Saturday, April 30, 2016

Daily Devotional April 30 - What Can Your Faith Do?

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

I just want you to look at your own faith for a moment.

  • Does your faith provide daily nourishment to your soul?
  • Does your faith have power in it?
  • Does your faith hang on when the winds of life blow real hard?
  • Does your faith compel you to tell others about the most important find in your life?
  • Can your faith speak a word of encouragement that can change someones mind?
  • Do you have faith to pray for something that just looks impossible?
  • Do you have faith to continue when all around you the walls are falling down?
  • Do you have the kind of faith that pulls you aside when someone cuts you off on the road, and says to you, "pray for them?"
  • Do you have faith to be healed even though you have been praying about it for more than a year with no apparent changes in condition?
  • Do you have faith that you will hear God speak to you when you go to Church on Sunday morning?
Faith is what you get from God once you connect by being born again.
Faith is the continuing process of God permeating your soul with His presence.
Faith is the kindling that helps start a fire under apathy.
Faith is the proof to yourself and to others that God exists.
Faith grows in relation to the time you spend with God.
Faith develops you into a man or woman of God.
Faith does the right thing, when many other ways might bring you more money.
Faith has eyes of its own and can see when others cannot.
Faith is the source that connects you to what God is doing today.
Faith brings to pass what is impossible.
Faith believes in miracles.
Faith participates in the work of God.
Faith bridges the prejudice gap.
Faith can see spiritual things, but is blind to race, creed, color and church affiliation.
Faith builds up the body of Christ as a whole without regard to denominational preferences.
Faith compels a man/woman to work hard and provide for themselves and others.
Faith compels a young man/woman to be chaste when it is not popular.
Faith turns the word of the Bible into living waters of truth and wisdom.
Faith causes a man/woman to love those of different religious or philosophical backgrounds.
Faith Faith causes one to give while they are waiting for their ship to come in.
Faith brings to mind the desperation of the world and how important it is to share the internal message that Jesus has put in us.
Faith can close its eyes and see God.
Faith cannot be killed even if the body dies
Faith yielded to God makes a very becoming smile.
Faith will bring to your mind to call someone right now, someone you have been putting off calling, because that someone needs a word from God from you.
Faith knows what the mind doubts.
Faith doesn't rush God.
Faith believes that what it sees in its minds eye will come to pass.

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
What Can Your Faith Do?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Daily Devotional April 29 - There Are Martha Things and Mary Things

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that He (Jesus) entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to Him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.Luke 10:38-42

There's no need to over-spiritualize these sentiments. The main point that Jesus was making was that: In the presence of God, you should focus, be quiet and listen. I would say in modern terms it could mean that you would:
Plan your day to include getting all your chores completed, but not to exclude private time with the Lord, which might include:

  • Turn off the background TV. You think you need it on, but that's only conditioning.
  • Step away from you computer, whether you are on the Internet or just working on something.
  • Don't answer the phone. We've become phone addicts. Whatever it is in most cases it can wait.
  • Plan to do whatever you have to do to get away with God alone for a time.
  • Read the word undisturbed
  • Ask Jesus some questions that you need answered
  • Pray for a bit and listen carefully as God speaks into your heart

You will have plenty of time to do all the other/Martha things. There will always be plenty of Martha things to do. But it is just as important to do the Mary things."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Daily Devotional April 28 - Busubody

"1Pe_4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."

I know that we all get the idea of not being a murderer, thief, evil doer, but busybody in other men's affairs?

I think it interesting that Peter lumps the busybody in with the murderer or thief. Is it just because it is a sin and all sin is equal in the eyes of God?
Or is it that Peter knows something about being a busybody, knowing a thing about someone and having told others.  Maybe he has seen the results of someone passing on unnecessary or even invalid information. Maybe he did that himself and thinks it worthy from personal experience to mention it.

One thing you can always trust about the scriptures is that not one word is frivolous or insignificant or unnecessary. Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit discusses this most important matter because it negatively affects others, sometimes in irreversible ways. Much of what is said on TV is by those who just run their mouth but don't have a clue what they are talking about. Take all those people off the air and there wouldn't be much to watch. It is not uncommon even for reporters to report what someone else reported without checking sources or verifying the information. And much of what is reported is speculation not supported by fact.

