The Daily Scroll

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“The Lord is my helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:6

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Angels Study God

IMG_0087Angels in heaven worship God continually. They sometimes focus their worship on the different attributes of God. Once an attribute of God is studied, they model it through their own person. How much more should we, His children, study His attributes and try our best to model ourselves after God and His ways.

Where’s Jesus?

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We’ve all heard stories of missionaries of the past who traveled to the most remote areas of the earth searching for lost souls, people who have never heard the name of Jesus. Once I met a man who originally came out from one of those remote areas, searching for Jesus. His name is Yume, and he is a Pygmy from a remote village in the rain forests of South America. I had the privilege of interviewing him on Christian TV in Nashville, Tennessee.

Yume appeared the way you would imagine a Pygmy would look, less than five feet tall, slight of build, with facial features of someone from the remote regions of a South American Jungle. Yume had so much love of Jesus in his heart that it sparkled out of his eyes. His firm handshake and broad smile were infectious. His story is incredible.

Yume was born and raised in a Pygmy tribe deep in the rain forest of South America. Back in the 1960’s Yume came of age, which meant he had to submit to secret rituals and initiations, like every boy did, in order to be recognized as a man. In the final portion of the initiation, the elders of the tribe took him to a secret place in the deepest, most foreboding part of the Jungle. Wild beasts thrived there, and danger lurked behind every tree.

Young Yume’s challenge was to survive the night alone, armed only with his fear. They believed that sometime during the night, the spirit of the forest, a mystical being of terror, would find Yume. With his touch, the boy would die. Then the spirit of the forest would bring him back to life … as a man. Every boy feared this transformation from death, to life as a man, as much as the wild beasts from the jungle.

So they left Yume there … alone. His thoughts soon turned to the boys who never returned. Did they get lost and die? Did wild beasts devour them? Did the spirit of the jungle find them unworthy to be brought back as men? What would happen to him? These were his thoughts as he waited in the night — naked, cold, defenseless and alone, curled up on the ground under a large tree between two protruding roots.

Then the miracle happened. A man of light appeared. His skin was lighter than Yume’s and he had long brown hair and a beard. Clothed in a white garment from neck to toe, he shined like the sun. Yume thought, “This must be the spirit of the forest. I am going to die.” With that, he curled up even tighter as fear gripped him.

The man spoke and introduced himself as Jesus. He told Yume that he had come to save him and give him eternal life. Yume loosened up some. Jesus comforted him, protected him, and stayed with him through the night. At daybreak, Yume looked around and Jesus was gone!

After a harrowing run through the forest to his village, Yume told his family and the elders what had happened. How this man Jesus came to save and protect him. Nobody believed him. Yume told me that neither he nor anyone from his village had ever seen a white man before. He was ridiculed and abused, so he left.

He set out through the rain forest to find Jesus. He traveled through dangerous forests and jungles, climbed unknown mountains and swam across rivers. He searched from villages to settlements asking the same question of those he met. “Where’s Jesus?”

Every place he went, he would tell his story and ask the same question, “Where’s Jesus?” Weeks turned into years, and Yume grew up, but he never gave up. Eventually, Yume found his answer and discovered where and whom Jesus is, but not before walking through South America, Central America, Mexico, and into the United States!

“… he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

Yume became an evangelist and a missionary. Not one who went to the jungle, but one who Jesus brought out of the jungle. Now everywhere he goes, he shares the answer to where’s Jesus, “He’s in my heart!”

“And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (NLT)

Servant Of All

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One evening John was sitting in his nice middle income home reading a book on church history when he came across a passage describing famine and starvation which afflicted the early church. It stated, “Many sold themselves into slavery, and with the price received fed others.”

John was stunned as well as shamed by this account and said to himself, “Boy do I not measure up.” As he searched his conscience, and prayed to the Lord, he made a promise. “Lord, I can’t do anything tonight but before I go you bed tomorrow night I will have fed somebody.”

The next day at work he asked around if anyone knew someone in need of food. No one did. So John prayed for God to lead him as he was desperate to feed someone. In his mind he saw the front of a modest brick home in great detail. Not recognizing it, he asked God to show him the house.

