Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"It's Over When?"

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Revelation 22:13

We have a saying here in the states--- "It isn't over until the fat lady sings". (I mean no offense.) In opera when "the fat lady sings" her song, everyone knows it's the end. This term is also used in sports to encourage the fans that even though it may look like their team is losing, the game isn't over until it's over. As I thought about this saying, I realized that the truth is... "It isn't over until God says." God always has the last word. It's over when He says it's over.

Lazarus was dead. The disciples tried to talk Jesus out of going to Lazarus and putting their lives in danger because Lazarus was dead. Mary said he was dead. Martha said he was dead and was even stinking. The mourners cried in unison, Lazarus is dead. He was dead, it was over, it was finished. But it really wasn't over until God said it was over. He had the final word. His final word was, "Lazarus, come forth."

It doesn't matter what the situation is, it doesn't matter how it may look, it doesn't matter what others are saying... it isn't over until God says it's over. Always remember that He has the final say so in the matter. Sarah said her womb was dried up and her child bearing days were over, but God had the final word... she had a son. The king said to the three Hebrews that they were going to die in the furnace for not bowing to his image, but God had the final word... the king saw four men in the fire walking around. Even on the cross, it wasn't over until He said it was over. He had the last word. He's the one who said when the price for our sins was paid in full... "It is finished".

We often say that God is in control. The fact that He has the last word in any and every situation is our proof that He is in control.

Have a great day. It's over when God says it's over.

Monday, July 30, 2018

"Keep Looking Up"

"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." Psalm 5:3

I have a word for you this morning from the Lord--- Don't lose your focus. Keep focused and looking in the right direction. When bad things happen, look up. When you hear bad reports, look up. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, look up. When things are chaotic, look up. When you face trials, look up. When relationships are threatened, look up. When the situation you are in changes for the worse, look up. When you face a storm, look up. When you face flood waters, look up. When you are in the lion's den, look up. When you face the giant, look up. When the situation seems impossible, look up. When it looks like you'll be destroyed, look up. When it appears as though the enemy has triumphed, look up. When the clouds are dark, the mountain too tall and the valley too deep, look up.

In describing the events of the end time Jesus spoke a word of hope lest our hearts faint because of the "fearful things" that are coming upon the earth... "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:28) "Look up and lift up your head." This is His word of hope to us when things around us- whether they be on a small scale or large scale, whether they are personal and individual or worldwide and common- our hope in trying times is found in staying focused and looking in the right direction. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." (Psalms 121:1)

Have a great day. Don't let the events, situations, trials and circumstances of life cause you to look to the left or to the right--- keep looking up... looking to Jesus.

Friday, July 27, 2018

"Praise Is God's Sanctuary"

"Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion." Psalm 114:2

"Judah was his sanctuary." Let me give you a "literal" interpretation of this based on the meaning of these words. "Praise was God's Holy place of habitation." Psalm 22:3 says, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."

Do you desire more of the presence of God in your life? Then make your life a place of praise. God doesn't dwell in murmuring and complaining. He does dwell in criticism. He doesn't dwell in backbiting and gossip. He doesn't dwell where arguing is, nor does He dwell in cursing and profanity. He doesn't dwell in words of doubt, fear and unbelief. He dwells in praise.

How much time do you spend giving God praise and honor each day? Is your mouth continually filled with His praises? Do you go around your home lifting up His blessed name in praise? Praise is not just something we do in church during the song service. Praise is a lifestyle-- a lifestyle of gratitude for the One who died for us, gave His life freely to redeem us from our sins, who gives us all good things, who daily loads us with benefits, who meets and supplies every need.

His praise should continually be in our mouths (Psalm 34:1), and the starting place each day is in the morning. When you get out of bed the first thing you should do is open your mouth and begin to praise Him for keeping you safe through the night, for waking you up to the dawn of a new day, for giving you life, health, peace, salvation, for loving you, for making His sun shine upon you, for allowing you the privilege of coming to Him in prayer, for hearing your request, for giving you access into His very presence, (should I continue?). Make your life a sanctuary of praise and watch how His presence will dwell in your life in a greater way.