Is that what we have become as a society? Busybodies? You would think that Christian men and women would have risen up and grown beyond such an indictment. But that is not the case. Much pain is brought on by the ignorance of someone who has to run their mouth about someone when they aren't sure about the content or in many cases don't even know the person. It is disgraceful. But just the same even if you know something about someone that reveals a shaded past or mistakes that they made, is it necessary to tell the world? Quite often things that people did in their youth, they currently detest or maybe they have reconciled to someone or paid their debt to society. either way God is judge, not you.

I think Peter is on to something. God let Peter write this about busybodies. Isn't this extremely important in the current know everything about everybody, techno trend we are in? Not everything that is on the internet is true. Furthermore what is your motive for having to know everything or spilling the beans on someone or talking behind your pastor's back or sniveling about nothing to anyone who will tolerate you?

There's not much good that can be said about a busybody. The fact that Peter lumps them in with murderers, thieves and evil doers should be warning enough to keep your comments to yourself.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daily Devotional April 27 - Knowing God

"Why do you believe what you believe? 

I hope that you can say that you have met the Master; that you have felt the stirring of the Holy Spirit inside of you and that you commune with God, speaking to God and listening carefully when God speaks to you.

There are far too many people who claim to be a Christian but it is only because they were brought up so or decided it would be easier than fighting the family. Knowing God personally is the important thing. If you have any hopes and they are built on speculation or designated to you by the the family religious steering committee, you will have no power to appropriate the will of God in your life or to help others find their way with God.

If you care about your own soul and that of others, ask yourself these simple questions to identify what your core beliefs are. It is in those core beliefs that your inner power and outward actions reflect the living God.

Ask yourself:
How did I come to know that Jesus is who he says he is?
Which is the first principle I adhere to; Church polity or personal Bible study and contemplation? 
When praying do I sense the presence of God in the room I am in?
Do I do things at Church that I have not personally been instructed to do through personal Bible study or inspiration from the Holy Spirit?
Which is more important to me, being liked at Church or believing that I am a true servant of God doing and saying what best reflects my inner inclinations?
Do I complain inside my mind every time I have to go to Church?
Have I made a concerted effort to place myself in the presence of God and try to sense God's presence?
Have I come to God and said these words: "Please reveal to me the truth and please tell me what it is I need to do to be in concert with your will.
Have you ever uttered the words: "Purify me Oh Lord that I can see clearly?"

These are not trick questions and I am not giving out your answers, but one of the principles of godliness is to seek out truth and let the light of that truth be at odds/war with your mind and body. Your spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. 

This next question is so important: Have I ever turned everything off, and found a place of quiet and listened for the voice of God for more than 1/2 hour?" This question I can reveal the consequences. Tens of millions of people are teaching tens of millions of people about God having never given God this kind of attention. It's no wonder that most Christians can't really tell you anything about God. They have given all things in their life more time and more attention than God. 

What are you best at? The things you do over and over again, of course. That's what makes you good at your job and that's what makes you good at knowing God."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Daily Devotionaol April 26 - Try Asking A Little Differently

""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 your soul available. All you need to do is ask. Maybe you have never seen Jesus as 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.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Daily Devotional April 25 - 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. 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?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Daily Devotional April 24 - Don't Wait

  • "Don't wait to say Yes to God.
  • Don't wait to call whomever God has put on your heart.
  • Don't wait to pray for whomever God has placed in your heart.
  • Don't wait to forgive someone.
  • Don't wait to ask forgiveness.
  • Don't wait to confess to God whatever He is asking of you.
  • Don't wait to spend quantity time with your kids.
  • Don't wait to love on your wife.
  • Don't wait to mend fences.
These are just a few of the things God is speaking to you about. By waiting to move on what God calls you to, or making excuses why you can't come when you are called, you tarnish God's image.

If you moved when you were called by God, those who did not come when they were called would have had far less excuse. If you were answering God's call to follow Him every time you heard Him, there would be far less unanswered issues in life:
  • You wouldn't be without understanding
  • Your bills would be manageable
  • You would be helping others when they are in need
  • Those within your sphere of influence would have their needs dealt with
  • Others prayers would be answered because you are interceeding on their behalf
  • You would learn to pray in the will of God so you are not so disappointed all the time when what you prayed for didn't come to pass
  • Your testimony of God working in your life and your doing the works of God sends out a far better message than sitting on you laurels, expecting someone else to do what you were called to do.
I'm certain that this is not a popular message, but there comes a time in all of our lives when we need to start working with God instead of bucking against the goads."

