Friday, November 28, 2008

"One Tongue"

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

There is a song that says, "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing praise to the King". If we had a thousand tongues we still couldn't praise Him enough. Would we use all one thousand of them to praise and honor Him? Since we don't have a thousand, but we do have one, I have to ask the question... "What are you doing with the one tongue you have?"

How are you using it? Are you using it to edify, to encourage, to speak words of kindness and healing? Are you using it to bring hope? Are your words words of peace, faith, blessings? Do your words truly glorify God? Or do you use your tongue to backbite, discourage, intimidate? Do you speak words of unbelief, doubt, cursing? Do you tear down, condemn, murmur and complain? Do you use it for both- blessings and cursing, truth and lies, faith and fear, encouragement and discouragement?

Often, we just say what we want to say and give no thought to our words. I encourage, and challenge, you today to pay attention to your speech. Give yourself a test and take note of how you are using your tongue. Here is a prayer for our tongues which is posted on my Khawdash blog. Maybe we should be praying it everyday??

A Prayer for the Tongue: I pray forgiveness for my tongue. Help me, Lord, to never use it as a weapon against my brother. Remind me to wear my bridle so I can keep it under control. Teach me to bite it, so that I may feel the pain that it could cause others. Show me where to purchase a lock for my mouth, so that my tongue will not escape. Help me to think of it as a valuable object so that I will keep it to myself. I pray that my mind will be in gear before my tongue goes into motion. Take away the gift of gab. Thank You for my little tongue. Help me to never let it get big. Let it always be used for good and it tell the world of Your love. Amen.

Have a great day. We must use our tongues in a manner in which glorifies God.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving." Psalm 69:30

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day here in America in a couple of days. Hopefully, we won't be so caught up in the traditional meal, the family gatherings, our own unique customs, that we forget why we are celebrating. I realize that this is an American celebration commemorating a time in our history, but whether you live in America or another country if you are a born again child of God you have something- so much- to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is not just a day on a calendar, a holiday celebrated by a certain nation, a historical commemoration, it should be a lifestyle for those of us who have surrendered our lives to and placed our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Is it for you? Is it your lifestyle? Is everyday a day of thanksgiving? Do you live with a praise of thanksgiving on your lips? Do you reserve your thanks for special occasions only such as when things are going well, once a year, during church service, when the Lord answers your prayers? Each day that we wake up is cause enough to give God thanks. Knowing that your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life is more than enough reason to thank Him daily. As a matter of fact, that fact alone is enough to keep a praise of thanksgiving on your lips morning, noon and night.

Have you lost your thanksgiving? Have you allowed the cares of life, it's problems, discouraging news, bad reports, personal trials, disturbing circumstances, unpleasant situations to rob you of a heart of thanksgiving? Has it been replaced with grumbling, self-pity, ingratitude? Then you need to get it back. You need to begin to bring a "sacrifice of praise" to the Lord. If you can't do it sincerely, then do it by faith... just start doing it. He is worthy and you have been too blessed not to!! "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Have a great day. Everyday is a day of thanksgiving... so thank Him today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Brick Wall"

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6

Have you ever come up against a "brick wall"? You're going down the road of life then all of a sudden, almost out of no where, you run into an obstacle. Your path is completely blocked- you can't go forward, there is no way around it, it's just there. What do you do? Do you sit down and just stare at it? Do you turn around and go back? One of the two is usually the course that we take. Neither of them are the course of action we should take- one keeps you stuck in the present and the other pulls you back to the past. We are suppose to be advancing forward.

There is another course of action that we can take. It's called praise, speaking to the mountain, putting your trust in God. As you look to Him instead of at the brick wall- praising Him, seeking His guidance, stepping forward in faith and confidence in His ability to cause you to keep going forward no matter what arises, something is going to happen to that wall. You will see it either move aside to let you by, see it vanish away, find a door of passage through it, or you will discover loose bricks that can be removed one by one until the way is clear.

