Friday, May 30, 2008


"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

The principle of sowing and reaping is very simple-- if you sow something, you will reap something in return. "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Galatians 6:8) We are either sowing to our flesh or we are sowing to our spirit. If we sow to the flesh we will reap death. If we sow to the spirit we will reap everlasting life.

How do we sow to our flesh? We sow to our flesh by not denying it; by giving it everything it wants, desires, and lusts after; by not withholding anything from it; by not depriving it; by not crucifying it; by pampering it; by promoting it, encouraging it, building it up; by letting it have it's way. When you continue to sow to your flesh, the principle of sowing and reaping will make sure that you reap something from it-- death, destruction, corruption. If this is not what you want to reap, then you need to take note of what you are sowing and stop.

It's the spirit that we want to sow to. How do we sow to the spirit? The same way we sow to the flesh. By not denying it; by giving it everything it wants; by not withholding anything from it; by not depriving it; by not crucifying it; by pampering it; by promoting it, encouraging it, building it up; by letting it have it's way. (Of course, the difference is that the things you don't withhold from your flesh are sinful, and the things you don't withhold from the spirit are godly and righteous.)

If you don't want to reap corruption then don't sow to your flesh- deny it, deprive it, crucify it. If you don't want to reap everlasting life then don't sow to your spirit- deny it, deprive it, crucify it. We each have a choice as to which one we are going to sow into- flesh or spirit. What you want to reap will determine where you sow.

Have a great day. What do you want to reap? Is that where you are sowing?

Thursday, May 29, 2008


"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." Genesis 22:14

One of the names that God reveals Himself to us through is Jehovahjireh- God is our provider. It also means that God is the One who sees ahead and makes provision for. But I also heard it means "God will see to it". As I pondered this meaning this morning, I thought about how that it is God who "sees to it" that the righteous aren't forsaken. It's God who "sees to" meeting and supplying all my need. It's God who "sees to it" that I have rain in due season. It's God who "sees to it" that when I cast my bread upon the waters it will return to me. When I give, it's God who "sees to it" that it's given back to me good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

God will "see to it" that you receive the promise when you have met the condition. God will "see to it" that you are taken care of when you commit yourself into His keeping. When you place your faith and trust in Him, He will "see to it" that you won't be ashamed. God will "see to it" that you reap the blessing after you have been obedient. You are God's business. He loves you and cares about you. Therefore, whatever you need, He will "see to it" that you have it. So put your trust in Him as your Jehovahjireh-your provider- because He will "see to it".

Have a great day. Isn't it wonderful to know that God is "seeing to it" that all your need- spirit, soul and body- is met!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Do It God's Way"

"And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."
2 Kings 5:10

Our text is taken from the story about Naaman the leper who went to the prophet Elisha to be healed. When he got to the home of Elisha, the prophet did not come out and greet him, he did not pray a prayer over him, he did nothing except send his servant out to tell Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Listen to Naaman's response in the next two verse. "But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage."

Naaman needed a healing touch but he wanted to receive it "his" way. Aren't we like that? We'll need a healing, a provision, an answer from the Lord, but we want Him to give it to us in the way that we determine. We know how we want it to happen and expect God to do it that way. The Bible tells us that, "God's ways are not our ways." (Isaiah 55:8,9) They are so much higher and better than anything we can imagine. God doesn't always do things our way or the way we want, but He does do them perfectly in accordance with His own will.

What answer has He given you that you didn't want to hear? What has He instructed you to do but you have put if off because you don't want to do it that way? What is keeping you from obeying what He has said? Is it pride? Fear of man? Intimidation? Fear of failure? Do you think God has made a mistake? If God has told you to do something but you are putting it off, or trying to do it your own way, then your disobedience is what's standing in the way of your receiving. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Have a great day. Just think, Naaman would have remained a leper the rest of his life if he had not gone ahead and obeyed God's instructions through Elisha.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Deep Waters"

"Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins." Ezekiel 47:4

It's time we move out into deeper waters in our Christianity and stop wading in the shallows. It's time we move out of the shallow waters called comfort zones and go on into the deeper waters of faith. It's time we stop praying "microwave" prayers and go deeper in our times of prayer- ask, seek, knock, intercede, travail. We need to stop being shallow concerning our time in the word- go beyond reading just enough to say you read your Bible- search the scriptures, study them, hide them in your heart, live by them. It's time to move out in deeper waters of commitment and surrender- surrender your will to His will, commit all things into His keeping. It's time to stop visiting the Lord when in need only and dwell in His presence. It's time to move into a deeper more intimate relationship with the Lord instead of every once in a while. It's time to mover from shallow praise given only at church and praise Him at all times- His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Far too long we have stayed in the "safe" area of "shallow" Christianity. It's time we make it our personal goal to move out deeper. There is a whole new world that awaits you in the deeper waters. Once you "launch out" into the deep you will find that it holds whole new experiences, you will find abundance, you will find healing, you will find sustenance, you will find life. (Ezekiel 47:5-12) The Lord never intended for us to stay in the shallow waters at the shore. He intended for us to follow Him into the deeper waters where the "fish" are, where you can walk on water, and where you can get to the other side.

Have a great day. The days of wading around in shallow water are over- you can't live there any longer. It's time to move out into the deep.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"Memorial Day"

"And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever." Exodus 12:14

Today in America we are celebrating Memorial Day. It's a time when we give honor to those who laid down their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have in this nation. As we remember the sacrifice they made we must also remember the greatest sacrifice that was made for us. We must remember that Jesus paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom when He laid down His life on the cross for our sins.

Memorial Day is an American holiday- we honor the brave men and women throughout our history who fought and died in wars past to help preserve this nation's freedom. But what Jesus did for us through His death is not just an "American" observation. He died for the sins of the whole world. He died for everyone- no one is excluded. ("For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son."- John 3:16a)

It has taken many men and women throughout history to obtain our nation's freedoms, but it only took one to obtain our freedom from sin. ("For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Romans 5:19)

It was with great joy that Jesus laid down His life to give us freedom from sin. What He did for us is not a once a year observance. It is a daily recognition. Daily we should remember the price that He paid for our sins. Daily we should thank Him for taking our place on the cross and for taking the punishment for our sins that we so rightfully deserved. Daily we should acknowledge that without Him we would still be held in bondage to sin. Daily we should thank Him for laying down His life for us. ("Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself." John 10:17,18a; "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2)

Have a great day. Every day should be a memorial day to Jesus.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Half Empty"

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24

It is said that there are two groups of people- those who see the glass is half empty and those who see it as half full. Those who see it as half empty are said to be negative. Those who see it as half full are said to have a positive outlook. A Christian should be both. Let me clarify. I am not saying that a Christian should be negative, I am saying that we should see that the glass is half empty in order to acknowledge that there is a need. We are taught not to "confess" that the glass is half empty because it expresses lack of faith, unbelief, doubt and negativity. That isn't so. If you don't acknowledge the need, then the need won't get met. ("Ye have not, because ye ask not". James 4:2)

The blind man came to Jesus and admitted that he was blind and asked the Lord to give him his sight. Jarius told Jesus that his daughter was ill and asked Him to come to his house and heal her. Jesus Himself told the disciples that Lazarus was dead, but He was going to raise him back to life. When we aren't willing to acknowledge the need (the half empty glass) because it's perceived as "negative", we are denying the fact that there is an opportunity for God to do something great on our behalf.

If you are sick in body, acknowledge it. Then stand in faith that the sickness is an opportunity for God to heal you and receive glory. ("..but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." John 9:3b) If you are going through the fire, if there is a giant standing before you, if the bills are larger than the pay check, don't deny it, acknowledge it, because it's an opportunity for God to show Himself strong on your behalf, for God to meet the need, for God to deliver you, for Him to give you a miracle, etc.

If you don't acknowledge the need, it takes away the opportunity for God to do something on your behalf that He will receive glory for. If the glass is always half full, why should He do anything because you don't have a need?

