Friday, October 30, 2009

"The Weekend"

"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41

A thought came to me a few minutes ago- today is Friday, so the weekend is here, most people love to "take the weekend off". They take if off from work. They take it off from the usual routine. They take if off and like to get away and enjoy some sort of relaxation or entertainment. The weekend for most is unlike the rest of their week.

The thought that came to me was this- some people also think you can take the weekend off from being a Christian. They look at the weekend as "their time". They have worked hard all week and deserve to just "kick back" and do what they want to do. This kind of thinking where your spiritual life is concerned is deadly.

Christianity is about who we are, not what we do. What we do is a reflection of who we are. I am a wife, can I just "take off" from being a wife today? I am a mother, can I "take off" there? I am a female, is that something that I can "take off" from being for a day or two? Neither is my relationship with the Lord something that I can "take off" from either.

My walk with the Lord has to be incorporated in all I do and every where I go. If I can't take it into the places I plan to go, then I should not go. If I do something that tries to detach me from it, I shouldn't do that. My relationship with the Lord is more important than "rest and relaxation". It's more important than fulfilling my desires. And regardless of which day of the week it is, my thoughts first and foremost needs to consider whether what I do and where I go is something that will put my spiritual life in jeopardy... and if it does, then I need to rethink my plans.

Have a great day. You can't take a day or weekend off from being a Christian.

For further reading:
Psalm 31:23
Mark 12:30
Proverbs 8:34
Acts 2:46; 5:42
1 Corinthians 10:13
2 Timothy 2:22

Thursday, October 29, 2009


"And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him." Judges 16:20

Yesterday, I was unable to send out the devotional because there was a problem with my server. I tried and tried and tried to connect to the Internet and my server but never could. But even though I did not get to send yesterday's devotional, something good came out of it any way- today's word.

The thought kept coming to me-- many people are trying to do something for God without being "connected" to Him. If the connection is broken you can't do it; try as you will, but it just won't work. You can't witness effectively, you can't have the boldness that you need, you can't shine brightly, you aren't salty, your testimony doesn't have much influence.

Yesterday, there was an outage on the server that caused me not to be able to do what I needed to do to get the word out. But for us, the disconnection comes through many avenues. It comes through disobedience. When we are living in disobedience it will hinder the connection, and without the connection we are powerless, as was the case with Samson. He had the call of God, but he didn't have the power because he disobeyed. Also, being negligent to do the things we need to do to stay connected will cause a problem. Such things as reading the Bible, having communion with the Lord in prayer, going to His house, spending time in worship. This all are factors.

When the problem continued and I was unable to connect to the Internet, I finally decided to call my Internet provider. They confirmed the problem was an outage but that it was over and I should have been able to reconnect. They gave me the solution-- reboot my modem. I did and I was "back on line".

Are you "offline" this morning- spiritually speaking- trying to "do" without being connected to "The Source"? Then it is time for you to "reboot"! Get back to where you left off. Go back to the place where you stopped being obedient, where you stopped giving attention to the things that kept you connected, repent and start doing it now. Once Samson's hair grew back- symbolic of restoration- he then accomplished the work of the Lord, and did an even greater work then he had before-- "So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life." (Judges 16:30)

Have a great day. If you are "offline" and trying to accomplish something in your own strength, you can't do it. It's time to "reboot" and get reconnected to the Lord.

For further reading:
Zechariah 4:6
John 14:12
Isaiah 1:19
Judges 16

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Secret Service"

"...lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20b

I just woke up from the oddest dream. I dreamed that my mother in law, my husband, myself and it seems like there was someone else there also, were all together and we were on a trip- but most of where we were was local. The odd part of the dream was that there was also two secret service people assigned to be with us. They were there to watch over us, keep us safe and make sure we had everything that we needed. We didn't make a move that they weren't there. We didn't feel like we were their "prisoners", instead they were very attentive to us. They were very nice and polite and it was nice having them with us. But throughout the dream I kept wondering how we rated having them with us. What did we do that made us so special as to have them stick so close to us?

