Saturday, February 28, 2015

Daily Devotional February 28 - Do You Muse On God?

"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." Psalm 143:5

I just love David's testimony here. I really enjoy walking outside and looking up and seeing the works of the hand of God. I see more of it than ever before and I see it in more places than ever before. I muse on the work that God has done in my life. I am awestruck at God's continued faithfulness in what God speaks into my life.

Don't be afraid to meditate on the Word of God and don't fear God meeting you there and revealing more of Himself to you than ever before. God is close, very close and can be closer yet. Set you mind toward heaven and muse on the things of God. You will be filled with more of God and then more and then more. Have you ever wondered how you can be filled, but there is still more? That's because when you are filled the sides of the cup grow and make room for more.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Daily Devotional February 27 - Have You Been Duped?

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5

If you have been living under the auspices of God rejecting you because of..., ??? you have been duped. God foresees the future of every person and does not start what He does not finish. Unlike you and I, who are very capable of starting something and then getting side-tracked and not completing it or changing our mind about it, God does not do this. What God starts, God finishes. Has God begun a good work in you? Are you being tugged on to turn your eyes toward heaven more often than ever before? God knows all about your current situation. God is going to take you across the finish line, even while you are sleeping.

It is a shame to the gospel that so many preachers have taught us that God simply calls you and then you are on your own to somehow meet up to His standards or you don't qualify anymore. That's man's insecurities speaking. You are kept by the power of God through faith, not by other mechanisms - theologies - philosophies with unnecessary requirements, unsubstantiated mandates and unreliable results. You are kept by God to fulfill what God spoke about you and nothing can stand in the way and prevent you from crossing the finish line.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Daily Devotional February 26 - Is Jesus Your Peace?

"For He is our peace, who hath made both one, (the chosen people of Israel and the gentiles) and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;" Ephesians 2:14

Is Jesus your peace?
Answer these questions and you will have your answer.

  • Do you know Jesus in the way that you look to him in more than formal or corporate prayer?
  • Do you count on Jesus having a role in your everyday affairs?
  • Have you set your goals around Jesus having a say in your direction?
  • Do you look to Jesus for your sustenance?
  • Do you talk to Jesus and listen carefully for a response?
  • Do you follow Jesus in the way you interact with others?
  • Do you have a daily interest in the things of God?
  • Do you have joy in your heart because you have come to trust Jesus in even your worst circumstances and situations?
  • Do you wake up knowing that Jesus is in control and Jesus is totally committed to meeting your needs for the day as well as helping you fulfill the desires of your heart?
  • Do you believe every Word from your Bible?
  • Do you even want Jesus to be your peace?

I know many Christians who like their Church situation, but have no interest in Jesus being any more than a figure head. One thing about God that never changes; He will take you as you are, in your current condition,with all of your hang-ups, indiscretions and even the un-repented sins that you still hold on to and operate in (the ones that nobody knows about), and offer you His peace today. God does not live in the past and neither will He hold your past to your account if you simply look to Jesus and call on His name and ask Him to take you as you are and give you His peace.

All of the changes that get made to make you more like Christ will come in time. Jesus will walk you through the process at a speed conducive to your nature and He will change you from the inside out by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. And Jesus will become your peace. It is here, at this place in time, where Jesus wants you to become like Him. Even if there were only one more day ahead of you and 80 years behind you; one day with Jesus as your peace accounts for more than a lifetime without.

Daily Devotional February 25 - Tell Somebody

"Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." Isaiah 44:6

If you have been saved by the grace of God and if you have met the Savior; if you have put your faith in the person of Jesus Christ, it is because the Holy Spirit has come to reside in your heart. You know there is only God in the person of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You do not need to try to convince others to be faithful to God, but you do have to bear witness that Jesus is the only Son of God and that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Other religions have different gods. That's OK. God knows all about it. God is not in a fret because many people call on other gods. Do you have it right? Do you know the God of Israel? Do you place 100% of your faith in Jesus? When you get this right, you can stop worrying about all those who believe differently. Our God is about a personal relationship between you and God, period. Of course we need missionaries and of course they and you are to tell the world about Jesus. But the right way to evangelize is to speak from personal experience about your relationship with God and not to deface or otherwise condemn others who believe differently. If you tell someone about your relationship with God, the Holy Spirit will take it from there.

Foolish and unnecessary arguments with those who believe differently is not the way. Personal testimony is. God gives personal testimony of Himself in this verse of scripture. Maybe we should do the same.

