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Daily Oracle – June 1, 2013 Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD. - Isaiah 1:18 Do you think God is too busy to not only hear your prayer.

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Presentation on theme: "Daily Oracle – June 1, 2013 Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD. - Isaiah 1:18 Do you think God is too busy to not only hear your prayer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Daily Oracle – June 1, 2013 Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD. - Isaiah 1:18 Do you think God is too busy to not only hear your prayer but to have a “sit down” with you and hear what you have to say? Believe it or not, God is waiting to hear from you, not just at bedtime but at any time. The Bible tells us He never slumbers or sleeps. You can wake up at 0300 and His ears are attuned to what you have to say. And if you are in a dilemma, what was it He told Isaiah and He tells us as well? Come, let us reason together. Reasoning with God does not mean that you are going to negotiate sin with Him. He is not going to relieve you of your financial obligation to tithe. He is not going to turn a blind eye to your wrongdoing. But if you find yourself in a quandary, God is willing and able to help you get through it. Thanks to His grace, we do not live under a God of “My way or the highway” (although it is His way or no way at all). God knows we are human, that we are flesh, that all of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory. But He has no desire to throw you away. He loves you too much to say “sorry, you got to go” if you sin once or one million times. Just remember He has brought you this far and is not about to toss you aside. Open your ears and your heart and listen for the times He says, “come now, let us reason together”. He does listen. He does forgive. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

2 Daily Oracle - June 2, 2013 Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right. - Proverbs 20:11 We all know them. Those bad little children. Little kids with the mouths of adults, and not the kind of adults we would be proud of either. It seems as though the bad ones are the ones who get all the attention; after all, negative attention is better than no attention at all. A child acts out for a reason, any number of reasons. Yet there are those who just seem to naturally be awful little children. We all know the bad ones at the expense of the good ones. The bad kids make the news, while the ones excelling at the arts, at academics, at sports (unless they are exceptional at their game) get overlooked. But a child is good or bad for a reason, ideally at least two reasons. Mom and dad. Grandma and Granddad. Older siblings. Someone influences that child to his or her goodness or badness. It is said the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. An adult with a lot of mouth and a lot of attitude will normally, through environment if nothing else, raise a child with the same negative attributes. On the other hand, the adult who pushes the child to behave, to excel at everything he or she sets out to do will (ideally) raise a good child. Every one of us is someone's child. Like it or not, we all had a mother and a father, regardless of their presence in our lives. Children mimic and imitate the environment they are surrounded by. Granted, some turn out good or bad despite our best, or worst, efforts. A very wise man once said raise up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

3 Daily Oracle - June 3, 2013 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful to me, my foot stands in an even place... - Psalm 26:11,12 Integrity is something no one can take away from you. You can give it away, you can compromise it, you can devalue it, but like your character, no one can take it away. It doesn't matter what they call you; it's what you answer to that counts. There are those who will take any chance, any opportunity to tear you down. They do it for any number of reasons. But the good news is, the Good News! In other words, no matter who is saying what they are saying about you, none of them – none of them – have a heaven or a hell to put you in. They may try to make life miserable or uncomfortable for you, but if you have Jesus? Guess what? He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother and He will never let you down. I tell people all the time, I have been knocked down, but I have never been knocked out. Why? Because Jesus is my “corner man” and He is not going to let me fall. If you are right in God's eyes, there is no man who can tear you down. God is in the forgiving and forgetting “business”. My pastor says when Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. Same holds true for folks; they will remind you of your past and you need to remind them of your future. If you are a born-again Christian, your past doesn't matter. It is all about your future, eternity in heaven. God forgives; men remind. God forgets; men remember. God saves; men condemn. God is the God of the second, third and fourth (infinite) chance; man allows one slip up. God allows u-turns; men build no exit ramps, doing their best to keep you on the highway to hell. Hold to your integrity. Build on your name and your character. Keep your foot on an even place. God will never let you down. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

