Friday, February 29, 2008

"My Part"

"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9

In our salvation and spiritual growth, we have a part and God has a part. Too many Christians set back and wait for God to do it all--- He can, but He usually chooses to work with us. This is why the promises of God are conditional.

Let me give you a few examples. He said for us to confess our sins and He would cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We confess, He forgives and cleanses. He said for us to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and we would be saved. We believe, He saves. He said to bring your tithes and offerings into the storehouse and He would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on you. You give, He blesses. He said to lay hands on the sick and they would recover. You lay hands on them, He heals them.

When God told the children of Israel to posses the promised land, He gave them instructions on how to take the cities. At Jericho He told them to march around the city for seven days then on the seventh day they were to go around it seven times then shout. When they did, the walls came down. They obeyed and marched around the city, God brought the walls down. Victory came as they worked together with God.

The real point I want to get to this morning is-- your part always involves an act of faith. It takes faith to believe in Jesus for salvation. It takes faith to give your monies when you have a financial need. It took faith for them to walk around the walls those days. If we are going to receive the blessings, victory, walk in abundant life, then we are going to have to work together with God by doing what He says. And doing what He says will involve faith.

Have a great day. If we will do our part and step out in faith and be obedient to what He says do, then He will do His part.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

" A Catalyst"

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

As most of you know that my mother in law went through a time of physical difficulties this past year. Last week we took her for her checkup with the neurosurgeon who operated on her back. She has been concerned because she still isn't walking better and without the aid of a walker. Her doctor took one look at her trying to walk and immediately said that this was not right, something is going on that needed to be checked into further. He decided to send her to an orthopedic doctor. When my mother in law heard this, she became some what discouraged because she had hoped that she was on the road to recovery and she saw this as a "set back". She began to wonder what else was the matter with her.

We took her Monday to see the orthopedic doctor. He took a few x-rays and watched her try to walk. He knew exactly what her problem was. The muscles in her hip area were still weak and needed to continue to be exercised until they could get stronger again. I thought this was a great report. She did not have any further problems and the inability to walk better can be corrected with continued exercise.

The reason I shared this is because often when "news" comes our way, we tend to take it as "bad news". Just like what I shared about my daughter yesterday. The news she received seemed to be discouraging because it wasn't the answer she had hoped for. But it turned out to be exactly the right thing because it put her in a position for God to open up a better avenue to meet her need. What my mother in law thought was bad news was actually working for her good. It put her in the right place to finally find out why she was not walking better.

When we receive a "report" that is not what we had hoped for, we don't need to get discouraged, worried, fearful or upset because what we see as being something bad may actually be the avenue to get us into the place were we can receive our answer, have our need met, see God move on our behalf. When things don't go the way we hope, it doesn't always represent something bad. It might be the catalyst to get us positioned for something better. Just like in the case of Joseph. The prison was a "bad report" and not such a "good thing", but it took him right into the palace.

Have a great day. It may sound bad or look bad at first, but it might be the path to get you to your answer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"Faithful Again"

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Hebrews 13:8

Yesterday my daughter called me and she was very upset. She had a need that had to be met right then and the door had closed on the only source that could help her. I told her that she was going to have to trust the Lord and not let this upset or discourage her. I then reminded her of the Lord's faithfulness to her in every situation that she has gone through. I also reminded her of the times she had been in similar situations and how the Lord had always-- even when it looked hopeless- come through for her. The long and short of the story-- within the hour the Lord had opened up another door and it was so much better than the one she thought she needed to help her.

This morning I don't know what you are facing. You may have a pressing need. Your source of help and support may have fallen through. The door that you thought was the one that you needed may have closed. You may be discouraged over the situation. But let me remind you that God has come through for you in the past, in other times when you faced difficulties, in times that there seemed to be no hope. He has always made a way; He has always been faithful. Like I told my daughter, He is the Lord who does not change. If He did it for you in the past, He will do it for you again now. Trust in His faithfulness.

Take a moment to remember what He has already done for you. Think about the times in the past when He came through for you. Let it encourage and renew your faith to believe Him to do it again.

Have a great day. Trust Him to come through for you today like He always has in the past.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Right Company"

"That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous." Proverbs 2:20

One translation of this verse says, "Follow the steps of good men." Who are you following? Who are you patterning your life after? Who are you imitating? We have a tendency to act like the people we hang around with. You see this more evident in teenagers. They get with the "wrong" crowd and they start acting like them. If they get in gangs they start doing the things that others in the gang do. We often see it in the corporate world. If you are with those who cheat, steal, deceive and step on others to accomplish a goal, you tend to do the same thing.

