Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Borrowed Time"

"My times are in thy hand..."  Psalm 31:15a

We have all heard the expression-- living on borrowed time.  It means that a person lives after the time that they were expected to die.  I know people who have been told by doctors that they only had a few weeks or months to live but they have outlived the prognosis by years. 

The truth is, whether you have outlived a "death sentence" or not, we are all living on borrowed time.  Time doesn't belong to us.  It belongs to someone else.  That someone is the Lord God who created time.  He is only letting us "borrow" it. 

We are all under a "death sentence" because of Adam's sin.  The wages of sin is death.  It is because of the Lord's mercy that we are still alive.  He doesn't owe us the time we have.  But He loves us and gives it to us.  And He is giving us a certain amount of time.  One day our "borrowed time" will run out.  That being the case,  what are you doing with the time you are "borrowing" from Him?  How are you using it?  Are you using it wisely?  Or foolishly?  Are you squandering it on self-centered, self-destructive things?  Are you using it to accomplish His work, will and plan for your life?  Are you using it to accomplish your own will for yourself?  Are you using it to prepare for the time when it does run out?  Are you using it to honor and glorify the Lord?  Are you like the good and faithful servant who used the talents that his master gave him to gain more treasures for the master?  Or are you like the foolish servant who hid it, who neglected it, who would not take advantage of it, and who would accomplish nothing with it?

Time is not ours.  It is borrowed.  It is a gift.  One day we will give an account of what we did with it. What will your account of time reveal?

Have a great day.  We are all living on borrowed time, so use it wisely.   

Monday, August 21, 2017

"Ask, Wait And See"

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."  Jeremiah 33:3

Every person has a favorite verse.  And there are verses that they are more familiar with.  The verse above is one of those.  But is it just a favorite, or a familiar one, or is it one we take to heart and practice. 

Do we call on the Lord when we need guidance and direction, or do we assume we know what to do, what the answer is, what His plan is and what His will is?  Do we call upon Him in faith expecting an answer?  Or are we just "calling"?  Do we wait for His answer?  Or do we get impatient and move on before we hear? 

Perhaps this is why we aren't seeing "great" and "mighty" things happening in our lives, the lives of our families, the church, the nation, our ministries, our businesses, etc.  We either aren't calling, or we aren't waiting for the answer from the Lord when we do.

This verse has a condition and a promise attached to it.  If we want to receive the promise then we need to meet the condition.  And when we meet the condition we need to be willing to wait for the promise to come.

Have a great day.  Ask and wait and you will see great and mighty things. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Ignore The Answer And Suffer"

"But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions." Matthew 19:22

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do to have eternal life, Jesus gave him his answer.  He told him to sell all he had, give it to the poor and follow Him.  The young man couldn't, or wouldn't do it, and went away sad.

When we have our answer, we then have a choice to either do what we need to do or neglect it.  For example, we have been talking about other people's expectations of us and it causing us to have an unchristian-like attitude or become offended.  Once we see the problem, we then also have the solution.  But it is up to us to apply the solution or not apply it.

When we realize that it is the enemy trying to steal, kill and destroy us, then we know what our answer is to keep from being destroyed.  We submit ourselves to the Lord, resist the devil and he will flee.  We rebuke him in the Name and Authority of Jesus.  

When we see that we have become offended, then we need to go to God and repent.  We need to ask Him to cleanse our hearts from all offense, hurt, malice, bitterness, unforgiveness and any other unrighteous attitude that we have allowed to inhabit our hearts. Then we need to ask Him to heal our hearts from any damage or scars caused by the offense.

The point is, we can't ignore it and hope it goes away.  We can't sweep it under the rug.  We can't allow offense to stay.  We can't keep holding on to it like the rich young ruler held on to his money.  He wanted eternal life but he wanted his money too.  There is no place for both in our lives.  And if we ignore our answer-- the way out of offense-- then just like that rich young ruler we will miss out on the peace and joy we could be experiencing.  We will miss out on the joy of the relationships that are suffering.  And perhaps we will miss out on eternal life.  Others may suffer because you ignore it, but you will suffer more.  Just ask the rich young ruler.  

