Friday, February 27, 2009

"He Waits"

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11

We have a promise from the Lord that He will answer our prayers. Sometimes His answer is yes, no, wait. Sometimes His answer is not always what we want to hear. Sometimes He doesn't answer when we want Him to answer. There are times when He takes His time to answer. I believe there are several reasons why He takes His time, one of them is because He wants to "enjoy our presence" a little longer.

When we go to God needing an answer, as soon as we get it we are up from prayer and gone. We are such creatures of habit, and we are all so much alike in many areas. This being one of them. All we want is an answer and we can hardly wait to get it and certainly don't want to hang around any longer after we get the answer. So in order to keep us in His company He delays giving the answer. Waiting holds us there a little longer.

Isn't it sad? God longs to be with us, to spend time with us, He loves being in our company. He has given us prayer as a form of communication so that we will come and talk to Him and we treat it so hurriedly. God knows what you need before you ask- or even before you know you need it- so He could just give us everything without us ever having to ask. But part of the reason for asking has to do with wanting us to come to Him.

He loves you this morning, He longs for you, He longs to spend time with you. Does He have to "hold back" the answer for a little while longer so that you will stay in His presence a little longer? Or will you just sit still in His presence enjoying time with Him?

Have a great day. He may be holding back the answer because He wants to spend some time with you because He knows that as soon as He speaks the answer to you, you will say, "Amen".

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Trust Jesus"

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

This morning the devotional is a little different, I am going to "sing" to you. For the past several days a hymn has been on my heart- woke up with it stirring in my heart this morning. I believe that the Lord wants me to share it with you. Be encouraged by it's words... your message is in it.

"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus"

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, and to take him at his word; just to rest upon his promise, and to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Refrain: Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him! How I've proved him o'er and o'er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust him more!

O how sweet to trust in Jesus, just to trust his cleansing blood; and in simple faith to plunge me neath the healing, cleansing flood! (Refrain)

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease; just from Jesus simply taking life and rest, and joy and peace. (Refrain)

I'm so glad I learned to trust thee, precious Jesus, Savior, friend; and I know that thou art with me, wilt be with me to the end. (Refrain)

Have a great day. You can trust Him... He is trustworthy. Once you learn to fully trust Him with everything in every area of your life, you'll find abundant life and rest and joy and peace.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Seen And Unseen"

"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18

If ever there was a time when we need to be keeping our "eyes" focused on the eternal it's now. There is so much happening in the world around us- literally in the "whole" world around us. Things don't "look" very promising. Things don't "look" very encouraging. Things don't "look" very hopefully. Actually, things "look" pretty bad. But we must remember that these things are temporal- they are temporary. Just like life- it's here today and gone tomorrow; just like a vapor that's here one minute and gone the next; just like the grass of the field- it's here then it withers away.

It's the things that are "not" seen that are not only eternal- will last forever- but are the real thing. The promises of God, His word, heaven- they are real and they are eternal. These are the places we must keep "looking" at and "looking" too. What we see here is not all there is or all it is to it. "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (2 Cor. 2:9)

"But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:16) There is more that awaits you, child of God. There is a better "country". There is a place that is not affected by these temporal things and events. There is a place where God sits on the throne. There is a place of eternal rest, peace and joy. There is a place around a banqueting table with the King of kings that is prepared for you. Though we don't see them now, except through the eyes of faith, they are very real, they are eternal and they await you. Don't lose sight of them because you are looking so intently at the things which are seen.

Have a great day. Stare at the unseen and only glance at the things that are seen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Daily Faith"

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6

Well, here I am again this morning as I was one day last week... haven't heard a word from the Lord but making a step of faith by sitting down and beginning to type. And as usual, when you make a step of faith God honors it because faith is what pleases Him. He just gave me the word. That word is... faith is not a "one time" thing.

Just because your faith was tested once doesn't mean it won't be tested again. Just because you had to exercise faith yesterday doesn't mean you won't have to exercise it today. Just because you walked in faith in the past doesn't mean you don't have to walk in faith in the present. Faith is not just an action we perform, it's the way we live our lives. "Now the just shall live by faith." (Heb 10:38)

Faith is to be present all day, everyday, of my life. It is not just something that occurs once a week, twice a month, when trials come, when I am tempted, when I need help from the Lord. We live by faith. Faith has to be present when I wake up; as I go throughout the day; when I lay my head down at night to go to sleep. It has to be there when I set out to do God's will and be obedient to His commands. It has to be there in my dealings with others. It has to be there through the day to day situations that come my way.