The Bible tells us that “bad company corrupts good character”. (1 Cor. 15:33) So we need to be more selective in who we keep company with. Are there people in your life who are "pulling you down"? Are they "corrupting your character"? Does having a relationship with them draw you closer to Christ or pull you away?

One of the things I, and the counselors, stress to the men and women when they are ready to leave the recovery center is that they break the ties with their drinking and drug "buddies", and surround themselves with those who will encourage them, who will help support them, who will pray with them, who will really love them. We all have to do that. Does that mean that we don't care about those who aren't walking in righteousness? Never, we have to love them and help them get on the path that leads to eternal life, but we do that by staying on the "right paths" ourselves... and who you "hang around with" either helps that to happen or it doesn't.

Have a great day. Who are you hanging around with? What type of example are they?

Monday, February 25, 2008

"No Faith"

"And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" Mark 4:40

The scripture above is Jesus' rebuke to the disciples after He calmed the wind and waves on the sea. He asked them why they had "no" faith- not a "little" faith, but none. If they had had faith they would not have been so fearful of the storm. They would not have believed they were going to drown. If they had had faith, they would have said to one another, "Jesus told us we are going to the other side. What He says always comes to pass. Going to the other side means that we are going to arrive at our destination, it doesn't mean that we are going to die--- the storm is not going to kill us because Jesus said we are going to the other side."

When we have faith- real faith- the situation, our feelings, what we see, what we hear from others, what is happening around us doesn't effect us. Let the storm rage, Jesus said we are going to the other side. Let the boat fill up with water, Jesus said we are going to the other side. Let the situation look fearful, Jesus said we are going to the other side. Let the wind beat upon us, Jesus said we are going to the other side.

Faith is not moved by exterior circumstances. Faith is not moved by natural occurrences. Faith is moved by God's word. It's faith in what God said-- not in what I see, not in what I feel, not in what I hear from other sources. My faith is founded in God's word-- in the fact that He is not a man that He should lie; in the fact that He is faithful as promised; in the fact that He is God and will watch over His word to perform it.

Whatever you are going through this morning-- if the Lord has spoken a word to you-- hold on to that word. Put your faith in what God has said, it's His promise to you and you can put your faith and confidence in His ability to make it happen.

Have a great day. If He said it, it doesn't matter what happens--- you are going to the other side.

Friday, February 22, 2008

"It's Awkward"

"Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Have you ever thought about transition being a part of life? Some transitions are minor, everyday occurrences. For example, I have to make the transition from the role of a wife to the role of a grandmother when dealing with my granddaughter. Then there are other times of transition that are not minor- they are more major- like starting a new job, moving into the calling of the Lord, stepping out in faith, getting married and living with someone else. These are the transition periods that we seem to have more trouble dealing with.

I need a haircut badly. I usually wear it short but since my beautician is on maternity leave, I am long over due for a haircut. It's at the length where you can't do anything with it. I won't style like it should, it's too long for one style but not long enough for another, it's too long to make it puff up, it wants to lay flat--- the long and the short of it (no pun intended) is that it is in that awkward stage. It's in a transition stage- between short and long; not long enough, not short enough.

The "bigger" transition times in our lives are very much like my hair-- awkward. You don't feel comfortable, you can't do what you did, you can't seem to go forward, but you can't move backwards either, you are at a lose as to what to do. You feel like you are in limbo. During these times of transition, because of the awkward feeling it gives us, we need to guard against the temptation to get frustrated. It's when we are frustrated that it would be easy to throw up our hands, to quit, to give up, to feel defeated. Instead, remember that the Lord is the one who "brings us over". If you are going through transition, look to the Lord, put your trust and confidence in Him, ask for His guidance and peace to rule over your thoughts and feelings. He will help you to make a "smooth" transition in the transition.

Have a great day. Transition can be awkward, but God can give you peace to go through it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


"And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly." 2 Chronicles 29:36

Early this morning I was thinking about Samuel and how the Lord gave him a "suddenly". Samuel was asleep after a day of doing his usual religious duties, then suddenly without warning the Lord spoke to him. This happened to Isaiah also. He was in the temple then suddenly he saw the Lord high and lifted up. And Joseph; he was in the prison doing his daily routine then suddenly he was promoted to the second highest in command in Egypt. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is another one. Suddenly an angel appeared and gave her the word from the Lord that she would bear the Messiah. The Lord appeared to Moses, suddenly, out of a burning bush. It happened to Noah, to Abraham, to Gideon, to the shepherds, Saul on the road to Damascus, and a host of others in the Bible.

