Friday, September 28, 2018

"Focus First"

"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." Matthew 6:9

Our tendency when we come into God's presence is to come with our list of needs. Jesus even taught us to come to Him first acknowledging who He is and giving Him praise. I have discovered in my own life that if I will resist the temptation to immediately start making my request, giving Him my list of needs, asking Him to "do something", and instead take a moment to "enter His gates with thanksgiving and come come into His courts with praise" my prayer time goes from urgency, worry, anxiety over the needs to faith and confidence because I get refocused on who I am coming to with my needs.

I believe that this is why Jesus taught us to pray after "this manner". He wasn't giving us another "religious formula" to bring us into bondage because we "have to pray this way" and if we don't it becomes our excuse as to why our prayer "didn't get answered". If you will first enter with praise, if you will first acknowledge who you are coming to, if you will first remind yourself of His power and greatness, if you will first get your eyes on who He is, like I said already it refocuses you and takes your attention from the problem and places it on the God who is greater than the problem, and on the God who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think. It encourages and builds your faith. It restores and renews your hope. As you do this you will soon remember that He turns mountains into mole hills, He is more powerful than your trial, He's the peace speaker, the glory and lifter of your head, the fire quencher, the lion tamer, the deliverer, the healer, the provider, the wise One who works all things together for your good. It won't take long before you'll remember that He is bigger, greater and stronger than your need.

Have a great day. Before you start presenting your need to God, take time to get refocuses on God (through praise and acknowledging who He is) and the need won't seem so big, so difficult, so impossible.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"Hanging Heads"

"But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." Psalm 3:3

"...the lifter up of mine head." What causes our heads to be "bowed down"? Some people hang their heads in shame. They are ashamed of their actions, ashamed of past sins, ashamed of the things that they have done. The woman who was caught in adultery couldn't even look up at her accusers because of the shame of what she was caught doing. She also bowed her head in fear. She couldn't hold her head up- she was afraid to look at the consequences of her actions. Some hang their head in confusion. You will see them with their heads down and shaking wondering "why?". Why did they do what they did. Why did they let sin take them too far. Why didn't they heed the warning and stop before it was too late.

Perhaps your head is "hanging down" this morning. Has the shame over something that you have done caused you to hang your head down? You can't look up because of it? Are you bowed in fear- fear to look up because you don't want to see the consequences of what you have done? Has confusion caused you to hang your head down? Are you having a hard time trying to figure out why you did what you did? Why didn't you stop before it went too far? How could you have ever done what you did?

If your head is "hanging down"- for whatever reason- I have good news for you this morning. Jesus is the LIFTER of your head. He can lift you out of the shame, out of the guilt, out of the fear and confusion. Not only can He, but He will if you will but call out to Him. He lifted the head of the woman caught in adultery. She left His presence with restored hope instead of fear, with forgiveness instead of shame, and peace instead of confusion. He will do the same for you.

Have a great day. Don't keep going around with your head hanging down, let Jesus lift it up.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

"Loss And Gain"

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

Yesterday I said that the Lord wanted to heal someone's broken heart.  Today I want to talk about this a little more.  None of us were designed to live with a broken heart.  Going day by day with a broken heart is not living-- neither is it abundant living that the Lord has said He wants for us.

There are two things that happen when something is broken-- including a broken heart.
1)  When something is broken, whatever was in it will spill out.
2)  When it is broken, something else can come in. 

When our hearts are broken by hurt or pain, it is an opening for the love and life of God, for peace and joy, for strength and faith, and so on, to flow/leak out of us.  If I break a bottle of perfume, the perfume spills out.  When my heart is broken through circumstances and situations, through attacks, through pain, or something else, the beautiful fragrance of the Lord spills out of me and will continue until I am empty unless the break is fixed. 

When our hearts are broken for whatever reason, that break becomes an access point for anything that is ungodly, unrighteous, destructive or that steals, kills and destroys to enter into our lives.  How do thieves usually enter into a house?  They break a window or something else to climb through and come in. There is an opening for them to enter in through. A broken place in our hearts gives access as well.   

