Friday, June 29, 2018

"It Shall Pass"

"... weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Psalm 30:5b

My mother in law had a saying, "And this too shall pass". For years I thought it was a scripture then discovered that it wasn't. But it is backed by a Biblical principle. Whatever you are going through today- it will pass. According to our scripture this "passing" can come with the morning, or it can leave with the night. The "passing" can happen before you know it- one day you are in one state and the next day in another one. You can go to bed at night and in the morning wake up to a different world.

If you are in sadness, sorrow, weeping, despair, pain, mourning- it will pass. If your heart is heavy laden and burdened- it will pass. If the trial you are facing is weighing you down- it will pass. If the enemy is roaring so loudly that you can't even hear yourself think (much less hear God)- it will pass. If the circumstance is so dark that you can't see any light- it will pass. If every direction you turn seems to hold hopelessness- it will pass. If the sea looks uncrossable, the mountain looks too high, the valley looks to low, the fire is too hot, the wilderness too dry- it will pass. If it seems like the sun will never shine again- it will pass. If the difficulties around you seem more than you can bear- it will pass.

Just as days and nights pass, just as seasons pass, just as rainy times and drought times pass, just as one year passes and gives way to the next, so do the things we go through- they pass too. Today will pass and tonight will come. Tonight will pass and tomorrow will come. As you watch the sun rise each day let it be a sign, and reminder, to you that this too that you are going through will pass.

Have a great day. It won't last forever-- this too shall pass.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

"He'll Do It Again"

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."  Hebrews 13:8

I woke up during the middle of the night and begin to hear in my mind the chorus of a song.  I fell back to sleep and when I woke up this morning, the words began to repeat again. 

These are the words:
And He'll do it again
He'll do it again
If you'll just take a look
At where you are now
And where you've been
Well hasn't He always come through for you
He's the same now as then
You may not know how
You may not know when
But He'll do it again

I know that this is a specific word, in season, for someone because I can't "get away" from this chorus. 

I don't know where you are.  I don't know what you are going through.  I don't know what you may be facing.  I don't know the trial that is plaguing your life.  I don't know what valley of decision you may be in, what mountain is looming over you, what river needs to be crossed, what storm is raging and what fire needs to be quenched, but the Lord does.

If He has ever come through for you before, He is still the same today.  If He ever healed your body, He has not changed, He'll do it again.  If He ever made a way, even when there seemed to be no way, He has not changed, He'll do it again.  If He ever met a need, brought deliverance, did the impossible for you, He has not changed, He'll do it again. 

Your point of faith in this situation is Jesus' faithfulness.  Remember what He has already done, remember He hasn't changed, then stand upon His faithfulness to do it again.

Have a great day.  Jesus has always come through for you.  He'll do it again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Lift Up The Answer"

"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:23

The Bible says that when we lift Jesus up men would be drawn to Him. We have to lift Him up before a lost and dying world so that they will have the opportunity to be drawn to Him. We have to lift Him up because He is what they need. None of us are exempt from having problems, and people who don't know Christ as Savior have them too. When we have a problem, we need an answer. (The goal of any problem is to find the answer.) Jesus is the answer to every problem we have. If we need salvation- He is the Savior. If we need deliverance from a besetting sin- He is the one who sets captives free. If we are in bondage- He opens the prison door. If we need abundant life- He is come to give us abundant life. If we need guidance and direction- He is the way. If we need healing- He is the healer. If we are thirsty- He is the rock from which water flows. If we have a need- He is the one who supplies all our need.

Everyone has a need, even the person who shakes their fist in the face of God and says that they don't need Him. They need Him to give them the air they breath that keeps them alive. They need Him to save them because they can't save themselves through any of their good deeds. They need Him to keep the blood flowing through their bodies that sends life to their organs. They need Him to send sunshine and rain. Even if they don't think they need Him now... they will realize in the day of judgment when they stand before Him that they need Him. They will need Him then to be their Advocate. They will need Him to stand in their defense. They will need to have His righteousness applied to their lives. They will need to have His blood applied to their lives testifying that they are in right relationship with God. They will need to have Him write their names in the Book of Life.

