God is above the Pandemic

What verse or word from God helped you during the pandemic?

Hello to all. Besides being the CEO of Indiana Adult & Teen Challenge, I am also a regional representative Teen Challenge corporations of six states. I report twice each year the status of our Teen Challenge centers to our national board. The Covid-19 Pandemic hit our centers hard. Church services canceled, Thrift Store shut down. Banquets and other fundraising efforts canceled. No one faced this kind of crisis before. Our corporate leaders had to trust God and lead their centers forward. God continued to bless our centers with health and financial blessings.   

I asked each corporate leader what verse or word from God helped you during the pandemic. Below are some of these answers.

 Michigan 

God delivered me from drug addiction. A pandemic is a small thing. Isaiah 43:1-3 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you, says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.  When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you, for I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. 

Isaiah 41:10, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  

 Kentucky 

The Lord gave me this scripture & confirmed it…Psalm 37:18-19 – “Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough.” He would continue to sustain us as He always has. The staff and students have witnessed the miraculous provision of the Lord! We are humbled and grateful. 

  Ohio

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 

 Deuteronomy 31:6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid, and do not panic before them. For the Lord, your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”  

  John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

West Virginia

We are standing on the Truth that God is our source in all things. 

Illinois

    Leading with Integrity – God’s Strength/Comfort (Not a spirit of fear)  

Indiana

James 1:2-8 New Living Translation (NLT) 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

I thought you might be blessed to hear our Adult & Teen Challenge leaders share their faith in Christ as their Lightnside shines bright.

Freedom under attack

2 Kings 25:1 During the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon led his entire army against Jerusalem. They surrounded the city and built siege ramps against its walls. 

The enemy is building siege ramps against our national freedom and the freedom from the cross. In the Old Testament, a nation would come against another kingdom and begin to build wooden ramps to break into the city to destroy it. This siege ramp would take time to build, and during the process, the city would see their enemy getting closer and closer to their goal—the breaking down of their protective walls. The city was under siege. Only an act of God could help them.

America is under siege!

The walls of freedom, as we have known it for years, are under attack. Lawless vandals, politicians, and elected leaders are building siege ramps against the protective laws and the police force that have kept America safe and free for many years. The news media and social media are all helping to build this siege to remove our national freedom created by the belief of and built on the Biblical foundation of ‘In God we Trust.’

We, as a nation, must seek God’s face and repent as a person and a nation for our sins. Only God can heal this land. We need a revival of God’s presence.

The church is under siege!

The church needs to once again preach repentance. Many churches preach a message that feels good. A message that does not offend. 

There is fear from the pastor to speak repentance because of finances and rebellion. The message of the cross brings freedom to the soul but is a message that requires repentance. It is offensive to the unsaved. It requires us to deny ourselves and take up the cross of sacrifice and obedience to Christ.  

The church is under siege to make us feel happy rather than holy. Proud rather than pure. To feels saved rather than being saved. The church is under siege by the message of comfort rather than conviction. Let us pray and seek God’s face for our church and our nation.

On this July 4th,

let us look to God, who is the author of all freedom. He makes nations and souls free by following righteous commandments and repentance at the cross. Take the time to listen and watch this song about freedom and let your lightnside reflect FREEDOM.

Protesting & Lawlessness

Currently, in our nation, there are two emotional events that fill the news and social media, protesting, and lawlessness.  I want to share some thoughts from the scriptures concerning these actions.

Jesus was a protester!

The definition of a protest is a public expression of objection, disapproval, or dissent towards an idea or action.  As Jesus began his public ministry, He began to teach truth by protesting against the teachings of the religious leaders. Jesus started His protesting in His home church as He stood and read a passage of scripture then confronted the lack of faith and obedience of the Jewish people.  Luke 4:16-30

Jesus also publicly protested for deeper obedience beyond the teachings of the law.  Matthew 5:21-26 (Killing and hatred connected),  Matthew 5:27-28 (Adultery and lusting are connected). Jesus even calls His followers to be protesters in their public life.  Matthew 5:13-16 Be salt and light to all that is around you.  Don’t hide your testimony.  Protest His goodness, Grace, and Mercy.

