Sunday, August 13, 2017

Daily Devotional August 18 - Co-Creating With God

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

My favorite subject.

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

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

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

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

God:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet the ongoing product of salvation is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 12 - You Ought To Always Pray

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 11 - You Don't Need To Help God

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.: Casting all you care upon Him; for He careth for you."  1 Peter 5:6-7

Cast all your cares upon Him. God can take it. You cannot surprise God. If God can be surprised it's only that you would attempt to carry the heavy burdens on your shoulders when God has offered to take care of them for you. When the Bible says, "for He careth for you," it means that God actually does something on behalf of what you are caring about and brings it to fruition. When God cares, it's not like God worries or is concerned, or that God is empathetic, like when we care. When God cares, He puts in motion all of creation to complete what you are caring about.

Here are a few notes about the reality of your troubles and concerns:
  • Most of the things that you are worried about will never happen.
  • Most of the problems in life can be used to strengthen you and make you better than before.
If you have a really big problem, you are probably powerless to do anything about your situation anyway.  Why not trust God? Why not just go to God and ask Him to handle your affairs. God is equipped with supernatural affair handling devices that when engaged in the correcting of your situation are perfectly suited to lay waste to your troubles and re-create in you a new and vibrant view of your life. Why would you try to compete with that?

Give it up. I am probably speaking to someone that has been trying to work out a particular situation in their life for weeks, months, years or even decades. If what you are doing hasn't worked yet, you have nothing to lose by trying it God's way. You just lay it down. You lay it down and you remove yourself from the internal emotional connection to it and you put your hand up (so to speak) and block the thoughts of it when they (recurring thoughts about the situation) do their roundabout in your mind. You talk to God about the situation and let Him know that you have unhitched that particular cargo. Nothing more, nothing less. God is able. As the days go by and you are faithful to not reattach the cargo trailer, you will see the hand of God working on your behalf. You don't need to help God. You need to trust God.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Daily Devotional August 10 - How Many Times A Day?

"Seven times a day do I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgements."  Psalm 119:164

Why do you praise the Lord?
What does it really mean to praise the Lord?
Why would anyone praise the Lord seven times a day?

Why do you praise the Lord?
Only someone who has seen what God is doing in their life has within them the true vision necessary to kindle praise. If you are blind to what God is doing, it is not because God is hiding anything from you. Blindness in the awareness category is self imposed. God is available 24 hours a day, fully up to date with all that is happening in the whole world, totally knowledgeable of your current circumstances and holding within His hand every answer for every question plaguing you. If you really don't know why you should praise the Lord, you have been blinded by the enemy. He has sprinkled pride dust or self-aggrandizement dust in your eyes. There is nothing keeping you from a one to one personal, powerful and wonderful experience with God that will drive you to praise God except your own pride and/or worldly self-interest.

What does it really mean to praise the Lord?
What it means is that you recognize what God has done for you in your heart and you reveal your appreciation outwardly. There are many ways to do that. Singing, praying, raising up your hands to God, asking God to fill you, talking to God about how much you love God, speaking to Jesus about how much you appreciate what He has done for you, talking with the Holy Spirit within, revealing your total dependency on God for your everything. You can praise God anywhere, in the shower, out in the back yard, at work, in your car, while resting, reading, listening to music, meditating; anywhere you can breath, anytime of day, they're all good places to praise the Lord.

Why would anyone praise the Lord seven times a day?
Once you recognize that you have sinned against God, you can't help but praise God for His forgiveness.
Once you see how much God has done for you, you can't help but praise God for His many blessings.
Once you have seen how much God has given to you, you can't help but praise God for His provision.
Once you have seen how many times God has protected you, you can't help but praise God for His Omnipotence.
Once you have seen how many times God did not let you get what you thought you wanted, that would have messed up your life, you praise God for His Omniscience.
Once you have felt God's mercy for all the things He has forgotten on your behalf you can't help but praise God.
Once you have tasted of the goodness of God to you, your family and your friends you can't help but to praise God.
That's only seven. How many more are there, really? If you are only praising God on Sunday, because others are praising God, you need to spend some time figuring out how to dispose the day more wisely, with God in mind. You might find that there are countless reasons to praise the Lord.

Daily Devotional August 9 - What Kind Of Foundation Are You Building?

"Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."  Luke 6:47-49

What kind of foundation are you building your house on? If your contractor built you a house and did not put a foundation under it you would want to sue him, but many people build huge houses (lifestyles) with no regard to the things of God (the foundation) and wonder why they come crumbling down at some point in time.
In some cases it is someone you know real well that turns on you.
In some cases it is someone you love that finds someone else to love more than you.
In some cases its sickness.
In some cases its financial trouble.
In some cases it is the loss of a loved one.

What ever it is when the stream floods its banks, do you have the foundation that can withstand the flood? All that God wants from you so that you can have a foundation that can stand up to heavy winds and floods (troubles and obstacles) is for you to be dependent upon the Saviour.