I have pondered the dream wondering if there was a spiritual significance to it- because many of my dreams are messages to me from the Lord. I felt I wanted to share it because whether this is the meaning or not, it did remind me that for the children of God we are never alone.

There is always the unseen presence of the Lord watching over us, walking with us, meeting our needs, guiding and directing our steps. While I couldn't figure out in the dream why we were so important as to have this special treatment, I can figure out why the Lord is with us and never leaves us. He told us in His word why. It's because of His love. He loves us with an everlasting love. It's because we are special, elect and precious to Him. It's because we love His Son and have made Him the Savior and Lord of our lives. It's because we are God's delight and joy. It's because He has placed a great value on us and then paid the highest price possible to have us for His own dearly, beloved children.

I may never be so important or special as to have people assigned to me to watch over my care, but there is one thing that I know for sure, I have the Lord watching over me and He cares for me more than any one else could ever possibly care for me. And He is always there even when no one else is and even when I don't see Him. The same applies to you also if you are His child.

Have a great day. The Lord is watching over you all the time and has promised to be with you-- not because you are so great, but because He loves you so much.

For further reading:
Hebrews 13:5
Joshua 1:5
Psalm 91:15
Isaiah 43:2

Monday, October 26, 2009

"What Flows?"

"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." John 7:38

What is flowing out of you? What flows from your life? Does a river of life? Does peace, joy, love, kindness? Or does bitterness, anger, criticism, pride, haughtiness, unforgiveness?

A flowing river touches the banks and its waters cause life to come to the vegetation that is beside it. Whatever is flowing from our lives touches other people's lives. It either touches their lives in a good and positive way and they are edified, or it touches their lives a bad and negative way and tears them down. If it's a river of life that is flowing from us it causes others to be blessed and helps produce life in them. If it's a river that is polluted with bad attitudes, selfishness and malice then it brings discouragement and can be destructive.

Each day we must examine the "water" that is flowing from our lives and make sure that it is the clean pure water of the Holy Spirit. If it isn't, we must go to God and ask for a cleansing to take place within us until that which produces life is flowing freely from us.

Have a great day. There is something that "flows" from all our lives, the question is, "What is it?".

For further reading:
Psalm 51:10
Matthew 12:34
James 3:9-11
Galatians 5:19-24

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Double Armor"

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

We need to daily put on the full armor that the Lord has provided for us. It has a two-fold purpose that brings victory every time. First, it helps us to "stand". It gives us the ability to "dig in our heels" and not move so that we don't give up the ground that we have already taken from the enemy. Also, it gives us the ability to go forward and be victorious in taking "new ground".

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to begin to take the promised land for their inheritance, the Lord gave them what they needed to take each city. They would capture one city, then move on to the next one to capture it. They were involved in a two-fold conquering process. Capturing the cities and holding on to what they had already captured so that the enemy could not reclaim it.

This is the same thing that we are doing in a spiritual sense. We too are going forward conquering through the weapons that God has placed in our hands and also holding on to what we have already conquered. So, remember today that these weapons will help you to advance forward to win more battles and conquer more enemies, and they will help you to guard, protect and hold on to what you have already gained.

Have a great day. You have been given powerful weapons that will help you advance and conquer new areas, and enable you to hold on to what you already have victoriously received.

For further reading:
Ephesians 6:11-19
2 Corinthians 10:4
Galatians 5:1
Romans 8:37

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"The Clock"

"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Philippines 2:12

I recently bought a new alarm clock- it is one of the ones you have to wind up so that it will run. It has been years since I had one like it so I forgot that you have to wind it up everyday or it will stop keeping time. Our Christian life is like that clock- it has to be "wound up" everyday.

I have to wind that clock up everyday, if I don't it winds down. I can't wind it once a week or every three or four days and expect it to keep time- it won't, it will stop. Many Christians are trying to live this way. They think that going to church once a week is enough. That think they can read their Bibles occasionally and still live a victorious life. They don't have daily communion and fellowship with the Lord.