Daily Devotional February 24 - God Is Not Fair

"He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." Psalm 103:10

Aren't you glad? I wish there was a way to get every believer in every church to believe what God says about us. If we could just set aside the foolishness that has been taught and preached over the years and see the beauty of God's Word. If we could:
  • You would see that you are cleared of all transgressions.
  • You would see that you are pure and holy before God, not because you have been such a great example in every situation, but because Christ died for you and stands in the way of your sins.
  • You would see that you are forgiven for all your intolerable times of impatience and indiscretions; your planned events where God was not even considered; your impure thoughts and prejudice toward others, even if they earned it.
  • You would see that you waste precious time messing with things that have no meaning or reward and that you should dispose the day in a way that includes talking with and listening to what God has for you today.
  • You would see that you are beautiful and altogether righteous and full of holy things.
  • You would see that there is no more need for payment for your sins. You can't pay for your sins. And what a slap in the face of God to think that if you could pay for your sins that somehow that would have more efficacy than what Jesus did to pay for your sins.
  • If God dealt with you according to your sins you would not have lived long. No, God is different than we are. And He has not rewarded us according to our iniquities. Aren't you glad?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daily Devotional February 23 - Open The Door

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

Jesus is doing the knocking on the door to your mind and your heart. He is calling out to you right now. Jesus has something to say to you and you need to hear it. But you have got to let Him in. With all the din of modernity, you really need the door open to hear what God is saying to you. This door is not a physical door. It is the door to allow for Holy Spirit intervention in your mind. If you are closed off to listening and responding to the Word of God or the voice of God you will not hear what God is saying to you. Remember, God does not yell at you. God will speak to you in a small still voice. God will not barge into your mind and re-arrange your thinking. You must invite Him in and make a place for Him.

Open the door and allow Jesus in. He will sup with you. I am so excited about this verse. Jesus wants to sup with me. You only invite your friends over to your house for dinner. Jesus wants to come and dine with you. Do you make this easy for God? Have you set a place in your heart for the entrance and company of the Holy Spirit? If you have a closed door with a lock on it and a small peep hole to see out, that's not very inviting for a Holy God that has given you life and everything in it. There's no question that Jesus is knocking. Open the door. Go ahead. Just close your eyes and say something like this:

'Jesus, come in and sup with me. I'm sorry I am so unavailable. I'm sorry I've kept you outside of my intimate place. Please come in and sup with me. You are welcome in my heart and my soul, for this day and this hour. I want to hear what you have for me.'

Daily Devotional February 22 - Help In Time Of Need

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Sounds like an invitation to me. Boldly doesn't mean cocky, nor does it mean foolishly or inappropriately. But it does mean with enthusiasm and vigor, heartily. It also means without reservation, without apprehension and without doubt. You know, God knows that you have needs and that you need help. God made a way for you. Come boldly to the throne of grace. God is merciful and reveals that mercy as we approach Him with truth.

The reason this invitation is so important is that it comes with a promise, i. e., "help in time of need." Many people come part way, they mosey up the trail toward the throne of grace; they put on like they stopped by for a chat with God; they talk big like they brought it to God's attention, but this is just not the kind of problem that God deals with, but for whatever reason they don't come to the throne of grace, much less boldly. I think a lot of people think of prayer as their eternal complaint department, where they either just moan and groan about life (as if God were not really there listening), or they utter out last minute requests based on poorly devised plans, (plans that never considered God's way, plans that did not consult with God before jumping in.) Either way you can't come boldly to the throne of grace with that kind of thinking.

This throne is important, in that this is where God wants us to come. Modernity has allowed a lessor way to run rampart and ruined any chance for man to see his inability without the hand of God. Men and women today want to integrate God into their devices in a way that God must ask us and come to our throne if there is to be any real reconciliation. If history has taught us anything, it is that mankind, unchecked by the indwelling Holy Spirit brings the things to God to ruin about every two thousand years. Where does that put us today?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Daily Devotional February 21 - God Leads The Way

"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."  Isaiah 48:17

Don't get confused by those who have not found their way, trying to lead the way. God leads and God teaches as we permit. In this verse God says "by the way thou shouldest go" inferring that you can certainly go another way. It's not difficult at all to go another way; just don't be who God says you are and don't do things God's way. It's also not difficult to go the God way either; just be who God says you are and follow the leading of the Spirit of God.

Have you been taught to profit? Is God mistaken?
Sometimes the truth of a matter is so simple we complicate right past it.
God gives us a simple straight path and we look for a labyrinth.
God gives us simple instruction and we call out for a king.
God leads the way by a small still voice and we listen for a loud clanking sound.
God provides for us all that we need and we search in vain through multiple credit cards and purchase what is not ours.
God gives us proof of Him and we look to the din of others to fill our minds with the science of doubt.
Be receptive to the teaching of God and see His mighty hand working out in three weeks what you have been striving at for years.