Have a great day. God dwells in praise, not in complaining.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

"Shelter In The Time Of Storm"

"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall." Isaiah 25:4

One afternoon I was sitting on our carport. All of a sudden a storm began to brew. The wind kept getting stronger and stronger, the thunder kept getting louder and louder, the lightening was getting closer and closer. I decided to move indoors. Even though I was under the carport- sheltered from being directly out in the weather, it still wasn't the "right" kind of shelter to protect me from the lightening-- I was still in danger.

When the storms come, and they will (this is not negative it's reality- Jesus even warned us that while we were in this world we would have tribulation) it is important that we are in the right kind of shelter. Just any shelter will not do. The only true place of safety is found in Jesus. There is an old hymn that has been on my heart for the past couple of days-- "A Shelter in the Time of Storm (I've written the words below). Jesus is that shelter. He's the safe place to hide our lives during the storm. He is the only safe shelter.

Where do you find shelter during the storms of life? Do you seek shelter in the wrong places? In places that seem to protect but don't really? I thought I was out of danger under the carport, but I soon discovered that it was no protection from the lightening. Are you putting your trust in the wrong kind of shelter? There is only one place of safety. Jesus is that safe shelter to us when the storms come. If you are in a storm check your surroundings- check your shelter. Is it truly enough protection? If it's not Jesus it isn't and you stand the risk of being "struck by lightening".

Have a great day. Where do you go for shelter when the storms of life come?

"A Shelter In The Time Of Storm"
The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

"Looking Where?"

"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up." Psalm 5:3

I know that we have talked about this recently, but it is something I feel impressed to talk about again this morning. We all face problems. Some problems are like mountains. Some are like fiery furnaces. Some are like roaring lions. Some are deep pits. Some are wide rivers. When you face problems, where you "look" is important. The longer you look at the mountain, the bigger it gets. The longer you look at the furnace, the hotter it feels. The longer you look at the lions, the more furious they become. The longer you look at the pit, the deeper it looks. The longer you look at the river, the wider it seems. Looking (staring) at your problem never makes it go away, it only magnifies it.

When you are facing these trying times, there is one place you can look, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." (Psalm 121:1) Problems and trials are very real, but where you are looking determines how you get through them. As we have already said, looking at them only magnifies them. But when you turn from looking at the problems and look at the Lord and keep your eyes on Him, He is magnified and the problems decrease in size. The mountain shrinks to the size of a mole hill. The furnace becomes like a camp fire. The lions turn to kittens. The pit is only a dip in the road. The river becomes a stream.

When you stop looking at the problems and look at God, there is no comparison-- these things can't hold a candle to Him, they aren't as great or powerful as He is, they aren't as big as He is. When you look at the problem for a long time, you can't see any thing else-- no way of escape, no help, no hope, no answer. This is why it is so important that you change the direction you are looking and start looking up-- up to the Lord. When you look at Him you'll see hope, help, encouragement, faith, strength, peace, a way of escape, a solution, or grace to go through it.

Have a great day. Where are you looking? At the problems or up?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

"God Doesn't Sleep"

"Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4

God doesn't sleep or take naps, therefore He never wakes up to discover that a problem has arose while He was asleep. You will never hear God said, "Oh, no, when did that happen? How did that happen? What's going on?" He is constantly aware of what is taking place in the whole universe. He knows each time a sparrow falls to the earth. He knows each time a new star is born in another galaxy. He sees each blade of grass when it withers. He hears each beat of your heart. Nothing gets past Him. Nothing is able to "sneak" around Him without Him knowing it.

Have you ever watched a movie and the person who was suppose to be "on guard" was asleep-- those who wanted to get past him without being detected would wait until they knew he was fast asleep before they made their move to slip past him. Where God is concerned that will never happen. The enemy would be waiting for the rest of eternity if he was waiting for God to fall asleep so he can make his move against us. God does not sleep- even with "one eye opened" like those who have small children do.

In the situation you are going through don't think for one moment that God fell asleep or that the enemy sneaked past Him or that He wasn't watching. He sees everything. He is aware of everything. He knows everything that happens- nothing takes Him by surprise. Therefore, you can trust Him in this situation. He is aware of it and will work in it for your good and His glory.

Have a great day. God never falls asleep or even takes a nap-- He is well aware of what is going on.

