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A Little Walk With God

A daily devotional through the Bible narrated as if walking through the garden east of Eden with God. Scriptures come from a daily reading plan that take you through the Bible in one year, generally coming from The Voice. Our website is http://alittlewalkwithgod.com or http://richardagee.com
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Now displaying: 2016

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Thanks for listening.

Richard

Dec 11, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 16:19-31

devotional summary

Every time I read this story, I’m reminded of those soldiers I visited on the burn wards at Fort Sam Houston. And I think about how horrible hell must be. To continually exist in a place of fire and brimstone as Jesus describes it, always burning but never being consumed by it. Always experiencing that agony with no hope of the pain ever stopping. And in hell, there are no drugs to ease the pain, no narcotics to allow even the shortest, restless sleep from the intense agony.

Then I think about the rich man’s request. Just the amount of water that can be held on the tip of Lazarus’ fingertip to cool his tongue. Have you ever tried to quench you thirst with the amount of water that you can hold on the tip of your finger? It’s not much water. If you stick your whole finger in a glass of water you’ll only get about two or three drops of water off the end when you pull it out. But that was the rich man’s request. He was in such agony, such torment, he would be happy with just the amount of water that would fall from Lazarus’ fingertip.

I don’t know about you, but I never want to go to a place like that. Was the scene real? It seems to me that the parables Jesus gave the crowds were more often based in reality than not. They seemed to be scenes He had witnessed and then shared with those around Him. These were not Aesop’s fables with animals living out morals to be learned. Jesus’ parables always had truths in them that could easily be seen in every day life. So had Jesus witnessed just this kind of scene before He came to earth in human form? In His glorified form, had the Son of God witnessed the rich man plead for Abraham to send one of God’s children across the divide with just a few drops of water to cool His tongue?

There is always more truth in Jesus’ parables than not. I don’t want to find out, do you? I think that means we need to be generous with the things God entrusts into our care. Think about it.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - 2 John

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 10, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 16:15-18

devotional summary

Many want to take that first sentence and stop. They want to conveniently forget the rest of the paragraph. But Jesus didn’t stop talking after the first sentence. The role of the law and prophets changed, but they didn’t go away. Before John the Baptist came to herald the coming of Christ and the kingdom of God to earth, the law and prophets set the boundaries of behavior and condemned the actions of men and women in community. It told us how to live together in society and what God’s standards for living were. The law and prophets pointed out the evil in us.

But their role changed when Christ came on the scene. When He died for us and His spirit came to live in us when we let Him, His laws are written on our heart. It’s a law of love. Remember what He told the scribe who asked about the greatest commandment? Love God and love your neighbor, every other commandment rests on these two as their foundation. But we can’t love the way He wants us to love until He lives in us and we let Him control our lives. When He does, He writes His laws on our hearts. His laws don’t go away. They transform us. His rules don’t disappear, they become an integral part of who we are because He becomes an integral part of us.

All of the don’t do this and don’t do that kind of evil rules of living get turned around to do this and do that kind of good because you love God and love others the way He loves. The world gets turned upside down because you begin to see the way He sees. He lives in you and you become part of Him just as He is part of you. The rules didn’t change, you do. The guidance doesn’t change, you do. The taboos don’t change, you do. The things that He says will destroy your life don’t change, you just don’t desire them any more. God transforms our thinking because He wants to live in a temple - us - that remains pure and clean and holy. So He changes us. He wants us to be that vessel.

Is adultery still wrong? Yes. Is homosexuality still wrong? Yes. Is theft still wrong? Yes. Is lying and cheating and stealing and desecrating the Sabbath and disrespect for you parents and murder and breaking all the other commandments still wrong? Yes. These things hurt not just the one committing the sin, but they hurt the community in which they are committed. Just look around at the state of our society and it’s not hard to see that thinking it’s okay to throw out the commandments is okay has led to total decay across our land.

God’s laws will not go away before the stars in the sky or the earth beneath your feet disappear. It might be worth while to brush up on them. There will be a test at the end.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Acts 23-24

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 9, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 16:1-13

devotional summary

Jesus’ advice and the world’s advice are rather contradictory to each other, aren’t they? But who should we listen to? If God made the world and He will be the final judge of our actions at the end of time, doesn’t it make sense to pay attention to His rules instead of the world’s rules? Doesn’t it make sense to take God’s advice since He’s the one we will face someday?

Even if you don’t believe there is a heaven and hell, being generous and kind doesn’t do any harm to you or anyone else. And if you are right, you have done good things for others all your life. You have been good and kind and generous and helped others along life’s path. But if you’re wrong and you fail to give to others, hoard everything you make, push aside others and fail to help others along life’s path, what will you say to God when you face Him at the judgment?