Lawlessness

Along with the protestor that is rightfully voicing concerns about needed changes,  there are lawless groups of evil people causing violence, destroying properties, looting,  murder, and rage.  These are not protesters; they are rebellious criminals.

The Bible talks about the spirit of lawlessness in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10.  To summarize this passage, at the end of days, a demonic filled antichrist will come to power and will be utterly lawless to God.  He will have the authority to cause great violence and deception to the world.  Verse 7 states there is currently a power (God, Holy Spirit, Church Prayer, Christian’s Prayer) that is holding back the full power of this lawless spirit but it is at work today causing much anger and harm. We see it all around us.

Lawlessness and us

Each man and woman wrestles with lawlessness.  We are born with it.  You don’t have to teach a baby to say “no.”  It’s already in our nature.  As we come to Christ and repent, God places His Holy Spirit in us to give us the power to hold back and overcome that inner desire of lawlessness.  You feel it when you are wronged by others like someone cutting you off in traffic or causes you trouble or pain.  The desire to get even and return the pain is our lawlessness at work.  Jesus tells us to forgive others, or we will not be forgiven (strong protesting words.)  How often should I forgive my brother the disciple asks.  Jesus says always.  Also, love your enemies.  Let God be the judge.  All these truths push away the power of lawlessness of sin.

Protesting against lawlessness.

I want to share one last strong protesting word from Jesus that also contains the word lawlessness. These words of Christ should make everyone look inside and consider their relationship with Christ.  Our relationship with Christ is based on faith but expressed by our obedience. 

Matthew 7:21-23  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

How many people fill out churches and hear about Christ but do not obey Him? They sing praise songs and believe they are good enough for heaven but are not following Christ’s laws. In Christ’s eyes, they are lawless. We all sin and trip up. The keyword in this strong protesting message is the word “practice.” They practice lawlessness. It is not an accident or slip up. It is resistance to God’s words through lawlessness. Let us repent and ask Christ to cleanse our hearts. Ask God to fill you with His power to push back your lawlessness and follow Christ. Let your lightnside be a strong protest of God’s Grace and Christ’s cleansing blood.

Our Father – The only hope for peace.

As Father’s Day approaches, I realize the effect God the Father has on His children and the need in our nation.   

Favorite Father’s day card I received many years ago.

Matthew 6:9-10

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Our Father in Heaven – rule of authority.  

There is an understanding that we are the children of God. He is our Father and authority. There is an order in our world because we are living in his established kingdom. There is safety and security when we identify God as our Father, and we stand under His protection and direction.   

Without recognizing God the Father’s identity, we become self-focused and only see our desires and emotions. We become unstable and do not know how to be at peace. The more we acquire, the less we feel complete. Something is missing. We are designed to belong to a Heavenly Father. We are built to follow God.  

Hallowed be Your Name

Hallowed means greatly revered and honored. The process of honoring God is to thank Him, Praise Him, Learn more about Him. Listen to Him speak to you through the Bible, sermons, song. Our God is a leader, healer, peace-maker, warrior, teacher, and even a God of discipline. God loves me, so He watches me, blesses, and disciplines me. I honor His name. I feel secure and loved because of His care. His rod and staff comfort me. He restores my soul.

Rejecting the name of God is to reject hope. You become a vessel of unrest and lawlessness. The Bible says “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” To deny this is to be foolish and wandering through life always seeking but never satisfied. Always longing but never connected.

Thy Kingdom come – Thy will be done

Oh Lord, how we need your kingdom and leadership in todays world. Through the lawless efforts of media, social media, Twitter, political agendas, we are becoming a nation of rowdy immature children who have never learned to be obedient children under a father’s love and authority.

You, Lord, established the universe and determined it’s rules and limitations. You set the oceans and mountains in place. You created all the plants and creatures and placed them into balance. You feed and care for the wild animals. You send hope and care for those who follow you. God, how we need your holiness, leadership, structure, discipline now.  

Lord, please send your power to hold back the spirit of lawlessness in our land, our hearts, our families, and our different races. We have become lawless. We have become vessels for the demonic spirit of lawlessness to find homes and begin to fill our minds and mouths with hate, rebellion, and violence.

