Lessons from Gods creatures

  Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/03/02

Lessons from God’s creatures (1)

Psalm 27:8 NIV

In his book, Talking Dogs, Sam Mason discusses how God can use our pets to speak to us. Looking back on some dogs he has owned and the lessons he learned from them, he writes: “One such occasion was when Ranger, our eleven-pound Italian greyhound, was sitting on my lap as I relaxed in the recliner. I noticed that familiar, endearing little tilt of the head, as he looked me directly in the face. I found myself wondering what his purpose was. A second later, I warmed to the pleasure of divine inspiration, as the explanation flowed into my stream of thought. Ranger was see king my face! You see, dogs become students of their owners. Their comprehension of spoken human language is limited to a handful of words. Their capacity to understand a creature of far greater intellect is restricted. So they study our movements: facial expressions, hand gestures, and other body language. Likewise, we have limited understanding of our Master. So how do we ‘seek the face’ of Someone who is so far our superior? The Lord reveals Himself through His Word. That’s where our pursuit begins. How sad that so few professing Christians read and study the Bible on any regular basis. But beyond the Scriptures, there are other ways to seek God’s face. Pay attention to the ways of God as the Holy Spirit moves upon your heart during church services. Learn from His interventions in your life and those of your fellow believers. Behind His works are His ways! Determine to become a student of the Master at every opportunity.”

Soul food: Gen 20-23Matt 19:15-30Ps 66:13-20Prov 6:23-25

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Reading the Bible will change your life

Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/27

Reading the Bible will change your life

Psalm 119:130 NKJV

In December 2005, Brian Hardin says God told him to podcast the Bible. Hardin writes: “On New Year’s Eve when I read my first podcast…I said, ‘I’m Brian…I have no broadcast experience. I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I plan to read through the Bible this year. If you get this, here’s my email address.’ I expected about five people to sign up. On New Year’s Day 2006, I had 257 responses, and by June the daily audio Bible had been downloaded 200,000 times. Now, following our sixth anniversary, it’s been downloaded more than 51 million times and is still one of the top podcasts on iTunes. With more than 1.5 million downloads monthly, the daily audio Bible is one of the most listened to podcasts in the world. We’ve become a vast online family that prays and hears the Bible together. When somebody calls or goes into the online prayer line with a request, thousands of people pray for that person…We receive an endless stream of emails from disenfranchised believers who have found the place appealing…Separated couples who had nothing left to do but sign divorce papers…started listening to the Bible and found their marriages restored. I can tell you many stories of people who were hopeless – I mean suicidally hopeless – who found comfort in God’s Word and were restored. The Bible has a voice, and if given a chance to speak – in context – it will create amazing things in your heart. The Bible can transform even the most tangled life. I know. It radically changed mine.” Bottom line: Reading the Bible will change your life.

Soul food: Gen 10-12Matt 18:10-20Ps 58Prov 6:12-15

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Are you asking God for a child?

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/23

Are you asking God for a child?

1 Samuel 1:27 NKJV

Hannah wanted to be a mother so badly that “she…prayed to the Lord and wept” (v. 10 NKJV). In fact, she made a vow to God, pledging that if He gave her a son, she would “give him to the Lord all the days of his life” (v. 11 NKJV). And it happened. The Bible says, “It came to pass in the process of time that Hannah…bore a son” (v. 20 NKJV). The same thing happened to Ruth: “Boaz begot Obed by Ruth” (Matthew 1:5 NKJV). Ruth was a penniless widow when God introduced her to Boaz, the owner of the field in which she was gleaning. She was a Gentile and he was a Jew, a nd by law they were forbidden to marry. But God removed the barrier that stood in their way, and from their union came a little boy called Obed. He was a progenitor to King David, and eventually to our blessed Lord Jesus. God said, “I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 NKJV). And in case you’re not sure of the answer, here it is: “Lord…You…made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You” (v. 17 NKJV). Today if you’re asking God for a child, stand on these Scriptures and believe Him: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:4-5, 7 NKJV).

