ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR COVENANT

MARCH 12
 
With thee will I establish my covenant. (Genesis 6:18)
 
A covenant is the strongest promise two people can make. Covenant means “to bind together.” Sometimes they would exchange swords, signifying that they would always defend each other. Other times, they would pass a sandal between them, pledging to go to any lengths for each other. Again, they would take an annual sacrifice, split it down the middle, and walk between the halves, signifying they were one, and each was incomplete without the other.
 
God has entered into a covenant to bless you. Listen: “There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you” (Deuteronomy 12:7 NIV). Read the promises of your covenant: health, safety, prosperity, guidance, victory-if you obey the rules. God put those rules into the Ark of the Covenant and when Israel went to war and the Ark went before them, nobody could withstand them. The covenant was their power source; God himself was their ally in battle. And He is your ally, too.
 
The covenant sword is God’s promise to fight for you. The covenant sandal says no matter how far gone you may feel, just call and He’ll come. The covenant sacrifice means you’re an heir to all that He has promised.
 
ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR COVENANT WITH HIM TODAY?
 

 

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR TODAY.
 

 

A police officer found a perfect hiding place for watching for speeding motorists.
 
One day, the officer was amazed when everyone was under the speed limit, so he investigated and found the problem.
 
A 10-year-old boy was standing on the side of the road with a huge hand painted sign which said “Radar Trap Ahead.”
 

A little more investigative work led the officer to the boy’s accomplice: another boy about 100 yards beyond the radar trap with a sign reading “TIPS” and a bucket at his feet full of change.



WALKING WITH GOD

MARCH 11
 
… Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. (Ephesians 4: 1 NKJV)YOU can’t just come to God and say, “Here’s my idea; please stamp Your approval on it. “That’s not the way it works! Listen: “He has created us … so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NIT). Your prayer must be, Lord, show me Your plan.You can’t compartmentalize your life and say, “In this category I’m doing things my way, but in this other category, I’m being led by God.” Every step you take must be synchronized with the beat of the Holy Spirit!Sometimes what you hear in your spirit will be different from what you hear with your ears. Once you understand that, nothing will be more important to you than keeping pace with Him, for His direction is always right. His timing is always perfect, and His results are always best.
 
You ask, “But how can I live like that?” (1) By understanding that God works through you as you engage your mind, open your mouth, move your feet, and use your hands to do what He has already put into your heart. (2) By understanding that He never stops calling you to take one more step, do one more thing, and engage in one more act of faith.
 

 

THAT’S WHAT’S CALLED “WALKING WITH GOD!”
 

 

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR TODAY.
 

 

A police officer in a small town stopped a motorist who was speeding down Main Street. “But officer,” the man said, “I can explain.”
 
“Just be quiet!!!” snapped the officer. “…or I’m going to let you cool off in jail until the chief gets back.”
 
“But officer, I just wanted to say….”
 
“And I said KEEP QUIET! Now you’re going to jail!”
 
A few hours later, the officer checked up on his prisoner and said, “Lucky for you that the chief’s at his daughter’s wedding. He’ll be in a good mood when he gets back.”
 
“Don’t count on it,” said the man in the cell. “I’m the groom!”
 

 



DO YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT DECISION TO MAKE?

MARCH 1
 
If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray . . .  (James 1:5 TM)
 
Here are some suggestions to help you make better decisions.
 
(1) Don’t ask God to bless your plans; ask Him to Show you His-they’re already blessed! He’ll never tell you to do anything that doesn’t line up with what He’s already told you in His Word (see Isaiah 8:20).
 
(2) Make sure your goal is to glorify God. Sometimes that’s hard to do, for the worst pride often masquerades behind feigned humility. The human body’s amazing-pat a man on the back and his head begins to swell! (See James 4:6.)
 
(3) Use your brain. God’s guidance transcends human reasoning, but it usually doesn’t exclude it. God doesn’t remove your mind. He renews it-so pray, then put it to work (see Romans 12:2).
 
(4) Seasons aren’t meant to be ignored. If it isn’t God’s timing, wait! In the right season, the plan will be clear, the people you need will show up, and the funds will be provided (see Ecclesiastes 3:1)
 
(5) Never act without the facts, but never limit God to them. When knowledge won’t take you another step, faith will carry you through. It’s what connects you to the power of God.
 