See, it is imperative that you learn to trust the wisdom of God. It is imperative that you do what Jesus has instructed you to do. It is imperative that you read the Bible and learn how to assimilate its teaching into everything that you do. It's imperative, because when the winds of life blow and the waters come, what will be left of you when they pass? Will you have enough strength to carry on and pick up the pieces? You will if you have a strong foundation.

Daily Devotional August 8 - Good Advise

"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God will peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."  2 Timothy 2:22-26

Let's look at this from the end back to the beginning. First of all you must believe that the devil exists and that the devil has power and that power is capable of being disguised in a way that can draw you and entice you to step away from the truth and live against the will of God. Even if it is only for a short season, the devil has power to take you captive. That being said, if you are born again, you have the power, not only to resist the devil, but to move forward with the power to overcome future temptations and to start taking back lost ground from past mistakes in judgement.

If you believe that the devil has power, then you will probably believe that you can recover from past errors. If you believe that you can recover from past errors, then you can believe that the method for recovery is repentance (turning around and heading in the opposite direction).

The Christian man or woman is to be strong in the knowledge of the Lord and not to be found arguing frivolously with those who don't know their right hand from their left. Christians arguing with non-Christians and Christians arguing with Christians about subjects that they are unsure of is not profitable, nor is it godly, nor are they doing anyone a favor by arguing about topics that they are not sure of.

Working our way to the beginning of the verse the scripture says follow after righteousness, faith, charity and peace. I have found that too many people are too concerned about too many subjects that have no real meaning, when if they had taken the same time and effort to just follow the scripture, everyone would be better off. This is a really big problem today; people making their own rules about Christianity and Christian behavior.

And then the verse begins with "Flee youthful lusts." This is good advice. I know that God is patient with us and goes the extra million miles explaining to us why we should or shouldn't do certain things, but if we were to follow the simple instruction from God, all would be well.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Daily Devotional August 7 - Are You Robbing God?

"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20


The way that I see it, is that most people don't know that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  • Most people think of the Holy Spirit as a distant ethereal power and not as God within. 
  • Most people don't really like the idea of God being that close, but more so they don't like the idea that they should live for someone else, even if it is God. 
  • Most people think they own their own bodies and will do with it as it d--- well pleases them. I'm talking about Christians too.

Our generation is not very devoted to the things of God. Those who live a life of the high standards of godliness and holiness are few and far in-between. Why is that? Everything with God in it is better than anything without. Why then is it like pulling teeth to get people to live a lifestyle congruent with the teachings of Jesus?

I think it is mainly because people are spiritually lazy. They like the idea of God, but not the responsibility of having to participate in the plan of God. The plan of God is for all mankind. What we do and say affects what others do and say and this is universal. Gods plan is to assist every person to become like His Son. What is your plan?

  • If you are working a different plan doesn't it seem logical that there has been a miscommunication?
  • And if God has been clear about His concerns and direction for the world and if you are travelling on another path, doesn't it seem logical that there is a misunderstanding?
  • And if God has given you all the tools and the power to live in His will and you are not, hasn't there been misappropriation of spiritual funds?
  • And if God has provided you with every opportunity to live according to His word and you are living out a worldly life, hasn't there been serious mismanagement?

There's no reason to 'mis' anything. All that God has is available for anyone who will pick up the baton and run with it, or walk, or crawl or ride in a wheelchair or hobble on crutches, whatever it takes other than not grabbing the baton and not moving forward. You have been commissioned to glorify God in your body. It's simple. If you are not working that plan, you are robbing God.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Daily Devotional August 6 - God thoughts Are Remarkable

"And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter said, silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk....and when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?...And His name (Jesus) through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith by which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."  The Acts 3:2-6, 12, 16

Peter and John were vessels for the glory of God to work through, nothing more and nothing less. They could heal no one, just like no one can heal today either, but they were operating in faith and the power of God that God allows to be in us that did heal the man. It was activated faith that healed the man.
Now some would contend that everyone is healed that has faith. But you know that is not true. There are many faithful servants of God that are not healed miraculously and many others die having never been healed. God is in charge of that department, not you and me. But God does still heal. There is an element of mystery here that bothers a great many believers and non-believers alike. They don't understand why God allows so many awful things to happen to so many good people. I look at it this way and I hope this helps you. The question shouldn't be, "why did God allow something to happen." The question should be, "what am I going to do with what God allowed to happen?"

The answer to "what am I going to do with what God allowed to happen," is the direct result of your own personal measure of faith. This perspective allows for the movement of God in your life without tying God down to have to do everything your way. I don't understand, nor do I agree with every outcome in life. I have felt many times that God should have done it differently, but I am the clay. What could I possibly know about being God?

