Monday, October 23, 2017

Daily Devotional October 23 - Grow Up And Move Forward

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him." Nahum 1:7

What does it mean to trust God or to put trust in God?
It means that you have received the Holy Spirit in your life and you now connect to God via the power of the Holy Spirit within. You believe what the Bible says, every Word. You desire to be with other believers. You find time to pray and not just at dinner. You apply your faith with expectations. You grasp the concept that God made you in His image and likeness and that emulating anything other than Jesus is a encumbrance to fulfilling your purpose and finding yourself. Trust is the muscle of belief. God says it, you believe it.

Is there a difference in trusting God and believing in God?
Yes. Believing is the first step to getting understanding from God. Once you believe God you are able to trust God, but not the other way around. You believe God from the moment you are saved, but you don't start trusting God until you see your faith in action and start to measure the results. Once you see that with God everything is different and that there is no reason to go about life under your own power, you start to trust God.
You learn to trust God whether the answer is yes, no, or wait.
You learn to trust God even if the answer to a prayer was not the answer you were anticipating. You learn to trust God with more than the superfluous.

Does it make a difference in which God I put my trust?
It is sad that this question even needs to be asked or answered. Yes it matters. It matters so much that those who put their trust in any god other than the God whose Son is Jesus has put their trust in no one, nothing. They don't exist. The way you know if you have believed in the only living God is by the connection of Jesus Christ. If you are trying to find a way to believe God, but not believe what He says then what's the point. If you are trying to make a god for yourself, that you like what that god thinks more than the way that God discloses Himself in the Bible, then you are trusting in nothing, no one. There is only one God and God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How do I know if I am trusting God or just playing church?
How much time do you devote out of your day/week to search the scriptures or to commune with God in the cool of the day?
What interests you most?
Do you have a propensity to find ways to help others or lift others up?
Is the only experience you have with God on Sunday morning, or Friday or Saturday?
When someone asks you about God do you first tell them what denomination you are from/with?
When you are at church are you in a hurry to get out?
Are you faking your relationship with Jesus so no one will know that you don't have a clue?

Life is short and God deserves an answer from you. Are you going to trust Him with your life and everything in it, or not? You know, sometimes it's just time to grow up and move forward.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Daily Devotional October 22 - Father Abraham By Faith

"Then said he (John the Baptist) to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, Oh generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring for therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." Luke 3:7-8

It's not just Jews and Christians that look to Abraham as the father of their nation. It is many Muslims also. It goes all the way back to Genesis 12. Abraham is the father of nations in this way. Abraham was called to be the father of many nations. Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Esau. Esau sold his birthright and Jacob received the blessing. There is also the birth of Ishmael from Abraham and the Egyptian woman, handmaiden of Sarah. Ishmael represents one nation of people and Isaac represents another, Jacob and Esau also representing many people as well as the twelve tribes of Israel from the sons of Isaac.

All of the offspring of these men claim Abraham as their father. Many are Jews and many are Muslims. They claim sonship by birthright. And children of Abraham they are. But true children of Abraham are made children of Abraham by faith not blood. It is true that Jews and Muslims can call Abraham their father by blood, but it is by faith that they/we receive the promise of Abraham. Christians (Muslims and Jews) are adopted into the promise of Abraham by faith, not blood. "For the promise, that he (Abraham) should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." Please read the entire chapter four of Romans for a deeper look at justification by faith.

I think it is a wonderful thing to be born from the bloodline of Abraham. Every person, whether Jew or Muslim or other should be proud of their heritage. There is so much history and tradition handed down through many generations. But salvation comes by faith in Jesus, not a birthright through Abraham. Yes Jesus overshadows father Abraham. John the Baptist was simply telling those who placed their faith in their bloodline that it would not carry them over into the heavenlies. There are still many people today who can claim father Abraham as their progenitor that have not placed their faith in Jesus, the Father of their progenitor.

Daily Devotional October 21 - Be Careful About Judging Others

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than His Maker?" Job 4:17

Mortal man is quite the complicated subject. Mortal man has been trying to take the place of God since the beginning. We should be incorporating God's invisible, spiritual component in our everyday decisions. We are not God, nor do we possess every attribute that God possesses, like: omniscience, omnipotence, immutability. Finding our true place is understanding what attributes we do have that we are in charge of and knowing our parameters/limitations and understanding what will require the hand of God to be completed.