4 Daily Oracle - June 4, 2013 And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? - Isaiah 8:19 Mediums, mystics, magicians, wizards, fortune tellers, psychics, and their ilk are all real. Were they not real, God's Word would not mention them nor would He prohibit interacting with them. They have power, puny though it may be, to give people a false hope and fill them with confidence they may not otherwise have. Why? Because they do not know God. What I find amazing is those who profess God, profess a relationship with Jesus, swear they are full of the Holy Spirit, and they consult such persons? Christians who read their horoscope and determine the day they are going to have. Rather than pray for a mate, pay $3.99 per minute to be told what they probably already know. People, for the most part, would rather seek after and chase behind other people than to put their faith and hope and trust in God. Now, once you die, you are, for all intent and purpose – dead. I say that to say that you are not coming back to life in this life and all the séances in the world are not bring Uncle Henry back to change the will. However, when King Saul sought the counsel of the witch of Endor, God allowed her to bring Samuel back to life to speak to Saul. What he heard he did not like and the next day he and his sons died in battle. I do not believe in voodoo, but I leave those folks along. I know what my God does for me; I have no idea what their gods do for them. I do not mock them; I simply leave them alone. The Mormons hold baptisms for the dead; a little bit too late to come to salvation or to be baptized once those eyes close for the very last time. The long and the short of it is leave these folks alone. Especially those who possess, not simply profess, Christ, have nothing to talk to them about. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

5 Daily Oracle - June 5, 2013 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed – better not to vow than to vow and not pay. - Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 There is not one of us who at one time or another promised (vowed) God that if only He would do this, we would do that. Making a promise to God is serious business. It's not like telling your friend you'll help him move on Saturday and then go to the Braves games instead. God makes promise after promise; He makes none of them lightly and He has or will deliver on each and every one of them. The Preacher says God takes no pleasure in fools; it is the fool who makes the vow then blows it off. And pay? Your vow is much more than simply money. It is anything you say you will do for Him or for His kingdom that must be paid. God wants our time, talents and treasure. If you vow it, pay it. The Preacher was the wealthiest and the wisest man who ever lived. By the time he wrote Ecclesiastes he was old and jaded. Vanity had become one of his favorite words. For he saw that a life worth living was not about living for the moment. It was not about amassing gold and silver, donkeys and camels, 700 wives and 300 concubines. All these things were temporal then and they are temporal now. Ananias and Sapphira learned the hard way about vowing and not paying. God may not strike you down as He did them, but again, He takes no pleasure in fools. Do what you say you will do. You will be rewarded. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

6 Daily Oracle - June 6, 2013 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. - Ecclesiastes 7:8-9 Many times the end is better than the beginning. The beginning requires a learning process, a lot of patience and uncertainty, but once you get it down, it can be great. When you begin a class or begin a job it may be difficult and frustrating and you may just want to quit. But sticking with it pays dividends and at the end of the semester that 'A' feels good or when you master or complete the job that promotion feels great. Patience requires humility; pride says 'I can do this' and you plunge in feet first only to come up short or completely fail. That is where anger can creep in. The Preacher says be slow to anger because anger rests – and burns – in the bosom of the fool. It is said that the one who angers you controls you and to a certain extent that is true. If your anger toward someone dictates your day, your attitude, your treatment of others, that anger is controlling you – that person is pushing your buttons. The funny thing is it is usually not the one we are angry with who we lash out at. We take it out on the innocent, we transfer our anger toward one person on to others. That is why, I suppose, the Preacher says anger rests in the bosom of fools. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

7 Daily Oracle - June 7, 2013 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bond servant of Christ. - Galatians 1:9-19 Anyone who comes preaching anything other than Christ crucified, dead and resurrected from the grave is teaching a false gospel. Anyone who adds to the writings of the Holy Bible or takes away from its writings is accursed. Should one stand before you and preach that there is a way to heaven other than through Christ Jesus or preaches that no one goes to hell is, quite frankly, a liar and the truth is not in him. Christianity has become “big business” for many preachers, televangelists, “Christian” (for profit) companies and the such. Paul said he became all things to all men but that did not mean he compromised the gospel of Jesus Christ to do it. Too many Christian “leaders” are so tied into the almighty dollar that they dare not preach out against sin. Too afraid to offend. Too afraid the “deep pockets” will leave and go somewhere that their ears may be tingled. Woe to them on Judgment Day (I did not say woe, Paul did not say woe, Jesus said woe). Paul had the fortitude to unashamedly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. What was his question? Do I still seek to please men and if so I am not a bond servant of Christ. Think about that, whether you are a layperson, preacher, elder, bishop, Cardinal or Pope or a pew warmer. Think about who you are pleasing. Who am I pleasing with Foot of the Cross? I hope I am pleasing Christ and not offending many. If I step on toes it is not out of malice. But all of us need to be offended by the Word of God – yes, offended – from time-to-time as evidence that we are being convicted by the work of the Holy Spirit. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