Also, God has already explained to us that every wicked thing that happens, every sickness, every evil thought, every evil action and all that is not pure comes from three sources:
The fall of man
The evil one (satan and his emissaries)
Our own selfish actions

Everything that goes wrong can be attributed to one of these sources. Unfortunately, too many come from our own disobedience. We mess it up and then beg God to fix it. I'm not saying it is that way in your case, but overall, we played a huge role in our current situation and along with the unfair actions of others and the actions of the spiritual underworld, we might not be living out what we thought we would be at this point in life. But the answer to this dilemma is this. What are you going to do with what God allowed to happen?

  • Why not turn things around?
  • Why not use your gifts and talents to bring in a little income and benefit the world also?
  • Why not drop the bitter attitude and replace it with faith for the future?
  • Why not increase your faith and be better prepared the next time evil comes knocking at the door?
  • Why not give God your very best for a season?

Remember Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give thee."

Daily Devotional August 5 - Is Your View Of God A God-sized View?

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

When Jesus says, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace" Jesus had just explained to His disciples about His death, resurrection, the condition of the world, and some expectations concerning suffering while in the world. Let me get this straight. You tell me about your death and how difficult things are going to be for the believer as they manage being in the world but not of the world and I should be at peace? Yes. Jesus has expectations too, expectations that you and I are listening and comprehending what He is saying.

Keep in mind, this is not after His resurrection. Jesus overcame the world before He was crucified. Because He overcame the world while He was crucified, so can you. You really need to get the part about Jesus speaking. "These things I have spoken unto you." What Jesus speaks comes to pass. IF Jesus has spoken unto you, what Jesus spoke unto you will come to pass. Every word that Jesus spoke that is recorded for us has come to pass or will come to pass in its time. The time you now live in is a time Jesus spoke of and Jesus says to be of good cheer. Jesus says He has overcome the world. We are joint heirs with Christ and every available tool of God has been and is being used to take us through the world as overcomers and in good cheer.

Its possible that in your current situation you just don't feel like having good cheer. There are many things that fit that premise. Part of why we have so much disappointment is because we have such a myopic view of life. If we were to truly look at the events of the day and the situations of life through the eyes of Jesus, we would have a God size view of God. With a God size view of life, it all works and there is reason to have good cheer.

Daily Devotional august 4 - Don't Be Afraid To Understand

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."  Luke 21:20

There are hundreds of prophesies in the Bible. Some of the prophesies are from the prophets, some from God in the Old Testament and some from Jesus. There is much controversy concerning modern prophesies. But concerning prophesies in the Bible, there should be no controversy or question. On many issues the Bible tells forth what will happen based on God having seen the outcome in advance. It's not that God makes these things happen, God sees the things happen, good and bad that mankind does to itself.

God tells what He sees and that is prophesy. There should be no question at all that if the Bible says such an event will happen, it will happen, and if the event happening is the same event spoken of in the scripture, it will be conspicuous and raise no doubt in the heart of the believer. The above event is going to happen and many other events that precede this event are going to happen. God told us about the events so that those who are following His plan can be prepared.

I would say that in most cases those who are prepared have a greater chance of receiving a benefit from opportunities that arise in life. Just the same those who are prepared have a better understanding of the events in our lifetime that were spoken of in the Bible. God doesn't tell us what is going to happen so we can go around acting like we know something that someone else doesn't. It is so that we can always be operating in the will of God, cooperating and co-creating with God as the prophesies of the scripture unfold. Isn't that what you do for your own children? How much so God for us. Don't be afraid to understand the events spoken of in scripture as you see the signs of them approaching. They were written to enlighten you, benefit you and protect you.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Daily Devotional August 3 - Consequences For Actions

"Now also many nations are gathered against thee, (Zion, Jerusalem) that say, let her (Israel) be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the LORD; neither understand they His counsel: for He shall gather them as sheaves into the floor."  Micah 4:11-12

There are large groups of people that do not have the thoughts of the Lord in their mind.

  • They don't know what God intends. 
  • They don't know the story of life. 
  • They don't have the thoughts of God in their mind. 
  • They are bent on following after their own devices. 
  • They are driven by their own pride and self-serving ideals. 
  • They hate another people because they don't have the thoughts of God in their minds, neither do they understand God's ways. 
  • They are fighting a battle of a few thousand years ago. 
  • They've let the hatred pass down from generation to generation, without suppressing it or stamping it out for the better good of all. 

God has called them, but they answer with gestures of hate. This is what happens when we deny God His rightful place in our life design. We become bitter and full of pride.

Not knowing the thoughts of God is a choice. Every day you choose:
Whether to move forward with God and dig deeper into His thoughts
or to stay comfortably where you are and ride the fence
or to move away from God and let the weeds grow in your garden

The problem is that there are consequences to your actions. The consequences are not acts of God against you as some think. They are natural results that are the outcome of your actions.

If you are moving closer to God each day, the outcome is that of growing in grace and understanding the will of God and the results of your decisions are favorable. Even when things go wrong, you have confidence that through prayer hard work you can turn it around. Even in the deep valleys you have assurance that with God all things are possible. Even during the most bottom of times, you have within you the knowledge that being in the valley in God's will is far better than being on the mountaintop out of God's will.

