Sunday, August 13, 2017

Daily Devotional August 18 - Co-Creating With God

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7

My favorite subject.

To be careful for nothing doesn't mean not to care about people or things or situations. But it does mean not to be in angst about it or not to resolve it by your own power. Be careful for nothing, paraphrased; don't try to resolve it on your own merits or power; Don't fret about it and let it eat at you when you could lay it down and allow God to work in it and through it and change your situation.

God wants your problems. God is asking you to pray about it and supplicate, (earnest prayer with deep conviction) and thank God for allowing you to put this burden on Him. Did you get that. God wants you to thank Him for taking care of your burden in advance to getting your answers. That's trust. That's faith. That's belief. That's co-creating with God. You have a problem or need. You do what you can to fulfill its requirement. All the while, while you are doing what you can, as you pray to God and ask for Him to get in the middle of your situation, as well as thank God for His supernatural intervention (which is taking place before, during and after your problem has been resolved), God is moving on your behalf. Of course it is hard to see the hand of God at work sometimes, but never doubt that God is working on your behalf to resolve your situation/problem/dilemma.

Let's just say that you find a way to remember to pray to God about your situations and thank Him along the way. What comes to you as a free gift is the peace of God. Peace in your heart when the floor is falling out from under you; Peace in your heart about the outcome; Peace about your future. God wants you to learn to co-create with Him in this way.
You:

  • Recognize your issues
  • Give them over to God, thoroughly
  • Pray about them
  • Do what you can toward an equitable end
  • Know in your heart that what you see is not the whole story
  • Know in your heart that God is working on your behalf
  • Thank God while you are passing through the fire
  • Thank God at the end of it

God:

  • Has already gone before you, before you had the problem to make a way for you to solve the problem/dream/request/situation
  • Hears your prayer as the invitation to co-create with you
  • Gives you life, strength, energy, tools, power to do what you can
  • Works out all the details so that in fulfilling your problem/dream/request/situation, it is perfectly intertwined with all others to benefit everyone
  • Accepts your thanks as an offering
  • Puts a final stamp on your situation as completed under the hand of God and files it away, not to be revisited without your express permission

After you have come through, God is so good that He makes the entire process available to you over and over again, as much as you need God's intervention throughout your entire life. It's so good that it passes all understanding. Why would God do that for you anyway? Because God's love for you is so great it cannot be understood or written about with any real accuracy.

Daily Devotional August 17 - Please Don't Let The Word Sanctification Throw You

"That I (Paul) should minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:16 and "Then said he, lo, I come to do thy will O God. He taketh away the first that He may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Hebrews 10:9-10

Sanctification. Sanctification is misunderstood and mis-taught in many circles. Sanctification has many sides and has much meaning in our lives. But let's set the record straight. Sanctification is a work of God. God sanctifies. You cannot make a list of things you have to do and when you have checked off every item on the list, wallah you are sanctified.

  • Sanctification is recognized in one's life by behavior, but it is not won by behavior.
  • Sanctification is the external response of an internal work.
  • Sanctification is a love fest between the creator and His work.

But you can't earn sanctification nor can you earn salvation. You will never be good enough to be sanctified. Only by grace through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross can you or anyone get sanctified. The Word of God says, "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Sanctification is taught that it is a second work of grace. Sanctification can only be considered as a second work of grace if salvation isn't a finished work. Salvation is a finished work.

Yet the ongoing product of salvation is:

  • Getting to know God better
  • Adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate the new light that has been shown in your heart.
  • Continuing education by the Holy Spirit as one goes through life making decisions.
  • Learning how to pray and how to supplicate.
  • Finding solace and peace after doing things differently from the way you used to do them before getting saved.
  • Reading the scriptures and finding new truths that replace the old man way of thinking.
  • Worshiping and praising God with other believers and finding out how God intertwines the lives of believers together to make one body.

All of these things take place after salvation and all of them are a second work of God and a third and a fourth and on and on until the day you go to meet the Lord.

The main thing is, you can't earn sanctification, nor can you follow a set of rules to achieve it. Sanctification is given to you by God.

Note: I know some religious circles think of sanctification as a badge of honor for having earned the title through much spiritual preparation, certain prayers, doing what so and so said to do, having hands laid on by certain people and/or many other external activities. What folly. All of these things are important and necessary for the spirit filled life, but only the inner man can receive sanctification and no one can give it to you, there is no prize and God sanctifies those who are faithful to Him.

Daily Devotional August 16 - What Were You Last Called To Do?

"Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come before Me. But Jonah rose up to flee from the presence of the LORD..." Jonah 1:1-2a

The Lord has come unto you just like it has Jonah. Yes, God has spoken to you. Maybe you feel like you have never heard the voice of the Lord. That might be true, but God has called you and God has spoken to you and God is speaking to you all the time. If you feel like you haven't heard the word of the Lord for your life, pray about it, read your Bible and ask God to open your spiritual eyes and ears so that you can get the God vision for your life.