You have been given a new day this morning. That means you will be presented with new opportunities to exercise your faith... just like you were yesterday, and just like you will be when you wake up tomorrow.

Have a great day. The exercise of your faith is not just a one time thing... it's your lifestyle.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Knowledge Is Power"

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Hosea 4:6a

My daughter called me the other evening very upset. She was using her computer and a screen opened up that said she had several viruses. It kept giving her multiple warnings about the viruses. She and I went through several steps to determine what course of action to take. After examining the situation a little closer we discovered the truth. She did not have any viruses- not even one- the screen that opened up was a fake virus protection program that actually wanted to install a virus on her computer.

After the matter was resolved, she and I talked for a few minutes. Her whole attitude and the sound of her voice was totally different than it was when she first called-- it went from fear and concern to peace and relief. I pointed this out to her noting the difference. I told her that it's amazing what little information can do. When she thought her computer was infected, she was worried and fearful of losing everything she had saved on it. When she discovered that there was no problem, she became calm and had peace.

This is such a good example of what a little knowledge (the knowledge of the truth) can do. There is also a spiritual parallel here too. When God's word comes into the situation, it brings knowledge and it brings light. It causes us to see clearly and gain understanding. His word is the truth, the truth frees us from confusion, fear, anxiety and worry. When you know the truth, the enemy is no longer a threat to you. Before my daughter knew the truth about what the screen represented it was "controlling" the situation. Once she knew the truth that this was a fake warning and a potential for some real problem, she took "control" of the situation and did not allow it to gain access. It's the same principle. Knowledge is power... especially the knowledge of the truth... which is God's word.

Have a great day. There is knowledge that enlightens and empowers in God's word.

Friday, February 20, 2009


"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." Matthew 7:24

Yesterday I talked about how that when I say to my little one year old granddaughter, "Praise the Lord", immediately her hands go up and she expresses such joy. She may not understand exactly what she is doing, but she responds to my words to "praise the Lord". This morning I want to talk about responding to the Lord.

My granddaughter responds to the words to "praise the Lord" in the proper way- with excitement, joy and gladness. There is a way that we should respond to the Lord- obediently, with faith, with joy, without murmuring or complaining. But I am not going to address "how" to respond, I am going to address responding period. So many of God's own children don't respond to Him at all. When He speaks to them, either through His written word, through His ministers, or by His Spirit, they just ignore Him or take what He says and "sweeps it under the rug".

I am not going to be lengthy this morning, I am just going to ask you, "Do you respond to the Lord when He speaks?". Do you respond by being a doer of what you hear? Do you respond by applying and heeding what is spoken? If you aren't responding to God but "ignoring" what He says, then you will find yourself in a lot of trouble, pain, heartache and confusion. The wise man hears and does and his life is established on a firm foundation. The foolish man doesn't respond to the words of the Lord and his life is always shifting under him.

Have a great day. The question is not always, "How do you respond to God?", but, "Do you respond to God?".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Joyful Praise"

"Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD." Psalm 150:6

When my daughter was a little girl, I taught her at a very early age to lift her hands and "praise the Lord". A few days ago I started teaching my granddaughter, who is now a year old, to raise her hands and "praise the Lord". She was sitting in her high chair and I raised her little arms up and said, "Praise the Lord." Tuesday when she was over she was in her high chair and I was sitting at the table listening to some up beat praise music. Not thinking she would remember "how to" praise the Lord, I started singing the song that was playing and said to her, "Praise the Lord". She raised her little arms up high, lifted her eyes toward the ceiling and began smiling with a great big smile.

A little later that afternoon we were sitting in a chair and I said to her, "Praise the Lord". What she did next really surprised me. She raised her little arms, looked up, started smiling with a great big grin, then looked at me and started clapping. For several minutes (of course, I joined in with her) she repeated this: she lifted her hands, clapped and smiled.. and even tried to sing. It was thrilling to my heart. I didn't teach her to smile, look up or clap her hands- I taught her to raise her arms when you praise the Lord.