Monday, July 23, 2018

"Don't Fear The Enemy"

"And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. " Philippians 1:28

Another translation says not to be intimidated by your enemy. When we face the enemy we have a choice to make, we can either face him/it like the armies of Israel faced Goliath- with fear and trembling. "When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. " (1 Samuel 17:11, 24) Or we can face him like David did- with faith and confidence in the Lord. "And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. " (verses 32, 45, 46)

Is the enemy intimidating you today? Is he making you fearful? Is he "putting you on the run"? Is he stealing from you? Well, don't run from him! Run to the "roar" instead of away from it. Run out to meet the giant, don't wait for him to come to you. Don't flee from the furnace, face it. Stand strong, don't run like a coward.

Your enemy has already been defeated-- Jesus Christ defeated him at Calvary!!! He has already triumphed over him. He has already destroyed his works. He has already given you the victory. In all things you have been made more than a conqueror through Christ. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. All things work together for your good. No weapon the enemy can devise will prosper against you.

Today make the choice to stand- stand having on the full armor, dig your heels in, don't be moved, don't backup, don't let him "see you sweat". He needs to be the one "sweating". He needs to be the one who is afraid of and intimidated by you... by the Christ in you!!

Have a great day. Do not fear the enemy, run out to face him, don't run from him.

Friday, July 20, 2018

"Speak To The Mountain"

"For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." Mark 11:23

Is there a mountain standing in your way this morning? A mountain of fear, of unforgiveness, of pain, of discouragement, etc? The thing about mountains is that they are hard to climb- it takes lots of work, time and effort. They are also too big to find a way around. By the time you do find a way around them you have veered far off your course. So that just leaves one other course of action-- speak to it!

"That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed". We try so many things to get to the other side of the mountain- to no avail- so try speaking to it. Sometimes that's all it takes. Speak to that fear- God didn't give you a spirit of fear. Speak to that weakness- you are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Speak to that condemnation- there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

A mountain in your way will stop your progress- you can't go forward. Therefore, it has to be removed. When you speak to it to be removed, your words/God's word spoken to it in faith are like "dynamite" blasting it out of the way. Once it's removed, you can then proceed unhindered down the path that the Lord has destined for you to travel and you will reach your destination.

Have a great day. If you want to see the mountain removed- then you have to handle it correctly.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

"Watch And Pray"

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

"Watch and pray". During Jesus' time of agony before His crucifixion He took His disciples with Him to the garden to pray. What were the disciples doing while He was praying? They were sleeping. Jesus warned them to "watch and pray". Not only was Jesus about to go through His greatest time of suffering- the fulfillment of His purpose for coming to earth was at hand- the disciples faith was going to be sorely tested that night as well. They would see the One they believed was the Messiah taken by angry men, beaten, accused of crimes against heaven, brought before a wicked judge, condemned and crucified. They would be tested as they watched the One they had put their hope in die on a cross. Peter would be tempted to deny that he even knew Jesus. They would be tested as to whether they would remain loyal and follow Him wherever He went- even if it was to death.

The word "watch" means: to give strict attention to, be cautious, active to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. The disciples' faith was tried that night- calamity was "rocking" their world- this is why Jesus told them to watch and pray. Had they been doing that instead of sleeping their response during the events of the night might have been different.

We are living in a time that the Bible calls "perilous". End time events are unfolding all around us- calamity, temptations, persecutions, deception, instability in nature, in the economy, in health are coming in greater proportions. This is not a time for us to be asleep. We must heed the warning of Jesus to watch and pray like we never have before. We must make that our motto. We must be constantly on the alert. We must not take what we see happening lightly. It is time for us to wake up and arise from our slumber. As the disciples slept an angry crowd came breathing down their necks to take Jesus. They were abruptly awaken in a state of confusion. The Bible tells us of another group that was awaken from sleep and unprepared for what was upon them-- the five foolish virgins.

Are you asleep or awake? Are you watching and praying? Are you giving attention to the events, the reports, the things that are taking place around you? Or are you rolling over and going back to sleep like the disciples did- not giving heed to the warning? Those who are wise will heed the warning of Jesus to watch and pray. Are you one of those wise ones this morning?