Now LISTEN AGAIN: “IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, PRAY TO THE FATHER. HE LOVES TO HELP” (JAMES 1:6 TM).
 
From the BEST OF WORD FOR TODAY
 
A magician was facing an unruly crowd as his tricks failed to impress them.To cheer them up, the magician said: “Could anyone please give me an egg? For I shall show you a marvelous trick.”A man seated in the last row shouted: “If we had an egg with us, it would have reached you long before now.” …
 

  One of the company’s finest technicians was drafted and sent to boot camp. At the rifle range, he was given some instruction, a rifle, and bullets. He fired several shots at the target. The report came from the target area that all attempts had completely missed the target.

The technician looked at his rifle, and then at the target. He looked at the rifle again, and then at the target again. He put his finger over the end of the rifle barrel and squeezed the trigger with his other hand. The end of his finger was blown off, whereupon he yelled toward the target area, “It’s leaving here just fine, the trouble must be at your end!”
 


WATCH WHAT YOU SAY

FEBRUARY 28
 
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth.  (Joshua 1:8)
 
Your tongue is one of the greatest gifts God has placed at your command – use it wisely! The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Strong words-yet so often we don’t stop to think before we speak, or consider the effect our words will have.
 
Have you ever used words like, I can’t handle this, or, This will never change? I know I have! Your words don’t just affect those around you; they affect God. Faith-talk is what He responds to. What you say about your situation affects what you believe, and what you believe determines what you’ll receive from God.
 
Are you talking about your expectations, or are you still rehearsing as? Listen: “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:10 NIV). It’s so easy to slip from speaking faith to speaking fear. Don’t do it!
 
MAKE A DECISION TODAY TO GUARD YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY, AND REMEMBER, OTHERS MAY NOT SPEAK WORDS OF FAITH TO YOU TODAY – SO PRACTICE SPEAKING THEM TO YOURSELF!
 
From the BEST OF WORD FOR TODAY
 

   

RETARDED GRANDPARENTS
 
(This was actually reported by a teacher)
 

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils to write an essay on how they spent their holiday away from school.

One child wrote the following:
 
We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.
 
They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Batemans Bay where everyone lives in nice little houses, and so they don’t have to mow the grass anymore!
 
They ride around on their bicycles and scooters and wear name tags because they don’t know who they are anymore.
 
They go to a building called a wreck centre, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now. They do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well.
 
There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on.
 
At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts!
 
Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night — early birds.
 
Some of the people can’t get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked centre for pot luck.
 
My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too.
 
When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.
 


A PLACE FOR THE HURTING

FEBRUARY 27
 
I will … transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope. (Hosea 2: 15 TLB)
 
When your brother or sister falls, what do they need from you? First, they need a place of anonymity. A place where it’s safe to be honest-where no one points an accusing finger and asks, “How could you have done such a thing?” Peter says, “Love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8 NKJV). Note, love doesn’t spread-it covers.
 
Next, they need a place of mercy. The God of the Old Testament built cities of refuge, where offenders could run to safety (see Number 35:6). In the New Testament Jesus lifted a fallen woman, and restored Peter after his painful chapter of denial. If you can’t find mercy in the family of God, where are you going to find it?
 
Finally, they need a place of hope. In Hosea 2:15, God said He would open a Door of Hope in the Valley of Trouble (Achor) .Achor was where Achan was stoned to death for disobeying God. If you’re going through a time of trouble today-even if it’s your own fault remember, God has not abandoned you. Those He loves, experience His correcting hand. But He’s not through blessing you. He’s going to bring you out stronger than you were when you went in.
 
TODAY, HE’S OPENING A DOOR OF HOPE FOR YOU IN YOUR VALLEY OF TROUBLE.
 
 
From the BEST OF WORD FOR TODAY
 

   

Young girl (on first fishing trip): “How much did that red and white thing cost? “Boyfriend: “Oh, you mean that float? About twenty-five cents. “Young girl: “Well, I guess I owe you twenty-five cents. Mine just sank.”
 