I am not just bragging on my granddaughter this morning, I am making a point. When we praise the Lord, we should do it with joy!! There should be an excitement in our praise because of who He is and what He has done. I have been around many people during "praise and worship" time and they barely open their mouths, they will not lift their hands, they do not clap, they had a sad and sullen expression on their face. Please don't misunderstand, I am not criticizing or judging I am wondering why there is no expression of joy. There is a chorus who's words are: "When I think about His goodness and what He's done for me. When I think of His goodness and how He's set me free, I want to 'clap, jump, shout'." When I start thinking about all that He has done for me, I can't contain myself sometimes. I was in the prison of sin, I was living in darkness, I was dead in trespasses and sin, I had the condemnation of death on me, I was heading to judgment guilty, I was lost, wretched and dirty and Jesus reached into the pit and rescued me and set my feet upon a rock, took off my grave clothes, put a robe of righteousness on me, translated me from death to life, darkness to light, took my place in the judgment hall and wrote my name in the Book of Life. Just thinking about it now makes me want to stop and lift my hands in praise and adoration at His merciful goodness toward me. I said all that to say that whether my little granddaughter fully understands what it means to "praise the Lord" or not, the excitement, enthusiasm and joy that she expressed was one that we/I can take a lesson from.

Have a great day. Is there joy in your praise to God?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"All Present"

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." Isaiah 43:2

Where did you wake up at this morning? Did you awake in your own home with your family around you? Did you wake up in a hospital room- either as the patient or sitting by the bedside of someone dear? Did you wake up in turmoil over a relationship that is in trouble? Did you wake up with the threat of foreclosure looming overhead? Did you wake up in a foreign country, away from your home land, family and friends? Did you awake to an emergency? Did an upsetting phone call wake you up? Did you awake to find yourself unemployed? Did you awake to tragedy, pain, heartache, suffering? Did you wake up to an impossible situation? Did you wake up on the mountain, in the valley, in the wilderness, in a storm, facing a Red Sea, in a lion's den?

There are literally thousands of places/conditions we could have awoke to this morning, but no matter where we did we have a promise that our precious Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. Wherever we woke up- at home or abroad, in health or in sickness, in joy or in grief, in riches or in poverty, in sorrow or in peace- this Omnipresent God is there with us.

His eyes look throughout the whole earth- He sees everything. His presence is everywhere. Although God's presence can cover every inch of the universe all at the same time, and does, His Omnipresent nature also means that He is not only everywhere all at one time, but that ALL of Him is present wherever He is. Broken down one step further: it means that ALL of God is right there with you! Every part of Him (everything He has and is)- His love, His power, His mercy, His strength, His grace, His peace, etc.- is ALL present with you. You have His full and undivided attention. You have His whole presence with you. And you have it with you wherever you woke up this morning and whatever you woke up to.

Have a great day. God's Omnipresence means that He is present everywhere all at one time and wherever He is all of Him is present.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Snapping Turtles"

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17

The other day while my granddaughter was eating I gave her a cookie and she grabbed my finger with it. She bit down on my finger and the harder I tried to pull it out of her mouth, the tighter her grip got and she would not let go- she only has 6 teeth but I thought for sure I was going to lose a finger. I called her a little "snapping turtle". I was told growing up to beware of snapping turtles. My parents told me that if one bit you it would not let go until it thundered. I have found out since that this is not the "whole story". They do have a "death grip" and will not let go until they are good and ready.

The more I pondered the snapping turtle's characteristics, the more I thought that we should have the same tenacity when it comes to the truth of God's word. We live in an age when the truth of God's word is being distorted, when it is being condemned and ridiculed, when it is being replaced by something that appeals more to the flesh and tells us what we want to hear, it is being replaced by situational ethics and by something that sounds "friendlier", it is being treated as irrelevant, old-fashioned and out of touch, and it's being "watered down".

Truth is truth and God's truth never changes no matter what man tries to do to it- you can discredit it, you can disregard it, you can forget it, you can belittle it, you can add to or take away from it, you can twist it and distort it, but it will always be the truth. God's truth isn't just black ink on white paper, it's a person-- the Lord Jesus. He is the Truth, the Way and Life and He does not change.

Again, because of the age we are living in, we need to know God's truth and hold on to it tighter than ever. Like the snapping turtle we need to grab hold of God's word and the more the enemy tries to "take" it from us- discredit it, water it down, etc.- we need to "tighten our grip" on it and not let it go!!

