Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Powerless!

September 20, 2014

The Powerless

2 Chronicles 14:11: O LORD, not one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O LORD, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!

We have no power in ourselves to …
Please God.
Make him listen.
Gain his blessings.
Change ourselves.
Become more like Jesus.
Win a lasting victory.

Did you know that you’re powerless? No one of us can do anything without Jesus. Oh, sure. We might make the soccer team. We might get good grades on our own. We might catch a bass while fishing. But ultimately, anything that’s good and lasts must come from Jesus.

The prayer above was spoken by King Asa as he went out to fight. He knew God had to accomplish the victory. Without God’s help, he could do nothing.

Call on God always to be with you. Then you will succeed. Prayer: Lord, I ask you always to be with me and lead me. Amen.

TO BE CONTINUED:

The writing in this blog is available as a book on Amazon.com under Mark Littleton, Through the Bible Devotions, at http://www.amazon.com/Through-Bible-Devotions-Genesis-Revelation/dp/0784714746/ref=sr_1_38?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406490323&sr=1-38&keywords=mark+littleton

Humble Yourselves

September 9, 2014

Humble Yourselves

2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.

What is the key to God’s blessing? How can we pray so that God answers?

There is one way. This is not a formula, but this is what this verse shows us to do:

Humble ourselves. That is, if we recognize that we can’t do anything worthwhile without God’s help, God will bless. When we do things on our own, they may succeed, but they will have no worth.

Pray. Talk to God. Confess your sins. Thank him. Praise him. Pray for others. Let God know about everything that is in your heart.

TO BE CONTINUED:

The writing in this blog is available as a book on Amazon.com under Mark Littleton, Through the Bible Devotions, at http://www.amazon.com/Through-Bible-Devotions-Genesis-Revelation/dp/0784714746/ref=sr_1_38?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406490323&sr=1-38&keywords=mark+littleton

Return to God’s Word

July 27, 2014

Return to God’s Word

2 Kings 22:13: “Go to the Temple and speak to the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah. Ask him about the words written in this scroll that has been found. The LORD’s anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.”

Can you imagine going to church and having no Bible? No matter where you look, no one has a copy. It has disappeared.

That’s what happened in the nation of Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel). God’s word was forgotten, perhaps for many years. The priests did their duties. The king listened to counsel. But God’s word was gone.

Imagine if you knew nothing about what God’s word says. No promises from God when you’re down. No hope from God when you’re hurting. No power from God when you need strength.

One day a priest found a copy of the Law, the word of God, in the temple. He reported to Josiah, king of Judah at that time, what he’d found. Josiah had the priest read the book to him. When he heard it, he was startled. Amazed. Shocked. His people had ignored God’s law for too many years. He would change that immediately.

Josiah began some great reforms that saved Judah from destruction. The power of God’s word worked. Many people were saved.

God’s word has power. Without it, we cannot survive. But with it, we will live forever.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to live off your word like food. Amen.

The writing in this blog is available as a book on Amazon.com under Mark Littleton, Through the Bible Devotions, at http://www.amazon.com/Through-Bible-Devotions-Genesis-Revelation/dp/0784714746/ref=sr_1_38?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406490323&sr=1-38&keywords=mark+littleton

Seeing the Truth

July 12, 2014

Seeing the Truth

2 Kings 6:17: Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see.” The LORD opened his servant’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

An army surrounded the prophet Elisha and his servant Gehazi. It looked like no escape. Every side was taken. Spears glinted in the sunlight. Arrowheads looked bright and sharp. Swords were drawn.

What could they do?

When Gehazi stepped out of the tent that morning, he wanted to run. But there was nowhere to run to. It was then that Elisha came out of the tent and looked around. Elisha could see something that Gehazi didn’t. What was it? The armies of God.

Around the mountain, standing between the foreign army and the prophet, were angels. Bright, shining, powerful angels. Later, just one of those angels would slay 185,000 men (see 2 Kings 19). And here was a whole army of them. Imagine what that army could do.

Gehazi, though, couldn’t see this army. So Elisha prayed for him, and God opened Gehazi’s eyes.

Did you know that angels are here with you, too? You are personally protected by God. No one can touch you unless God allows it!

Prayer: Jesus, help me to feel safe in you, because you are the great protector. Amen.

Dreams

April 25, 2014

The Dreamer

 

Genesis 37:5: One night Joseph had a dream, and promply reported the details to his brothers, causing them to hate him even more.

 

Kyle woke up in a sweat. “Wow, what a weird dream!” he muttered.

