Monday, April 30, 2012

Daily Devotional April 30 - Try asking a little different than you usually do

"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest upon your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus is the answer to your problems. I didn't say Jesus has the answers to your problems, even though He does. Jesus is the answer. Have you gone to Jesus personally and asked Him what to do about your situation? Jesus is/has the answer.
Jesus is capable of meeting your needs. I know that you may be going through something that is terrifying you or you may have pain that is just too much to handle or your business is on the edge or just past the edge and it looks like there is no way. Call on Jesus. He can handle it. Jesus will lift your spirit.
Jesus will intervene.
Jesus will move the situation from impossible to possible.
Jesus will take you as you are and forgive you your indiscretions and restore you to a whole person again
Jesus will expose those who lied against you. Don't fight them. Give that burden over to the Lord.
Jesus doesn't just deal with those awful things that happen in life. Jesus can and will make your plans come out better.
Talk to Jesus about your business decision. You can't afford to do it without Divine guidance.
Talk to Jesus about your spouse and ask Him to give you a revived heart.
Talk to Jesus about your dream. Jesus will help you bring it to pass.
Bring it to Jesus, whatever it is and lay it down. Jesus is the Master of absorbing your burdens and then filling your life with beautiful things
Talk to Jesus about wanting more than you have. I know the rules about being content with what you have, but Jesus will go out of His way to make your life full of goodness and blessings.
You know what I've found? There is so much peace and joy and rest for our souls available. All you need to do is ask. Maybe you have never seen Jesus ask a living person that you could walk over to and just talk about it. Jesus is there, right now, where you are sitting. Just stop what you are doing and lean over and start to talk to Him. He is lowly and meek and He promises to give you rest for your soul. Jesus will not turn you down. Jesus loves you and wants you to get to know Him. Jesus has the answers you need right now.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daily Devotional April 29 - Don't believe everything you hear

"And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4-5

The serpent is the person , the devil, disguised in this case as a beautiful serpent. "The (devil, satan) said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die." It doesn't matter if the serpent said to the woman or to the man. Too much speculation has been made about why the serpent went to the woman instead of the man. satan is a liar. He simply wanted to assuage Eve to do something that Eve knew in her heart was not right. He simply wanted her to disobey God. But the devil could not get Eve to disobey God unless he lied to her about the outcome of the event.
satan is using that same tactic today. satan says that if you do this or that, the consequences will be positive, wonderful, great; you will be happy, fulfilled, satisfied. satan is a liar. Anything that steers you from perfection drives you to ruin.

Too many people, Christians as well, have bought the lie, hook, line and sinker. They/you have read the Word, heard sensible intelligent and anointed preaching, read many books that were enlightening and in many cases even taught the truth by a loving father or mother and yet they/you believe the words of the devil. When you do not heed the Word of God, (despite what form it was delivered in), you start to create a religion of your own. As this religion develops you eventually become your own god. "then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods." You shall be as gods, but not God.

You were designed in the image and likeness of God. And in this image and likeness, along with all the power and self-reliance that you were endowed with, also comes the need to connect with God. Every human needs to connect with God in order to activate the spiritual DNA (so to speak) that opens up the channel between God and man. That is being born again. Once you are born again, you have within you the Holy Spirit of God to direct you and keep you from following the messages of satan. As a Christian, if you are dabbling with the world and living outside of what you know is the will of God, you have heard the message of satan and condescended. You have made a conscious choice to believe his lies. Have you ever considered the outcome of making such a decision? Little by little as you accept the lies of the devil, you will move further and further away from the blessings and comfort and voice of God.
The further you get away the harder it is to come back. Because along the way satan will have told you so many lies you won't be able to recognize the truth. Usually it will take calamity or tragedy, utter devastation, shame and loss to bring someone back after years of playing god. There is a better way. Believe God and turn away from the lies of satan and whatever you go through, you will go through with God carrying you through it. Isn't that what you really want?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daily Devotional April 28 - Don't trust your flesh

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9
First the heart is deceitful to you. When your flesh desires something or someone that is not from God, your heart will go along with your flesh unless you are disciplined in lifestyle. Your flesh screams with desire and your mind rationalizes your actions to fulfill your desires. Those desires from God within the parameters of living a life in alignment with God are good and should be nurtured. But those desires for that which has not been ordained by God will tear you apart and ruin your chances for a peaceful and contented life.
God speaks clearly to us through the Bible and clearly to us in our heart to empower us to overcome, but our heart can be hardened and it can choose a alternate way from the way of God. Why is this important? Because those who make up their own private belief system are not advancing the kingdom nor are they living their life in a way that glorifies God, nor are they leading their children or others in the right direction.
It matters what you think and how you process the events of the day. Your future relies on good judgement and others who are in desperate need of a right word or a good example are counting on you to provide them with it. Being a Christian is about doing what God says to do, quite often it is not what you feel like doing and even more often it is not going to satisfy some temporal flesh desire. Follow your heart is a good saying if your heart has been purchased by God and you are lending you rights and will to God for use. But following your heart if you have not come to the place where you realize that your actions and decisions need to be guided by prayer and the Word of God, well you just can't count on it.
It's true, you just can't count on the heart of those who are more interested in building themselves up and advancing their own cause than that of God's.
You just can't count on the heart of those who are willing to live outside of the will of God under the pretence that they aren't hurting anybody.
You just can't count on the heart of the believer that lies and deceives and tries to get others to go along with them in order to build themselves up or make themselves look good.
You just can't count on the heart of those who look teary eyed into you eyes in hopes that you will continue to support them in their illegal/illicit/immoral lifestyle.
You just can't count on the heart of those who say one thing and do another.
You can count on the heart of God to lead you and guide you as you yield your will to His. Can a man's heart be changed so that you can count on him? Yes, but only by the grace of God and only in due time. Maybe you need a change of heart. Maybe you can't trust your own heart because it has deceived you so many times. Maybe you are stricken with a habit that is killing you and destroying your family and you need a change of heart. You can count on God. Just be humble and let God know that you have been trying to do it on your own and you need His help. God will be there and is there now. God can change a heart.

Daily Devotional April 27 - Can you see God?