Have a great day. Hold tightly to truth.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"He'll Do The Rest"

"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I am getting to the computer a few minutes later that usual this morning because I have been waiting on the Lord to receive a word from Him to write in the devotional. I still don't have a word. But I have come to the computer, opened up the new message screen and have typed in the Coffee Break title as an act of faith. I know that He will speak a word to me because He called me to do this-- I didn't call myself. Neither did He call me to "try to come up with something to say" on my own. All He called me to do is be willing, obedient, trust Him and He would do the rest.

Sometimes we just have to step out in faith when we know that we have already heard from God on a matter and head in that direction- like I know that I am suppose to be sending out this devotional. Abraham knew that he was suppose to leave his family, although he didn't know where he was suppose to go. So he packed up his belongings and started walking. As he walked, God gave him direction.

There is also the story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus. They came to Jesus for healing and He told them to go show themselves to the priest. There was no sign that they were healed, their leprosy was still visible. What were they to show the priest? All they knew was that Jesus had said go- even when there was no visible sign to back up their healing, but as they went- as they stepped out in faith at what He had told them to do- their healing came.

Well, it seems that the Lord has just given us an "illustrated" sermon. Because as I stepped out in faith on what I knew He had already told me to do, He has done the rest. He gave us a word this morning after all. The word is that as we do what He has already told us to do, even when we don't see it, hear it or feel it, He will do His part because He is faithful.

Have a great day. Just go ahead and do your part, He will do the rest.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Managed or Solved?"

"For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit." Mark 5:8

Yesterday we talked about the story of the demoniac of Gadara; this morning I'd like to look at this story again. We discussed that the people tried to tame him with chains and fetters but were unable to do so because the root of his problem was spiritual not physical, and physical means won't solve spiritual problems.

In this story there were two groups of people who tried to "solve" the problem- the people and Jesus. Let's compare the way they each handled it. The people tried to tame him, they tried to bind him up, they tried of confine him. When we try to take care of our own problems, especially through physical means, all we are doing is attempting to make it manageable, easier to handle, under control- in essence, we are just "putting a band aide" on it but haven't solved it. It's still there.

When Jesus was faced with the problem, He didn't just fix it enough where it could be lived with, where it was a little calmer and easier to deal with... no, He completely solved it. He cast the devils- the root cause- out of the man. The man was not just under control, he was set free- every demon was gone, not one remained, he was a free person!!!

Yesterday we said you have to use the right weapons in the right battle- physical weapons in physical battles, spiritual weapons in spiritual battles. Using physical means on spiritual problems doesn't solve the problem they just help you cope with it for the moment. Using the right weapons will bring about the desired results. Jesus knew the right one to use. This is why we not only have to get to the root cause but we have to come to Jesus with the problem. Once He takes hold of it, it's solved.... completely!

Have a great day. Do you want the problem manageable or solved?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"The Right Weapon"

"Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him." Mark 5:4

Our verse this morning comes from the story of the maniac of Gadara. His condition is described here- he lived among the tombs, he cut himself with stones, he was naked, and so on. It also tells us that the people had tried to bind him with chains but were unable to- he would always break the chains and fetters. Why couldn't the chains hold him? Why did their efforts fail? It was because the man had a "spiritual" problem- he was demon possessed- and the people were trying to handle this problem through "natural" means. The point I want to bring out through this story is that you cannot handle spiritual problems by natural means.

We tend to try to solve our problems through natural ways because when we have a problem we only see the "physical" manifestation of the problem- like this maniac. The people saw his actions, they saw his lifestyle, they saw his self-destructive behavior, so they dealt with what they "saw". Not every problem we have can be solved by natural means. Many of our problems have their "root" in the spiritual realm- like this maniac. If it's a spiritual problem it has to be dealt with through spiritual means. That's why Jesus said that some things come not but by prayer and fasting. That is why we have been given spiritual armor- because we fight spiritual battles. We have weapons of warfare that are not carnal- fleshly, natural- but are mighty to even pull down strongholds.