8 Daily Oracle - June 8, 2013 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. - Titus 3:9-11 Most of the time it is the right thing to do; walk away from the dispute, walk away from the argument, walk away from the fool. I say most of the time because sometimes we must dig our heels in and stand our ground, especially on issues of faith, morality and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even then, sometimes, we are right to walk away. Jesus told the 70 that if they were rejected, knock the dust off their sandals and move on. There is no profit in arguing with a divisive man, a fool or an advocate for anything counter to the Word of God. This was part of Paul's charge to Titus, but as usual, it could be his charge to you and me. What is there really worth fighting over? I always say the worse thing that can happen to a family is that a member of the family dies. No matter they're going to heaven or to hell; what matters is where their “stuff” is going. Families fall apart over quilts, knick-knacks, money (or the lack thereof). They wail and moan at the funeral and cuss each other out in the living room and the lawyer's office. But the profit? Don't run from a fight, but don't run to one either. The man and woman of God is the one who takes the “high ground” and leaves the useless and unprofitable alone. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

9 Daily Oracle - June 9, 2013 How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! The curves of your thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a skillful workman. Your navel is a rounded goblet; it lacks no blended beverage... - Song of Solomon 7:1,2 And if you want more, read on. I had to stop. If God did not see the beauty in sex, in love, in passion, He would not have had it recorded in the holy scriptures. The problem is guess who? Not Satan. Nope. The problem is us. We have perverted sex and physical intimacy to a level God never intended. Oh, He allows, but it was not His intent. Just as the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was there for God's glory and it was eaten anyway, sex was put here for God's glory too; sex, that is, between a married man and his wife. Not teenagers. Not premarital. Not extramarital. Not two men or two women and we all know three's a crowd. Everyone of us has a person of intense beauty just as Solomon did. The beauty may be physical, emotional, spiritual and preferably more than just physical. Different attributes attract us to others; for some it may be a smile, a laugh, the curvy thighs that are like jewels or the navel shaped as a rounded goblet. I'm certain that if I continue I will get a boatload of “feedback”, so again, I stop there. Respect your mate. Their comfort is to be your goal. God gave it to us for many reasons. Try, within the confines of your faith and your Christianity, to keep it as God intended it and not as the world has perverted it. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

10 Daily Oracle - June 10, now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. - 2 Chronicles 29:5 Some days I open my Bible and there is the scripture that needs sharing. Today was such a day. Every now and then (more now than then) we all need spiritual “spring cleaning”. We need to sanctify ourselves to the LORD God. We need to cleanse and purify our hearts and minds, wash our hands (so to speak) and seek repentance and atonement for our sins and our transgressions. Just as we need to clean the church of dust and dirt that just accumulates and builds up after week upon week of folks coming and going, a little dusting and vacuuming is in order. However, the building also needs a “deep cleaning” to sweep out the physical as well as the carnal dust and dirt. Paul wrote that our bodies are a temple of God. As such, when Hezekiah said “carry the rubbish from the holy place”, although he was talking about the house of God, we need to carry out the rubbish from our lives as well. We often hold on to things, to people, to attitudes and ideas that need to be carried out and carried away. It is always nice to clear the mind, clear the heart and clear the soul of the rubbish (trash, garbage, sin) we accumulate and harbor. Clean it out and start over. I say start over because it will begin to accumulate again. God knows this. And in knowing this, if we will surrender our will to His will He will handle the “deep cleaning”. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