Don't sit there and stare at it. Don't be discouraged by it and turn back. Seek the Lord about it, listen to what He says, let Him show you what to do, then obey Him. The Israelites came to a "brick wall", it was called the Red Sea. Moses acknowledged the Lord and waited to hear from Him, God showed him the course of action to take and it was moved out of their way. The same thing with the walls of Jericho. Joshua sought the Lord for the course of action and the walls came tumbling down.

Have a great day. Seek God concerning the course of action you need to take so that you can keep moving forward.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"The Place Of Peace"

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1

The key to having peace of mind and heart depends on where you put your faith- what you believe in. There is so much in this life that will cause our hearts to become "troubled". We live in a world that is being shaken from one corner to the other. Countries are being shaken, governments are being shaken, economies are being shaken, the literal earth is being shaken through natural disasters- you never know what news you'll wake up to each morning. The whole world seems to be riding on a roller coaster- up and down, down and up, and back down again. It will make your head spin as the events move at such a fast pace, changing right before your eyes. Therefore, we have to place our belief (our faith, our trust, our hope) in the right place if we want to have peace.

Peace won't come by placing your faith in temporal things- in the things that are here today and gone tomorrow. It won't come by placing your faith in that which is frail- it falls at the slightest pressure. You can't have peace if your faith is in that which is limited- limited in strength, power and knowledge. "Don't let your hearts be troubled." Why? How is that possible? Because your belief is in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ. When your faith is in the Lord, it is rooted in that which is eternal- He will never pass away. It's anchored in the One who is anything but frail- the Omnipotent (All Powerful God). It is built upon the One who is not limited by anything- time, space, the economy, etc. He is not limited in strength, in wisdom, in power, in resources, in knowledge. There is no lack or limitation in Him. He isn't here today and gone tomorrow. His power and ability doesn't diminish with time. Bad reports done make Him shutter or shake, He doesn't become panic stricken, faint from fear or collapse under pressure. He is not affected by the economy, by world events, by the stock market, by fuel prices, by unemployment, by evil rulers, by terrorists, by threats of war or by bad reports.

God always remains at peace, because He IS peace. He doesn't just posses peace but the very essence of His being and His whole nature is peace. Wouldn't you feel safer, more secure, more at ease by placing your faith in the One who is peace. Let me give you a crude little analogy. Let's suppose you want to go for a swim, so you go to the coast with it's sandy white beaches and inviting blue waters. But instead of getting in the water, you lay down on the sand, start kicking your feet, make stroking motions with your arms and wiggle around in the sand- you call yourself swimming. But you aren't swimming, you are flouncing in the sand. If you want to swim, you have to get in the water. If you want peace, you have to "get into peace"- God is peace- get in God. Trying to find peace in any other place- in the temporal, the frail, the limited- is like "flouncing in the sand".

Have a great day. The key to peace is by placing your faith in the One who is peace.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Hide My Guilt"

"And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden." Genesis 3:8

My little granddaughter is only ten months old so her knowledge is so limited. But today she was sitting in her high chair and I was at the kitchen sink and she dropped her bottle for the fifth time. I looked at her and the look on her face when I asked her if she dropped her bottle again seemed to say,"What bottle? I don't know what you are talking about." Her expression, honestly, appeared to be that of someone who was trying to ignore the conversation to hide their guilt. Even if she was able to fully comprehend the situation and was actually trying to hide the fact that she dropped it, there was no way she could hide her guilt-- I saw everything. I saw what happened. I was well aware of the fact that she had dropped her bottle. There was no hiding it from Nanna.

It reminded me of how we respond to God. When we "mess up", when we miss the mark, when we disobey, when we sin, we may try to hide our guilt or change the subject- but He knows. You can't hide it from Him. He sees everything. He sees what you've done, or haven't done- whatever the case may be. That was one of the first lessons He taught us in the Garden of Eden.