If you are going to maintain a healthy Christian life, you are going to have to stay "wound up". You have to work our your salvation with fear and trembling. You can't neglect it. You can't work on it only when you think about it. You can't skip a day and you can't go days without feeding your spirit man. If you ignore it, it will starve. If you neglect it, it won't grow. If you take it for granted, you will be weak.

If this small mechanical clock needs to be rewound everyday in order to work properly, why do we think we can neglect those things that keep us functioning spiritually and we will be all right? The truth is that we can't live like that. If that clock is affected by neglect to the point where it quits running, what makes us think that we won't be affected as well if we neglect to do certain things daily. We will be affected, only for us the consequences will be a lot worse.

Have a great day. How often are you "winding" up yourself spiritually... daily, once a week, once a month, once a year?

For further reading:
Psalm 61:8
Psalm 86:3
Proverbs 8:34
Ezekiel 46:13
Acts 2:46
Acts 17:11

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 136:9

As I was standing outside hoping to get a glimpse of the meteor shower, I was amazed at how beautiful the stars were. They were everywhere- the sky was full- and they were brilliant. The sky looked like a blanket of small, medium and large diamonds scattered among numerous constellations each making a shape that spread out for all to see.

My next thoughts were captivated by the awesomeness of God who covered the night sky with such beauty. How precious and wonderful He is to us by placing stars in the sky. Each star serving a two-fold purpose (perhaps more that I am not aware of). One, as I have already said, is that of beauty. How wonderful to look up in the sky and see them twinkling high above us. How awful to have just a vast blanket of blackness over us with no light at all. The second, He placed them there to show us the way in darkness. How would ships navigate the seas at night with no stars acting like compasses to guide them?

Just as God placed stars in the night sky to help guide ships at sea so that they don't get lost and stay on course, He has also placed other signs to help us navigate safely through life. His word is like a light that helps us find our way and keeps our feet upon a straight and narrow path. There are beautiful pictures that are painted for us in it depicting a loving God who cares deeply for His creation. It reveals a love that is greater than the size of the universe. It shows us how truly great He is and how limitless His knowledge and power are. Don't neglect His word, it is full of wonders yet to be discovered and contains the keys to eternal life.

Have a great day. Going day after day without reading God's word is like standing under a night sky and not seeing the stars.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"The Lion's Mouth"

"David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee." 1 Samuel 17:37

The Old Testament is full of "types and shadows" which are examples that point to and reveal Christ to us. The story above is one. David told King Saul about the time when he was watching the flock of sheep and a lion came and attacked a lamb. "And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him." (vvs. 34,35) David went after the lion and rescued the lamb out of its mouth.

David represents Jesus, we are the lambs and the devil is the lion who is seeking to devour us. David delivered the lamb from the mouth of the lion, so has Jesus delivered us out of the "mouth" of satan. Satan goes about seeking to steal, kill and destroy us. Sin also had a grip on us, it was ready to gnash down on us until we died. But Jesus came to our rescue. He fought against sin and won. We no longer have to be devoured by sin, by the devil, by demonic forces.... Jesus delivered us. Jesus saved us.

Do you feel like a lamb in the lion's mouth this morning? Take hope and be encouraged, Jesus-like David- went after the enemy in order to deliver you... and He succeeded! He destroyed the power of sin, He destroyed the power of the devil, He destroyed the power of death that had you in its clutches. David defeated the lion and the bear that was trying to destroy his flock. Jesus has defeated everything that tries to destroy His flock and He set us free from it.

Have a great day. Jesus came to your rescue and delivered you out of the mouth of the devil and sin.

For further reading:
1 Samuel 17
Colossians 2:15
1 Cor. 15:55
Psalm 35:17
Matthew 28:18

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Keep His Ways"

"For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. " Psalm 18:21

Is this your testimony? Can you say that you have kept the commandments of the Lord? Do you keep them? Are they the governing factor of your life? Are they where you look in times of trouble? Do you keep them when things are going good? Do you keep them when things are not going so well? Do you allow the situation to cause you to overlook them? Do you act and react according to the word of God?

