Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Standing In Faith"

"Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?" Psalm 119:82

Have you ever received a promise from the Lord but it seems as if it is taking forever to be fulfilled? You keep looking for it and looking for it but it doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight? Well, don't give up on the promise of God. He is faithful to fulfill what He has said. Just ask Abraham. God made him a promise that he would have a son- God kept His promise. Abraham had a son in his old age. He had a son at a time in life that looked like the most impossible time for the promise to be fulfilled.

Moses is another one you can ask. God told Moses that He was going to deliver His people from the bondage of Egypt- and He did, He kept His promise. He kept it during the time that was the most discouraging for the people. Their hopes had been raised time and time again, and crushed time and time again-- each time Pharaoh would change his mind.

There are many other examples throughout the Bible of men and women who were given a promise from the Lord and had to stand upon the faithfulness of His word until they saw it come to pass. They had to stand through long periods of time. They had to stand through dark nights. They had to stand through the taunts of the enemy and others who tried to persuade them that their God had failed them and will not do what He has promised. They had to stand even when there was no visible proof that the promise would ever come. They had to stand when all natural hope of its fulfillment was gone. Summed up in a word- they had to stand in faith.

We have forgotten that we have to stand in faith as well. Faith is believing and trusting that God will do what He says He will do when we don't see, hear or feel anything that reaffirms that He will do it. Faith is also remembering Who it is that made the promise to you. It wasn't a mere man, it wasn't your spiritual leader, it wasn't an angel, it was God Himself- who cannot lie, who cannot fail, who cannot not keep His promise.

Have a great day. Keep looking for and waiting on God to fulfill His promise-- that's called standing in faith.

For further reading:
Numbers 23:19
Hebrews 11
Psalm 89:34

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"A Word In Chaos"

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2

The verse above tells us that the earth was without form, void and darkness was upon it. The word for "without form" also means "chaos". Literally, the earth was a place of chaos, empty and covered in darkness. Does that seem to describe your life? Is it full of chaos? Does it feel like it is covered in darkness? There doesn't seem to be any light shining in your situation- you can't even see any light at the end of the tunnel? Then I have good news for you this morning.

I love the next part of the verse- "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Even in the darkness, even in the confusion, even in the chaos, even in the emptiness, God was still there moving over the situation, watching what was happening, making His presence known. You are not alone, He is there with you also watching over your life.

Just the presence of God watching over the situation did not change it, it changed when God spoke a word into the situation. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." (verse 2) When God spoke, the situation changed. You need to hear a word from the Lord and things will change in your situation also. It doesn't matter how great the chaos and darkness is, in our verse it covered the whole earth- that is a lot of chaos and darkness. But just one word from the Lord and the darkness and chaos was gone- the light outshined it.

When God speaks a word into your situation, it will change. It will either literally change the situation as it did at creation, or, it will change something inside of you that will lift the darkness and calm the confusion so that you can go through that place. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4) The Psalmist said he was walking "through" the valley of the shadow of death- not translated out of it. But something was on the inside of him that caused him to walk through it with peace of mind, without fear, distress or confusion.

Paul was an example of what I am talking about. Paul wasn't delivered from prison. The end of his life was spent in a dark dungeon bound in chains, yet, Paul pinned the words, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Phil. 4:11b). How was that possible? Because God had spoken a word into his situation and it changed the situation by changing Paul on the inside. (Acts 21:10-13)

Seek God in prayer and stay there until He speaks a word into that situation you are in. He will speak. And His word will settle and remove the chaos either externally or internally.

Have a great day. One word from the Lord and the chaos clears up-- the chaos that is around us or the chaos that is in our hearts.

For further reading:
Philippians 4:11-13
Psalm 23

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Caught By Urgency"

"When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was." John 11:6

One day an urgent request came to Jesus from His friends Mary and Martha concerning their brother Lazarus. The request was for Jesus to come and heal Lazarus because he was gravely ill. If you are familiar with the story, you'll remember that Jesus did not go to them immediately but instead He waited for four days.

There are urgent situations that arise in life that need and demand our attention then. (Before I make my next statement, I need to preface it by saying up front that I am not talking about being lazy or negligent in giving attention to important matters. There are matters that need our attention at that moment and can't be put off.) But not every "urgent" situation needs or immediate response.

There are times when we should be still, wait and not "jump" into the situation. When the situation screams at you to make a move now, when it calls upon you to make a decision at that moment, when it demands your immediate attention, it is then that you can make the wrong decision. Give yourself time to seek the Lord and get His counsel as to what you should do. It is all right to wait concerning some matters. Jesus taught us that through this situation with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. What you think you should do at the moment the situation arises may not be the course that God has planned for you to follow.

Jesus could have gone when He first got the request. He could have gone and healed Lazarus and he never would have died. But God had a greater plan in mind. Had Jesus not waited and sought the Lord and allowed the Father to instruct Him in the situation, a greater miracle would have been missed.

So, don't let those things that seem so urgent intimidate you to "do something". Go to God, seek Him for instruction, wait upon Him for guidance and counsel and then follow His leading.

Have a great day. Not every situation that seems urgent is urgent.

