Monday, January 22, 2018

Nine Stages Of Spiritual Growth - 3rd Stage - Strengthend

"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 3:16

After God calls us and we are washed, God begins a work in us, by strengthening us. That work that begins, God finishes.  Philippians 1:6 says "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" 

You and might start something and not finish it or start something and can't finish it, but God doesn't start anything that God does not complete.  Please keep that thought in your mind when it just doesn''t look true.  What God began in each you, God will complete in you, by strengthening you along the way, in a way that best suits what you need at the time. (If you are at all like me, you are probably saying, I really have a hard time with believing that all that befalls me, somehow helps me.  But God has proven Himself to me so many times that to doubt would just prove futile.)

God does not strengthen you in ways that are incongruent with His plan for you, but God graciously strengthens you in the areas that you need at the time.  God is always strengthening you, not just so that you can refrain, sustain and maintain:
Refrain from the unnecessary indulgences of the past
Sustain the blows of life's everyday difficulties
Maintain your growth without too much backsliding
God is also, always strengthening us, so that we can go to higher ground. 

There is a season of battling the flesh, but God strengthens you to bring you out with power to overcome.  There is a season of playing war games with reason and logic, where doubt comes your way, but God strengthens you to take you out of that state of mind into the glorious mind of Christ.

There is a season of legalism, self-promotion, or high-mindedness, but God strengthens you to rise above your self and God gives you a glimpse of Himself to take you higher.
There may be a season in your life (maybe right now) that you need the strength that only God can provide to carry you through.  If so, don't spend another minute trying to go through it on your own strength, when the strength of God is available and plentiful.  That work that God begins, God ends and the ending that God brings about is better than any ending that you can bring about. 

But between the great beginning we have with God and the unexplainable ending, there's the in-between time where you live today - And it is in this in-between place where the strengthening of God should/must become what you seek after every day.  Keeping true to your understanding of your whole being:  Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual

We find it true that when our physical body is strengthened, the emotional, intellectual and spiritual components of our whole being are affected positively.  Just the same when we are strengthened emotionally, the physical, intellectual and spiritual components of our whole being are affected positively.  And when our mind is strengthened, the physical, emotional, and spiritual components of our whole being are affected positively.  And last, but not least, when our spirit is strengthened, the physical, emotional and intellectual components of our whole being are affected positively.

There are some things that we can do, to strengthen our body, our emotions, our mind and our spirit and there are some things that we cannot do, that only God can do.  You need a balanced understanding of what your part is, so that you can get on with life doing those things that make you and keep you strong in your whole self.  And you need a balanced understanding of what God's part is, so that you can use our strength in cooperation with the strength that comes from God.

You also need to understand that some of your strengthening is from God, and you receive that strength apart from anything that is of you except the yielding of your will to God's will - the yielding of your strength for God's strength.  Apart from God strengthening you with the strength that only comes from God, the strength that you have of our own is of little value, but in cooperation with the strength that comes from God, the strength that we have of our own is of great value.

Try to remember that you were created to do everything in cooperation with God.
You were created to be completed by God.
In and of our own strength apart from God's impartation to us of His strength:
You can lose the battle
You can fail to complete your tasks
Your marriage is in jeopardy
Your child rearing skills are insufficient
Your ego will take control
You are far less likely to take wise council
You become hardened to godly accountability
You begin to think that you are the strength
It is this completion of us by God that the non-believing world does not understand. 

There are three philosophies that try to explain our existence without a personal relationship with God.
  • There is the group that doesn't believe that God exist at all, therefore the thought of any completion by God or personal relationship with God, is not an option.
  • There is the group that believe that God is, but that we are completed, simply because we exist. The need for personal relationship or being completed by God is just as foreign to this group as those who don't believe in God at all.
  • There is also the group that believes that God is and that God does, but God does what He does dis-attached from us - That God operates entirely on His own and we operate entirely on our own.
In all three of these prevailing world philosophies, God is distanced from man and man is distanced from God. But the truth is:

God is not distanced, but very near
God is not obscure, but very clear
God is not apart like some say
No, God is with us and here to stay

God did not create us to be on our own
God made us to be His home
God did not design us to be apart
God made us to reign in our heart

I know there are those who explain away God's part
But it's only to hide their hardened heart
But even those who turn their backs
God doesn't let fall through the cracks

No, God created every soul, to see and understand
That there's more to life than what is in a man
Only someone who has never seen what God can do through man
Could ever want their life to be outside of His hand

The truth is that God is very near
And God speaks in such a way that we can hear
And what we do with what we hear is how we show
That God is close, so very close, for all to know

God will not be blamed when people cry to let them in.
God will not be found guilty of not providing payment for their sin.
God will not have to make excuses for those who choose another way.
Because God revealed Himself to everyone, every day.