Have a great day. We have to acknowledge the need because in so doing we are also acknowledging that there is an opportunity for God to meet it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Dwelling Place"

"Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah." Psalm 84:4

Do you know why most Christians seem to live powerless, defeated, compromised lives, lacking in faith, full of confusion, they have no joy, no peace and are shaken with each trial? It's because of where they "live"- or don't live. To "dwell in thy house" means to "live" where God is- in His presence. It doesn't mean to "visit". This is what most Christians do- they "visit" God's presence. I am not talking about attending church. I am talking about living in Him, being where His presence is, living and walking in the spirit.

Jesus addressed this- He called it "abiding".. another name for "dwelling". (John 15:4-7) When we abide in Him, when we dwell in Him, there is an attachment to Him. Like a branch that is attached to a tree. The branch gets it's life from the tree. When we abide in Him, we get our life from Him. Everything He is pours into us- peace, joy, love, victory, power, etc.

This dwelling, like I've already said is not "visiting". You can't "visit" the presence of God-- once a week at church, or only when you have a need, or when things are going wrong call upon Him, or turn in prayer to Him when you feel like it, when it suits you, or when it is convenient, or when you want a "feel good" blessing-- and expect to live a "full" Christian life. It comes from dwelling, abiding, living in His presence. It comes from walking and talking with Him on a daily, moment by moment, when things are going good and when things are going bad basis.

He has gone to prepare a place for us to live with Him one day (John 14), but He has also already prepared a place for us to live here and now. It's a dwelling place in Himself. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." (Psalm 91:1)

Have a great day. Are you visiting on occasion or living in God's presence?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"His Benefits"

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19

When we come to Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord, we become part of His family- His children. Being in His family entitles us to certain benefits. When we think of benefits, we usually think in terms of financial- monetary blessings. There are financial blessings that He sends our way in order to meet our needs or be a blessing to others. But financial blessings are such a small part of the benefits that God provides for us.

Some of the benefits He loads us with are peace- peace with Him, peace when we are in confusion, His very own peace is imparted to us. Strength is another benefit- His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Another benefit is that He will never leave us nor forsake us, He's a friend that sticks closer than a brother, He's a very present help in time of trouble, He will lift us up when we are cast down, He will be with us in the fire, in the wilderness, in the floods and when we face the giants. Comfort in our time of sorrow, joy for mourning, health and healing, the lifting of our heads when we are drained by our emotions, guidance to know which way to go and what to do- these are all benefits. Other benefits include wisdom, grace, victory, answers to prayers, powerful weapons to pull down strongholds and defeat our enemies, revelation, understanding-- the list goes on and on.

The scripture above says that He "daily" loads us with benefits. As a child of God, today, these benefits are available to you. Don't go lacking, ask Him to pour His benefits upon whatever it is that you have need of today.

Have a great day. His benefits are for you and He provides them for you everyday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Acting Like Doves"

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20

Yesterday I was watching the birds eat around our bird feeders-- there are always lots of birds. Among them are several doves who frequent the feeder. One of the doves always chances the other doves off if they get too close to where it is feeding. The first time I saw this happen I was rather surprised. Doves represent peace and are symbolic of the Holy Spirit and this dove was acting selfishly by chasing others away. I felt like the Lord showed me that this is how some Christians are.

We are suppose to represent Christ and bear the fruits of the Spirit- peace, love, kindness, etc., but instead our actions and attitudes sometimes represent something else. There are Christians who are selfish instead of being selfless and preferring others above themselves. There are those who are unkind instead of being kind in word and deed. Some Christians are competitive- always wanting to be first, always promoting themselves, putting down those who don't "measure up", "pushing" others aside- instead of taking the last place. Some Christians are mean tempered, critical, judgmental and cruel instead of edifying they are always tearing down with their words. There are some who speak harsh, condemning words instead of having the "law of kindness" in their mouth.