Daily Devotional February 20 - Who Is In Charge At Your Church?

"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." 1 Corinthians 12:18

For those very experienced, churched Christians;
Have you ever been in or near a church split?
Have you ever been near someone who is so prejudiced that they can't stand certain types of people?
Have you ever sat near someone that just complained the whole time; about the sermon, the lights, the music, the media presentation, the carpet color?
I hope you have found a way to get beyond all that all that foolishness.

God puts Church bodies together, from the pastor and throughout the congregation. Man designs programs and manages the business affairs of the Church, but God is still the head. God brought so and so into your congregation for a reason. It might not be to bless you and they may not fit in or they might want to take over, but God is God over man, not you or me.

I have been lied to, lied about, hurt, almost destroyed and damaged beyond comprehension by some of those that God brought in. Should I hold that to God's charge? No. I must wait and in due time be healed of the effects of mean spirited men and women. God has a plan for their lives too.  " "...God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Daily Devotional February 19 - Radical Christianity Is Not Like Radical _____

"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

If you were to read Romans chapter 3-5 you would find that God is not very impressed with the works of man, but more than that God is making it clear that you should be boasting of your faith and not in your abilities to do good. There is no slight on doing good, it's just that there is no connection between doing good and being righteous in Christ. It's not that if you do good you cannot be righteous in Christ, it's just that you cannot be righteous in Christ (whether you do good or not) unless you are trusting solely on faith in what Christ did for you.

Self-righteousness is not righteousness. If you are patting yourself on the back for being such a great Christian and looking down at others who do not live up to your standards, you've missed the entire message of the gospel. You were saved by nothing you did or didn't do or were worthy of above another. Anyway, if your focus is on the shortcomings of another, it is not on Christ.

When you look at others through the spiritual eyes of the indwelling Holy Spirit you cannot help but be moved with compassion. You cannot help but to want to help them in some way. You cannot help but see beyond their abilities and circumstances. You cannot help but look beyond their shortcomings and their indiscretions, their faults and even their sins. I know this sounds radical, but true Christianity is radical. True Christianity breaks away from religious forms of godliness for a better way; simple faith and trust in Jesus for yourself and for others.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Daily Devotional February 18 - The Ax To The Tree

"Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose life shall she be of the seven? for all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God."  Matthew 22:25-29

I may as well lay the ax to the tree. Those who do not know the scriptures nor the power of God are leading those who want to to believe, to believe like them. It is amazing what Christians are fighting about. They stand behind fallible interpretations and doctrines of men, instead of using the Word of God as their pure text. They would question Jesus if Jesus were on the earth today with the same avarice and contempt as the Pharisees and Sadducee's did during Jesus' earthly ministry. They do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

The good news is:

  • There are many who want to live out their lives in peace with God, following the teachings of Jesus and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit in their inner man. There are many who do believe the scriptures and will not be led by people hype. There are many who do hear the voice of God and go and do the will of God for their lives. 
  • There are many that take the Word of God seriously and find them to be true and powerful and comforting. 
  • There are many that do not need for everything to go as they want it to, to understand that God is Sovereign. 
  • There are many who do not need to be titillated with promises of riches to serve the living God. There are many who willingly sacrifice without comment. 
  • There are many who are willing to stand up for the Bible and its content and live their life without compromising their integrity.
  • There are many Christians that are not worldly and who do live their lives to the glory of God and not themselves.

Don't be afraid to read the scriptures and believe, for in this truth is the power of God released.

Daily Devotional February 17 - Make Up Your Mind

"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

No one should question that God has chosen many ways over many centuries to reach the hearts of men. We need not argue about who God spoke to or how that person received their inspiration. We would be guessing. But, "in these last days," those who are hearing from God are hearing from Christ, through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

If you are seeking a deeper walk and more knowledge and wisdom, simply heed the words of Jesus. The highest level of enlightenment is finding, listening to and following the Son of God. There is nothing even comes in a close second. Seeking and dabbling a little here and a little there will gain you worldly insight, but when you have a real need that needs a real
God, you won't be praying to Buddha or Vishnu or Mohammad or Allah. We need not find fault with these men or those who follow them. Every journey deserves respect. But for you, has God called you to follow men, spiritual leaders or figure heads, or has God called you to follow the Son of God?

It's time to make up your mind.

Daily Devotional February 16 - Will You Go?

"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me." Matthew 21:1-2

Do you remember in the Old Testament when God told Abraham to Go up from the Chaldeans?  God didn't even tell him where to go, just to go and that God would show him where later. Here we have a situation where Jesus tells disciples to go and clearly instructs them as to what to do as if He (Jesus) could see the future. Jesus can see the future. In this practically faith-ridden world, many Christians are not listening, nor do they believe that Jesus talks to them at all. Their faith is based on experiences of others and not their own. It's no wonder we have such a mixed up society.

