Friday, April 28, 2017

"Issues Of Concern"

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."  Psalm 55:22

A couple of nights ago I had a dream that I want to share with you.
The dream:  Several of us were in a room and waiting for others to get there to start our meeting.  For some reason I was suppose to speak and address some issues that were of concern to the folks there.  The people that I was to address and talk with were male and female, black and white.  Before the meeting started some of them were talking about their concerns.  One white gentleman made the comment that he only draws a certain amount of Social Security to live on each month (it wasn't very much).  Then a black lady said that she gets the same little amount each month to try to live on.  As I listened these thoughts and words kept coming to me-- It doesn't matter how many speeches I give, I can say all that I want to them, but the answer to their issues and problems is Jesus.  Only He can take care of these concerns of theirs.

What I received from the dream was this:  It doesn't matter who we are- male, female, black, white, old or young, we all have the same issues, problems and concerns of life.  We are all in the "same boat" together.  We all go through many of the same things.  But, like I said a few days ago in another devotion, we all have the same answer-- Jesus.  My words would not help these people.  My concern over their concerns would not solve their problems.  My speeches would not change their situation.  What I could tell them would not improve their lives or meet their needs.  But Jesus can and will.  He is all our problem solver.  He is our provider.  He has the words that will change our lives, meet our needs and turn our situation around.  He knows the issues that concern you.  He knows what you are facing.  He knows what you are going through.  He-- not men's wise speeches-- are what makes the difference in the issues we face.  He is the answer. 

Have a great day.  Your concerns and issues concern Jesus and He can take care of them.   

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"He Is Also The Lily Of The Valley"

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

Let me preface everything that I am going to say this morning with this-- It is not my desire, or intention, to be condemning, critical or controversial.  When I make this next statement it is out of thoughtful observation.  The statement, or question, is this-- why is it that so many churches just will not sing any of the hymns?  They only want what is new, updated and the latest thing to hit the Christian charts.

The reason I bring this up is because I woke up with an old hymn on my mind that I have not heard in a while and the words truly ministered to me.  Don't get me wrong, I like the choruses and worship songs also.  If it glorifies The Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit, whether it is a chorus or a hymn, I love it. 

Our songs of worship should be to the Lord, never to self, but there are times when I am blessed and encouraged by the words that worship and glorify Him.  But then there are times when I am blessed and encouraged by the words that remind me of what He does, His greatest and His promises. 

Yesterday, I woke up with a newer worship song on my mind.  I was rejoicing that my King was here-- I was blessed by it.  But this morning I woke up with the words from the hymn "Lily of the Valley" on my mind and have been rejoicing because of His loving care for me.  (I will type the words of the song below.) 

I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded that He is my friend and everything to me.  He is all I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.  He is my comfort in sorrow and my stay in trouble.  He has taken my grief and bore my sorrows.  In temptation He is my strong and mighty tower.  He will never leave me nor forsake me.  He keeps me by His power.  He fills my hungry soul.  And through Him I shall safely reach the goal.  

Have a great day.  The King who is here is also the Lily of the Valley.   

  1. Ive found a friend in Jesus, Hes everything to me,
    Hes the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
    The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
    All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
    In sorrow Hes my comfort, in trouble Hes my stay;
    He tells me every care on Him to roll.
    • Refrain:
      Hes the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
      Hes the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
  2. He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
    In temptation Hes my strong and mighty towr;
    Ive all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
    From my heart and now He keeps me by His powr.
    Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
    Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.
  3. Hell never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
    While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
    A wall of fire about me, Ive nothing now to fear,
    From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
    Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face,
    Where rivers of delight shall ever roll.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Inheritance To Obey"

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."  James 1:22

It is not enough to know the word of God, you have to do it-- you have to obey it, live by it and put it into practice in your life.  We aren't justified by our knowledge only, but by applying it to our lives.  It isn't enough to be able to quote the word, the devil quoted the Word to Jesus in the wilderness.  The Pharisees were constantly reminding Jesus of what the law said.