We need the strength of God in this life. We all need God's visitation on our frail bodies, our erratic emotions - our frivolous intellect and our young spirits.  There is a place in our walk with the Lord, where the Lord is our strength.  That is a good place to live.  Tomorrow we look at the fourth stage of spiritual growth which is - prepared.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Nine Stages Of Spiritual Growth 2nd stage - Washed

"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"  Titus 3:3-5

This session we are going to look at the second stage of spiritual growth, being washed. No greater gift will you and I ever receive than the gift of salvation.  When you are washed by God, it is as simple as when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and also as profound as having spiritual surgery; where God removes from you everything that has attached its self to you, that is not from God (either by omission and commission):

Everything that is not of God
Everything that is not from God
Everything that you did against God and man
Everything that you didn't do but should have done
Every evil thought that you ever had
Every act of immorality
Every act of impropriety
Every decision that you made where God was not considered
All carefully removed and disposed of.

You would think that when God removes from us everything that is not or was not of Him, that there may have been times when there would have been nothing left.  But God doesn't just remove that which is not of Him, God imparts into us, that which is Him, the Holy Spirit.

When we accept the call of God - God sets in order a series of events: Some things happen instantaneously and some things take place over a period of time. This is what the bible calls being born again, being saved, i.e., the salvation experience.

The salvation experience can be marked by day and time, and yet, the salvation experience is more.  The salvation experience does not stop at that moment in time that we are saved/washed.  It continues on and on and becomes more and more to us and provides more and more for us and asks more and more of us.  Those who teach and those who believe that the salvation experience is rapped up in a moment in time, (whereby receipt of salvation is the end of their quest for God), will be utterly disappointed when they find out that the quest for God begins at that special moment in time, but never ends.

Those who think of the salvation experience as a brief and ordinary experience in the life of a sinner, have been made to believe this by those who have devalued the price that God paid to secure our salvation, because the scriptures speak of an entirely different experience.

There is more to getting saved than just being forgiven of our sins and getting a ticket to heaven:
Two things happen when a decision is made without adequate information or let's say, without full disclosure.
1 The person making the decision might change their mind once they find out the truth,
2 Or, the person making the decision is short changed of vital information that could and will make all the difference once they find out the truth.

In the Church today we have the unsaved teaching the unsaved how to get saved, and the results is devastating. The best example of this phenomenon is found in Matthew 7:21-23, "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.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

When I read this for the first time, (many years ago) I decided that I would find out for sure what God expected of me for me to have His salvation. I did not want to be found in the camp with those who were rejected. I knew the scriptures were true.  How could there be this great dichotomy between those who thought they were saved and those who really were? I found the answer. Salvation is provided so that we can stop operating apart from God.

God isn't looking for us to become something or to cast out demons or to do many wonderful works, or to prophesy some great message.  God saves us to know us, and in the experience of salvation alone, we come to know God and God knows us - and apart from the relationship of listening to and responding to God, other spiritual tendencies have no real value and will win us no favor with God.

When we talk of salvation, we should reveal everything that we know to be true about our experience of salvation.  And for our own internal wisdom we should be thoroughly acquainted with the provisions of God through salvation. We should tell the unbeliever that God forgives sins, washes us clean and provides for us entrance into heaven - But we should also tell them:

That God will be taking up residency in their heart and purifying them, as with fire - 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
  • That no longer will they be their own, but they would be bought with a price - 1 Corinthians 6:20 & 7:23
  • That their minds would be renewed day by day, until the things of God became primary - Ephesians 4:23 & 2 Corinthians 4:16
  • That they would become a new creation and that all things would be new, and we would forever think differently, but we would be required to stay in our old body - 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
  • That they would be called to take up their cross and follow Jesus - Matthew 16:24
  • That they would not always know what to say, but the Holy spirit would give them the words to speak - Luke 12:12
  • That they were to pray without ceasing - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • Abstain from all appearance of evil - 1 Thessalonians 5:22
  • To give to everyone that asks - Matthew 5:42
  • That they would have to turn the cheek - Matthew 5:39
  • That they would have to go the extra mile - Matthew 5:41
  • That they would have to love their enemy - Matthew 5:44
  • That they would have to bless those who curse them, do good to them who hate them, pray for those who despitefully use them - Matthew 5:44.
Those who teach that you can be saved and stay the same as you were before, that you can receive Christ and be friends with the world - they have done no one justice. Even a child, not only deserves, but demands better than that.  Stay with me tomorrow as we investigate the third stage of spiritual growth - Strengthened.