For further reading:
John 11
Proverbs 3:5,6

Monday, September 27, 2010

"You Did It Again"

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

How many times have you "done it again"? How many times have you committed a situation, or person, to the Lord but you keep finding yourself involved in it trying to work it out or "fix it"? The Lord has told you to take your hands off of it and let Him handle it, yet you keep finding yourself in the middle of it again and again. You may leave it in His hands for a while, but later you find yourself at it again- trying to make it happen.

We all tend to do it-- I have done it. So in prayer the other day I was talking to the Lord about this very thing. I was wondering if I had messed things up so badly, in a particular situation, because of my continual intervention that they could never be fixed. He answered my question by saying, "I am bigger than your 'agains'!" No matter how many times I got involved and made the situation worse by tearing down what He was trying to build up, He is still bigger and able to work it out in spite of me. What peace and joy that brought to my heart.

The disciple Peter was also a "fixer"- he was always trying to take matters in his own hands. But Jesus was bigger than Peter's mistakes and attempts and failures. He accomplished His purposes in spite of Peter's intervention.

Perhaps you keep trying to take matters into your own hands. Perhaps you keep trying to "help" God make that thing happen. Perhaps you keep trying to "hurry it up". If that is you, then like me, you need to stop. You need to take your hands off and resist the temptation to put you hands back on it again. God is well able and more than able to handle it without your help. Your intervention only delays and messes up again what He is doing. If you have done that, remember today that He can take the mess that you have made by your intervention and work it out for good, because He is bigger than your "agains".

Have a great day. You may keep messing it up because you won't keep your hands off of it and let the Lord take care of it, but He is still able to work the situation out in spite of your intervention. So let go of it and let God handle it.

For further reading:
2 Timothy 1:12
Ephesians 3:20

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Bad Things"

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" Romans 8:35

Bad things happen to good people, that is just the reality of life. Look at Jesus. You can't get any better than Him. He was perfect and completely sinless, never made a mistake, yet He suffered trials. He faced the tempter in the wilderness. He faced the Pharisees and other religious people who were always trying to destroy Him. He faced death on the cross. But the death on the cross is not to be confused with and thought of as just another "bad thing" that happened to Jesus. The cross wasn't something that "happened" to Him, on the contrary, He was in charge of the whole thing.

The cross was Jesus' acceptance of the will of the Father. His whole life on earth was leading up to the cross-- it was the purpose for which He came into the world. He was in complete control. No one had power over Him in the matter. He laid down His life, it wasn't taken from Him. So again, the cross wasn't something that happened to Jesus, it was why He came.

When bad things happen to us, we tend to think that it is a sign that God doesn't love us- or at least that is what the devil tries to tell us. That is not the reason why bad things are happening. We live in a sin laden world that is under a curse and so good and bad come to us all. But to say that the Lord doesn't love us when they do come is far from the truth. The opposite is true. Why did Jesus lay down His life at the cross? Why did He allow the crucifixion? The reason-- love. He loved us. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Don't be tempted to believe that just because something bad is happening in your life that God doesn't love you and He doesn't care about you. He does love you. He laid down His life for you on the cross. You can't show any greater love than that.

Have a great day. The fact that the Lord withholds bad things from your life is not the evidence that He loves you... the cross is.

For further reading:
John 16:33; 18:37; 19:11; 10:18
Matthew 26:39; 5:45

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Keep The Walls Up"

"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." Proverbs 25:28

How do we have the ability to rule over our own spirits? It comes by yielding to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and allowing Him to be the Supreme Ruler of our lives. It comes too by the empowerment of Holy Spirit to do what is right and resist what is wrong. And it comes through living by the Word of God. When you make the Word of God your standard for living, when you allow it to govern your actions, attitudes, thoughts and motives then you have rule over your own spirit, therefore, it is like having "walls of protection" around your life.

Walls were built around cities, not to keep what was in in, but to keep some things out- enemies, wild animals, etc. The Word of God is like a wall of protection and safety to us. When it is the standard by which we live, our lives are safe from the enemy accomplishing His plan to steal, kill and destroy because he can't get past the wall.

The devil (the enemy) came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness but he couldn't find a place to get into His heart or mind to destroy Him because he couldn't get past the "wall"- the Word of God. Each time the devil tried to tempt Him to sin, Jesus "stood behind the 'wall'" of God's word-- "It is written".

As long as the walls are up the enemy can't get in. When the walls are down, he has free and unhindered access. We must learn to keep the walls up by hiding the Word of God in our hearts, by applying it to our lives, by standing on its promises, by making its precepts and principles the governing factor of everything that we do. If we don't then there is nothing to keep him out and he come in and steal, kill and destroy everything that he can.

Have a great day. You have to keep the wall of God's Word up around you or the enemy will come in.

For further reading:
Zechariah 4:6
Matthew 4:1-10
Psalm 119:11
John 10:10

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Does Your Worship Stink?"

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Ephesians 5:19

It concerns me about all the bickering, complaining and even division in the churches concerning the song service. One group in the church wants to sing hymns, another group wants to sing choruses, another wants to sing country gospel or rap or rock, or whatever other title the music is described by. Granted we all have our likes and dislikes and our preferences. There are certain forms of music that I prefer to sing and hear above others. But we are missing the whole point of what the song service is about.