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." Psalm 19:1-3

For your sake and that of the entire world, God cannot be hid. That which you can see declares that which you cannot see. Day and night God is being revealed. There is nowhere you can go where the words of God cannot reach you. They are within and without. There are no walls thick enough to hide the knowledge of God. Every man, woman, teen and child can hear the voice of God and see His handiwork. They hear it in their own language and they see with their eyes the work of His hands. They hear His voice, they study His sciences, they see what God has done with their eyes.
God is real and God is wonderful. I am thankful that God used His universe to reveal Himself to me. I have taken note of the many ways that God has used to get my attention. They are more numerous than the sand of the sea. I have also noticed that not one moment in time goes by where God is not present, fully aware of my situation and circumstance and completely invested in me. Through it all, (and some of it has not been pretty), God was God in my life. The knowledge I have of God, He has taught me through the experiences of life.
If the heavens do not declare the glory of God to you, what is declared when you look out beyond yourself?
If the firmament does not show its handiwork to you, what do you see when you see all of nature cooperating together to produce clean air and clean water?
If during the day you are not hearing the voice of God, whose voice are you hearing?
If at night you are not receiving the knowledge of God, what knowledge are you being filled with?
What language do you speak, that what God has said and done, is not translated to your understanding?
The heavens declare the glory of God and so do I.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily Devotional April 26 - Are you a peculiar person?

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:" 1 Peter 2:9

Most of the time when people are talking about this verse, they mention the part about Christians being 'peculiar' people, almost always in jest. We should be a peculiar people, but not in the way that we are profiled by the world. Here's how I see it:

We are a chosen generation
  • Every generation of men and women has been chosen for service in God's Kingdom, not everyone accepts the invitation
  • Because God knew ahead of time who would choose to accept and who would reject His invitation, it appears that the blessings of God are only for His chosen generation and that's right, but anyone could have been a part of God's great gift.
We are a royal priesthood
  • God made us a kingdom of priests by ordaining believers into ministry.
  • The reason we are a royal priesthood is because we are priests of the King of Kings
We are an holy nation
  • Our nation awaits us. We will be with the King after the rapture as a nation of people with God as our Father and Sovereign King.
We are a peculiar people
  • Because we give to others without any expectation of return
  • Because we pray for the sick and play an active role in co-creating with God
  • Because we abide by the laws of our nation in order to give God the glory
  • Because we do not lie
  • Because we have integrity at home, in business and in all of our dealings
  • Because we do not follow the trends of the world
  • Because we read our Bible and meditate on it and follow its instructions
  • Because we have a risen Savior, one who is alive and active in our daily life
  • Because we gather together in church with others who are imperfect like ourselves in order to honor God with our attendance
  • Because we love one another in a way that just can't be explained
  • Because we have forgiven and will continue to forgive those who have hurt us
  • Because we bless those who have persecuted us
  • Because we pray positively for those have have misused us or betrayed us
  • Because we have become fools for Christ and we follow His tteachings even if it is going against the tide
  • Because we believe in miracles that are orchestrated and performed by a loving and faithful God
  • Because we believe that angels are going about working on our behalf as directed by the Holy Spirit
  • Because we believe that the devil and his demonic forces are real and they are intent on destroying us or our relationship with God
  • Because we believe in heaven as a real place where we will become residents
  • Because we believe in hell as a real place where those who do not accept God's free gift of salvation will take permanent residence
I hope this is what you were thinking of concerning what peculiar means.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daily Devotional April 25 - Put off the Old Man

"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man and his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him." Colossians 3:8-10

When you are changed by conversion from darkness to light, from lost to found, from unrepentant to saved, God did a work inside of you. That work included giving you the power to overcome in all situations where you did not have power to overcome before. God changed the way you think, the way you look at things. The Holy Spirit took up residence in your heart and mind and is active in giving you the inclinations you need to make the right decisions.

Over time you will still have the opportunity to make decisions that are not godly, nor do they represent the mind that is in you. But you can, with enough influence from others start to act like the old man again, the person you were before you became born again. In your mind you rationalize that since you are human you will have these tendencies and because of your inherent weakness you will have to succumb to some of them. Or in some cases you simply do not share with God the same ideals. In essence you have created a religion of your own.

Those who have created a religion of their own is the largest denomination on earth. It is made up of those who like to be a part of something and they have agreed to some of the tenets of faith, but rather than being faithful to the truth, they have found many ways to compromise their position and live according to their own whims and wishes. They do not agree with the Word of God nor do they live in its precepts. And this doesn't refer just to Christians. It could refer to any religion where the followers are off on their own tangent.

It was never meant to be like this. The born again believer has within themselves the power to overcome and live a life in agreement with God's will and full of peace and joy, adventure and excitement. When we go off on our own tangent we lose a great deal. It does matter what you think and how you live out your life. Your lifestyle reveals whether you are in love with God or satisfied with your own man-made religion. I'm not saying this to be harsh or to hurt your feelings. But I have learned it is hard to break away from the pleasure that disobedience provides. Is it true that you would really rather do it all your own way rather than to follow the guidelines of the God who made you? Down deep do you really think it will turn out right if you go about wrong?

The Bible says to put off the old man, not to nurture it and feed it. If you have created your own religion, who do you pray to when you need assistance?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Daily Devotional April 24 - Perfect Peace

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3

First of all if you are not interested in perfect peace, there is no advantage to investigating the Word of God concerning having perfect peace. Most of the scriptures are for contemplation and once that contemplation has taken place then the connection between God and man via the Spirit of God can take place. Spiritual truths can only be understood and utilized in direct relation to the degree of involvement that we give it. In other words, if you read a verse of scripture and understand it, and then make it the truth that resides in your heart and you use it as a guideline for all future events in your life, that truth can and will get fully utilized by you to fulfill the purposes of God in/by you.

If on the other hand you only gloss over the scripture and say, "it's all Greek to me," you will not possess the truths contained therein for use and you will not be aligning your will with God's will for the purpose of fulfilling the purposes of God in/by you. The word stayed means; to lean on, lie hard upon, rest upon, stand fast to and sustain. Stayed isn't changing your mind all the time. Stayed is your mind made up. It means that when conditions are not favorable and situations are seemingly out of control, and even if it looks like the bottom is/has fallen out, you hold fast to the truth that is in you. Even if the circumstances say it's not true, you hold fast. Even when others are falling away from the principles that you have come to know as godly, you hold true.