God's commands are our "code of conduct". They are to be kept at all times- not just when it's convenient for us. They aren't like a "buffet" either that we can "pick and choose" which ones we want to apply to our lives and practice and which ones we don't.

Keeping His ways, doing His commandments, obeying His word shows our love for the Lord. It is our expression of faith. It keeps us at peace. It empowers us in times of trials. We must purpose each day that we are going to set His laws before us and conduct our lives according to them. Then, like He told Joshua, we will make our way prosperous.

Have a great day. There are always benefits for keeping the commands of the Lord, for not departing from them and for applying them to our lives.

For further reading:
Psalm 119:165
Joshua 1:7
Proverbs 3:1
Proverbs 4:4
Proverbs 7:2
John 14:15
John 15:10

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Second Process"

"And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:3

We all have heard messages preached about the refining process of silver and how it symbolically represents the transformation process that the Lord desires to do in our lives. I have always thought that once the refining process is over then that was the "end". I thought the whole process of removing the "dross" from my life was the goal. On the contrary, the refining process just gets us ready for the "real" process.

After silver is has gone through the process of being refined to where the impurities are removed, it isn't left in the pot to just sit there. It is then ready to be made into something- a piece of jewelry, a bullet, a goblet, etc. It's then that it starts the process of being transformed from a liquid to something solid and useable.

The same applies to our lives. The refining- all the trials that turn up the "heat" in our lives- just gets out the things in us that aren't Christ-like in order to get us ready to be made into the vessel that He has planned for us to be. After you go through one process, don't think that it is over. The refining process just gets you ready for the process of being made into a vessel that can be used for God's glory.

Have a great day. The first process is not the end, it gets us ready to begin the next one.

For further reading:
Zechariah 13:9
Philippians 1:6
Matthew 9:16,17
2 Timothy 2:20,21

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Chasing Lovers"

"And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now." Hosea 2:7

I had a very odd dream last night, it was a scene from the movie, "Gone With The Wind". In the dream Scarlett was apologizing to Rhett for all the wasted years she had spent chasing after a man that would never love her in return. In the dream she was truly repentant because she had finally realized the truth that he was not, never had been nor ever would be interested in her. The scales finally fell off of her heart and eyes and she knew she had wasted her life following only a dream and in the process rejected someone who truly did love her with all their heart.

As I replayed the dream in my thoughts this morning, I saw a spiritual application. Scores of people are out there living their lives following dreams that will never materialize. They are pursuing "lovers" that will never love them in return. They are chasing after a "lover" that they think will satisfy them, make them happy or will make their life perfect. Some of their lovers are wealth, fame, popularity, prestige, and other people. But while they are chasing after these "lovers", they are rejecting the one who truly does love them- Jesus.

Jesus is standing there waiting for you to stop chasing after dreams and ambitions that will never "love" you in return. They will never make you happy, they are not able to fulfill your greatest longing and desire. They may satisfy for the moment but the pleasure will wear off soon enough. He is waiting for you to stop chasing something that will never happen.

Are these "lovers" that we are chasing after really worth it? Are they worth sacrificing the true love? Can they and will they "love" you like Jesus does? If you keep chasing them eventually you will wake up and realize that you have wasted your life chasing after something that could never be while rejecting the best thing that could have ever happened to you.

Have a great day. Are you chasing after other "lovers"- other than Christ? If so, you are sacrificing true love for a false hope.

For further reading:
Deut. 6:5
Mark 12:30
Exodus 20:3
1 John 4:10, 19

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"What Are You Doing?"

"Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:7

A lady came up for prayer the other day. Her request was to get closer to the Lord. As I started to pray the Holy Spirit impressed me to ask her a question. I asked her if she was reading her Bible and praying, and was she doing it everyday. Her answer was no that she wasn't and she began to weep.

Human nature wants everything to come to us easily without any effort on our parts. Even when it comes to spiritual things we want them imparted into our lives by some supernatural one time event. We want a spiritual "quick fix", we want the short cuts, we want God to just "zap" us and instantly, miraculously we'll have it.