The actions and attitudes I have been describing don't look like Christians should look and don't represent what Christians should represent. Just like I was surprised at the behavior of the dove, we should be surprised at Christian behavior that does not represent who Christians are --- followers of Christ. And we should be surprised when we see that behavior in others or in ourselves. When we see it in ourselves, we must fall before the Lord in repentance and ask the Holy Spirit to help us yield to the change and transformation that He desires to do in our lives to make us more Christ-like.

Have a great day. Do you just "look" like a "dove", or do you act like one too?

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Hollow Prayers"

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Matthew 6:7

Jesus talked a lot about prayer and gave many examples of prayers. He told us which prayers were pleasing to the Father, and which prayers He heard. Jesus gave a parable of two men praying in the temple- one was a Pharisee and the other was a publican. Jesus told what each of these men prayed. Of the two, He let us know which prayer was acceptable and which was not.

The publican's prayer was humble, the Pharisee's was prideful. The Pharisee's was self righteous, the publican knew he was a sinner. The publican prayed a prayer of "substance", the Pharisee prayed a "hollow" prayer- empty. The Pharisee's prayer consisted of nothing but empty words- it sounded good on the outside but there was nothing on the inside. Have you ever had a piece of "hollow" chocolate? The outside looks firm but when you bite into it it's empty in the middle, not solid, the chocolate is just a shell. If you buy a piece of chocolate that's "solid", then that means it's a solid piece- there is chocolate on the outside and inside. (That's how these two men's prayers were.)

Our prayers are either "solid" or "hollow". They either have substance to them or they are empty. Praying hollow prayers means that they are just words we are saying to God but our hearts are not in them or behind what we are saying. We are saying words that "sound good" but aren't truly meant. We may ask God to "change us" in prayer, but we don't really mean it. We may ask Him to "make us more like Him" but don't really want Him to do so. We may ask Him to take us to a new level, but we don't really want to leave the comfort of the level we are on. We may ask Him for forgiveness but aren't truly sorry to the point of turning from what we are doing- we are just praying to "soothe" our conscience.

In our prayers we must check ourselves and be aware of what type of prayers we are offering to God. Are they sincere, heart felt and meant from our hearts? Or are they "lip service"- said for the benefit of others, said to "impress" God, said to make us feel good? God does hear our prayers and answers them, but they have to be the "right" kind of prayers-- solid ones.

Have a great day. God doesn't hear "our much speaking" if they are "hollow" words.

Friday, May 16, 2008


"But it is good for me..." Psalm 73:28a

My precious little granddaughter, who is now four months old, is going through another stage-- she is "fighting" sleep. Up until now she would go to sleep at night and sleep until the next morning. You can tell she is sleepy but if you try to lay her down or rock her she gets fussy and tries to stay awake. She doesn't realize that what she is "fighting" against is something that is "good" for her. Sleep is something that she needs- it rests and refreshes her body and is important for her growth and development.

Aren't we like my granddaughter--- "fighting" against what is good for us. How often do we "fight" against the "disciplines" that are needed for us to grow and mature spiritually. When we don't want to take the time to read the Bible, study it, meditate on it, we are "fighting". When we don't want to make the sacrifice to pray, to seek the Lord, to fast, to deny ourselves, we are "fighting".

Another result of her "fighting" sleep is irritability. She gets irritable, cries and keeps her mother awake. When we fight against the spiritual disciplines and those things that the Lord is sending our way for our good, it will lend way to unChristlike behavior, a greater presence of the "fruits of the flesh", a poor witness to others and a distant relationship with the Lord.

The spiritual disciplines are not always what we want to do, they are not always easy, we think we are going to "miss out" on something, they don't always fit into our schedules, but they are needful. They are not only good for us spiritually, but we have to have them to help sustain our spiritual life.

Have a great day. Are you "fighting" against them? If you do, it won't be long before it will have an effect on you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Jesus In His Church"

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

I was watching Christian television last night and a minister came on that I have never heard before. I listened to him and was strengthened by the word. This morning I decided to go to his website to find out a little more about him and what he believes-- it's important that we "know those who labor among us" (1 Thess. 5:12). One of the things he said on his site was that he is "actively fulfilling the mandate that God has given him to 'Bring My Son Back to the Church'". As I read that my heart leaped with joy and was deeply saddened at the same time.