Adam tried to hide his guilt from God's presence. He tried to hide it behind a fig leaf. He tried to hide it behind excuses. He tried to hide it behind his wife. He even tried to change the subject by shifting the blame- but none of it worked. He couldn't hide his guilt from God's all seeing eye. He couldn't hide it, neither can we. We can come up with all kinds of "devices" to cover our guilt but it won't work. Therefore, we might as well come clean before Him and acknowledge what we have done. You know, we can never be successful in covering up our guilt, but God can. Once we confess it and repent, He can cover it by putting it under the blood and in the sea of forgetfulness. Wouldn't you much rather let Him deal with your guilt then you try to do something with it?

Have a great day. We try so hard to cover up our guilt and the only way it can be "covered" is by bringing it out in the open-- and letting God deal with covering it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Third Group"

"For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's." Romans 14:8

My husband was telling me about a conversation that he had with a friend recently. They were talking about being persecuted for Christ- more specifically what would you do if it came down to denying Christ or being put to death. My husband was telling his friend that he needed to decide and determine that nothing is worth denying Christ for and losing your eternal soul. On the subject of giving your life for Christ, I told my husband that there are three kinds of "Christians"- those who live for Him but aren't willing to die for Him; those who are willing to die for Him but don't live for Him; those who live for Him and are willing to die for Him.

I don't know about you but I want to be in that third group. This is the group that is talked about in Revelations- "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Rev. 12:11) I believe that this is a subject we need to give some attention to- especially here in America. We think that we will never have to make that decision- persecution to that degree is a foreign idea to us, we live in a land of freedom. The idea should not be that foreign- our brothers and sisters all around the world are being called on daily to make the choice to either deny Christ or die- it is something we need to think about because who knows what tomorrow may bring.

Even if we don't face this kind of persecution and have to make this decision under "duress" the choice should be simple for us-- nothing is worth sacrificing our relationship with Christ or our eternal soul. Let me take it one step further- out of a "physical" context. When you give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, the third group is true Christianity. Everyday you should live for Him- not just in word only. And everyday you should lay down your life for Him- you should "die" daily to self will, to the desires of the flesh, to being the lord of your own life. This is why the Revelation group I mentioned earlier had no reservations in laying down their lives for Christ- they already "reckoned themselves dead to sin and alive to Christ". (Romans 6:11) They were already "dead". We are to be "dead" men already having denied ourselves and living unto Christ. Are you already "dead"? Is Christ the only one living in you because you have died to self-will? Are you still alive? Which group are you in?

Have a great day. Are you willing to live and die for Him? The decision is easy if you are already a "dead" man... dead men aren't worried about losing their lives because they are already dead.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Safe Place"

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." Proverbs 18:10

You don't have to look very hard, be out of bed very long in the morning, or go very far to find discouraging situations. Just turn on the television or read the newspaper and you'll find plenty enough to make you fearful, worried, anxious and concerned. We live in a day and age when there is so much happening around us- an unstable economy, wars, unemployment, world wide crisis, attacks on religious freedoms and so on. I hate to tell you this, but it's only going to get worse. No, that is not a "negative confession". The Bible tells us that prior to the return of Christ evil men are going to get worse and worse, there will be wars and rumors of war, evil will abound, nations will rise against nations and perilous times will come.

If I stopped here it would leave you feeling hopeless, and I would only be telling you part of what the Bible says. The Bible gives us good news- hope- for these times. We are told that for those who put their trust, faith and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is a safe place when the world is being turned upside down and everything is chaotic. The Lord is our safe place. He is our refuge, a shelter in the time of storm. When the plagues were destroying Egypt, God's people were in a place of safety. When the fire was burning around the three Hebrews, the Lord was in the fire with them. He gathers us as a mother hen gathers her chicks and hides us with His feathers under the shadow of His wings. When the flood came and covered the whole earth, there was an ark of protection for Noah and his family.