We all have needs, we all have problems, but we who have received Christ know the answer to the problems and needs we face--- it's Jesus. We must be lifting Him up so that the lost will find the answer.

Have a great day. We all need Jesus, but the world doesn't know that He is what they need unless we are lifting up their answer before them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"A Reward"

" And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."  Revelation 22:12

The verse above is pretty self-explanatory.  The Lord Jesus is returning one day.  Just because He hasn't returned yet doesn't mean He isn't.  His return is sooner than we think.  By the signs of the time it won't be long.  With each passing day it is getting closer.  His return is not the issue.  The issue is this-- when He returns He will be bringing rewards with Him.  Will you receive a reward?

We live in a society that rewards everyone whether they deserve it or not.  We reward bad behavior.  We reward laziness.  We reward everyone whether they won or not-- they all get a prize.  It is not so with the Lord.  He will not reward "sloppy" living.  He will not reward lack of faith.  He does not reward slothfulness, sin, evil, corruption, disobedience or rebellion.  Everyone doesn't get a reward.  Only those who have been faithful to the end.  Only those who have put their faith and trust in Him.  Only those who are serving and surrendered to His will. Just because you "believe" doesn't mean you will "receive".  There is work involved as well.  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)  There is a light that has to be seen in you-- or rather a reflection of His light (the Light of the world) that should be seen in you.  These good works are a reflection of Who He is.  (This work is rewarded.)

Again, the issue is not His return.  It will happen at the time appointed by the Father.  The issue is whether or not you will receive a reward.  That reward is given based on your acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and your work of surrendering to His Lordship over your life.

Have a great day.  Will you receive a reward when Jesus returns?

Monday, June 25, 2018

"'But" Faith Or Unbelief'"

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."  Isaiah 40:8

You can "but" yourself into unbelief.  You can let the devil "but" you into unbelief.  What do I mean?  When you are standing in faith, believing the Lord for a petition, you can defeat yourself by reasoning it out.  Such as-  But I am not sure the Lord really meant what He said; but what if He doesn't do it; but I don't deserve it; but what if my faith isn't strong enough; but is He really faithful; etc. 

The enemy, who comes to steal, kill and destroy, will try to use the "but" tactic as well.  He does it through his accusations-- But did God really say that; but will God really do what He says; but can you really trust Him; but He hasn't answered your prayers before what makes you think He will do it now; but look at what you did; but you messed up; but you aren't good enough to receive; etc. 

The word "but" can be used as a "negative" or a "positive".  Instead of "butting" yourself into unbelief, or letting the devil "but" you into unbelief, you need to use it to encourage yourself in God's promises.  You need to declare His word, which is truth, in your situation and what you are believing for.  Instead you should be using "but" in this manner-- it may look impossible but with God nothing is impossible; but my God shall supply all my need; but God will make a way where there seems to be no way; but God can not fail; but God is faithful as promised; but God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all I can ask or think; but God is on my side; but God will fight my battle; but God will never leave me; etc.

So which will it be?  Will you "but" yourself into unbelief?  Will you let the devil "but" you into unbelief?  Or will you "but" yourself through God's promises into faith?

Have a great day.  You can "but" yourself into unbelief or faith-- which will you do?

Friday, June 22, 2018

"The Fringes"

"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." Luke 14:23

I was walking around the town I live in the other morning and noticed something. The downtown area was very attractive- with newly renovated buildings, freshly painted stores, lots of little sitting areas and well kept gardens. You could tell that much time and attention was taken with this area to make everything look nice and neat. A few minutes later I left downtown and drove to the "fringe" areas of downtown- only a few blocks away, but not in the mainstream of downtown. In this area there was a difference- the streets weren't as well kept, the buildings were in need of repair, the grass needed cutting- it was a change of scenery.