The Bible is full of people who have this same testimony. They were going about their day, their regular routine, their jobs, their duties, tending to their responsibilities, then "suddenly" without prior warning, without any notice, without even a hint that something was up... the Lord appeared to them, gave them their answer, called them to do something for His Kingdom, gave them an assignment, sent an answer, pronounced a blessing, made a promise, or gave them a promotion.

God works in the "suddenly". We may not see the answer to our prayer then all of a sudden it comes-- as if from no where. We may not see anything happening in our lives to give us any indication that God is aware of what we are going through and then suddenly He lets us know that He is. Whatever you are going through, wherever you are, whatever the situation, whatever you need, whatever you are praying about... the answer will come, and it will come suddenly... and in the least expected way.

Have a great day. God does things suddenly-- without warning, when you least expect it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Psalm 42:1

The word pant means to have an intense eagerness; to yearn; to hunger; to thirst; to have a strong desire; to long for. Let me ask you a question, "Does that describe you?" Does it describe how you feel about the Lord? Do you long for Him? Do you have a hunger and thirst to know Him in deeper more intimate ways? Is He the desire of your heart? Is HE that yearning-- not what He does for you, not what He can give you. Too many of His children long for His blessings, His gifts, and His provisions. We all have needs and when we do we need to look to the Lord because He is our source of provision, but that's not all He is. His is a God who desires and longs for fellowship, communion, intimacy with you. He desires to reveal Himself to you. He desires to make "known His ways" to you like He did Moses. He desires to "bring you up higher" and hide you in the cleft of the rock to show you His glory.

There is so much more to God than just His blessings and provisions. But if that's all you are "yearning" for, then you will still have an empty place- a place that is not fulfilled in your soul. You will always feel thirsty and hungry. Because these aren't the things that satisfy-- only Jesus can satisfy your soul; His presence and intimacy with Him.

The soul that hungers for Him, He will satisfy them. He will give Himself to them. He will reveal Who He is. He will let them taste and see that He is good. He gives you a promise-- when you hunger and thirst for Him, He will fill you. He will fill you with Himself to overflowing. You won't thirst again. Once you have been filled, you'll always want more and the more you want, the more He'll fill you.

Have a great day. What you are yearning and hungry for?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"Unconditional Trust"

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Psalm 37:3

Do you remember the old hymnal- "Trust And Obey"? Our obedience to God is the greatest proof of our trust in Him. But trust isn't a "fair weather" thing only. Too many of God's children have "conditional" trust. They trust Him as long as the sun is shining, the skies in their world are blue, they have plenty to eat, all the bills are paid, there are no conflicts in their life, and all is at peace.

The real test of trust comes in just the opposite conditions. Do you trust Him when all visible means of support are gone? Do you trust Him to carry you through the storm? Do you trust Him when Pharaoh's army is pursuing? Do you trust Him when the brook is dried up? Do you trust Him when you are standing before the fiery furnace?

It's one thing to trust God when all is well. It's another to trust Him when your world is falling apart. Whatever condition your life is in today, whatever situation you are facing, whatever you are going through- good, bad, or otherwise- are you going to put your trust in the Lord? Is your trust "rooted and grounded" in Him? If it's rooted, if it's grounded, then it's established upon a sure, strong and powerful foundation, and it's a foundation you can put your trust in because it's Jesus, the Solid Rock.

Have a great day. Is your trust in the Lord conditional or unconditional?

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Fine Tuned"

"And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth." 1 Samuel 3:10

Tonight I had the joy of having my new little grandbaby spend the night with us. I put the cradle my daughter slept in when she was a baby beside my bed so I could have her close to me. After not having a baby in the house for over twenty years, I wondered if I would hear her when she woke up ready for her bottle. There was nothing to wonder about-- I heard every grunt, every coo, every sigh, every breath she took, every wiggle she made. Even in my sleep my ears were keenly aware of her presence, and my eyes popped open at every sound she made.

This is how we should be with the Lord. Our "ears" should be fine tuned to every "sound" He makes-- each command, each prodding of the Spirit, each word He speaks, every conviction. We need to be listening for His voice. It was important to my granddaughter's well being that I hear her when she cry. How much more important is it that we are attuned to the Father's voice when He calls.