I was saddened because in our modern day church Jesus has been "shut out", for the most part. How many messages have you heard preached about Jesus and the cross lately- or in a while? Most of what we hear centers around all His blessings, wealth, prosperity, self help, etc. So little centers around His sacrifice for our sins, His atonement, the price he paid at Calvary so that we could have eternal life and abundant life here on earth. So little is preached about His shed blood for the remission of our sins, how He took our place and the punishment we rightfully deserved, how without Him there would be no new covenant blessings for us to enjoy, there would be no opportunity to have a relationship with the living God, without Him there would be no remission of sin, without Him we would be lost and on our way to an eternal hell with NO chance of escape, without Him we would not enjoy the forgiveness of sins, there would be no access to the Father, we would be forever lost.

My heart leaped for joy to hear this because all the problems we are suffering in the church, the lack of power we demonstrate, our ineffective witness, our lack of love, our compromise, our selfish/self-centeredness is because Jesus is on the outside "knocking on the door" wanting to get in (Rev.3:20). Much of the problems in the world are because we have left Jesus out of the church. How so? If Jesus occupied His rightful place in His church there would be a difference in us who profess to know Him and this difference would cause us and enable us to "turn our world upside down for Christ" (Acts 17:6). No longer would our neighbors go unwitnessed to, no longer would our lights be hid under a basket but instead shine brightly to a lost and dying world. No longer would we wink at sin, deny the hungry, withhold our hands from the needy, cast out the poor. If His presence was in the church in the way that He desires, His presence would change us- it would either cause us to embrace Him and make us "hot" or it would cause us to reject Him and make us "cold", but either way it would take us out of our "lukewarm" condition. (Rev. 3:15,16)

Have a great day. Let's each one of us that calls Him Lord help bring Jesus back into His church.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Not Always Easy"

"For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues." Mark 3:10

We've talked in past devotionals about how impatient we are-- we want everything "NOW". We've also addressed the subject of "easy" gratification-- no pain, no struggle, everything handed to us on a platter. We live in a world that wants easy and instant gratification. Well, it doesn't always come like that. Not only are there times we have to wait, there are times when we have to "work" to get it. The woman with the issue of blood had to "press" through the crowd to get her healing. The crowd talked about in the scripture above had to "press" upon Jesus. Daniel had to stay committed in fasting and prayer for twenty-one days in order to receive an answer. Jacob had to wrestle with the angel in order to get a blessing. The wise men had to continue on the journey in order to reach the Christ child.

Sometimes you are going to have to knock and keep knocking. Sometimes you are going to have to seek and keep seeking. Sometimes you are going to have to press and keep pressing. Sometimes you are going to have to resist and keep resisting. Sometimes you are going to have to stand and keep standing. It's not always easy- it's not always a "down hill" fall. It's usually an "up hill" climb.

We learn from the examples given above that because they were faithful to continue to press, pray or wrestle, they were rewarded, they weren't disappointed, they did receive. Stay faithful to persevere and you will receive.

Have a great day. It doesn't always come instantly and it doesn't always come easy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"God's Timing"

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1

When we don't see things happening when we want them to, we forget that God has a timing for everything. Mary gave birth to the Messiah in the "fullness of time". (Galatians 4:4) Jesus Himself said that His "time had not yet come". (John 2:4) While in prison Joseph asked the butler to tell Pharaoh about him- in hopes that he would release him from prison then (it was a couple of years later before that happened). I could go on and on with examples from the Bible about God's timing verses our timing.

God timing is not always our timing, but God's timing is perfect. Everything He does is perfectly timed. Part of our relationship with Him is trust. And committing and submitting to His timing is part of that trust. We have to learn to trust God with the times and seasons of our life. We have to learn to trust that His timing in our lives is perfect- He'll never be late or early but always right on time. We have to learn to trust Him when He waits, when He doesn't show up when we want, when He appears to be late, when He doesn't move on our timetable.