Why is it when problems come that we often fight a losing battle? Why aren't we always victorious? One reason is that we are using the wrong weapons to solve it. When you have a problem, the first thing you need to do is trace it back to the root. Find out if the root is a natural one (for example, the root may be the result of a bad choice you made and now you are facing the consequence), or if the root is a spiritual one (for example, the root maybe a spirit of fear, an attack of the enemy or a pride issue, etc.). Once you determine the root of the problem, then you have to solve it with the right kind of "weapon"- if it's spiritual use spiritual weapons; if it's natural use natural weapons. Natural weapons will not work in a spiritual battle, no more than the chains worked to bind this demon possessed maniac.

Have a great day. Use the right weapon for the battle.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"He Answers Prayer"

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee." Jeremiah 33:3a

A couple of days ago I was thinking about my cousin's husband, Jimmy Cook. I placed his testimony on the last issue of Livingstones Ezine. I was hoping that lots and lots of people would read his testimony and even invite him to share it in person with their churches or groups. He was kicked in the head by a horse and is a walking miracle.

Mostly the reason I was hoping that a lot of people would read the testimony is because I believe we need to be encouraged and reminded that God still answers prayer!! It may seem to you that the Lord isn't listening when you pray. It may seem like He never answers. But He does. He said in His word to call on Him and He would answer us. He also said that He is the Lord who does not change. If He answered prayers in the past, He still answers them today and He will still be answering them tomorrow.

The devotion this morning is going to be brief, but I want to encourage you to take time to read every testimony that comes your way. Let what God has done in someone else's life help encourage your faith. Let the testimonies to the answer of prayer in their lives remind you that He is still in the prayer answering business so stretch out your faith to Him in prayer.

Have a great day. God still answers prayer... He has not changed!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Brownie Points"

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10

At the end of the day do you ever look back over the day and take "inventory" of your "progress" and "failures"? Do you judge yourself spiritually by the number of "hits" and "misses" you had? For example we usually judge ourselves this way: I spent too much time watching television- but I went to prayer meeting; I over ate- but I read my Bible for two hours; I lost my temper- but I helped buy groceries for a hungry family. We judge our spiritual progress by the "works" that we do. For some reason we think that if we get enough "brownie points" (good deeds) it will out weigh the areas we didn't get right or failed in. We tend to think that the good deeds will make up for the bad deeds and the times we yielded to the Spirit will make up for the times we yielded to the flesh.

That is not true! It doesn't work that way. Remember the rich young ruler, his life was comprised of 60% "good" and 40% "bad". He kept six of the commandments and broke the other four. Our verse this morning tells us that if we keep all the law (over 600 of them) and yet break one, we are guilty of all. It's not about doing enough "good" to take care of the "bad" we do, it's not about doing enough "right" to cancel out the "wrong", it's not about "hitting the mark" enough times that it covers up the times we "miss it". It's about transformation- being changed and letting the Lord change us. It's not about just the things we do, it's about becoming more and more like Jesus- I am decreasing and He is increasing. It's about living a life that is pleasing to Him- that's what we "judge" ourselves by- not the number of "good" to out weigh the "bad".

What takes care of the "bad" is repentance- asking for forgiveness and letting the grace of God change you to be more like Jesus and please Him in all you do. If you are judging your spiritual progress by "brownie points" you will get a false picture of where you are. You judge yourself by Jesus and His word. He is the measuring stick by which everything is judged.

Have a great day. We judge our spiritual progress by whether we are being changed so that our lives are pleasing to Him, not by the number of "brownie points" we collect.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Never Wasted"

"But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?" Matthew 26:8

A couple of days before Jesus' crucifixion He and His disciples were at the home of Simon the leper and a woman came in with an alabaster box and broke it open and poured it's contents on Jesus. As I reread this story the other day, the words in the verse above seemed to leap off the page at me- "To what purpose was this waste?" My whole heart responded to the question- "It was not wasted! Nothing that is given to Jesus is ever wasted!"

We can be wasteful, and often are, but never when it comes to Jesus. Everything we give to Him is "invested" in the best place possible. It is not a waste to give Him our time, to use our talents for Him, to give Him our offerings, to give Him the best we have, to give Him our hearts and our lives. These disciples lost sight of WHO this woman was pouring the best she had on. She was pouring it upon the LORD.

Jesus said that she was anointing Him for His burial. She didn't know that. She didn't do it because she was hoping that by giving Him what she had (sowing) He would give her back more in return (reaping)- she had no ulterior motive. She didn't do it because she wanted to impress those in the room- to be seen of men. She didn't do it out of pride- to prove something to those who were watching. She did it because she recognized who He was and that He deserved the best, and all, she had.