We are not more just than God, but some discernment of justice is given to us to apportion.
We are not more pure than God, but purity of life/lifestyle is for us to seek and find, apprehend, acknowledge and implement.

Justice is only ours to divvy out according to our laws, but the reference here is about a different kind of justice. We do not know other peoples hearts and therefore we need to be careful when making accusations to or about people with whom we have no personal contact. Our justice is to be limited to known events. When we start making judgement on those whom we don't know or have ever met, we have crossed the bounds of our God given rights. This is God's area of expertise and we must refrain as Christians from making judgements beyond our understanding.

Sometimes we think we have the right to cut somebody down or act like we are better than they are, but again this should not be in our job duties. God knows how pure someone is and what their intent is/was and what to do about it. Let's stick to examining ourselves and following God's lead as to what to do about our own behavior.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Daily Devotional October 20 - Get To Know Your Inner Man

"Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." Ephesians 3:13-16

I want you to get to know your inner man better. It is the inner man that holds the key to all right decisions, wisdom, knowledge, godly actions. Your mind and your body will both fight you all the way. Oh, you think I'm exaggerating. Tell me that you have not believed one way and yet did something another way. Tell me that you haven't made up your mind about something but your body wanted something different and your mind could not stave it off. Tell me that you didn't know what to do, but did something else anyway. Your body is at war with your mind and they are both at war with your spirit and your soul is suffering the consequences.

I said I want you to get to know your inner man better. Think of your inner man as the inner court; that place called the holy of holies, the inner most chamber of the tabernacle, the place where only purity and heart consecration can survive, that place where God resides, and you enter. That's the inner man. Get to know your inner man better and you will get to know God better, because that is where the Holy Spirit resides.

If you are really trying to figure out where to attend church, or who to marry, or who to go into business with or how to respond when your daughter comes home telling you about her boyfriend, any real issue in life, go to the inner man; the depths of your soul, all the way to that part of you that has not been conditioned by the world or spoiled by philosophy or damaged by unhealthy habits or destroyed by drugs or alcohol. You are more than the results of your life/lifestyle.
  • You are more than the outcome of a particular event like bankruptcy or business failure, divorce, misjudgments or even willful acts of disobedience. 
  • You are greater than the sum of your thoughts. 
  • You are more beautiful than your body, even if you have abused it for years and it looks like there is no hope, inside the inner man is a rejuvenated perspective, driven by the power of God within. 
  • You are more spiritual than you allow yourself to be on the outside. 
  • You are probably still stroking your ego, trying to make light of the things you do against God and not taking very seriously the things you do for God.

The inner man is that part of you that:

  • Can get the job done
  • Will make necessary adjustments, even if they are not popular, even if they require discipline
  • Is able to stop taking in what is killing you
  • Won't be bullied by satan or anyone and just roll over when approached to compromise principal
  • Does seek higher ground
  • Will take back lost territory
  • Won't continue blaming others
  • Will draw closer to God
  • Can live life in the will of God

Get to know your inner man and you will be very pleased. That's where God meets you to strengthen you and fit you to be in His image and likeness. Re-read the verse above and see if you agree that God is speaking to your inner man right now.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Daily Devotional October 19 - Do You Believe It?

"Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before Thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on Thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Howbeit Thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for Thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:" Nehemiah 9:32-33

It is refreshing to hear from someone that gets it. Nehemiah understands that God is just. He understands that God is great and mighty. He understands that troubles quite often come from disobedience to the ways of God. He is not going before God making excuses. He is going before God in recognition of God's place. He is going to God with understanding. He is going to God knowing that it is the people that have wronged God, not God that have wronged the people. Nehemiah understands that troubles need to be dealt with and he asks God not to overlook his troubles, and the troubles of others, the troubles of those who have stepped out of the will of God.

Nehemiah understands that what you reap is what you sow, but he also knows to go to God as an imperfect believer and seek the will of God and get answers to their petitions, solutions for their dilemmas and provisions for their needs. I like that about Nehemiah.

It is the same for you and me. We are imperfect believers. I hope you go to God like Nehemiah and list your troubles, seek answers and look to God with expectation for your provisions. God has not changed. God made a way for us to come to Him and find Him and praise Him and Worship Him and ask Him and get from Him. I hope you are OK with this. The whole universe was created so that you could have your needs and desires met. Of course God is not going to honor silly, irresponsible desires that would keep you away form His presence, but the internal hopes and desires that you have that are in alignment with the purpose of creation and the will of God, are available.