11 Daily Oracle - June 11, 2013 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. - 1 John 3:1 That we are the children of God. What better Father could we have? We act up, cut up, disobey, disrespect, lie to Him, just as our children do us. But we also, like our children, honor, obey and respect Him, which is much more profitable than honoring our own mother and father. Some parents are not, quite frankly, worthy of honor and respect. Not so with our heavenly Father. He is the only One who will never turn us away, never turn His back on us and the only One who will forever love us, no matter what we do. We are His; we are children of the King. John goes on to write that the world does not know us because the world did not – does not – know Him. Some folks do not understand why we pray. Why we go to church. Why we tithe. Why we lift our voices and lift our hands to the heavens. They do not understand the whole “eternal life thing” or believe that Jesus rose from the dead. They do not understand faith. Most of all, they do not want to understand any of it. I can't say what brought you to the understanding of salvation or brought you to cry out to God for the first time. But I can say that if you did, you were heard and you are His; no one can take that away. The world will end but the kingdom of God shall last for eternity. Thank your Father that you are called a child of God. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

12 Daily Oracle - June 12, 2013 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame. - Proverbs 12:15-16 A fool is always right in his own eyes. He is right, he is justified in his actions, he rebuffs counsel and rebukes correction. A fool will always “shoot first and ask questions later”; in other words, the fools reacts before thinking a situation through. The fools is quick to anger and his or her anger shows. It is said the he who angers you controls you; some people are button-pushers. And the fool, rather than take it all in and process it, “goes off” and makes a fool of him or herself. On the other hand, the prudent man will seek the counsel of others, will do his or her “homework” before making a decision and will not fly off without having all the facts. The prudent man is slow to anger and when he does get angry, he keeps it to himself. The controlling spirits of this world can be stressful and are bent on your destruction and mine. The prudent one will “count to ten” before reacting whereas the fool cannot count to one before reacting. Solomon knew the difference between the fool and the prudent man. There is but one type of person to be, and it would be foolish to choose the wrong type. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

13 Daily Oracle - June 13, 2013 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. - Deuteronomy 4:24 Too often I think we see God as something or Someone other than who He is. Too often we take His grace and His mercy for granted, often taking advantage of it. Read the Old Testament accounts of how God dealt with His people and you will forever thank God for His grace. He struck folk dead. He opened the earth and folk were swallowed by it. He sent fire and brimstone on sources of sin. He banished Adam and Eve and all the rest of us from Paradise on earth. He caused great storms and sent great fish to save the wayward soul. He offered to Moses that He kill all of Israel in the wilderness and start over again. He let the nation of Israel walk in circles 40 years in the wilderness before allowing some of them to cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land. He allowed His people to be exiled and enslaved, yet He always delivered them after their punishment. In His commandments to Moses, God declared that we have no other gods before Him; idolatry was rife in the Bible and it is rife in the church and among Christian people today. Why was this an issue? God is, first and foremost, a jealous God; He is the One who created all things and none of them were created to be worshiped in the place of the Creator. Would you want your child calling someone else 'mom' or 'dad'? I really doubt it. And that is, in essence, what the idolater does. He or she places something or someone above the One who can have nothing placed above Him. Is it really that difficult to serve God? We serve those folks who have no heaven or hell to send us to. Why fear them, why serve them, when God says 'I am the LORD your God, you shall have no other gods before Me?' © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

14 Daily Oracle - June 14, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. - James 1:2,3 Trials will come into your life. Have no doubt about it. James does not say we have to be happy about it, but we are to count it all joy. Joy because we come out of the trial stronger, more resolved, and ideally more in love with Jesus than we were before. God's Word tells us He will never put more on us than we can withstand, therefore there really is no reason to aggravate or “woe be me” as we go through whatever God gives us. The greatest reward for having endured the trial, for not forsaking or cursing God while in the midst of the trial is knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Patience, it is said, is a virtue. Patience is perhaps one of the scarcest commodities in life. Few people have much of it. Most are quick to react in an ugly way or get frustrated and just throw their hands up. But trials produce patience. Trials make us see that no matter what life has to deal us, if we have Christ, we will come through the trial stronger than when we went in. Trials can also make us better appreciate life and loved ones. No matter what you go through it will produce strength and a firmer faith. A trial may knock you down, but God will not allow you to get knocked out. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