The Lord used what I was seeing as an analogy to show me something about how we are in the church. We are like the downtown area- we look good, take care of our own, make sure that we are all right, have our nice and neat little groups, and spend our time and attention focused on ourselves. And while we are taking care of ourselves, there are people outside of the church- on the fringes (almost on our doorsteps)- who are going lacking, in need of a "spiritual" renovation, there lives are messed up by sin, they are living in darkness, chaos and confusion.

There are people all around us who need what we- the church- have, but for the most part we are sitting in our comfortable churches, planning our programs, fellowshipping with each other, happy and content with where we are and what's going on with us. It's time we change our focus and look outside our doors and see that it is not as "pretty" out there and then do something about it.

Have a great day. What about those people who are on the "fringes" of our churches, what are we doing to help them?

Thursday, June 21, 2018


"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

"As we have opportunity". There are times when we lack the opportunity to do good the way we would like (Philippians 4:10), but there are more opportunities around us to do good than not. Everyday there are opportunities to do good, to plant seeds of kindness, to give a cup of cold water, to edify, to encourage, to minister, to bear another's burden, to reach out in compassion, to share the love of Jesus, to be a blessing or to meet a need. You don't have to look very far, they are in our own homes, on our jobs, in our schools, in the marketplace... wherever you find people you will find the opportunity to do good.

Often we miss these opportunities because we are looking for some "big" thing to do. We want to "slay giants", be used to "part a sea", "save the people from famine" like the Bible characters. Jesus said that when he sets the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left He will reward the sheep because they fed Him when He was hungry, clothed Him when He was naked, took Him in when He was in a strange place, visited Him when He was sick and in prison. These don't sound like some "big" deeds, but Jesus must have considered it a "big" thing because He also called the ones who did not do these things goats, set them on His left hand, said they were cursed and told them to depart from Him. (Matthew 25:32-46)

Jesus was not saying that doing these works is what causes you to inherit everlasting life- that comes through faith in His shed blood on the cross to take away our sins. But He was saying that if you have put your faith in Him, if you have become a "sheep" then you will do these things because they are part of your nature now, because you know that this is what He would do, because you know that Jesus went about doing good so you will do the same that He did, because you know that you are doing it unto Him.

Today look around you, there will be opportunities to do good deeds of kindness and show love. Do them. There is no good deed that is too small. They will not go unnoticed by the Lord. He will be glorified by them.

Have a great day. Don't miss the opportunity because you are waiting to do something "big"-- even a "small" deed is a "big" thing to God.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"John's Response And Mine"

"But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24

In reading the Book of Revelation, have you ever just stopped in the first chapter to look at John- the one who received the revelation? "I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." (Rev. 1:9,10) He was in exile on an island that was a place for prisoners. He was there because he preached the gospel. According to church tradition, they tried to kill John by boiling him in oil. He didn't die so they sentenced him to a life of exile. So here he is, in exile, away from family and friends, away from his church and other Christians to encourage him, in a body racked with pain, an apostle innocent of any crimes. How much is that for one man to endure!

What I wanted you to notice about John was that he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day". After all he had gone through for Christ's sake, he was still honoring the Lord's day. He was still seeking the Lord, acknowledging Him, praying to Him, giving Him praise, worshipping in the spirit. How unlike most of us is that? If what John had gone through had happened to us, most of us would have turned our backs on God. Most of us would have gotten angry at God. Most of us would have cursed God for letting such a thing happen to us instead of continuing to give Him our devotion like John did.

I am sure none of us have ever gone through the sufferings for the Savior that John did-- although, many of us have gone through some horrific situations-- but if we did, would our response to God be the same as his? Would we be able to say, "Though He slay me yet I trust Him." Would we still be found honoring the Lord? Would we still be found in church at service time? Would we still sing songs of praise and adoration to Him? Would we still have a desire to glorify Him? Would we still press into His presence until we reached His throne? Would He still be the desire of our hearts and the love of our life? Just what would our response be??

