Tuesday, October 31, 2017


"Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight."  Hosea 6:1,2

Many will be celebrating Halloween tonight in one form or other-- parties, Trick or Treat, Trunk or Treat, bonfires, festivals, etc.  But some will be remembering something else that took place 500 years ago on this day.  It was when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to a church door.  This began the Reformation.

The dictionary defines reformation as:  the action or process of reforming an institution or practice; making a change in order to improve something.  When he nailed the Thesis to the door, there was a much needed spiritual awakening in the church.  The church was in a dark time.  It was not holding to the scriptures.  It was rewriting them to suit their own desires.  They were not holding to the truth.  They had become nothing but a religious organization.  They had left out the good news of salvation through Jesus and replaced it with law and penance

Five hundred years later and here the church as a whole is again, in the same place.  We have replaced the gospel with self-help teaching.  We have compromised the Word to suit our own desires.  We have watered-down the gospel.  We have not taught the truth.  We have had to come up with our own plans, programs and schemes to reach the lost because we have lost the anointing.  Faith in Jesus isn't taught much.  Repentance, surrender, holiness, obedience, transformation, righteousness, death to self, taking up one's cross have all been cast by the wayside in order to make church seeker-friendly.  If ever we needed a Reformation it is now.  I pray that on this 500th anniversary, that the Lord will graciously send us a Reformation.  Not just a change for change-sake but a change that will bring us back to true Biblical Christianity.

Have a great day.  Pray for a reformation that will bring us back to truth.

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Look Only At Him"

"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."  Matthew 14:30

The other evening I caught the last few minutes of a movie---PompeiiThe volcano was erupting and destroying everything.  There was a man and woman who were in love with each other and they were trying to flee together to safety.  They were fleeing on horseback but the horse stumbled.  They both fell off.  He told her to get on the horse and save herself.  She would not.  Instead she sent the horse away and they were left there to face death together.  The fire and lava were coming their way.  It was a frightening scene.  She would look in fear at what was about to engulf them and kill them.  Then he said something to her.  He told her to look at him.  He told her not to take her eyes off of him.  "Look at me and nothing else".  She did and her fear subsided.  She kept her eyes fixed on him-- the one she loved-- and not on what was happening around her.  Then they died.

As I watched that scene, it made me think about what Jesus would say to us in our times of fear and trouble.  "Keep your eyes on Me.  Don't look at anything else".  He told Peter to come to Him on the water.  As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus he walked on water.  When he took his eyes off, he sank.  When he took his eyes off of Jesus, fear took hold of him. 

When we are going through the fire, through the storm, through the flood, through trials, through tribulations, through problems, through overwhelming odds, through things that would surely destroy us, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus.  Don't look at what you are going through.  Don't look at what you are facing.  Don't look at what is coming upon you.  If you do, it will bring fear, hopelessness, despair, confusion, defeat and anxiety.  Set your gaze, set your eyes, focus on and don't stop looking at the One who is the Lover of your Soul.  He is the One who loves you with an everlasting love, will never leave you, will walk with you, will stand beside you, will embrace you, will carry you and will be with you even until the end. 

Have a great day.  Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the circumstances around you.  Look only at Him.   

Friday, October 27, 2017

"Just Hang Up"

"Neither give place to the devil."  Ephesians 4:27

I get telemarketing calls all the time.  If I recognize it as one on my Caller ID I don't answer it.  If I do answer, sometimes I will listen to their whole "spill" and then politely tell them I am not interested-- I don't want to be rude.  But sometimes I will just have to hang up on them.

When the enemy comes with his lies, condemnations, accusations, enticing words, you have to do the same thing that you do with the telemarketer-- don't answer.  Many of you are getting into trouble because you are answering the "phone".  You "pick it up" and listen.  You know it is the enemy coming to plant wrong thoughts and lead you astray.  You know it is him trying to deceive you and make you believe his lies.  Yet you listen.  Don't listen.  Don't answer.  And if you do answer, don't be "polite" with him.  Don't give him any place.  Hang up once you recognize who it is.  If he can plant the thought in your mind, he will have you hooked.  You will start believing him.  And you will start acting on that belief. 

