not be afraid because I believe you are in control and I trust you completely.”

For more about overcoming fear, read The Sure Cure for Worry.

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Sunday, November 1, 2020

What is the Purpose of Fasting?

Fasting is choosing to go without eating for a period of time.
Matthew 4:2 says, “And after He (Jesus) had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry” (Matt. 4:2). I love to eat, and it’s hard for me to fast 40 minutes without becoming hungry! The Bible talks a lot about fasting, but it doesn’t specifically tell us WHY we need to fast.
 
So what is the purpose of fasting? If you don’t know why you are doing something, it won’t be long before you quit doing it. Prayer and fasting often go together. I believe fasting shows God how desperately we want Him to answer our prayers. Fasting is not something that I enjoy doing, but some situations are so important that my desire to see God answer my request is more important than eating that day.
 
In Matthew 17:14-21, the disciples couldn’t cast a demon out of a boy. Jesus commanded the demon to leave the boy, and it immediately came out. He then said, “This kind (of demon) does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21). Evidently, fasting increases the effectiveness of our prayers.
 
I ask you to FAST and PRAY for the election on Tuesday. Ask God to foil the attempts at voter fraud. Pray for our nation to turn to God in repentance. Pray that God will have His way in the outcome of this election.
 
Whoever is elected, whether it’s Trump or Biden, will have to deal with the ticking time bomb of over $27,000,000,000,000 of debt That’s 27 trillion dollars of government overspending since 1970. This by itself could instigate an economic depression. That’s another big reason to pray for our country.
 
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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Some Things Will Not Happen Unless You Pray

James
was a new believer and a member of our church. One day he told me he had the same nightmare every night for eight years. Eight years earlier, when he was a professional bodyguard, he fought and killed a man who tried to attack the client he was guarding.
 
After this incident, James dreamed about fighting this man every night for eight years. Every night it took him until at least 1 a.m. before he could fall asleep. I asked him if I could pray for God to set him free from his nightmares. He said yes.
 
As I prayed for his nightmare to leave in Jesus’ name, he said, “I’m getting an excruciating headache.” Then he said, “I just felt something leave me.Immediately his head quit hurting. He became sleepy and went home to go to bed at 4 p.m. For the first time in eight years, he slept peacefully all night without dreaming of killing the man—and he never again had a problem with insomnia. This happened over a decade ago and his nightmare has never returned!
 
A counselor, who was also a member our church, heard about his recurring nightmare leaving through prayer. He told me, “We spend years counseling people who have recurring nightmares and can’t cure them.” Jesus said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).
 
Many things will not happen unless we pray for them to happen. Otherwise, why bother praying? What if I hadn't prayed for his nightmare to leave? He might still be having that terrible dream even to this day.

Prayer is the privilege God has given us where we can appeal to Him to intervene in our situations. I am asking you to FAST and PRAY for God to foil the attempts at voter fraud and He will have His way in the outcome of this election. VOTE for the candidates that uphold biblical values.
Click here to compare WHERE BIDEN & TRUMP STAND ON THE ISSUES
Click here to compare WHERE CANDIDATES IN YOUR STATE STAND ON ISSUES
 
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Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Future of Our Nation is at Stake

This might be the most important election of our country since 1864, when Abraham Lincoln defeated the Democratic nominee George McClellan. If Lincoln had lost, slavery would have continued and the country would have been torn apart.
 
Do not base your vote on who is the “most likeable.” Vote on the ISSUES.
These two presidential candidates will take the country in two completely different directions. This election will determine if our country will continue in freedom as it was founded, or if our country will turn in the opposite direction and become a socialist nation, where the government takes control of nearly every area of our lives. Some people say the United States would become like Venezuela.
 
Click here to compare WHERE BIDEN & TRUMP STAND ON THE ISSUES
 
Click here to compare WHERE CANDIDATES IN YOUR STATE STAND ON ISSUES
 
As a Christian who believes the Bible, I will vote for those candidates who make decisions based on the values in the Bible. I’ve known people who claim to believe the Bible, but vote for candidates who make decisions that go completely against the Bible. I have to wonder if those voters really do believe what they claim to believe.
 
