May 31 – A Memory

“For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” Ecclesiastes 9:5

NEVER forget the sacrifices that were necessary to preserve the freedom of the citizens of the United States of America and of all other democracies in the world. Honor the men and women who died in former wars, remembering the price they paid for what you enjoy today.

Remember also those heroes of the past who laid the groundwork for religious freedom, such as the Apostle Paul and Martin Luther . . . and the missionaries to foreign lands who helped bring the Gospel to hungry souls, such as Hudson Taylor and David Livingstone. “The memory of the righteous will be a blessing. . .

(Proverbs 1O:7a, NIV)

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross ensures spiritual freedom and is what prompted these men and women to give up their lives for others. There is a price for freedom! Actually, each Lord’s Day should be a Memorial Day to remind you of God’s mercies. A forgetful heart soon becomes a foolish heart. An ungrateful attitude soon becomes a highway to ungodly living. Remember: “. . . it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3b)

Pray:
“Thank You, Lord, for the miracle of creation, the gift of salvation, and the promise of eternal life.  I will remember your warriors on life’s battleground today.  Amen.”

May 30 – Bridging the Generation Gap – II

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.”Deuteronomy 32:7

Moses was keenly aware of the importance of passing down information and blessings to children of the next generation. How do you keep the lines of communication open to do this? Here are some guidelines:

1) Advance, do not withdraw. Do not assume children are not listening and watching you. Just continue input into their lives.

2) Recognize the value of your daily life-style. Be sure that you “practice what you preach.”

3) Take an interest in the interests of the younger. What you respect, you will attract.

4) Demonstrate unconditional love. Love the sinner but not the sin. It is when they stumble that they need you the most. (See Proverbs 17:17a.)

5) Allow room for mistakes. Lessons in life are often learned by trial and error. (YOU did not arrive at perfection overnight.)

6) Recognize the power of your prayers. Timothy’s mother and grandmother’s faith helped him.

7) Be generous with your resources. You cannot take it with you to the grave. Bless your family while you can, especially at times of crises.

Remember, it is never too late to begin again. Work at BRIDGING THE GAP! It is worth the effort!

PRAY:
“God of all generations, help me to remain an open vessel of communication with young people even when it seems a bit awkward.  Allow me to learn from them too. Amen.”

May 29 – Bridging the Generation Gap – 1

“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren: The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.” I Timothy 5:1-2

Today there is a painful disregard for authority, as well as disrespect for the elderly. As a result, you see a lot of misunderstanding, fear, and rejection on both sides— young and old.

The Bible teaches respect for the wisdom that comes with years. Leviticus 19:32a (NIV) commands: “Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.” King Solomon added his thoughts in Proverbs 16:31 (NIV):“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.”

More than ever, we live in a time when parents and grandparents must be bold in offering counsel and correction to the younger. Do not withdraw from your children or grandchildren because of their seeming “lack of interest.” You have the God-given ability and responsibility to give godly direction to the younger generation!

The devil tries hard to keep generations apart. If he can succeed in breaking up homes, he can succeed in seducing whole nations. Pray for James Dobson’s ministry (Focus on the Family) and others like it who are BRIDGING THE GAP.

PRAY:
“Father, You were the Originator of the family structure.  I pray You will intervene quickly to save homes. Show me where I can help.  Bless my family today.  I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

May 28 – Your Spiritual Well

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14

At Christian Retreat you can view a multimedia presentation, formerly at a World’s Fair, called “Thirst for Life.” It depicts the human body’s need for physical water and the soul’s thirst for spiritual water. Have you learned to drink from your spiritual well?

If your spirit is dry, you may have to DIG A NEW WELL. Do not camp on old contention and strife; move on. “Enlarge the place of thy tent. . . .” (Isaiah 54:2) Do not look back. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)

You may need to learn to SPEAK TO THE ROCK… that is, that obstacle or hardened heart. Do not “strike” at it in your flesh. As Moses was commanded by God to “speak” to the rock to obtain water in Numbers 20:8, so you must use God’s mighty weapon of warfare— confession—to pull down strongholds in your life.