For those who have heard the voice of the Lord and have heard the word of the Lord concerning you, what have you done with it? God has spoken to you. What did you do about it? Jonah rose from the presence of the Lord and headed off in another direction. Jonah continued in the other direction until he came to the end of himself and realized that what God had spoken to him was the right direction for his life. It took a while and it was a little fishy as to how he came to his senses, but he did. But not until he came to his senses was he at peace in his heart or his life. There was turmoil, trouble and altercations of every sort. It is that way for us also. God calls us and we either answer and follow His instruction or we run and try to hide from the face of God.

There is no middle ground, where all is well if you hear the voice of God for your life and then do nothing. The fence is not safe, nor is it the will of God that you stay there. If you have been sitting on the fence, unwilling to respond to the call of God, but also unwilling to run away, NOW is the time to say yes to the Lord and fulfill your calling. You know in your heart what it is. Let go and let God.

For those who are unwilling to get off the fence, you need to know that most everything of real value in your life will stay on hold until you say yes to God. It's not that God will punish you if you don't say yes to His call, it's that the very best that is available to you isn't released until you start moving in the right direction. You were designed that way. You were designed to live in the will of God. You were designed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You were designed to hear the word of God for your life, to answer that call and to move forward in agreement with God for your good. God cannot provide for your harm, nor can God go along with and bless decisions that will not be good for you or your family. You cannot box God in and get Him to agree with your foolishness. God is the Father of lights and only does good to His children. You can straddle the fence if you want to and you can go another direction if you want to, that's free will, but no thing will work just right until you do what you were last called to do by God.

Daily Devotional August 15 - Is Your soul At Peace With God

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Spirit, soul and body. That is who you are. You, the whole you, all of you is your soul. Your spirit is that part of you that is made alive by Jesus. Your spirit is made alive when you are born again. John 3:2-8. Your body (physical) is that part of you that is seen in the natural world. Your spirit is that part of you that is seen in the spiritual world. Your soul is that illusive you that only God knows fully, all the moments of all your life, all tallied up is your soul. Your body will eventually die a physical death. Your spirit body (once you are born again) will be unveiled after your physical body dies.

Yes, some souls are sent to hell, but no one with a born again, living spirit will go to hell.

Why is this important. You are a living soul (Genesis 2:7), you live in a physical body and you have (if you have been born again) a living spirit. The Holy Spirit abides in you making your spirit alive. You are very much connected to God in every way if you are born again. You have within you the knowledge of the will of God for your life. The battle that we all face is that our body, which has become accustomed to being flattered by the world, doesn't seek the same things as our spirit, which has been quickened by the Holy Spirit, therefore our soul is not at rest. For your soul to be at rest, you have to align the desires, propensities, affections of the body with the will of the spirit. This is war. But rest assured, you can win, on this side of heaven, while in the flesh.

Part of winning this battle is believing you can. We have been taught for so long that you can't that many people throw in the towel before the fight. You can win. You can make changes to your life/lifestyle that better suit the knowledge of the Spirit of God. Winning this battle isn't something that takes place after many battles and then you come to a point in time where you win and therefore you aren't faced with more battles. Winning this battle is part of the daily walk with Christ in this life, where each day, as you face the many battles/obstacles/hurdles that are in your path, you take them on one at a time, seek the will of God, make decisions accordingly and move forward in the will of God, daily, all the while placing your faith and trust in the living God to finish what He has started in your life.

You don't have to fight this battle alone. God has provisioned you for success and whatever is impossible for you to accomplish, God will accomplish in you and through you or for you. You, the soul is made in the image and likeness of God. I hope you feel good about yourself today. You are a living soul made by God.
You have the eternal Spirit of God within you.
You have a temporary physical body to serve God with while on this earth.
Is your soul at peace with God?

Daily Devotional August 14 - I Know The Will Of God For You

"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."  Romans 6:14

Grace is the single biggest experience you will ever have in your life. If, when you were saved, you didn't grasp the enormity of what grace meant, I'm sorry about that. There's so much teaching that keeps us from really enjoying the truth about grace and understanding its implications concerning our life. One example is that once you are saved, i. e., receiving this grace, you then need to abide by rules that keep you saved; tithing, duty, ministry, taking communion, baptism, second blessing, receiving a particular gift of the spirit that everyone must receive and on and on. None of these things are true. Most of things are results of getting saved and were never meant to be conditions to keep you saved.

There is one condition to keep you saved. To get saved.