We call the song service our "worship" time. But we have forgotten what that means. Our "worship/song service" is NOT about us. It is NOT about singing the songs I like or you like. It is NOT about staying updated and singing the songs that are most popular today. It is NOT about singing songs that will reach certain people groups. It IS about worshipping the Lord. Worship time is NOT for us- it IS for Him!

Our worship service is not intended to worship me- by singing my favorite- but to worship Him by singing what brings Him honor and makes His name famous. It is not about singing the songs that make me happy, but rather what will make Him "happy". It is not about stirring me up to worship by singing my favorite song, but it is about lifting Him up. It is about exalting Him- who He is and what He has done. It is part of our worship of Him in spirit and in truth. It is about declaring through song His greatness, His glory, His might and power-- and causing the focus to all be on Him.

Our worship in song is a spiritual sacrifice that we present to God. It sends up an aroma before Him. When the worship is about Him, it is a sweet smelling savor- an acceptable sacrifice, one that He is delighted to receive. When we make it about us, or when we complain about what is or isn't being sung, when we want to sing our favorites, then it ceases to be about Him and becomes about us and the smell that rises up to Him is a stench in His nostrils. (We would be better off not even offering a song of praise/worship to Him.)

Let me sum this up and simply say this-- worship is NOT about us, it is all about HIM. You may sing the songs you want to sing, but if it doesn't honor and glorify who He is, if it is sung with the wrong motive- because it is what you want to sing- then it isn't worship.

Have a great day. May we always remember that it is not about what we sing but to whom we sing.

For further reading:
Colossians 3:16
Acts 16:25
Amos 5:21-23
Judges 5:3
1 Chronicles 16:23-25
Psalm 149:1

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Last night when I was praying, I felt like the Lord spoke a word to my heart. That word was "prepare yourself" The word "prepare" means: To make ready beforehand for a specific purpose, as for an event or occasion. A runner will prepare himself for the race by getting on the track and running day in a day out- he doesn't wait until he is in the race to start his preparation. Football players prepare themselves for the game months and months in advance. They will work out, meet for practice and watch their diet- they don't wait until the day of the game to get prepared for it. Olympic athletes prepare all their lives for that once every four year event. Many of them start training as children. Soldiers are prepared through training before they are sent to the battlefield. People prepare themselves for job interviews by making sure they are dressed nicely and have their resume intact when they get there. People prepare for their driving test by studying the rules of the road. Actors prepare themselves by memorizing and rehearsing their parts. It is that way with most endeavors in life.

None of the above mentioned would even think about undertaking these endeavors without first preparing themselves- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. Yet, isn't it amazing that when it comes to those things that relate to our spiritual life we won't prepare for them. We tend to neglect that area and then try to prepare for it "on the spot" while we are in the middle of it. It doesn't work that way. We have to be prepared ahead of time when the situation arises.

We face temptations daily, so we have to be prepared ahead of time to be able to resist the temptation. We do that by hiding the word of God in our hearts. We have to be prepared for the spiritual battles that come our way by making sure we are familiar with our armor and know how to use each part ahead of time- no soldier waits until he is on the battlefield to try to figure out what his weapons are and how to use them.

When the opportunity arises to witness to someone, when we are confronted about our faith and belief, when a word is needed at the moment, we need to be prepared to give the right answer. We won't give it if we aren't prepared through knowing the scriptures and prayer.

One day we will all stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives. If you aren't prepared for that day, it will be too late then to get prepared. You have to make preparation for your eternal soul in advance- before you get there in His presence.

Preparation takes work and discipline- you can't be lazy and think you will be prepared when the times comes. You must prepare ahead of time- before the battle rages, before the storm comes, before the enquiries, before the winter sets in, before temptation strikes. "If the opportunity arises and you have to go get ready for it, you will miss the opportunity", Smith Wigglesworth. The point is- you prepare ahead of time and stay prepared.

Have a great day. Prepare yourself ahead of time, don't wait, it will be too late.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Your Giving Is Noticed"

"He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour." Psalm 112:9

God's nature is that of a giver. He gave His only begotten Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. He gives gifts to men. He gives us our daily bread. He gives meat in due season. He gives wisdom to those who ask. And the list goes on and on.

His children should posses the same nature and character of their Heavenly Father. Therefore, we should be givers too. We should not neglect to give to those who are in need when it is in our power to do so. Giving is not always monetary giving, but sometimes it is. Giving is based on the need at the moment. Isn't that what the Father does? Supplies the "need". You may need to give a hearing ear, a strong shoulder, a word of wisdom or encouragement, a loaf of bread, a new dress, a light bill or even a cup of cold water to meet the need.

I want to remind you this morning that whatever you give does not go unnoticed by the Father. He notices everything. He takes note of what you have given and when you have given it. He remembers your giving long after you have forgotten it. He remembers and never forgets what you do for others- even if it is a just a cup of cold water to a thirsty person. He remembers what you give to Him and never forgets it either. "She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." (Mark 14:8,9)

Our purpose in giving to God and to others should never be for recognition or to receive a reward in return. But the fact remains that what we do give, God does notice, He does remember and He will reward. So don't grow weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not because the Father is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love. (Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 6:10)

Have a great day. The Father notices your giving and He will never forget it.