If Jesus was to tell you to go and do this or that do you have the kind of faith that can recognize His voice?
Do you have the kind of faith that would do what God told you to do if you did hear God?
Are you rational and would have to figure out if what God told you was in your best interest?
I'll tell you what we could use today. Just a few people willing to do what God has already told them to do.

Some people want to experience the miraculous, the supernatural; they want to hear the voice of God, they want spiritual power over darkness and they will not follow the simple instructions that God has already given them in the Word of God. God is not going to compromise His eternal truths to accommodate superficial faith. Anyway, superficial faith requires so much more effort than simple faith and with superficial faith the results are only what you can personally do in the natural. There will be a time if not already, when acting the part to look spiritual just won't do.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Daily Devotional February 15 - Be Still And Know

"Be still, and know that I am God:..." Psalm 46:10

Of all the scripture, this verse best distills the essence of the message of God concerning the anxiety of man. You and I need to be reminded of the All-ness of God. We need to seek His provision for the day. We need to seek His peace for the hour. We need to seek His message for the moment. Open your spiritual ears and listen to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer and can be heard clearly.

If you were to hear what God was speaking to you for today, you might have to change your plans. I've found myself doing my own thing for weeks, even seasons and then I listen carefully and I have to start all over from where I left off. Oh that I could train myself to listen always, then I could be still and see what the mighty hand of God has drawn for me for the day, for the season, for a lifetime. I will practice this message and listen to the Holy Spirit right now.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

daily Devotional February 14 - Joining Together For Power

"And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem." Ezra 3:1

If you were to read Ezra 3 you would find that tens of thousands of people had been gathering themselves together with all their animals. They were gathering to build the Temple. They were being freed from captivity and heading to Jerusalem to help build the Temple and worship God. What makes this verse and the meaning of it so important is the phrase, "the people gathered themselves together as one man..."

  • Were we to gather together as one man we could accomplish the impossible.
  • Were we to gather together as one man we would have to let down our guard a while.
  • Were we to gather together as one man we would have to stop competing with one another, especially pastors.
  • Were we to gather together as one man we would have the influence of a mighty people.

I believe we should spend our time finding out what are the God attributes of others/other groups and build true Christianity on the common elements that bind us together. One group/denomination won't mingle with another because of so-called theological differences. I say those who make such a big deal about it are babies in the faith. And those who nurture consistent separation surely won't be gathering together for the next big move of God as they did here in the Book of Ezra.

Daily Devotional February 13 - A Time To Cast Away

"A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;..." Ecclesiastes. 3:6

We like the getting time, but the losing time is not so much desired. Why is that? Just as the wind culls the weak limbs from the trees, so the natural schema of life culls away our possessions. No one likes losing things, but the precious things cannot be taken. That which lasts forever is not encased in sterling silver or rubies or insurance or skin. That which lasts and lasts are the things of God. Since there is "a time to lose" maybe you should get on board with it and let it go graciously. God is next to you and God can easily fill the void.

We like keeping things, but the Bible tells us there is "a time to cast away." Can you imagine the feeling that would be encountered if you were to cast away the dross before it was taken away or lost to some greedy, self-serving friend or enemy. Listen to God. Pray about your business, your relationships, your investments. Don't hold too long and lose them to natures poker. Listen to God and He will tell you clearly when to hold and when to fold.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Daily Devotional February 12 - Are You Praying For Others?

"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;" 1 Thessalonians 1:2

I wish I had friends like this. Are you waking up and praying for someone everyday? I want to be mentioned to God by others who talk to God. I want my name to come up with favor from those who have known me and understand my faith, my life, my struggles, my turmoils. I would that they were praying as if I was important and they wanted God to bring down from heaven His very best for me.

This might not be your experience, but as a pastor I have seen a lot of superficial praying; a lot of praying just to "get it out of the way and say they did" prayer; a lot of "if I have to" prayer; a lot of "why bother God doesn't listen anyway" prayer; a lot of "don't embarrass me" prayer; a lot of ten seconds or less prayer. Prayer is direct communication with God and deserves our deepest thought and full attention. God designed us to interact with Him and in that interaction, what we cannot do due with our human limitations is accomplished by God. Together with God we are a whole being. Together with God no thing is impossible. Together with God your prayers move mountains.

Praying as if you are praying to the wind brings about a faithless and powerless generation. If enough people see you pray pitifully and nothing happens, they will pray that way too and in just a short time, what should be prayer becomes nothing but confusion; There's no connection with Holy God and the next generation of young Christians pray because they have to and that's not prayer at all.