Perfect peace takes effort. I know, effort and hard work and diligence and long-suffering aren't popular trends, but they are biblical trends. I won't belabor the issue, but I do want to say, living a wishy-washy, candy-coated, watered-down, on and off relationship with Jesus is really empty and futile. You really can't have the best of two worlds and somehow think that you can separate one part of your life from another. You are a whole person and every input and output that goes into you and out from you, is you. Learn not to be satisfied with the status quo and you might find that the way of God is really far superior to the way of the world, no exceptions.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daily D3evotional, April 23 - The Kingdom of God is within you

"And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:20-21

Don't be confused by the rhetoric of the unbelieving world. The kingdom that is to come, after the rapture and after the millennial reign of Christ is the outward expression of an already existing work. The kingdom that is within is found in the person of Jesus Christ that has come to dwell in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. The reason the Pharisees and those today that are not believers were looking for a kingdom to come was that they did/do not possess the kingdom within.

Only those who possess the kingdom within will participate in the kingdom to come. The kingdom to come is the presence of those who possess the kingdom within. The reason there is so much disagreement about this subject is that those who do not possess the kingdom within, in some cases, are teaching those who do, that they don't. The Bible told us that in these days that we are in that the wheat would be mixed with the chaff and that there would be infiltrators inside the church.

These infiltrators are not necessarily unbelievers, but in many cases, they are ignorant of the Word of God. In some cases they have been taught things that are extra-biblical that they never questioned the teaching of and searched out the Word to find the truth and now they are purporting the same rhetoric, as if it were the Word of God. That's how these silly doctrines of men get started. Of course, once you take a stand on something, it's hard to condescend if new light is shown and you see the truth. Our ego and pride keep us from ever really reaching the pinnacle of our true position with Christ.

That's why it is so important to read the Word of God for yourself. Jesus taught a clear and concise truth, because He is the truth. "The kingdom of God is within you."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Daily Devotional - April 22 - Are you being led by an ass?

"...and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him (Balaam). Now he (Balaam) was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his (the angels) hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her away. But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? Was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive." Numbers 22:22b-33

What does it take to open the eyes of someone blind to what God is trying to do or say in their life? Even the baser elements of creation are working to tell you about your dilemmas. Once a man or woman has made up their mind, quite often they cannot see clearly, even though all of nature may be trying to steer them, they just can't see it. Also, those who are spiritually blind may not be able to see clearly, in that they have made choices that are determinately not godly.

God brings a great many things to pass to keep you from ruin. Maybe you should be more sensitive if things aren't going your way or if you are having a difficult time reaching your destination. You should at least try to see if it is your own stubbornness and/or spiritual blindness that is leading you to an undesirable end.

Sometimes when the path is not smooth it is God using all of creation to bring you around to your senses. Sometimes it is not God and your enemy is trying to thwart your good efforts by blocking you or standing against you.
How then can youe know?

First: Quit fighting God. You will never see clearly and always be up against this dilemma if you are not receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Second: Pray about it. Millions of unnecessary problems and discomforts have come from your own pride that keeps you from going to God in prayer and discussing the very situation with God. So many people try to navigate the path on their own power under their own guidance.

Third: If where you want to go or what you want to do hasn't been sanctioned by God and there are obstacles in your path, it is God working on your behalf to save you from yourself and your foolish choices. But if where you are headed and what you want is a godly thing, count on it being your enemy that is blocking the way. Be sure of one thing; you shouldn't be so blind that an ass would have to give you instructions or directions."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Daily Devotional April 21, 2012 - Filled with the Spirit

"And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Ephesians 5:18-19

In the minds of men and women, good men and women there are too many interpretations of the scriptures. Ask a Baptist about being filled with the Spirit and you get a different answer than if you ask someone from a Pentecostal church. Ask a Catholic and you will find a much different view of the Spirit of God than if you ask a modern Non-denominational member. Even inside of any given church body you might find more than one version of what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

I'm not taking sides here, nor did I mention any of these denominations to set them apart as being more wrong or more right than any other. The point is that there are huge differences in philosophy among the churches. It is my point to clear something up about being filled with the Spirit.

The Bible speaks clearly and carefully lays out truths so that you can not only believe it but grasp it also. The Bible is the Word of God and therefore it will be profound, but God knowing our limitations has made it all understandable. The Bible defines the Bible. Truth upon truth is laid out for those who are seeking to be led by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the most beautiful thing in all creation. This experience was not meant to be used as a tool for any church to separate one group from another. I've heard one person say to another that they have not been born again if they do not do this or do that. Foolish men and women and church leaders have built rules and regulations around this experience that are not in the Bible. That sounds a little like in the days when Jesus was visiting Jerusalem and met up with the religious folk of the times. I've heard men yell at others as if they were infidels simply because they did not posses a particular gift of the Holy Spirit.

My point is that being filled with the Holy Spirit is, was and will always be a beautiful thing.
It will not be beat into you by those who think they are better than you.
It will not come to you in the form of anything that others say should happen, but you don't sense in your heart.
Being filled with the Spirit of God is gentle and wonderful and gracious.
Being filled with the Spirit of God makes you humble and kind, wise and forgiving, consoling and gentle, patient and loving.
Being filled with the Spirit of God is an inner work that God does to the faithful. It is best seen in the inner man and not by outward signs. It is a work of God that transcends our religious or denominational bents. God chooses the man, woman, teen or child that will represent Him.
Being filled with the Spirit of God is not a game for leaders to play as if they could get a written tally and if everyone in their church possessed a certain gift of the spirit they would be elevated above others.
If anything you will find those who have been filled with the Spirit, speaking to themselves "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in (their/your) heart to the Lord."

Daily Devotional April 20, 2012 - Personal Therapy

"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." 1 Timothy 6:17

The key here is that God gives to all liberally and God has designed us to enjoy life. There are many ways that you could advance your joy meter.  Be friendly to other people. You might find out that not everyone is like those who have misused you or mistreated you.

Take a walk every day (if you can) and just enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you. That's what it was made for.

Sit back in total silence and let God speak to you. There is no enjoyment quite like hearing the voice of God. (Wait, don't say you can't hear the voice of God. You might have to get away from all the other voices around you for a moment, like; TV, radio, your spouse, the Internet, your ipod or blackberry, but you can hear the voice of God)

Create a hobby or re-start where you left off in that hobby you really enjoyed. Even if time has gotten in the way and years have passed, most of the time you can pick up where you left off. If not, it's time to begin anew.

Give something to someone. That's right, just start giving things away (and I don't mean ripped up and torn things or old junk that barely works; that's not giving) give something of value to someone; maybe a grandson or granddaughter, maybe give something to someone you have never met. Last week I met a young black man at the grocery store. He is a business major at the local college. I sensed that he was a reading young man and he is. I brought him three of my favorite books 2 hardbacks and one soft cover, all in great shape. These were books I had been planning to keep in my collection, but God was tugging on my heart and I gave them away.