Often He is speaking and we don't realize that it is Him. This happened with Samuel. He wasn't accustomed to having God speak to him so he wasn't familiar with his voice at first. But throughout the rest of Samuel's life we see that he had learned the voice of the Lord and was fine tuned to what He said. As we spend more time listening to the Lord through reading His word, by communing with His Spirit, by spending quiet time in His presence, our spiritual sense of "hearing" will become more discerning of the Lord's voice and we will recognize it more readily when He speaks-- even if we are asleep. Samuel did.

Have a great day. We need to get fine tuned to hear and know the voice of the Lord.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"What Not To Wear"

"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14

The other day a couple of people and I were talking about a television show- What Not To Wear. In case you aren't familiar with the show, a person is nominated who needs help with the way they dress. Once the person has been selected they are approached with the opportunity to get rid of all the clothes in their closet and buy a brand new wardrobe with a $5,000.00 gift card. Jokingly, I asked one of the people I was talking with if they wanted me to submit their name to the show. This led to a discussion. These people said they wouldn't want to do it because they didn't want to have to give up their whole wardrobe--- they liked some of their clothes. Personally, I'd jump at the chance. I am thankful for my clothes, but I am not so attached to any of them that I couldn't give them up to gain something better-- a brand new wardrobe... free.

Let me bring this into the spiritual realm. We are a lot like that. God calls us to "give up" something and we don't want to because we like it too much. He is trying to give us something better- something of greater eternal value- and we are too attached to that fleshly thing that we often won't give it up. These nominees have to give up their entire wardrobe because what they are wearing isn't flattering, it hides the "real" them, it distracts from their beauty. God deals with us to give up some things that we are "wearing" because it hides the light of Christ in us and distracts from them seeing Jesus in us.

Whatever God deals with you to give up- fleshly attitudes, wrong thinking, self-centered desires, desires of the flesh- give them up. You can't afford to be attached to them. You have to be willing to give them up. If you hold on to them, you are sacrificing the better for the worse. God wants to bless you and bring out His character in you-- He wants Jesus to be seen in you. He won't be if He's hidden under the wrong "clothes".

Have a great day. Don't be attached to the things of the flesh-- surrender them and receive the better thing God is wanting to give to you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"His Love"

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

Everyone told me that when my grandbaby got here it would be one of the most wonderful things in my life. They said that I would have a love for her that was different than the love I even had for my daughter. They were right! She is the most precious little bundle of joy. I love her so much!! I can't describe the depth of love that I have for her. I could hold her, hug her, kiss her, and never let her go. As I was thinking about how deeply and dearly I love her, the Lord reminded me of a love that was even greater than the love I have for her.... it's His love for us.

God's love for us is greater than we can comprehend or imagine. He loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for us. He loves us so much that He went beyond a verbal expression and demonstrated it by dying on the cross. This morning, I feel that someone needs to hear that He loves you. You have been going through such a difficult time that you have forgotten that He loves you. The situations you have faced have made you wonder where the love of God is for you. I am here to remind you that He loves you. You may have forgotten, you may not feel like it, you may wonder, you may not believe it... but He does love you.

He loves you with an everlasting love. There is nothing that can separate you from His love. His love is eternal- it will never fade away. It is unconditional-- you'll never make Him stop loving you. This morning, if that is you, reach out and take hold of His love. Let Him embrace you once more. Get in a quiet place alone and ask Him to let you feel His love bathe you. He will.

Have a great day. The depth of God's love for us is unfathomable.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Out of the Pit"

"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." Psalm 40:2

Have you ever been in a pit? Perhaps it was a pit of despair, a pit of pain, a pit of grief, a pit of fear or depression? We all have been in a pit at some time or other, and probably will be again. Pits come unexpectedly. One moment you are going along minding your own business or even doing the work of the Lord then the next minute you are in a pit. This happened to Joseph. He was just obeying his father by looking for his brothers and he got thrown into a pit. The prophet Jeremiah was delivering the word of the Lord and wound up in a pit. Daniel was praying and got thrown into a pit.

Pits are unavoidable- they are out there waiting for you to fall into them-- the enemy of our soul will see to that. But the question is, "What are you going to do when you find yourself in a pit?". Are you going to try to get out? Are you going to give up? Are you going to throw up your hands? Are you going to sit there and feel sorry for yourself and wait to die? What are you going to do?

The good news is you don't have to stay in the pit. Joseph got out, so did Jeremiah and Daniel. How did they get out? Did they deliver themselves? No, the Lord brought them out. The Lord will bring you out also. His hand is not too short that it cannot reach down and save you. If you will look to Him and call out to Him, He will bring you up out of the pit onto a higher place and set your feet upon a rock.

Have a great day. You don't have to stay in the pit, the Lord will help you out.