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Daily Devotional April 23 - 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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Daily Devotional April 22 - Three Excuses

"Matthew 13:18-23, "Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. V19 When anyone heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandet it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.  V20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the a\same is he that heareth the word, a anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it.  V21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.  V22 He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word; and care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. V23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."

Why is it so hard for those who have said no to God to come and say yes at a later time? There are three examples Jesus gives us, the excuses are a little different, but the end result is the same

The first example are those who heard the word - The call of God.  They didn't understand it - satan comes along, tweaks it a little, makes it pallitable and they build a personal religion on it.  How does this happen?
Because there was no one there:
  • Discipling them
  • Teaching them
  • Mentoring them
  • Praying for them
  • Fellowshipping with them
  • Training them
The second example are those who heard the word - the call of God. They received it with joy for a short time - but tribulation and persecution come along and they are not at all prepared for this. No one told them, they were offended and turned away.
Because there was no one there:
  • Discipling them
  • Teaching them
  • Mentoring them
  • Praying for them
  • Fellowshipping with them
  • Training them
The third example are those who heard the word - the call of God.  But they didn't want to change anything. They found out about the sacrifice and discipline and they, like the rich young ruler turned away sad, but turned away.
I'll bet you can guess where I am going with this.
Because there was no one there:
  • Discipling them
  • Teaching them
  • Mentoring them
  • Praying for them
  • Fellowshipping with them
  • Training them

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Daily Devotional April 21 - 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 you go off on our own tangent you 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?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Daily Devotional April 20 - 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 you 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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Daily Devotional April 18 - Don't Wait

Don't Wait 4
"This group (the prideful group) is hardened and prideful - Self-sufficient and quite often religious. This group is difficult to win for Jesus. I want you to feel with me the urgency of your ministry.

God calls every person to accept the sacrifice of His Son as the payment for the penalty for their sins.  But do you know who God uses to make the call?

God uses you to make the call. And if they make excuse and don't come, God uses you to follow up, and if that doesn't work God uses you to go the extra mile, until through example, persuasion, nurturing, admonition and love - that person says yes to Christ.
Let's look at another example of what happens to those who procrastinate making a decision for Jesus.

Mark 10:17-22, "Andwhen He was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inheret eternal life? V18 And Jesus said unto Him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. V19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. V20 And he answered unto Hi, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. V21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. V22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."

I wonder which it was that disappointed the rich young ruler the most?  Selling his riches and giving to the poor?
Taking up the cross and following Jesus?

But they go hand in hand.  I really admire Jesus for facing this rich young ruler with the truth. Jesus didn't preach easy believism to this young man. Jesus simply told him the cost."

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Daily Devotional April 17 - 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."

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Daily Devotional April 16 - What Do You With Your 'All Things'?

""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.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Daily Devotional April 15 - Be Part Of Something Bigger Than Youself

"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 whining 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. Some are tiny new Churches started out of a love for people and desire to share the wisdom the pastor has learned.

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."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Daily Devotional April 14 - 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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Daily Devotional April 13 - 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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Daily Devotional April 12 - 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 you were to where you are and where you 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.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Daily Devotional April 11 - 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 you 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 you apply your faith to bring to pass what God spoke into existence, that co-creating, that's God-thinking.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Daily Devotional April 10 - Excuses Do Not Provide Results

"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.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Daily Devotional April 9 - 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?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Daily Devotional April 8 - 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 ThomasReach 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 your way is all the proof anyone should 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?"

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Daily Devotional April 7 - 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."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Daily Devotional April 6 - 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 your soul."

     Excerpt from Tools Of The Enemy by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Daily Devotional April 5- Is There Something To Being Considerate To The 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."

Monday, April 4, 2016

Daily Devotional April 4 - 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?

Daily Devotional April 3 - 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.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Daily Devotional April 2 - What Do You See When You Look Around?

"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.

Daily Devotional April 1 - Within You The Temple 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???