 

Young girl to her date: “Aren’t you getting embarrassed? Thanks the fifth time you’ve gone back for more food.”Young man: “Why should I be embarrassed? I just tell them I am getting it for you!” ..
 


NO REPLAYS

February 26
 
Live one day at a time. (Matthew 6:34 TLB)
 
Erma Bombeck wrote: “If I had my life to live over, I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over m feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it, and realized that the wonder growing inside me was just a wonderful opportunity to assist God in a miracle. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life. There would have been more “I love you,’ more I’m sorry,’ and more’ I’m listening: ‘ but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”
 
Sadly, life doesn’t offer us replays. You can’t re-rear your children, or re-pastor your church. Initial impressions can’t be re-made, and cutting remarks can’t be re-said.
 
“You mean God won’t forgive?” you ask. You know better than that! God will forgive, and most people are amazingly understanding. But our biggest task is usually forgiving ourselves.
 
THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. PAUSE BEFORE YOU ACT. AND MAKE EVERY MINUTE COUNT.
 
From the BEST OF WORD FOR TODAY
 

​ JOHNS HOPKINS STUDY The National Institutes of Health has just released the results of a $200 million research study completed, under a Federal grant to Johns Hopkins. The new study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it. …

 
 
Wife texts husband on a cold winter’s morning: “Windows frozen, won’t open. “Husband texts back: “Gently pour some lukewarm water over it. “Wife texts back 5 minutes later: “Computer is really messed up now.” ..
 


THE ‘NO EXCUSE’ SUNDAY

FEBRUARY 25
 
‘” Let us go to the house of the Lord … (Psalm 122: J N I V)
 
Recently, a church bulletin announced the “No-Excuse Sunday” It read:
 
To make it possible for everyone to attend church next week we’re planning to have:
 
  1. Cots, for those who say Sunday is their only day for sleeping in.
  2.  
  3. Eye drops, for those whose eyes are tired from watching too much TV the night before.
  4.  
  5. Steel helmets, for those who say the roof will fall in if they go to church.
  6.  
  7. Blankets, for those who say the building is too cold, and fans for those who say it’s too hot.
  8.  
  9. Hearing aids, for those who say the pastor isn’t loud enough and ear plugs for those who say he shouts too much.
  10.  
  11. Score cards, for those who like to count all the hypocrites
  12.  
  13. Relatives, for those who say Sunday is their only day to be with the family.
  14.  
  15. Lunch, for those who say they can’t attend church and make dinner, too.
  16.  
  17. Trees and grass, for those who say they “see God in nature” – especially golf courses!
  18.  
  19. Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies, for those who wouldn’t recognize the church without them.
  20.  
Now, listen to what David said about going to church: “I love the house where you live, 0 Lord, the place where your glory dwells.” (Psalm 26:8 NIV).
 
  DO YOU FEEL THAT WAY, TOO? IF SO – SEE YOU THERE NEXT SUNDAY!
 
From the BEST OF WORD FOR TODAY
 

 

I went to the cardiologist today for an echo-cardiogram. The doctor prepared the machine and began the process of taking a sonogram of my heart.​”Huh,” he said. “That’s weird.”I stared at him with an expression of curiosity and growing concern. “What?””You said you’re a law student, right?” the doctor asked.”Yes,” I replied, confused.The doctor exclaimed, “Well, there’s actually a heart in here! Want me to take a picture for you so you can prove it to people once you’re an attorney?” ..
.


THINGS I’VE NOTICED ABOUT JESUS

FEBRUARY 22
 
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3: 17)
 
Jesus didn’t care about His reputation, or He wouldn’t have eaten dinner with Zacchaeus. Tax collectors were despised Jews who worked for the Romans, extorting taxes from their own people. But Jesus wasn’t concerned with what people thought of Zacchaeus, for He sees us not  as we are, but as we will be when He gets through  with us. After he met Jesus, Zacchaeus was so changed .that he Said, “If I have taken any thing from any man … I restore him fourfold.” (Luke 19:8)  That’s real conversion.
 
I’ve noticed too that Jesus always went to bat for losers, like the woman caught in the act of adultery. He listened to her self-righteous judges, and then wiped them out with one last sentence, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7). To fully appreciate this story, you have to know what it’s like to be  personally lifted by Christ from your own” gutter. Listen: “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11). Is he serious? his woman could no more stop sinning than you could pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Ah, but what He meant was “Because you’ve met Me, you’ll never have to go back to your old life anymore.”
 