Daily Devotional February 11 - Can You Hear God Speaking?

"Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, tomorrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin,..." 1 Samuel 9:15, 16a

God has been speaking to you, in your ear/heart, since you were born and to mankind since the beginnings at the Garden. God is speaking to you, in your ear/heart about the day, your life, your future, what's best for all who will come into contact with you; about your private plans, about your foolishness, about your ways and about everything. If you are thinking that that was in the olden days, you are right. It was in the olden days that God spoke to listening men and women, teens and youth. It's just that God does the same thing today also.

I don't want to say this, but the truth is, if you have not heard the voice of God, it's not really God's fault or that God doesn't speak anymore. Your hearing has been hardened to the things of God. Your mind is filled with all else. Your thinking has been programmed to listen to the world and the channel that tunes in God has corroded.

You don't really want to continue to go through life winging it, do you? It doesn't matter how good you are or how much you do, if you are not tuned in with God, you cannot participate with what God is doing. I agree that you can be right on track with what God is doing occasionally by default, simply because you are a good person, but it is very different to follow the voice of God than the voice of reason. You do not need to wing it. Tune in to the God channel and listen carefully. Oh and by the way, you will have to turn off the TV, Internet, and mobile phone for a moment. They distort the signal.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Daily Devotional February 10 - Are You Just A Caller?

"And why call ye Me, Lord, and do not the things that I say?"  Luke 6:46

Getting serious with God is the call to this generation. It does not mean you have to become a preacher or run a ministry. It's about who you are, who you have become.
  • Is who you are the reflection of the essence of God? 
  • Is who you are the person you would want your child to emulate? 
  • Is who you are the best you can be with the measure of faith you have? 
  • Are you living up to your own understanding of what it entails to be a child of God? 
  • Do you fell free inside? 
  • Are you at peace with God?
Living for God and following Christ can be the most beautiful experience. It's not about giving up everything you enjoy or like to do, but it is and always has been about getting a right understanding about what really brings you joy and what you could be doing that would best serve your life and those around you.

There is coming a time when calling on the Lord while serving the world is not going to be as popular as it is today.

Daily Devotional February 9 - Justified By Faith

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

If you have faith that Jesus is who He says He is and that He has paid the penalty for your sins, even the smallest morsel of faith, you have been justified; pardoned, reconciled to God.

You are God's child and the recipient of all that was created for you. Even though what you inherit during your lifetime is not all that God has planned for you, what is available, now, is too big and too wonderful to measure. You have been justified; not you are going to if you do this or that. It is important to believe the WORD of God, for without faith you cannot see clearly what God has already done for you, nor what is ahead.

You are justified and you are at peace with God. So why don't you feel that way? It is in your thinking. If you don't know without a doubt that you are justified by God and at peace with God in every way, you have been conditioned by years of false teaching and some (self inflicted wrong thinking for your own so-called benefit). What a waste to live below your God given, God breathed potential.

You need to believe what God says and not let anything that contradicts it even enter your ears. If you were to start believing God for all that He speaks to you, you would feel at peace with God. The only thing you would loose is the baggage you have been carrying.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Daily Devotional February 8 - Use Your Faith

"And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land. And He saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Mark 6:47-50

I wish you could see Jesus every time he walked on water; every time He stood right in front of you and said, "Be of good cheer, it is I." Did you notice that Jesus saw them toiling? Jesus sees you struggling and toiling against the winds and water of your life. He" would have passed by them." What kind of Saviour would just pass by when your bills aren't paid and a love one dies, and someone lies about you and your heart has just been broken? The kind that answers your call.

Jesus isn't testing you by allowing you to wallow in the despairs of life. Jesus didn't bring on your troubles to see what you're made of. You already know that most of your troubles are self induced, either through sin, indiscretion or ignorance. But when you've had enough and the winds of life are blowing real hard and you have tried to bail out your own boat, lift your
eyes upon heaven and call out to Jesus. He will speak to your situation just like he spoke to the winds and the waves. Did you notice that before he stopped the wind and the waves and before the boat was emptied of the water that was about to sink it, and while they were trembling with fear, He said, "Be of good cheer, it is I." I can tell you from experience you won't even see Jesus passing by, to call unto Him, if you don't believe He has any authority in your life.

Use your faith. Muster up a real prayer. Call out to Jesus. Don't look around to see if anyone is watching. If you have to do that, your boat isn't really sinking, you're just uncomfortable.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Daily Devotional February 7 - Who Leads You?

"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."  Isaiah 48:17

Don't get confused by those who have not found their way, trying to lead the way. God leads and God teaches as we permit. In this verse God says "by the way thou shouldest go" inferring that you can certainly go another way. It's not difficult at all to go another way; just don't be who God says you are and don't do things God's way. It's also not difficult to go the God way either; just be who God says you are and follow the leading of the Spirit of God.