Grace is so big it is impossible to understand it fully with our finite minds. But whatever you think it is, it is bigger. To whatever degree you think it covers you, it covers more. To whatever depth you think grace takes you, it takes you further. Grace takes you from condemned (John 3:18) to applauded (Luke 15:7). Grace is the journey for the Christian. Grace removed your chances to die in your sins. Grace covered your past sin and indiscretion and it now unites you into the rest (to cease from working for approval) of God. You are approved. You are covered by the blood of Jesus. You are made in the image and likeness of Jesus. You are chosen and adopted into the kingdom of God. You are exactly what God desires to be united with. You are accepted into the beloved. You are saved from your sins and saved into a life where you do now have the ability and the internal desire to serve God with affection, love and zeal.

It is a shame what weak kneed preaching has done to God's people. Those who have tried to get you to do this or do that, say this or say that, they don't understand grace. First of all grace is not something you can do to yourself or get for yourself by following some formula. You have no power over receiving the grace of God nor do you have power of its efficacy. Grace is given by God to those who accept Jesus as their Savior and what God does to make sure that this grace is not lost is the work of God and not the work of man. The instructions in righteousness in the Bible are for your benefit and to benefit the world at large. None of it is so that you can keep grace alive by some method or works plus faith or belief plus faith or works plus belief or faith plus works plus belief plus anything. Grace is God covering you and needs no assistance. Grace is a work of God and not to be measured by men.

If there were anything to brag about as a Christian, it wouldn't be that you taught Sunday School for thirty years or that you preached good messages or that you were faithful to take the wafer once a week, nor would it be that you fed the poor or tithed every week or that you spoke in an unknown language or prophesied about future events. If there were anything to brag about as a Christian it would be that God chose you to give you grace.

Daily Devotional August 13 - I Know The Will Of God For You

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Wait a minute. We can know the will of God concerning us? You mean God wants us to understand what is the best direction to take for our life and what parameters we should set in our life so that we can stay in the will of God?

Yes. The Bible is filled with instruction as to what the will of God is for you. Thanks to watered down preaching and seeker church policies, people are starting to believe that the Bible is a message about a god, like other books, i. e., the Koran, the I Ching, The Bhagavad Gita, Confucius or other books of myth. People aren't looking into the Bible to get the answers to their dilemmas, they are taking a little from here and taking a little from there and putting together their own god. When they see something they don't like in the Bible they simply gloss over it as if were a children's story book.

The Word of God is God speaking to you. It amazes me that many Christians today are hearing from God a different word than what is on the printed pages of scripture. That's what happens when you make up your own god.

We are to give thanks to God for everything. It is the will of God concerning you. I know this is going to be hard to swallow, but we are to give thanks for the wrong things that others do to us, for our job, for our current situation. It is foreign to most Christians today to believe the Word of God, but it shouldn't be. God gets it. God hasn't abandoned you. God hasn't said anything He has to take back. God didn't have anything written down in the Bible, that looking back, He wishes He hadn't revealed. There's nothing to cover up in God's Bible. It's all there to assure you that you are reading the real truth. There's no stories about mythological characters in the Bible that you have to weed through to figure out who's real and who's an allegory. It's all there, revealed in its raw truth so that you can see the condition of mankind when left to their own devices and also so that you can see the results of following a loving Savior.

There's nothing missing in the Bible that other so-called spiritual books pick up where God left off. There's no teaching in other books that must be adhered to in order to recognize God and make a decision to ask forgiveness for your sins and to find the salvation of your soul.

I know I'm rabbit-trailing, but you must give thanks to God for everything, otherwise you are proving that you do not believe that God has your best interest in mind. You are revealing that you do not trust God with your life. You are creating a view of God that is not God. Believe the Word as it is written, each verse and you will find enlightenment and you will be set free and you will find solace for your life and have peace in your soul. Give thanks for everything, it is the will of God concerning you.

Daily Devotional August 12 - You Ought To Always Pray

"And He (Jesus) spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;"  Luke 18:1

This word faint is from the Greek word ekkakeo, which means to be weak or faint in heart and weary in the soul. We ought not be weak in heart and weary in our soul, but sometimes we are. Jesus gives us the cure, to pray and that continually. It's true. Even in the worst of times, when all is not well, if you seek God's provision for your soul through prayer, you will receive an uplifting.

Jesus knows that all battles are fought on the spiritual battle ground as well as the physical. As you do what you know to do with the wisdom you have you move the physical realm, but to be in alignment with the will of God for your life the spiritual realm must be moving at the same rate. The spiritual realm in your life requires prayer. Prayer is the condition required by God for God to incorporate all the necessary spiritual components for you. It's not that God doesn't do anything without you praying for it, but there is no way you can know the will of God or make the right decisions unless you are communicating and hearing from God. This is best done through reading the Bible as you pray for each situation. You will receive answers for your mind. There will be action taken in the heavens on your behalf and you will get understanding in your heart. That's why men ought always to pra