Friday, March 29, 2019

"How Much Are You Worth?"

"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20

Do you know what determines the value of something? It's the price that one is willing to pay for it. If there is something that I really want badly, and deem as valuable, I will pay the asking price- it doesn't matter how much it cost. I might have to make some sacrifices in order to purchase it, but I will make them because I consider that thing worth it. Why am I willing to do without something else in order to have this thing? Why am I willing to spend everything I have for it? Because it's something of great value to me. On the other hand if it isn't something that I consider valuable, I won't care if I have it or not. Therefore, I am not willing to pay whatever the asking price is for it.

Did you know that you are valuable? Do you know just how valuable you are? Do you know that you are priceless? Do you realize you are the most valuable thing in the universe? God is the one who determined the value of your life and He is the one who determined that you are priceless. He loves you and set His affection on you. He loved you so much He had to have you for His own, but in order to "have you" He had to "buy you" out of the slavery of sin. The price was high- very high- but He was willing to pay it because He valued you that highly, and wanted you that badly.

When I get a chance to listen to the news I hear monetary numbers like "billions" and "trillions" (I am not sure I can count that high), that's a lot of money. But those figures don't even begin to come close to the price that was paid for you. You were purchased with the blood of Jesus. Purchased with blood-- not silver, not gold, not precious jewels. That blood was not the blood of animals, angels or some other person. The blood that purchased you was that of the only begotten Son of God, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The Son of God Himself paid the price for you with His own blood. Why? Because He loved you so much and placed a high value on you and was willing to pay whatever the price and make whatever sacrifice He had to in order to have you. (1 Peter 1:18,19)

Have a great day. The God of heaven was willing to pay the highest price that could be paid in order to have you... you are that valuable to Him.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 2 Corinthians 7:10

I have to admit that I missed it this morning. I rolled back over in bed and fell back asleep. What's so bad about that? The Lord woke me up a little earlier to spend some extra time with Him before my day got started. I knew it was Him and I didn't get on up. I really regret that I didn't because it's getting late in the morning, I have several things already wanting my time, I have some responsibilities that must be attended to but I still need to have that extra time with the Lord. Other than confession being good for the soul, I told you all this because when I told the Lord I was sorry, He spoke back and said, "It's not about being sorry, it's about being repentant".

Being sorry and repentance are not the same thing. Sorry is more of an "emotional" thing and repentance is a complete change of mind. Sorry often involves regrets- regrets over something that you lost, something that you forfeited, something that you missed out on. Sorry also more often responds to the consequences. It's like the little child who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar after his mother told him he could not have the cookie. He is sorry because he got caught. He is sorry because he doesn't want to face the punishment and is hoping to avoid it. But when mother turns her back he's in the cookie jar again- he wasn't repentant.

Repentance involves a change of mind. When the Lord spoke that to me this morning, He meant that He did not want me to just be sorry because of what I missed, but He wants me to have a totally different outlook on it. He wants me to change my way of thinking and get up just because He said to get up. Repentance motivates me to do the right thing for the right reason.  Earthly sorrow looks at the situation from my own perspective-- it does not lead to repentance.  Godly sorrow looks at the situation the way God looks at it-- it will lead to repentance.  

Have a great day. It's not about being sorry, it's about repentance.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

"Here I Am To Worship"

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." John 4:23

I was listening to this wonderful worship song last night and begin to think that I would love to be in a really great worship service. You know the kind I am talking about. The kind where the presence of God is so overwhelming, the place feels electrified by His presence, you are "raptured" in the sense of His love for you, time stands still, nothing else matters, your heart is pouring out its deepest love and affection on Him. I truly love those times. (Can you only image what heaven will be like?)

As I thought about this, my thought was more of a prayer, then the Lord spoke this to my heart-- you don't have to wait until you are in the company of some large crowd to worship and experience that place where our hearts touch each others. ( I know this to be true for I have experienced those times when it was just me and the Lord.)