This election will determine the future world of our children and grandchildren. VOTE for the candidates that uphold biblical values. Pray that God will foil the attempts of voter fraud and that He will have His way in the outcome of this election.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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Sunday, October 11, 2020

It's Easy to Drift From God

Every summer when I was a kid, our family would travel to Florida to go to the beach for a week. One day, I climbed on my inflatable raft and closed my eyes. The gentle waves rocked me like a baby, and I didn’t realize the current was pulling me out to sea.
 
Then a wave splashed me in the face. When I looked up, I was shocked to discover I had drifted so far away I could barely see the shore. The current pulled me away so gradually that I didn’t notice it was happening. I floated away because I wasn’t paying attention.
 
We drift away from God the same way. We quit paying attention to Him, and little by little we move away. The writer of Hebrews warns, “For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1).
 
When we quit talking with God and reading His Word each day, it’s inevitable that we’ll gradually drift away from Him. It happens so slowly it’s almost unnoticeable. Then something happens that upsets the raft and when we look up, we see how far away we are. 
 
When I realized how far I was from shore, I didn’t get back to the beach by drifting there. I had to swim against the current and paddle my way back. To return to God, you must make an effort to get close to the Lord again. Seek His face. Talk to Him throughout the day. Meditate on His Word. Make sure you are in Christian fellowship. Before you know it, you’ll be back at the shore.
 
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: How did Peter’s shadow and Paul’s handkerchiefs heal people?
 
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Sunday, October 4, 2020

God's Word Will Not Return Void

A missionary told me this story:
A Christian man named Kendal (not his real name), was traveling on a train with some gospel literature to distribute in China. He couldn’t make his connections and was concerned about getting caught with it. It’s illegal in China to have that literature and he could go to prison.
 
He prayed for wisdom and felt led to go back to the train’s bathroom, which had a hole in the floor. He dropped the papers through the hole, which fell on the train tracks. Kendal felt terrible about throwing away the gospel papers and wondered if he had denied Jesus.
 
Two years later, he was back in China and speaking in an underground church. He told the people how he had smuggled in the gospel literature and dropped it down a hole in the floor of the train. Just then a man jumped up and said, “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be a Christian! One day I was walking and found some papers about Jesus on the railroad tracks. I read them and accepted Jesus into my life.”
 
God had led him to put those papers down the hole to accomplish His will.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says, For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth… so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth. It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
 
When I was in college, I shared the gospel with another student, who didn’t seem interested in what I said. Thirty years later, he wrote me saying he remembered what I had said to him and that he became a Christian! Let this be a word of encouragement whenever you share the gospel with someone and don’t see immediate results. God’s Word will not return void but will accomplish what God desires.
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: “Do People in Heaven Know What’s Happening on Earth?”
 
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Sunday, September 27, 2020

How Can Anyone Correctly Interpret the Bible?

Author Peter Lord was on a trip and waiting in the Salt Lake City airport for a connecting flight. A group of men, who were returning from a hunting trip, were waiting to board the same plane. 

After boarding the plane, one of the hunters got seated. He pulled out a book on prayer called Prayer 101 that he would be teaching in a class at his church. He had been praying God would show him how to teach it because he was confused about a few things and was nervous about leading the class.

Peter sat down next to him and introduced himself. “Hi, my name’s Peter Lord.”
With a puzzled look on his face, he said, “I’m Clint. That’s funny, I’m about to teach this book written by an author with the same name.” He showed him the cover.  Peter said, “Yes, I’m the author of that book.”

Clint almost fell out of his seat! He had asked God about how to teach the book and He answered his prayer by sending him the author! For the next two hours, Peter answered every question he had about how to teach it.