Nine Stages Of Spiritual Growth - 1st stage Called

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."  1 Timothy 2:1-4
There are nine stages of growth.
  1. Called - Searching for God
  2. Washed - Found the Saviour 
  3. Strengthened - Studying the Word 
  4. Prepared - Adhering to the truths learned in scripture and looking ahead to see what God is going to do with you
  5. Filled - At the crossroads of decision to never turn back
  6. Empowered - Ready for specific service
  7. Inspired - Continually following the leading of the Holy Spirit
  8. Authorized - Ample biblical knowledge to be trusted to make the right decisions under pressure 
  9. Anointed - God and man cooperating in will and purpose
These nine stages of growth are real points in time that can be marked by day and time, but they are also landmarks in time that overlap one another and weave in and out like a weavers knot.  The order of these nine stages of growth are for the purpose of learning practical truths from scripture, truth upon truth, line upon line, precept upon precept, in hopes that you will learn to desire the natural sequence of development that God ordained for you.

To jump ahead of the perfect balance of life that God has designed puts you in a place where you have no power or authority. 
To be ahead of God's intended plan only brings uncertainty and discouragement, doubt and pretense.

Just the same, to fall behind and crawl through life, uninspired and unmoved by God makes you feel unworthy. Low self esteem and depression are signs of falling behind where God wants you to be. Irritability, fault finding, an argumentative spirit, irresponsibility and disrespect are some of the signs of falling behind where God wants His people.

Jumping ahead of what God has ordained and falling behind what God ordained, both keep you out of alignment with God's plan for His people.

Each of the nine stages of development builds upon another and another upon another to take you from where you are to a place closer than you have ever been before, not only to God, but to understanding and developing your own personal experiences under the light of God's plan for your life.

There is much discussion about who is able to apprehend the truths of God. You will find that this writer believes that each and every individual is created to receive all that God has prepared for them. There are those who cannot, for whatever reason, (physiological or mental), those chemically imbalanced or mentally incapacitated), receive and respond to God's call.  God has provided grace for all those who cannot, of their own volition, move toward God; the unborn destroyed in the womb, babies that die an untimely death and those who cannot comprehend. But for you and I, who have been enabled to act upon our own will - we have a duty and a responsibility to God, to not only participate in His plan, but to have a deep residing understanding of His plan.

Not everyone wants to grow in Christ, but if you are one that has found God, but now you want more of God, you will enjoy every word of this treatise.  This is a discussion of the process that God takes you through, precept upon precept, faith to faith, glory to glory to make you more like Christ."

Preparing for the Anointing
The first stage of growth in the quest for fulfilling God's call in our life is to be Called.
There are two kinds of calling:
One is the call to every man, woman and child to come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ.  And the other is our calling in life, that vocation or talent or skill that God has nurtured and advanced us in, to set us apart for the furtherance of the gospel.

The first calling is for our soul to be united with Christ.  And the other calling is our calling in life, that vocation or talent or skill that God allows us to be in or work in, while we are fulfilling our calling in Christ.
Of the two callings: the call to a personal faith in Jesus Christ and the call to use our talent and skills in a specific vocation - this study is primarily concerned with God's call for you and I to come to a personal faith in Christ.

It is important to understand that God calls us. First of all, when we understand that God calls us, we understand that God communicates with us. And it is this beginning of communication through His calling that each of us find our way to the cross.  The Holy Spirit is guiding each new believer to the cross to meet Jesus. Without this first contact, without hearing the call of God to recognize our condition as a sinner and to turn from the direction we are in and head back toward God, we will never have spiritual ears to hear as God guides us through the rest of our life.
You may not think about it very much, but when God calls you, and you accept God's call, God sets in order a plethora of events that change your life forever.  God's call is the beginning of a relationship with God. Our relationship prior to the call was one of questions and doubt, because we were searching for a spiritual God using carnal devices, our natural senses absent of the influence of the Holy Spirit , our natural understanding apart from faith.  But once God calls a man, a woman or a child, God sets in order every provision necessary for us to accept His call and become and heir and joint heir with Christ of all things pertaining to godliness.

There are those who think that when they are saved that God does not impart His holiness into them and that it doesn't matter much whether or not they live a life that reflects the experience of having the God of the universe come to make His home inside of their being. I am not one of them.  I believe the scriptures and the scriptures are clear - that when God calls and we answer, there is a marvelous transformation from one way of being to another.

If we are called are we compelled to accept?  No. The bible says in Matthew 22:14 at the end of the parable of the marriage feast, "For many are called, but few are chosen."  Catch this: If you know the story of the marriage feast, you know that those who were chosen are those who came. No one who came when they were called were turned away, but not everyone who was called answered the call.