Corporate worship is great.  We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together with one another. There is something that happens when two or more are gathered in His name. When the body of Christ comes together, we should worship in one accord offering up a sacrifice of praise that invokes His presence. But our worship time should not be restricted to only the times when we are gathered together with others.

Worship is as much a private thing as it is a public thing. Worship is as much an individual thing as it is a corporate thing. Worship should never be confined within the assembly of the church only. Worship is a place within the heart. Worship is not about the number of people present, it's not about the place, it's not about a gathering with others-- it's about touching the heart of God and that can be done whether you are alone or with others.

Have a great day. If you are not spending time worshipping Him when there is no one there but you and Him, you are missing out on the intimate fellowship that He desires to give you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

"Second Chance- Part 2"

"She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." John 8:11

Yesterday I told you that I had run into a man that I used to go to school with years ago. He was telling me that he had received a liver transplant five years earlier because his life of drugs and alcohol had destroyed his. I told him to take care of it because it cost someone else their life for him to have it- in essence, for him to have a second chance at life. This morning let me say this, unless he changes his way of living he will wind up doing the same thing to this new liver- destroying it.

Then we also discussed yesterday that we have been given a second chance at life because someone died for us so that we might live- Jesus. I asked the question, "What are you doing with this second chance?". This morning I want to talk about the second chance again that we have been given. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn us (John 3:17), but to give us life. Once we have received that new life we are commanded to "go and sin no more". Jesus expects us to live and walk in a new life of transformation and leave the old way of life behind.

Just because He has washed your sins away does not mean that you can keep living in sin. His message has always been and will always be- turn from your sins, walk in newness of life, go and sin no more. The man I was talking about has received a new liver but if he doesn't make a complete turn from a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol he will destroy this new liver and face the consequences again of his actions. A new liver does not give him more opportunity to keep drinking, it gave him a second chance at life. Jesus doesn't just give us a "guilt free" conscience to continue in a sinful lifestyle. He gives us a second chance to live and to live an abundant life. Like the woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus did not condemn her, He forgave her, but then He told her not to keep doing (living in) the sin she was doing. He still says the same thing to us today.

Have a great day. Once you have received forgiveness and the new life Jesus gives--- go and sin no more.

Monday, March 25, 2019

"Second Chance"

"In him was life..." John 1:4a

Several years ago when I used to minister at the drug and alcohol recovery center, I saw a man that I had gone to school with but had not seen for many years. We briefly caught up on each others lives. He told me that he had received a liver transplant about five years earlier after having destroyed his through alcohol and drugs. I told him to take care of the new one because in order for him to have gotten it someone had to die.

As I said those words I was reminded of another time when someone had to die in order for others to live. Jesus had to die in order for us to live, in order for us to have eternal life, in order for us to be able to have a relationship with the Heavenly Father and He had to die in order for our sins to be forgiven and washed away.

My statement to this man was also asking him what he was doing with the "second chance" he now had. Was he going to waste it? Was he going to continue to ruin his life? Was he going to take advantage of the new life he has received? Was he going to show his gratitude by being productive and accomplish something worth while? I have to ask you the same questions this morning. Since you have received a "second chance" and a new lease on life through Jesus, what are you doing with it? Are you going to take it for granted? Are you going to enjoy the life He has given to you? Are you going to squander it on doing your own will? Are you going to show your gratitude by surrendering to God's plan for your life? Are you going to use this marvelous gift to fulfill the plan and purpose that God has for your life? What are you going to do with it? What are you doing with it?

Have a great day. Through Christ's death we have been given the opportunity to have life. Have you received that life? If so, what are you doing with it?

Friday, March 22, 2019

"He Sees In Darkness"

"Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." Psalm 139:12

As I was praying about what the Lord desires to say to us this morning through the devotional, Psalm 139 came to mind. Then He said to tell you that it doesn't matter where you are, He still sees you.