We need to be more like this woman and less like the disciples. We need to remember who it is that we are giving to and that it is never wasted when it's given to Him.

Have a great day. It's never wasted when it's given to the Lord.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Giving All"

"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet." Acts 5:1,2

Let's look at this scripture portion in a spiritual context this morning. This husband and wife sold a possession and brought what they received from it to the apostles. They told the apostles that that was "all" of the money they received when it wasn't, they kept back a portion for themselves.

The spiritual application? We do the same thing with God. We come to Him and say that we are giving Him our "all". We even sing the song, "I Surrender All". We tell Him in prayer that we love Him with all our heart. We tell Him that we are all His. Yet, the truth is we aren't- it's evident in our words, actions, thoughts and deeds. We give Him what we want Him to have and reserve for ourselves the parts of our lives that we want to still hold on to- just like Ananias and his wife.

God, through the apostles, didn't accept their "half hearted" giving and He won't accept it from us either. Giving God part of yourself is not good enough. Giving God half is not good enough. Giving God 99.9% isn't good enough. The rich young ruler gave God 60%- he kept six out of the ten commandments- so he actually gave more than half, but it was still not good enough. When God says to love Him with "all", that's 100%. When He says not to have other gods before Him, that means you are to have no gods- which means He is the only God you have, which means He is your 100% God.

We may have been taught that we can have God "and" whatever else. But that's not what Jesus taught. He doesn't want part of you, half of you, to share you with everything else, He doesn't want to be just an attachment to your life, just a rescue package when you are in trouble, just fire insurance from hell, just your bailout plan in time of crisis, just a Sunday morning church service. He wants to be Numero Uno (Number One), First and Last and Center of your life. He wants to sit on the throne of your life. He wants ALL of you. That is not unreasonable, after all He gave ALL of Himself for us. He didn't stop short at the cross, He did not withhold anything from us, He gave His all unto the death. He gave every drop of His blood, every inch of His flesh, every ounce of His love in sacrifice for you... He gave 100%. Why shouldn't He expect 100% in return!

Have a great day. Part isn't good enough. If you are holding back anything from God you are holding back too much.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"Full Tank"

"And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out." Matthew 25:8

My best friend's husband thinks a lot differently than I do able keeping gas in your vehicle. I always thought it was odd that he never let any of their vehicles get below a half of a tank full. My friend and I could be in town and once she saw the gas gage was on the half full mark she would make sure she filled the tank up before she went home. Her husband was always asking her how much gas she had in the car.

I thought this was odd, and annoying. As long as I had enough to get me to where I was going, I didn't care if it was full, half full, or almost empty. I wondered why he was so paranoid about keeping at least a half of a tank of gas in the vehicles. Turns out that when he was a little boy he and his family were going somewhere in the car and they ran out of gas. That left quite an impression on him. From that day on he always questioned his dad about how much gas was in the car and kept an eye on the gas gage, and has ever seen.

As I thought about his "obsession" with always making sure there was plenty of gas to get them to where they needed to go I realized that this is how we need to be in a spiritual sense. We need to develop this same attitude where our spiritual man is concerned. We need to make sure we stay on "full" spiritually- full of the Spirit, full of the fire of God, full of the anointing, full of the presence of God, full of spiritual fruit, full of spiritual oil and wine, full of the word of God. Jesus taught us in the parable of the ten virgins about how important that it is that we have lamps and vessels that are full of oil- plenty enough to get us to where we are going-- with Jesus (the Bridegroom) when He comes.

So, spiritually speaking, are you on full, half full, a quarter full, almost empty? Like my friend's husband, Charles, when our "gage" starts showing that we are getting low, we need to take note and not put it off but go right then and "refuel".

Have a great day. Charles would not let their vehicles get lower than a half a tank, we need to not let our spiritual lives get off "full".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"God Chooses"

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." 1 Corinthians 1:27

When God chooses a person to do His work, He knows who to choose. He chose David to be king, but not because he looked like a king. He chose Esther to save her people, but not because she was a woman of great influence. He chose Gideon to be a judge in Israel and bring His people out from under the oppression to the Midianites, not because Gideon was a great warrior.