Why did God do it this way? Because God wanted to make sure that you and I would always understand that God is the initiator of everything.  God is the initiator of thought, feelings, creation and life. Every physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual response that you have is response to what God created to prove the existence of God and to nurture your relationship with God. Every call from God to man is a signature of His love toward us. Without it, we would wander in vain exploring the endless array of invalid philosophies. And at the end of a lifetime of unfulfilled experiences, there would be no solace, no contentment, no answers.

I want you to sense with me, that the call that you received to accept God's call to become a Son of God is not like any other call, not like any other experience and not to be compared with anything.  The call from God is the first step of many in the life that God has prepared for those who love Him. 
Why do so many Christians think that the call of God was owed to them? Many act like they are doing God a favor by accepting and receiving God's infinite supply of His creation and Himself. 
  • You must unlearn any thought that you have ever entertained that made light of so great a salvation.  
  • You must unlearn any idea or concept that equates the gift of God with the empty promises of false religions and vain philosophies.
  • You must unlearn whatever keeps you from seeing how precious the call of God was to you.
When God uttered the words to you, "come," it was the beginning of unexplainable life.  The life that God called us to is often misunderstood, but even with a cursory look at the Word of God, a deep meaning can easily be discovered.  You were called with a holy calling. And even though you might not understand why everyone doesn't answer the call of God, you should rest assured that God in His infinite wisdom has made the right choice in calling you.  Forever give up the idea that you have to know why there are so many religions, so many philosophies, so many lost.  You were called and because of that calling, you can trust that God has not abandoned or ignored any race, any creed, any hemisphere, any anyone. God is no respecter of persons. God is far more interested in the salvation of the lost than you and I are.

If you could trust that God knows what He is doing - If you could get beyond trying to figure out the hidden mysteries and stick with what God has ordained to be revealed - you would then be working in cooperation with God and doing what God called you into; Seeking Him further, sharing the gospel and giving your testimony.  The call of God is precious and full of power.  Within the same breath of God that called us out, God called the worlds into existence.  You must start your journey into the depths of God's great provision for your personal and collective development with awe and reverence.
The way we enter into a relationship is often how we come out of that relationship.
Would you to take time this week to recognize the significance of your salvation.  Take some prime time to evaluate your life. Let that evaluation determine if you have allowed God to fully develop your understanding of what you have been called to.  God called while you were searching.  When you and I accepted the call from God to become a child of God, God washed us.  Tomorrow let's look at the second stage of spiritual growth, washed.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Daily Devotional January 19 - Seek God Without Compromise Lamentations 3:24-25

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.  The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."  Lamentations 3:24-25

To seek after God and not find Him, not only in the quiet of meditation, but also in the noise of the day, is proof of how distanced we have become from a pure and holy life.  In our busied life, we manage to be unavailable. God is always available, but we make ourselves unavailable by our actions.  We have managed to disassociate with the never changing Spirit world, for a moment of attention from the ever changing material world.

I am going to help you make some crucial decisions in your life today, because the teaching of the truth always weeds out the heart.  In your heart, you will make a decision today.  When God speaks to your heart, one of three things happen:
  1. You remain unchanged - unmoved by God's Word for us, not at all stirred up, encouraged or empowered - the true sign of cultural or carnal Christianity.
  2. You turn away and do not let what God said to become true in you, even though you hear the voice of God - even though you know it is right - even though you know that God is dealing with you for your own benefit - even though you know the consequences of not adhering to what God is saying is devastating - you turn away.
  3. You are drawn closer. you are positively affected down in your soul.  You make up our mind to allow God to weed out every thing that is not of God, by God or for God and you allow God's Word to give you the answers of the moment, the day, for your career, your ministry, your direction, your life.  You make a way for God to have His way;  when God speaks to your heart you are drawn closer.
That's why I can say, you will make an important decision today.

The trappings of the seen, (the visible world) have all but blinded us of the unseen, (the invisible world).  The pleasure of the moment has caused a thick fog to pass over our good sense.  The desire for immediate gratification has all but eradicated our vision for the long haul.
A wise man or woman will enjoy the moment without compromising the future.

God-thinking is for those who have decided to seek out those things that bring peace and comfort, financial security, joy and happiness - without filling their tomorrows with unpredictable troubles and problems, without compromising their future.

God thinking is for those who want to give up more of the:
short lived
ever changing
thrown together
not well planned out
I'll worry about the consequences later, mind-set

and replace it with the:
long lived
well planned
thoughts developed through prayer and communion with God

We mustn't deny God entrance into the affairs of our life.  And we do deny God entrance into the affairs of our life when we are outside of the will of God.  Jesus Christ came into this world and lived, died and rose again to empower us to live above the fray.