HE IS THE LIFTING CHRIST,” AND HE CAN LIFT YOU TODAY FROM WHERE YOU ARE . JUST REACH FOR HIM.
 

 

​An old man was wondering if his wife had a hearing problem. So one night, he stood behind her while she was sitting in her lounge chair. He spoke softly to her, “Honey, can you hear me? “There was no response. He moved a little closer and said again, “Honey, can you hear me? “Still, there was no response. Finally he moved right behind her and said, “Honey, can you hear me? “She replied, “For the third time, Yes!”
 

 

When a sign in a clothing store says, “One size fits all,” it never fits anybody.
 

 

A billboard sign advertising the business for a leading optometrist in Birmingham read years ago when I was growing up, “You may not need glasses; but, you do need to know!”
 

  “Money is not everything; but, it is the next thing to oxygen.”​



FRIENDS WITH GOD

FEBRUARY 21
 
… I have called you friends … (John 15:15)
 
The difference between a friend and a servant lies in what they know. Jesus was telling His disciples, “I’m bringing you from the place of obedience to the place of intimacy; from functioning without insight, to knowing My mind and My purposes. I had to see if you could (1) take bad news and still keep a good attitude” (2) trust Me and not try to manipulate things; and (3) follow My plan, even when you couldn’t see the big picture. And you did, so now I no longer call you servants, but friends.”
 
Before God destroyed Sodom He discussed it with Abraham, because Abraham was “the Friend of God” (James 2:23). Before He gave Israel His Law, He talked it over with Moses. Listen: “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11). “Is such a relationship possible?” You ask. Yes, but check the price tag!
 
David said, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him” (Psalm 25:14). God will share things with His friends that He won’t with others! Do you know somebody who’s clear-headed in the midst of confusion, and cool when the heat’s on?
 

 

IT COULD BE THAT THEY KNOW A SECRET-SHARED WITH THEM BY A FRIEND!
 

 

The sign on the fence bordering a golf course in a southern city read:  “Attention Golfers, We are raising small children behind this fence, so please refrain from enriching their vocabularies. Thank you!” ..
 

  ​Late one night I stopped at one of those 24-hour gas station mini-marts to get myself a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. When I picked up the pot, I could not help noticing that the brew was as black as asphalt and just about as thick. “How old is the coffee you have here?” I asked the woman who was standing behind the store counter. She shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ve only been working here two weeks.” …



THE OPEN DOOR POLICY

FEBRUARY 20 
 
Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.  (Revelation 3:8)
God guides us in many ways, and one of them is what I call “the open door policy.” I’m stubborn, and it’s taken me a long time to learn not to keep knocking on doors that are closed, and Instead to walk through the ones He has opened. Are you like that? Remember, don’t stay where you’re tolerated; go where you’re celebrated. God says no man can close the door. So if it’s closed, He may have a hand in it, and you need to pay attention.
 
The mighty Mississippi is two miles wide at one point, but so narrow at another you can jump across it. Now, when you first walk through a door, things may look small, but as you remain faithful and keep walking, you’ll discover that you’re connected to something deeper, wider and bigger than you ever conceived.
 
Years ago I thought my life was over, but today I have more joy and greater purpose than ever. When God closes one door, He opens another. Walking through it can be fearful, especially when you don’t know what’s on the other side. But it shouldn’t be, for Jesus said, “He goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice”  (John 10:4 NIV)
 
WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THIS DOOR, HE’LL BE WAITING THERE FOR YOU, SO DON’T BE AFRAID.
 

 

It was graduation day and the mother was trying to take a picture of her son in a cap and gown, posed with his father. “Let’s try to make this look natural” she said.”Junior, put your arm around your dad’s shoulder.”The father answered, “If you want it to look natural, why not have him put his hand in my pocket?”​ .
 

  Teacher (pointing to the flag): “Amy, do you know what this is?” Amy: “Yes, it is the flag of our country.” Teacher: “Now, tell me the name of our country.” Amy: “‘Tis of Thee.” …




 

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