So, don't answer the enemy's call.  If you do, don't engage in conversation with him.  Don't try to reason or explain anything.  When you recognize who it is, hang up.  Period!  End of discussion!  Cut him off!  Hang up!!!

Have a great day.  Don't answer the enemy's call or if you do don't listen, just hang up on him!    

Thursday, October 26, 2017


"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."  Isaiah 6:8

Last night at Bible study we were talking about the verse above.  Many in the Bible answered this same call and left all they had to follow the plan of God.  The call is still going out today, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"  Some are answering that call.  Some are not. 

I believe there are many who want to answer but aren't because they don't think they are good enough, spiritual enough, educated enough, too weak, not brave enough, not qualified or aren't perfect.  Some think they have too much "baggage" from the past and can't be used by the Lord.  There are those who think they are just a "nobody" and God doesn't use a "nobody".

When God gave you the call, do you think He didn't know who you are?  Do you think He doesn't know that you are weak, have faults and aren't perfect.  He made you from dust and He remembers that.  Do you think He didn't know Peter had a temper, Moses stuttered, Paul was a persecutor, Ruth was a Moabite, David was a shepherd boy, Josiah was eight years old, etc.?  But He called them.  

He knows all your faults, short-comings, lack, inadequacies, failures, problems and disabilities.  Yet He is still calling.  He uses the weak and foolish to confound the wise and strong.  He used (and still uses) the has-beens, the tax-collectors, the publicans, the murders, the prostitutes, the discarded by the world, the fishermen, the self-righteous and He transforms them to "fit" the place He calls them to.  You have heard it said, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." He calls the qualified and unqualified.  He calls us all and waits for us to answer.  All He is looking for is someone who is "willing".  And if we are "willing and obedient" we will "eat the good of the land".  In other words, we will prosper in what we have been called to do, because He will perfect what concerns us so that we can not only be willing but obedient and prosperous in the task He calls us to.

Have a great day.  All God is looking for is someone who is willing to be sent.  He will take care of the rest.    

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."  Isaiah 54:17No weapon formed against you shall prosper.  Why?  Because Jesus has already disarmed them!! The weapons of the enemy have lost their destructive power in our lives.  That is good news.  It should give us peace and hope and encourage our faith. 

The verse doesn't say that there won't be weapons formed against us.  The enemy will always form weapons against us.  That's what he does.  His goal is to steal, kill and destroy.  But what he uses to do that with has no power behind it because its power has been disarmed.  Jesus disarmed it at the cross when He was victorious over sin, death and the devil. 

When he devises weapons against us, the goal is not physical destruction.  His goal is to destroy us spiritually.  His goal is destroy us eternally.  He may use something physical like sickness, false accusations, conflict in a relationship, loss of your financial support, and so on.  But he is after destroying your eternal soul, your relationship with the Lord, your spiritual well being and your spiritual gifts.  He wants to make you get angry, become fearful, hate your neighbor, break your heart and plant bitterness and unforgiveness in your mind.  That is what his weapons are set on to seek out and destroy. 

Again, Jesus has disarmed the weapons the enemy uses against you.  They don't have the power to destroy you spiritually.  They don't have the power to make you bitter.  They don't have the power to make you turn your back on the Lord.  They don't have the power to make you fearful.  They don't have any power, unless you give them that power.  Remind yourself when the weapons are formed against you-- "Jesus disarmed you.  You have no power against me".  Speak to the weapons when they are formed against you and say-- "Jesus disarmed you.  You have no power against me".  Believe it when the weapons are formed against you-- "Jesus disarmed you.  You have no power against me". 

Have a great day.  No weapons formed against you shall prosper because Jesus has disarmed the weapons.  He disarmed their destructive power.   

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Spiritual A.D.D."