Too many Christians are willing to ignore the warning of the pastor.
Too many Christians are willing to ignore the lure of the world.
Too many Christians are willing to ignore the signs of the times.
They paint their own picture of the way things are and the way things should be:

  • without consultation from wise counsel
  • without instruction from scripture
  • without prayerfully considering the results of their actions
  • without recognition of God's Sovereignty.

To say that we believe that God is sovereign, and live like He is distant and unconcerned, is hypocrisy.
Jesus didn't think much of hypocrisy during His earthly ministry and He doesn't think much of hypocrisy right now.

We need to kick out that old kind of thinking, that says, just because we cannot live a sinless life, like Jesus Christ did, that somehow that equates to our having no ability or power at all.  That since we have fallen short in times past, we must constantly, and without refrain, continue to fall prey to the ploys of our enemy.

We have been empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to overcome the world, not succumb to the world.  We are to be in the world, not of the world.  Our success isn't in living a sinless life without a Savior, it is living our life, empowered by a sinless Savior.  If living an empowered life is something new to you, there is no need to be ashamed. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Religion has taught believers that they cannot win over temptation.
Religion has taught believers for centuries that the move of the Spirit of God was only for a short time.
Religion has taught believers that they must go through a mediator to apprehend God.
Religion has taught believers that they cannot understand what they read.
Priest's and pastors, ministers and teachers have been teaching a powerless gospel to a faithless people for centuries.  And now we have self-proclaimed apostles and prophets, ascended masters and spiritual guru's teaching a magical genie kind of God.

It's not true that the power of God has been removed from us and neither is it true that God performs silly magical feats for the ignorant and unlearned to reveal Himself.  God is self-disclosed and cannot be hidden. God's power is evident in all power and God's creation is evident in itself. God's supernatural intervention is also evident by His ever present ability to change the hearts of men.

If you want to know why so many people are messed up, think about all the untruths that have been spoken about God the Father, the Holy Spirit and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And if you want to know why so many Christians are living out their lives without evidence of the presence of God in their life, just think about all the untruths they have been taught about themselves.

It's no wonder our society is so messed up. They believe in a God that is either powerless or genie-like and they believe in themselves as either broken beyond repair or self-sustaining.
Erroneous thinking produces powerless results.

Jehovah God, El Eloheim, El Adonai, El Shaddai, the Holy Spirit, Jesus the Christ is not to be mocked by man's feeble and inferior attempt to explain God outside of holy scripture.  God is not powerless (just because in the lives of the disobedient, it appears that God is impotent), nor does God perform magic to a jeering crowd of spectators, (at the whim of the prophets sceptre).  God's supernatural intervention in the lives of men and women is not to be likened to the scheming manipulations of men.

So let's set the record straight.
Let's replace any and every erroneous thought that we have had or have about God with thoughts that produce sound doctrine.

1. The power of God is available and operating in the lives of men and women, teens, children and even the unborn. All to the glory of God, for the purpose of empowering His saints to overcome the world and serve God with a holy life.

2. God is not genie-like and performs no magic, but God is all powerful and performs magnificent miracles at His discretion, (all for the glory of God and to benefit God's finest and foremost creation, you and I.)

3. You and I, those who have been born again by the Spirit of God are not broken beyond repair, but we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit within us, not only for the sake of receiving the gift of eternal life, but also to make us able to withstand the fiery darts of the wicked one and to be able to stand firm in the faith against all odds.

4. We are not self-sustaining, but ever in need of substance created for us by God. We are ever in need of God and God's creation to sustain our life and spirit.
The best way to accomplish this is to seek God without compromise.

Daily Devotioinal January 18 - Be Strong And Do It

"Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it."  1 Chronicles 28:10

Whatever you are called to do, in whatever capacity, be strong and do it. In our nation we have a lot of starters, but few finishers.

  • People will start going to church and then wax back into their old ways.
  • Millions will quit something on January 1 and by January 10 they are back in full swing.
  • People promise the pastor they will help knock down the chairs and a week later act like it never happened.
  • There are those that talk big about giving if God will bless them, then they are blessed and quickly become miserly.
  • Maybe you have been called to go back to college and finish.
  • Maybe you are called to move closer to your son, because he needs you.
  • Maybe you have been called to venture into unknown territory and start something new.
  • Maybe you were called to be a pastor, but those around you aren't very supportive.
  • Maybe you were called to become a nurse, but you don't have the education.
  • Maybe you were called to write a book.
  • Maybe you were called to be a mechanic or a carpenter and to be the best and most honest in your town.
  • Maybe you were called to stay home with your kids.
  • Maybe you were called to stop taking long trips that keep you away from your family.
Yes, these are callings, one no more important than another.