Plan a scheduled event for yourself. Do something you really want to do for yourself. I know money is tight, but you can't always use that as an excuse. Maybe you will have to work hard, plan and save, but to just keep making excuses why you can't do it is not good for your soul. Maybe you have worked all your life and you are on a fixed income and it just looks impossible. Maybe it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Pray about it and see the mighty hand of God minister to your personal needs and desires. Of course God wants you to be happy and enjoy life. Who has been telling you differently? They are mistaken. It is not selfish to do something for yourself.

It amazes me at how mixed up Christians are today. I blame the watered down preaching coming from men and women who haven't seen the fun-side of God. So many preachers have been taught by stiff-necked, callous, letter of the law professors that they haven't taken time to build a relationship with God and get to know more of God's perfection, which includes: laughter, joy, peace, enjoyment, fulfillment, enlightenment, happiness, pleasure and fulfillment of desire.

God richly gave us all things to enjoy. Let's get on with it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Devotional April 19 Be part of something bigger than yourself

"And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." Acts 16:5

Even though in America more churches are closing than opening each year (at this time), there are about 1,500 new church start-ups per year just in America. Of course world-wide the number of new church start-ups is staggering. The point is: In the scriptures much is said about the Church. Here in this verse we see that churches were growing daily. If you are not in a church, (a local congregation where people get together to hear the word of God preached, teach their children and provide many blessings and gifts for all that attend, and they also reach out to those who do not attend and in some cases even support others in other countries) then you are missing out on a phenomenon at least and many daily blessings also.

The reason the Church increased daily in Bible times was no different than today. Men, women, teens and children need fellowship; they need to learn their Bible; they need to socialize with people who have identified themselves with the Lord. Can you be saved and not go to church? Of course. But you can be a millionaire and not spend any of your money also. What's the point? Quit wining about what the church does or doesn't offer and get in there and help to make it a better environment with your presence.

Some of the new start-ups are incredible. Some of the mega-churches are growing because they are feeding the sheep. Some of the local denominational churches that have been there for 100 years are doing a great work. Find what's right in them, not what's wrong. Get in a new start up and suffer with the saints. Support your local pastor. Bless him financially and then even more. The mentality that you should starve your pastor is of the devil. If your pastor is not getting paid a handsome sum, provided excellent housing and then showered with gifts, you are not doing your part. Even if your pastor is just not that great, lift him or her up and make them great. The devil is in charge of: tear-the-pastor-down-and-keep-him-down-so-you-don't-have-to-pay-him/her-well-syndrome.

Here is some benefits of going to a church instead of staying home and trying to act as is you were more spiritual or advanced than those that go to church.
You will meet some great people
You will have the opportunity to reach out to others to help them
You will get help yourself when you need it
You will sense the presence of God and find more truths inside of yourself that if you try to do it alone
You will be building up (not tearing down) the kingdom of God
You will receive revelation, visions, special impartations to you inside your soul. Do with them as you please, but you cannot be in a sanctuary and not receive from God, unless you are the one that is spiritually dead.
You will receive blessings from others around you, many.
You will be strengthened in your faith.
You will (if you go to a contemporary service) probably hear the best live music anywhere.
You will hear more Bible and read more Bible than if you try to wing it alone.
You will see how other people are coping with life and it will advance your consoling perspective in life.
There are so many more. Be a part of what God is doing. God designed the church and to be in the will of God you will have to let your guard down a little and swallow some pride.

You may have been hurt in the past by church members. So what? People are always going to let you down, but that's no reason to abandon the work of God.
You might not like the pastor. So what? It's not about liking anybody. Is that your litmus test whether you are going to learn from someone? If it is you have been duped. You have been learning from writers, philosophers, TV personalities and many others in whom you have never even met. You probably wouldn't like some of them either.
You might feel that the church you were going to is too dry. Then go to another church. Go to a start-up, go to a mega-church or go to another denomination, but go.

What you need that only a church can provide and what you can offer that no one else can is the only reason you really need to become a part of a congregation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daily Devotional April 18 - Christians have troubles too

"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;"  2 Corinthians 11:24-26

I hate to be the one to break the news, but as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, along with the many blessings and benefits, you will have troubles, and not a few. Natural disasters are one thing that all of us can tolerate, because we know that nature takes no captives. We expect nature to deal a heavy blow at times. We understand that nature can be harsh and unforgiving and can come to any of us unknowingly. I think we all agree that the troubles that come with nature are not person specific.

But when your own friends, those that have sat beside you in church, those who have eaten with you and maybe even watched your children; when they become a Judas, it is devastating. When those that you trusted with privy information and those who you relied upon, that you lent your trust to for a season, when they lie about you and steal from you, it is very difficult to understand and sometimes it takes us a long time to get over it. Paul was abused, misused, beaten, lied about, accused falsely and suffered great emotional pain and loss of integrity because those in whom he trusted became turncoats.

I hope you have never experienced the pain of a fellow church member, so-called Christian, deliberately taking advantage of you and trying to destroy you. I have. There are some people that want what you have so badly they will do anything to get it. There are some people that when they really get just how much you love the Lord, they fall to pieces and set out to do wicked things against you. Jesus brings out the best and the worst in people. Those who love the Lord, the best. Those who love themselves more, the worst. Paul was simply trying to tell people what he saw with his own eyes and experienced in his own heart. It was his life-long friends and co-workers in the synagogue that did most of the terrible things to him. But along the way he made enemies also. Along the way when you serve the Lord you are likely to make some enemies.

I just want to encourage you. What others do to you isn't of much consequence in the big picture. God will have his way. What others took from you , God will return multiplied. What others said about you will come back on them, not because God will have to do anything about it, it is part of the consequence of reaping what you sow. What others did to you that caused you to lose ground, and maybe even lose faith in yourself for a time will be renewed like the wings of eagles. Look up to God and thank him that you are worthy to suffer. I am not saying that there is any pleasure in suffering. I am saying that if you continue in the Lord, God will have his way with you at least as long as others have had their way with you. That's something to look forward to.

Daily Devotional April 17 - Knowing the Bible is power

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29

Jesus was talking to the Sadducces, the Jewish religious sect of the times. They were having a discussion about who the wife would be with in heaven if she married seven times and all of her husbands died. The key point that I want to make is that we are in error when we don't know the scriptures and trust in the power of God. Half of the battles that we have with our fellow Christians, and others, is that sometimes neither one of us has the scriptural knowledge to adjudicate a decision or a judgement.