"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."  Colossians 3:2
I believe the church is suffering from Spiritual A.D.D.  The dictionary defines it as:  a developmental disorder that is marked especially by persistent symptoms of inattention (such as distractibility, forgetfulness, or disorganization) or by symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity (such as fidgeting, speaking out of turn, or restlessness) or by symptoms of all three and that is not caused by any serious underlying physical or mental disorder.

Why would I say that it is my belief that the church is suffering from it?  Because we seem to be so easily distracted from our first love, from our commission, from our communion with the Lord, from our prayer time, from Christian disciplines, etc.  

What has caused it?  We have allowed the cares of this life to distract us.  We have let the lust of our own flesh, the desire for entertainment, the busyness of our calendars to cause us to be inattentive to the disciplines of prayer, Bible reading and studying, to church attendance, to witnessing, to giving alms, and so on.  We easily loose our focus on the things of God at the "drop of a hat".  One thought is all it takes to make us leave our prayer closet and do none of the spiritual graces.   

Do you have Spiritual A.D.D.?  This is a test to see if you do.Is your attention on fulfilling your grocery list more than it is on listening to the Spirit Who may want you to witness to someone in the store?  Do you go into your prayer closet and leave before you have prayed because your thoughts keep wondering to other things?  Do you quench the voice of the Spirit because you are involved in some activity and do not want to stop?  Do you neglect to read your Bible because your favorite movie is on?  Do you give up in your time of praise because all the thoughts of what else you need to be doing keep flooding your thoughts?  How many did you answer yes to?

What is the cure?  It is called "perseverance".  When you go to prayer and your thoughts are trying to captivate your attention, don't do what most of us do and give up and get up.  Capture those thoughts.  Bring them into obedience to the Lord.  Keep capturing them until you get victory over them.  Don't give up.  Keep pressing in and on.  You can win over them.  Greater is He that is in you than the thoughts that are distracting you.  When you do any thing, set your mind to first seek the Lord and don't let anything distract you.  Use your God-given authority and in the Name of Jesus pull down that distraction.  Do it as many times as you have to.  It is not greater than you are.  But you have to keep persevering.  The victory over it is yours. 

Have a great day.  Are you suffering from Spiritual A.D.D.?  There is a cure.  It is called "persevere and capture".       

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Little With Much"

"...for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..."  Luke 12:48

We have been given so much, yet we have accomplished so little.  The early church didn't have all the "resources" that we have available to spread the gospel, yet they turned their world "upside down" for the Lord.  All they had was the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  Through the Spirit they saw salvations by the multitude, healings that were innumerable, people set free from demons and lives changed.

Why aren't we seeing the same things happening?  Why are our neighbors still lost, the sick still sick, the bound getting deeper in bondage and our world still in trouble?  We have been given much but have done so little with it.  When I say we have been given much, I am not referring to all the resources and technology that we have at our disposal to reach the lost and proclaim the gospel.  I am mostly referring to the power of the Holy Spirit to set captives free, open prison doors to those who are bound, bring conviction to the hearts of the lost, empower the weak, heal the sick, cast out devils and preach the Word with boldness and authority 

Perhaps the reason why we are seeing so little accomplished and are not "turning our world upside down" is because we have trusted in "our much"-- not the Lord's much.  We have trusted in our technology, our resources, our plans and programs, our intellect, our knowledge, our abilities and our education to accomplish the Great Commission.

The power to see lives, and our world, changed doesn't come through any resource of the flesh, but it comes through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit and co-laboring with the Him.  "Ye shall receive power to be my witnesses after the Holy Spirit is come upon you." (Acts 1:8)  I am not saying that the Lord can't use some of these "resources" but they are never to replace His power to touch and change lives.  They can't.  Perhaps the reason we aren't seeing more is because we have become more dependent on what "we have" instead of "Who He is".   