Be strong and do it.

If you don't hear a call - Turn down the din. The call is continuous and you must get quiet without the cell phone on to hear it.
If you hear the call - answer the call yes or no. don't play games with God.
If you answer the call no, move on and live, but don't abandon God. God understands you more than people do. God will not abandon you.
If you answer the call yes, work hard to accomplish your goal, pray often and get all the help and resources you need to be successful.

In our society so many people want a quick fix for everything and a magic genie god to bring it to pass. God is not a magic genie god, but God is a miracle working God. Try doing things God's way for a season and see if you don't get better results. Try planning long term and getting God into your situation from the inception and see if you don't get better results. Get off the fence and make a decision. God will honor it. Be strong and do it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Daily Devotional January 17 - Prophesy For Today

Today is special in that I am going to list five prophesies that pertain to you. Please read these verses and apply the lesson from the Word.

"Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, (mature) be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing."  Philippians 3:15-16

Our response to what we already know to be true is why our faith is where it is right now.  If we have faith that can move mountains, this verse is true in us and if we cannot even get through one day without being overcome, this verse is true in us.  So many of us aren't living by the truths that we
know. Somewhere along the way, somebody told us it didn't matter much if we acted out our faith, so we tread through life:
without being inspired
  • without being excited for God
  • without growing in faith
  • without enjoying worship
  • without praising God
  • without the kind of enthusiasm that comes with living out what we already know to be true.
There should be more conviction in the Christian community today to live by the truths that they have already learned.  We want God to take us into His confidence and reveal His magnificence and His secrets to us and we can't even abide in the simple truths that God taught to us ten years ago.  

Here this prophetic word: Christians aren't getting all they can out of life because they are not living out the truths that they already know.  Our response to what we already know to be true is why our faith is where it is right now.
"Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light...." John 12:35-36

There will be no new light revealed until you and I decide to live in the light that God has already revealed.  If God is His mercy has revealed truth in our heart and we have come to a knowledge of the truth and we have tasted to His goodness; we mock Him by wavering in our faith.

It is foolishness to think that God is going to keep trying new truths on you and shedding new light on you to see which truths meet your approval and which light you like the most.  It is time that we take God at His Word and stop toying with the Almighty. God did not send His Son to die for us and give us His Word so that we could continue to act like we don't know what's going on.

It is spoken in the Word and it has been my experience that most people have learned and relearned the truths of God hundreds of times and sometimes without so much as even an inclination to live them out.  The light of God within us, is to be set on an hill to shine so that the glory of God can be witnessed by the world, through us, and God gets the glory.  How does God get glory when His own people live like they don't even know Him. Some of us have enough light within us to light up a whole city and we squander it and hide it and keep it behind closed doors.  Some of us have enough light that we could be a torch for God, and we choose a lessor way. Oh, we like it when God is the light, but when God calls us to be the light....

There will be no new light revealed until you and I decide to live in the light that God has already revealed.
"Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.@"  Matthew 9:29
You can.....   You can be......    You can do it.....
You can have peace in your life

You can have joy in your life
You can have fulfillment in your life
If you haven't given up and you are still breathing, you can.

Don't believe one more lie from the enemy. You can find and possess any and all that's on your heart. God didn't give you faith so you could go about acting like you don't have faith.

Faith moves mountains
Faith heals the sick
Faith fills dreams
Faith sets us free to get on with it.
With faith you can subdue nations.

Don't wait another day to take hold of this prophetic truth. It is for you. Take what God offers. Put your hands out, your hearts out and receive an infilling of faith.
There's nothing wrong with living by faith and living a life that shows the love of God.
There's nothing wrong with having faith that can move mountains.
There's nothing wrong with exercising your faith and making a fool of yourself for Christ.
There's nothing wrong with believing differently that you used to. God has been trying to get through to some of us for decades and we still act like we don't even know Him.

Of course you are going to be trampled on.
Of course you are going to be put down by our family.
Of course you are going to become vulnerable.
Of course your friends will think you have gone off the deep end. Is that such a big price to pay?
Of course we are going to have to face the naysayers.
But what is the alternative? - A life of mediocrity, always questioning God, wondering if God really knows what He is doing.  Year after year, succumbing to the flesh, having no power to overcome even the smallest barrier.  What is the alternative? - telling our kids or grand-kids by our actions that we don't have a clue.