A few minutes later a coworker came and told of an elderly widow in his church in need. John said “Lets go shopping!” So the two of them piled into John’s pickup and headed to the grocery store. As John pushed the basket down the isle, he asked the Lord to guide him in what you buy.

Neither knew exactly what she needed so they just began to put staples in the basket; varieties of food, cleaning supplies, and whatever caught John’s eye. The Bible teaches us, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23 NLT) He surely delighted in their enthusiasm because of what came next.

With the pickup filled with bags, they headed to the widows home. Now some might call what happened next a coincidence, but John knew for sure that it was a Devine mission when they pulled up to the house and it was the exact house that he had seen in detail while in prayer! “Hallelujah! This is it,” John exclaimed, as his coworker went up to the porch and knocked on the door.

When the dear sister was told what was happening she put her hands over her gaped open mouth and stood to the side on the porch. The two young men began to carry bags into the house to the kitchen as she raised her hands, praised the lord, and did a little dance. It turns out her daughter and kids had just came to stay with her out of their need, and there was no food in the house.

She stopped them at one point and said, “I was on my knees praying to God to meet our needs and I told him, “Lord, you ain’t never let me down in all these eighty years, and I know you ain’t gonna let me down now.” Then you young men knocked on my door.” They all praised God and continued carrying plastic grocery bags inside. Coming in with another load she asked, ”How did you know that this is my brand of flour? Look! That there is my favorite cereal!”

She could see through the bags as they had brought all her favorites. It was as if she had given them a list. They replied “We had no idea what to buy Sister. We let the Holy Spirit guide us. He knew what you needed and what you liked.” Praise God!

John had followed the leading of God and received the miracle of answered prayer.

From this humble beginning, fulfilling a promise to feed someone, John went on to found a food ministry which delivered more than a million pounds of food to the poor and needy in his community. Though this is a true story, few people know John’s real name, at his request.

Jesus taught this lifestyle to His disciples. “And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 30:35 NLT).