If you are staying comfortably on the fence, you don't have the same confidence. You question your every move. You aren't quite sure if you are protected. Decisions are difficult, because you are making too many of them without consulting God and getting His counsel. Sitting on the fence keeps you from your adventure. It keeps you stagnant and it can eventually cause you to give up and go the other way, because you want to see God move on your behalf, but God is not always moving right at the edge of the fence line. And sometimes God needs you to put feet to your prayers and that's hard to do while sitting on the fence.

If you are moving away form God, you are having a hard time at every crossroads of life. Everything is skewed. You have no confidence except in your own devices. You should know from experience that your own devices are lacking and have no real power. Life is hard on this road, because there is no protection nor is there ever-present help in trouble. You start it, you have to water it, weed it, prune it, fertilize it, harvest it, all on your own. It is a rough and tiresome road with rest. You can get bitter and resentful because when you fail you blame God. You can get hateful because you begin to think that God is unfair and that you deserve a different lot in life. The bitterness grows until it turns into callousness against the things of God and then your heart hardens like a stone and the distance away from God seems greater than ever.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Daily Devotional August 2 - The Truth Is Exciting

"I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth." John 17:16-17

If God wanted us to be removed from the world when we got saved, that's how it would be, but that is not the will of God. It is the will of God that we remain in the world, but not influenced by the world to go against the teaching of scripture. There is a way to be in the world, work at a job, have a family and friends and not be corrupted by the world. That is to be sanctified by the truth.

If anything, you and I should be revealing God's economy to the world, by our participation in the church and our dis-interest in the things of the world. If we would stop buying all the paraphernalia that the world system proffers we would have much more money and the world would be seeking a better way. But we are constantly spending our money on the vices that are of the world. Jesus says we are not of the world. That should resonate with you. You are to set an example of what is acceptable and what is not and the best way is with your purchasing power. If you don't buy it, (all the things that are against God and have no real purpose in the life of a Christian), don't worry, it won't be long and what was being sold will change.

You can have a wonderful life, full of adventure, filled with excitement and all the while serving God. You can live right, follow Christ and keep your job. You can have morals, tenets of faith, be a family man/woman and still have a great time. You can raise your children to do the same and deny them the right to participate in evil devices and all will work out just fine.

You are sanctified by the truth. It will always be that way. God's wonderful standards are for our benefit and for the benefit of those around us. Purity is enlightenment, not a fun stealer. Holiness is exciting, not a desire buster. Following Christ is an unparalleled adventure, not a stiff and religious way of life. Maybe you've been reading the wrong books.

Daily Devotional August 1 - Him I Declare Unto You

"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' Hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Who therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him I declare unto you." The Acts 17:22-23

I think this is a good example for all of us. I have had the opportunity to tell many people (those who were worshiping some god) about the true God. Even for those who are worshiping a god with a name, it is the same as worshiping an unknown god.

First of all the gods with or without a name do not answer prayer.
They are not listening.
They are not responding.
They are not speaking to the hearts of their followers.
They have never lived, nor do they live today.
They are not instructing their followers.
They do not exist.

Whether someone is worshiping an unknown god or a god with a name, it doesn't matter. They are worshiping a non-existent being/statue/idol. To reveal to them that there is a real God with a name and how to connect the dots is one of our responsibilities as a Christian. I mean, how can you really have met Jesus Christ and not have the necessary information to give someone who is desperately seeking what you possess? You have within you the key that unlocks the door from lost to found; from darkness to light; from worshiping ignorantly to worshiping with purpose and results.
Paul had the right idea, 'let me tell you about Jesus.' If you have been saved from your own ignorance of worshiping whomever or whatever, you have been set free from the hold that the world system has on people that do not know God.
  • You have been set free to connect with God anytime, anywhere. 
  • You have been adopted into the kingdom and you have received a full share to all that is available to God's people. 
  • You have a remarkable gift from God and it is your responsibility to reveal the experience with all who might be without.

I already know the argument about not being able to talk to others about Jesus, that it just isn't your responsibility and that you have decided to leave it for someone else to do, but that isn't really an argument, it is an excuse. What you think you don't know how to say to someone will come out just perfectly if you trust the Holy Spirit within you concerning the matter. You might be the only person available who has met Jesus to discuss this with a certain person.
There's other reasons that born again believers won't share Jesus. They think they will be laughed at or they are worried that it will finally be found out that they are Christians. Let me deal with both.

If you are worried that you will be laughed at, you need to get your priorities straight. Knowing God through the person of Jesus Christ is the one most important piece of knowledge you have or ever will have. If you are afraid of being laughed at, you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

  • More than likely you are not really helping anyone to find their way to Jesus.
  • More than likely you are not really living for Jesus.
  • More than likely you are not sure about Jesus.
  • More than likely when others are telling really dirty jokes, you just laugh and let it go as if it didn't matter.
  • More than likely you are really liberal with your daughter and let her wear anything she wants to, even if you are not in agreement.
  • More than likely you allow your son to watch just about anything he wants to and play any video game he wants.