Here me. If you do not instill every Word of faith that you possess in Almighty God, to your children and grandchildren, they will not win in the days to come.  God created a way to live above what this world offers and it's called God's faith. The highway of life takes on a whole new look when we are on God's 'faithway'.
You can..... You can be...... You can do it.....

"...Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from (let go of) these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:"  Acts 14:15
Let it go
If God has spoken to you and said, "let it go", for God's sake let it go before it consumes you, whatever it is.

It could be something damaging to your body, like: substance abuse, or habitual smoking, of over-eating, drugs, or excessive use of alcohol.

It could be something personal, like: hatred, or bitterness, envy or jealously, lying or cheating, living outside of God's will concerning marriage and intimate relationships.

It could be something spiritual, like: Toying with spirits or divination, testing God or dabbling in forbidden territory.

It could be something simple, like: Apathy toward the things of God, unforgiveness in our heart or an unwillingness to receive wise council.

Whatever it is that is keeping you from moving forward and accepting your rightful place as an Ambassador of Christ. Let it go.

Whatever it is that you know that God disapproves of but its had a hold on you so long its starting to take on a life of its own. Let it go.

Whatever it is that keeps you trapped in your circumstances - whatever constrains you from doing what is right, let it go.  God will replace it with something far better, but there's only room for one God in your life and God will not share His place with anything or anyone.

Whatever is stealing or draining from the time that you sense should be spent with God, it has got to go.

Whatever it is that rends you powerless in prayer needs to be abandoned.  Most of us don't need to post on the refrigerator what it is that is hampering our prayer life.  We know what it is, we just haven't wanted to deal with it.  But I say with authority and by permission, it's time to let it go.

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD."  Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord
If God has spoken to you and said, "Wait," please let me encourage you to hold on, and prepare; don't let go, but don't jump ahead of God's timing. When we do jump ahead of God's timing, we annul His will for us, because we move our self onto His throne. Wait until you get release from God.  Wait is a powerful and profound word, when it comes from God. It can protect you from immeasurable pain and heartache. When God issues the wait command:
  • it's not to keep you from some beautiful experience
  • it's not to hold you back from what is rightfully yours
  • it's not to slow down your progress or to discourage you.
  • It's to protect you and me from making horrific and sometimes irreversible mistakes.
God says wait to protect you, and those who wait on the LORD are never disappointed.

These are the five prophesies for today
Our response to what we already know to be true is why our faith is where it is right now.
There will be no new light revealed until you and I decide to live in the light that God has already revealed.
You can..... You can be...... You can do it.....
Let it go
Wait on the Lord

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Daily Devotional January 16 - Good Theology Is Not Me-ology

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. I believe the Word." John 1:1-3

The Apostle Paul said it like this:
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. I believe the Word."  Colossians 1:16-17

The writer of Hebrews puts it like this.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"  Hebrews 1:1-2

Because we are the handiwork of God, the solutions to all of our problems, situations and circumstances are theological in nature.  Theo coming from the Greek word Theos, which means of God or from God or by God, and logical from the Greek word Logos, which means to speak, or spoken - Theological: That which is spoken of, from or by God. Theology is the study of that which is of God or from God or spoken by God.

The root of all ology's are from God:
  • Biology - The study of living organisms.
  • Cosmology - The study of the cosmos - the dynamics of the universe.
  • Sociology - The study of social structures.
  • Anthropology - The study of the origins of culture, and the development of man.
  • Physiology - The study of the biological science of life processes.
  • Psychology - The study of the mind.
There's a battle going on for the minds of men, women, teens and children.  This battle was waged in order to convince the world that you can study the world and everything in it without acknowledging a creator.  By doing this, secular society, (those without Christ), attempt to educate and council, without the aid of the indwelling Holy Spirit - without the theology of God.

That's why our society is so sick.
That's why, even the Church sin and indiscretion is taken lightly.
Anyone, believer or non-believer who believes what the world says, over what God says - will have constant turmoil, impending trouble, unresolved conflict and seemingly impossible situations.  We need to be as up on God's theology as we are new music, new video games, new fashion, new anything.
Even though secular society has attempted to eliminate God, even though everything has its roots from God.

For example to study biology without tracing the first organism back to the time of creation is futile. No true study of biology can be made without, "And God said."

To study cosmology without tracing the universe back to its creator is guessing, not science. Good science must account for the origin of a thing before it can build a preponderance of evidence to make legitimate conclusions about that thing.

Sociology: Men study society and its origins as professors without giving the scriptures their rightful due. In the scriptures, every generation of man is traced back from Jesus to Adam.  The rise and fall of civilizations were recorded with pin-point accuracy, but ignored by secular humanist.  The classrooms of America are filled with material designed and provided by secular humanist that don't believe a word of the bible.