God always has a place prepared for His people. Just because we are in the storm doesn't mean that He isn't aware of us, isn't with us and isn't providing for and protecting us. When the disciples were in the storm, Jesus was in the boat with them. They were fearful because they saw the waves and felt them beating upon the boat. They didn't realize that they weren't in danger of sinking because Jesus was in the boat. You may be in a storm, the whole world may be in a storm, but as long as you are in the boat with Jesus it's a place of safety and the boat is not going to sink.

Have a great day. If Jesus isn't in the boat, you'll sink. But if Jesus is in the boat, there is no way you can sink.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"Source Of Happiness"

"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." Psalm 119:2

Everyone is in search of happiness. We search for it in relationships, through knowledge, through material possessions, through entertainment, through pleasure, through activities, through self improvement and so on. In our search to find happiness we often look for it in the wrong places. Happiness found in the wrong places tends to be temporary. Once the "newness" wears off so does the happiness. Once the relationship loses it's "excitement" we stop being happy with that person. After the event that we looked forward to is over, we begin our search for something else to look forward to. Once we make an improvement with our physical appearance we find something else about us that makes us unhappy and then pursue trying to change it too. It is a never ending cycle.

I have good news for you this morning. There is a "happiness" that doesn't wear off or fade. The Bible equates this happiness with blessings. These blessings aren't based on external conditions and they aren't temporary. To find them you have to look in the right places- not to people, not to things. But there is a condition to receiving them and the condition is written in the verse above.

The true source of happiness is found in keeping God's word- obeying it, applying it to your life, letting it be your guide through all paths of life, hiding it in your heart, renewing your mind with it, letting it transform you and change your attitudes. The true source of happiness comes from seeking the Lord with your whole heart. A divided heart, half heartedness, seeking only on occasion and turning to Him only in times of trouble, will not experience lasting happiness and true blessings.

Are you looking for true happiness? Are you wanting those eternal blessings? Then make God and living by His word your first priority. Start doing what the scripture says and stop running to and fro wasting your time looking for the blessing of happiness in all the wrong places.

Have a great day. Finding true happiness is not difficult-- just keep God's word and seek Him with your whole heart and you will find it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Last Place"

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Revelation 22:13

The Lord tells us that He is the first and the last, but just because He refers to Himself as the "last" doesn't mean we are to place Him "last" in our lives. Many put Him in "last" place in their lives. He is the "last" place they go when they need help. He is the "last" resort. He is the "last" one they seek counsel from. He is the "last" on their list of resources. This is by no means what He means when He says that He is the "last".

Placing Him only in last place in our lives is the source of many of our problems. If we would seek Him first, instead of last, we would not have as much confusion in our lives and many problems we face could have been avoided. If we put Him first, we would have a greater measure of peace because He would lead us in the way that we should go. If we place Him first we could save ourselves a lot of pain and heartache. Some of the "stupid" (yes, I said stupid) things that we do we wouldn't do because we would have received His wise counsel.

Abraham wound up with an Ishmael because he didn't seek God first- he listened to his wife instead. We too wind up with an "Ishmael" when we don't give God first place in our (all our) decisions. When we assume that this is God's plan instead of seeking Him to find out, when we lean to our own understanding instead acknowledging Him, when we think we can handle the situation instead of asking God about it, we wind up with something painful, something bigger than we can handle, something that brings conflict into our homes, distress to our hearts, weariness, grief, robs us of peace or even brings destruction in the long run.

What place are you giving Him in your life? Is He first or last? Is He last only- after you have already made your own decisions or only after you need Him to fix the mess you've made? We must not forget that God is "first" also and should be given first place and not last place only.

Have a great day. There is only one place that we should place God in our lives-- first... and last... and everywhere in between.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Will And Wheel"

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." Psalm 32:8

At the Recovery Center this morning one of the counselors played a song entitled, "Jesus, Take the Wheel". If you aren't familiar with the song it's about a woman who was living away from the Lord and had been going through a very difficult time. The song takes place as she was driving down the road with her baby in the car and suddenly lost control. As the car started spinning out of control she threw up her hands, letting go of the steering wheel, and cried out for Jesus to "take the wheel". Here's the chorus: "Jesus take the wheel. Take it from my hands. Cause I can't do this on my own. I'm letting go. So give me one more chance. Save me from this road I'm on. Jesus take the wheel."