Obeying the Word and living by it is not always easy.  Sometimes it is a struggle.  Sometimes it is hard to do.  Even Jesus who knew what the Father had said (the Word) concerning His mission on earth-- to be the sacrifice and pay the ransom for our sins-- struggled with it in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus and the Father had talked about this before the foundation of the world.  They had decided to redeem mankind before mankind sinned.  Jesus came to earth to fulfill their plan.  While here He obeyed and did everything He heard His Father say.  But then it came time to obey the Father's word/will at the cross.  Jesus prayed three times to let it pass from Him.  He struggled with it because it was not going to be easy-- it would be hard, there would be suffering involved, there would be a separation from the Father, there would be the sins of the whole world laid upon Him and the forces of darkness would be unleashed on Him.  (Talk about being a hard Word to obey.)  But He said-- nevertheless not My will but Thine be done. 

When we are faced with obeying the word, we need to say the same-- nevertheless not my will but Your will.  But how do we do that when obeying is hard?  When it goes against our flesh, our will, our wants, our desires?  What about when we have to deny ourselves, take up a cross, lay down pride and humble ourselves?  We do it by remembering what we discussed yesterday-- we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus.  As an heir everything that the Father has is mine.  The Father has grace and strength.  He has the grace and strength that I need to obey.  Therefore, I can do it-- I can obey the Word even when it is hard to obey it-- because I have grace and strength as an inheritance.  Jesus received that grace and strength in the garden.  Paul received that grace and strength when dealing with the thorn in the flesh.  You and I can be a doer as well as a hearer of God's word because grace and strength is ours.

Have a great day.  When it is hard to be a doer of the Word, your inheritance of grace and strength will help you do it. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"It Is Mine"

"And if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if so it be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together."  Romans 8:17

The Bible says that when we are born-again, we become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ Jesus.  The dictionary defines heir as:  a person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person's death.  Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus we became heirs of God.  This means that all that belongs to the Heavenly Father belongs to us.  It means that whatever belongs to the Son/Jesus we share with Him.

We became heirs of God through faith in Jesus Christ.  So now everything that He has is mine as well.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  The earth is His and the fullness thereof.  That means whatever I need I already have because the Father has it and I am an heir to all that He has.  It is mine!
We are living so far below the privileges, rights and provisions we have as God's heirs.  We live like beggars, paupers, defeated, despondent, fearful, intimidated, weak, downcast, barely getting by, sick, afflicted and overwhelmed people.  

It is time we stop living lives of lack-- spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically-- when we are heirs to the riches of His glory.  We need to start believing, receiving and possessing our inheritance.  

If I need peace, I am an heir to the peace of God that passes understanding-- IT IS MINE.  If I need victory, I am an heir to the victory that overcomes the world through Jesus-- IT IS MINE.  If I need healing, I am an heir to health and healing because of the stripes on Jesus' back-- IT IS MINE.  If I need strength, I am an heir to His perfect strength-- IT IS MINEIf I need wisdom, I am an heir to the wisdom that He gives liberally-- IT IS MINE.  If I have a financial need, I am an heir to all the gold in the hills that He possesses-- IT IS MINE.  If I need understanding, I am an heir to the enlightenment and revelation that He has-- IT IS MINE.  If I need joy, I am an heir to His joy that is unspeakable and full of glory-- IT IS MINE. 

Whatever I need, it is mine because I am an heir.  Whatever He has, it is mine because I am an heir.  It is time we start living like His heirs and receiving all that we need to live the abundant life that He has given us so that we can glorify Him in return.

Have a great day.  All that the Father and the Son have are mine because I am an heir-- it is my inheritance. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

"The Same Answer For All"

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."  Luke 4:18,19

The world is filled with lots of lost people, bound people, discouraged, depressed, sick, weak, fearful, anxious, worried, hurting, lonely, unloved and hopeless people.  But for all these people who are in all these different situations there is one answer.  It applies to all.  That answer is Jesus.

Jesus seeks and saves those who are lost.  He is the way and makes a way for those who can't find their way.  He sets captives free and opens prison doors to those who are bound.  He binds up the broken hearted.  He strengthens the weak.  He lifts up the hands that hang down and are ready to quit and give up.  He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities.  He is a present help in time of trouble.  He is the solid rock upon which we can stand.  He is hope for the hopeless.  He is the peace giver, whose peace is sufficient.  He comforts those who mourn and gives them the oil of joy.  He takes the part of those who fear Him and fights on their behalf.  He gives beauty for ashes.  He exchanges heaviness for praise.  He gives liberty to those who are bruised.  He heals the sick.  He draws near to the beaten and down cast.  He gives mercy and grace to those who have none.  He is with those who are lonely and will never leave nor forsake them.  He is love and lavishes it freely on all who will receive it.   