Have you been taught to profit? Is God mistaken? Sometimes the truth of a matter is so simple we complicate right past it.
God gives us a simple straight path and we look for a labyrinth.
God gives us simple instruction and we call out for a king.
God leads the way by a small still voice and we listen for a loud clanking sound.
God provides for us all that we need and we search in vain through multiple credit cards and purchase what is not ours.
God gives us proof of Him and we look to the din of others to fill our minds with the science of doubt.
Be receptive to the teaching of God and see His mighty hand working out in three weeks what you have been striving at for years.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Daily Devotional February 6 - Wisdom

"Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Prov. 24:3-4

Wisdom, understanding and knowledge: How do you get these precious jewels? There is only one access to these heavenly gifts from God; Faith by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Faith isn't just something you obtain so that you can be saved. Faith is the the essence of a direct connect with God so that God can fill you with wisdom, understanding and knowledge. And by drawing close to God on all levels our chambers will be filled with the great treasure of gifts from God.

Is there a pre-requisite for obtaining wisdom, understanding and knowledge? Yes. Simple faith mingled with simple faithfulness. Nothing else will do. Do's and don'ts won't get you there. Being a member of a particular denomination would do it. Acting spiritual while prejudice, avarice and inconsistency are being nurtured won't get it. Acting spiritual while living worldly won't get it either, even if you have tons of faith. No, none of these are pre-requisites. Simple faith with simple faithfulness is the only way.

Daily Devotional February 5 - Spiritual Gifts

"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." 1 Co. 12:4-6

I have watched as many Christians have split over their interpretation of the workings of the Holy Spirit. There is dissension, thoughtless remarks, sedition, even hatred from one group to another because of their interpretation of the workings of the Holy Spirit. If you cannot get beyond the differences and find enough common ground to stand on,its obvious you are in this for yourself. Don't be too surprised that I said for yourself. Many Christians never get past the second grade in their faith.

Mature Christians will go out of their way to see beyond their differences. I have seen people in both camps making outrageous claims against the other as if they were sure enemies. God is not the author of confusion and the way we personally interpret a verse does not make us more faithful than another. I have seen many Christians throwing stones at others who are serving God as if they were faultless and had within them perfect theology. That's proof alone that God is sovereign. Why we would have annihilated ourselves long ago had it not been for the Holy Spirit of God giving us good sense and keeping us from ourselves.

If you are at war with others Christians, you're in the fight alone. God is not taking up your cause. God is taking up His cause and you should be finding out what that is. It's possible that the very ones you are ostracizing have the very message from God for you. You are trying to get the answers, but not willing to go outside some very tiny and insignificant parameters.

Daily Devotional February 4 - God Is By Your Side

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  2 Peter 3:9

For just a moment try to comprehend your life with God not ever having done anything to or for you. Have you ever had the thought that God is just not on the job? Have you ever thought that all that you accomplished was of your own doing and that you really didn't need God's assistance? If you have I hope you have come to find out what I found out. I've had these same thoughts, but I know better now. Of all the doubt I've had over the years, it cannot begin to compare with what I know to be true about God.

Of course there are moments of doubt, but just one thought about our loving god and it can be washed away. I have seen how God intertwines His handiwork with our faith. I have seen the results when I choose to go the other way. It is empty and vain, futile and mundane. God is and has always been right by your side and then inside your being after you received Christ as your Savior. He is not slack concerning His promise or anything. God is holding you up right now. God is preparing a way for you right now. You have never been alone, nor will God let you go into this next thing alone. And if even the tiniest thought of unworthiness has entered your mind, shake it off. You and I were never worthy. God cannot help but to be God, in spite of ourselves.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daily Devotional February 3 - Spiritual Titles

"Now there were in the church that was in Antioch certain prophets and teachers;..." Acts 13:1

This was around AD 44 about twelve years after the resurrection of Jesus. Antioch was the first place where people stood out as Christ followers, i. e., Christians. The body of believers that was in Antioch probably wasn't any more faithful than Christ followers in other area, but they were beginning to become organized. I wish that I would hear , much less often, how the organized church is somehow less spiritual than the un-organized church. Or that those who meet in their home are somehow more spiritual than those who go to church on a regular basis at a particular facility.

The truth is that each of us are a part of this great organism, 'the Church,' and we shouldn't be thinking of ourselves more spiritual than others or talking badly about our brothers and sisters in the Lord. As you can see from the scripture, even 12 years after the resurrection of Jesus, some of those followers were called teachers and some prophets. Do we really need to get our back up just because someone wears a title that we might not approve of. I know people who have thrown stones at some of these 'titled' ministers, all the while living a life far less honorable.