Jesus says, "ye do err, not knowing the scriptures." Well if the religious sect of the times didn't know the scriptures, what makes us think we can know the scriptures? The religious sect of the times were caught up deep into the letter of the law and that law had been altered to add many man made rules and regulations that were not part of God's clear teaching. When you make up laws of your own, you cannot expect them to have the power of a law of God, and they don't.

Today you and I are free to receive the law of grace and to abide in those laws and live them out through faith. We can see what God intended and then live it because the Holy Spirit indwells the believer. We can know the scriptures and the power of God because God is in us. We cannot blame God because a group of people built a religion unto themselves. We can do the same thing today. Many denominations make rules for themselves that have nothing to do with faith or following the doctrines of the Bible. The rules in themselves are of no great consequence, but trusting in the rules of the Church can steer us from the spirit of the laws that God gave to us. More times than not the trouble with church splits can be traced to church rules, not God laws.

Today people are willing to argue about a point, whether denominationally motivated or not, without having the biblical knowledge to make a sensible, godly argument. I believe the Word of God and if there is a clear issue and someone wants to argue with me and does not know the Word of God, I decline. Just as when unbelievers, atheist and agnostics want to argue about the power of God and they deny or talk down the power of God, I also decline. Because I know the scriptures are true and the power of God is real.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Daily Devotional April 16 - Quit defending false religions

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" Timothy 2:5

If you haven't come to grips that Jesus is the only way into a right relationship with God, I pray you will think about it and just give God a chance to explain Himself. God does that in the Bible. God explains the beginning of it all, the pathway from where we were to where we are and where we are headed.

Isn't it sad that so many people are looking frantically in all directions except the one that holds the key to life. Children are indoctrinated into all kinds of religions and cults that steer them away from the one true God and the only mediator between God and man. I'll go along with you in that many really are ignorant of the truth and even the existence of Christ. Many simply turn a blind eye to what they see in creation that directs them to believe the intangible based upon the perfection and science of the tangible. But most of all, it is rebellion that has trapped so many from seeing the truth.

Rebellion is well funded by the ego. Millions of men and women, teens and children have heard the call from the Holy Spirit, they have felt the tug on their heart to come to Jesus and they have seen the mighty hand of God at work in this incredible creation, but they can't break away and admit that they have been duped. It is real hard to do, especially if your entire family believes something else.

Some of the major religions of the world don't allow for a person to find themselves, so to speak; they have rules about Jesus, strict rules forbidding them to even contemplate the name; they have hidden all the literature that might inspire someone to come to a knowledge of the truth and they spend countless hours making it miserable for anyone who even begins to think for themselves. Next time you are thinking about defending those who believe in false religions, think about what they are doing:
Denying God His place in their lives
Denying their own people the right to think freely and come to a decision on their own
Purposely making it difficult to even consider another way
Hiding literature and documents that could inspire
Lying about Christians and what they stand for
Instilling fear into the hearts of the people
Training their people to hate
Treating women with disdain
Plotting the destruction of others unlike themselves
In some cases putting them in jail or even killing them
Does that sound like something to tout about?

Christianity is the only religion with a living Savior, Jesus the Christ. Jesus is the Savior to all men and women, teens and children, of every race, every nation, every religion. Remember what Apostle John said, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." Just because they don't receive Him doesn't mean that He has not revealed Himself and invited them.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Daily Devotional April 15 - Co creating with God

"Then He took the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished." Luke 18:31

Jesus makes a statement that should rock you foundation if there is any doubt in your mind that the written scriptures, (our Bible) is the very Word of God. If Jesus recognized and trusted the accuracy of the prophetic word, don't you think we ought to as well? In this statement Jesus was confident that whatever was written about Him and His mission on the earth in His earthly body,would come to pass, just as it was written. Jesus knew because Jesus acknowledged and permitted every word that was penned by the prophets to be entered for permanent record of the events for all times.

Maybe you don't believe that. All I can say is that what was prophesied about Jesus came to pass and what was prophesied in the scriptures about the nature of man is validated by our experiences and every word spoken concerning things to come has been accomplished or will come to pass in due time.

I can only trust the Bible for my prophetic word and I do. There are many wonderful things about to happen in your life. I hope you can believe for them. They will come to pass because your loving creator spoke them and wrote them down and you are the benefactor. Part of the equation is to believe it, because the way God made things requires that we apply our faith to bring to pass what God spoke into existence, that co-creating, that's God-thinking.

Daily Devotional April 14 - You can do life God's way

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2

You cannot separate your business life, your personal life and your lifestyle from your spiritual life.

The days of saying, "I don't mix business with Christianity" are over.

The days of saying, "I don't believe their is any harm in playing my violent, carnal, and filthy mouthed video games" is over.

The days of saying, "I've learned to balance my spiritual life with my worldly life" is over.

The days of saying, "I don't believe that living with someone prior to marriage" is over.

The days of saying, "If I want to do something ungodly that is my business" is over.

The days of, "If the sin I choose doesn't hurt anyone else" is over.

The days of, "If I choose to do drugs, that's my business" is over.

The days of, "I raise my kids to be free thinkers and to choose any religion they like" is over.

The days of, "I don't need to go to church, I'll just have church at home with myself" is over.

Presenting your bodies 'a living sacrifice" isn't doing anything you want, any where you want with anyone you want. Of course there is freedom in Christ and we are to live free and be satisfied and happy and full of the goodness life. But Christianity has always been about moral uprightness, doing the right thing even if it hurts, making the right decisions even if they go against the tide, choosing a godly lifestyle even if it requires a little sacrifice. If your compass isn't set on being "transformed by the renewing of your mind" then what direction are you in?

There are two paths in this life. The broad path where there is much company and many people willing to keep you on this path so that they can exploit you and make money with you and keep you from a life with God. And there is the narrow path and few there are that find it. It's not God's fault that so many people have chosen the lesser life. No, it's not anybodies fault except our own. Later in life you begin to notice that all along you could have chosen to do things God's way. Why not do it now? The Bible says "be not conformed to this world." God wants you to enjoy it and use it to your benefit and for the benefit of others, not for the world to use you. You aren't going to be happy with what the world makes of you if you let it continue to drive you. I can say without any reservation that you will be happy, very happy with what you ultimately become if you let God drive you. They are "worlds" apart.