He is trustworthy. We can trust Him with the days, the seasons, the times, with every moment of our life. He knows not only "what" is best for us, but "when" it's best for us also. This morning if you are waiting on God's timing, don't get discouraged, keep trusting Him, place it in His hands and rest in the fact that at His appointed time it will happen.

Have a great day. He is in control of your times.

Monday, May 12, 2008


"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

"As we have opportunity". There are times when we lack the opportunity to do good the way we would like (Philippians 4:10), but there are more opportunities around us to do good than not. Everyday there are opportunities to do good, to plant seeds of kindness, to give a cup of cold water, to edify, to encourage, to minister, to bear another's burden, to reach out in compassion, to share the love of Jesus, to be a blessing or to meet a need. You don't have to look very far, they are in our own homes, on our jobs, in our schools, in the marketplace... wherever you find people you will find the opportunity to do good.

Often we miss these opportunities because we are looking for some "big" thing to do. We want to "slay giants", be used to "part a sea", "save the people from famine" like the Bible characters. Jesus said that when he sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left He will reward the sheep because they fed Him when He was hungry, clothed Him when He was naked, took Him in when He was in a strange place, visited Him when He was sick and in prison. These don't sound like some "big" deeds, but Jesus must have considered it a "big" thing because He also called the ones who did not do these things goats, set them on His left hand, said they were cursed and told them to depart from Him. (Matthew 25:32-46)

Jesus was not saying that doing these works is what causes you to inherit everlasting life- that comes through faith in His shed blood on the cross to take away our sins. But He was saying that if you have put your faith in Him, if you have become a "sheep" then you will do these things because they are part of your nature now, because you know that this is what He would do, because you know that Jesus went about doing good so you will do the same that He did, because you know that you are doing it unto Him.

Today look around you, there will be opportunities to do good deeds of kindness and show love. Do them. There is no good deed that is too small. They will not go unnoticed by the Lord. He will be glorified by them.

Have a great day. Don't miss the opportunity by waiting to do something "big"-- even a "small" deed is a "big" thing to God.

Friday, May 9, 2008

"You Do It"

"Go ye..." Matthew 28:19a

I have often had conversations with others about how the church is failing in their responsibility to reach the lost, to be bright shining lights for Jesus, to take a stand against the evil that is invading every part of society, to reach out to others with the love of Christ, and so on. There is not doubt that we have "dropped the ball". But I have to stop and remember that even though the church, as a whole, does have a responsibility, the "whole" church is made up of "individual" members. "But now are they many members, yet but one body." (1 Cor. 12:20)

Bring made up of individual members means that in order for the "whole" to do what it needs to do, the "each" has to be doing their part. Before we can criticize the church for not doing what they are suppose to be doing, we much first answer the question, "Am I doing what I need to be doing?" Am I witnessing to the lost? Am I reaching out to others? Am I sharing the gospel? Am I letting my light shine? The Great Commission doesn't say, "Go Ya'll" (Southern vernacular). It says, "Go ye". (Go you- you go) It is an "individual" command. We each have been given the commission- each and everyone of us. And we each and everyone make up the whole church.

I believe that the church has failed to do what we should be doing, but before we can do much criticizing, we have to stop and look at ourselves to see if we are doing our part. Unless each member takes the commission personally and works to fulfill it individually, we will continue to "miss it" and fall short. This puts the onus on each of us-- because each one makes up the whole.

Have a great day. Each one of us makes up the church, so you are the church. Are you doing your part?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Inch By Inch"

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1

I want to repeat something that was said at church last night. The deacon who was teaching said: "If you give the devil an inch he'll take a mile, and he'll take it one inch at a time." He was referring to the fact that the devil doesn't always come to tempt and deceive us with the obvious, he usually comes subtly. If the devil came to me with some "big" temptation- like adultery, stealing, drugs, etc.- I would see it coming and recognize it immediately. But if he came to tempt me with something much smaller I might not recognize it so readily.