If you don’t believe, you still might not make it across the threshold into heaven, but I’m not God, thank goodness, and I don’t know how He will judge at the end of time. Perhaps ignorance of Him will be weighed against good things you have done or failure to do those good things. Perhaps generosity and kindness will have something to do with the intensity of punishment received. I have to tell you I don’t know how all that will work. The Bible doesn’t tell us. But one thing for sure, Jesus’ words about the use of money point us again and again to using it to help others not ourselves. Being generous and helpful and kind with the assets God entrusts to us. So we’d best get on with those duties, don’t you think.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Revelation 7-11

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 8, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 15:25-32

devotional summary

Green with envy. That’s where we find ourselves sometimes. But why? Aren’t we already in the church enjoying the fellowship of other believers? Don’t we have the assurance of our eternal rest as we follow God’s commands and stay in His will? Can’t we rejoice in seeing one more added to the kingdom? And isn’t it our job to teach others the practices we have been taught as Christians so that they stay grounded in the truth of God’s word? Did those practices include being jealous of the pastor’s time? Did those practices Jesus taught include wanting to quit because we don’t get the attention we think we deserve because of the work we do for the kingdom?

Yeah, it gets tough to read the last part of this parable, sometimes. It can be pretty convicting if you pay attention to the actions of the older brother. Not someone we should emulate, but too often we follow in his footsteps instead of Jesus’. But there is a solution to the older son’s problem just as there was a solution to the younger son’s. The father embraced his youngest son and welcomed him home. He had a few strong words for his older son but still reminded him that he was welcome to join the party. All he had to do was accept the invitation.

It’s funny, though, we never find out if the older son goes to the party or not. We know the father wants him to come, but we don’t know if he shows. Why is that? Because the son has to make his own choice. The father can’t choose for him. It’s the same with us. The Father invites us to His party, but we much choose whether we will attend. We have to play by His rules to get there. We have to celebrate the return of our lost brothers and sisters. We have to rejoice every time one more person comes to know Him as Lord of their life. We have to understand our position. We are all His children. No one is more important than another and every time one more joins the family we all celebrate the new birth.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Song of Songs 1-2

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 7, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 15:11-24

devotional summary

But the Father wants us back. He welcomes us when we come to Him as the young man did, knowing our brokenness and ready to give ourselves fully to Him in servanthood. The father restored his son to his position of honor and sonship. He restored him to his home and laid out a banquet for him. He put new robes on his back and rings on his fingers. He treated the young man as a son because he was. The young man made mistakes. He squandered his inheritance. But he came back to his father.

That’s all God asks of us. Come to our senses and then come back to Him. But we first need to come back to our senses. We need to quit listening to the lies the world screams at us and understand that selfishness is where every sin begins. I want what I want instead of what God wants. And so it begins. Every broken commandment, every lie, every grab of property, riches, relationships for the purpose of gain. Every sin starts with a focus on me instead of focusing on the creator.

We don’t have to settle on the pods the pigs eat, we can eat from the banquet table of the king. We don’t have to wear the rags of guilt, we can be clothed in a raiment of righteousness. We can be everything God wants us to be when we come back to Him and let Him take charge of our lives. When we don’t, when we think we know how to run our lives better than God, we end up just like the younger son in the story. When we understand the Father knows us better than we know ourselves and always has our best in mind, we can follow His commands and know He will do incredible things in our lives. We will spend eternity at home with Him. What could be better than that?

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Psalms 140-142

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 6, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 15:3-10

devotional summary

I think Jesus wants us to pattern our lives after His. His great commission was to teach others His practices. If you look at one of the reasons the temple leaders condemned Him, it was because He associated with sinners. He ate with prostitutes and tax collectors. He talked with people the Pharisees and scribes felt were below their status and should be avoided. So if that was jesus’ practice, isn’t that what we should be doing?

That doesn’t mean we take up their habits. He never did. He never sinned, remember. He kept Himself pure in an evil world. But He associated with the lowest of the low so He could share with them the message of hope He brought to the world. Jesus didn’t care what social status someone had or the crimes they committed or what other people thought about them. He just shared the message of redemption. He shared forgiveness. And with ever person who accepted His message, heaven erupted in joyous praise.

So why have we forgotten that message? Why do we let little meaningless things get in the way of showing God’s love to those who need it most? Instead, we have a tendency to first complain, criticize, and condemn. The world needs more love and laughter. We need more Christians to extend the hand of friendship to those who do not know Christ. How else can we share the message? We certainly can’t expect sinners to listen to a message filled with hate and condemnation, can we? That generates a fight for flight response. We don’t want that. We want them to know our Jesus. Only a friend can share that message. Jesus knew that. That’s why He ate with and talked with and worked with those that needed Him most.

