Monday, November 20, 2017

"Provision Ahead"

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

When the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt, they did not leave empty handed.  They left with the spoils of Egypt.  When Jesus was born, the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Him.  Among the many things that we know about the Lord, we know that He is a God who sees ahead and makes a provision accordingly.  He is Jehovah-Jireh.  He knew ahead of time that the Israelites would need provisions to sustain them in the wilderness and help them build their lives in the land He was taking them to.  He knew that Mary and Joseph would need finances to start a new life in Egypt when they had to flee their home to protect Jesus from Herod.  

He knows what you need as well.  The Lord knows what lies ahead of you.  He knows what you need to make it.  He knows what provisions that you have to have.  He knows what you are facing and He will make a provision for it.  He will provide it ahead of time-- at the right time-- so that you will have it when you need it.

Don't worry.  Don't stress over your need.  The Lord already sees it before you get to it and already has the provision there.

Have a great day.  God sees what is ahead and will make sure you have what you need for it. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

"God Is God Everywhere"

"And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God."  1 Kings 18:39

I woke up with the song below repeating over and over in my thoughts, so I want to share it with you. 
"We talk of faith way up on the mountain.  Talk comes so easy when life's at its best.
Now down in the valleys, of trials and temptations, that's where your faith, is really put to the test.  For the God on the mountain is the God in the valley.  When things go wrong, He'll make them right.  And the God of the good times is still God in the bad times.  The God of the day, is still God in the night". 

There are so many messages in these words, it is hard to know where to start in expounding on it.  So I am just going to focus on one thought-- God.  God is God whether you are on a mountain or in a valley.  On the mountain He was the manifestation of power that gave revelation to Moses-- the design of the tabernacle and the Ten Commandments.  In the valley He is the Good Shepherd who leads beside still waters.   

He is still God when things go wrong-- many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all.  He is still God when things are going right-- He is the One who gives His beloved rest.  God is the God of the good times-- He supplies all my needs.  He is God in the bad times-- when the storm threatens to sink you, He is the peace speaker.  He is the God of your day and your night-- weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.  

Whatever you may be going through, or not going through, God is still God.  He is God in all situations, in all trials, in all difficulties, in all times of grief, pain or sorrow.  He is God in the furnace and God in the lion's den.  He is God in times of laughter, joy, rest and peace.  He is God all the time!

Have a great day.  God is still God no matter what, or where. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

"Your Works Speak"

"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:10,16

In Chapter 1 Paul is exhorting Titus to do the work of teaching and preaching the truth and sound doctrine.  In Chapter 2 he tells him who to teach and how to train them to teach others in the Body of Christ.  He gives the reason why it is important for Titus to teach the truth of the Word and sound doctrine.  The reason is above. 

As I read these chapters I couldn't help but think that Paul was talking about today as well as back then.  If you look around-- whether in the church or out of the church-- there are many who profess to know God.  They will tell you they are a "believer".  They will tell you they are a "church goer".  They will tell you they are a "member" of a certain church.  And they may be, but their works, deeds, conversations and life-style don't back up their profession. 

We live in an age where you can believe whatever you want to believe, do whatever you want to do, live however you want to live and still go to heaven.  People believe they can have sex outside of marriage, live a homosexual lifestyle, abort babies, lie, cheat and steal and still go to heaven. 

It isn't your works that save you.  It isn't your works that make you right with God.  It isn't your works that keep you right with God.  It is a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, which comes through repentance, that makes you right and gets you to heaven.  It is about having a relationship with Him.  You may profess to know Him.  You may profess to have a relationship with Him.  But your works testify against you.  Through your works you are denying that you have a relationship with Him.  You have heard the expression-- "Actions speak louder than words"?  This is true.  Your actions, works, attitude and obedience to the Word of God speak for you.  If they don't line up with God's Word/standard, then they aren't speaking the same thing you are speaking/professing.  

Get in a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ.  Repent of your sins.  Turn from your way.  Follow Him.  And what you say and what you do will both "speak" the same thing.

Have a great day.  You may profess to know Him, but your works are professing something different.          

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"Pure Motives"

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments."  Matthew 6:5; 23:5

Jesus warned that you can do the right thing yet with the wrong motive.  The Pharisees did the right thing-- they prayed, they gave alms, they did religious works.  But the true motive of their hearts was not to glorify God, but to glorify self.  They wanted to be seen by men.  They wanted the honor.  They wanted the applaud.  They wanted others to notice them.  They wanted others to follow them.  

We must be careful that we don't do the same thing.  We have to guard against doing the right thing with the wrong motive.  We have to check our motives because our hearts are deceitfully wicked.  We can think we are doing the right thing for the right reason and not be. 

Many ministers have fallen into this trap.  They are doing the works but their motives have turned inwardly.  They started out with good intentions and sincere motives but somewhere along the way their motives changed.  They aren't building God's kingdom, they are building their own.  They are building a reputation for themselves.  They are building their own following.  It is easy for this to happen to any of us because of the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life and the lusts of the eyes that we have to constantly war against.  I remember years ago when my daughter was little, I went to a parent's meeting.  She stayed with my mother-in-law while I went.  I stayed at the meeting longer than I should have.  My mother-in-law had to work the next day.  So when I went to pick my daughter up, my mother-in-law was in bed, my daughter was asleep on the couch and my father-in-law was sitting up waiting for me to come.  I felt really bad for imposing on them.  When I prayed, I said an extra prayer that the Lord would bless and strengthen my mother in-law for work the next day.  The Lord spoke to me strongly.  He said-- "You aren't praying sincerely for her, you are praying because you feel bad and guilty for keeping her up".  Right thing to do-- pray; but, wrong motive. 

Keep a check on your heart.  Ask Holy Spirit to show you your own heart.  Ask Him to show you your motives behind what you do, especially for Him and His Kingdom.  Ask Him daily to purify your motives.  Ask Him to cleanse your heart from all unrighteous motives and create a heart that truly and solely is intent on glorifying Him.

Have a great day.  You may be doing the right thing, but is your motive correct.     

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"The System"

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Romans 12:2

This world is made up of systems:  educational, governmental, medical, religious, etc.  Having been brought up in them from a child, we are so geared to following them and can't fathom going outside of their boundaries.  For example, when a child turns school age, we send them off to school.  We can't fathom any other form of education-- such as homeschooling.  When we are ill, we go to the doctor and take a prescribed medicine.  The idea of praying for healing or using alternative treatments is something we don't think about doing.  Even where our religion is concerned, many would never dream of leaving their denomination and "crossing the lines".  It doesn't occur to us that the body of Christ is not made up of denominations but of members.  

The world has a system and God has a system.  The world has an economy and God has an economy.  The world has a set of rules, values and principles and so does God.  But there is a difference in the two.  As a matter of fact, not only are there differences, but they mostly conflict with each other.

What system are you living your Christian life by?  The world's or God's?  Are you living by His principles or the principles of the world?  It is easy to live by the world's for the reason I stated earlier-- we were raised in it; we were raised believing this was the only way things were done; it is what is most familiar to us; this is all we know.  But there is another Kingdom that we as followers are now living in in addition to this world, this is why we are told not to be conformed to this world.  We have been given the means/solution by which to be transformed and not conformed-- through renewing our minds with God's Word.  God's Word is the Kingdom standard.  It is the Kingdom principles.  It is our guidelines, rule of thumb, code of conduct and governing precepts.  As it has been said, "We are in the world, but not of the world".  Are you living by the world's system (way of thinking) or by the kingdom principles?     

Have a great day.  The world has systems that we have conformed our lives to.  God's kingdom has principles that we should be conforming our lives to.