He is all-sufficient and more than enough for whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are going through and exactly when you need it.  He is the answer for us all.

Have a great day.  There is one answer for everyone regardless of their situation-- His name is Jesus.       

Friday, April 21, 2017

"Water Walker"

"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."  Matthew 14:28,29

You will never walk on water unless you step out of the boat.  The Lord immediately bid Peter to come to Him on the water when Peter requested to do so.  What awaited Peter when he made that step?  Peter's faith was brought to a new level.  He enjoyed the thrill of doing the impossible.  He joined Jesus in this adventure.  He gained a knowledge of Jesus-- His power and His saving grace-- which he had not known.

The Lord wants to take us into new places, new experiences and new revelations.  He wants us to join Him in the plan and purpose He has for each one of us.  But it will not happen if we continue to stay in the boat. 

Many should be "walking on water" with the Lord but aren't because they don't want to leave the "comfort" of the boat.  They are afraid to step out.  The are looking at the "impossibility" of the situation.  They can't see past the natural.  They are stuck in the opinions of others.  They are clinging to what is safe and secure, refusing to let go.  They want to continue to hold on to the familiar.  They aren't trusting enough of the Lord that He will preserve them, help them, enable them and be with them.  As a result, they are missing out on something in their life that will never happen sitting in the boat. 

Is the Lord calling you to a higher place in Him?  Is He calling you to go where you have never been before?  Is He leading you into a new venture?  Is He wanting to relocate you from the boat to the water?  Are you going to let Him?  Are you going to answer His bid to come?  Are you going to trust Him and step out?

Have a great day.  You will never walk on water unless you step out of the boat. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"What Is In There?"

"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me."  John 14:30

When trials come, when temptation comes, when people say bad things about us, and so on, it will show us what is inside of us.  It will show us where our hearts are.  We like to think that we are "perfect", but during these times we will see that our hearts may not be as "pure" as we thought they were. 

Confrontation, problems, trials, and difficulties bring out what is inside our hearts so that we can see what is there.  Without them we won't know.  We will think that all is well.  We may think that we are doing all right, while all the while there may be some pride issue, some rebellion, some unforgiveness, some anger, some bitterness, etc. that is hiding in our hearts. 

The Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked and that we don't know them-- even though we think we do.  We don't know the depth of flesh, carnality and wickedness that may be lurking in them.  Before you say that a Christian can't have wicked thoughts inside their hearts, let me say this-- at salvation our spirit is born-again; our soul, our heart, our mind has to be renewed and transformed.  If there wasn't a chance of wicked thoughts being there, why are we told to "cast them down" and not entertain them? 

This is why we must pray that the Lord will create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit in us.  We should pray it daily, but at the same time we should be on the look out for what comes "out of us" when we are facing something that we don't like to deal with.  When Jesus was tried, tempted, mocked, confronted by evil men, His heart was pure, the devil could find nothing in Him to use against Him, to accuse Him of, to fault Him with, to gain an avenue and access into His life.  The same should be said of us.   

Have a great day.  Going through trials and problems will show us if there is anything in us that does not need to be in our hearts. 

Scripture references:
Romans 12:2
Jeremiah 17:9
2 Corinthians 10:5
Psalm 51:10
Matthew 15:11-19

Monday, April 17, 2017


"For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles."  Ephesians 3:1

There are many Christian songs and hymns that talk about surrendering to the Lord.  Have you surrendered to Him?  Have you surrendered everything to Him?  Are you holding on to something that you need to surrender? 

The Bible calls those of us who put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and follow Him as Lord:  Christians, believers, disciples, servants, children, heirs and prisoners.  We are called prisoners of Christ.  A prisoner is someone who surrenders and submits to the authority of another.  When we think about prisoners, we usually think about people who have committed crimes and are receiving punishment.  As a prisoner of Jesus Christ, that is not the case.  We are prisoners by choice.  We are prisoners of love.  We have freely given ourselves to Him. 

When a person enters a prison, they have to surrender their belongings.  They also surrender their wants, desires, wishes and will.  They become the "property" of someone else.  It is the same for us.  We become His "property"-- surrendered to His will and desire for us.  "For you were bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:20"

When we think of prisoners, it conjures up a negative view.  But being a "prisoner of Jesus" is any thing but negative.  As I said earlier we are prisoners of love.  That being the case, He takes full responsibility for us.  That also being the case, means that we can easily surrender all to Him because He will take care of and replace the "all" that we truly need.  That being the case once again, we can surrender all our trust to Him as well. 