The River of God’s Will

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Do you ever wonder where you stand in the will of God? Every day we make decisions concerning our life, and in many cases, the lives of our family. How do we know we are making the right decisions? What about the consequences if we are wrong? How can we know we are right?
A bad decision at the wrong time could have an earth-shattering effect on our lives, and the lives of those close to us, if we are wrong.
The Bible tells us,
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
However, we know that a correct decision can culminate in a cascade of blessings for our family and us. I was an 18-year-old Air Force Airman stationed far from home for the first time when I first seriously sought God’s will for my life. My high school sweetheart was awaiting my return as we had plans to marry.  We both wanted God’s will in our life, not wanting to make a mistake that could end in divorce.
So on one hot Texas Sunday morning, I knelt in an altar and submitted my will to God’s will. I placed our plans in God’s hands and with a sincere heart asked His will in our lives. I told God that if He had other plans for our lives, or even wanted me to remain single and become a missionary, I would do it. I found out later, that at the same time, she was in the altar at our home church back in Virginia, asking God the same thing. We both submitted our wills to God, and He let us know that our marriage was His will. Thirty-six years later, we’re still blessed by staying in the center of His will.
It is imperative that we find God’s will in our life, for His will is actually what’s best for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Being in the will of God is like being in the center of a fast flowing river.
In the center of the river the flow is strongest and fastest. The further away from the center of the river you drift, the slower and less directed the flow. You’re still in the flow, but it’s not as strong or sure.
In the center of God’s will, His guidance is strongest and most sure. But the further away from the center of God’s will you drift, the slower you move, and the guidance, direction, and protection you would have received from Him is weaker and less effective, almost indiscernible. You move from His perfect will into His permissive will, and then out of His will altogether.
Wading to the edge of the river, you eventually step out and find yourself on the shore of your pride and independence, and the river flows on without you. Likewise, stepping out of God’s will, you are on your own, left to your own devices as the will of God moves on without you. Out of the river, you try to make your way, but it’s more difficult to move forward, because there are obstacles.
You try to move parallel to the river, keeping it in sight, but there are obstacles in the path, forcing movement around them. This causes you to travel in a different direction than the river, which is now so far away that it can’t even be seen. Trying to serve or even follow God when you are out of His will becomes frustrating because of the obstacles that force movement further away from God’s plan for your life. Bad relationships, wrong career choice, poor health, lack of education, and finances are only some of the wrong roads on which you might find yourself. Subsequently, your life ends up on a wrong path or stuck at a dead end going nowhere.
Do you ever wonder where you stand in the will of God? Every day we make decisions concerning our life, and in many cases, the lives of our family. How do we know we are making the right decisions? What about the consequences if we are wrong? How can we know we are right?
A bad decision at the wrong time could have an earth-shattering effect on our lives, and the lives of those close to us, if we are wrong.
The Bible tells us,
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Isaiah 53:6 (NLT)
However, we know that a correct decision can culminate in a cascade of blessings for our family and us. I was an 18-year-old Air Force Airman stationed far from home for the first time when I first seriously sought God’s will for my life. My high school sweetheart was awaiting my return as we had plans to marry.  We both wanted God’s will in our life, not wanting to make a mistake that could end in divorce.
So on one hot Texas Sunday morning, I knelt in an altar and submitted my will to God’s will. I placed our plans in God’s hands and with a sincere heart asked His will in our lives. I told God that if He had other plans for our lives, or even wanted me to remain single and become a missionary, I would do it. I found out later, that at the same time, she was in the altar at our home church back in Virginia, asking God the same thing. We both submitted our wills to God, and He let us know that our marriage was His will. Thirty-six years later, we’re still blessed by staying in the center of His will.
It is imperative that we find God’s will in our life, for His will is actually what’s best for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Being in the will of God is like being in the center of a fast flowing river.
In the center of the river the flow is strongest and fastest. The further away from the center of the river you drift, the slower and less directed the flow. You’re still in the flow, but it’s not as strong or sure.
In the center of God’s will, His guidance is strongest and most sure. But the further away from the center of God’s will you drift, the slower you move, and the guidance, direction, and protection you would have received from Him is weaker and less effective, almost indiscernible. You move from His perfect will into His permissive will, and then out of His will altogether.
Wading to the edge of the river, you eventually step out and find yourself on the shore of your pride and independence, and the river flows on without you. Likewise, stepping out of God’s will, you are on your own, left to your own devices as the will of God moves on without you. Out of the river, you try to make your way, but it’s more difficult to move forward, because there are obstacles.
You try to move parallel to the river, keeping it in sight, but there are obstacles in the path, forcing movement around them. This causes you to travel in a different direction than the river, which is now so far away that it can’t even be seen. Trying to serve or even follow God when you are out of His will becomes frustrating because of the obstacles that force movement further away from God’s plan for your life. Bad relationships, wrong career choice, poor health, lack of education, and finances are only some of the wrong roads on which you might find yourself. Subsequently, your life ends up on a wrong path or stuck at a dead end going nowhere.
My old friend decided one day to wade out from the center of the river of God’s will. He found himself interested in another woman as he waded to the edge of the river. Then he stepped out of the river of God’s will and left his wife and family. He wandered about for many months until he came to his senses and decided to return. He came back to the river, saw his place, and dove in. He swam back into the center of God’s will, returning to his family, his church, and his God. And there he remains to this day.
Now, you could make your way back to where you left the river of God’s will, try to re-enter, and find the place that was originally meant for you, but that’s not always practical. Maybe your spot in the river has already moved on, or your place was filled with another.
Do not despair! There is another place for you in the river. God’s will and plan for your life yet waits!  Make your way directly to the river of God’s will at whichever point along life’s journey you now find yourself.
Get back in the river. Wade out from the shore and into the flow. Don’t be satisfied with an ankle deep, knee deep, or waist deep place in the river of God’s will.
Remember God’s Word,
“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1 (NLT)
Abandon yourself, head over heels, to the center of the river where the flow is strongest and most sure, flowing in the will of God.