That's often how the devil works; he did in the Garden of Eden. He asked Eve a question, it put a doubt in her thoughts- he took an inch. He got her to thinking about it- he took another inch. Then he told her a lie, she believed it- he took another inch. He gave her a suggestion, she responded to it- he took another inch. Finally, after tempting her one "inch" at a time (so to speak) he took the "whole mile". She had fallen into total deception and ate in disobedience what God had told her not to eat.

Be on guard for satan's subtlety. Don't always look for "big" temptations. Be aware that he comes with just enough to "wet your appetite". He'll come with just enough to get his foot inched in the door. He comes with one small thought, one question, one suggestion, one "little fox" so that you won't recognize him and give into his temptations.

Have a great day. Satan goes about like a roaring lion- so sometimes his temptations are obvious to us. But he also comes like a serpent- in a very subtle way.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Lift Him Up - Part 2"

"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:23

Yesterday we talked about lifting Jesus up- through our actions, speech, attitude. The Bible says that when we lift Him up men would be drawn to Him. We have to lift Him up before a lost and dying world so that they will have the opportunity to be drawn to Him. We have to lift Him up because He is what they need. None of us are exempt from having problems, and people who don't know Christ as Savior have them too. When we have a problem, we need an answer. (The goal of any problem is to find the answer.) Jesus is the answer to every problem we have. If we need salvation- He is the Savior. If we need deliverance from a besetting sin- He is the one who sets captives free. If we are in bondage- He opens the prison door. If we need abundant life- He is come to give us abundant life. If we need guidance and direction- He is the way. If we need healing- He is the healer. If we are thirsty- He is the rock from which water flows. If we have a need- He is the one who supplies all our need.

Everyone has a need, even the person who shakes their fist in the face of God and says that they don't need Him. They need Him to give them the air they breath that keeps them alive. They need Him to save them because they can't save themselves through any of their good deeds. They need Him to keep the blood flowing through their bodies that sends life to their organs. They need Him to send sunshine and rain. Even if they don't think they need Him now... they will realize in the day of judgment when they stand before Him that they need Him. They will need Him then to be their Advocate. They will need Him to stand in their defense. They will need to have His righteousness applied to their lives. They will need to have His blood applied to their lives testifying that they are in right relationship with God. They will need to have Him write their names in the Book of Life.

We all have needs, we all have problems, but we who have received Christ know the answer to the problems and needs we face--- it's Jesus. We must be lifting Him up so that the lost will find the answer.

Have a great day. We all need Jesus, but the world doesn't know that He is what they need unless we are lifting up their answer before them.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Lift Him Up"

"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32

You have an assignment today-- lift Jesus up. Lift Him up in your home, on your job, in your school, in the marketplace, wherever you find yourself. Lift Him up by telling others about His glorious saving power. Lift Him up by telling them that Jesus is their answer, a firm foundation upon which to build their lives, He is Healer, Deliverer, their hope. Lift Him up by telling them that He loves them and paid a price for them. Lift Him up by bearing the fruit of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, etc. Lift Him up by having a Christ-like attitude. Lift Him up by walking in love, mercy and forgiveness. Lift Him up by being kind to one another. Lift Him up by giving your employer your best on your job. Lift Him up by treating your children with kindness. Lift Him up by preferring others. Lift Him up through your speech- let your words be edifying, bring life, seasoned with grace, not cruel, bitter, profane or hateful.

You also lift Him up by giving Him praise, honor and glory. Lift Him up by acknowledging Him in all your ways- by giving Him first place, the preeminence in your life and every decision. Lift Him up by reading His word and applying it to your life- to every situation you find yourself in.

As we lift Jesus up people will be drawn to Him. The opposite is true, if we don't lift Him up they won't. We have been given a great commission and how can we possibly fulfill it if we aren't lifting Jesus up?

Have a great day. Lift Jesus up by being a reflection of who He is in word and deed.