Have a great day.  We have accomplished so little with the so much that we have been given. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

"Living By It"

"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."  Matthew 26:52

"If you live by the sword you will die by the sword".  In other words, if you take to violence you can expect violence in return.  One commentary said-- If you live a certain way, it will shape your life and your ultimate destiny. 

Let's take it a step further and move out of the physical realm-- after all, we don't carry "swords" around with us today.  Or do we?  If you live by hate you can expect hate in return and that hate will eventually destroy you.  If you live by the rule of revenge, it will ultimately destroy you.  If you live by the sword of bitterness, bitterness will consume you and destroy you in the end.  If you carry the "sword" of unforgiveness with you, you will wind up being destroyed by it.  If you live by anger, anger will destroy you in the end. 

On the other hand, if you live by the Word of God-- love others, forgive one another, let the Lord do the vengeance, walk in peace, turn the other cheek, go the second mile, don't return evil for evil, love your enemies, pray for those who use you and mistreat you, humble yourself before the Lord, be a living sacrifice, etc.-- you will be like the wise man who built his house upon the rock.  You won't have to worry about being destroyed by the "sword" because you are not living by it.  Therefore, your house/life will stand.  When we live by the "sword" it will eventually "kill us"-- we will be consumed by it.  But if we live by the Word, we will have life-- abundant life.   

Have a great day.  Are you living by the "sword" or the Word of God?        

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Memorize It To Live It"

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

Some of us were talking before Bible study last night and wondering how many people in the church now days can quote the Ten Commandments.  When I was growing up, we memorized scriptures.  We learned the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, John 3:16, the Lord's Prayer, the 23rd Psalms, the Roman's Road, and many more.  Do people, do our teenagers, do the children still learn and memorize scriptures today?  

When we use to learn them, we were given awards for learning them.  It was a good feeling to have accomplished the memorizing of the verses.  Back then, to me personally, it was about the award and the accomplishment.  Today, the verses that I learned have carried me through numerous difficulties and decisions in my life.

The Word isn't to be memorized only.  It isn't to be learned to gain knowledge only.  We need to apply the Word to memory and hide it in our hearts because it is life to us.  Without it we don't have life.  Without it we don't have truth.  Without it we don't have a weapon to use when the enemy comes.  Without it we don't have a light to shine when we are in darkness.  Without it we don't have a compass to point us in the right direction.  Without the Word we can be traveling down the wrong road through life.  Without it we don't have a deterrent to sin. 

Scripture memorization is not "old school" or "old fashioned".  It is vital if we are going to live a victorious Christian life.  It is vital if we are going to be overcomers.  It is vital if we are going to be successful in life.  It is vital for our eternal well-being.  "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."  Joshua 1:8

Have a great day.  The Word is meant to be memorized, learned and lived by   

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Continue To Victory"

"And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Strike the ground. And he struck three times, and stopped.  And the man of God was angry with him, and said, You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria till you had consumed it: whereas now you shall strike down Syria but three times."  2 Kings 13:18,19

We tend to think that just because we prayed about a matter once, or did spiritual warfare in prayer one time, we can stop.  We have done all we need to do.  I know there was a teaching going around once upon a time that said if you prayed about a situation more than once you really didn't have faith the first time.  This isn't always true.

Sometimes we have to go after the enemy many times in order to defeat him and get the victory that already belongs to us.  Jesus taught that some things come by fasting and prayer-- that is continual.  Elisha rebuked Joash for not striking the arrows on the ground, symbolizing the defeat of the Syrians, many times-- until they were consumed.  The Lord God hit Egypt with ten plagues-- not only one.  He continued until all the "gods" of Egypt had been defeated.  Jesus taught the parable about the woman who would continually go to the unjust judge with her case.  Even in our video games we have to battle through many levels before we win the war. 

Jesus already gave us victory.  The enemy is already defeated.  But that doesn't mean we don't have to still do battle.  The victory is there-- we always triumph in Christ.  But to experience that victory we have to fight some battles.  And those battles are fought through repetition, perseverance and on many levels.  Don't quit striking until you have gained total victory.