Have a great day.  Are you a love prisoner of Jesus?  If so, have you surrendered all to Him?

Friday, April 14, 2017

"God Gave"

"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

God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus for us.  When did He give Him?  Was it when Jesus was born in a manger?  Was it when He came into the world?  Was it when He walked the shores of Galilee?  It was when He gave Him up to the cross.  

The Father gave His Son when He placed Him on the altar of the cross to be a sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus came to "give" His life as a ransom for our sins.  That giving was done when He hung on the cross.  Up until that time He was only sent into the world.  He was living on earth.  The giving of His life had not happened.  When He prayed in the garden to let this cup pass from Him, the Father could have changed His mind and said, "All right.  You don't have to do it."  Had that happened, He would not have giving His life.  

I hope I am making sense and you are getting the picture.  God loved us so much that He gave Jesus for us.  He exchanged His life for our life.  He punished Him for us.  He laid our death sentence on Jesus.  He pardoned us because Jesus was crucified in our place.  But it was only then that He gave Him.  He gave Him when He gave His life for us.  It was the giving of His Son at the cross that gives us eternal life.  That is what the "whosoever believes in Him would not perish" means.  Believe in His death on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.  

As you celebrate this Resurrection weekend, think about how much God gave for you.  He gave it all-- He gave His Only Son for you.  He gave Him up at the cross in order to gain you as His child.  Remember the cross.  Remember His resurrection.  Remember that He gave so you could have.

Have a great day.  God gave His Son Jesus as the punishment for our sins so that we could have eternal life.   

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Acceptable Deposit"

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

When it comes to salvation, Jesus said that He was the way that leads to eternal life.  That means there is only one way we can come to the Father that He accepts.  So, why is it we think we can come to Him through "many ways"?  Why do we think that whatever way we choose is acceptable to Him?

Let me ask you a question.  If you go to the bank to make a deposit, what will the bank accept as a deposit?  It will accept money.  You will have to deposit money into your account-- that is what they accept.  If you walk up to the bank teller and hand her a chicken and tell her that you want to deposit this chicken into your account, will she accept it and deposit it or not?  Of course not.  She will probably think you have lost your mind.  Let's say you went to the teller and wanted to deposit a magazine-- after all, it is paper and money is paper.  Will she make out a deposit slip or send you away?  What if you then tried to make a deposit with Monopoly money.  Will she accept it?  Why not?  After all it is "money".  The Monopoly banker takes it.  Why won't they?  Let's try to make a deposit one more time.  This time we will take counterfeit money to the teller.  Surely she will let you make a deposit.  It is "money".  It looks like money.  It feels like money.  It is printed with the same markings as genuine money.  It is the same color.  She won't let you deposit it either because it isn't real money even though it looks like it.  The problem is-- you are trying to deposit something that is unacceptable by the bank.  You are trying to deposit something that doesn't meet the criteria for a deposit.

You probably laughed at the analogy.  You probably thought it was ridiculous.  You are probably thinking that it is absurd to think that any one would try to deposit anything other than money.  After all, everyone knows that money is the only thing the bank will accept as a deposit.  I used this analogy because the reality is so many people are trying to gain eternal life by bringing the Lord something that is unacceptable.  They are trying to gain it through good works, right living, religious duties, being moral, and so on.  Some have even tried to be accepted based on the fact that they didn't cheat on their taxes, don't beat their wives, were born in America, don't spend their money gambling-- talk about absurd.  That is as absurd as trying to deposit a chicken.  It won't work.  It is not acceptable.  Money is the only thing the bank will accept.  Faith in Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and give you eternal life is the only thing the Heavenly Father will accept.  If the bank won't accept just anything, what makes you think the Lord will?