Soul food: Titus 2:1-14Gen 39:6-12Prov 25:28

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How to win life’s battles (5)

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/21

How to win life’s battles (5)

2 Chronicles 20:17 NIV

Fifth, stand firm. Notice what God told Jehoshaphat: “Stand firm.” What does it mean to “stand firm” when you’re in a crisis? It’s a mental attitude of quiet confidence that says, “I’m going to trust God.” One pastor writes: “This is something I’m slowly learning; it’s never God’s will for me to run from a difficult situation. If I do, the situation will only follow and catch up with me a little further down the line. It may not look the same, but it will be the same. Why? Because God wants to teach me that He is sufficient for any problem. If we don’t learn this today, we may learn it next week. If we don’t learn it next week, we may learn it next year. But eventually we’ll learn it – and the sooner the better. We can save ourselves problems by standing firm and waiting on God in quiet confidence.” So what do we stand firm on? “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful” (v. 20 NIV). First, we need to stand firm on the character of God. God is faithful, and we can depend on Him. Second, we need to stand firm on the writings that He has given us through His prophets – in other words, the truth of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, and we need only rely in quiet confidence on His written promises. So the word for you today is: Stand firm on the unchanging character of God and the unchanging promises of His Word.

Soul food: Ecc 5-8Matt 16:1-12Ps 33:13-22Prov 5:15-20

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How to win life’s battles (4)

Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/20

How to win life’s battles (4)

2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV

Fourth, learn to relax in faith. Notice how God responded to Jehoshaphat’s prayer: “The battle is not yours, but God’s.” Many of us wear ourselves out trying to fight God’s battles in our own strength. In the initial flush of becoming Christians, we’re eager to win the world to Jesus, and want to go out and singlehandedly bring about His kingdom. That’s because we don’t realize what’s involved. Then after we’ve worked hard under our own steam, reality sets in. We end up crawling back on our hands and knees, disappointed, because we think we’ve let God down. But He reassures us, “You didn’t let Me down, because you weren’t holding Me up.” The truth is, we don’t hold God up – He holds us up! We don’t have Him in our hands, He has us in His hands! And He’s telling us to relax in faith and let Him do the work through us. Paul wrote, “As you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him” (Colossians 2:6 NIV). In other words, remember how you first became a believer – by simple faith in the finished work of Christ – and continue to live by simple faith. You didn’t become a Christian by striving for perfection and doing good works. Good works have nothing to do with it! Salvation is a free gift. God doesn’t need us to micromanage things; He has everything under control, and He wants us to relax and let Him live through us. Bottom line: Victory in life is a gift from God! “Thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14 GWT).

Soul food: Ecc 1-4Matt 15:29-39Ps 33:1-12Prov 5:7-14

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How to win life’s battles (3)

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/19

How to win life’s battles (3)

2 Chronicles 20:3 NKJV

Third, take your problems to the Lord. In the midst of his crisis, Jehoshaphat “set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast.” Prayer is often the last thing we think of. Why? Because we want to work our problems out on our own. A deacon approached the pastor one day and said, “Pastor, we’ve got a problem we can’t solve. We’ve tried everything and nothing works.” The pastor said, “Well, I guess all we can do is pray about it.” The deacon replied, “Pastor, has it really come to that?” When you’re facing life’s battles, prayer should be your first resort, not your last! And sometimes when the problem doesn’t yield to prayer alone, God leads you to add a second element: fasting. Ever tried it? Fasting isn’t something mystical and mysterious; it’s about focus! It’s saying: “Lord, I can do without food and other things, but I can’t solve this problem without You. So instead of eating, I’m going to spend time seeking Your face until I have an answer.” Cornelius, a Gentile, fasted and prayed for four days, asking God for direction. As a result, God sent Peter to his house to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, and in the process changed the course of history (See Acts 10). In order to know whom to appoint to leadership positions, the New Testament church fasted, prayed, and asked God for guidance. And as a result, one of the most dynamic evangelistic teams of all time, Paul and Barnabas, was born (See Acts 13:2-3). When you get serious enough to fast and pray about your problem, God will show you the solution.

