God's Word is Powerful

God's Word is Powerful

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I Love Thanksgiving - for more reasons than the food and football. For me one of the joys of Thanksgiving is that I love being with family and friends. I enjoy being able to laugh and talk and share the good things God is doing in our lives. But even more important is the fact that we are a few days closer to Christmas.  I have officially been listening to Christmas music since the first of November. The tree is up and the house is decorated.  YEAH!  As far as shopping and presents that is just not as important to me as the awesome wonder of Christmas which I see in the beauty of the music and the lights.  For me it reminds me of sleeping in the living room by the Christmas tree when I was a kid, falling asleep, listening to Christmas music.  I am too old to sleep by the tree now, without a very thick air mattress, but I am still warmed by the wonder of Thanksgiving and Christmas which have so much more to do with our hearts and minds being focused on Jesus than anything else.  Let’s look at these great Christmas verses together.

Luke 2:36-38 (NET) There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. [37] She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. [38] At that moment, she came up to them and began to give thanks to God and to speak about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:37-38 (JBP) She spent her whole life in the Temple and worshipped God night and day with fastings and prayers. [38] She came up at this very moment, praised God and spoke about Jesus to all those in Jerusalem who were expecting redemption.

Jesus was being presented at the Temple by Mary and Joseph. Simeon had just declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the Salvation God had promised.  At that point we meet Anna.  We are told that she is 84 yrs. old, a prophetess, who had been married for 7 years before she became a widow.  With no children that must have been a very long hard life.  As I meditated on these verses this week these three things became very clear.  1- Anna was ALWAYS seeking to be in God’s presence.  2- She worshipped and served God with PRAYER and FASTING day and night. 3- When she met Jesus she could NOT stop thanking God and telling others about Him.  What an amazing woman.  She had every reason to become self-focused maybe even bitter but she did not.  What an amazing testimony of God’s power and sustaining grace.  May we be like Anna in our own lives.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to live my life consciously seeking You in any and every situation I face every day.  Please Lord help me to learn to more and more how to worship and serve You with Prayer and Fasting.  Please give me many more and chances to talk to others about YOU.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Have you ever been bitter?  Have you ever held on to your anger or the bad feelings you had towards someone refusing to let go?  Bitterness is one of those emotions which can do a real damage.  It flows out of our envy and anger and if we do not deal with it seriously bitterness can cripple us and keep us from enjoying our walk with the Lord Jesus.  Asaph, the writer of Psalm 73 is very honest about his own problems with bitterness.  He says that when he looked at the those who were arrogant and wealthy that he started to envy them. (73:3-7)  His envy and jealousy turned into bitterness as he wondered if it “pays” to live a godly life.  He found the answer while spending time with God. (73:16-17)  He began to realize that the wicked will answer to God in the end.  And as Asaph wrestles with this understanding he makes the following confession:

Psalm 73:21-22 (HCS)  When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, I was stupid and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward You.

Psalm 73:21-25 (NLT) Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. [22] I was so foolish and ignorant - I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. [23] Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. [24] You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. [25] Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.   

That is quite the statement.  He describes the affects of bitterness as being wounded and torn up inside.  That is a good description of bitterness.  But the end result of bitterness on his relationship with God was even more astonishing.   Asaph says that his bitterness made him ignorant and kept him from understanding God.  So one truth that comes clearly through is that my attitude of anger or bitterness can keep me from knowing God in the way I long to.  The good news is that Asaph dealt with his bitterness and sought out God and realized that God was with him at ALL times leading and guiding him personally.  He now reminds himself that knowing God and being close to Him is BETTER than anything else.  Riches and wealth and ease of life cannot compare to having an intimate relationship with God.  So we must be aware of the danger: anger, envy, jealousy and bitterness keep us from drawing close to God.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus please help me to put aside all envy or jealously, to deal with any anger or bitterness in my life.  Help me to draw closer to You.  Help me to grow and to be able to say there is NOTHING on earth I want more than YOU.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I watched with fascination and a sense impatience as the crews ripped up 71 Hwy. and made it impossible for me to get home quickly.  It seemed to take forever before anything was even visible.  There was a lot of work that went into finding bedrock and then pouring the pillars and foundations for the bridge over 163rd St.  Why?  Why did they take so long going down and establishing a solid foundation?  It was because they wanted the bridge to stand when ALL the weight and vibration of thousands of cars and trucks a day started crossing it.  It certainly would have been easier and much quicker if they didn’t bother to pour the foundation of the bridge on solid rock.  But now that it is done and it is secure I am thankful for all the time and effort that went into it.  Jesus said spoke about building on solid rock.  Let’s look at them together.  