You may be on the mountain top this morning without a care in the world. Things may be going great in your life. You may have plenty to eat, a place to lay your head and call home, you may have all your family around you, you may have all your bills paid and money in your pocket. As a result, you have the confidence and assurance that God is watching over you because of these blessings that are in your life.

But on the other hand, you may be in a valley this morning, you may be sitting in a place of darkness. There may be sickness in your body, pain filling every joint. You may be wondering where your next meal is coming from. You may be on your way to work knowing that this will be your last week there. You may be sitting at the bed side of a loved one who is taking their last breaths. As a result, of this dark valley you might be wondering, "Where is God?". His answer to you is: I am here! I see you when you stand up, sit down and lay down. I see you when the darkness looms, when the shadows come, when the trials rest like thick black clouds around you. You are not hid from My sight. The darkness cannot hide you. I see you!

Be comforted this morning by the fact that God sees you no matter where you are and what you are going through. Take a few moments and read all of Psalms 139. There is no place (no matter how dark the trial or how deep the pit) where you are hid from His sight.

Have a great day. Even when it is so dark that you can't see anything but the darkness.... He still sees you.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

"All Powerful God"

"Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." Ephesians 1:21

A few days ago we talked about how that God is in control and more powerful than the most powerful people on earth. God has all power; He has absolute power, while man- regardless of the position he may hold- only has delegated power and authority that has been given to him by God.

This morning I want to remind you that not only does God have all power in earth but also in heaven. He has all power in the heavenly/spiritual realms as well. He doesn't only have power over the "seen" world, He has power over the "unseen" world. His power is greater than that of the devil or any demon. His power is greater than the powers of sickness and disease. He is more powerful than depression, anxiety, worry and fear. He is greater than the harassing spirits that try to torment you with guilt and condemnation. He is more powerful than the enemy's lies, accusations and confusion that he throws your way. He created all things by the power of His word, by the breath of His nostrils and by the thought in His mind. He is greater than anything! He alone has been highly exalted with a name that is above every other name. He alone sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He alone has all things under His feet. He alone is the Head. He alone has the title of King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the one that causes demons to tremble, mountains to skip like young lambs, the sun to hide its face because of His brilliant radiance, the ocean to roll back at His presence, even the winds and the waves of the sea obey Him.

He has power over anything and everything that is coming against you today. The devil is not more powerful- his schemes, devices and pits of destruction are not more powerful. Jesus defeated him at the cross. (Colossians 2:15) He totally disrobed him and stripped him of any power that he has over you. Jesus set the captives free and opened the prison doors to those who were bound. The grave could not hold Him. He rose victorious over death and the grave and that victory was gained not for Himself, but for us!!! His strong right arm got us the victory!!! So walk in that victory today because the All- Powerful God lives you in. "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

Have a great day. Never forget WHO He is... the ALL POWERFUL GOD of heaven and of earth.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

"He's There"

"...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5b

Today is the first day of spring and it is a beautiful sunny morning. I was thinking about the weather earlier. I have noticed that the weather changes from location to location. Over the past several weeks some of my email friends would make comments about how the weather was where they lived. It's pretty amazing. On the days it would be warm and sunny here, it would be rainy in one area of the country and snowing in another. I think this is a good illustration of how life is. We don't all experience "sunny" times at the same time. Some of us may be having "sunshine" (things are going well, no major problems, we are at peace), while at the same time some others may be experiencing a "winter" time (problems, grief, trials, sorrow, etc.)

But you know, sitting above the earth is the sun. It's always there. It's there whether we see it shining or not. The clouds may be blocking it, the snow may be hiding it, but it's still there. I want to encourage you this morning that whether your life is full of "sunshine" or "rain" or "snow" this morning. There is a wonderful God who is watching over you whether you see or feel His presence or not. He isn't there only when we see Him "shining"- when He is answering all our prayers in the affirmative, when we have all our needs met. He is there even when the "clouds" block Him from view. He's there when problems come, when pain afflicts, when sorrow weighs you down. His presence is still there.