You're not a very good witness for the gracious work that God has done on your behalf. Is it possible, that maybe you only have a cultural relationship with Jesus, that you have been conditioned to believe that God exists, but you have never confessed your sins and been born again and began a personal relationship with Jesus?

There is no other kind of saved other than saved through faith in Jesus Christ. At some point in time, you realized that you were separated from God by sin and you confessed your sins and God saved you by your faith in the work that Jesus did on the cross. If you have not done that you are not saved.

  • You are not saved because you go to church or because you your mother or father told you that you are a Christian. 
  • You are not saved because you always do the right things or because a priest told you you are saved or because you take communion, have been baptized, confirmed or performed any other outward expression of an inward work. 
  • You are saved if you have recognized your sinful nature and asked God, by faith, to come into your heart and to cleanse you. 
Nothing else will do. Nothing else works. No one can go to God on your behalf and get you saved.

The other reason that you might not tell others about Jesus is that you are worried about being found out. I hope you are not one of these people, but you may have been at one time or another or you may know Christians that operate incognito. Operating incognito is not biblical, nor is it right. You are not protecting yourself or your family by hiding who you are. It may be different in other countries or in times past. I'm not arguing the point. But if you are in America and you have been born again, then what is keeping you from letting others know about your faith is cowardice. I know you don't want to hear it, but someone has got to tell you that trying to be like the world and accepted into all kinds of situations that do not glorify God, is not your calling. To be friends with the world is to be an enemy with God. (James 4:4) We are in the world but not of the world. (John 16:18-18) It is not godly to be a Christian and hide the fact from your friends or colleagues at work. There is too much of that going on today.

You are not doing yourself a favor nor are you doing your co-workers a favor either. You are living in false pretense. You are powerless if what you do is under false pretensce. God can only work in truth. The power you have within you is not activated under false pretense and you will not be able:

  • To effectively pray and receive the answers to prayer
  • To ask for a miracle with expectations
  • To witness so that someone else will come to Jesus
  • To stand against evil in your life
  • To take back lost territory
  • To make course corrections in line with God's will for your life
  • To fulfill your purpose for being where you are

Let me put it this way, do you want to be found out when Jesus returns?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Daily Devotional July 31 - No Mediation Required

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;" Hebrews 10:19-20

You can boldly go before God, because Jesus made the way for you to enter into His holy place. Jesus paid the penalty for sin and thereby changed the way we obtain righteousness and changed the way we bring our sacrifices and changed the way we enter in to His presence. It's no longer through a physical door, nor is God hidden behind the veil, nor is His presence summoned by burnt offerings or sacrifices, nor is it through the prophets, nor is it through the priests. The new way is through the inner man. There is no more veil, it was torn down by Jesus. The new way is a living way where living people trust in and serve a living God and have living conversation and living cooperation and living co-creation.

We are not serving God through a textbook experience. We are serving a living God that lives within us and without. He has consecrated us by the blood of Jesus to become righteous, positionally and experientially. Positionally through the work of the cross and experientially through personal experiences with Jesus. God wants us to come boldly before the throne.

God wants us to come boldly as in confidently. We can do that if we know Him. God wants us to come to His throne with expectations. Not expectations like rubbing the genie in the bottle and making a wish, but expectations that whatever God hands you, is for you only and to be utilized for your good and the betterment of all mankind.

Yes, God has global expectations for all mankind and those parameters and instructions are established in the scriptures, but when you come boldly before the throne it is for personal instruction. We are not lemmings and the scriptures were not written so that we could all do the same thing and be the same thing. The scriptures were written to memorialize God's intent for mankind so that when you forget your way, you can go to the scriptures and find your way back.
Don't be afraid to come boldly before the throne. Nothing will happen there other than you will be made a little more like Jesus. Don't believe anyone that tries to tell you that someone must mediate between you and God because you are not able and they are. It is a lie. God wants you, just as you are, to come and meet Him, at His throne.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Daily Devotional July 30 - The Secret Place

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

Note: Reminds me of a great book written by Bob Sorge, The Secret of the Secret Place.  Don't hesitate to buy it and read it.  It is on my top ten list.

Where is God's dwelling place so we can dwell with Him? It is the tabernacle of our body. God indwells the believer. "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry (workers), ye are God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:9

God indwells the believer and to dwell in the secret place of the most High, we need to be in the presence of God that dwells in us. We do that by listening to the inner man, the one that God lives in.
Your inner man is in touch with the Holy Spirit.
Your inner man is saturated with the presence of God.
Your inner man has been taught all things by direct communication with the Holy Spirit.
Your inner man is the secret place.

You are body, mind, spirit and soul. You are a whole being, but you are able to operate independently one of the other to a degree. The Bible talks about carnal Christians, because God knows that you can be born again, have a spirit that has been made alive by faith in Jesus and still do things contrary to the perfect will of God. You can also, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, fight against the propensities of the flesh, using your mind as the tool to bring your flesh into subjection to your spirit.