If…

2 Chron. 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, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Lord, I am asking for your forgiveness for my attitudes and actions of lawlessness. I ask You to clean my heart and mind. Please forgive our nation and heal our land. God said, “If My People…” He could also say, “If my children…”  

Matthew 6:13 Father, Deliver us from the Evil One 

Let this Father’s Day be a start to call upon our Heavenly Father to forgive. Let us seek His face. Let us hollow His name. Let us ask God to search our hearts, and we repent of what He finds. Allow your lightnside to seek God’s healing for our nation.

Faithful over a few things

In preparation for a funeral, I am always mindful of the question people want the minister to assure them. Did they make it? Are they in heaven? To better understand this question, we must look closely at mankind in general and the Grace of God.

There is a secret side to all of us. No one is sinless. We are all born broken into a broken world, and for the entire length of our life, we will be battling the broken passions of our hearts. Paul said in Romans seven; there is a sinful seed battling us from our birth. It is the effect sin had on the whole world. Thanks be to God we have a Savior who understands this brokenness in us and sacrificed His sinless life for our sins so we might be set free from the bondage of sin and experience freedom because of the blood of Jesus.

Faith in Christ

Romans 1:16-17 “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ; it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…In it, the Righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. The just shall live by faith.”   

It is not our perfectness that brings about our righteousness. It is our faith placed on Jesus Christ, who died for us. As we put our faith and obedience to Christ, God sets the Righteousness of God upon us. When God looks at a man or woman who has faith in Christ and a relationship in their hearts, God sees His righteousness over them.  

It is not about being right or perfect; it’s about faith in Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6 ” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The scriptures did not say you must be this percentage perfect for making heaven. No, you must have an active faith in Jesus Christ.

DO NOT JUDGE

We like to judge people. Especially when it makes us feel more righteous. In reality, every man and woman has secrets and battles. We are people following Christ who wrestle with sin. Everyone fails. But the Christian repents and places their faith in the Righteousness and Mercy of God. It will never be our goodness that makes us heaven worthy; it will be our faith in Christ.

The Good Servant had issues.

In the parable Jesus told in Mathew 25:14-29, there were three servants the master gave talents. One had five, another two, and another had one talent. The master left on a trip and, after a while, returned. The servant who had five doubled his talents, and so did the one with two. The one servant who had one talent hid his gift and just returned what he had originally received. God rebuked this servant as evil, and judgment was placed on him. The faithful servants pleased God. Listen carefully to what God said to the one who had the most increase for the master. (v23) You have been faithful over a few things…welcome into the joy of the Lord. I take this to mean the good servant had issues within his life. We are not told about them, but God saw the faith and the service to God, and He said “well done.” The evil servant buried what God gave him and was judged. As we look at people and try to judge them based on what we think, we can bring judgment on ourselves.  

Let us rely on the Mercy of God, who rewards servants who are faithful over a few things. It is faith in Christ that brings the righteousness of God to us. Faith in Christ and repentance to Him are what make us heaven bound. In Christ alone.

From John the Baptist to the man on the cross next to Jesus, each man battles sin. But each of these men placed their faith in Christ. They were faithful over a few things. They are now in the joy of the Lord. Let’s not judge others to closely, but allow our lightnside to thank God for His grace and righteousness toward us and others who believe in Christ.

Lawlessness and HOPE

Troubles all around

Right now, our country is in a state of violence and unrest.  We have gone through a global pandemic,  shut down one of the greatest economic engines in decades to millions unemployed.  Evil violence on both sides of the law.  Protests begin as they should, but violent people began looting and destroying property and businesses. Frustrations are building up and looking for areas of release all across our land. Social Media and the news media help spread the unrest.  Opinion rather than facts is promoted to influence frustrations and rage. 

It is all a supernatural problem.  Everything we see and feel today is a supernatural problem, and the solution is not Trump or CNN.  It is God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

The Lawless one

Read 1 Thess 2:1-10  The lawless One.  The anti-Christ will rule the world.  You think it’s bad now? You will want to be ready for the rapture of Christians.  You will want to have Christ in your heart when you die.

Notice verse 7The mystery (hidden truth – usually something you cannot know without God’s revelation.)   The NIV calls it the secret power. Lawlessness was already at work even in Jesus’ time,  Dark ages,  Hitler,  World wars,  Nations killing their own people. It is at work today,  in the USA.  In social media,  news,  the hearts of men and women. 