So, you see, the broken heart has to be healed because you are "losing" something and you are "gaining" something.... and neither is good. Please let the Lord Jesus heal your broken heart today.  Let Him close the opening.  Let Him stop you from losing anything else.  Let Him heal it and shut out the things that are trying to destroy you.  He loves you and He has the power to do this.

Have a great day.  Your broken heart is causing you to lose and gain something.  Therefore, it needs to be healed.  


Monday, September 24, 2018

"Heal Your Heart"

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

The Lord said to me that He wants to heal some broken hearts today.  Perhaps your heart has been broken because you have been hurt.  Maybe someone has let you down.  Maybe things didn't go as planned.  You gave your all but you were used in the process, or neglected.  Maybe you have been abused-- physically, mentally or emotionally.  Whatever the reason, whatever caused your heart to be broken, the Lord wants to heal you and put your broken heart back together again. 

Will you let Him today?  No one but Him can do it.  If you are waiting on, or looking for, some person to "fix" it and make it better, that will never happen.  If you are looking for something-- some material thing, some hobby, some entertainment, some substance-- it can't.  These things may offer some temporary relief.  They may give you a false sense that all is well, but that is all it is-- a false sense.  It is like putting a Band-Aid on it.  It won't heal it, it won't make it go away.  It will still be there-- always just below the surface.

You may act as though nothing is wrong.  You may tell others that you are fine.  You may even try to convince yourself.  You may try to "dress yourself up" so you "look good" like there is nothing going on on the inside.  But you know better. You can't keep it covered forever.  You can hide it the rest of your life.  It will surface like a wound that is not healed, but is festering, and it will affect you and others. 

The Lord Jesus loves you.  His heart is broken when your heart is broken.  He is hurt when you will choose to continue to live with a broken heart instead of letting Him heal it.  He cares so deeply for you.  So deeply that He came to die for you, bind up your broken heart and give you complete healing.  Will you let Him?  Will you take hold of the healing He is offering?  Will you let Him put your heart back together again?  Or better yet, will you let Him give you a new heart?  Will you let Him do that today?

Have a great day.  The Lord wants to heal your broken heart.      

Friday, September 21, 2018

"God's Size"

"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?" Isaiah 66:1

"Stop telling God how big your problem is, and start telling your problem how big your God is." I am sure that you have heard that said before, but do you practice it? Are you living by it? When problems come, is their size all you can see?

No matter how big the problem, it is not bigger than God. No matter how big the mountain, it is not bigger than God. No matter how fierce the lions, how hot the furnace, how deep the pit, how wide the valley, how dry the wilderness, how raging the storm--- it is not bigger than God. When you are going through such times and difficulties, don't focus on them, focus on God. Focus on His "size", His power, His ability. Remind yourself that He is the one who created the universe, who parted the Red Sea, who made man from a handful of dust, who uses the earth as a footstool; then look at your problem and compare it to Him. There is no comparison- He will always be bigger and more powerful.

Is there really anything that is too big for God? Is your problem more than He can handle? Is it stronger than He is? The answer to all is: NO! Then start living like it. Stop letting the problems rob you, defeat you, destroy you, hold you captive, steal your joy, or make you fearful, because they are no match for God. He will always be bigger and more powerful.

Have a great day. Your problem may be big, but your God is bigger.

Thursday, September 20, 2018


"The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish." Proverbs 14:11

As I read this verse I thought about the parable of the wise man and the foolish man who built their houses upon two different foundations- sand and rock. The "house" that this parable is referring to is a person's life. The foolish man (the wicked) built his life upon sand and it was destroyed. The wise man (the upright in heart) built his on rock and it was not destroyed.

If you want to keep your house from being overthrown like the man whose house was built on sand, you have to build it on the right foundation. You have to put your trust, faith, confidence, and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. If you don't, your lives will always be overthrown. The enemy will overthrow you and put you in bondage. The storms of life will overthrow you and destroy you. The trials of life will overthrown you. Whatever comes against you will put you in a state of ruin.