15 Daily Oracle - June 15, As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people”....”I will be a Father to you. And you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty”. - 2 Corinthians 6:16,18 Another wonderful promise of God. Although He is holy, He seeks a Father-son/daughter relationship with us. We are called out to be His, all we must do is answer His call. He is never going to scream at us, scream our name or shame us to repentance. His is a soft, gentle voice. His is a tender touch, a subtle nudge. His majesty is revealed in our lives and His promise of eternal life is graphically shown to us in the crucifixion of His Son. Although Jesus is His only begotten son, we can all be called the sons and daughters of God. When speaking of the unique relationship we share, Jesus asked what kind of father would give his son a serpent if he asked for a fish or a stone of he asked for bread. He went on to say we have not because we ask not. As a child, what did you miss out on because you were too afraid to ask your dad for something? As a parent, how much did you hold back on waiting for your son or daughter to simply ask you for it? The same relationship exists between God and His “children”. Keep Him in His holy place, fear Him and hold Him in awe, but remember He said we are His kids. Ask and you shall receive. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

16 Daily Oracle - June 16, 2013 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, Chronicles 16:12-13 There has long been a heated debated over “faith healing”. That is, “I don't need no stinking doctor” because my faith and my God will heal me. Recently a child's parents were arrested after he died because they refused medical assistance, choosing rather to pray their child through whatever it was that caused his illness. Now, do not misunderstand me. God is there for the prayer and healing, but He also blessed the hands and minds of doctors to get us through. Few of us can perform surgery on ourselves; few of us can look in the mirror or down our own throats and diagnose our illness or discomfort. There has to be a rational and logical approach to illness or disease and God must be included in both. Had Asa, like us, prayed and then sought the doctor, it may have turned out differently. Pray first, seek doctor second. My daughter is prone to migraines. The first time we took her to the hospital because of one she was about four. I was explaining to her how God blesses doctors with skills and so forth when one of the doctors came in. She (the doctor) became livid when I attributed “her” medical degree to God. She was furious! She had worked hard and earned the degree. It was hers. Wow! But we did the MRI, CAT-scan, etc. and took my daughter home. Had we tried to simply pray the migraine away who knows the outcome; some say it would be my lack of faith that failed to heal her. But I do know that had we simply run to the ER and never bent a knee it certainly could have turned out differently. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

17 Daily Oracle - June 17, 2013 Judge not, that you be not judged. - Matthew 7:1 Perhaps one of the most thrown around and abused scriptures in God's Word. If you have an opinion that runs counter to mine, I am “judging you”. Not so. Judgment has to do with condemnation and damnation. If I point out room for improvement in your life, or tell you that you should not do something that is counter to God's Word, I am not judging you. In fact, I may not even be correcting you. I am simply pointing something out. Likewise, I need to take my heart off my sleeve when others “correct” me. As Christian men and women we cannot be “thin-skinned”. Think about how thick Jesus' skin had to have been to put up with all He put up with. Or Moses. Or Paul. Or Daniel. Or countless others, even today. We will all stand before judgment one day. For some it will be the most wonderful event of their life. Not so much for others. Judgment is saved for and reserved for God. He is the Judge. We need to hold our peace at times and just let some things go. Stand your ground, but “pick your fights” wisely. There are things that are not worth the breath it takes to argue over. Don't play God; He will never play you. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

18 Daily Oracle - June 18, 2013 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails Corinthians 13:4-7, 8 Love is the embodiment of Christ. Look at all the attributes Paul lists, boil them down to the bone and what have you got? You have Jesus. I could spend several days picking these verses apart and commenting on them, but that is not necessary. Love is a subject that is misunderstood, misused and abused; many things are done in the name of love. But Paul lays it out; love is humble and unassuming, it is painless and painful at the same time. Love is perhaps the most powerful emotion, closely followed by anger and jealousy. But, as Paul points out, above all else love never fails. People fail us. Leaders and so-called leaders fail us. We, as people and leaders, fail others. But love cannot even spell f-a-i-l. Jesus never failed. He never failed you. He never failed me. He never failed His disciples. The only thing He ever “failed” to do was fall for the stupid traps and word games the Pharisees tried to trick Him with. Read verses 4-7 again. Think about how you can apply them to your life. Ask yourself if what you are showing is really love or is it something else. And remember, even when we fail at love, Love will never fail us. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