Have a great day. How do you feel about God when you go through difficulties?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Jesus In His Church"

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

I was watching Christian television last night and a minister came on that I have never heard before. I listened to him and was strengthened by the word. This morning I decided to go to his website to find out a little more about him and what he believes-- it's important that we "know those who labor among us" (1 Thess. 5:12). One of the things he said on his site was that he is "actively fulfilling the mandate that God has given him to 'Bring My Son Back to the Church'". As I read that my heart leaped with joy and was deeply saddened at the same time.

I was saddened because in our modern day church Jesus has been "shut out", for the most part. How many messages have you heard preached about Jesus and the cross lately- or in a while? Most of what we hear centers around all His blessings, wealth, prosperity, self help, etc. So little centers around His sacrifice for our sins, His atonement, the price he paid at Calvary so that we could have eternal life and abundant life here on earth. So little is preached about His shed blood for the remission of our sins, how He took our place and the punishment we rightfully deserved, how without Him there would be no new covenant blessings for us to enjoy, there would be no opportunity to have a relationship with the living God, without Him there would be no remission of sin, without Him we would be lost and on our way to an eternal hell with NO chance of escape, without Him we would not enjoy the forgiveness of sins, there would be no access to the Father, we would be forever lost.

My heart leaped for joy to hear this because all the problems we are suffering in the church, the lack of power we demonstrate, our ineffective witness, our lack of love, our compromise, our selfish/self-centeredness is because Jesus is on the outside "knocking on the door" wanting to get in (Rev.3:20). Much of the problems in the world are because we have left Jesus out of the church. How so? If Jesus occupied His rightful place in His church there would be a difference in us who profess to know Him and this difference would cause us and enable us to "turn our world upside down for Christ" (Acts 17:6). No longer would our neighbors go unwitnessed to, no longer would our lights be hid under a basket but instead shine brightly to a lost and dying world. No longer would we wink at sin, deny the hungry, withhold our hands from the needy, cast out the poor. If His presence was in the church in the way that He desires, His presence would change us- it would either cause us to embrace Him and make us "hot" or it would cause us to reject Him and make us "cold", but either way it would take us out of our "lukewarm" condition. (Rev. 3:15,16)

Have a great day. Let's each one of us that calls Him Lord help bring Jesus back into His church.

Monday, June 18, 2018

"His Benefits"

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah." Psalm 68:19

When we come to Christ and receive Him as Savior and Lord, we become part of His family- His children. Being in His family entitles us to certain benefits. When we think of benefits, we usually think in terms of financial- monetary blessings. There are financial blessings that He sends our way in order to meet our needs or be a blessing to others. But financial blessings are such a small part of the benefits that God provides for us.

Some of the benefits He loads us with are peace- peace with Him, peace when we are in confusion, His very own peace is imparted to us. Strength is another benefit- His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Another benefit is that He will never leave us nor forsake us, He's a friend that sticks closer than a brother, He's a very present help in time of trouble, He will lift us up when we are cast down, He will be with us in the fire, in the wilderness, in the floods and when we face the giants.  He gives comfort in our time of sorrow, joy for mourning, health and healing, the lifting of our heads when we are drained by our emotions, guidance to know which way to go and what to do- these are all benefits. Other benefits include wisdom, grace, victory, answers to prayers, powerful weapons to pull down strongholds and defeat our enemies, revelation, understanding-- the list goes on and on.

The scripture above says that He "daily" loads us with benefits. As a child of God, today, these benefits are available to you. Don't go lacking, ask Him to pour His benefits upon whatever it is that you have need of today.

Have a great day. His benefits are for you and He provides them for you everyday.

