Friday, January 27, 2023

"The Lifter"

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

I have heard it said numerous times that the Lord will not put on you more than you can bear. True the Lord allows us to go through trying times. There are times when He will lead us into the wilderness as well as beside still waters. But we act like everything that comes to us is "put on" us by Him. He is not the One who is guilty of putting afflictions and evil on us-- He is the One who lifts them off of us.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) The Lord is the "Lifter". He doesn't put condemnation on us, He lifts condemnation from us. And likewise, He lifts guilt and shame from us. He lifts our heartaches, our grief, our sorrow, our pain and removes them from us, taking them upon Himself. He lifts our weakness and weariness. He lifts up our hands when they hang down and strengthens our knees when they get feeble. 
While the Lord does not put heavy burdens on us and the other feelings we have talked about, He is guilty of "putting" some other things on us. He puts His love on us. He places His strength and might on us when we are weak and feeble. He puts His robe of righteousness on us. He puts forgiveness and freedom in our hearts. He puts peace and joy on us. 
The Lord doesn't put those things on us that He is accused of, instead He lifts them from us. The only things that He puts on us come under the heading of His goodness. 
Have a great day. It is time to stop accusing God of putting heavy burdens, afflictions and grieves on us and start thanking Him for lifting them from us. 
For further reading:
Isaiah 40:29; 53:4
Job 4:4
Psalm 103:12; 23:2
Matthew 4:1

Thursday, January 26, 2023

"Spiritually Healthy"

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35 

We can look good in physical appearance on the outside but inside have a disease that is destroying our bodies. The only way to tell what is going on inside of us is to have tests run. These tests determine if we are ill, if we have a disease or if we are healthy. So how do we know if we are "healthy" spiritually? Is there some test we can take? Is there something that will reveal it?
Actually, there are several tests that show us our spiritual condition. The first test is love. Do we love God with all our heart? Do we love others? A healthy spirit is one that loves God first, others next and self last. It is not selfish, self-centered or self-conceited.
Another test is whether we are walking in the Fruit of the Spirit. Do we exhibit joy, peace, gentleness, meekness, temperance, etc? Or are we always fearful, mean, overindulgent, unkind or rude? 
Another test deals with our mouths. The things we say give an indication of whether we are spiritually healthy or not. Are our words edifying, exhorting, kind, gracious? Or are they full of criticism, complaining, gossip, ridicule and cursing?
Another test is how we walk. Are you walking in the Spirit or the flesh? Do you obey or rebel against God's word? Are you led by Him or by your own desires? Are you walking in your own will or His will-- nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done?
Any of these tests will give a good indication of how healthy or ill your spirit man is. These tests are accurate because the Word of God is the rule by which all things are tested, and if we are lining up with His Word then we are spiritually well. If not, then we aren't. But there is hope if we aren't. There is a cure. We can become healthy. The Holy Spirit and God's Word will bring about the health and healing that we need as we begin to submit ourselves to Him and follow His "prescription".
Have a great day. How spiritually healthy are you? Perhaps you might need to take some tests to find out. 
For further reading:
Galatians 5:16-25
Proverbs 4:20-23
James 3:10

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

"Get Recharged"

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

This verse is not age specific, it is a promise and result to all who will apply its admonition. It does not promise only the young that their strength will be renewed, it promises it to all. Are you feeling tired, weary, faint? Physically, spiritually or emotionally? There is hope, there is an answer, there is help.
I use rechargeable batteries in many of my electronics. From time to time these electronics will stop working. It is because the battery has "run down" and lost its power. Because the life of the electronic comes from the battery, and the battery is rechargeable, I don't have to throw it away. I simply recharge the battery. Put it back into the electronic and it is as good as new. 
Our life source is God's Spirit. When we get weak, weary or tired, we need to be recharged. We need to go into our prayer closet and seek the Lord. We need to take time and worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. We need to drink of the well of His word. As we do, we get stronger and stronger. The weakness and fatigue begin to fade, and we are refreshed with His strength and power. 
If you are feeling weak and faint, don't keep trying to go on what little bit of strength you have. Don't give up and throw it all away. Go to the source of your life and get alone with Him and pray, praise and meditate on His word until you are infused with fresh strength- His strength that is made perfect in your weakness.
Have a great day. Feeling weak and faint? Go to the source of strength and get recharged.
For further reading:
Acts 17:28; 3:19
2 Corinthians 12:9
Psalm 118:14