So today as you go about your daily routine, who in the circle of people you meet do you need to reach out to improve your relationship? Who needs to become more than just someone you see and change into someone that needs a friend, you? Who do you know that needs to know your Jesus? The only way you can introduce Him is to get to the point in your relationship that he or she will trust you enough to know you genuinely care about their eternity. Only friends do that. Does that compromise your purity? It didn’t for Jesus. He didn’t change His behavior. He just made friends wherever He went. It’s one of His practices we need to improve upon.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Nehemiah 5-9

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 5, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 14:34-35

devotional summary

Jesus’ hearer were much more familiar with salt that loses its flavor that we are. Our store bought salt seldom loses flavor. The packaging we use protects it from the elements and we don’t worry much about losing flavor before it’s gone. But Jesus told us not to miss His deeper meaning in His words. So what does that mean?

I think as Christians He expects us to season the world. We should be out and about in the world and seen in such a way as to add His grace and mercy to the world. We should stand out the same way salt stands out as a flavoring in food. When you salt food, you know it. When a Christian walks into a room, you should know it. Not because we announce it. There are too many today that announce they are Christians but are not and that just gives Jesus a bad name. But others should see our actions, hear our words, experience our love toward others and know we are Christians. When Christ lives in us we should not be able to hide it any more than you can hide the flavor of salt in food.

The world should miss our presence when we are not around. They should recognize the absence of the fruit of the spirit they see in us when we are not around. Our presence at work or school or in line at the grocery store should make a difference in the world as much as salt makes a difference in the taste of food.

So, has your life lost its intense seasoning in the world? Only God’s spirit in you can bring it back. Let Him put a little salt back into your life.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Deuteronomy 23-25

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 4, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 14:31-33

devotional summary

All that work in the Army reminds me every day of the war we fight in the spiritual world. There is a cost to serving in God’s Army. There will be battles fought when the odds seem insurmountable and losses will be heavy. Sometimes it may even appear as if we’ve lost the battle. But remember that wars are not about one battle. They are campaigns in which a series of battles lead to an ultimate conclusion with victory by one side.

I hope you are on the winning side. In the end there will only be one victor and God’s word has already announced who that will be. There is really no sense in wasting time fighting against Him. He’s already won. Future history is already recorded if that makes any sense. Every promise God makes happens and He promised victory for those that follow Him.

So what are you waiting for? Go tell someone about the wonder of God’s love. Yes it will cost a lot, everything you have and everything you will ever have. But is it worth the cost? You bet it is. Stay on the winning side. It’s worth it.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - 1 John 4-5

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 3, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 14:26-30

devotional summary

In the end, when time finally comes to a close and the last tick of the clock has sounded, you will discover the cost has been infinitesimally small compared to the reward you receive. Despite the sorrow you might experience here, there will also be indescribable joy. An inner peace that can only be explained by the presence of God Himself living inside you. You will find that God really does meet your needs. Not your wants, but your needs. We often get our wants and our needs confused in our materialistic world, but God never does. He knows what you need and provides it at just the right time when we stay in the center of His will.

God also gives you opportunities to serve others as you serve Him. He puts you in places and situations at just the right time to share what He is doing in your life so that you can introduce Him to others in a way that allows His spirit to stir their hearts and so allow them to come to know His saving grace as you do.

Are the costs worth the prize at the end? Absolutely. But don’t be surprised by the cost of being a Christian. It will never be an easy life. God never told anyone who stayed in His will that He would make life easy for them. But He always promised it would be worth it. And it is. Trust Him. He never breaks His promises.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Acts 21-22

see the whole year's plan here

Dec 2, 2016

A daily devotional through the recorded words Jesus spoke while He walked alongside us. Our website http://alittlewalkwithgod.com.

Today's Scripture Focus

Luke 14:16-24

devotional summary

The host understands people have things to do and he would not have been angry had those guests sent their regrets when the invitations came out. The problem was their broken promise. They promised to come. Their RSVP said yes. But they made excuses and didn’t show. It’s the broken promise that made the host angry. The same is true today when those simple invitations go out. Be polite. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to. You can say no, but say something. Then keep your promise.

I know, there are lots of other things you could say about this parable that Jesus gave us. Those who heard it understood some of those subtle innuendos, too. They knew Jesus was talking about them and that He referred to their coming absence from God’s banquet table if they didn’t change their ways. But just for a moment, think about the easy thing to see about the story Jesus tells. Be polite. Answer those RSVPs that come this time of year. Then keep the promises you make.

Today's Bible reading plan:

Read it in a year - Revelation 1-6

see the whole year's plan here

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