Today you may feel as if He is not there. He is. Just because He is blocked from your view doesn't mean that He isn't there. I know, even through the weeks of cloudy and rainy days, that the sun (literal sun) will shine again. I also know that just because the circumstances of life seem to block the Lord from my view that I will "see" Him again. There will come a day when His presence will shine brightly in view. But until I see His shining presence, I will hold on to the fact/faith that He is still there watching over me.

Have a great day. He may be blocked at the moment from view because of the circumstances you are going through, but rest assured that He is still there!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"Choosing Other Things"

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

Have you wondered why it is that when planning something like a Bible study or prayer meeting- a "church activity"- you have to schedule it around the schedules of "other" things? For example, sports activities and extra curricular activities all seem to take precedence. It used to be that we scheduled everything else around "church activities", now it's just the opposite. If we have something else planned, the things of God have to try to find a place to be "worked" into the schedule.

I remember when life centered around "church". If whatever you wanted to do, if wherever you wanted go, if something else was happening at the same time, it wasn't a choice--- it was a given, you went to church. As Christians that was- and may I add still should be- the priority. It wasn't a "choice" between the two, you always put the church first. Why? Because that was God's business, and God's business always comes before everything else. Now days, sadly, it has gone in the opposite direction- people automatically choose the other above the things of God.

What about you? When it comes to choosing between the two, what is your choice? Do you choose to go to the football game instead of the house of God? Do you enroll your children in some activity knowing that it conflicts with church service? Is a fishing trip more important than Bible study? (I know that there are "vacation" times when we take a few days to "get away", and some people can't make it because of health issues, that's not necessarily what I am talking about.) I am talking about those things that you do on a regular basis that take precedence over going to "church activities".  Is it a hard choice for you? Or is it a given-- you are going to put God and the things of God first?

I am not just talking about "church". I am talking about the things of God period.  Are they priority?  Or do other things take precedence over them?  He should always be our first priority.

Have a great day. There should be no "contest" and no "choice" between the things that pertain to Godly activities and worldly activities.

Monday, March 18, 2019

"All Power"

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Matthew 28:18

When I was a growing up, it seemed like most of the movies always had a common theme-- there was always an evil "villain" who wanted to "rule the world". Those movies were closer to reality than we thought. Throughout the ages men have risen to power with this same goal-- to rule the world. Every nation of the world has a leader. Some are evil, using their position as a stepping stone toward greater power and gain. Some are good leaders who use their authority to better their nation. Nevertheless, man still likes to make the rules, have power, stand in a governing position, be the authority figure that people have to answer to and lord over people- we see this more and more evident each day.

I just need to remind you today that it doesn't matter what position of power and authority a man or woman may have on earth, they are not "all powerful"! Whatever power they have has been delegated to them. The power they have is limited and it's temporary. There is only one to whom we ascribe the title of Omnipotent. Jesus Christ has all power!! He has power in heaven and in earth! He has power in the present and in the future!

In Christianity we have adopted a slogan-- "God is in control". I am concerned that it has become nothing more than a slogan. We have forgotten that truly God IS in control. It may look like man is in control, it may look like he is making all the rules, it may look like our leaders are the "movers and the shakers", they may think that they have the power, but it's God who delegates, it's God who pulls down leaders and sits them up and it's God who has the final say so. He is the One who determines the outcome of a thing. He is the One who decrees what will be and what won't. He is the One who sits on the throne ruling and reigning... not man!