For Further reading:
John 3:16
Psalm 145:15
James 1:5,17
Philippians 4:19
Matthew 10:42

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Pet Sins"

"...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us..." Hebrews 12:1

I fell back asleep this morning and when I did, I had a dream. As I sat down to write the devotional the Lord gave me the meaning of the dream and impressed on me to share it with you. I was the character in the dream, but it is a word and warning to us all.

In the dream I had two little bear cubs as pets. They were so cute, so playful, so cuddly, and I loved them. But at the same time in the back of my mind I knew it was not a wise idea to have them- they were wild animals, not pets. I knew that one day their true nature would come out. I had a feeling that one night I would go to sleep and in my sleep they would turn on me, attack me and destroy me. (Perhaps I thought this because on occasion I have watched programs on television about this- people had wild animals for pets and the pets reverted to their nature and killed their owners.)

In the dream I also had three babies. One morning I woke up and the two baby cribs were empty. The cubs had killed, and I guess eaten, the babies- they were gone. The third baby was in my arms looking for her brother and sister. At that point not only was I having to deal with my own pain and utter disbelief at what had happened, but I was having to tell this sad little baby that they were gone and comfort her.

The word/warning to us all is this: you cannot have "pet sins" in your life and not expect them to turn on you one day and destroy you and those you love. They may appear innocent and harmless at the moment, but they will turn on you in a dark hour and destroy everything that is precious to you. They not only will hurt you but they will hurt those around you. Ma'am, do you think that that affair you are having isn't going to come back to "bite" you one day? Do you think that it is not going to hurt your family? Sir, do you think you can continue to watch pornography and not be affected by it? Don't you know it will destroy your relationship with those that you love? These are just two of the pet sins that people have, there are many more. But each one, if indulged and not put in their proper place, will leave you hurting and having to "pick up the pieces" from the mess that you allowed to happen. Don't deceive yourself by saying it will never happen, I can handle it. Sin has a nature too, just like those bear cubs, and its nature will come out one day. You will wake up and have to face its destructive power.

If that is you this morning, sin does not belong in your life. The Lord never tells us to nurture sin but to forsake it instead. It doesn't belong in your life. It belongs under the blood of Jesus, or in the sea of His forgetfulness but not in your life- whether hid in secret or out openly. You may think you can handle them and that they are under control at the moment, but don't deceive yourself, it is sin and sin will always have a payday. Fire is fire and if you play with it you will get burned. You can't play with sin and not expect to reap the consequences. They will come and when they do, it not only will hurt you but those around you and it takes no captives but destroys them instead.

Have a great day. Holding on to "pet sins" will eventually lead to destruction, heartache and pain, for you and for those around you.

For further reading:
Acts 3:19
1 John 1:9
2 Samuel 11,12

Thursday, September 16, 2010


"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

Freedom comes with truth. For example, I know the truth concerning the issue of salvation through faith or salvation through works. I know that we are not saved by good deeds. I know that we can't work our way to heaven or favor with God. I know that salvation comes through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ at the cross. I know that I am saved by the gift of God not the merit of my own endeavor. Therefore, knowing the truth in this area brings me freedom in that area.

Knowing the truth gives me freedom "from" some things. It gives freedom from confusion; freedom from struggle; freedom from deception. It gives freedom from error in that particular area.

Knowing the truth not only frees me "from" the things such as I have named, but it also "gives" some things to me. It gives me peace because I no longer wonder if I am being "good enough". It gives me the ability to stand firm in my belief. It gives me strength to stand in the face of that which isn't truth. It roots and grounds me and places me on a firm foundation.

In His parable of the wise man who built his house upon the rock and the foolish man who built his house upon the sand, Jesus showed us that a wise man will build his life upon God's word (the truth), thus, giving him freedom from destruction when the storms of life come. But a foolish man does not build his house upon the truth of God's word, therefore, he suffers when the storms comes. Summed up, freedom "gives" us life and delivers us "from" destruction.

Have a great day. When you walk in the truth, you walk in freedom.

For further reading:
Matthew 7:24-29
Ephesians 2:8,9

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Not Condemned"

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1

There are so many Christians who feel guilt and condemnation all the time. It is a feeling that you never seem to be able to get over or away from- even when you feel good, you feel bad. You feel condemned about everything. You feel as if everything that you do is wrong or displeasing to God. You are constantly searching yourself to try to figure out where you have missed the mark, what you have done wrong, if there is sin hid somewhere. Even when you can't put your finger on something, you still have that feeling. You are always apologizing to the Lord, even when you haven't done anything to warrant an apology, because of this constant guilt that keeps nagging at you.

If you are living in a life of condemnation and guilt- from either past sins that you did commit or perceived ones- I pray that today will be the day that your life changes. I pray that you will hear and receive the truth today that will make you free. Let me make something perfectly clear-- the condemnation that you are feeling does NOT come from God the Father!!! It is from the enemy of your soul. It is an oppressive spirit that has camped out to torment you- to steal your peace and joy, to kill your witness for Christ and to destroy your relationship with the Father.