If you want to be in the secret place with God and benefit from it, you will have to obey the laws of God while in His presence, in the inner man.

In the presence of God in the secret place, you will have to enter without an agenda. What God has to say to you when you are listening, is not what you are thinking of. What God has to reveal to you might even be foreign to your thinking, unless you have been following Jesus faithfully for some time; unless you have been on the mountaintop and also the deep valley; unless you have been through the fire, not just skirting around it; unless you have suffered a little and not just ridden comfortably in the pew; unless you have been reading your Bible and not just hearing it interpreted.

In the presence of God in the secret place, you will have to listen. I would say without a doubt that listening carefully is not the average Americans most distinguishing characteristic. Too often we want to speak so badly that we don't even hear what someone is saying. It's that way with God too. If you are more interested in railing on God about all that is missing in your life, you will not be able to hear God speak to you. God might say something to you that you don't want to hear. God is not man. God does not speak fluffy, candy coated, sayings that resemble a reading from Confucius. God is going to speak to you what brings you into alignment with His perfect design for your life. I can say without any doubt, that what God will speak to you will surprise you. If all you are hearing from God are platitudes about how you are going to get everything you want, you haven't been in the presence of God.

In the presence of God in the secret place, you will be changed. If you were to get into the presence of God, (no in the inner man) but in the flesh, you would burn up; no questions asked. When you are in the presence of God you come away changed, not a little. God is conforming you into the likeness of Himself and if you consider just how far we have drifted from the original idea, it should be clear that change, and a lot of it, is eminent. You can't help but be changed in the presence of God, because designed for you to grow in grace and to grow in faith, both of which are increased in the presence of God.

If you don't want to change your agenda, and if you don't want to hear a better idea than your own and you don't want to change what is familiar to you, don't get in the presence of God in the inner man. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." Ephesians 3:14-16

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Daily Devotional July 29 - What Are You leaving On The Table?

"And He entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into His own city. And, behold, they brought to Him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins have been forgiven thee."  Matthew 9:1-2

I want to talk about faith. There is so much to gain from the scripture. The men who were carrying the man with the palsy is whose faith was recognized. The men who were carrying the man with the palsy had faith that if they could get to Jesus, their friend would be healed. Jesus not only forgave the man with the palsy his sins, but he healed him and sent him home also.

This is one of many examples where we see a direct correlation between faith of man and action from Jesus. What is your faith capable of? I'm serious. What is your faith made of? Here's why I'm asking. If your faith is made of going to church and reading a little bit of Bible there, you faith is probably commensurate with your attendance. In today's society you need faith that can move mountains.

  • You need faith that you can speak and the heavens move things. 
  • You need the kind of faith that can pray against terrorism and at the same time pray for the terrorist. 
  • You need the kind of faith that can do battle against the world. 

This world's system is designed to take everything you have and even more. You need faith to come against that mind-set and take back lost territory.

You need the kind of faith that can say to your neighbor:
"I pray in the name of Jesus that you will be healed."
"I pray that your financial situation will turn around."
"I pray that your daughter will call you and make amends."
"I pray that your son will come to Jesus."

You need the kind of faith that Jesus gives liberally to all who ask. If you don't ask you won't grow in faith. You can go to church until you die and stay stagnant if you haven't started a personal relationship with Jesus. Faith grows like a tree. The root needs to be watered. The trunk needs to be protected. The branches need to be pruned. The leaves need Son-light. The flowers need to blossom and the fruit needs to flourish and be picked and used.

Evaluate yourself. What is your faith made of? Could it be that you are leaving on the table much that could and should be yours? Learn to apply your faith and get results. God designed us this way. Having faith, and a lot of it, is the way of God for man. Don't find yourself under-faithed when you might really need a miracle. Get serious and let God fill you up. Then, you can take a few friends and someone you know who can't fend for themselves and take them to a Jesus meeting and let them down through the roof and have their sins forgiven.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Daily Devotional July 28 - Quit Judging Others

"And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, and said unto Him (Jesus) Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yes; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" Matthew 21:15-16

We condemn the way that the chief priests and scribes treated Jesus. We abhor that they marvelled at their own pride, while they spurned Jesus at every opportunity. It kind of sickens us that the same people that Jesus came to be with, not only denied Him His rightful place among them, but they created a plan to kill Jesus. Doesn't it amaze you that the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that Jesus did and they hated Him even more?