Finally, you must learn to DRAW LIVING WATER FROM THE WELL. How? Through worship, in spirit and in truth. “… if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” (John 7:37b)

PRAY:
“Your prophet foretold that ‘with joy [I] will draw water from the wells of salvation.* Heavenly Father, refresh me today with Your Living Water. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

*Isaiah 12:3 (NIV)

May 27 – How to Keep Your Healing

“.. . If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee. . . for I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26

Thank God that you can look to “Dr. Jesus” for your healing. I Peter 2:24b says,”… by [His] stripes ye were healed.” But how do you KEEP your healing? The SPIRITUAL principles for staying well are similar to those of natural medicine.

1) OBEY THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS as to your activities. Deuteronomy 28 promises God’s continued blessing as you walk in obedience to His Word.

2) RECEIVE AND UNDERSTAND YOUR PRESCRIPTION. These are God’s promises in such Scriptures as Mark 16:18, Psalm 107:20, Isaiah 53:5, I Peter 2:24, Matthew 8:17, and Psalm 103:2-3. If they are hard to decipher, ask your druggist (Pastor).

3) CONSISTENTLY TAKE YOUR MEDICINE – The Word of God. “For [my sayings] are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:22)

4) EXERCISE DAILY. “. . . faith without works is dead.” (James 2:20b) Speak the Word, praise and worship God, walk by faith and not feeling, do good to others, have a clear conscience.

5) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HEALTHY PEOPLE. Stay around people of prayer and faith.

PRAY:
“Dear Father, I submit to You and resist the devil so he is powerless to attack my healing. Help me to be single-minded in my faith. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

May 26 – How to Get Your Healing

“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”

Everyone, at one time or another, needs some sort of healing.  The New Testament Church experienced those needs, and God gave His formula for divine health.

First of all, you must come in an attitude of submission. Calling for the elders is a means of recognizing and respecting God-ordained authority, which is your covering and protection. God is looking for people with a willingness to do anything.  Remember what Naaman had to do to be healed of leprosy which, initially, made him very angry.  (Read II Kings 5:1-19)

Secondly, you must have faith that your healing is spiritually promised. “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:15) “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.” (I John 5:14)

Finally, you must sincerely, honestly, and openly repent of all faults, or sins. Make yourself accountable to God’s leadership.  Effectual, fervent, persistent prayer gets answers. (See James 5:17.)

PRAY:
“Jehovah-rophe, my Healer, thank You for healing my lonely spirit, my sin-sick soul, and my diseased body.  I am all Yours today – complete in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.”

May 25 – The Power of Forgiveness

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in that last days. People will be . . . without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good.” Exodus 15:26

In these “last days,” UNFORGIVENESS is causing divorce, lifelong grudges, hatred, bitterness, sickness, and division in the Church. Mark 11:25a quotes Jesus as making this commandment: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any . . .

GOD WANTS YOU TO FORGIVE OTHERS. Offenses surely will come in your lifetime, but let God take care of the offender. (See Luke 17:1-2.) Man looks on the outward appearance, but only God can see the heart attitude. (See I Samuel 16:7.) So do not waste time evaluating another’s act of repentance.

GOD WANTS TO FORGIVE YOU.  II Corinthians 6:2b says: “. . . behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.” (Emphasis supplied.) Sin is no problem for God.  His redemptive plan is complete. (See Hebrews 10:14.) He does not forgive you because you are perfect; He forgives you to make you perfect.

GOD WANTS YOU TO FORGIVE YOURSELF.  Accept God’s forgiveness and lose your “sin complex.” Forgive your past failures, poor performance, how you look, or lost goals.  Read Ephesians 2:8!

PRAY:
“Father, I cannot reflect Your glory if I focus on my failures, discouragements, or self-righteousness. Deliver me from all unforgiveness.   In Jesus’ Name, I pray.  Amen.”