But for those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, the storms will not destroy us- we will continue to live and grow (flourish). The enemy can not overthrow us- his attacks only strengthen us as we come through them victorious. The trials of life will not overcome us- God's strength will be made perfect in our weakness so we will rise up strong in them. We are not overthrown by what comes our way... on the contrary, it actually causes up to grow.

Have a great day. There is only one place to build your life if you don't want it destroyed-- on the Rock, on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

"The Choice Is Simple"

"So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life." Job 7:15

Several years ago I was keeping my little granddaughter and after our lunch I left her in the highchair to "play" while I washed the dishes. Of course, you know when you give a baby a toy it will always wind up on the floor. I gave her a couple of toys to content her-- you guessed it, they all wound up on the floor. After about the third time of picking them up, I decided to "load her down" with toys hoping that it would take a longer time to drop all of them. I placed the "dozen" toys on the table in front of her and she got the strangest look on her face. I think she went into "overload". She looked like she was so overwhelmed at having so many choices- she didn't know where to begin or what to play with first. I said to her, "Did Nanna give you too many choices?" As soon as that came out of my mouth, the Lord reminded me that He only gives us two choices at any given time.... and we still don't know what to do!

He gives us the choices: to be hot or cold (Revelation 3:15); to serve Him or mammon (Matthew 6:24); to serve Him or false gods (Joshua 24:15); to choose life or death, blessings and cursing (Deut. 30:19); to forgive or not forgive; to obey or disobey.  In the Garden of Eden He gave man the choice to eat or not to eat of the forbidden tree. Of course, Adam blew it although it was a simple choice to make. We do the same thing when it comes to making choices. We make the choice so hard, even when God gives us the answer to which choice to make. "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." (Deut. 30:19)

Are you in a place of decision? Are you struggling between one choice or another? Are you having a hard time making a decision even though you know which is the right one? Are you making a simple choice difficult? Jesus had a choice to make too in a garden- choose His will or the will of the Father. Of course, He made the right choice leaving us an example that no matter how difficult, or simple, the choice might be we can still choice the right one.

Have a great day. We aren't overwhelmed with too many decisions at a time. So making the right one ought not be that difficult.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Light Out Of Darkness"

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:130

Have you ever gone through a "dark" time? You are in the middle of a problem but you don't understand why or what's going on? When you don't understand, there is only one thing to do-- seek the Lord for an answer. As you do, He will answer you. He will show you if there is something you have done to cause it- like unconfessed sin, your reaping where you sowed, if you've opened the door to the enemy. He may tell you that it is just a test that will make you stronger in the end. When He speaks to you, His answer is His word that brings light into the situation so that you can "see clearly" and have a better understanding of what's happening to you. "The entrance of thy words giveth light."

Once God speaks to you about the situation, it is up to you to do whatever He tells you. If He tells you there is sin- you need to repent. If He tells you that it is just a test- rejoice and commit to trust Him deeper. If He tells you to bind or loosen something- bind it or loosen it. If He tells you to take your hands off- take them off. If He tells you to make restitution- go make it. If He tells you to go to an offended brother- go to them. If He tells you to fast- fast. If He tells you to forgive- forgive. Once His word comes into the situation, it enlightens you so that you can see clearly- you are no longer "groping around in darkness" trying to figure it out. But you will stay in that darkness unless you obey what He says. That's when that word He spoke to you becomes "a lamp unto thy feet and a light unto thy path" showing you the path out of the darkness.

Have a great day. His word gives you understanding and it leads you in the right direction.

Friday, September 14, 2018

"False Security"

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast."  Ephesians 2:8,9

I had a conversation with a lady yesterday and in asking about the state of her soul the conversation went like this:
Me: What about your relationship with Jesus?  Are you saved?
Her: Yes
Me:  Is He your Savior and Lord?
Her: Yes
Me:  So you have been born-again?
Her: I have been baptized.
Me: Baptism and being born-again aren't the same thing.  Being baptized is not what saves you.