We still have some of that kind of thinking going on today. A man or a woman can work diligently for the Lord and do great things for the kingdom, even just be present when God heals the sick, and Christians, (not non-believers) want to spurn them. Christians talk down other Christians who don't do church like they do on Sunday or Saturday or Saturday night, or the Sabbath day or whatever day. Christians are telling other Christians:
that God doesn't heal today
that prayer is an allegory
that you must do this or that to please God
that you have to give this amount or that amount to get God's blessing
that you have to do it their way with their instruments, their lighting, their media

Christians are judging other Christians:

  • Because they believe a little differently
  • Because they worship on the wrong day
  • Because they use the wrong kind of pulpit
  • Because they use the wrong instruments
  • Because their choir is too old
  • Because their choir is too young
  • Because they keep the children in for the worship
  • Because they don't keep the children in for the worship
  • Because the preacher wears a tie
  • Because the preacher dresses too casual
  • Because the preacher let's his kids sing on the praise team
  • Because the preacher let's His wife teach
  • Because the preacher doesn't let His wife teach
  • Because they don't come to service on Wednesday night
  • Because they live in a nice home
  • Because they don't live in a nice home
  • Because they drive a new Mercedes
  • Because they drive a junker

No wonder Jesus turned to the babes and sucklings and said, "out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise."

Jesus heard enough trash talk from adults then and He is hearing too much trash talk from adults now. Learn to mind your own business. You are not an expert on so and so, so quit bashing them as if you ever met them or knew anything about them. What's wrong with admiring those who work diligently for Jesus and get something done? What's wrong with the way they do it over there anyway? What's the big deal if someone goes to a different church than you. Neither church has the license to talk down the other. Neither church has cause to defame the other. Your church denomination isn't infallible and neither is the other church down the road. God is infallible.

You should be proud of your church or your denomination, but not at the expense of cutting others down. You don't have to 'get" what they are doing, but you don't have to act like you do it better either. The chief priests and the scribes were sore displeased with the children and the way they were crying out loud to Jesus and Jesus was sore displeased with the chief priests and scribes. Which side do you want to be on?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Daily Devotional July 27 - Behind The Scenes

"Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven."  Matthew 18:21-22

The kingdom of God is made up of people who believe what Jesus says and does it. This was a little thing for Peter to ask and I'm sure Peter was trying to be spiritual and come up with a good answer to show Jesus how spiritual he was. Peter was trying to impress Jesus with his spiritual prowess. Jesus didn't rebuke him or make him feel like a fool or belittle him in any way, but Jesus did set him straight. I want Jesus to set me straight on all the things I believe that are from my own vision/version of what God desires of me. I hope you do to.

Not knowing something and making this mistake that Peter made is a normal part of learning and neither Peter or you are going to be chastised for testing the waters and trying to be spiritual, but once you get the answer, you have a different set of parameters to live by. Sometimes when we are reading the Bible or listening to our pastor we learn something that we don't like, something we don't want to live by, something we have rationalized just doesn't fit our current life/lifestyle. That's not kingdom living. Kingdom living is when we look for opportunity to observe, follow and abide in the things of God. Religious living is when we look for loopholes that fit our current perspective on the issues of our life/lifestyle.

You will always be able to find a church or denomination that fits your agenda, but adhering to a system, any system, to fit what what you desire into a religious or non-religious system is wrong.
Kingdom living is for you to fit into what God designed for you. Kingdom living is for you to read the Word of God or hear the Word preached and to find solace in the many changes you will have to make to conform to the image of Christ. After a season of kingdom living you will start to look for changes you can make in your life/lifestyle that better suit your relationship with God in the pursuit of fulfilling your purpose in life.

You look for what God purposed for you and you look for what you were purposed for and when the two meet, you find your place and you understand your commission. Being godly is not following a complex set of rules, or following a specific program or formula. Being godly is more about abandoning a great may rules and human notions and allowing God to work in you and through you without any aids, than it is following some predetermined school of thought. Listening to and following God is the goal. Trying to act spiritual so that everyone can uh and ah at your magnificence is not part of God's great design for your life. More often than not, true spiritual work is done behind the scenes, without personal recognition and without formal reward.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Daily Devotional July 26 - Therapy For Apathy

"This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."  2 Peter 3:1-4

You might know someone that simply doesn't believe or acknowledge that God is real and that our Saviour is alive and well and is working on a daily basis on our behalf. For all those who say, "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" I say, The only thing that has stayed the same is your thinking.

God inhabits the praises of His people.
God answers prayer.
God speaks to His people.
God call out to every living soul (those who have not been saved) to come to His Son for salvation.
God intervenes in the affairs of mankind.
God answers prayer.
God changes the minds and hearts of men and women.
God alters outcomes through His supernatural intervention.
God heals.
God blesses people through others and personally.

Those who deny that God exists or that God stopped interacting after creation are mistaken. I'm unwilling to use harsher language than mistaken, because we have all been there at one time. I don't wish any hardships on the unsaved more than any of us have faced, but I also don't want the Christian community to think that silence on the issues concerning God is acceptable. Even Paul said, "and how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard?" Romans 10:14

Many people deny God His rightful place in their life. It could be your spouse or one of your parents or one of your children or a friend or co-worker. If you aren't outgoing and wish not to speak about God to others, that's your business, but if the opportunity comes up through conversation and you don't stand up for what you know to be the truth, it's possible that you never really believed the truth, i. e., the truth about Jesus.