Satan is our accuser. He is the one who condemns us. He is the one who tries to convince us that we are guilty when we are not. God does not condemn you. When He sent His Son Jesus into the world, He did not send Him to condemn us, He sent Him to save us because He loved us. When caught in the very act of adultery, Jesus specifically told the women that He did not condemn her and she was to go and sin no more. God does not condone sin, but He does not condemn the sinner-- nor the saved.

If God did not condemn us when we were sinners, why would He condemn us now that we are saved. So don't buy in to the devil's lies. Don't accept his condemnation. Don't listen to his charges and accusations against you. You were once condemned by your sins, but now you are washed and cleansed and forgiven by the Lord. Start walking in that forgiveness. And when that "feeling" comes upon you, put the truth of God's word on it. Believe God- not the devil, not the feelings.

Have a great day. The devil condemns us, man condemns us, our own hearts will even condemn us, but God does not.

For further reading:
1 John 3:20,21
Psalm 37:33
John 8:11; 32
John 3:17
John 10:10

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


"And he lighted upon a certain place..." Genesis 28:11a

There are "places" that we find ourselves in during our lifetime. When I used the word "places", I wasn't necessarily referring to physical location. There are places we find ourselves in mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Some of those places happen as a natural result of life. Death is a natural fact of life- it is appointed unto man once to die. When death hits close to home, we find ourselves in a "place" of grief and sorrow. Some "places" are by Divine appointment- God places us in locations and situations. Those places may be to our liking or not. Remember Joseph in the pit and the palace- divinely appointed by God.

There are also places that we find ourselves in by our "own doing"- we got ourselves there. The disciples found themselves in a place of discouragement, hopeless and fear after the crucifixion. Why and how did they get there? Because they did not believe the word that Jesus had spoken to them just days before. Jesus told them that He was going to be delivered up and put to death. He also told them that He would rise again on the third day. Had they remembered that, they would not have been in the place of despair that they were in. Had they remembered His words they would have been looking with expectation to the third day. They would have had joy and rejoicing of heart because they knew that the cross was not the end.

We, like them, find ourselves in places that we got ourselves into, and the primary reason is because we either forgot what the Lord had spoken to us or we didn't believe what He said. If you are in a place of discouragement, bewilderment, fear or confusion wondering what is happening and why, think back, has the Lord already spoken to you about that situation. Has He given you a promise either spoken to your heart or through His written word? If so, then that is the place you need to be instead-- in the place of standing in faith, peace and assurance that what He has said He will do, He will do.

Have a great day. Don't put yourself in a place because you aren't believing what the Lord has said. Instead put yourself in a place of faith.

For further reading:
John 20:19; 2:19
Hebrews 9:27
Matthew 12:40
Luke 9:44
Matthew 26

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Needing Comfort"

"Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?" Psalm 119:82

When we are going through difficulties, we want to be comforted. We want to be helped, we want to be supported, we want relief, we want a caring touch. We want this of the Lord- that is why we turn to Him in prayer. We want some sign that He is there and that He cares. We want to feel His presence bearing us up in His mighty hands. We want some sign from Him that all is well and that it will be all right.

There are times when we feel the presence of God in our problem that we are looking for in almost a "tangible" way. There are other times when the peace comes in what we consider a "supernatural way" and it seems as though we are instantly translated from the burden of the problem as if it no longer exist. But our comfort doesn't always come in this fashion. Our comfort primarily comes in what the Psalmist is talking about in the first half of the verse. "Mine eyes fail for thy word."

The comfort that you and I so desperately seek is found in God's word. He has given it to us- not only to direct and guide us through life- but to bring us comfort in times of trouble and distress. His word brings peace to our hearts as we remember His promises, as we are assured by His very words that He is with us and that He cares about us.

Are you needing comfort but it seems to evade you? Are you seeking peace in your storm? Are you desiring to hear a word that it will all be well? Are you needing to know that the Lord cares about you and sees you? Then go to His word. Don't neglect it. You will find the peace and solace that you need. His word is peace and life, hope and comfort.

Have a great day. The comfort that we so desperately seek after and search for is found in God's word.

For further reading:
Psalm 119:165;28,50,147,148
Jeremiah 15:16

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Don't Ignore The Battle"

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." John 10:10a

We will always have enemies- some one who opposes and threatens to destroy us. Our greatest enemy is the devil. His primary goal is to "steal, kill and destroy". He uses any thing that he can to accomplish that purpose. So what do you do when he comes? What do you do when you are under attack by him? How do you respond to the battle?

You have to confront the devil. You can't ignore him in hopes that he will go away. You can't just sweep the battle under the rug. You can't pretend it doesn't exist. Ignoring it won't make it go away. Look with me at the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The devil came to Him three times hoping to destroy Him. Did Jesus ignore him? Did He turn and walk away as if he wasn't even there? Did He shut up His ears and tell the devil that He didn't want to hear it? No, Jesus dealt with it. Jesus pulled out His "sword", the word of God, and used it to defeat the enemy- winning the battle.