When God chooses a person He doesn't do it based on the same standards that we use. None of these people were "suited" for the job according to our standards, but they were according to God's. God doesn't always choose according to ability, skill, education, popularity, etc. Actually, just the opposite is usually true. His choice is usually the one who is the most unlikely. He chooses the weak and foolish. He chooses unlearned fishermen. He chooses the good and the evil.

The bottom line is this- God has a plan and He chooses the person that He deems as the one to fulfill that plan. He knows what He is doing- He doesn't make a mistake. If God has chosen you, He hasn't made a mistake. He knew what He was doing- His has a plan for you to fulfill. But, on the other hand, don't ever think that He "had" to choose you. Don't think that just because He chose you that you have "arrived". God can just as easily remove you as He set you in that place. Never think more highly of yourself than you ought, remember, God used a donkey to talk to a wayward prophet.

Have a great day. God picks and chooses who He wants to fulfill the plan that He has.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Look This Way"

"At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel." Isaiah 17:7

Have you ever wondered why two cars driving on a straight road with no obstruction and clear visibility would collide with one another? We are told that it's because they were each looking at the oncoming car and veered in the direction they were looking. When driving, or walking, you will go in the direction you are looking. If you look to the left you will start going to the left. If you look to the right you will start going to the right. If you are looking straight ahead you will go straight. This is a natural principle that holds true spiritually as well. That is why it is so important to be careful where you are "looking".

The Bible says that Lot looked at the plains of Sodom and went in that direction. After he kept looking at the city of Sodom he wound up going into the city. David looked in the direction of Bathsheba and wound up committing adultery. Lot's wife looked back at the judgment of Sodom and was judged. The disciples kept looking at Jesus and went in the direction He was going. Jesus looked in the direction of the will of the Father and went in that direction- to the cross.

We must keep looking to the hills where I help comes from. We must keep our eyes on the prize that is set before us. We must keep looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. We must keep looking with expectation for that glorious appearing of our Savior. We must look to the One who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think. We must look at the One who is our hope, our redemption, our healer, our deliverer, our Savior and our soon coming King.

We must keep our eyes off the world, the desires of the flesh, the devices of the enemy, the ways of men. We must keep them upon the Lord, His word, His promises, His will. We must be careful of where we are looking because that's the direction we will start heading.

Have a great day. If you look at the world you will go the way/direction of the world. If you keep your eyes on Jesus you will go the way/will of the Lord.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"It's Backwards"

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30

I lay in bed this morning "wrestling" with whether to do the Coffee Break or not. I have been battling a head cold this weekend and am not feeling up to par this morning. I haven't been able to sleep for the last three nights so I thought I would stay in bed this morning. But as I "debated" on getting up, I began to think- what's the difference? Why can't I sit at the computer for a few minutes to do the Coffee Break, I have to sit at the computer the rest of the day and tend to other obligations. I worked all weekend on other things- helped with an anniversary reception, took my mother in law to the doctor out of town, went to church, etc.

I wonder why it is that we tend to not do the "spiritual" things when we aren't feeling well, but will go ahead and press on to do the "natural" things. I know people who will not go to church because they have had a busy week and are tired, or may not feel good, so they stay at home instead of going to church so they can be rested for work on Monday. They won't miss work but they will let church fall by the way side. (Now, please, if you are really sick, don't go to church and spread it to everyone else- call the elders to come lay hands on you and pray.) But I know you understand what I am saying. They won't let anything- sickness, fatigue, whatever- stand between them and some pleasurable thing they want to do or their job, but they will leave off the "spiritual" things without giving it a second thought.

My mother used to tell me that if I was well enough to go off somewhere with my friends, I was well enough to go to school. Same applies here, if you can go to this event and that event, if you are well enough to go shopping with the girls, if you aren't too tired to go fishing, if you are feeling good enough to go to work, then you are well enough to take care of the "spiritual" things in life.

Are you getting the point? We will do anything we want to do in the flesh, but we are too tired or too sick or too busy, etc. to do the spiritual things. I think we have it backwards. We need to leave off the physical things so that we are able to do the spiritual things. They are more important. Our "spiritual" life should always be the one we put first, gravitate to and not neglect. So I determined this morning that if I can do everything else that is required of me today- even if I am not feeling well, then I can do this "spiritual" thing that God has called me to do.

Have a great day. Are we letting the "spiritual" things go when we don't feel good, but are still able to do the "physical" things? It seems backwards to me.