He who restrains…

He who now restrains (holds back the lawless one) – The Holy Spirit,  the Church, You. Because of our fallen nature,  there is a natural tendency to be lawless.  If unchecked, this lawlessness will bring about great evil and destruction.  After the rapture – very dreadful events will take place. Matthew 24 says if the days were not shortened, no one would survive. Only God has the power to restrain the lawless one,  the lawless power. If you have Christ in your heart, then you also have God’s power to stop the lawless force in you, your family, and this nation.

If my people…

Solution – 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 (lawless ways), then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

HOPE –  When people pray, repent for themselves and our nation,  the restrainer restrains. This has happened throughout history. Revivals come when God’s power is poured out against the lawlessness and righteousness overcomes.

Join me in praying for our own heart, our nation, our leaders, our different races of people. Pray and repent personally and for God’s power to come down and heal our land. Let your lightnside burn bright with hope in a dark time.

Memorial Day – Billy Graham 1955

“This is where they got it for us.”

“It is finished.” He got through for us!”

Billy Graham 1955

A decade and a half before Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971, Billy Graham was in Boston to deliver a memorial address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The year was 1955, and he had just finished visiting many U.S. military installations in Europe. Below is an excerpt of his timeless message, which still rings true this Memorial Day as we remember with gratitude the sacrifices of so many for our nation.

In all the American idiom, there is no more endearing word than “buddy.” It is warm, with intonations of friendship, brotherhood and common purpose. We are assembled today to pay tribute to those, our “buddies,” who poured out their full measure of devotion upon the altar of freedom.

Thousands of you gathered here could tell dramatic stories of heroism which you yourself have seen acted out by your buddies on the grim stage of war’s theater. They have left this realm of time and space, they have out-stripped us in life’s races, but the sacred memory of their selflessness and the freedom they died to obtain will live forever.

Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with President (Dwight D.) Eisenhower at Gettysburg. He took me on a personally conducted tour of the Battlefield of Gettysburg, explaining the strategy used by both the Confederate and Union forces. Both of my grandfathers fought at Gettysburg. This famous battlefield, and hundreds of others like it, have become hallowed soil, where thousands of Americans have died either to preserve freedom, prevent aggression or keep intact the union of American states.

“It was worth it if it will keep America free!”

Some months ago when President Eisenhower was touring the Battlefield at Valley Forge and was being shown from one historic spot to another, he made this statement at the conclusion of the tour: “This is where they got it for us.”

What did he mean? He meant that those men, and thousands of others in all the wars that America has fought, purchased by their blood the freedoms that we enjoy today in “the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” That terse statement from the lips of our president has rung in my ears for many months. …

These battlefields of the world today are hallowed and holy to every American, and we pause to give them our highest honors, humbly realizing the sacred trust that these, our war dead, have handed to us.

I stood by the bedside of a boy in Korea whose spine had been torn away by a shell blast the night before, but by some miracle he was still living. He was unable to change his position; and if he lived, the doctor informed me, the rest of his days would be spent lying on his stomach. The army medics had patched him up the best they could. I gripped his cold, perspiring hand and said words of comfort to him. He made a statement I will never forget. He said: “It was worth it if it will keep America free!”

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

That’s what you call “getting it for us”! As we think of the selflessness and heroism of such fellows, we are reminded of the words of Jesus Christ who said: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

The freedoms we enjoy, the freedoms we take so much for granted, the freedoms we so often trifle with were bought not by the gold of our millionaires, nor altogether the genius of our scientists, nor the sacrifices of the people at home, but primarily by the blood, sweat and agony of those whose names on this day we honor—those who died that we might live!

They found, as have brave men of all ages, that there are principles well worth dying for. Their noble, unselfish sacrifice is a silent, eloquent rebuke to the self-centeredness of this generation. Let those who want “peace at any price” remember this day that thousands have died for honor and freedom and that what we have today has come at the price of shed blood.

As I stood in the hospital quarter of the Danish ship “Jutlandia” in Korean waters by an American boy scarcely 20 years of age and watched helplessly as this young life ebbed away, I thought: What right have thousands of pleasure-seeking Americans to go on living when this lad in the early flower of youth has to die? And in that moment, the fact dawned on me that if he had to die for America, some of us must live for America. Sometimes it is far more difficult to live than it is to die. They have handed us a torch, and we have a responsibility to see that they have not died in vain.