19 Daily Oracle - June 19, 2013 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?...It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. - Psalm 118:6, 8 I have brought a lot of pain to my life and I have had pain inflicted on me. I can say the majority of it has been self-inflicted, with really no one to blame but myself. The best part about it, and I do mean the best part, is whether self-inflicted or inflicted by others, God has always been by my side. I know that the only pain I can experience is the pain God allows and I know He will not put more on me than I can bear. How do I know these things? His Word tells me so. Like most of us, I can get wrapped around what someone may say or do to me, my character or my reputation, but in the end, so what? It does not matter what they call me, it's what I answer to that matters. There is not a man or a woman, a Christian denomination or any other created thing that has (1) a heaven or (2) a hell to send me to. Finally let me say this. David says better to trust God than put confidence in man; man will fail you each and every time. God, on the other hand, cannot, will not, does not ever fail you or me. We may not always get things our way, but should we really? Would that not make us what we are to raise our children not to be – whiny, crying, spoiled brats? We are children of the King, not His rotten off-spring. So no matter what comes your way, God first of all allowed it and secondly will bring you through it. And when you are threatened? Just asked yourself the same question David asked: what can man do to me?

20 Daily Oracle - June 20, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. - 2 Peter 3:8 In other words, time means nothing to God. He was here since before time began and will be here long after time ends. No one can pinpoint when God spoke and said “let there be light” nor when He “sat down”, looked at all creation and saw that it was good. Some argue six 24 hour days; others argue that it could have in fact been over the course of thousands or millions of years. Boil it all down and ask yourself if it really matters. Knowing time means nothing to Him, we are admonished over and over to be ready for Christ's return. We like to say “it's been 2,000 years”, but it could have been just two days. Jonah: three days in the belly of the fish. Jesus: three days in the belly of the earth. His return: unknown. We like to measure time in terms of every aspect of life; birth date, death date, work day, holiday time off, squirming in the pew on Sunday morning. God is no respecter of man nor respecter of time. Therefore, as we are told, watch and pray. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

21 Daily Oracle - June 21, 2013 For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. - Psalm 61:3-4 There is no greater fortress, no greater protection than Almighty God. If we stay under the shadow of His majesty we are more secure than the gold in Fort Knox. God is the greatest Protector and greatest protection we can ever have. He will never turn us away when we seek Him, when we seek His protection, when we seek His counsel, when we seek His grace. Throughout the Bible, throughout the lives of believers, God is always there. He protected David when King Saul was seeking to kill him and He protected the early Christians as Saul of Tarsus sought to kill them. He protected His people then and He protects us now. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

22 Daily Oracle - June 22, 2013 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. - Psalm 103:12 Forgiveness is a funny thing. Not funny in the “ha-ha” sense, but in the peculiar sense. We are quick to seek it. We are quick to demand it. God's Word teaches us to even expect it. Like most everything else, we want, want, want and take, take, take. But as with so many other things in life, when it comes to giving it, we are awful stingy with forgiveness. The very same forgiveness God grants us we want to withhold from others. Moreover, and more damaging, we want to withhold forgiveness from ourselves. We have assurance that God has forgiven us. We take the word of others that they have forgiven us. But what do we do to ourselves? We beat ourselves up day in and day out, year in and year out because we will not do for ourselves what God has done for us and what others say they have done. The psalmist says as far as east is from west. Any idea how far that is? Look it up. You might be amazed. God has trashed our transgression, tossed it aside. God has forgiven our sin. He has removed it and He has moved on. But where are we? As my ministry partner likes to say, we are “stuck on stupid”. If you say you forgive someone, mean it and let it go. If you know God has forgiven you, take the forgiveness and move on. If someone has forgiven you, if God has forgiven you, forgive yourself and move. (Sometimes I am talking to myself as I type these words.) Forgiveness. Pass it on. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

23 Daily Oracle - June 23, ”Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”...But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. - Mark 10:17,22 The rich young ruler came to Jesus seeking the “secret” to eternal life. The answer he got was not what he expected; Jesus told him to go and sell all he had and then come back and follow Him. This was devastating news because “he had great possessions”. The temporal, material things of this life meant more to him than the humbling of himself and following Jesus. Now, why would Jesus tell him this? Was it so he could pay someone and secure eternal life? Was the disciple's treasury low and in need of a cash infusion? Of course not. For Jesus it was an object lesson: what is more important to you, your possessions or your eternal soul? There is nowhere in Scripture that tells us wealth is sinful. Greed? Yes. Stinginess? Yes. But the accumulation and possession of wealth? No. It is all about where the heart lies. Does it lie in the things of this world or does it lie in the hope and the promise of eternal life in the presence of Almighty God? This is a question each of us must ask ourselves and answer for ourselves. Anyone can ask the question, but only we can answer it. Unlike the rich young ruler, we know what we must do to inherit eternal life. But, like the rich young ruler, we have to ask as well. We may not be “told” to sell our possessions, but we are “told” that where our treasure is, so too is our heart. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