It doesn't happen that way. There are things that we must do ourselves. For example, if you want to get closer to the Lord you have to spend time in His presence. If you want to be blessed financially you have to give. If you want to prosper then obey the commandments. If you are in need, seek first the kingdom of God. If you are in want, then fear the Lord and give Him the reverence and rightful place in your life that He deserves. When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast the devil out of the man's son, His reply was that they had unbelief, then He told them that it happens by prayer and fasting. He had already empowered them to cast out devils but He didn't just place His hand on them and "boom" there they had it. He told them to go do something themselves- fast and pray.

God's word is full of conditions. He tells us in verse after verse that "if we will", "then He will". You can stand in every prayer line, you can be anointed with so much oil that it drips off your head, you can have hands laid on you seven days a week. But if you aren't doing your part, then some things just aren't going to happen. Just because someone lays hands on you and "imparts" some "gift" doesn't mean that is the beginning and the end of it. You have to stir up the gift that is within you, you have to yield yourself to God, you have to seek Him, you have to grow in grace and knowledge. You have to do it, and you have to keep on doing it.

Have a great day. Stop trying to get a spiritual "quick fix" and start doing what you need to be doing.

For further reading:
Matthew 6:33
James 4:2
Deut. 11:13,14, 22,23
Matthew 21:21
Matthew 16:19
Matthew 5:3-9

Friday, October 9, 2009

"The Shaking"

"And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." Hebrews 12:27

Recently, the Lord began to speak to me about a "shaking". I believe that shakings are happening everywhere- on a world wide, national and personal level, within the church and without.

When He spoke this to me, He also showed me something to help me better understand this. Have you ever seen those novelty games that is a little plastic enclosure with a picture of a clown's face on the bottom, three holes cut out in the face and three little balls. (I don't know what it's called.) The goal is to get all three balls in all three holes. The only way to do that is by shaking it. If you shake it just right and long enough you will succeed.

If you are wondering why your life feels so "turbulent", if you are wondering why you can't get past one thing before you feel something else taking place, if you feel like you are always reeling from side to side, perhaps you are in a shaking.

When a shaking takes place it does a "two-fold" work. One, it shakes something "out" of place and two, it shakes something "into" place. When God allows or brings a shaking into our lives it also will accomplish a two-fold purpose. Often it is to shake out complacency, pride, fleshly desires, religious attitudes, and so on. At the same time He is also trying to shake something into place- perhaps it's the Fruit of the Spirit, maybe you are in the wrong position and He is shaking you into your God-called position, perhaps it is a shaking into Christ's likeness that He is trying to accomplish, or a host of other reasons.

All the Bible characters had a shaking in their lives. Abraham was shaken out of his father's house and shaken into a covenant with God. Joseph was shaken out from among his family and shaken into the palace in Egypt. Paul was shaken out of his self-righteous religious practice and shaken into a relationship with the same God he had been persecuting. Esther was shaken out of her home land and shaken into a position to save her people. And the list goes on.

If you feel like you are in a "shaking", if you feel like your life is like that game I described, don't lose heart, it's not a bad thing. The end result is a good thing. It may feel bad while it is shaking "out" something, but what a good thing it is when it shakes "in" the perfect will and purpose of God. And the shaking "in" can't happen without the shaking "out".

Have a great day. God is doing a shaking to gets some things "out" in order to get some things "in"- in their right place, in position, in order- and that's a good thing.

For further reading:
Hebrews 12:26
Deuteronomy 6:23
Galatians 4:19
2 Corinthians 5:17

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


"And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted." Exodus 16:21

Both church services Sunday were wonderful, the presence of the Lord came down in a powerful way. He ministered to many people and brought a refreshing touch to others. I left knowing that I had an encounter with the Lord that blessed me more than I can say. I was still basking in it later that night at home. But the next morning when I got up, hoping to continue to feel the "overflow" of what the Lord had done for me the night before-- it wasn't there.