I am concerned at the mentality, and lack of spiritual understanding, that most people have.  I have asked many people on many occasions about their salvation and the answers I got were "mind blowing".  One young man told me he believed that he was saved because when you look at creation around you, you have to believe in God.  Well, the creation does declare the Lord's existence but belief in Him only does not save you.  The devils believe-- they even recognize Jesus and call Him by name in the Bible-- but they aren't saved, they are headed to the lake of fire.  

Others have told me that they are saved because they were brought up in church, joined a certain church, didn't cheat on their taxes, tried not to cuss, they had grandparents who were Christians, one even told me he was saved because he was born in America.  What!?   

Now you know why I am concerned.  (And rightfully so.)  I am concerned that people are placing their eternal security in the wrong place and things.  God sent His Only Begotten Son into the world to die for us.  His shed blood played the price for our sins.  He took the punishment for our sins that we deserved.  There are not enough good works that we can do to be saved.  We can't attend church enough to be saved.  Religious adherences won't save us.  There is nothing that can save us except faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said we have to be born-again.  If we aren't, we won't enter into the Kingdom of heaven.  

What are you placing the hope of your eternal security in?  You can be sincere in your belief, but be sincerely wrong.  Make sure you have it placed in the right place and the right way.  It is "eternal" security we are talking about.... eternity is a long, long time.  (It never ends.)

Have a great day.  Are you truly saved because your trust and faith is in Jesus Christ?  Because you are born-again?  Because you are following Him as your Lord?  Everything else that you are placing it in is not secure.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

"A Profit"

"Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go." Isaiah 48:17

Did you see the word "profit"? That is one of our favorite words. Everybody wants to profit- that's why we make investments, that's why we make certain sacrifices, why we exercise our bodies... we are looking for a profit (to gain something) in return. God is not opposed to our profiting. As a matter of fact, He has given us the key so we can profit.

What's the key? "I am the LORD thy God". The first one is that the Lord has to be your God. If He is your God, then He has first place in your life, and as you seek Him first He will add "all" these things to you--- that's profiting.

Next, "which teacheth thee to profit". If you are going to profit, have any gain or benefit, you are going to have to let Him teach you. You are going to have to become a student in the school of the Spirit. When He teaches you, you are going to have to heed what He says and then be a "doer of the Word" not a "hearer" only.

A profit is not always measured in "dollars and cents". There are so many more ways and areas that we can gain a profit in-- the greatest being a gain in our understanding of and intimacy with the Lord. A gain of spiritual things is more valuable than a gain of material things. Spiritual gain is eternal, not temporary. They don't devalue with the economy. They don't decay with the passing of time. They aren't easily stolen.

I know that God blesses us in the physical rim, but I believe He desires to bless us more with spiritual things. Godliness is of great gain. Righteousness is of great gain. Holiness is of great gain. We are warned that there is no profit in having the whole world if we don't have spiritual gain. We can still have spiritual gain even if we don't have physical gain. On the flip side of that we can have physical gain but yet still not have spiritual gain. Consider the rich man and Lazarus-- which one was actually the profitable one?

Have a great day. There is a profit for those who know the Lord their God-- and it makes us eternally profitable.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Time To Change The Subject"

"Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." Job 7:11

As you watch the news you realize that if something wasn't happening- a storm, an election, a murder trial, a custody battle, a war, etc- they wouldn't have anything to talk about. When something does make "news", the reporters "run it in the ground", that is ALL they talk about. It seems as if the world stopped and nothing else is taking place.  Every minute on every channel is consumed with it as the main, and only, topic.  I wondered what they would have to talk about if there was nothing bad going on to talk about?

Sadly, there are a lot of people- even in the church- who are like this. If there isn't something "bad" happening, they don't have anything to talk about. They spend all their time talking about the trouble they are going through, or have been through. It's the only subject that comes out of their mouth. Each time you see them, they repeat it to you.. over and over again. You ask them how they are and they go right back to this same subject. You always know what they are going to say before they say it.