It's not the title, but the faithfulness of the individual that really gives them title. I've found that when I can get past the title, sometimes I see a man or woman in love with the Lord, serving Him with depth and inspiring me to step up to the pump. Let's serve with gladness and not be too concerned with semantics.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Daily Devotional February 2 - Life Without God

"Plead my cause , O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me."  Psalm 35:1

Do you believe that God goes before you and interacts with others on your behalf? If not, you are missing out on one of God's wonderful gifts to you; the gift of assisting in the management of your affairs so that the results are not solely based upon your own actions. If life was life without the personal intervention of a personal God, there would be no life at all. Man would have annihilated themselves far before now. You are not the creator of your own destiny as so many proclaim. You are co-creator and be thankful for that. Can you imagine what you are capable of if not for the check of the Holy Spirit?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Daily Devotional February 1 - Try Going To God With A Yes

"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:29-31

Principles of power:

1st principle of power: Making a decision to spend time alone with God.
2nd Principle of power: Making a deliberate, firm and irreversible (YES) decision to do what God says prior to going to God in prayer.
 If you really want power in your life, you will have to do it God's way.  God does not issue His power to those whom He knows will throw it away, not His power.  There is other power available and some of it looks good, but God's power is easily recognized:
 God's power doesn't require a certain setting like when all the cameras are on or when the right people are present.
God's power is not performed by slight of hand. God works through yielded vessels, not self-proclaimed spiritual iconoclasts.
God's power does not require confirmation from the general assembly.
God gives His power and His gifts severally as He wills, not as 'we wills'.
The power of God cannot be arranged to be captured on film at 9:00 p.m. EST.
God's power proceeds forth from God at His will, on His timing, and the only thing that moves God is a yielded vessel with a YES on their tongue.  YES I will - YES I can - YES, Lord, YES

What moves God is a praise of His glory. 
What moves God is a right view of His Son.
What moves God is a follower of the leading of the Holy Spirit.
What moves God is a prayer of thankfulness, thanking God with real zest for life.
Thankful for who God is.
Thankful for His revelation
Thankful for what we have
 If we spent as much time thanking God for what we have, as we do complaining to God about what we do not have, we would have what we don't have.

What moves God is an act of compassion:
A gift to the poor
A word for the lonely
A song for the weary
What moves God is a heart of worship.
Someone willing to bow the knee.

Submission to His wooing.
Recognition of our powerlessness apart from Him.
A yielded vessel.

The power of God is given to those who have stepped aside and lifted up the name of Jesus above their own. You can tell when a man or a woman is full of themseves or yielded to God. The power of God is through the yielded and never wielded.

Those who are still full of themselves may have charisma and charm, authority, position and sometimes fame. They may be educated and informed. But the power of God is manifested in weakness and humility.

God pressed on me to search this word out, faint, because I always thought it meant the weak-willed, the helpless, those who were despondent and without, but I found out differently.  The word faint as used in the scripture comes from the Hebrew word, (yaw-afe) which means fatigued or utterly exhausted. The faint are not the despondent or weak-willed, but those who are utterly exhausted from their labors.

The power of God is given to the laborers of God to perform the will of God.

The power of God doesn't stop and land on someone, as if, they could then wield the power of God at their own discretion. The power of God flows through a yielded man or woman to produce God results at God's discretion.

God is fed up with the modern prophets and so-called Apostles, some pastors and teachers who are puffed up with pride and self elevation and make a mockery of God's Holy and incorruptible power.

Galatians 6:3 says, "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." 

Those who are still trying out God to see if they really have any interest in continuing with God are not awarded the power of God.

Those in whom God works His mighty power through:
They have stopped testing God.
They are done fighting God.
They have submitted to His will.

It's not that God does not work through others. God works through the ungodly and the unaware. The difference is, that those who adore the Lord - those who are yielded and submitted - they know when God is working in them and through them.

The power of God and the anointed life is for those who have made up their mind that God is who He says He is in the scriptures.
No other kind of faith will do:
Only faith in the Father as revealed in Holy scripture, the Holy Bible.
Faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God as revealed in Holy scripture, the Holy Bible.
Faith in the Holy Spirit as revealed in Holy scripture, the Holy Bible. (period)
  • Seeker faith will not do.
  • Show me first faith will not do.
  • I love you Lord, but not enough to do something about my situation faith will not do.
  • Sunday faith will not do.
  • Extra-biblical faith will not do.
  • Your spouses faith will not do.
  • If it goes my way faith will not do.
  • As long as I can believe what I want to faith will not do.
  • As long as You don't test me faith, will not do.
  • Don't ask me to give up what is mine faith will not do.
  • As long as I can continue in my sin faith, will not do.
  • As long as I can have control faith, will not do.
  • As long as You don't bother me faith, will not do.
  • As long as You don't tell me what to do faith, will not do.
Today, even born-again believers and especially young believers are in rebellion to God's Holy Word.
Where did the body of Christ and our teenage believers hear that when we get saved, we get to keep?