Daily Devotional April 13 - Jesus as friend

"Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." John 15:15

Are you completely sold out to being the friend of God. Of course I said God. "For all things that I heard of My Father I have made known unto you." The Father said, 'it's time to let them know their true place in life, a friend of God.' This is not a very popular concept, because so many pastors today either want you to be afraid of God (leverage) or to think of God as a magical genie, (emotional relationship), but 'friend' hits deep into the soul of what God had/has in mind for man.

It has always been like this from the beginning. We were created in the image and likeness of God and within that image and likeness is all the components needed to secure a deep and loving friendship. God designed you to be His friend, to talk to, to commune with, to laugh with, to go through troubles with, to suffer with, to be encouraged with, to encourage others with, to find your place in life, to help others find their place in life, to advise you and so that you can advise others, to comfort you and give you the wherewithal to comfort others, to go through all of life with God as your friend and your God.

The Father told the Son (Jesus) to call us friends. If that's not assurance that you can bank on, nothing is. Next time someone asks you about God, can you say that He is your friend? Go ahead
just say God is my friend. I am a friend of God. I am God's friend. Can I mention that God is also friendly. There is no friend like Jesus. Do I need say more?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daily Devotional April 12 - Do you believe without seeing?

"But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be with you. Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:24-29


The unbelieving world has already seen Jesus, just like Thomas; they have already been a recipient of God's prevenient grace; they have already seen the mighty works of the hand of God and in their own lives they have received countless blessings because of the prayers and intercessions of others. But, just like with Thomas, it is not enough. They want more proof. I've heard it all:
If Jesus was real, why do young people die before their time?
If Jesus was real, he could put a stop to all the pain and suffering of the world?
If Jesus was real why did he let this or that happen?
If I saw a miracle I would believe.
If Jesus was to come and talk to me personally I would believe.
If Jesus was to give me this or that I would believe.
One thoughtful moment spent in cogitating on creation, the birth of a child, a rose, the mountains, our rivers, a glance into the stars, and a thoughtful counting of the many blessings that have come our way is all the proof anyone would need.

Jesus said, "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." The atheist, the agnostic, and those who have been conditioned to believe in another god; all are fighting their own inner unction that God placed in them to seek and find the One true God. Thomas believed once he saw the hand prints and the spear mark, but not everyone believed.

There were many that walked right along side of Jesus and ate with Him and sat under His teaching and yet held onto their religious dogma or in some cases irreligious hedonism. Either way, coming to Jesus is through faith and does not require sight, nor does it require that you or someone else perform a miracle, nor does it require that Jesus walk on water again to prove Himself.

The best proof you can offer anyone is your personal testimony of your own faith. Does your personal testimony include , "My Lord and my God?"

Daily Devotional April 11 - Is your faith convenient faith?

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4

Just for a moment put aside what you think you want in life, put aside wanting a certain amount of wealth, put aside thinking the world owes you something, put aside any propensity of wanting something that you know is not of God, even put aside wanting to be healed, just for a moment.

What overcomes the world is our faith. In other words knowing who God is by faith overcomes the world. Faith is the victory. Receiving money or getting back territory that was stolen, or even being healed is not the victory. These are blessings, benefits to the child of God. I know from experience and fear that many people today don't think about God or even care to get to know God personally, they just want what God offers.

Most people can push their faith forward enough to believe for something. I would even venture to say that many Christians today have what I call "convenient faith." Convenient faith is faith that looks to God as a magical genie of sorts and convenient faith seeks after things and also seeks to go around certain events instead of through them. Convenient faith doesn't understand that going through the fire with God is far better than skirting around it without God.

Those who only seek God for something miss the truth of what faith is all about. Faith is for you to get to know God. Faith is the eyes that can see God. Faith is the power to pray for others with expectation. Faith is the deliverer from any and all substances that have plagued us. Faith is the proof of all that is holy and supernatural. Faith is the tangible hope for the intangible gift. Faith is the victory. Faith is the victory. Faith is the victory.

Try using your faith to get into the presence of God for the sake of getting in the presence of God; not for any reason other than to know Him better; not to ask for anything; not to explain yourself and your current situation; not to try to have an experience that you can hold over everyones head as if by going into the presence of God makes you better than someone else.
No, try using your faith to get into the presence of God because you want a relationship with the only God of the universe. It's a pretty good reason in itself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Daily Devotional April 10 - Whom do you say Jesus is?

"And Jesus went out, and His disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked His disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others' One of the prophets. And He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto Him, Thou art the Christ." Mark 8:27-29

If you were to ask around, maybe twenty people you have never met, and you asked the question, whom do you say that Jesus is? You would get a variety of answers, just like when Jesus asked His disciples. You will only get the right answer from those who have met Jesus. When Jesus says, "But whom say ye that I am?" it gets a little more personal. Whom do you say that Jesus is? Within the answer to this question lies the essence of faith. No matter what you say, it does matter what you believe. You can say Jesus is the Christ and not believe it in your heart. I hope you can say that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, very God and that He is your Lord, creator and sovereign. When Peter said, "Thou art the Christ," it was from his inner man knowing this truth, wrought by faith and then turned into belief. Peter was able, after he had faith to believe and then after he believed, to receive by revelation of the indwelling Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Christ. It is the same for you.

Acknowledging that Jesus was a prophet, was a good man, was a Jew, did great things, maybe even walked on water isn't the same as knowing that He is the Christ. Even acknowledging that Jesus was special and that He could perform miracles and that He was born of a virgin birth isn't the same as knowing that He is the Christ. Knowing that He is the Christ means that whatever teaching, reading, praying or worshipping you have done has been revealed to your soul by God.

There are many people who have the same teaching as you, they have read just as many scriptures and they have prayed and showed up for many a worship service that do not know that Jesus is the Christ. If you aren't sure, ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. Jesus loves to be invited into our soul.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Daily Devotional April 9 - Is there something to being considerate of our earth?

"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15

God created everything there is that is common to us, the earth, moon, stars, universe, galaxies, plants, animals, light, water and all that is. Just after Adam was created, God placed Adam in the garden that God had made and God instructed Adam to dress it and to keep it. I think that since this was the very first recorded command given to Adam we should give special attention to it. There are many similarities between all of the Bible characters and ourselves and many of the lifestyles, problems, solutions and concerns parallel our experience today.