Have a great day.  Keep fighting the battle, over and over again, until the victory is manifested.   

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Praise Is Faith"

"And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endures forever." 2 Chronicles 20:21

When the Israelites were facing a battle with many nations all gathered together against them at once, instead of sending out the military first the king sent out the worshippers.  The "choir" led the way.  When we are in a crisis, facing trouble, have a problem or going through a difficulty, the first thing we tend to do is withhold our praise.  But this is the last thing we should do.

We should never withhold our praise especially when facing a "battle".  Praise brings the presence of God.  It is a powerful weapon.  It magnifies God and in turn increases our trust in Him and His ability. 

We tend to withhold it because of what we see-- the "army" against us.  We tend to withhold it because of what we feel-- overwhelmed, discouraged, defeated.  Praise is not a "physical" thing.  Praise is spiritual.  Praise involves a step of faith.  This is why it is called a "sacrifice" of praise.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Praise is an act of faith because it doesn't see the victory, but praises the Lord anyway.  

The just live by faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please the Lord.  When we praise the Lord, even in difficultly, it is the evidence of our faith in God.  It is a sign of our faith in Him.  When we withhold it, it shows our lack of faith that He will do what He says He will do-- fight the battle for you.

Have a great day.  Don't withhold your praise, it is the evidence of your faith.       

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Good Outcome"

"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

In the movies the boy always gets the girl, the villain is always defeated, the star always survives, the main character always recovers from a sickness, blindness or gun-shot.  They always end with someone either "riding off into the sunset" or living "happily ever after".  But that is the movies, it is not reality.  Life isn't perfect.  It doesn't always turn out perfect.  People don't always recover.  The boy doesn't always get the girl.  The good guy doesn't always win.  In the "real world" there is pain, heartache, grief, struggle, sadness, etc.     

We try to live life like the movies.  We all want things to go well like in the movies.  We all want to live happily ever after.  We all want life to be perfect.  But that is a fantasy.  We want a good outcome all the time and we think that if it isn't a good outcome then it isn't good.  We think that in order for it to be good, the situation has to turn out good.  God's definition of a "good outcome" is not necessarily the same as man's definition. 

The cross certainly didn't look like it had a good outcome.  It looked like death and defeat.  But it was a "good" outcome.  It was not a place of defeat.  It was a place of victory.  Sin and death were defeated so they could have no more power over us.  It wasn't a place of darkness.  It was in fact a place of light.  The cross was a shining beacon illuminating the path to eternal life.  It was in reality a place of hope, love, victory and life.

You may be facing a situation and praying for a "happily ever after" ending.  Judge the outcome by the Lord's definition and not your own.  He will and does make all things work together for good.  Even if the outcome doesn't look good to you.

Have a great day.  God's definition of a good outcome and ours is not always the same.  But it is good none the less. 

Friday, October 13, 2017


"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."  Psalm 42:1

The other night at church we were talking about why we don't see the move of God like we should or would want to.  What is the problem?  How are we lacking?  We were also talking about surrendering totally to the Lord.  My pastor made the statement that one reason is because we aren't desperate for the presence of God.

As he said that I thought-- that is so true, we aren't desperate for the Lord.  We aren't desperate to know Him personally and intimately.  We aren't desperate to know His heart, His plan and His will.  The only time we truly get desperate is when we have a need, have a problem, need His help or are in trouble.  When those times come, we get desperate.  We will seek Him.  We will turn to Him.  We will cry out to Him.  We will pray to Him.  We will bargain with Him.  We are in a desperate situation and desperately need His help so we will get desperate in seeking Him. 

If we treated seeking Him all the time the same way we do when we are in a desperate situation, our relationship would be totally different with Him.  It would be more evident.  It would demonstrate more power.  It would make our lights shine brighter.  It would make us saltier in this world.  It would completely change and transform our lives.