Even though the sacrifices of our war dead have been great, yet the greatest sacrifice of all time was made by a man on a cross who died not only physically but spiritually that men might live. We have neglected Him too long! We have rejected His plan for peace, and as a result, we have fought, bled and died for centuries! I challenge the world at this hour to accept His program of heart regeneration that can transform the society in which we live, and we can know the meaning of genuine peace in our time. …

Yes the bells of liberty ring in America today because these men we honor today got through for us. The sacred memory of their sacrifice will always live in our hearts, and we have a sacred and holy trust—and we cannot fail them!

“It is finished.” He got through for us!

My mind goes back 2,000 years to another battle which was fought on a hill called Calvary. It was a battle of one young man against all the forces of evil. It seemed like a futile, hopeless struggle as Jesus Christ took on Satan’s task force single-handed. The jeers of the rabble, the spittle of the soldiers and the sneering of the people were incidental compared to the inner struggle which was taking place in His soul. But I watch Him, in fancy, as one hand is stretched out toward God and the other toward rebellious man, and He makes the connection and says: “It is finished.” He got through for us!

If we are to be strong spiritually, it will be through Him. Thousands today are finding a fresh, new meaning of life through Him. They are learning to say with confidence, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthened me.” We can best keep faith with those who have gone before by keeping faith with ourselves, with our highest ideals and with God.

Orginal Link https://billygraham.org/story/a-timeless-billy-graham-message-for-memorial-day/

Testing – (40 years, days) – Triumph

“man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”  Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4

There is no triumph without testing. 

There can never be a revealing of what controls us without a time of testing.  Testing is not pleasant, however testing with the right attitude and focus can bring about powerful weapons for battles.  It is in the testing that these weapons are revealed, sharpened, bloodied, and victorious. Jesus came out of the baptismal waters fully immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit.  While Jesus lived a sinless life growing up as Mary and Joseph’s son, He was going to enter a time of intense spiritual battle as His ministry begins and ends at the terrible wonderful cross.  Jesus needed to be tested, strengthened, attacked, and come out victorious to equip Himself for His ministry.

40 days – 40 years

During the forty-day fast Jesus identifies with Israel in the wilderness.  Israel was sent to the wilderness because of unbelief.  God was going to teach them a long lesson.  Jesus was sent by the Holy Spirit for forty days to be strengthened.  During the wilderness trials of Israel and Jesus, a withdrawal from provisions are placed upon them or in Jesus’ case was self-induced.  As a time of physical need becomes a reality, our bodies begin to ask for supply, for food, pleasure, peace, escape. 

Faith grows out of emptiness.

Israel complained about the lack of provisions and God supplied manna and water to sustain.  What was also being provided to Israel was faith in God.  Although they complained to Moses,  there was also a  strengthening of faith in God.   Jesus fasted forty days knowing God was preparing Him for the mission.  His body cried out for food, Jesus’ soul cries out for God.

The Jericho Victory

After forty years of growing faith and knowledge of God Israel once again faces Jericho.  The once believed unbeatable kingdom was now a possibility because of what was learned in the forty years. Our supply and hope are not from food and drinks only, but from God who supplies, defends, and delivers victories in impossible situations.  The devil tempted Christ to turn the rocks into bread and eat.  He was very hungry as his body was screaming for food.  But a greater cry came out of Christ’s soul.  He quoted from Deuteronomy 8 a truth that we must learn in the testing to succeed and mature in faith.

Deuteronomy 8:1-3  Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

You may be in a time of testing right now. 

Don’t look only for the needs of your body and family.  Allow this time of testing to strengthen your faith in God and His word.  It may be good for you to fast a few days to place your body and soul in a place of need as you cry out to God.  He will strengthen you as you call out to Him.  Use your faith in the trial against Satan and triumph over his temptations and suggestions. 

Israel entered the promised land.  Jesus was victorious on the cross and prepared a promised land for us.  Walk this world fighting the good fight with every word that comes out of God Word.  You will find a sharpened, ready weapon beside your glowing lightnside.