I am not trying to be critical. I know that very real things happen to us. I know that there are times we need to relate what we are going through. I know that sometimes we need a compassionate hear to listen. This is not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is deeper than that. It has become a "security blanket" to them. And even deeper-- it's become a bondage. They reach a point where they can't talk about anything else. If that is you--- it's time to break free. It's time to leave it in the past. It's time to develop a new habit of talking. It's time to get a new subject. There is so much more to talk about. God desires that our mouths be full of words that edify, minister, comfort and exhort others. It's time to put the law of kindness in your mouth. It's time to fill it with good things. It's time to fill it with words of faith that tend to life. It's time to fill it with words of peace, wisdom and joy. It's time to fill it with praise, adoration and thanksgiving to the Lord. It's time to talk more about the grace, forgiveness, mercy, goodness and faithfulness of God. There are a thousand other things you can fill your mouth with, and it's time to do it.

Have a great day. Is it time to change the subject?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"The Package"

"And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:16

Let me give you a parable this morning. A young couple had a baby. When they left the hospital to go home, the hospital sent a "new baby package" home with them. Around 2:00 a.m. the baby woke up with a wet diaper and needed changing. They had no diapers so she sent her husband to the store to get some. Several days passed and this new mother decided to look in the package that she received from the hospital. The package had several items that the baby would need-- including diapers. Had they taken the time to look in their package they would have discovered the diapers and the young father would not have had to go to the store in the middle of the night to buy them.

The point of the parable? When we came to Christ as Savior and Lord, we also received a "package". Along with Jesus comes a "package". In it is every good and perfect gift, everything that pertains to life and godliness, spiritual blessings and everything we need to live an abundant life. But many Christians, like this young couple, aren't aware of what they have been given in Christ. They live defeated lives, constantly praying for the victory when they already have victory in Christ. (He overcame the world, His strong right arm got them the victory, He has triumphed on our behalf, He is the conqueror and has made us more than conquerors through Himself.)

This package includes victory over the enemy and over besetting sins, strength in your weaknesses, grace that is sufficient, peace that passes understanding, joy that's unspeakable and full of glory, wisdom, discernment, revelation knowledge, healing, love for your enemies and too much more to name. You are just going to have to look in your package to find out what else you have been given. Where is the package? It's found in the Bible. As you read it you will discover all the wonderful blessings, provisions and promises that the Lord has given to you. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)

Have a great day. Jesus comes with a package, and it's contents belong to you.

Monday, September 10, 2018

"In Common"

"The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men." Psalm 33:13

Hannah's soul was in distress because of her barrenness. Moses was on the backside of the desert in hiding. Joseph was sitting in a prison because of false accusations against him. Noah was shut up in an ark full of "smelly" animals. Lot was living in a place that vexed his soul. Peter was sinking in the storm. Jeremiah was thrown in a pit. Job was sitting in ashes scraping his sores. These each had their different set of circumstances and problems. They each had their own individual trials. They each one were going through some trying situation. They each lived at different times in history. There are so many things that they didn't have in common. But do you know the one thing they all did have in common? God saw where each of them were, and what they were going through.

It doesn't matter how different our trials may be from one another. It doesn't matter if we live on opposite sides of the planet. It doesn't matter if we are rich or poor, young or old, male or female, what race or nationality. We still have this same common factor in our lives. God sees where we each one are.

God sees where you are this morning- never doubt it. It may feel like you are hidden from His view. It may feel like He is a million miles away. It may feel like He has forgotten that you exist. It may feel like He has closed His eyes and shut up His ears. It may feel like He is more concerned about what others are going through than He is about you. But He hasn't. He sees you where you are. When you start feeling like this, remember the Bible characters that we have talked about and how God saw them. He is no different today for you than He was then for them.

Have a great day. God sees where "YOU" are-- wherever that may be.