Have a great day. Wake up--- watch and pray!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"The Devil Leaveth"

"Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." Matthew 4:11

"Then the devil leaveth him." When you are in times of temptation, it may feel like the devil has "camped out" in your house. You may begin to feel like he has moved in and become your constant companion. He doesn't seem to let up, but continuously keeps trying to get you to give in and wear you down. When Jesus faced the temptations in the wilderness, the devil did the same thing to Him. His temptations came "back to back"- one right after the other.

What did Jesus do when He was tempted? He submitted Himself to God, He resisted the devil steadfastly, He persevered, He kept His sword of the Spirit drawn (the word of God), and He stayed in the fight not giving in to the lies, accusations and temptations that were coming His way. Jesus was already in a physically weakened condition because of the fasting (and afterwards He was hungry), yet He did not let what was going on in His body hinder Him in fighting the spiritual battles that were before Him.

If the temptations are coming repeatedly and rapidly don't quit fighting, stay in the battle, don't give up or give in. If you continue to "stand your ground" the devil will eventually leave you-- just like he did Jesus. It's time we turn the tables on him and "wear him down" and cause him to want to quit. Be encouraged this morning-- though it may not seem like it you will come to a time when "the devil leaveth", just don't give up in the fight. You will be victorious- "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world"; you are already "more than a conqueror through Christ"; and victory has been promised to you.

Have a great day. It will come to an end, it won't last forever, the devil will leave you for a while.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"Anchored In Jesus"

"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." Hebrews 6:19

Years ago a friend who piloted a boat on the river showed me a sailor's crucifix. In case you don't know what it looks like, it is a ship's wheel, with an anchor in front of it, and Jesus is hanging on the anchor which resembles a cross somewhat. Then he told me the meaning of it- I have never forgotten it. It means- "I am anchored in Jesus, and He pilots my ship." (I thought that was such a great meaning.)

An anchor is intended to help hold a ship steady so that it does not drift across the body of water. In order for it to hold the ship steady the anchor has to be dropped in the right place- a place where it can grab hold of something that is stable. Our lives are like a ship, they have to be anchored to something or they will drift on the sea of life-- sometimes they'll drift out into deep water or when a storm comes it will carry the ship away. What is your life anchored to? Unless it's anchored in Jesus you have nothing to keep your life steady and stable. You are like a ship drifting on the sea going wherever the wind and waves carry you.

A ship has to have a pilot at the hem who knows what he is doing. Our lives are the same way. If they aren't being piloted by someone who is skilled at the hem, they can run aground, take the wrong channel or wind up off course. Many of us try to take the wheel and pilot our lives but we don't know how. There is only one who is qualified to take the wheel of our lives and pilot us in the right direction- Jesus.

So I ask you this morning-- what is your life anchored to? Who is the pilot of your life? If it is not anchored in Jesus and if He doesn't pilot your life--- then you are going to drift in the wrong direction and wind up in waters too deep to navigate through.

Have a great day. Are you anchored in Jesus? Does He pilot your ship?

Monday, July 16, 2018

"Times Of Trouble"

"The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9

"In times of trouble." The word "times" is an indication that trouble is not a "one time thing". As we go through the journey of life, we will face many "times" of trouble. Sometimes trouble will come back to back with no time to even catch your breath before the next one comes- as was the case with Job. Then at other times it seems as though trouble takes a break and leaves us alone for a while, but before we know it--- it's back.

Trouble also comes in many forms and invades many different areas of our lives. It can attack us in our health, our finances, our personal relationships and in our relationship with God. They also come in different sizes. They can be as small as the little foxes or as big as a giant. The Bible says that "man is born to trouble and his days are full of them". If I stopped here with that statement it would seem that life was hopeless, we could never expect anything but trouble- no happiness, no joy, no peace, just trouble, trouble, trouble. But thank God we don't have to stop there. When we have "times" of trouble there is hope.  Hope has a name.  Its name is Jesus!

Jesus sticks with us in times of trouble- He does not run out on us, He does not leave us to handle it by ourselves, He does not forsake us. In times of trouble He is our refuge, our hiding place, our security, our safety. When facing times of trouble we don't face them alone- He leads, guides and directs us so that we can safely navigate through them to the other side.

Are you facing one of those "times" of trouble this morning? There is hope and help for you. Look to Jesus. He is big enough to handle whatever trouble comes your way and however many times it comes.