Did David ignore Goliath? No, he ran out to meet him on the battlefield. He didn't go into hiding. He didn't retreat. He didn't back down or try to pretend that the battle wasn't happening. He faced him and he faced him with the "word of faith".

If you ignore it, or run from it, or try to sweep it under the rug or act like it doesn't exist, it will not just "magically" disappear. It will still be there until you use your battle weapons against it. Just because the Israelite army turned and hid from Goliath didn't make him go away. He was still there, waiting and taunting them day in and day out.

Does this describe you? Are you trying to ignore the battle you are in? Do you think that if you don't acknowledge that it is real that then it doesn't exist- trying to "confess" your way out of it? The battles are real and they are fought against a very real devil who hates you. It is time you stop retreating and running from it and running to it instead. It is time you start speaking to it. It is time you use the word of God- your spiritual sword- like Jesus did. It is time you speak to the giant that is intimidating you. It is time you speak to the mountain to be removed. It is time you shout the word of God to the walls so that they will come down.

Our battles are not against flesh and blood and our weapons are not carnal ones. They are spiritual in nature- such as "speaking the word"- and they accomplish even more than natural weapons do. But they do you no good if you don't use them. So start using them by speaking to the enemy. Start destroying and bringing his attacks down with the sword of God's word.

Have a great day. Ignoring your battles won't make them go away. They have to be fought and won. This is done by speaking God's word in faith to them.

For further reading:
Matthew 4:3-11
1 Samuel 17
Ephesians 6:11-19
Joshua 6:16
Mark 11:23

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Believe What He Says"

"And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send." 2 Kings 2:16

In the verses prior to this one the Lord has taken Elijah up into heaven in a chariot of fire and Elisha has received his mantle. The sons of the prophets saw from a distance what had happen. This brings us to this morning's verse. These prophets wanted Elisha to let them send out fifty men to look in the valleys and mountain tops for Elijah- in the event the Spirit of the Lord had "dropped him off" there. Elisha told them not to go. They continued to be persistent in their request until finally Elisha was ashamed to tell them no again. After searching for Elijah for three days they could not find him. When they returned not having found Elijah, Elisha reminded them that he had told them not to go and look. If only they had listened they would have saved themselves three days of searching and travel up and down mountains and valleys.

Aren't we like these men at times- more often than not? We just have to "see for ourselves". We don't want to take another's word for it. We aren't satisfied until we find out for ourselves. We have to prove it for ourselves. In some cases this isn't a bad thing- there are times we should "check it out" for ourselves. But it becomes a waste of time and just a distraction when we do it after God has "spoken" to us already about it. We could save ourselves a lot of grief and misery if we would just listen to what the Lord says to us and let that be enough.

When we don't trust the word of the Lord, we will wind up in the wilderness, down in the valley or climbing the mountains wasting our time and having nothing to show for it, just like those in the scriptures above. We will only wear ourselves out, become frustrated and start murmuring and complaining. And we will always wind up back at the place where we started. Then we will condemn ourselves by questioning, "Why didn't I listen in the first place? I could have saved myself a lot of trouble!" (Does that sound familiar? It does to me!)

This story sounds so familiar to our everyday lives. If you have children you know what I am talking about. You can tell them something but they don't always believe you, sometimes they think they know better and have to find out for themselves. Like the rest of us, they have to learn it the "hard way". The lesson for us today is: just listen to the Lord, He knows what He is talking about. Believe what He says.

Have a great day. Don't have to learn the lesson the hard way-- listen and believe the Lord when He tells you something.

For further reading:
2 Kings 2:14-18

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Witness Still"

"But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy." 2 Chronicles 36:16

We are in a time in this nation that I don't believe we have ever been in before. Christians are beginning to receive some forms of persecution for our faith. We are losing our freedoms to share the truth of the gospel more and more each day while other religious beliefs are gaining a platform to propel their gospels. What was once accepted as the religious foundation of the nation is now rejected. Even though not everyone chose to receive the gospel of Christ and came to salvation, God was not blatantly rejected, mocked, blasphemed and cursed so openly as He, His gospel and His witnesses are nowadays.

So what am I saying? I am saying this- just because you may be mocked in your faith, just because you may be ridiculed and considered foolish, just because not everyone accepts you, just because you might be rejected, don't stop sharing Jesus' love and plan of salvation for mankind. Don't stop letting your light shine. Don't stop being a witness. Keep being salty. Keep living your lives in such a way where God is honored by men seeing your good works and giving your Father in heaven glory.

Two reasons why we don't quit.
1) Did you read the end of the verse above? There will come a time when God will no longer put up with the people's rejection of Him. When that time comes, there is no escape for those who have rejected and persecuted the gospel and its messengers. The verse above even says that there will be no remedy- nothing that will heal it. In other words, it is too late. That being the case, we can't stop telling them because we know that it is not God's will that any should perish, so we have to continue to warn the wicked man of his wicked way while there is still hope and healing.

2) "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:11,12) There is a reward in heaven that awaits those who don't let the persecutions, taunts and rejections stop them from living for the Lord as His witness. It will be worth it when we leave this earth and stand before our wonderful Lord and Savior.