When I got up the next morning, I wanted to feel what I had felt the night before- the refreshing, cleansing, joy, peace, love- in the same measure. But I didn't. I wondered why not. I wondered what had happened. I wondered if I did something to lose it. I asked the Lord about it. He immediately brought the verse above to my mind.

When God touches us, when He pours out a special blessing, when He ministers to us in a powerful way, He doesn't intend for us to keep going in that one touch only. He doesn't want us to just sit back and bask in what happened yesterday, last night, in last year's revival, at a conference, etc. He wants us to allow His Spirit to touch us in these same ways each and every day.

In my case, it was Him who lifted the next morning what I had felt the night before for that very reason. The manna was not intended to be left over. It was intended to be gathered fresh each day. That is why God did not allow it to stay on the ground all day or until the night. It melted when the sun came out so that the people would have to gather it again the next day. God would not allow them to have "leftovers".

Are you trying to live on the "leftovers"? Don't try to live on yesterday's experience. Don't try to keep holding on to what the Lord did for you last week and not get a fresh touch from Him this week. Don't try to walk in the anointing of the past, ask for a fresh anointing for today. Don't settle for the "leftovers", get something fresh for today.

Have a great day. Leftovers may be good when its food, but God doesn't intend for you to live on spiritual leftovers. He wants to give you something fresh everyday.

For further reading:
Exodus 16
Matthew 6:11

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"The Punishment- Part 2"

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Yesterday we talked about God's answer to a question that I had concerning the suffering that Jesus went through at the cross. The question was this- since sin required a punishment and Jesus was the only one who could pay it, and God was the one who decided what the punishment would be, why did He set the punishment so high? Why didn't He make it easier and lighter on Jesus? Why did He pour out the full cup of suffering on Him?

The answer He gave me was that because of the vile nature of sin from His perspective, the punishment had to be equal- a little slap on the wrist could not satisfy the righteousness of God. The punishment for our sins had to be equal to the crime.

He also showed me something else about why the punishment was so horrific. The cross was also God's expression of love to mankind. He was sending us a message. The message was- I don't just love you, but I LOVE you! The Father placed the whole weight of sin and punishment on Jesus to the same degree that He loves us.

He demonstrated His love toward us and let us know at the same time that His love for us was no little matter! He was saying, "See how much I love you, I'll take a beating for you. See how much I love you, I'll let them mock me, ridicule me, slap me around, nail me to a cross, and I will die for you."

So when we look at the horrendous suffering that Jesus went through we see that sin is no little matter to God, and neither is His love a little matter.

Have a great day. He wanted you to know that His love for you is so great, so He demonstrated how great by suffering so much.

For further reading:John 3:16,17
Romans 8:38,39
1 John 3:16
1 John 4:9,10

Monday, October 5, 2009

"The Punishment"

"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." Isaiah 53:10

While I was watching the movie "The Passion" and saw a visual presentation of what the crucifixion of Jesus was really like, it compelled me to ask the Father a question. The question was this- "Why was what Jesus went through so horrible? If you were the One who set the punishment for sin, if you were the One who decided what He should go through, why didn't you make it a little lighter on Him? Why was He beaten until He was unrecognizable? Why did He have to be nailed to the cross?" He answered me with this- "Because that is just how horrible sin is." What He was saying to me was that in order for the punishment of our sins to be acceptable, the punishment must fit the crime.

The punishment that Jesus faced was equal to the crime of sin. Therefore, Jesus had to drink the whole cup of wrath and punishment for our sins. And He had to drink all the way to the bottom, every last dreg. All the punishment had to be fulfilled.

When we look at the cross, when we see the horror of it, when we see what Jesus endured, we must always remember that sin to God is no little matter. Therefore, when we sin, we must immediately confess it and repent of it. We cannot take sin in our lives lightly, not even what we consider to be a small sin. God doesn't see it that way.

Had He not laid our sins on Jesus, had He not put our iniquities on Him, had He not taken our punishment, then we would be punished for our own sins and hell would be the punishment that we would receive for them- remember, the punishment had to fit the crime.