Some people say, “There are so many interpretations of the Bible that no one can know understand it. That’s not true. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible, and He is the only one who can correctly interpret it. “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation . . . but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

The Holy Spirit can lead us to the correct interpretation, but we need to remove our preconceived ideas. For further study read “Guidelines in Interpreting Scripture.”
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY: Guidelines in Interpreting Scripture 

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

He Only Forgot to Plan for One Thing

In spring 1981, a young man flew to Alaska to photograph the scenery and wildlife in the wilderness. He diligently
planed for everything he would need to make his adventure a success; photo equipment, 500 rolls of film, several firearms, and 1,400 pounds of provisions.
 
Every day he journaled in his diary about the scenery and wildlife he saw. But as the months passed, his diary turned into a horrifying record of a nightmare. He had made plans to live in Alaska for a few months, but he forgot to make plans how to get out!
 
In August he wrote, “I think I should have used more foresight about arranging my departure. I’ll find out soon.” In November, his body was found in a valley over two hundred miles from Fairbanks. An investigation revealed he failed to make plans to exit Alaska.
 
Jesus told a parable about a rich man who was so successful that he didn’t have room to store his abundant crops. He decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones. He told himself, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19).
 
He assumed he would have many years to live, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21). God called him a fool because he thought he would live a long time, but he died that night. 

He didn’t prepare for his exit from this life and where he would spend eternity. Have you planned for your departure? Here is how to do it.  

Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY:  Did 2 different people write the Book of Isaiah?
 
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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Defeated by Satan's Trumpet

In the war of the Rhine in 1794, the French took over an Austrian village without striking a blow. Here is how they did it. The French were planning to attack the village at ten o'clock at night. However, the six hundred Austrian soldiers who were defending the city found out about the attack and were ready for it.
 
Instead of attacking, the French sent their trumpeter Joseph Werck into the city under the cover of darkness, who slipped in with the Austrian troops. At ten o'clock, Werck blew his trumpet in the Austrian manner for the soldiers to rally, and then a few minutes later he sounded for them to retreat. The Austrians, deceived by the signal, immediately retreated, and the French soldiers captured the village without any opposition!
 
The Austrian soldiers ran away when they heard the French trumpeter sounding from them to retreat. Today multitudes of trumpets are blowing into our ears, telling us to give up without a fight. Satan tries to deceive us by blowing his trumpet of fear, trying to stop us from doing God's will.
 
The devil will try to make you retreat by intimidating you, but God says, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6). Which command are you going to obey—Satan's trumpet or God's Word?
Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net
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BIBLE STUDY:  Do 2 Samuel 14 and 1 Chronicles 21 contradict each other?
 
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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Standing Against "Group Think"

Dr. James Dobson told about a study that was done to test the effects of peer pressure on an individual. Ten high school students were brought into a room. A researcher held up cards with three different lengths on them labeled A, B, and C, and instructed them to raise their hand whenever he pointed to the longest line.

What one of the students didn’t know was that the other nine students were previously told to point to the second longest line. When the instructor pointed to the second longest line, the nine teenagers immediately raised their hands. The lone teenager would look at the other raised hands, and then would slip up his hand with the rest of the group. He knew it wasn’t the longest line, but he didn’t want to be the only one who didn’t raise his hand.

As they kept bringing in new teenagers for the experiment, the response produced the same results. Seventy-five percent of teenagers conformed with the majority and gave the wrong answer.

We are constantly bombarded with voices telling us that right is wrong, and wrong is right. This isn’t new. The prophet Isaiah warned, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isa. 5:20). Today we call the pressure to conform to the majority as “group think.”

When King Nebuchadnezzar told everyone in Babylon to bow down to the statue he had made, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down. Even when they were threatened with death, they refused to submit to “group think” (Daniel 3:1-26).

They are an example for us today. Don’t listen to the ungodly voices trying to force you to bow down and agree with them. Stand up for truth and don’t kneel to their pressure.

Over 270 printable Bible studies at www.makinglifecount.net

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