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Quicken Me"

"I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word." Psalm 119:107

Eleven different times in the Psalms David asked the Lord to "quicken" him. The word quicken means: to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health. David was a man who faced many trials, heartaches and temptations. They would have destroyed him had he not known that: the Lord was the source of his life- "For in him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28a); that the Lord was the one who sustained him- "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22); where his strength came from-"The Lord is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed." (Psalms 28:8); Who was the restorer when he fail- "He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:3)

Daily we face trials, temptations, situations and circumstances that are intended to destroy our life. The cares of this life will try to "suck" the life out of us. The problems we face will try to steal abundant life from us. Temptations are pits that are lying in wait for our destruction. The enemy of our soul wants to kill us. When we face these times, we should learn from David and pray as he did--- "Quicken me."

If you feel like the life is being drained out of you, if you are lacking abundant life, if you feel like you are slowly dying, if you need to be restored to life, then call out to the Lord today. Don't wait until tomorrow, don't put it off. Ask the Lord to "quicken" you. We also learned through the life of David that each time David prayed this prayer the Lord answered and quicken him. He'll do the same for you.

Have a great day. Do you need "life"? Ask the Lord to "quicken" you.

Friday, May 2, 2008

"Unlock The Door"

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

The Lord wants you to know this morning that it's time for you to open some doors in your life (heart) that you have had closed to Him for quite some time. I know this message is for many people. Some of you have closed the door to certain areas in your life because of fear- fear of what He'll ask you to do, fear of the unknown, fear of failure or rejection. Some of you have closed the door because there is sin in your life that you aren't willing to let go of so you are trying to hide it behind a locked door. Some of you have locked God out of certain areas because you are angry at Him- you feel He let you down, didn't meet your need, allowed something and you are confused as to why. Some of you can't forgive yourself for past sins, failures or mistakes, so you keep a locked door in your heart. Some of you have been so badly hurt by someone that you find it easier to just "lock the door".

Whatever it is that you have locked up inside of you needs to come out, but that can only happen as you unlock the door. You need to let the Lord heal the hurts that are locked up inside of you. You need to give Him access and free course into every area of your life. The thing that you are protecting behind a locked door is keeping you "locked up and locked in" instead. Let the Lord give you freedom today. Open the door- every door- to your heart. He stands knocking waiting for you to open.

Have a great day. It's time to remove all locks and open widely all the doors of your heart to the Lord .

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"Waiting On The Lord"

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Waiting is not something that most of us are accustomed to. We want what we want when we want it, and when we want it is always "NOW". In our society we have so many conveniences that provide so that we don't have to wait- fast food, instant banking, microwaves, Carnation instant breakfast, etc. There's even a commercial that promotes having everything instantly because you use your bank card.

When everything comes to instantly, it produces in us an expectation that this is how everything in our lives is going to be-- full of instant gratification. This expectation even flows over into our relationship with the Lord. We expect Him to do everything, answer every question, solve every problem and give us what we want at the same moment we ask. That is a deluded expectation. God often makes us wait.

Abraham had to wait for the promise. David had to wait to occupy the throne. Mary had to wait for nine months for the arrival of the Son in her womb. Jesus waited until His time had come. Those in the Upper Room had to wait until they were endued with power from on high. There are times when God does answer us instantly, but more times than not we have to wait for the answer. We need to learn how to be still and wait upon the Lord. We need to learn- or relearn- how to not get in such a hurry where He is concerned. We need to learn to take the needed time to wait in His presence. There are some things that we can only receive from the Lord by "waiting". In the scripture above we are promised renewed strength, but the condition to that promise is -- wait on the Lord. There is always a reward or blessing (whatever you want to call it) attached to waiting.

Have you forgotten how to wait in His presence? Have you forgotten how to wait until you receive your answer? Have you forgotten that God has His own time table? Have you forgotten that He isn't always in a hurry? Have you forgotten how to slow down and wait?

Have a great day. It's time we relearn how to wait on the Lord.