Friday, June 15, 2018

"Mirror, Mirror"

"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:25

When I look into a mirror, it shows me the blemishes, wrinkles, imperfections or dirt that I have on my face. The word of God is like a mirror. When I look into it, it shows me what I really look like. It shows me the "spiritual" imperfections. It shows me how wicked my own heart is. It shows me my rebellion. It shows me the "wrinkles" of pride, selfishness, unforgiveness. But unlike the mirror hanging on my wall, not only does God's word show me what I look like, it also shows me how to correct it. It gives me the solution to correcting my "appearance".

When I apply the word of God to my life, it's a cleansing agent to clean away the dirt of sin. "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." (Ephesians 5:26) It clears up the blemishes, it removes the wrinkles, it takes care of the imperfections. God is so wonderful-- He shows us our problem and He also gives us our solution, and they are both found in His word.

When you look into the word and see these spiritual blemishes, don't just turn away from the mirror and forget about it. Do something about it. Search the scriptures to find out how to correct it. If I go to my mirror and see that I have a big black smudge across my cheek, I am not going to walk away and do nothing about removing it. I am going to get soap and water or some sort of cleanser and wash it until it's removed. Why aren't we more concerned about making sure our spiritual appearance is perfect too. After all, it's more important.

Have a great. We need to look in the mirror of God's word everyday, and then do something about what we see.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"Half Empty"

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24

It is said that there are two groups of people- those who see the glass is half empty and those who see it as half full. Those who see it as half empty are said to be negative. Those who see it as half full are said to have a positive outlook. A Christian should be both. Let me clarify. I am not saying that a Christian should be negative, I am saying that we should see that the glass is half empty in order to acknowledge that there is a need. We are taught not to "confess" that the glass is half empty because it expresses lack of faith, unbelief, doubt and negativity. That isn't so. If you don't acknowledge the need, then the need won't get met. ("Ye have not, because ye ask not". James 4:2)

The blind man came to Jesus and admitted that he was blind and asked the Lord to give him his sight. Jarius told Jesus that his daughter was ill and asked Him to come to his house and heal her. Jesus Himself told the disciples that Lazarus was dead, but He was going to raise him back to life. When we aren't willing to acknowledge the need (the half empty glass) because it's perceived as "negative", we are denying the fact that there is an opportunity for God to do something great on our behalf.

If you are sick in body, acknowledge it. Then stand in faith that the sickness is an opportunity for God to heal you and receive glory. ("..but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." John 9:3b) If you are going through the fire, if there is a giant standing before you, if the bills are larger than the pay check, don't deny it, acknowledge it, because it's an opportunity for God to show Himself strong on your behalf, for God to meet the need, for God to deliver you, for Him to give you a miracle, etc.

If you don't acknowledge the need, it takes away the opportunity for God to do something on your behalf that He will receive glory for. If the glass is always half full, why should He do anything because you don't have a need?

Have a great day. We have to acknowledge the need because in so doing we are also acknowledging that there is an opportunity for God to meet it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


"But it is good for me..." Psalm 73:28a

When my precious little granddaughter was four months old, she began "fighting" sleep. Up until then she would go to sleep at night and sleep until the next morning. You could tell she was sleepy but if you tried to lay her down or rock her she would get fussy and try to stay awake. She didn't realize that what she was "fighting" against was something that is "good" for her. Sleep is something that she needs- it rests and refreshes her body and is important for her growth and development.

Aren't we like my granddaughter--- "fighting" against what is good for us. How often do we "fight" against the "disciplines" that are needed for us to grow and mature spiritually. When we don't want to take the time to read the Bible, study it, meditate on it, we are "fighting". When we don't want to make the sacrifice to pray, to seek the Lord, to fast, to deny ourselves, we are "fighting".

Another result of her "fighting" sleep is irritability. She would get irritable, cry and keep her mother awake. When we fight against the spiritual disciplines and those things that the Lord is sending our way for our good, it will lend way to unChristlike behavior, to a greater presence of the "fruits of the flesh", to a poor witness to others and to a distant relationship with the Lord.