Have a great day. Each time that trouble comes, He will always be our refuge.

Friday, July 13, 2018


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

We are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You should begin your day with a good breakfast so that your body will have the "fuel" that it needs to get the day started and help energize you throughout the rest of the day. Some of us skip breakfast and others never miss eating breakfast. There is another "breakfast meal" that is more important and we should never start our day off without it. Sadly, many do miss this meal. As a result, they go through the day with no energy, no discernment, nothing to fortify them, with no hope, weak, fearful, faithless, full of doubt and confusion. What meal am I talking about? A spiritual breakfast- manna for our souls, God's word.

While most would never dream of missing breakfast, they miss feeding their spirits each morning to make them healthy and give them the "bread" they need to make it through the day. God gave the children of Israel manna each morning- He didn't wait until noon time or evening. They were to begin their day with it. This is symbolic and shows the significance of "gathering" His word each morning and starting our day off with it.

If you are one of those people who skip their spiritual breakfast, you now know the reason why you feel "spiritually listless". You have to start your day off by feasting on God's word. Take time to "eat" God's word each morning- read it; meditate on it; hide it in your heart. It is the best thing you can do to insure that you have the spiritual energy you need to make it through the day.

Have a great day. Don't skip your spiritual breakfast- it is the most important meal of the day.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

"He Does Not Change"

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

We live in an ever changing world. We never know from day to day what might happen, or what a day may bring. So much comes at us unexpectedly. No one expects to wake up and hear a bad report. No one wakes up expecting tragedy. No one wakes up hoping to hear about something bad happening. But often that's the way it is.

There is no doubt that we are living in the last days- the signs of the time are all around us. Part of those signs are perilous times- wars, rumors of war, sickness, disease, lawlessness, ever present evils, etc. As we get closer to the return of the Lord it will only get worse. Our faith will be sorely tried, our devotion to Jesus tested, the temptations will become greater, the pull away from God will increase. We won't know what we might wake up to- good reports or bad reports. I want to encourage you this morning in something that you need to keep close to your heart and mind. No matter what happens, no matter what "rocks" our world, no matter the trials, no matter the hardships, even when things are changing and placing greater demands on us, there is one thing that will never change-- Jesus Christ!

Nothing that happens here on earth changes who He is. He is God and He does not change. Nothing will make Him any less God. The bad report can't change who He is- He is still faithful. The rise of evil can't change who He is- He is still holy. The economy can't change who He is- He is still the provider. Fearful situations can't change who He is- He is still beautiful for situation. Distress can't change who He is- He is still the comforter. God is not "up and down"; He doesn't ride an emotional roller coaster; He isn't temperamental; He doesn't wake up in a bad mood; He does not differ from one day to the next. Therefore, He is trustworthy, dependable and stable- a solid foundation upon which to hang our hat of hope.

In an unstable world- one that is always in a state of change and not always for the best- we can find comfort, strength and peace in remembering who God is and that He does not change.

Have a great day. Nothing that happens changes who God is-- He is still God and He is still able.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"It Cost - Part 2"

"Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." John 6:26

There are so many who "follow" Jesus because of what He can do for them. They want the blessings, the provisions, the material supply that He gives. There are those who are "spiritual thrill seekers". They follow Him because they enjoy seeing the miraculous, they want to "feel" a touch, they like "supernatural experiences".

Following Jesus isn't always easy. We talked yesterday about there being a price to following Him- it will cost us something. If you're following Him for the "loaves to fill your stomach" or the "miracles to stir you up", eventually He's going to turn to you and say that unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you will have no part with Him. (John 6) Then what will you do? Your true motive for following will be revealed because at that moment you will have to examine yourself as to why you are following. Then you will have to make the decision to either partake of the bread and the blood or turn from following.

"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:60,66) To continue to follow Him was a greater cost than they were willing to pay. If you are following for the "loaves" or the "miracles" then you really aren't following Him because it cost you nothing. And in following Him, the closer you follow the more it will cost you. Are you following for the wrong reasons? Are you ready to follow Him no matter the cost? Are you willing to do that which is "hard" to follow Him? You have to decide if you are willing to pay what it cost. But to choose not to follow will cost you much more.