24 Daily Oracle - June 24, 2013 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; the LORD raises those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over strangers; He relieves the fatherless and the widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down. - Psalm 146:8-9 To the casual observer it may seem that God is very busy. He is always doing something, always listening to and answering prayer, pouring out blessings, healing the ill, taking care of widows and orphans, you name it. To the casual observer it may seem that (1) all of this is not possible and (2) the actions attributed to God could not be all His. He would have to have “helpers”. Nonsense. God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscience. He does all the things He does as effortlessly as most of us breathe. Do we have to think about breathing? The healthy person doesn't; the next breath just comes. So it is with God; He just does. He is the God of righteousness, of justice, of mercy and of grace. But that is to those who know Him. To those who do not know Him, His Word tells us how they are treated but even the psalmist says here that the way of the wicked is turned upside down. In other words, the way of the wicked shall not prevail, it shall not succeed. Those of us wise enough and blessed enough to call Him Father know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Those of us who know Him, not just know of Him, have seen the power of His majesty in our own lives. We know from Whom all blessings flow. We know that it is grace and grace alone that separates the heaven-bound from the hell-bound. It is grace that says “well done, good and faithful servant” and it is disobedience that will cause Him to say “depart from Me, I never knew you”. God loves every one of us who know Him. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

25 Daily Oracle - June 25, 2013 Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, “You shall not serve the king of Babylon.” For they prophesy a lie to you... - Jeremiah 27:9, 10 These are the words of God spoken through His prophet Jeremiah. Israel was about to be exiled and live under the king of Babylon. They had played with God long enough and He had had enough. He warned Israel not to listen to anyone who told them they would not serve the king of Babylon. Why? Point- blank, they were not to listen “for they prophesy a lie to you”. Not every “word of God” is the Word of God. Not every man or woman of God is of God, but some are of their father the devil. There are so many doctrines, so many denominations, so many “paths” or “ways” to heaven that, quite frankly, it makes no sense. We are told to test the spirits. We are told to be discerning. We are told to study to show ourselves approved. We are told all these things for a reason. Be not deceived! Another admonition that we often overlook or ignore. God gave us all gifts, and those gifts are to be used for His glory, for His edification. He loves us and cares enough about us that He will tell us, as He told Israel, “for they prophesy a lie”. Listen to mere mortals if you choose. But listening to the Holy Spirit is the only right and proper Person to listen to. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

26 Daily Oracle - June 26, 2013 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” - Mark 8:12 The Pharisees demanded a sign from heaven. They had witnessed many of the miracles Jesus had performed but those were not enough. They wanted something spectacular. They would not see that this Man from Nazareth was all the sign they needed. There was no faith; they sought hard, tangible “proof” instead. Fast-forward 2,000 years. What has changed? Christians and non-Christians alike still demand a sign. “God, if you are real...”, “the world will end on...”, “Jesus' return is in ___ days”; it goes on and on. Just as Jesus told “His generation” they would receive no sign, nor will our generation. The sign we need we already have. The sign of the cross, the sign of the crucified Savior, the evidence of the empty tomb. What more is there? The fact is, just as Israel rejected Him then, chances are we would be hard-pressed to embrace Him now. However, we have the promise of the trumpet sounding, the eastern sky splitting and the dead in Christ arising. Any sign other than that is not only unneeded, but it would be a false sign of a false return of a false savior. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