Let me ask you this morning, "Who's in the driver's seat of your life?" Are you driving your own life? Going down the roads you desire to go down? Are you holding on to the steering wheel with a "death grip" not willing to let go and let God have full control of your life? If you keep steering your life in the direction you want to go, you will wind up on a dead end road, a path that leads no where, or worse yet go into a tail spin and crash.

There is only one way for you to "drive" through this world without "crashing", it's by surrounding the "wheel" of your life over to Jesus- giving Him the driver's seat. But that can only happen as you first surrender your "will". Once you surrender your "will" to His Lordship, then it will be no problem to surrender the "wheel" of your life over to Him and let Him navigate you through this life.

Have a great day. You need to surrender your "will" to God so that He can take the "wheel" and drive you safely through the rest of your life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Not Forgotten"

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."
Isaiah 49:15

The Lord wants me to remind you again this morning that He has not forgotten you. He knows exactly where you are and what you are going through. Darkness cannot hide you from His sight. Trials don't "scare" Him away. The storm is not so violent that He can't reach you. The mountain is not too tall for Him to climb. The pit is not too deep that He can't see the bottom.

I am reminded of Hagar this morning. The Lord saw her in her plight. He saw her in the middle of the desert with no water, no place to go, cast out of her home. I am also reminded of Joseph- thrown in a pit to die, sold by his brothers into slavery, cast into prison, but the Lord saw him too. What about Daniel in the lion's den, the three Hebrews in the furnace, and the list goes on. What they were facing did not hide them from God's view and did cause God to forget them. He was well aware of where they were and what they were going through. He is aware of you too- He knows where you are, what you are going through, He hears your cries, He sees your plight, and He cares.

Don't think that He does not care because He hasn't brought your trying situation to an "end". He gave Hagar water to make it through the desert. He gave Joseph favor to make it through his captivity. He gave Daniel grace in the lion's den. He gave the three Hebrews His presence. And He is, and will, give you whatever you need to make it through what you are going through.

Have a great day. God has not forgotten you... and will not.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matthew 5:12

In context this scripture is talking about being persecuted for Christ's sake and what our response should be to that persecution and why we should respond not with "evil" but with rejoicing. But I want to "step outside of the context" this morning, without adding to or taking away from the scripture. We need to remind ourselves daily that regardless of what happens here in this life, this is not all there is. This life is temporary and there is a reward that awaits those who have put their faith and trust in Christ on the other side of it. Therefore, we have every reason to rejoice.

When I face disappointing situations, I need to remember, I have a great reward in heaven awaiting me. That knowledge will turn those disappointments into rejoicing. When I am down cast, I do the same, think about what awaits me and my heart if filled with joy. When life seems unbearable, I need to refocus and look past this temporary to the eternal- my hope is then renewed. When it seems as though this trial will never come to an end, look toward the "end"- the end of this life and the beginning of the new in heaven.

This life with all it's problems, heartaches and trials will not last forever, there is something more wonderful than we can imagine that awaits us. There are rewards, treasures and riches laid up for us in heaven- the greatest reward is ultimately to see our wonderful Savior Jesus and spend eternity with Him in His house. When you think about that, and place that thought above what is happening to you here at the present, even the difficulties pale in comparison and you can't help but rejoice.