If you are receiving any sort of "persecution" for your faith, you are not alone and it isn't anything new. Persecution and rejection for the gospel's sake was going on even in the Old Testament days. Our brothers and sisters around the world have been facing it through imprisonments and even death for a long time. But the point is that we must continue to share the gospel that is able to make men wise unto salvation. We can't quit or stop just because they mock us, reject us, talk about us or hurt our feelings. We must continue to share the gospel because Jesus is the only hope for the world.

Have a great day. Don't stop sharing the love and gospel of Christ, that is the only hope for those who are lost.

For further reading:
Matthew 5:13,14
1 Peter 5:9
2 Peter 3:9
Ezekiel 3:18,19

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Be Still In Battle"

"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10a

The Christian life is one of doing. It is full of commands and responsibilities. Those commands are stated through such action verbs as go, study, work, etc. Among our commands to "action" is another one that we don't usually associate with action-- "be still".

There come times when we are to refrain from "doing" and be still and see what the Lord will do. There are times when He will tell us to be still and wait. David was told to wait before he went into battle until he heard the rustling sound in the mulberry trees. Sometimes we want to jump into the battle but instead we need to wait and be still until we have sought the Lord and heard His instructions. This was what got Israel in trouble at Ai. They did not consult the Lord. They hastily went on their own. Had they been still and sought Him first they would have had a different outcome. Esther waited to face the battle against Haman for three days until everything was in place to confront him.

On the flip side, there are times concerning the battles that we face that instead of wanting to run to them and get it dealt with, we want to run from them.
It's in those times when the temptation hits you to run, that you have to "be still". None of us like battles, but they come. They are a way of life-- especially the Christian life. But when they come, be still- resist the urge to run. Don't do anything- don't turn back. Bring your flesh under subjection. Cast down the fear and intimidation. Remember that you are already victorious through Christ- more than a conqueror. Remind yourself that the greater One is in you. Seek the Lord for strength and wisdom.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies." (Psalm 23:5) This verse speaks of being still and not running. Who can sit still and take their leisure to eat a meal when the enemy is before them? Certainly you would rather run than sit still. But it speaks of peace even in the face of battle. The desire to run shows lack of peace and confidence in God. Consider the Israelite army when they faced Goliath- no peace, no faith in God to fight for them-- they wanted to run, and they did by hiding. David on the other hand didn't run from the giant. He had peace because he had confidence in his God.

You may be facing a battle this morning and the urge to run from it is almost overwhelming. If that is you-- don't run, just "be still". Stand still, don't retreat. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore." (Ephesians 6:13,14) In other words-- be still!

Have a great day. There is a time to be still when you are tempted to run to the battle, and a time to be still when you are tempted to run from the battle.

For further reading:
2 Samuel 5:23-25
Joshua 7
Esther 5:1,2
1 John 4:4
Romans 8:37

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Bible Groups"

"Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments." Psalm 112:1

"That delighteth greatly in his commandments." When you read about God's commandments in the scriptures, it is also referring to God's word, His teachings, the scriptures and what the Bible says in general. So when I read this portion of the scripture, I thought about different "categories" of Christians where His word and commandments are concerned.

There are those who ignore and neglect His commands. (I don't know how you can call yourself a Christian and do that.)

Then there are those who are "causal" about it. They only seek out His word when they are in trouble or have a need. These only read it and apply it when they feel like it or think about. They read the word out of habit or because they are doing some Bible reading plan and want to accomplish what they have set out to do- it is more out of duty. In that group are also the ones that are like "roller coasters"- they walk in His commands today, but not tomorrow- they are up and down, on and off, doing it for a while, then not, and they keep repeating the same pattern.

There are also those who enjoy reading the Bible but haven't yet grasped the concept of living by its words.

Another group are those who delight in His commandments. They don't mind taking the time to read it and do their best to apply it in certain areas of their lives.

Finally, you have one more group- those who "delight greatly" in His commandments. Those who delight greatly are those people who love to read it- they don't have to be coaxed. They don't wait until they are in trouble to pick it up. They pattern their lives after its teachings by putting it into practice in their everyday affairs. They seek the Lord to give them understanding and wisdom concerning what they read so that they can apply it to their lives. They study it and seek out the truths that are in it. They adjust their lives and make any necessary changes in order to accommodate and practice doing what it says. They will do their best not to make any moves that are contrary to the commandments and teachings. These have made it the lamp unto their feet, light unto their paths and their daily bread. They know that in the words of the Bible they find God's will, their source of life, their guide to victory and their strength to navigate through this life.

Out of all the different groups of Christians that we have talked about this morning concerning the word of God, on thing remains, a question--- which category are you in?

Have a great day. What is your relationship to God's word? No relationship, a casual one, a good one or a great one?

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Early Seeker"

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." Psalm 63:1

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee." As I read this verse I wondered how true it is in the lives of most believers, or if it is true at all.