When I read "to dress it and to keep it" I realized this was an intent of God that mankind should have the responsibility over the functions of dressing and keeping the earth, our home. It seems right and sensible. It makes me think that maybe we haven't done a very good job at it and maybe we are callous to the earth we live in. Don't get the wrong idea, this is not an endorsement of more regulation or government control over the environment. This is more of a personal call to individuals to look at the scriptures and see what God had in mind for us before we corrupt it into something else, going in a direction that is not God sanctioned.

To dress the earth means to adorn it, work it and keep it beautiful and maintained, dress it and make it look pretty. Be careful with it and use good sense in its use, but also to see it as a beautiful creation worthy of our respect and concern. God made a garden and put man in it and we should do what we can to make a garden out of what we have, not just in the physical sense, but in all areas of our life; a dressed and kept garden of our children, a dressed and kept garden of our work, a dressed and kept garden of our relationship with our spouse, a dressed and kept garden with our neighbors, a dressed and kept garden with God. Dressed means adorned and respected. I'll bet you and I can think of times, even recently, when we weren't very careful with our gardens.

Daily Devotional April 8 - Just how big is God to you?

"This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that His testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." John 21:24-25

It is a good thing to trust the stories in the Bible that you have read, and it is a good thing to apply what you have read in order to receive the power that is in the written word. Within scripture are contained all the necessary components to provide for your salvation, sanctification and secure eternal life as well as instruction for living a godly life every day until you die.

But as you draw conclusions, don't forget that what is written in scripture was never meant to be all that happened or all that was consequential. No way. God cannot be fully disclosed in the pages of a book nor in volumes of books even if the volumes of books were to fill the entire world.
Every moment in time God is intertwining the prayers of one with the needs of another, the giving of one with the destitution of another, the solace of one with the loss of another, the riches of one with the poverty of another, the strength of one with the weakness of another, the courage of one with the cowardice of another, the godliness of one with the unrighteousness of another, the happiness of one with the sadness of another, the birth of a new vision of one with the loss of everything with another, the kindness of one with the meanness of another, the gentleness of one with the anger of another, the laughter of one with the crying of another, the stedfastness of one with the brokenness of another.

If all that Jesus ever did for you was what He has already done, it would be more than you can imagine and more than you deserve. What Jesus has already done for us cannot be done by anybody else nor could it be understood or revealed in our finite minds. What Jesus has in mind for you for the rest of your days, if written in books, would also take up more space than the world provides. When you think of what Jesus has done for you, how many volumes does it make?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Daily Devotional April 7 - Find your place in God's economy

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass." Psalm 37:7

Fret not means, don't grow angry or jealous or discouraged and get all caught up in what is happening around you or to you. Wait patiently on the Lord. Rest in the inner knowledge that God has it covered, under control, within prescribed parameters, that God is fully aware of your entire situation, yesterday, today and tomorrow and God is working out the details. Fretting does not and cannot bring about any results. It is an emotional response with no efficacy. Trusting God on the other hand, has power in it, in that, trust is built upon faith, and faith is a real substance that does have efficacy.

Keep your focus. You are responsible for your actions, not others. Sometimes what appears to be someone 'prospering in the way' is actually someone being disobedient to God and reaping a few moments of perceived prosperity. But God is with you for the long haul and the long haul is the one that reveals a persons true character and relationship with God. I've seen many Christians jump at any chance to get rich as if getting rich were an honorable goal. Getting rich by honest pursuits, with hard work, personal integrity and godly stewardship is an honorable goal. But getting rich as a goal is not for everyone, nor is it supposed to be or ever was supposed to be part of the Christian manifesto.

There will always be rich Christians, middle income Christians and poor Christians. Finding your place in God's economy and being satisfied there is true riches. Knowing who you are and finding your place in life, whether it is to be as an engineer or doctor, car mechanic, tire salesman, housewife or lawyer is where true riches are born. If it wasn't for all the advertisements you are exposed to everyday, you would already know that riches are within and have nothing to do with material wealth.

You are already anointed to do and to be all that God intended you to be. Keep your eyes on your relationship with God and seek Him out for your answers. Get your eyes off of what others have and you will have nothing to fret about.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Daily Devotional April 6 - What do you see when you look around you?

"Oh LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." Psalm 104:24

The psalmist must have had a deep understanding of God to pen these words and all of Psalm 104. It would do you well to take time to get to know God in this way. I know from my own experience that it is easy to get caught up in the day to day, worldly pursuits and not take the time to see and grasp all that has been made for us. I was on a mountain cliff last night overlooking a long view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was breathtaking. It was overwhelming. I felt close to nature in a good way, but I sensed that we have not done well in working with nature to accomplish our human goals.

Even though I don't have the answers to how to stop our foolish pillaging of nature I do recognize its greatness. I see the wisdom of God built into nature. I know that God has made them all. I see the wisdom of it. I know the earth is full of His riches. I am so thankful that I have come to this place in my life where my surroundings have meaning. I hope you are not so caught up with what you are doing that you don't give any time to recognizing the glory of God in the many wonders that God made. I no this is a small thing, but the psalmists wrote about the mighty wonders of God's creation quite a lot and God allowed it to become our guidebook to life. Maybe there is more to connecting to the natural elements than we have previously acknowledged.

The earth is full of His riches. How wondrous are His creations and worthy of our acknowledgement. There's beauty at every turn. Look for it, find it and thank God for it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Daily Devotional April 5 - Within you the essence of God

"As ye therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:6-9


Good advice. Whatever you have been taught about Jesus, at least walk under the authority you have. If you have given in to a lesser life than what you have been taught, it's not too late to do something about it. Many of you were taught eternal truths and treat them like they are just another math lesson or biology lesson that you don't think you'll ever need. The youth of today that were brought up in church and think that they have now found another way..., well it's a sad commentary.


Many young people have bought the humanism philosophy that teaches that each of us create and provide for our own destiny, short term and long term. The seeds planted by the unbelieving professors and the feeling of breaking out from their parents hold are too much for them to fight against. Many are allowing their roots to rot. They are pruning the tree at the root and they are pasting on branches, leaves and flowers as if the plant grew up to be a strong tree without any roots. I hear it all the time; many think it is cool to make a multitude of friends and dis their parents. Oh, they will certainly act like they want to see them, but only a teen or young person would fall for such childish tactics, the parents know they are being looked down upon.


The Bible says "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world..." The word 'spoil' isn't a simple word like we think of today , as in spoiling a child. This word means to go completely and utterly rotten, like compost, i. e., to decompose. "After the rudiments of the world," rudiments are the lowest level, the basest, most common and useless components. This is strong language. What a waste to fall for a false philosophy and fall after the lesser things in life when all along you have within you the very essence of God. You were brought up to believe what God says and now you have supposedly found a better way?