Are you desperate for the presence of God in your life?  Are you desperate for a closer intimate relationship with Him?  Are you like a deer who isn't satisfied until it finds water when it comes to seeking the Lord?  Is He your longing and desire?  Do you only draw close to Him when you have a problem or need?  It is time we get a hunger and thirst, a longing and desire, a desperation for the presence of God.  It will make a difference in our lives and the world around us.

Have a great day.  How desperate are you for the presence of God? 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Job's Wife"

"Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die."  Job 2:9

We know that when Job came under attack by satan, he lost everything.  He lost his herds, servants, children and health.  All he was left with was a wife.  And she encouraged him to "curse God and die".  Do you ever wonder why God didn't let satan take her too?  After all, she was no help to Job.  She gave him bad counsel and certainly didn't make his suffering any better.

I think Job's wife gets a bad rap.  The book primarily focuses on Job, but she is there behind the scenes.  She is there grieving as well.  She lost everything along with Job.  She lost her children-- not only one or two, but all of them in one moment.  She carried them, nursed them, nurtured them, took care of them.  A mother's heart is her children.  Behind the scenes she was suffering and suffering alone.  Her husband couldn't comfort her because he was dealing with his own illness and accusing friends. 

Although we don't see or hear much about Job's wife other than her statement to "curse God and die", we learn lessons from her life like we do from Job's. 

Those lessons?  God did not let satan destroy her because He still had a plan for her-- He was not finished with her yet.  The devil can't destroy you when God has an unfulfilled destiny/plan that awaits you. 

Although she made that statement, God knew that she spoke from her pain, not her heart for Him.  Often in times of grief, confusion, suffering and pain we say and do things that we would not normally say or do.  God understands, He remembers our frame and is still loving, gracious and patient with us. 

He was going to bring joy out of her pain.  He knows how to bring joy out of your pain.  Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  And with that joy comes renewed hope and strength.  

He was going to glorify Himself through, and in spite of, her suffering.  He knows how to work all things together for good. 

God used her as part of Job's restoration.  When the Lord brings you through a time of darkness, He can use you to bring restoration, comfort and consolation to someone else.  The book ends by letting us know that Job had other sons and daughters after his trial.  And his daughters were the fairest in the land.  Where did those sons and daughters come from?  How carried them in her womb?  Who gave birth to them?  The same one who said, "curse God and die".  The Lord completely restored and healed her and fulfilled His purpose through her.  

You may think you have "messed up" so badly that there is no hope from you.  Not true.  Think about Job's wife and remember that the same grace and mercy is available to you as well.  

Have a great day.  When you think about Job's wife, be encouraged.    

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"Facing The New Place"

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."  Joshua 1:9
Joshua was getting ready to go somewhere he had never gone before and do something he had never done before.  He was embarking on a new phase, new season and new experience of his life. 
He knew what it was like to be born and raised in slavery in Egypt.  He knew what it was like to be delivered out of the hand of Pharaoh and become a free man.  He knew what it was like to wonder around in the wilderness for forty years.  He knew what it was like to follow and serve under Moses for forty years.  But now he was getting ready to step into another role.  He would be leading the Israelites out of the wilderness and into the land that was promised to them by God. 
Talk about needing courage, he needed it.  There are times when we go through places, situations and seasons that we have never been through before.  Life is full of new experiences.  Some of them are taxing.  Some of them are fearful.  Some of them push us to our limits.  What do we do?  We do what Joshua did.  We trust the Lord.  The Lord's word to Joshua was the same as it is for us today-- "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." 
We trust the Lord to lead us, guide and be with us just like He was for Joshua.  He made Joshua a promise and we see that He fulfilled it.  He made us the same promise-- to be with us, to never leave us nor forsake us, to give us courage, to give us strength, to give us boldness, to give us peace and everything else we need in this new place. 
Have a great day.  Whatever new place you are facing, take courage, the Lord is with you. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

"Understanding Trust"

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him."  Job 13:15

There are things that happen in our lives and we understand the reason why they happened.  For example, if I overeat, then I understand why I have a stomach ache.  If I am running late for an appointment, the reason was because I overslept.  But there are times when things happen and we don't know why they are happening.  We don't know the reason.  We can't figure it out.  We wonder what did we do?  Did I do something wrong?  Did I open the door to something that is causing my problem now?