The spiritual disciplines are not always what we want to do, they are not always easy, we think we are going to "miss out" on something, they don't always fit into our schedules, but they are needful. They are not only good for us spiritually, but we have to have them to help sustain our spiritual life.

Have a great day. Are you "fighting" against what you need? If you do, it won't be long before it will have an effect on you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

"Hollow Prayers"

"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." Matthew 6:7

Jesus talked a lot about prayer and gave many examples of prayers. He told us which prayers were pleasing to the Father, and which prayers He heard. Jesus gave a parable of two men praying in the temple- one was a Pharisee and the other was a publican. Jesus told what each of these men prayed. Of the two, He let us know which prayer was acceptable and which was not.

The publican's prayer was humble, the Pharisee's was prideful. The Pharisee's was self righteous, the publican knew he was a sinner. The publican prayed a prayer of "substance", the Pharisee prayed a "hollow" prayer- empty. The Pharisee's prayer consisted of nothing but empty words- it sounded good on the outside but there was nothing on the inside. Have you ever had a piece of "hollow" chocolate? The outside looks firm but when you bite into it it's empty in the middle, not solid, the chocolate is just a shell. If you buy a piece of chocolate that's "solid", then that means it's a solid piece- there is chocolate on the outside and inside. (That's how these two men's prayers were.)

Our prayers are either "solid" or "hollow". They either have substance to them or they are empty. Praying hollow prayers means that they are just words we are saying to God but our hearts are not in them or behind what we are saying. We are saying words that "sound good" but aren't truly meant. We may ask God to "change us" in prayer, but we don't really mean it. We may ask Him to "make us more like Him" but don't really want Him to do so. We may ask Him to take us to a new level, but we don't really want to leave the comfort of the level we are on. We may ask Him for forgiveness but aren't truly sorry to the point of turning from what we are doing- we are just praying to "soothe" our conscience.

In our prayers we must check ourselves and be aware of what type of prayers we are offering to God. Are they sincere, heart felt and meant from our hearts? Or are they "lip service"- said for the benefit of others, said to "impress" God, said to make us feel good? God does hear our prayers and answers them, but they have to be the "right" kind of prayers-- solid ones.

Have a great day. God doesn't hear "our much speaking" if they are "hollow" words.

Monday, June 11, 2018

"Good Gifts"

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17

God gives us so many wonderful gifts each and every day that we miss because we have our own idea about what we think are "gifts". When we don't receive what we perceive as a good and perfect gift, we tend to think that the Lord has not blessed us today. This is so untrue. There are good gifts all around us.

If you woke up this morning- that was a gift from the Lord. If you have your eyesight- that is a gift. If you can hear- that is a gift. If you have a roof over your head- that is a gift. If you have food on your table- that is a gift. If you can smell the roses- that is a gift. If you can move around without the aid of some mechanical devise- that's a gift. Clean water to drink- that's a gift. If you have eternal life- that's a gift. If you have the Holy Spirit leading your life- that's a gift. And the list goes on and on.

It's amazing what we define as a good gift verses what really are good gifts. God gives us so much that we don't appreciate as His good gifts. It's like the old saying, "You can't see the forest for the trees"- you can't see His gifts for seeing His gifts. His gifts and blessings are all around us, we need to take time to recognize them. By the way, why not take time today and deliberately look for His gifts in your life-- I guarantee you that you won't have to look very far before you find more than you can count.

Have a great day. God sends so many good gifts our way each day, be sure to thank Him for them.

Friday, June 8, 2018

"Acting Like Doves"

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20

Yesterday I was watching the birds eat around our bird feeders-- there are always lots of birds. Among them are several doves who frequent the feeder. One of the doves always chases the other doves off if they get too close to where it is feeding. The first time I saw this happen I was rather surprised. Doves represent peace and are symbolic of the Holy Spirit and this dove was acting selfishly by chasing others away. I felt like the Lord showed me that this is how some Christians are.