Have a great day. If you desire to follow Him no matter how much it cost, then you are following Him for the right reason.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"It Cost"

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" Luke 14:28

Accepting God's will is not something to take lightly-- there is a cost. When Jesus calls us to follow Him, He also calls us to deny ourselves. Self denial isn't always easy, nor is it "cut and dry", there is a price attached to it. The price often comes in many forms. When the angel came to Mary and revealed God's will for her, there was a price to be paid in accepting His will. We look at her from a historical, Biblical viewpoint and think-- "how wonderful, what an awesome privilege she had to give birth to the Son of God." But we don't give much thought to the fact that when she said to the Lord, "Be it done unto me according to your will", that it cost her something. And great was the cost-- it cost her reputation, it cost her rejection, it cost her sneers and whisperings behind her back and gossip, endurance, faithfulness, etc.

As we look at the characters in the Bible that we love and admire and desire to be like- exhibiting such great faith, being used so mightily by God, fulfilling destiny- do we ever look at the price they had to pay to be recorded in the Bible? For some it cost family relationships, the loss of jobs, certain pleasures, hard work. For others it cost imprisonment, persecution, hardships, and even death.

When you accept the will of God for your life, don't think that it doesn't come with a "price tag". It will cost you something--- it will cost you everything. Accepting God's will costs you the price of surrender and sacrifice. But what you get in return is worth it and far out ways the cost of what you have to pay. What you get in return is the honor and privilege of serving and glorifying God.

Have a great day. Accepting God's will will cost you something, and that something will be great, but it will be worth it. What you get in return is so much greater than what you had to pay.... even if you have to pay with your life.

Monday, July 9, 2018

"Why Are You Here?"

"And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?" 1 Kings 19:9

Elijah had just experienced a tremendous victory- he called fire down from heaven and it consumed the altar, he killed the prophets of Baal, God gave witness that he was His prophet- and now we see him hiding in a cave because of one woman's threats. While in the cave God came to him and asked him a question- "Why are you here?" God was asking him, "Why are you sitting here in a cave? Why aren't you out there fulfilling your call? Why are you hiding in fear? Why are you sitting here in intimidation, depression, worry?"

This morning is He asking you the same question? Are you in a "cave"? Are you sitting in fear, despondency, anxiety, confusion, self pity? Have you let the threats of the enemy send you into "hiding"? Get up, there is a small still voice speaking to you to come out of the cave. Don't let the threats of the enemy send you into a cave. Don't listen to his lies- that's what they are. Don't let him intimidate you- greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Instead of running when he got Jezebel's message that she was going to kill him, he should have responded back to her that God would deal with her.

You have a choice when the enemy threatens you-- stand or run. There is no reason for you to run, you are a child of God and He is with you. There is no reason to run because you have been given power over all the powers of enemy so that nothing by any means shall hurt you. There is no reason to run because Jesus already defeated him. There is no reason to run because the same God who had just answered by fire will move on your behalf.

Have a great day. If you're sitting in a cave, it's time to come out and move on.

Friday, July 6, 2018

"The Right Thing-- Part 2"

"Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."  3 John 1:11

Yesterday we talked about doing the right thing and we talked about how we can know what the right thing to do is.  We said that the right thing isn't determined by popular opinion, or by society's beliefs, or some new philosophy or the intellect of man. It isn't determined by our feelings or emotions.  It is determined by the Word of God.

So this morning I wanted to give examples of exactly what is the right thing to do when faced with life's situations. 

The right thing to do is :
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.  Turn the other cheek.  Go the second mile.  Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven not on earth.  Trust in the Lord and don't lean unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He shall direct your path.  Forgive seven times seventy.  Get the log out of your own eye so that you can see clearly how to get the speck out of someone else's.  Set your affections on things above, not on the things of the world.  Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.  Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Walk in love.  Put away lying, and speak the truth.  Give thanks always in all thing to God.  Be ye angry, and sin not.  Don't let the sun go down upon your wrath.  Give no place to the devil.  Don't steal but work with your hands to have what you need.  Do let evil, hurtful words come out of your mouth, but only that which is good to edify others.  Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. 

I could go on and on, but you get the "picture".  God's Word is where you will find the right thing to do.  It is what we live by.  It is our code of conduct as a Christian.  God intends for us to follow it, obey and practice it and live it.  Are you doing the right things?  When in doubt, go to His Word.