 

In his dream, he had stood in a stadium and told a Super Bowl crowd about his faith in Jesus. And everyone started laughing at him. It was horrible. He woke up feeling as if he would scream.

 

Dreams can be strange, comforting, weird, or wild. You just never know. In ancient times, though, God sometimes communicated to people by dreams. He did so with Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus. He also gave dreams to Daniel, the wise men and others. Joseph dreamed many strange but prophetic dreams. His dreams actually told what would happen in the future.

 

Few if any of our dreams will do that. Joseph’s mistake was to tell the dreams which made him look important and powerful to his family, making them look inferior and like slaves. It would all lead to bad things for Joseph. When pride strikes and we begin to think we’re really something important, we are on dangerous ground.

 

Do you ever think of yourself as better, or more important than others? Watch out. You might be in for a terrible surprise!

 

Prayer: Father, help me to think rightly of myself, and not be proud. Amen.

God Provided

April 22, 2014

God Provided the Sacrifice

 

Genesis 22:8: “God will provide a lamb, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both went on together.

 

Imagine this situation. One day your old father comes into your room. “Come with me,” he says. “God has asked me to do something important.”

 

He takes you out to a high hill. There, he ignites a fire and soon flames shoot up from the wood. Then he asks for your hands. You stick them out. He ties them up, and then ties up your feet. “What are you doing?” you ask.

 

“God wants me to sacrifice you on the fire to prove I really love him,” your dad says.

 

You are terrified. Your dad helps you up. He’s about to throw you on the flames, when God stops him. “Here,” God says, “here’s a loaf of bread you can put into the fire. But now I know you really believe.”

 

Crazy – right? But it actually happened. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son to prove his faith. At the last minute, God provided a ram to use instead.

 

God has also provided the perfect sacrifice for everyone. No one ever need fear that God will ask this again. Jesus was the sacrifice, and when we believe in him we prove our faith. Have you proven yours by believing in Jesus? If not, do so today!

 

Prayer: Father, thank you that Jesus died for me. I do believe. Amen.

The Race Discussion We Need to Have

March 25, 2008

The Race Discussion We Need to Have

by

Mark Littleton

    

   I’ve thought much about this discussion Sen. Obama thinks we need to have about race in our country. To be perfectly honest, I’ve struggled with racism for much of my life. I remember my white friends using racist words on occasion as I grew up.

   I also recall the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot, and how some in my high school joked about it, saying King “had gotten what he deserved.” 

   I never voiced such thoughts. Nonetheless, the n-word and a multitude of others often coursed through my mind as I saw those people in the walk of life. I didn’t understand it at all. No black person had ever done anything to me. Blacks on our high school championship football team, some of whom were the best players we’d ever had, were heroes.

   And yet, this internal bigotry persisted. If it wasn’t really pounded into me by my family, school, or culture, how was it that a few oblique and stupid references had such an impact on me? 

   In 1972 I converted to a robust faith in God and Christ. In a matter of weeks, everything changed. I saw racism as an innate part of our humanity that we had to fight tooth and nail to excise. Because of what the Bible called our “lost state” and “fallenness,” I discovered I had a natural tendency to bigotry. One person said, “If God made us all the same color, sex, and creed, within fifteen minutes we would have divided up into groups with racist words for everyone not quite like us.” 

   As a believer, I saw that every kind of evil thought inhabited my heart. One of Christ’s greatest goals was to unite Jews, some of the greatest racists of his time, and Gentiles into one church. It’s been a difficult goal to achieve. 

   As I studied the Bible I came across verses where Jesus pointed out the real problem. He said at one point, “For from within, out of the human heart, come the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness”(Mark 21-22). Why do we read about these things happening every day in our world? For a simple reason: it’s the human heart that’s the problem. 

   The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick”(Jeremiah 17:9).

   Our problem is not Rev. Wright’s bigoted words against whites, Mel Gibson’s nasty statements about Jews, or the average suicide bomber’s hatred for Americans, Jews, and just about everyone else. No, it’s the human heart. It’s desperately sick. 

   The truth is that all of us struggle with such evil internally. I think it’s time for us all – black, white, Jew, Muslim, and Christian – to admit we all experience racist thoughts and feelings. In most cases, we are appalled when they arrive. We may even cringe in frustration and anguish that they exist at all. The vast majority do not act on them, or even admit them. But they’re there. 

   That’s the discussion we ought to have about race in this country. Our hearts have serious problems, all of our hearts, from President Bush and Sens. Clinton and Obama, down to the dishwasher in the local McDonald’s. Until we can own up to this reality, we will never realistically deal with the problem of racism, or any other kind of evil in this world.