Have a great day. Remember that only God has all things under His feet and has power above all other powers... man does not! "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church." (Ephesians 1:21,22)

Friday, March 15, 2019

"Heed The Warning Signs"

"Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me." Psalm 119:133

When I went to my search engine this morning I noticed something I had never seen before. To the side of each site is an icon that tells me whether the site is "safe" or "unsafe" to view. Evidently, when my virus protection did an update this was one of the added protection features. Now that I have these helps and warnings, so that I know which sites should be viewed and which shouldn't, it will be up to me to either ignore or heed the warnings.

God's word is like that- it warns us of dangers that threaten to destroy our lives. It lets us know what things we should avoid and what things are all right. The "Thou shalt not" verses are warnings that if we will heed them we will avoid the traps and pitfalls that the enemy lays in front of us. For example, had David heeded the warning in God's word concerning not committing adultery he would not have suffered the heartaches he did later. On the other hand, Joseph did heed the warning and would not give in to Potiphar's wife's enticements. As a result, it may have gotten him thrown into prison, but it set him up to be positioned to fulfill his destiny.

God's word, when heeded and applied to our lives, teaches us how to deliver ourselves from the snare of the enemy, but it also lets us know how to receive the blessings of God, how to enjoy abundant life, how to walk in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord and how to receive eternal life. So what are we going to do with it? If I decide to view a site that has an unsafe warning attached to it, I am taking the chance that my computer may be effected/infected. Therefore, I will NOT open the site. If I won't open the site for fear of crashing my computer, how much more should I heed God's warnings in His word so that I don't "crash" my life! After all, which is more important- my computer or my soul?????

Have a great day. Heed the warnings and only follow that which is safe for your life.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

"Good Things- Part 2"

"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." 2 Peter 1:3

Yesterday we said that the "good" things that God blesses us with are not always material, or tangible. They are also such things as peace, joy, grace, strength and so forth. This morning I want to continue on that subject.

Some people only acknowledge God's goodness after He has blessed them with some material thing- to them that's how they define His goodness. God isn't good just because he gives me material blessings. He is good because He gives me all things that pertain to life and godliness... whatever those things are. He always meets and supplies my EVERY need.... spiritual as well as physical.

How awful it would be to go through life without the non-tangible blessings. I can make it without much of what I consider a "need". I don't have to have ten pairs of pants, a different dress for everyday of the month, three meals a day, but I do have to have peace, love, joy, strength and grace. I can go through this life homeless without a roof over my head, many people do and they make it, but I cannot go through this life without having those non material things, such as what we have mentioned already- love, etc.

How do you define God's goodness this morning? How do you define His blessings? Is He good only because He answers your prayer for material things? Or is He good because He gives us ALL things that we need-- physical and spiritual?

Have a great day. Define God's goodness.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

"Good Things"

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

When we think of "good" things, we often think of money, finances, material things. And they are "good" things when they meet the need that we have. But there are so many more "good" things that God gives us that are so much better than just the material blessings. They are often things we take for granted like mercy. Mercy is a good thing- without it none of us would have a chance for freedom from sin. Grace is a good thing- it empowers us to live what God's law requires. Peace is a good thing- how wonderful to have peace instead of chaos and confusion. Joy is a good thing- it's so much better than gloom, despair and depression. Other good things that we often take for granted are health, guidance in times of decision, strength in times of weakness, insight and understanding, discernment to see the truth of a matter, power to resist the temptations that come our way.

I am truly thankful for the material blessings that God sends my way, but I never want to put more emphasis on those and forget the other good things that aren't "tangible". Perhaps we need to look a little closer at how we define "good"? Many people are "rich" in material possessions, but "poor" in the things that are truly "priceless". Many people have large sums of wealth but have no peace. Many people have great possessions but have no joy. When I need money to pay my light bill, that money is a "good" thing. But when I need strength for the battles I face, that strength is a "good" thing too. And God gives to me the "good" thing that I need to meet whatever the need is as I walk uprightly before Him.