27 Daily Oracle - June 27, 2013 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake. So that the foundations of the prison were shaken; immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. -Acts 16:25-26 Chances are you are not reading this while locked away behind prison walls. If you are, God will deliver you when He is ready to make it happen. However, you may be locked away behind emotional or financial or health walls and it seems as hopeless as it did for Paul and Silas. But God's Word tells us they were praying and singing at midnight. They were in chains, but certainly not in bondage. God heard the prayers, He heard the singing and said something like, “Enough of this! I will set them free”. The Bible says the chains were loosed, the prison was knocked off its foundation and all the cell doors flew open. There was nothing standing between them and freedom. But God is the God of order and it wasn't quite that simple. You may be lying on your bed of affliction, bound by whatever it is that has a stronghold on you. You may lie there, night after night, praying and singing to Almighty God. If it is His will, one night, say around midnight, your foundation will get shaken, your chains will fly off and the doors and walls that have been holding you back and holding you in will crumble and fall. It happened then. It happens today. No matter what it is that has you hemmed up, God can deliver you from it. No matter how dark the night, He will cause your sun to rise – just as He caused His Son to rise. No matter the raging storm, He commands the waves and will say “peace. Be still.” Never give up on yourself. Never give up on God. You are a work in progress and He is not finished with you yet. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

28 Daily Oracle - June 28, 2013 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake. So that the foundations of the prison were shaken; immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. -Acts 16:25-26 Chances are you are not reading this while locked away behind prison walls. If you are, God will deliver you when He is ready to make it happen. However, you may be locked away behind emotional or financial or health walls and it seems as hopeless as it did for Paul and Silas. But God's Word tells us they were praying and singing at midnight. They were in chains, but certainly not in bondage. God heard the prayers, He heard the singing and said something like, “Enough of this! I will set them free”. The Bible says the chains were loosed, the prison was knocked off its foundation and all the cell doors flew open. There was nothing standing between them and freedom. But God is the God of order and it wasn't quite that simple. You may be lying on your bed of affliction, bound by whatever it is that has a stronghold on you. You may lie there, night after night, praying and singing to Almighty God. If it is His will, one night, say around midnight, your foundation will get shaken, your chains will fly off and the doors and walls that have been holding you back and holding you in will crumble and fall. It happened then. It happens today. No matter what it is that has you hemmed up, God can deliver you from it. No matter how dark the night, He will cause your sun to rise – just as He caused His Son to rise. No matter the raging storm, He commands the waves and will say “peace. Be still.” Never give up on yourself. Never give up on God. You are a work in progress and He is not finished with you yet. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

29 Daily Oracle - June 29, 2013 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. - James 1: Swift to hear and slow to speak; most people get that backward. You know the “shoot first, ask questions later” type. I have heard it said that we have two ears and one mouth; therefore, we should listen twice as much as we talk. But God's Word tells us to ponder on things before we make decisions, and to avoid rash decisions. Every decision we make has at least one consequence; most have several. It takes patience to listen all the way through, weigh the facts or the merits and then open the mouth and pronounce an opinion or a decision. Above all, we are to be slow to wrath; that is, slow to anger. If God can hold His wrath surely we can hold ours. Some like to talk about “the wrath of God” but I am pretty certain no one really wants to see it. Israel saw it more than once. Thankfully we live under the Dispensation of Grace. For if we are created in His image and He is slow to wrath, how can our anger, our wrath produce the righteousness of God? It cannot. How can we be “in His image” and act like children of the devil? We cannot. Stop. Listen. Discern. Weigh. Decide. Nothing good or positive is produced by our flying off the handle. When we do we are not producing the likeness or righteousness of Christ. Be an imitator of the Original. Let it be said of you, when your witness is the topic of discussion, that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013

30 Daily Oracle - June 30, 2013 Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: why should you destroy yourself? - Ecclesiastes 7:16 Humility and humbleness are virtues espoused by Jesus Himself. The Preacher warned time and again about vanity, pride and arrogance. Being overly righteous can translate into self-righteousness. A self- righteous person can do no wrong, can never be wrong, must always be right. God's Word has a word for the self-righteous. Likewise, becoming overly wise can be self-destructive. Wisdom, by definition, is supernatural knowledge; that is, knowledge given by God. Chances are, if one becomes “overly wise”, he or she has become arrogant and self-righteous. Both of these attitudes and behaviors are destructive. No one wants to be around you when you get like this. Your credibility is diminished. For the most part, folks simply avoid you. That is why The Preacher asks why should you destroy yourself. These “attributes” may not actually kill you, but they can destroy you in the eyes and in the lives of others. © Foot of the Cross Evangelism 2013


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