There seems to be very little seeking of God, unless we are in trouble and need an answer to a problem. Even then we don't actually seek Him. If the answer doesn't come instantly we get up and go about our way trying to find a solution. Let me ask you a question-- When was the last time you actually sought the Lord in prayer- either for an answer or just to experience His presence in a deeper, more glorious way? When was the last time you sought Him early? Have you set your clock an hour earlier than usual so that you would not be rushed in your prayer time? We get up early to go to work. We get up early to drive to some sort of activity we are interested in. I remember as a child when we would go on vacation, we would get up a long time before daylight and start our journey.

There is something about seeking the Lord early. First thing in the morning. While the rest of the world is still asleep. Before the busyness sets in. The great men of God in our history did it and we are still reading the testimonies of how they "turned their world upside right" for Jesus. Jesus Himself would get up early and seek the Father concerning His will and direction for the day.

Some would protest that you can pray anytime and to say one must pray early in the morning is religious bondage and legalism, and not liberty and grace. No, we can pray anytime. We are admonished in the scriptures to pray without ceasing. But there is something about getting up while there are no interruptions and distractions of the day. There is something about making the sacrifice to deny yourself that extra sleep. There is something about getting out of your "comfort zone"- that nice, soft bed- and seeking the Lord. There is something about doing it then instead of "tagging" your prayer time with Him on after everything else. That "something" is a greater empowerment to live for Him, to work for Him, to serve Him and others and to see His presence manifested in your life in a greater way.

Have a great day. "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee".

For further reading:
Luke 21:38
Mark 1:35
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Trust At All Times"

"Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah." Psalm 62:8

"Trust in him at all times". You would think that there should be no need for Him to have pinned these words in this verse- especially in regard to God's own people. Why would we ever even consider doing anything other than trusting Him and trusting Him completely and totally all the time? Yet, sadly, we don't- or at least we don't always act like we do. This is evident because we are always trying to solve our own problems.

How often do you turn to a person, a group in society, a governmental agency, a banking facility, a natural source, the arm of the flesh, etc. when a problem or situation arises? Is the Lord the first or last place you turn? Is He your last resort when all else has failed? Is He "Plan B" just incase your plan to solve the problem fails?

When He says at all times, He means at all times. All times include the good times, the bad times, the happy times, the sad times, the times of peace and times of conflict, in times of lack as well as in times of plenty. It means in the times when all goes according to planned or when things fall apart right before your eyes-- in times of success and in times of failure. It includes the times when the money runs out, your friends abandon you and if your health breaks. It also means to trust Him in times when you don't feel His presence and in those times when you feel as though you are sitting in heavenly places.

All times is an "all inclusive" phrase- it includes any time periods in your life. Daytime, night time, times when you are young and when you are old. It includes every season of life- the winter and the summer. There is no time that isn't included in "all times".

So again, there should be no need to remind us to trust in the Lord at all times/always- that should come naturally because of our love and devotional surrender to His lordship over our lives. But in our humanity it doesn't always come easily or automatically- sometimes there is a struggle. It's in those times, though, that we have to remind ourselves- "The just live by faith".

If you are struggling with trusting Him at this time, in this situation you are facing- or in anything- step out and exercise your faith. Walk in it. Let it build your confidence and trust in God's unfailing care of you--- at all times.

Have a great day. Let your faith in God take you over the struggle to trust Him at all times.

For further reading:
Habakkuk 2:4
Galatians 3:11
Hebrews 10:38
Psalm 115:11; 118:8
Proverbs 3:5

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Messy House- Part 2"

"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:12

Yesterday we talked about having a "messy house"- translated, a "messy life". We need to guard against getting too busy with the cares of this life that it causes us to neglect our spiritual well being. If we neglect it, it can become cluttered by selfish desires and the works and fruit of the flesh.

This morning I want to talk about another way that causes us to have a "messy" life besides the cares and distractions of this life. That way is laziness. Sometimes my house gets messy because I have just been too lazy to clean it up. (Confession is good for the soul.) There are times when I know I need to wash the dishes or vacuum the floor or do some other task, but I just don't "feel" like doing it. I want to sit down and relax. Or I want to sit back and be entertained. I just simply don't want to do it although I know I should.

We get like that with our spiritual lives as well sometimes-- lazy! We know that we should do those things that tend to godliness and cause us to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord, but we just don't "feel" like doing them. We don't feel like reading our Bibles or praying (unless we are driven to our knees by a problem). We don't want to have to get out of our comfort zone. We don't want to make the effort to discipline ourselves to do what it takes to keep our lives clean and de-cluttered.

Is that where you are this morning? Do you have a case of the "I don't want to"? Do you want to surrender to comfort instead of making the effort to go the next step in making sure your life is not "messy" spiritually? The difference between having a messy house and a messy spiritual life because of laziness is this- I can always hire someone to come and clean my house if I get that lazy, but I can't hire someone to come and take care of my "spiritual house" for me. I am, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the only one who can do that. It is up to me and no one else. If I don't get up off of my "lazy do nothing" then it won't get done. It will only get worse. And worse is something that I can't afford, not if I am going to enjoy an abundant, victorious life and a close intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father that Jesus paid the price through His death to give me- and neither will you. (I sure am glad He wasn't lazy, and got out of His comfort zone and went to the cross!)

Have a great day. A lazy life makes for a messy house- spiritually as well as physically.