Have a great day.  When you go to the bank to make a deposit, money is the only thing they will accept.  When you go to the Lord for salvation, faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing He will accept. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Out Of Control"

I must share the dream that I had right before I woke up this morning with you

I was in my vehicle on my way to pick up my little girl to go to church.  It was a gray, dreary, cloudy, misty rainy day.  I was running late so I was going a little faster than I should have been.  I decided to slow down so I would not have a wreck.  My thoughts were-- (if I am late), it is not the end of the world.  At that precise moment, I lost control of my vehicle.  It was fish-tailing from one side of the road to the other.  Back and forth and back and forth I was going all over the road.  I remember thinking then-- maybe it is the "end of the world" (this life) for me.  I was trying to get it back under control when I saw a huge water puddle quickly approaching.  I calmly said, "Jesus".  My vehicle immediately straightened up.  It stopped fish-tailing.  It was back in its own lane as if nothing had happened.  I proceeded on to pick up my little girl. 

When I woke up, as soon as my feet hit the floor, the words of a song started playing in my head-- "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know, He holds the future.  And life is worth the living just because He lives".
I felt I must share this dream because there is a word in it for someone specifically.  When your life feels like it is out of control, when you feel like your world has come to an end, when you feel like you are being destroyed, when you feel like you are not going to make it, again, when your life is spinning out of control--- call on Jesus.  He will put it back in control.  He will put it back on track.  He will straighten it up. 

In my dream I wasn't afraid even though the vehicle was all over the road and out of control.  I knew I belonged to Jesus.  My life is in His hands.  If I died I would be with Him.  But when I said His name, my situation came back in order and what was out of control got back under control. 

Your life may be spinning out of control, you may be facing chaos and confusion, but like the song says, "Because Jesus lives, you can face it, you don't have to fear.  Because He lives, He can put all things back in their proper place and bring all things under control. 

Have a great day.  Because Jesus lives, whatever is spinning out of control in your life can be brought back into control. 


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"Motivated By Pain"

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  1 Peter 5:7

We all go through times of pain, be it physical, emotional or mental.  Pain can come through the loss of a loved one, through a broken relationship, through the infidelity of a spouse, through the betrayal of a friend, through the rebellion of a child, etc.  Regardless of how pain comes, we have to make a decision about what we are going to do with it.  Why?  Because pain is a motivator. 

Pain will either motivate us in a good way or a bad way.  Let me explain what I mean.  Look at physical pain.  The good side is that it will motivate you to go to the doctor and see what is going on in your body so you can discover if you have a serious illness before it's too late.  The negative side is that it will often motivate you to do nothing because you are hurting.  Thereby, robbing you of doing any activity and not going forward with life

When we are suffering emotional pain, it will motivate us in a good way or a bad way.  Therefore, we have to make a decision about what we will do with the pain.  Will we continue to hold on to it?  Or will we let it go?  If we hold on to it, it will motivate us to be prideful-- I have a right to flaunt my pain and hold on to it.  It will motivate us to revenge-- you hurt me, I will get even.  It will motivate us to bitterness-- at which time we become defiled by it and everyone else around us too.  It will also motivate us to anger, distrust, fear, intimidation, hate, hardness of heart, cruelty, depression and so on.

The good motivation of pain is that it will bring you closer to the Lord.  It will cause you to seek Him out to heal and comfort you.  It will show you how weak and helpless you are and how you can't heal yourself from the pain.  If you make the choice to let it go and give your pain to the Lord, you will discover that His grace is sufficient and His strength will be there for you.  But you have to choose to give your pain to the Lord.  Just like you have to make the choice to forgive a person who hurts you, you have to make the choice to let go of the pain.  The choice is up to you.  You can either let it motivate you into a deeper, darker, worse place of pain.  Or you can let it motivate you to get healing and deliverance.  Which will you choose?

Have a great day.  Pain will motivate you in one of two ways.

Monday, April 10, 2017

"Keeping Up With Who?"

" And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  Romans 12:2

One popular phrase that has been around for years and years is-- "keeping up with the Joneses".  What does it mean?  (Let me give you the definition according to the dictionary.)  It means to try to emulate or not be outdone by one's neighbors.  It is an idiom referring to the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social class or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to "keep up with the Joneses" is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority.

Now days we are trying to keep up with the Kardashians--and everyone else-- as well.  Someone is always trying to keep up with someone else.  It gives them a sense of important.  It makes them feel good about themselves.  It makes they feel better than other people.  It feeds their pride.  It soothes their intimidation.  It makes them feel that they are "somebody".  And they will pursue it no matter the cost.  It may cost them financially.  It may cost them relationships.  It may cost them everything, but they are going to have people's approval and admiration at any cost. 