We are suppose to represent Christ and bear the fruit of the Spirit- peace, love, kindness, etc., but instead our actions and attitudes sometimes represent something else. There are Christians who are selfish instead of being selfless and preferring others above themselves. There are those who are unkind instead of being kind in word and deed. Some Christians are competitive- always wanting to be first, always promoting themselves, putting down those who don't "measure up", "pushing" others aside- instead of taking the last place. Some Christians are mean tempered, critical, judgmental and cruel instead of edifying they are always tearing down with their words. There are some who speak harsh, condemning words instead of having the "law of kindness" in their mouth.

The actions and attitudes I have been describing don't look like Christians should look and don't represent what Christians should represent. Just like I was surprised at the behavior of the dove, we should be surprised at Christian behavior that does not represent who Christians are --- followers of Christ. And we should be surprised when we see that behavior in others or in ourselves. When we see it in ourselves, we must fall before the Lord in repentance and ask the Holy Spirit to help us yield to the change and transformation that He desires to do in our lives to make us more Christ-like.

Have a great day. Do you just "look" like a "dove", or do you act like one too?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

"Do It God's Way"

"And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean."
2 Kings 5:10

Our text is taken from the story about Naaman the leper who went to the prophet Elisha to be healed. When he got to the home of Elisha, the prophet did not come out and greet him, he did not pray a prayer over him, he did nothing except send his servant out to tell Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Listen to Naaman's response in the next two verse. "But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage."

Naaman needed a healing touch but he wanted to receive it "his" way. Aren't we like that? We'll need a healing, a provision, an answer from the Lord, but we want Him to give it to us in the way that we determine. We know how we want it to happen and expect God to do it that way. The Bible tells us that, "God's ways are not our ways." (Isaiah 55:8,9) They are so much higher and better than anything we can imagine. God doesn't always do things our way or the way we want, but He does do them perfectly in accordance with His own will.

What answer has He given you that you didn't want to hear? What has He instructed you to do but you have put if off because you don't want to do it that way? What is keeping you from obeying what He has said? Is it pride? Fear of man? Intimidation? Fear of failure? Do you think God has made a mistake? If God has told you to do something but you are putting it off, or trying to do it your own way, then your disobedience is what's standing in the way of your receiving. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Have a great day. Just think, Naaman would have remained a leper the rest of his life if he had not gone ahead and obeyed God's instructions through Elisha.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"Deep Waters"

"Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins." Ezekiel 47:4

It's time we move out into deeper waters in our Christianity and stop wading in the shallows. It's time we move out of the shallow waters called comfort zones and go on into the deeper waters of faith. It's time we stop praying "microwave" prayers and go deeper in our times of prayer- ask, seek, knock, intercede, travail. We need to stop being shallow concerning our time in the word- go beyond reading just enough to say you read your Bible- search the scriptures, study them, hide them in your heart, live by them. It's time to move out in deeper waters of commitment and surrender- surrender your will to His will, commit all things into His keeping. It's time to stop visiting the Lord when in need only and dwell in His presence. It's time to move into a deeper more intimate relationship with the Lord instead of every once in a while. It's time to move from shallow praise given only at church and praise Him at all times- His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Far too long we have stayed in the "safe" area of "shallow" Christianity. It's time we make it our personal goal to move out deeper. There is a whole new world that awaits you in the deeper waters. Once you "launch out" into the deep you will find that it holds whole new experiences, you will find abundance, you will find healing, you will find sustenance, you will find life. (Ezekiel 47:5-12) The Lord never intended for us to stay in the shallow waters at the shore. He intended for us to follow Him into the deeper waters where the "fish" are, where you can walk on water, and where you can get to the other side.