Have a great day.  Don't ignore the answer.  Apply it.  Do it.  Or you will miss out.   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Offended"

"Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!"  Luke 17:1

When I said yesterday that I had been battling trying to keep my emotions and attitude in check because of the expectations of others and their demands upon me, I didn't realize that three things were going on. 

1)  These expectations by others and the way I would handle them was a test that revealed what was in My own heart.  Was anger there?  Was bitterness there?  Was revenge there?  And so on.  It showed me something about what was in my own heart.

2)  It was also the enemy trying to get to my heart and "poison" it.  He had come to steal, kill and destroy.  Steal Christ character and the Fruit of the Spirit in me.  Kill my desire to be who I should be to others regardless of how they are to me.  Destroy my relationships, my witness and my heart of compassion.

3)  I didn't realize what the "biggy" was that the enemy was trying to do to me until later.  He was trying to get me to be offended and thereby plant a root of offense in me.  Offense is a terrible thing.  It is like a root on a plant and when it gets a firm hold in the soil of your heart it will begin to produce a weed which will produce fruit.  That fruit is not good fruit either.  It is poisonous.  

One minister calls offense the "bait of satan".  Jesus said that offenses will come.  Everyone is tempted to take offense over something.  Usually that something is something small-- though not always.

None of us escape the temptation to be offended.  It is a weapon of the enemy that he uses at one time or other against us all.  Offenses will come, that is not the issue.  The issue is what will you do with them when they do.  If you embrace them, if you hold on to them, if you act upon them, if you let them hardened your heart, if you let them breed unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, malice, resentment, revenge, etc. then in the end you will be the one who will be destroyed by offense.  That is just what the enemy wants.

If you are offended toward someone, for whatever the reason, you need to let it go.  You need to repent for taking up the offense.  You need to ask the Lord to cleanse your heart.  When you do, you will be freeing your own self from the snare that is meant to destroy you. 

Have a great day.  We all have opportunity to be offended-- the devil will see to that-- but what will you do with the offense when it comes?   

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Expectations And Suffering"

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."  Philippians 3:10

I have to admit that for the last several days I have been fighting to keep a Christ-like attitude and my emotions in check.  I deal with lots of people from all walks of life-- family, friends, acquaintances, strangers.  And especially because I am in the ministry and help people in various ways.  The reason I have been battling my emotions is because I have been bombarded with other peoples expectations of me. 

They expect me to make sacrifices for them but are unwilling to make any sacrifices for themselves.  They want me to do what they want me to do and if for some reason I can't, they get upset and angry with me.  They don't mind giving you a piece of their mind whether it hurts or not.  They act like they are the only ones who have feelings, you don't.  Their feelings are the only ones that matter.  They don't have anything to do with you until they need something from you.  Then once you give it to them, they forget you-- until they need you again.  They expect you to drop everything you are doing for them.  Yet, they don't want to take the time for you when you need something.

Does it sound familiar?  I am sure most of you can relate to dealing with people who have these same expectations of you.  I wanted to throw myself a pity party but then the Lord reminded me that I was in good company because they did, and still do, Him the same way. 

People get angry at Him when He doesn't do what they think He should do.  They neglect and forget about Him until they need something.  Once He gives them their request they forget about Him until the next time.  They expect Him to do His part but are unwilling to do their part.  He makes all the sacrifices.  He knows what it is like to be rejected, used, abused, taken for granted, accused, betrayed and lied upon even by those closest to Him, as well as the strangers.  He experienced it on earth and is still experiencing it today. 

So, if you are going through something concerning other's attitude and expectations toward you.  Throw yourself a party-- not a pity party, but a party to celebrate the fact that you are fellowshipping with Jesus' sufferings. 

Have a great day.  Other people will always expect more from you than from themselves.  But rejoice because they did, and still do, the same thing to Jesus.