Have a great day. Remember today that you have a great reward in heaven... this life is not all there is... so rejoice!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Facing It"

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philipines 4:11

Have you ever thought about all the things that we can face in a day? We never know what a day may hold- good or bad. Here are some of the things we might face: giants, mountains, fiery trials, temptations, illness, broken dreams, obstacles either large or small, grief, pain, suffering, persecution, failure, discouragement, disappointment, fear, doubt, unbelief, disillusion, weakness, hunger, thirst, strife, affliction, conflict, broken relationships, overwhelming odds, remorse and the list goes on. Oh, how depressing, I have to stop because it sounds like every thing we face is "gloom, despair, and agony". Thank God that life isn't completely full of misery, all though it may seem like it at times. We also face times of great joy, happiness, victory, peace, rejoicing, strength, hope, encouragement.

The Apostle Paul probably faced more than the average person but listen to how he speaks about what he faced. (I'd like to read it from the Amplified Bible.) "Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]. (Phil.4:11-13)

Like us, he faced good and bad times, but he had learned something that got him through them all. It was the confidence in knowing that regardless of what he faced- good or bad, happy or sad, victory or defeat, feast or famine, weakness or strength- he wasn't facing it alone. "Lo, I am with you always." (Matthew 28:20) We have that same hope- that same promise. We never face anything alone-- "For Thou art with me." The Lord is with us, never leaving us, nor forsaking us.

Have a great day. I hope what you face today is all good, but whether it is or isn't you aren't facing it alone.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"The Sun Is Shining - Part 2"

"My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?" Psalm 42:3

In one of the devotions last week we talked about God still being in control and the evidence was that the sun still rose that morning and it's still shining. One of my precious email friends wrote me back and told me that the comparison wasn't working on her end because bad storms were coming where she lives. I thought about that this morning and the Lord wants me to encourage you further in this area.

True enough storm clouds do seem to block out the sun. We have gone for days during the winter where the sky was gray and gloomy- not even one small beam of light penetrated through. But, you know, just because all I could see was clouds, gray and overcast skies... the sun was still there. Just because I could not see it did not mean that it wasn't there.

The first covenant that God established was with the sun. (Genesis 8:22) Since God is not only a covenant maker, but a covenant keeper, the sun will rise everyday until He returns and we live with Him in that city where the Lamb is the light and there will be no need for sun or moon. But until that day comes, the sun will always be there- even if you don't see it, even if storm clouds hide it, even if night covers it, even if the conditions in the atmosphere hinders it's rays from breaking forth... it's still there. And that is still proof that God is still in control.

God made a covenant with the sun, but He also made a covenant with you his child. If God is faithful to keep His covenant with the elements, He will be faithful to keep His covenant with you... and much more so because you are more precious to Him. It may be "dark" where you are today. Storm clouds may be covering God's promises, you may not be able to see the light of His presence because of the darkness of your situation, but He is still there, He is still in control and He is still faithful.

Have a great day. The sun is always there even if you can't see it for the storm clouds... so is God.

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Impossible, Not Impossible"

"But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

The fact is, there is so much that it is impossible for man to do- the list is endless. But with God nothing is impossible- the list of what He can do is endless. I can't create a world, but He did- just by the word of His mouth. I can't part a sea and make it stand up like a wall- but He can and did.

But when we read another passage it says: "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20) Here is says that nothing shall be impossible unto you. It almost sounds like a contradiction-- "with men it's impossible"; "nothing shall be impossible to you".

Whatever it is you are dealing with, in your own strength it is impossible- you aren't strong enough, wise enough, big enough. But the key is- "if you have faith". Faith in what, faith placed where? In the God with whom all things are possible. If you put your faith, trust and confidence in God, if you connect with Him, if you invite Him into your life, then because of Him, nothing shall be impossible for you. Let's look at a mountain for a moment. A mountain is a powerful thing. It's stationary, solid, unshakable. In order to move it or effect it at all you have to put a force against it that is greater than it is. The same when dealing with our "spiritual mountains", you have to put a force that is greater than it is in order to remove it. I am not a greater force than a mountain, I have no power, it is impossible for me to remove it.... but when I connect with a force that is greater, then it's not impossible any more for me to remove it. It will remove easily, all I have to do is "speak" to it. That greater force is the All Powerful, Almighty God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.