Our old self
Our former inclinations
Our unsaved behaviors and attitudes
Where did the body of Christ hear that when we get saved, we get to keep?
Our old ways and
Our old habits
Who was it that taught that it's OK to struggle with the same old habit for twenty-five years?

I hope that you never placate your peers, your friends or your family with a 'feel good because I don't want to hurt their feelings gospel'.

The main reason that most Christians are living below their calling is because they have been taught that it is OK.  It was never OK, nor will it ever be OK, for you and I to think that God saves His people so that they can continue to live the way they used to live. God forbid. I believe that if we were careful to give the gospel, without apology, new believers would seek God's heart and learn of His ways and make every effort to find God and serve Him.

If we were teaching people that YES is the only appropriate answer to our call from God and that YES is the only appropriate answer to the call to His ways, more people would be believing God with unswerving faith - And we wouldn't have to drive to Orlando to get healed either.

Here's the problem. Most people that go to God to get alone, first make a pack with themselves, that if God directs them in something that they don't want to do or go to a place they don't want to go, then they will renege.

They don't mind going to God to get alone as long as God comes through and meets their own particular requirements:
As long as God answers their prayer the way they want it answered.
As long as they aren't kept too long.
As long as God doesn't put them on the spot.
As a matter of fact, for some, as long as God just keeps His place, everything will be alright.

Some people go to God to see what God is going to say, and if God says the right things, they will consider it.  But God is likely to say the wrong thing, if the right thing, is that thing, that we have already made up in our mind about.
If we've already made up our mind that:
We aren't going to go to where God says to go.
We aren't going to be what He called us to be.
We aren't going to do what God tells us to do.
We aren't going to say what God told us to say.
If we've already made up our mind, that what we hear from God, must echo of our own mind........

The only way to hear God clearly is to go to God with an open heart and an open mind and let God place into us, His will.

If we go to God with and open heart and an open mind, God might tell us to rest.
If we go to God with and open heart and an open mind, God might tell us to go.
If we go to God with and open heart and an open mind, God might tell us to give.
If we go to God with and open heart and an open mind, God might tell us to go to the mission field.

Some of us still think of missionaries as a small group of people who had nothing better to do, but give up everything: they had to move to a remote area to teach the unteachable, while earning their own substance, because they really couldn't get a job anywhere.  No way. Missionaries are simply those who said YES, before God told them what they would be doing.

One night ma and pa were sitting at the edge of the setee and they knelt down to pray and they made the mistake of praying like this, "Oh God, why is this burden on my heart? I feel you tugging on me. What is it you are trying to tell me. Make it clear and I will obey."
"Go to Nairobi"
"Go to Sri Lanka"
"Go to Bangledesh"
"Go to Frankfurt Germany"
"Go to Tajikistan"
"Go to Sydney Australia"

And sometimes God calls us to more familiar places.
"Stay where you are for five years. Be faithful and serve in this place."

People go and needs are met when we go to God with a YES, fixed in our heart and on our lips.

If we go to God with and open heart and an open mind, God will use us to accomplish His good pleasure - and sometimes His good pleasure is to intercede for others or to go and do what others have left undone.

Those who are still listening for God to say what they want to hear, have not read the Word, nor do they know the heart of God.

We put too much emphasis on me, myself and I. We sing to God to take us and mold us but we end the song with "as long as it is my way."

Personal fulfillment
Creature comfort security
Financial independence
Material satisfaction
Immediate gratification - take precedence over the call of God.

Too many people are going to God in prayer, primarily for personal fulfillment. There's nothing wrong with expecting God to move on our behalf and to bring to pass what we cannot or to infuse His supernatural power in our natural situation, but personal fulfillment is only a part of the whole truth.

God does want His people fulfilled. God has proved that to each of us.
God provides for us and sustains us apart from our own works and abilities.
God directs us to go this way and that and leads us to follow Him.
God heals our bodies and heals our emotions.
God takes away the pangs of the past and gives us hope for the future.
God fills us with blessings and makes us to prosper.
God wants His people fulfilled, but personal fulfillment without intercession for others and integration with others is shallow and ultimately un-fulfilling.

God has made available His power for you to operate in, but power isn't always measured in overwhelming success, sometimes there's more power in restraint than misguided action.