Psalms 16:7-14. Instructive Protection

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  Psalm 19:7 NIV

Bible-Light1

God’s word effects our mind, spirit and path.

The greatness of God’s word and it’s effect on our lives are recorded in the second half of this Psalms. The word is active. It is alive and brings with it an active influence into one’s life.  Even if you don’t remember what you read yesterday,  the fact that the word went through your mind and heart, it creates a reaction.  This Psalms records the effect of God’s word in your mind and soul.

Attributes and Reactions

The Psalmist elegantly describes the attributes of God’s words  then list’s it’s effect in our mind, body and soul.  God’s word is perfect, trustworthy, right, radiant, pure, firm, more precious than gold. The Word’s produces refreshing, wisdom, joy, light, endurance, righteousness, and sweetness.  Want to be sweeter to others?  Answer: God’s Word!

There are also some preventive properties in God’s Word.  These properties are the added results beyond the benefits mentioned above.  These properties are like taking vitamins or getting a flu shot.  Protection and insulation are the added benefits from God’s word. This protective effect of a daily intake of scripture is found in verses 11-13.

Verse 11: “BY THEM” (the daily dose of God’s word):

We are warned – Understanding consequences of choices.

Exposes hidden faults cannot see –  Brings to the surface hidden behaviors and beliefs that have secretly caused us harm.

Keeps us from allowing willful sins to rule over us. 

Keeps our life away from choosing life destroying paths. 

Because of the scrubbing, correcting, healing and joyful  work of God Truths we conclude and desire with David as we say with lightnside:“Let our words and thoughts be pleasing to God. My Lord (relationship), my Rock (security), my redeemed (active Grace and Mercy).” 

God told Peter “Rise, Kill, Eat”

Acts 10:9 Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

God was planning on using Peter in a new way that would challenge some of his beliefs and traditions. God was opening the gospel to nations outside the Jews. But it was going to require a change in Peter’s thinking and traditions. God put Peter in a trance and lowered a sheet down that had many unclean animals by Peter’s standards. God said Rise, Kill, and Eat. Peter replied, “no, I have never eaten from unclean animals.” God said, “Do not call unclean what I have made clean.”

God was calling Peter to change a tradition and belief that was so ingrained that any thought of changing was unthinkable. Sometimes God will call us to change our daily patterns of activity and focus to be used by God. It may challenge us. God may be wanting to use you in a new and fantastic way. To do that, He must place a revelation be used by God, which will require you to change some habits and traditions in your life. After the vision, men from Cornelius arrived to ask for Peter. Peter went with them and followed God’s leading.

Rise

God showed Peter the trance to challenge his traditions and beliefs. Peter had to do more than just think about it. He had to put action toward this effort. It may not be an evil habit, but God may be wanting you to change your life habits to open up more time for God. Today we have so many distractions surround us with streaming tv, social media, cell phone addiction, sports, and other activities. God may challenge you to change your daily focus. God told Peter to make a change, to do something outside his comfortable daily habits. Peter left with the gentiles. God may be calling you to spend more time with Him, to lead a small group, to change your thoughts about someone or a class of people. Reading more Godly books—volunteer for His purposes. You will need to rise from your normal life and make a change to follow God.

Kill

God was not only calling Peter to kill the animals (which he did not do). He called on Peter to kill some of his traditional beliefs. He knew it was God speaking to challenge him in a new way. To not call unclean what God has made clean. Peter was challenged to change his way of thinking. Peter was challenged not to let his past prejudice stop what God was doing. You may be challenged to kill some daily habits, things that would interfere being used by God. Kill some addictive habits that keep you away from the Bible, prayer, and time to meditate on God and His word.

Eat

God was telling Peter this new journey was His plan. Peter was expected to follow God and the Holy Spirit by faith. When Peter later saw what God was doing, it changed his whole life.

God used Peter in powerful ways to grow His church in the Gentile world. God’s revelation to Peter that day on the roof challenged him to take action (Rise) in his life to trust God, to make changes (Kill) in his own traditions, and to walk in faith (Eat) and fellowship with God.

Following God is a challenge and requires changing elements of our own lives and habits. You never know what God will do with a person who, like Peter, will rise, kill, and eat their way to a powerful man or woman of God.
Let you lightnside be challenged by God this week.