Soul food: Rom 15-16Matt 15:15-28Ps 28Prov 5:3-6

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How to win life’s battles (2)

Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/18

How to win life’s battles (2)

2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV

Second, admit your own inadequacy. The only people God can’t help are those who don’t think they need His help. King Jehoshaphat said, “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Often our eyes are on everything and everyone – except God – the One who can solve our problems. Your circumstances are like a mattress: If you’re on top you can rest easy, but if you’re underneath you can suffocate. Keep your eyes on the Lord and you’ll win out over your circumstances. Remember, it’s “not by might no r by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6 NIV). You can’t live the Christian life in your own strength because you have a power shortage. You need the power that comes from letting God’s Spirit live through you. Try to imagine a glove. On its own, it is limp and powerless. But once a hand fills that glove it becomes useful and effective. Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8 NKJV). Jesus often spoke of the Holy Spirit as “the Helper,” so when you don’t know what to do, stand on His promise: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name…will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26 NKJV). If you fight in your own strength, you’ll lose. But when you draw on the power of God’s Spirit that’s within you, you’ll win.

Soul food: Rom 12-14Matt 15:1-14Ps 5Prov 5:1-2

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How to win life’s battles (1)

  Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/17

How to win life’s battles (1)

2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV

With God’s help, King Jehoshaphat overcame not just one army, but three! And his victory teaches us how we can win life’s battles. First, identify the enemy. Many of us have no clue who the real enemy is. We think it’s the person who is interested in taking our job, our spouse, or our money. But many times the enemy is our own attitude! It’s not so much what’s happening that gets us down, it’s our response to the situation. Before you can win on a personal level, you must identify the enemy. Note how Jehoshaphat reacted when he heard “a vast army” was coming again st him. He was “alarmed” (vv. 2-3 NIV). It’s a fairly typical human response. We see a big problem, panic, and become fearful about what’s going to happen to us. And in truth, fear isn’t all bad unless we deal with it in the wrong way. We can use it to motivate us to conquer the problem and drive us closer to God. It’s when we get discouraged, give up, get angry, and start asking, “Why me, Lord?” that fear defeats us. If you’re in a situation that’s filling you with fear and anxiety today, remember – God doesn’t respond to need; He responds to faith. So stake your faith on His unshakeable Word and stand on His promise: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV). Unshakeable trust in God’s Word is what brings His help.

Soul food: Rom 9:17-11:36Matt 14:22-36Ps 149Prov 4:25-27

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Let them go (2)

Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/14

Let them go (2)

1 John 2:19 NIV

There are some people in life we get along with well, and others we don’t. And in some cases, we’re not supposed to! Now let’s be clear: We’re not talking about being unloving, insensitive, or divisive. Paul says, “Do all…you can to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18 NLT). We’re talking about people God specifically tells us to break away from. When it comes to those who don’t belong in your life, here are two things to consider. First, there’s the revelation. The Bible says: “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us…if they had…they would have remained …but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” Just like you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, or mix oil and water, there are people who simply don’t belong in your life. Second, there’s the separation. Paul said: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?…what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them…walk among them…be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate…and I will receive you.’… ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters'” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NIV). Bottom line: When God tells you a relationship is not right for you, listen, and obey Him.

Soul food: Eph 5:21-33S of Sol 2:1-7Ps 45Prov 5:15-19

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Let them go (1)

 Written by Bob & Debby Gass

  2020/02/13

Let them go (1)

Jonah 1:12 NKJV

It’s a mistake to cling to someone when God is telling you to let them go. Until you obey God, the storm you’re in will keep getting worse, as in the case of Jonah. The Bible says: “The sea was growing more tempestuous. And [Jonah] said to them, ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know…this great tempest is because of me.’ Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous…Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.’ So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging” (vv. 11-15 NKJV). God has a plan for the “Jonahs” you’re dealing with, and it may require them to hit the bottom before they rise again. And as long as you keep trying to rescue them, God’s plan is being thwarted and delayed. Jonah’s problem wasn’t that he didn’t love God, it was that he didn’t want to do God’s will. So God resorted to extreme measures to get his attention, push him toward his destiny, and save the city of Nineveh. You have no idea what God has in mind for the person He’s asking you to let go of. If they are His redeemed children, He wants to prosper them (See Jeremiah 29:11). That’s why He wants to save them – so let them go!

Soul food: Rom 3:21-6:23Matt 14:1-12Ps 145:1-13Prov 4:20-22

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