Have a great day. How do you define "good"? A good thing is anything that meets the need I have-- whether it's material or spiritual.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Lay It All Down"

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

This morning I awoke with one line of a chorus repeating over and over in my thoughts-- "Lay it all down, lay it all down, lay it all down, at Your feet." I know this is a word for us today. What burden are you carrying? What load are you trying to bear? What are you worrying about? What are you fretting yourself over? What do you repeatedly give to God then take the concern of it back on your shoulders?

Whatever it is, it's time for you to "lay it down". You have carried it long enough. Has your carrying it solved it yet? Has your carrying it made it any lighter? Has your carrying it brought the answer? Has your carrying it changed it at all? I know, sometimes it's easier said than done. Sometimes we feel such an "attachment" to that thing because we have carried it for so long that we don't know how we'll function without it-- it has become a "crutch" of sorts. Sometimes we don't lay it down because we are afraid to. Sometimes we say we want to lay it down but we don't really want to. Sometimes we hold on to it because it gives us control in someone else's life. Sometimes it's because we don't have the faith we need to have to let it go. Sometimes it's because we don't think that it is something that the Lord wants us to give to Him. Then sometimes we just don't know how to lay it down. Whatever the reason is, again, it's time to lay it down. It's time to get release and freedom from that thing. It is a hindrance to you. It weighs you down. It stops you from going forward. It keeps you in the same spot or always looking back. At times it even comes between you and the Lord.

Lay it down. If you don't know how, if you are too weak to do it, if you have tried without success, I want to tell you this morning that the Lord says His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in your weakness. If you will make the step toward laying it down (giving it to Him), totally surrendering that thing... He will meet you with whatever you need to enable you to lay it down, and He'll take that thing and He'll make an exchange... His yoke that is easy and His burden that is light for your heavy one.

Have a great day. "I lay it all down, at Your feet".

Monday, March 11, 2019

"My Redeemer Lives"

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth." Job 19:25

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. How is that possible? How can I rejoice? How can I have gladness when there is so much turmoil around me? How is it possible when the future is so uncertain, when evil is on the rise, when problems are plaguing the whole world, when there is lack, suffering, illness, etc?

It's possible because I know that my redeemer lives! He redeemed my life from destruction and crowned me with loving kindness once, He can do it again. He reached down into the pit of miry clay and brought me out and set my feet upon a rock and established my going once, He can certainly do it again. He delivered me in the past, He healed me in the past, He provided my daily bread in the past, He made a way when there seemed to be no way in the past, He met and supplied all my need in the past... He (my redeemer) lives today and does not change so I can trust Him to do the same for me in the present that He did in the past.

Just because the arm of flesh is weak and failing; just because men have no power to help me; just because the money is running short; just because the help is not available; just because the economy is sinking should not cause me to stop rejoicing and being glad today. Just because they are all failing doesn't mean that God is. My hope is in Him... not in "them"; not in "things"; not in "people". My hope is in the One who will not fail me, nor forsake me, nor leave me, but who will help me, will be with me, will love me always. That is why I can rejoice today and be glad!!! It's why you can too!

Have a great day. I know my redeemer lives and He will not fail me even if everyone or everything else does!

Friday, March 8, 2019

"The Flow Of Feelings"

"...the just shall live by his faith." Habakkuk 2:4b

How are you feeling today? Are you going to let your feelings dictate your day? If you are feeling pretty good that's one thing, but if you aren't that's another. When we aren't feeling "good", we have a tendency to get in the "flow" of our feelings. It's like a person in a boat letting the current take them in the direction that it is going. Our feelings are like the current.

If I get in the "flow" of my feelings this is what will happen: If I am feeling depressed, my feelings will take me back to bed to pull the covers over my head. If I am feeling like things are hopeless, I will despair of living. If I am feeling alone, I will become withdrawn. If I am feeling confused, I will throw my hands up or go aimlessly in circles. If I am feeling defeated, I'll stop trying and give up. Getting in the current's flow of your feelings is a dangerous thing-- at the end of the stream there is a waterfall and your "boat" is heading for it.