Are you trying to move a mountain on your own- in your strength, in your wisdom, in your ability? You won't do it- it's impossible. But if you put your faith and trust in God and connect with Him, it's very possible. You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you.

Have a great day. What was once impossible for us is now possible when we put our faith in God.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"The Sun Is Shining"

"Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

We are all familiar with this passage of scripture, but did you read the one before it? A friend brought it to my attention because it had ministered to her during a situation that she was going through.

"And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law." (verse 9) "Mourn not, nor weep." One version says,"Don't cry, don't be sad."

I want to encourage you this morning- especially those who are facing insurmountable odds, enormous difficulties, disappointing situations, you're weeping over broken relationships, opportunities missed, you feel all is lost, you're wrestling with hopelessness, discouragement or depression. Let me tell you what these verses say- This is the Lord's day (He made it) so don't be sad, don't cry, don't be sorrowful, the Lord's joy is your strength. He will give you joy and that joy will be your strength- strength for the journey, strength to go on, strength to get up out of bed, strength to take up your bed and walk, strength to run through a troop and leap over a wall, strength to go through the fire, through the flood, through the darkest night, strength to take the bull by the horns, strength to climb the mountain, strength to swim the river, strength to hold your head up, strength to keep on keeping on.

You have His word, you have His promises, you have His Spirit, He is with you and He is still in control. When I have gone through these times, there is one thing that the Lord reminds me that I want to share with you. He reminds me when I look outside that the sun is shining- it came up this morning. Do you know what that means? It means that God is still in control. Because I have the assurance that He is in control I have peace, and that peace wipes my tears away and removes my doubts and fears. It turns my sorrow into joy, my mourning into gladness.

Have a great day. Look outside this morning. Do you see the sun? Then stop crying because His joy is your strength.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"It's A Big Deal"

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." Colossians 1:20

You don't hear as many preachers preach on the subject of sin now days- much less against it. It's almost "taboo" in most of our churches. I've even heard numerous preachers say that we should not "curse the darkness but light a candle instead". A lot of churches won't preach about sin because it's not a popular message, the people don't want to hear it, they are afraid people will stop coming, etc. It doesn't seem to be a matter of much importance to them, but to God it is a matter of great importance. Therefore, it is one that we must address more than we do.

Why is sin such a "big deal" to God? Let me give you a couple of reasons. Sin broke God's fellowship with mankind. God created man for fellowship- this was the greatest desire of God- to have someone to lavish His love upon. In the Garden of Eden Adam and God had a relationship that was so close that you and I can't even fathom. They walked and talked literally face to face each day in the cool of the evening, but sin put an end to that.

Secondly, sin cost God everything. We sinned but He had to pay the price for it. It cost the life of His only begotten Son Jesus. There was no other way that our relationship with God could be restored except through the shedding of blood, and the only blood that was able to pay such a high price was the blood of the spotless Lamb of God. Sin caused God to have to sacrifice His own Son so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Lastly, sin is a much greater issue to God when it's in the life of those who have received Christ as Savior, whose sins have been forgiven, who are His children, washed in the blood of His Son. Why? The Bible lets us know that the blood has been applied to our lives- it's like a covering and a shield around us. When we sin, we do so by stepping through that blood that was applied to our lives and brought us salvation. You, literally- spiritually speaking- have to trod under foot the blood of Jesus in order to sin. On the night that the death angel went throughout Egypt, the Israelites were safe because the blood had been applied to the doorposts of their houses. If they had stepped outside they would have been killed like the Egyptians. In order to get outside they would have had to walk through the blood on the doors. In order to reach the place of sin, we have to step outside of the protection of the blood, and to do that we have to tread on the blood that has been applied to our lives.