Don't be afraid to go to God, like Nehemiah, and speak the raw truth about yourself and ask for God to intervene. God will intervene and you will get the answer, your needs will be met and you will receive provision. Do you believe it?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Daily Devotional Ocrtober 18 - What Part Of The Bible Do You Believe?

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed." Genesis 2:7-8

These events make the roots of your faith. This is what happened at the beginning of creation of earth and mankind. Of course the entire story reveals how God made the stars, galaxies, animals, light, plants and all other known and unknown creations. It is these beginning scriptures about the beginnings of mankind that make the roots of our faith.

If you don't believe these simple words about creation, then how can you expect that further revelation will be given to you , whether it is spiritual or scientific.
Spiritual in the sense that revelation is built upon revelation, truth upon truth, the root of this foundation must be secure and strong or even what we do receive will not get properly processed.

Scientific in the sense, that if in the quest for discovery in any science discipline, creation in its truth is not recognized, evaluations will be skewed. A good example is Darwin's theory of evolution. This theory has no roots, therefore the truth presented is science fiction. All the sciences were created by God to work. They all have a beginning and if scientist believed the basics first, their foundation would be secure and their analysis would be scientifically sound.

Too many Christians don't really care how it all began. They are willing to buy into made up science in order to keep the peace with the so-called academics. They are willing to make light of the importance of the root of their belief system. Some are even embarrassed to say that the scriptures are an accurate representation of what really happened. Wait a minute! If you don't believe the simple, easy to understand truths that are clearly revealed, how can you expect to understand the more complex and more difficult to discern truths?

The Bible is true. The stories are true. The time lines are correct. God did create man and woman. God did put it all in order with a Word. The Israelites did cross the desert for 40 years with the same shoes. Moses did part the Red Sea. Elijah did raise the dead. Mary was a virgin when she had Jesus. Jesus did die on the cross. Jesus did raise from the dead. Jesus is alive.

Believe the whole Bible and the whole Bible will become applicable to you.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Daily Devotional October 17 - Read The Bible and Make Up Your Mind

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:5

Not everyone is friendly to this verse. I've heard many pastors say that "that's not what it means." That's what's wrong with stale and un-renewed theologies. Once a group has made a doctrine of faith or a church resolution or a church polity, in many cases that stays the rule for decades or centuries, leaving no room for new light from God; growth in the inner man that dissuades one from believing something that parts from the true meaning of a verse. As the church grows, so does our understanding and with understanding comes enlightenment, a bigger view of God and a better view of God.

Verses like this one strike at the heart of religious philosophies that teach that Christianity is a performance based religion. requiring its members to follow a set of rules that were not imparted to us by God. That's the way it was when Jesus came. Jesus wasn't angry at those who were living a holy life or trusting in God or even following tradition as long as they were not making up rules and traditions that would nullify the truth from God. It is the same today.

I hear more extra biblical teaching than I do worthy biblical teaching. It seems that too many pastors, preachers, ministers are willing to preach church doctrine or 'get something quick schemes' instead of Biblical truth. It appears that those in leadership are more worried about bringing in enough income to build an empire, than they are in teaching the infallible truths of God's Word. Sometimes if you were to tell the people the truth, they would not like to hear it. It goes against what they have believed for forty years.

Jesus did all the work that you need to be accepted into the kingdom of God. You are not accepted because you said the right things or because you did something or because you gave a certain amount every week. You are accepted because God called and you answered. You were made righteous (by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation) you didn't become righteous over time. You were made righteous by God because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. You can't add to that. Quit trying. Accepting the work of Christ in its truest sense is the Biblical way. Remember we are following Jesus, not your denomination.

(Just to set the record straight; in no way am I saying that being a part of a main-line denomination is bad or less desirable than any other way of serving God. Denominations are for people to have organized and prosperous groups to join together to serve God and man. The rules for the denomination are a good thing and those who are members should follow the rules of the denomination, but the rules of a denomination are not scripture. Scripture truths supersede church doctrine.)

What I am saying is, too many church members don't read or know the scriptures as well as they should and they rely on being told what the scriptures say, too often. If you have a Bible, read it and then make up your mind if certain religious traditions are true or not.