God gave us human beings emotions and feelings but never for them to be the leader of our lives. Our feelings are fickle, they are ever changing, they are deceptive, they are not a true indication of the way things are, they will hold you in bondage. God also gave us His word. That's what He intended to be the "current" to take us through life. We live by faith- by the promises of God- not by our feelings. God's word never changes, it is a constant, it is stable. It gives hope, peace, joy and strength. So don't go with the flow of your feelings, they lead to defeat and destruction. Go with the flow of God's word, it leads to victory and life.

Have a great day. Which current are you flowing in? The current of feelings or faith?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

"Shows Up"

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8

The Lord doesn't always show up the way we think that He will. We have a preconceived idea about how He will and should show up. Israel missed the day of their visitation because they thought that He would show up as a conquering king to deliver them from the oppression and bondage of Rome. Instead He showed up as a babe in a manger and a crucified Christ.

God shows up the way He wants to show up. We just need to make sure that we don't let our idea of how He should show up cause us to miss Him. When it comes to meeting our needs, we think He has to show up as a check in the mailbox, as a new scientific treatment or through another person. I am reminded that in His word He says that His ways and thoughts are so much higher than our ways and thoughts. He could show up to meet your need, to minister to you, to reveal Himself to you in many ways. But because He is a sovereign and mighty God He will show up in the best way according to His desire and plan.

Have a great day. Don't miss God because you are looking for Him to show up in a particular way.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

"It Lieth"

"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." Genesis 4:7

"...sin lieth at the door..." When I was growing up, my parents were constantly telling us to "close the door we were letting the bugs in (mosquitoes, flies, etc.)." What a spiritual principal we find in this natural illustration. According to our opening scripture, sin lies at the door just like those bugs. If we didn't want the bugs to come in we had to keep the door closed or close it before they had a chance to come in. Same thing- if we don't want sin to come in we should either keep the door closed or close it quickly.

"...sin lieth at the door..." It "lies" at the door. It isn't standing at the door, it isn't pacing back and forth around the door, it isn't sitting down at the door, it isn't watching the clock wondering when you will open the door. It's "lying" at the door. That means that it has taken a comfortable position and is just waiting. It isn't going anywhere.  Its content to just lie there and wait until you open the door. It "lies" at the door- it's also laying in wait. Waiting to "pounce" on you. Waiting as a lion lays in wait for its prey. It's lying at the threshold so that at the first sign of movement, the first sign of the door opening it will make its attack on you.

Since it's obvious that sin is going to wait you out and at the first sign of an open door it will make its move to destroy you, then the only victorious course of action for us to take would be to keep the door closed. It's a whole lot easier to keep sin out than it is to deal with it once it has come in- just like those bugs. (It was an endless battle swatting flies and killing mosquitoes.) How do we do that? How do we keep the door closed? "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." Do what's right--- keep the commandments, obey the Lord, apply His word to your life, be a doer of the word.  As long as you are living in obedience to God's word you will keep the door closed and sin won't have a chance to enter.

Have a great day. Close the door, you're letting "sin" in.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

"A Collision"

"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes..." Psalm 101:3a

Have you wondered how two cars can collide when they meet on a straight wide road and there was no apparent reason for the collision? They say that we tend to go in the direction that we are looking. If each person is looking at the on coming vehicle they begin to steer the wheel in the direction they are looking and they wind up colliding. If you are looking at something on the side of the road, you start going in that direction and wind up running off the road.

That being the case we need to pay attention to where we are looking because we will tend to go in that direction- we are drawn toward whatever we are looking at. This was the case with David. He looked at Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop and headed in that direction- the direction of lust and committed adultery with her. Lot looked at the plains of Sodom and headed in that direction and wound up eventually vexing his soul. Eve looked at the fruit and went in that direction and ate it.