Have a great day. The days of wading around in shallow water are over- you can't live there any longer. It's time to move out into the deep.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

"Not Always Easy"

"For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues." Mark 3:10

We've talked in past devotionals about how impatient we are-- we want everything "NOW". We've also addressed the subject of "easy" gratification-- no pain, no struggle, everything handed to us on a platter. We live in a world that wants easy and instant gratification. Well, it doesn't always come like that. Not only are there times we have to wait, there are times when we have to "work" to get it. The woman with the issue of blood had to "press" through the crowd to get her healing. The crowd talked about in the scripture above had to "press" upon Jesus. Daniel had to stay committed in fasting and prayer for twenty-one days in order to receive an answer. Jacob had to wrestle with the angel in order to get a blessing. The wise men had to continue on the journey in order to reach the Christ child.

Sometimes you are going to have to knock and keep knocking. Sometimes you are going to have to seek and keep seeking. Sometimes you are going to have to press and keep pressing. Sometimes you are going to have to resist and keep resisting. Sometimes you are going to have to stand and keep standing. It's not always easy- it's not always a "down hill" fall. It's usually an "up hill" climb.

We learn from the examples given above that because they were faithful to continue to press, pray or wrestle, they were rewarded, they weren't disappointed, they did receive. Stay faithful to persevere and you will receive.

Have a great day. It doesn't always come instantly and it doesn't always come easy.

Monday, June 4, 2018

"God's Timing"

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1

When we don't see things happening when we want them to, we forget that God has a timing for everything. Mary gave birth to the Messiah in the "fullness of time". (Galatians 4:4) Jesus Himself said that His "time had not yet come". (John 2:4) While in prison Joseph asked the butler to tell Pharaoh about him- in hopes that he would release him from prison then (it was a couple of years later before that happened). I could go on and on with examples from the Bible about God's timing verses our timing.

God timing is not always our timing, but God's timing is perfect. Everything He does is perfectly timed. Part of our relationship with Him is trust. And committing and submitting to His timing is part of that trust. We have to learn to trust God with the times and seasons of our life. We have to learn to trust that His timing in our lives is perfect- He'll never be late or early but always right on time. We have to learn to trust Him when He waits, when He doesn't show up when we want, when He appears to be late, when He doesn't move on our timetable.

He is trustworthy. We can trust Him with the days, the seasons, the times, with every moment of our life. He knows not only "what" is best for us, but "when" it's best for us also. This morning if you are waiting on God's timing, don't get discouraged, keep trusting Him, place it in His hands and rest in the fact that at His appointed time it will happen.

Have a great day. He is in control of your times.

Friday, June 1, 2018

"Inch By Inch"

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1

Have you heard it said: "If you give the devil an inch he'll take a mile, and he'll take it one inch at a time."?  It is referring to the fact that the devil doesn't always come to tempt and deceive us with the obvious, he usually comes subtly. If the devil came to me with some "big" temptation- like adultery, stealing, drugs, etc.- I would see it coming and recognize it immediately. But if he came to tempt me with something much smaller I might not recognize it so readily.

That's often how the devil works; he did in the Garden of Eden. He asked Eve a question, it put a doubt in her thoughts- he took an inch. He got her to thinking about it- he took another inch. Then he told her a lie, she believed it- he took another inch. He gave her a suggestion, she responded to it- he took another inch. Finally, after tempting her one "inch" at a time (so to speak) he took the "whole mile". She had fallen into total deception and ate in disobedience what God had told her not to eat.

Be on guard for satan's subtlety. Don't always look for "big" temptations. Be aware that he comes with just enough to "wet your appetite". He'll come with just enough to get his foot inched in the door. He comes with one small thought, one question, one suggestion, one "little fox" so that you won't recognize him and give into his temptations.

Have a great day. Satan goes about like a roaring lion- so sometimes his temptations are obvious to us. But he also comes like a serpent- in a very subtle way.