If it's not serious to Him, why did He tell us over and over in His word that we have to confess it and repent of it? If it's not such a "big deal" than why is there a punishment for it and an eternal judgment because of it? So, yes, sin is a "big deal" to God. He had to pay the price for it, it cost Him everything and we should never take it lightly or for granted. "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"(Hebrews 10:29)

Have a great day. In order to sin, we have to step through the blood of Jesus- the same precious blood that saved us. That's a big deal to God.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"God's Wisdom Is Greater"

"Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee." Jeremiah 10:7

There is no doubt that there are some pretty wise people in the world- in each nation. For weeks- because of the election here in the United States- we have heard lots of learned people give their views, opinions and predictions. We have heard analysts, columnists, the financial savvy, professors and many many more each experts in their field. Some have had great wisdom, some just thought they were wise but their comments proved otherwise. The wisest man to ever live, the wisest head of any nation, the wisest king to ever rule was King Solomon. His wisdom was so great that even the Queen of Sheba said that only the half has been known.

All the wisdom of all the people on earth- who have lived, who are living or who will live in the future- their wisdom combined cannot compare to the wisdom of the Most High God. King Solomon recognized this, therefore, he prayed for God's wisdom in order to rule God's people. We must always remember- whether it is in the affairs of a nation, or a culture of people, or a certain sect of society, or in running a business, or in our own individual personal lives-- we must lean upon the wisdom of God. We can't look to man's wisdom to guide us, to direct us, to give us an answer or to provide what we need. James tells us that man's wisdom is "sensual"- fleeting, changing, of no value, it's even foolish compared to the wisdom of God.

This morning, I don't know what you may be experiencing, but you need wisdom to make the right choices, to go in the right direction, to know what to do and what not to do, to follow God's will, to get victory in the situation, but don't look to man's wisdom for your solution. "Forasmuch as among all the wise men in the world (paraphrase added)... there is none like unto God." God is your answer. His wisdom is endless, and it will always guide you in the right direction.

Have a great day. Trust in and lean upon God's wisdom... there is no one else who is as wise as He is.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"God Has My Heart"

"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29

Tomorrow we have elections here in the United States. It has been said that this is the most important election in our nations history. If the liberal party is voted in and has the majority rule in this nation there is no doubt that we will lose so many of the freedoms that we have enjoyed since it's conception- especially our Christian freedoms. Therefore, the main issue is not who will win the election, but what will you do depending on the outcome.

As followers of Jesus we have to remember that we are "kingdom" people before we are "government" people. We have to remember that we are first and foremost answerable to God. That we are commanded to live according to His rule and authority over our lives. How does that play out in the reality of living in this natural world? It plays out in choice. You must choose from your heart who you are-- a Christian first.

Before you read any further, don't misunderstand, I am not talking about rebellion against authority or government, I am saying that when the laws of the land conflict with the laws of God you must make the choice that it is better to obey God, and when the laws of the land don't conflict with the laws of God you must still make the choice that it is better to obey God and not get complacent and "at ease in Zion".

Having said that, let me say, while I would love to live in a nation where I could continue to worship the Lord freely, pray to Him in public, testify of Jesus openly, continue to assemble with fellow Christians on the Lord's day, have laws to protect the unborn, know that marriage according to God's definition is upheld and be able to keep my hard earned money-- I have to decide that even if that is not the case, even if I lose those liberties, I will continue to praise the Lord, pray to Him, lift up His name, fellowship with other believers, continue to give tithes and offerings to the work of the Lord, etc.

The question that we have to ask ourselves is,"What will we do?" Are you still going to serve the Lord regardless of your surroundings, regardless of the direction against God that society is going, even if it is not popular, even if it brings persecution, even if the decree is given as it was in the day of Daniel (no prayer to God) and the three Hebrew children (worship the idol)? The answer should be... "I will continue to do the same thing I have been doing". My heart belonged to God before and it still belongs to God regardless of who is in office, regardless of majority rule, whether godly or evil men rule in the nation, whether I legally have the freedom to worship or not and I will continue to give Him my heart, devotion and service.

Have a great day. As followers of Jesus we must decide and determine that He has our hearts no matter what is going on around us.