Many times we are facing the consequences to our actions and choices.  Many times we are reaping what we sowed.  But sometimes we just can't figure it out.  Sometimes we just don't have the answer.  Sometimes it just doesn't make any sense.  Job couldn't figure out what was happening to him, or why.  He didn't know what had transpired in heaven between God and satan.  He only knew that he was suffering but he didn't know why.     

What do we do in those times?  One thing that we do is not to stay so focused on the why.  Yes, we should ask the Lord and if the Spirit reveals the reason to us we should respond.  But the greatest and most important thing we have to do is maintain our trust and faith in the Lord.  Are you going through something and you don't understand why?  Keep your heart in trust to the Lord.  Don't let it stop trusting just because you don't understand.  This is when you need to trust Him most. 

Have a great day.  You may not understand what is going on or why, but keep your trust in the Lord.     

Friday, October 6, 2017

"Who Is The Shepherd?"

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."  Psalm 23:1,2

The Lord desires to be, and will be, your Shepherd if you will let Him.  He wants to lead you, but you have to stop kicking against His leading.  He wants to give you a hope and a future, but you have to stop setting your own course.  He wants to give you peace, but you have to learn to rest and stop struggling to make things happen yourself.  He wants to lead you beside still waters-- a quiet place, a refreshing place-- but you have to let go of heading in your own direction.  He wants to supply what you lack, but you have to stop scheming ways to make things happen in your life.  He wants to bless you, but you have to stop making your plans and following your own heart's desires. 

There can only be one shepherd.  A sheep can't be a shepherd.  A sheep can't lead himself.  A sheep doesn't know what is best for it.  A sheep doesn't have a concept of what lies ahead.  But the shepherd does. 

This word this morning may sound like a rebuke and scolding.  It partly is.  We have to get some things straight-- we aren't shepherds, we are sheep; we can't lead our lives, we are designed to follow.  Once we get that straight this is no longer a correction but becomes an encouragement.  How wonderful to know that we don't have to try to figure it all out, we don't have to take the lead, we don't have to try to make it happen, we can have peace, rest, joy, victory, abundant life, grace and hope!  But it all comes when we establish our role and stay in within our role-- and not try to be our own shepherd, but let Jesus be the Shepherd of our lives.

Have a great day.  We aren't the shepherd of our own lives.  Jesus is.  So let Him be.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

"Not Brave Enough"

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."  Proverbs 29:25

My hairstyle is a little on the "edgy" side.  Now I have added purple to it, so it really seems "radical".  There have been many times I have had women come up to me and tell me they like my hair and wish they were brave enough to do their hair like mine.

I have discovered something, the reason they aren't brave enough has to do with other people, not with themselves.  They aren't brave enough because they are worried about other people's reactions.  Will they like it?  Will they hate it?  Will they make fun of me?  Will they criticize?  What will they think or say about it?

This is the same reason many people don't come to Christ Jesus.  They aren't "brave" enough to surrender their lives to Him.  (I have had them tell me this.)  The same reason why some people can't make what we consider "radical" changes in their lives is the same reason they won't turn their lives over to Jesus for salvation.  They are worried, afraid and concerned about what someone may think or say about them.

This attitude is pride.  It is also fear.  We let pride hold us back.  We let the fear of people's opinions hold us back.  We let fear that we won't have their approval hold us back.  It is time we stopped.  When it comes to surrender to Christ Jesus, we aren't talking about something as trivial as hair.  It will grow out.  Its style can be changed.  We are talking about the state of our eternal soul.  What does a man profit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?  What does it profit you if you gain the approval of others, if their opinions are favorable, if they accept you but you lose your soul?  It profits nothing.  Instead, you lose everything. 