I hope this is not you especially if you are a born-again believer and follower of Jesus Christ.  If this is you, this devotional this morning is a warning and an admonition.  A warning to flee this evil pursuit.  To stop coveting what others have.  Be content with what you have.  Be grateful and stop trying to be like everyone else, or someone you are not.  Be who God created you to be.  Don't be deceived by the outward appearances of the people you are trying to emulate.  You are not them.  Get deliverance from the pride, intimidation, fear and idolatry that is attached to it. 

I admonish you to remember that you are not of this world.  You are a pilgrim and wanderer in this life.  This is not your home, you are passing through.  You have a home above in heaven in the Father's house.  I admonish you to stop comparing yourself to someone other than Jesus.  Your goal is not to keep up with some other person, it is about lining your life up with Jesus.   So seek God's approval- not man's.  Seek to be like Jesus- not some wealthy, famous, socially accepted person 

I am not talking about not trying to better yourself.  I am talking about doing it the "right way".  The only way to truly "better ourselves" is by being conformed to Jesus' image.  It comes as we decrease before the Lord-- not try to increase in material betterment.  It comes as we surrender to Him and allow Him to make us into the person He desires for us to be.  When we do, we won't have to struggle any longer with getting man's approval if we will set our hearts to get God's approval.      

Have a great day.  Who are you trying to "keep up with"? 

Friday, April 7, 2017

"The Basket"

"And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink."  Exodus 2:3

There are two stories in the Bible, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament,  where a basket was used as a means of protection.  One was the story of how Moses was placed in a basket and hid among the tall reeds.  The other was when Paul was lowered down out of the city of Damascus over a wall.

Both the baby Moses and Paul were placed in a basket to protect them from those who were trying to kill them.  Moses from Pharaoh.  Paul from the Jews. 

Today we don't put people in a literal basket for safety.  But we can still place them in a "basket" for protection.  The basket that I am referring to is intercessory prayer.  

Moses' mother interceded (intervened) on behalf of his life and placed him in a physical place of protection from the men who were trying to kill him.  Paul's fellow Christians interceded (intervened) on his behalf and placed him in a physical place of protection from those who were trying to kill him.  Those who sought to kill Moses and Paul were physical enemies.  We may not have flesh and blood enemies who are trying to kill us, but we do have a spiritual enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy us and everyone else-- our family, our friends, our leaders, etc

As we intercede for them we are placing them in a "basket of protection".  We are asking the Lord to watch over them, to deliver them, to keep them safe from harm and danger, and so on.  Are you interceding for others?  Are you placing them in a place of safety-- under God's protection?   

Have a great day.  When you intercede and pray for others, you are placing them in a "basket of protection". 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Word For Someone

This morning the Lord has laid on my heart what I believe is a personal word for someone.  This is what He says:

"I have heard your cries.  I have seen your tears and your fears.  I have heard your accusations against me.  You have said that I have left you, forsaken you, and abandoned you.  You have said that I don't care about you.  You have said all this out of your pain, heartache and confusion.  I assure you this day that I have not left you.  I am with you.  I have not abandoned you.  I have been and still am with you

I never said that life would be easy.  I never said that the road in which you travel would not be hard.  I never said that you would not experience difficulties as you go through life.  What I did say was that I will be with you every step of the way.  What I did say was that I would enable you to make it through.  I would strengthen you in weakness.  I would comfort you in pain.  I would guide you in decisions.  I would give you peace in confusion.  I would help you and uphold you with My strong right arm and mighty power.  I said I would carry you, and even though you are unaware of it-- I am doing just that.   

You must trust me.  You must believe me.  You must cleave to My word and My promises.  I am not like men who lie.  I do what I say I will do.  I am the faithful and True God.  I am your God-- much more-- your Heavenly Father, and I care deeply and dearly for you.  Trust Me. Come to Me for what you need.  Don't come just so you can accuse Me.  I am with you always whether you feel Me or not.  Even when you don't sense My presence I am near and I am here." 

Whoever you are, please receive this from the heart of the Lord who loves you so much that He was willing to give His own life for you.