Luke 6:47-49 (HCS) I will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and acts on them: [48] He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. [49] But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great!”

The question the first builder asked is what will it take to build a house that will not collapse if an unexpected storm or flood hits it?  The answer of course is that it takes a LOT of hard work to build a house properly so that it can withstand the flood.  Anyone can throw up a house quickly that has no chance of surviving.  But if a house is to survive then the hard work of digging down to bedrock must take place.  The foundation must be laid carefully on that rock.  From that point things can be built on a foundation that will last no matter what.  In contrast the person who built the house that will not last did not do the hard work required they quickly built the house without doing any of the hard work on the foundation.  The point Jesus is making is that obedience to His Word is about hard work.  It is not just hearing and mentally agreeing with what is said.  It is hearing, understanding, and obeying.  Obedience is the hard part - it is the digging of the foundation way down to the rock it is slowly building the foundation and then the rest of the structure.  Obeying Jesus will mean we will have to do hard things - say no to ourselves and our own selfish desires and to say yes to God and His plan for our lives.  It will mean doing the hard work of continuing to obey God’s Word even if nobody else does.  The result may not be seen for awhile.  But eventually when the storms of life hit only those who have done the hard work of laying their foundation of obedience on Jesus the solid rock will stand.  Those who have not done the hard work of Obedience find it much easier to give up when the storms of life come crashing down on them.  Obedience is Hard work but worth it when we face the struggles of life.  So am I building wisely in my life? Am I seeking to lay the foundation of Obedience to God and His Word in my life?  If not then I am building without a foundation and it will very hard to face the difficulties hardships of life. 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus thank You for calling me to Obedience.  Help me to be willing to do the hard work of OBEYING Your Word no matter what. My I never take the shortcut thinking that I can get by without a firm foundation of Obedience to You.  Help me to weather the storms resting firmly on You. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Well I held off as long as I could.  I tried (not too hard) but I could not hold out one more day so I started playing Christmas music today.  Now it is not that I am for the commercialization of Christmas.  I hate that.  But I love Christmas.  I love the fact that Christmas, for the Christian, is the celebration of the coming of Jesus - the LONG awaited Messiah and Savior.  I love the fact that God’s Grace is seen in such a humble package.  I love the fact that God’s blessings were poured out on sinful desperately needy world in the poorest of circumstances.  So imagine Nat King Cole singing O Little Town of Bethlehem or Manheim Steam Roller playing Silent Night in the background as you read these verses today.  

Psalm 67:1-2 (HCS)  May God be gracious to us and bless us; look on us with favor so that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.

As I was meditating on this Psalm this morning I was moved by the SO THAT part of these verses.  We all long for God to be gracious to us to bless us and to pour out His Favor on us.  But this Psalm gives the reason WHY we should pray like this.  We want God to do this so that others may see that God’s WAY is the ONLY WAY.  We want others to see that God has spoken and that salvation comes ONLY from God - and ONLY on His terms.  God told Abraham that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed.  This Psalm is calling for God’s blessings and favor as an object lesson for others to see the goodness of God.  The point is not to enjoy God’s blessings and keep them for ourselves.  We are to enjoy God’s grace and favor poured out on us so that we can invite others to enjoy God’s Grace and Favor as well.  It is not a me first selfish kind of prayer.  This is a prayer that says as You are blessing me I will BLESS others with what YOU have given.  

PRAYER: Lord God please pour out Your grace and favor on us.  May we see Your blessings clearly SO THAT  You may be KNOWN.  Not just by us personally, but by the whole Open Door Bible Church Family, by our neighbors and friends in Belton, Raymore, Peculiar, and Grandview.  Lord God make your SALVATION known through us!