Don't take sin in your life for granted. Jesus took your punishment so that you could go free. But if you refuse the forgiveness/pardon that came through Jesus' punishment for you then you will wind up paying for your own sins one day. "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41)

Have a great day. The punishment that Jesus went through at the cross was equal to the crime of sin that we had committed, so don't take sin lightly.

For further reading:
Isaiah 53
Romans 6:23

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Overcome Evil"

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

With evil present in the world everywhere around us we have to be on guard and not let it overcome us. How do we know when it has? When it causes us to lose our joy, it has overcome us. When the evil that we see around us causes us to want to throw up our hands in defeat and give up. When it causes us to want to quit running the race that is set before us. When we stop yielding the fruit of the Spirit, we have let it overcome us. When we have fear but no faith because of the evil acts and words of others, then it is overcoming us. When it takes your eyes off of God and His kingdom, it has overcome you. When we let it discourage us, steal our peace or depress us, then it has overcome us.

The verse above is a command. It tells us not to be overcome by evil. In other words we are not to let evil defeat us. Is that possible? Can we have any power over evil when it comes against us? It would not be a command if it were not possible. The same verse that gives us the command also gives us the solution- "Overcome evil with good". We overcome it by doing what is good.

How do we overcome evil with good? By doing those things that are good. Such as keeping your mind renewed in God's word. By keeping your heart and mind fixed upon the Lord. You do it by remembering that we don't wrestle against flesh and blood so go after the real enemy-spiritual wickedness- with the weapons you have been given. If the evil is coming through a person that you have dealings with, show some act of kindness to them (Romans 12:20). Pray- pray for yourself, for the person, for the situation. When you speak to that person, speak the truth in love, not in argument, not in frustration, but with fearlessness. Guard your heart by not listening to evil reports through the television, radio or conversations. When evil comes through a temptation and tries to get you to yield, pull out your sword of the Spirit, call a fellow Christian for prayer support, pray in the Holy Spirit.

As I have said, evil is ever present. Evil will be in the world as long as the devil and sin are in the world. But evil doesn't have to overcome you, it doesn't have to affect you to the point where it destroys you- overcomes you. And when you are personally faced with evil it will not overcome you if you will follow God's word and implement His strategies and solutions for overcoming it. Evil and good are the opposite. So do good when evil comes instead of giving into it and you will overcome it.

Have a great day. You do not have to be overcome by evil because Jesus has already made you more than a conqueror over the evil one.

For further reading:
1 Corinthians 10:13
1 John 4:4
1 Peter 5:8-10
James 4:7
Matthew 5:44
1 Thessalonians 5:15

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Fighting Fear"

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

From the verse above we learn that fear is a spirit. We also learn that the spirit of fear does not come from God. In addition we learn too that He doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but instead He gives us power, love and a sound mind. The power, love and sound mind that He gives us is not just a replacement for fear, it is also the "weapons" and "strategies" that He has given us to combat fear.

He gives us power to defeat fear. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19) As we said already, fear is a spirit and it is not a spirit that comes from God. Therefore, it is a spirit that comes from the enemy of our soul. But God has given us power over all the powers of the enemy, including power over fear.

He gives us love to cast out fear. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18) There is no fear in love, neither is there any place at all for fear in love. God is love. There is no fear in Him. According to 1 Corinthians 13 the attributes and character of love leave no place for fear to be able to dwell.

He also gives us a sound mind to overcome fear. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." (Isaiah 26:3) When you think about the Lord, renew your mind with His word, make Him your thought life, then you will have peace of mind. Peace and fear cannot both occupy the same place at the same time. Peace is the opposite of fear. Peace says, "All is well". Fear says, "No, it isn't".

If you are fearful this morning, you have no need to be. It does not have to overcome you. The Lord has given you everything you need through Christ to overcome it. Walk in power, walk in love, walk in a sound mind and fear will never be able to catch you.

Have a great day. God hasn't given you a spirit of fear, but He has given you all you need to overcome it.

For further reading:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
1 John 4:4
Deut. 31:6
Ephesians 6