On the flip side, Jesus looked at the Father and that was the direction that He headed. Jesus kept His eyes on the Father- watching what He did, seeing what He was doing, seeing His will. This is why He was always doing the will of the Father- He was drawn in the direction in which He was looking.

What are you looking at this morning? Are you looking at the lusts that are in this world? If so, you will be drawn toward it and wind up having a collision with sin. Are you looking at the state of the world- the economic problems, the confusion, the corruption? Then you will be drawn toward fear and a feeling of hopelessness. Are you looking at the promises of God? If so, you will be drawn toward them and your faith will be built up, you'll be encouraged, you'll walk in victory because you will have a collision with the truth. Are you looking at Jesus? If you are you'll be drawn to Him and your love for Him will deepen, and you'll be transformed more and more into His likeness. Where are you looking?

Have a great day. You will have a collision with whatever you are looking at because you will be drawn in that direction. What do you want to collide with? Sin or God? Then pay attention to what and where you are looking.

Monday, March 4, 2019

"Take A Break"

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25

I take a break on the weekends from writing the devotional. Many of you get a break from your jobs over the weekend. Schools have a summer, winter and spring break- a time off from classes. But just because I take a break from writing the devotional doesn't mean I take a break from my service and devotion to the Lord. Christianity is not just something that we "do" it's who we are- disciples of Christ, followers of Jesus, children of the Lord.

I don't take a break from Him. He is not just an attachment to my life... He IS my life. "For in him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28a) "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

You can't call yourself a Christian and have Him as an attachment- something added on. Again, He is your life. He is the air you breath. He is the marrow in your bones. He is the strength in your body. He is the wisdom in your decisions. He is the beating of your heart and the blood flowing through your veins. Without Him we are nothing and can do nothing. Before Him we were "dead men walking". We had no life. We are now alive because of Him, but the life we now have is His life in us.

Enjoy your weekend, but don't leave Him out. Enjoy your time off, but don't think that it is time off from Him. Don't just give Him certain days, like Sunday morning, but give Him all day everyday.

Have a great day. He is your life... you can't take a break away from "life".

Friday, March 1, 2019

"Lord Or Just Words"

"He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." Mark 7:6

I am compelled to address a subject this morning that needs to be addressed in the church but rarely is. We need to lovingly correct people, we need to care about their souls, we need to help shine the light so that they can see the darkness and deception that they are living in and we should not allow people to believe a lie about their spiritual well being or the state of their soul. Before I start let me say that we are not the "Holy Ghost police"- only He can change and convict a heart-- but we can speak up and tell them the truth and not hold back because it's the truth makes us free. That's my intention in addressing this area.

There is a spiritual deception when you have people who are faithful to church yet are living a sinful life. It really bothers me when someone will stand up in church and begin their greeting by saying, "Giving honor and glory to Jesus who is the Head/Lord of my life". The bothersome part is that this same woman who makes this greeting has rushed to get to church after being at the casino all night, plus she is living with a man she is not married to. And it is bothersome to hear the men say the same yet all the while they are living with a woman who they are not married to, or they were out getting drunk the night before, or they beat their girl friend up on a regular basis. You tell me, why should I be bothered by that? Do you see anything wrong with that picture? Yet, our churches are full of men and women who are living in sin but yet confess that "Jesus is the Lord of their lives". ( "I don't think so!")

That conclusion is not my judgment, it's what the word of God says. Listen to the words of Jesus. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46) "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21) "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15) You can't call Jesus Lord if you aren't obeying Him. You can't say He is the Lord of your life if you aren't following His commandments. You can't say He is the Head of your life if you are living in a manner that pleases you instead of Him. You can't say He is your Lord if you are living a sinful lifestyle. Oh, you can "say" it but it's just words. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Titus 1:16) "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." (1 John 5:18)  There is a difference in Him being Lord of your life, and you being Lord of your own life.

Have a great day. His Lordship of your life has to go beyond mere words or He has no Lordship in your life.