Anthropologist have the hardest time ignoring the Word of God, because time after time, discovery after discovery, the archaeologist keep on discovering what God said did exist, that the anthropologist said didn't exist.

Physiology - The study of the biological science of life processes. Over and over again the Bible reveals the truth about the species and how each kind procreates its own. The origin of man, the origin of the races, the origin of the languages, are clearly spelled out.  To seek out knowledge about the origin of man without the Word of God is fruitless and inconclusive. Only the scriptures tell the whole story.

The study is psychology. A man or a woman that trains in the science of understanding the complexities of the mind and stops short of finding their way back to the cause, the maker of the mind - has little to offer the unregenerate man, and nothing to offer the regenerated man.  When the secular psychologist looks into the mind of man without the aid of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the wisdom that comes from above - it's like their standing on the outside of a building that has no windows and guessing what is inside.

The origins for life are found in the scriptures.
The history of man is found in the scriptures.
The history of the universe is found in the scriptures.
And, the solutions for every problem, every circumstance, every trouble, every situation in this life, are found in the scriptures.  You don't have anything going on in your life that God is not fully acquainted with - and besides that, God knows how we got in it and God knows how to get us out. There are no exceptions.

If you are not going through the fire right now and you are experiencing the joy and the peace that comes with a yielding relationship with God - then God will simply use this time in your life to draw you closer and impart to you His wisdom - because God understands the good times:
  • The times when things seem to come together:
  • The times when all your bills are all paid
  • The times when your spouse thinks you are the greatest person on earth
  • The times when your children do everything you tell them to do, because they believe that you really do know best.
  • The times when you are secure
  • The times when you have no fear
  • The times when you get a raise without asking
God simply wants us thanking Him and utilizing what we are stewards of during these seasons of bliss.
But for all the other times:
  • Like when nothing comes together, no matter what you do.
  • The times when the stress that comes with trying to pay all the bills is so great you want to throw in the towel.
  • The times when your spouse seems like your enemy.
  • The times when your children don't listen, and actually they believe you are more stupid than a telephone pole.
  • The times when you are very insecure and lonely and empty and wanting and depressed.
  • The times when you fear everything, you fear tomorrow, you fear death, you fear loss of financial security, you fear singleness.
  • The times when you couldn't get a raise or maybe even a job.
God knows all about these times too, because God made you and me and everything that was made.
It is times like these when God calls us to trust Him, believe in Him and rest on our faith.
A time to pray and plead with God - a time to draw closer than ever before.
  • When things are tough, it's not the time to throw in the towel.
  • When things are tough, it's not the time to go back to the world's vises.
  • When things are tough, it's not the time to reject God's truth.
  • When things are tough, it's not the time to go to the world for security.
  • It's not the time to seek advise from those who don't have good theology - those who do not know God
God made us and the sciences we cherish and therefore God's plan for our life is theological.  Because God's plan is theological in nature, every problem's answer rest's in scripture.

If you want a quiet and peaceful life, you need good theology.

If you want comfort in adversity, you need good theology.
If you want a blessed marriage, both you and your spouse will need to practice good theology.
If you are single and want to be happy while being alone and you need good theology.

If you want to be financially secure, you need to practice biblical theology concerning your money. I'm not talking about having taken Larry Burkette's money management course in 1996, I'm talking about living it - today, tomorrow and 10 years from now.

If you want your business to succeed, you need good theology, because everything you need to know about a prosperous business is found in scripture. Again, I'm not talking about some pop-culture, thrown together get rich scheme. Good theology is developed through:

Study of the scripture
Fervent prayer
Wise council
Hard work
Doing it God's way

Hear me on this. Knowing what God says about something doesn't make us an expert. It's the doers of God's Word not the hearers that enjoy the blessing from God.

I don't want to get off a tangent, but this is how a great many people who call themselves Christians live:
They come to hear the Word of God preached.
They listen carefully.
They hear the Word of God.
They decide what portion of it will fit their current lifestyle.
They adhere to those truths and principles that fit into their current way of life, not moved at all by the theology of God, that changes their mind, convicts their hearts or converts their soul.
Only a few want good theology, because only a few are willing to yield there wants and desires for that of God.
Only a few care at all about what God has to say. Most people today are seeking to hear words that comfort them and make them feel good about their current condition.  That's not theology, that's Me-ology.  Good theology requires that we change the way we think every time God speaks into our being some new truth - (new to us).

Good theology requires that our heart be changed every time God speaks to us and convicts us of sin and indiscretion.  Good theology requires we are converted from our way/ways every time God speaks.  How many times do you need to be converted!!!?