Have a great day.  Follow God's Word in every situation and you will be doing the right thing.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

"The Right Thing"

"For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth." Psalm 33:4

Do you ever wonder exactly what is the "right thing" to do? One person says this is the right thing, another says that something else is the right thing to do. If you listen to people's opinions or the voice of society you will hear conflicting definitions of what is and isn't the right thing to do. The world will tell you that if you benefit from it- it's the right thing to do. One group will tell you that if it feels good then do it. Another believes that if you aren't hurting anyone then it doesn't matter what you do. Then others will tell you that going with the "flow" is always the right thing to do. Then you have those who are of the opinion that if the majority is doing it then it's the right thing to do.

If you really want to know what is the right thing to do-- go to God's word. His word is "right" and will point you in the right direction and tell you what is the right thing to do. When the three Hebrews were commanded to bow before the king's idol, they had to know what was the right thing to do-- bow or not. The king said the right thing to do was bow if they wanted to save their lives. The people said to bow in order not to be labeled as a "trouble maker". The situation said to bow because everyone else was bowing. But God's word said not to worship any image- not to bow. We know from the story that they did the "right thing". Did they do the right thing because they listened to the king, the people or the situation? No, they did the right thing because they listened to the word of God.

Every day we are faced with decisions- decisions to do either the right thing or wrong thing. Many will try to tell you what the right thing to do is- people will tell you, the situation will tell you, the devil will tell you, your own flesh will tell you, and God's word will tell you. Who you listen to will determine whether it is the right thing or not. If you get your council from God's word it will always tell you the right thing to do.

Have a great day. How do you know whether it's the right thing to do or not? If you go to God's word it will tell you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"First Place"

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33

Everyone has a "list" that they turn to during their time of need. That list may consist of family, friends, the church, an employer, etc. In your list of resources, in what place is the Lord? Is He in first place? Is He the first one you turn to when you have a need? Is He the last one? Or is He somewhere in the middle? There is a song that says,"He's been there all the time, waiting patiently in line." Sadly, we place Him somewhere down the list and turn to Him only after we have exhausted all other resources when He was right there waiting patently for you to turn to Him and let Him help you.

If we would give Him that first place we would save ourselves so much grief, heartache, pain, frustration, and confusion. Perhaps you would say this morning that I do look to Him first, He is the first one I seek, the first one I call upon, but nothing happens, nothing changes, He doesn't send the answer. When you don't think He's answered, you then turn to other sources. If you trust Him to answer He will. He won't forsake you, He won't neglect you, He won't turn His back on you, He won't let you down. He will answer and meet your need. There are times when we have to exercise our faith and trust and wait patiently for Him to show Himself strong on our behalf. Faith sometimes has to wait on a God who does everything perfectly and at just the right time.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to throw away your list, turn to Him first, learn to wait patiently for Him to send the answer, manifest the need, or give you direction as to what to do. If you will put Him first all these things shall be added to you... including the answer to your need.

Have a great day. Throw away your list, put God back in first place.

Monday, July 2, 2018


"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north." Isaiah 14:13

Satan had a plan-- dethrone God by placing his throne above God's throne. Satan wanted to be God. He wanted to rule. He wanted everything to be done his way. He did not want to be under God's authority. It was such a serious crime against God that it got him kicked out of heaven. Not wanting to come under God's authority, wanting to rule our own lives, desiring to put our will above God's will is serious too. When we put our will above God's will, we are doing the same thing--- exalting our "throne" above God's throne.

By yielding to and doing your own will, you are exercising authority over your life. God and you can't both have authority- one has to submit. When you do your will, you aren't submitting to God so guess what..... you are exalting your "throne" above His throne. No man can serve two masters, and which ever one you yield to is the one you are serving. If you serve your own will, you can't serve God too so you are serving self, therefore, self is on the throne.

In our lives self must be dethroned and God enthroned. We must submit and surrender to His will. We must come under His authority. His throne must be established in our hearts. If you are following your own will it's a serious matter, and one God doesn't take lightly. The consequences for exalting self are too great. Repent, ask God to forgive you, dethrone self and place God back on the throne of your life. He is the only one who can occupy it.

Have a great day. Whose throne is exalted in your life?