Daily Devotional April 4 - Let there be light

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:3

This is one of my mother's favorite scriptures. Let's set the record straight. If you can't get through chapter one of Genesis and believe every word don't bother with sunrise service. Way too many people believe portions of the Bible and they claim that they are Christians. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You don't have to know the Bible nor do you have to had read the whole Bible to be saved. God makes it clear in Ephesian 2:8 "For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." And in Romans 10:10 the scriptures say, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." And in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

But you have to believe what you read.

Back to the verse. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

If you get this verse, the whole Bible will open its volumes to you and you will have entered into a place of knowing with God. Think about light for a moment. It is visible and invisible; it is substance and no substance; it travels at 186,000 miles per second. That means that it takes only 8 minutes for the sun's light to reach the earth. Everything about light is mysterious, but to create light out of no thing...? To speak a word and create light...? That's what I mean, "if you can't get through chapter one of Genesis and believe every word don't bother with sunrise service."

Going to church and participating in religious gatherings is a beautiful thing and I believe everyone should be part of a local church and support it and assist in every way they can, no exceptions. But the Bible was written so you would get to know the God of church. If you don't believe the basics in the first few verses of Genesis, why would you believe any of it? It's all in the same book. God designed you to be infused with Himself and that doesn't happen unless you believe His report of Himself. The Bible is true, all of it and unless you can believe that, how can you be sure you believe any of it? How can you be sure that what you call religion isn't just conditioning? How can you be sure that what you learned isn't just cultural Christianity? NO. You can't be sure unless you believe it all. That's right:
Let there be light
The parting of the Red Sea
The Israelites wandering for forty years in what should have been an eight day's journey
The feeding with manna from heaven
Jonah in the belly of the big fish
Daniel in the lion's den
The virgin birth
The death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus
Entertaining angels unawares
Heaven as a place
Hell as a place

These aren't allegories, or stories with a hidden meaning. They are what happened and the Bible goes on to fully disclose what is going to happen.

I guarantee you that if you buy into the whole package, the entire Bible and you begin to believe every word that you read, you will find out that life any other way was a waste of your time. Let there be light in your heart.

Daily Devotional April 3 - Let God work it out

"And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;" 1 Samuel 12:20


Today I want to speak to everyone who is still involved in some way with things that are blatantly ungodly or irresponsible. Your trapped by your circumstances and you've made some verifiable bad choices. You might even be getting deeper in the pit of despair or trouble than you ever imagined. Maybe other than this nemesis in your life everything is going relatively smooth, (you think). But the truth is that if you are involved in something inappropriate or blatantly ungodly, you are negatively affecting your future and those around you. There will not be a good outcome unless you quickly disengage.


But in this time (that you either brought on yourself or others pushed on to you) you need your heavenly Father. You need what God has to offer. Now is not the time to say, (God wouldn't approve of me or what I am doing so there is no use to go to Him.) It's just not true. In this predicament you need God just as much as when all is well. And you can turn to Him. You can call out to Jesus. You can expect God to move on your behalf straightway. You can talk to God and tell Him your troubles and the difficulty associated with removing yourself from the situation. If you continue to try to fix this on your own (the way you got into it in the first place) you will fail.


I'm with Samuel. Right now, today, in your current condition, don't turn your back on God. God didn't do this to you, but God can and will move on your behalf to work out the details so that you can move forward. "Turn not aside." You cannot hide from God, but you can (because of free will) deny God access to help you through it. Change your mind and let God work it out with you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Daily Devotional April 1 - You shall be filled

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."  Matthew 5:6

Filled with what?
Filled with the understanding of how God operates in the lives of mankind.
Filled with the internal enlightenment that with God even a morsel is more than having it all without God.
Filled with the knowledge of the Holy.
Filled with courage to go through it (whatever 'it' is that is heavy on your soul) as God carefully leads you into that next place.
Filled with strength to fight against the strong urges to go back to the familiar, go back to the common, go back to those things that once owned you, go back to the things that were or are killing you; strength to break away from any and all substances/things/people that are keeping you from being at peace with God.
Filled with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; God within you.
Filled with humility, the kind that isn't afraid to do something for someone and not get credit.
Filled with reverence for the Holy things of God.
Filled with prayer that speaks out requests from the heart, prayers that reflect an understanding that God is a God of miracles, not a genie in a bottle.
Filled with worship, seeking opportunities to get alone with God on the mountaintop, or somewhere quiet and worshipping God for His Allness, and seeking opportunities to gather together with others and worship God with depth and reverence.
Filled with love, looking for opportunities to give to others, finding ways to make you spouse happy, (even if things aren't the way you want them to be), looking for ways to say yes to your kids. Filled with love means you have to give something up for someone else to receive something, like giving up a few seconds in front of the TV when your spouse or children asks a question. Filled with love means being available when you are the 'closest person' to a need and God calls you to go and fill it. It might be inconvenient.
Oh the depths and riches of a relationship with God. Do you hunger and thirst for this kind of relationship with God? If you do God says you will be filled. Try to believe it long enough for God to reveal Himself through your circumstance and fill you up.

Daily Devotional March 31 - Get in line with God-thinking

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 5:1

You can tell if you have been justified by faith, you are at peace with God. What does it mean to be at peace with God? Most of all it means that in your thinking you are not seeing God as an adversary watching you closely to see if you are messing up. It means that when you think of God you think high and lofty thoughts. You think that God is working things out for you. You think that since God has gone before you, you know that even in the circumstance you are in right now (yes, I mean even the unfair situation you are in) God is in full knowledge of and God is working out the passageway through it right now. I said passageway through it because God-thinking requires you to go through it with God, not around it, over it or under it.

Being at peace with God means that when you think of God you think that God knew what He was doing when He set it all in motion and you are completely convinced that God knows what He is doing right now, in your life and those across the world. Being at peace with God is knowing in your knower that when you go into the presence of God that all that is Holy and perfect awaits you there. You understand that you go into the presence of God with expectations of being changed into a clearer image of God's Son than you were before. You know that being at peace with God is understanding that the moments at hand are for using toward your desired end and that fighting God avails no benefit.
Being at peace with God is sublime. It is undefinable. It can only be learned from being in the presence of God. Once you recognize that God is on your side and that all of creation was designed for you and that every possible scenario was worked out for you before the earth was even made, you should find time to make it right with God and get in line with His thinking, God-thinking.