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

"They're Looking"

"Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king." Daniel 3:24

Why was the king looking into the furnace? Why didn't he just give the order to throw the three men in and leave it at that? After all, when something is thrown into a fire, what do you expect to see? I have a fireplace and I can tell you what we see each and every time we put wood into it-- it is consumed, there is nothing left to look at but ashes.
Being the king, he should have just given the order and gone on with the business of ruling, but he didn't, he checked the furnace. He checked the furnace to see what would happen to the men because of the "testimony" they had given-- "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (vv. 16-18)
Why? Because they had testified to him about God's saving, delivering power. They had showed unwavering faith to their God even under the threat of death. They did not recant, they did not compromise, they did not cower back in fear, they didn't beg for their lives, they stood firm. The king heard their words and waited to see what would happen. Would their God deliver them? Would He abandon them in the furnace? Was He even real? Were they worshipping a false God?
If you are professing to be a Christian, then you too have a testimony about the Lord that others are seeing through your life. Like the king, your family members, friends, coworkers, fellow students and acquaintances are listening, they are watching, they want to know if what you have is real. They want to know if your God/Jesus is who you say He is.
When the king looked into the furnace, he saw Jesus in there with them. "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (verse 25) So what are they seeing when they look at your life? Do they see Him with you when you are walking through difficulties? Do they see joy and peace when you are in a fiery furnace trial? Do they see Him through the steadfast faith you possess when you are facing persecution or the opportunity to compromise? They are listening, they are watching, and they are waiting to see if He is who you say He is and will do what you say He can do.
Have a great day. You are being watched to see if Jesus is who you say He is and can do what you say He can do. 
For further reading:
Daniel 3

Monday, January 23, 2023

"Undercover Christianity"

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

There seems to be a lot of "undercover" Christians-- "secret" Christians. How is that possible? How is it possible that if you are one, no one knows you are? You can't keep it to yourself. I hear people say that you don't have to go around telling everyone you are a Christian. I agree. But if you are, you can't help but make it known. What's in your heart will come out of your mouth in your speech. You aren't able to keep from talking about the Lord and the wonderful goodness He has bestowed on you. You can't help but share the testimony of how He saved you and changed your life. And you desire to obey His commission to tell others. 
Let's say a person is a Christian but they never verbally share their faith in Christ. You still can't be "undercover", people are going to know because of the "fruit" you bear. What fruit are you bearing? Apple trees bear apples, lemon trees bear lemons. Even if a tree is not a fruit bearing tree, you still can identify it by its leaves. There is something that makes it recognizable and separate from the other trees. There is a certain characteristic, attitude and behavior that we as Christians should bear... it is the likeness of Jesus Christ. 
The bottom line is-- it is impossible to hide our Christianity if we are a Christian (at least for long). It will come out of our mouth and be evident in our lifestyle. We are the light of the world, you can't hide a light unless you place it under something to deliberately hide it. And if you are a Christian, why would you want to? Why wouldn't we want to share this glorious salvation with others? Why wouldn't we want them to have the opportunity to experience it for themselves? How can we not talk about our precious Lord who we love so much?
Have a great day. Are you being an "undercover" Christian, never sharing your faith, hiding your light so that no one can see it? My question is why and how is that possible?
For further reading:
Matthew 5:16; 7:17-20
Luke 6:45
Acts 1:8
Isaiah 43:10