Love and blessings in the Lord

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Touched By Jesus' Suffering"

"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

Last night I went to see the "Heaven's Gates & Hell's Flames" presentation.  The first scene opened with the crucifixion of Jesus.  As the hammer was driving the nails and His beaten body laying on the cross, my heart began to cry and tears started rolling down my eyes.  I love Jesus and to see Him going through such torment and agony hurts my heart

As I watched this scene, the thought came to me-- do we weep, do we hurt, does it touch our hearts when we see a presentation of the crucifixion?   We see lots of movies about the crucifixion, especially during this time of year- Resurrection (Easter).  But are we still touched and moved by them, or has it become a "common" thing for us?  Just another movie?  Just another actor playing a part?  Have we become accustomed to seeing "Jesus crucified" that we don't think much of it any more?

Each time we watch a presentation of the crucifixion, it should cause us to weep.  Weep with sorrow.  Sorrow because of our own sins and the fact that what Jesus did, He did for us.  He was perfect.  He was sinless. He was innocent.  But He was taking the punishment of our sins upon Himself so that we could be forgiven, restored to right relationship with the Father and given the opportunity of eternal life.  He suffered for us.     

It should cause us to weep tears of gratitude and thanksgiving for had He not gone to the cross; had He not endured the pain and shame; had He not been crucified; had He not surrendered to the Father's will and plan; we would be hopelessly, eternally lost.  We could not save ourselves no matter how many "good/religious deeds" we did.  It took the cross.  It took Him laying down His life.  It took Him suffering.   

The cross, the death, the suffering of Jesus should never become common and something we get accustomed to.  It should always make us weep.  It should always touch our hearts with sorrow and thankfulness. 

Have a great day.  Are you touched when you see a presentation of the crucifixion, or is it just another movie?       

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

"Believe And Follow"

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."  Matthew 16:24

For the past week the words of an old hymn have been going through my thoughts.  "He leadeth me! He leadeth me!  By His own hand He leadeth me; His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand He leadeth me."

I am concerned that there is a generation in "Christianity" that knows nothings about "following the Lord".  They think it is about going to church, being involved in church activity and socializing, being a good person, practicing some religious duty and believing in Jesus.

From the beginning the call to Christianity has always been about "following Jesus".  This was the first message He preached while on earth-- "Follow Me".  When did it go from following Him, to simply believing in Him? 

Believing in Jesus is not enough-- even the devils believe.  Even they know Jesus is the Son of God.  But they do not follow Him.  Many who profess to be Christians and believe in Jesus don't follow Him either. 

There is a criteria that one must meet in order to not only be a Christian but to have eternal life and go to heaven.  That criteria was set by the Heavenly Father Himself.  It is to believe on His Son Jesus as Savior and Follow Him as Lord.  Are you?  Is He leading you? Is He leading your life?  Are you following Him, His plan and His purpose for your life?  Are you letting Him lead you?

Have a great day.  Christianity is about more than just believing.  It is about following also.    

Monday, April 3, 2017

"The Valley Of"

"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

Walking through the valley of the shadow of death is probably the hardest place there is for us to walk through-- whether we are facing it personally or have gone through it with a loved one. 

Look at this valley of the shadow of death a moment.  First, it is a valley.  Valleys are low places.  Valleys are surrounded by mountains looming over them on both sides.  This valley is a place of shadows.  A shadow is a dark area produced by something coming between light rays and a surface.  Who knows what "lurks" in the shadows?  They are places where things can hide and not be detected.  This valley is associated with death.  Death is feared by many.  Death seems so final and hopeless.  Death is not something most want to face.  Death is never alone it is accompanied by grief, pain and sorrow.  Evil seems to be present in this valley because the Psalmist proceeded to say that he would fear no evil while in the valley of the shadow of death.   

Even though it is a hard place to walk, or travel, it is not impossible to get through it.  Namely, because you never walk through it alone-- "Thou art with me".  Jesus is walking with you through it.  When the valley looks fearful and you become afraid, His rod and staff are present to comfort you.  You don't have the fear the valley.  You don't have to fear the low places.  You don't have to fear what is "looming" over you.  You don't have to fear what lurks in the shadows.  You don't have to fear evil.  You don't have to fear the darkness.  You don't have to fear death.  You don't have to fear the unknown and uncertainty of what is in the valley.  

Are you walking through a valley today?  Instead of looking at the things about the valley that bring fear, remember this-- the Shepherd is in the valley.  He is there with you.  He is there to guide you through it, to comfort you while in it, to protect you, to help you and to provide everything you need to get through it.

Have a great day.  The valley may look fearful, but the Good Shepherd is with you in the valley.