Lay aside pride.  Lay aside fear.  When I got my hair done, I had to "jump right in" and just do it.  Had I not, I could have talked myself out of it.  I could have let my thoughts make me change my mind.  It is the same with coming to Christ Jesus for salvation.  You have to just "jump in" and do it.

Have a great day.  The reason we aren't "brave" enough is because of pride and fear of what others may think. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"Off Center"

"And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."  Jeremiah 18:4

Last night at pottery class we got to try our hand at making a piece on the wheel.  An important thing about the process was making sure that the clay started off centered and stayed centered.  It had to be centered before you could start making the piece into an object.  If it started getting off center, you had to work at getting it back centered.

When our lives are off center, we have a problem.  We can't be who the Lord truly wants us to be.  When our lives are off center, it affects our relationships, the work the Lord has called us to do, it affects our witness, it affects our worship, it affects our speech, our attitude, the way we handle situations--- it affects everything.

What do I mean about having our lives centered?  I mean having them centered in Christ Jesus.  He has to be at the center of our lives.  He has to be at the heart-- our center-- of all that we are and do.  When the clay on the wheel is not centered, it wobbles.  When we are not centered in Christ, we will wobble too.  We will move from side to side.  That is the same thing is instability.  Being off centered makes us unstable.  This is why it affects our entire life. 

Staying centered in Christ gives us stability.  It gives us confidence.  It gives us abundant life.  It will help us become what the Master Potter desires to make of our lives.

Have a great day.  Is your life off center?  Is it centered in Christ?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

"You Will Know, When You Are Still"

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

Often when we think about this verse we think about it in the context of holding still and not moving in a situation, being still and not doing anything but instead wait and let God move in it.  It does mean that.  There are times when we don't need to try to take care of it on our own but wait and let the Lord do it.  But I want to look at another side of this verse this morning.

"Be still and know that I am God".  When was the last time you were still in His presence?  When was the last time you went to Him in prayer and sit still long enough for Him to speak to you?  When you are in prayer, do you give Him your list of wants, needs and desires and then that is the end of it-- you're up and gone? 

When we will take the time to sit still (be still) long enough, we will know that He is God.  It will be in those still, unrushed, unhurried, being quiet, patiently waiting times that we discover more about this awesome, amazing and wonderful God.  When we will be still long enough to give Him the opportunity to speak, He will reveal Himself to us.  We will discover much about Him that we didn't know.  We will know, not only more about Him, but truly get to know Him.

Take time each day to be still in His presence.  As you do, you will get a knowing in your "knower" that He truly is God.

Have a great day.  If you will be still long enough in the presence of the Lord, you will get a deeper revelation of who He is-- that He truly is God.   

Monday, October 2, 2017

"They Still Know His Name"

"And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm."  Mark 4:39

The waves, the winds and the storm ceased at the command of Jesus.  The legion of demons fled from the possessed man in Gadara at the command of Jesus.  Death lost its hold on Lazarus at the command of Jesus.  Sickness in the lives of those who were brought to Jesus left at the command of Jesus.  Storms, demons, death, sickness, all obeyed the voice of Jesus.  He spoke, He commanded, He rebuked, they all heard and obeyed.

Though these all happened in the Bible, in the New Testament, a couple of thousand years ago, they still can happen today.  There is a line in a chorus that says-  "The waves and the winds still know His name".  Demons are still subject to Jesus today.  Storms are still subject to Him.  Sickness is still subject to Him.  Death is still subject to Him.  He has not changed.  His authority has not changed.  The power of His word, His commands, His rebukes, have not changed.  All power in heaven and earth was given to Him, and still is.  

Speak to the storm you are in, it still knows His name and it still has to obey.  Speak to the situation you are facing, it still knows His name and is still subject to Him and still has to obey.  

Have a great day.  Winds, waves, storms, sickness, demons, etc. all still know the Name of Jesus and are still subject to Him.