You have been elected as God's spokesman/woman for Jesus. You can't stop others from railing on God or speaking their pitiful excuses about why they don't believe in God, but you can stand up for God. You were once lost and destined for hell and now you are saved and your residency is reserved for you in heaven and during this life you have the power of the Holy Spirit within, and in you lives the creator and in you is all the knowledge necessary to become a child of the living God and through you, prayers are answered and by your own words God moves and makes earthly alterations. Just tell them what you know. And if there is nothing to tell them, I would be praying about that.

No Christian should be ignorant of the basic truths that have set us free. If you are the kind of person that goes to church, but you have no real interest in the things of God, you always let someone else do the lion's share of the work and you complain all the time, you should be ashamed. That's not Christianity, that's religion.

It's not your age that has made you apathetic. Moses led the Israelites away from bondage starting at age 85. Why don't you take back some lost ground, claim it for Jesus and plant something, water it, cultivate it and then give away the fruits of it. That's good therapy for apathy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daily Devotional July 25 - Truth

"Then saith Pilate unto Him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivereth me unto thee hath the greater sin." John 19:10-11

The men and women in power (government leadership) have a special duty to uphold the laws and to protect the people against those who would mistreat them or wrongfully use them and this is a great responsibility given to them by God. But that doesn't mean that they will provide justice,nor does it mean that they will make wise decisions. You can be given a great responsibility by God and misuse it or mishandle it. God instituted the position of leadership but mankind wields it. The case is here that Pilate made a wrong decision, but those who brought Jesus to trial had the greater sin, because they deceived Pilate.

I wish that our politicians today would ask themselves how they got to where they are at and bowed the knee to God for such a high and important responsibility. The same thing is happening today, special groups are soliciting for judgement to benefit their cause and at the peril of someone else. It seems like there is always someone behind the scenes pulling the strings to the marionette politicians. I also acknowledge that many politicians and those in powerful positions love the Lord and follow their conscience and make wise decisions.

Jesus was in no way letting Pilate off the hook for his crime of arrogance, ignorance and blatant disregard for the life of a Jew. He was simply pointing out that those who brought him there were more responsible than Pilate because they brought Jesus under false pretense. I think this is a good lesson for us as well. We must be careful to gather the facts before we throw someone under the bus. It is a greater sin to falsely accuse someone than for the judge to sentence them for something that they did not do.

Daily Devotional July 24 - Operate In The Truth That You Already Know

"Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in present truth." 2 Peter 1:12

As you already know from experience, some truths are eternal and stay the same throughout all generations and some truths which seem to be true at the time are found to be erroneous in due time. Think of it this way. If you never changed out what you previously believed for what you believe today, you would still have the mind of a child. We do change out what we thought was true to what we know is true today. And that is the message in this verse. Peter, a Jew, was talking to Jews and Gentiles. He himself had to change what he thought was true before Jesus to everything he learned and is continuing to learn after he met Jesus. This was true of all the Apostles and it is true for you also.

Peter wanted to edify those whom he was speaking to by reminding them of the new found truths that were introduced by Jesus, even though he knew that most of the people he was writing to knew what he was talking about, but he also wanted to remind them that non-eternal truths change and/or what we once thought was a truth may not have been a truth at all and we need to operate in present truth. If you try to fight today's battles with yesterday's armor, you will not be successful. Every time you read your Bible it is likely that you will learn something that when added to the truths that have already been confirmed, advance your knowledge and understanding of God's economy.

God is pouring out His Spirit on mankind and sending a message 24/7 to all who will hear His voice. If you are listening to God, you will be receiving truth that can and will alter your current understanding of life. That is present truth. Operating in present truth means that if you are practicing what you already know to be the truth (Philippians 3:16), you are operating in the will of God. The consequences of not operating in present truth is revealed in churches that are living in the past, no growth, no life, no joy and no power.

Daily Devotional July 23 - Have You Supplicated Lately?

"And said (Solomon) O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto Thy servants, that walk before Thee with all their hearts. Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which Thy servant prayeth before Thee:" 2 Chronicles 6:14 and 19

It is my observation as a senior pastor for 5 years and an assistant pastor for 16 years that the art of praying (as seen in these verses in Chronicles) has been reduced (at least in the majority of modern church goers) to brief moments of solicitation for things. Over the years I've talked with hundreds of well informed Christians that don't know what supplication is or what it means. Their prayer time is a few brief moments of time (not prime time, but leftover time or pre-scheduled church service time). The depth of many prayers wouldn't give a seedling enough water to survive. And the thought of praying through and spending hours or an entire evening into the wee hours supplicating (specifying with deep conviction that what you desire is ordained by God and for the betterment of mankind) doesn't get much press.

More than that, today's Christian and a non-believer can hardly be discerned/differentiated one from anotherWorldly non-believers might not be going to church, but Christians are going everywhere the world goes and doing what the world does, saying what the world says, selling what the world sells and teaching and training those of the next generation more of the same. No wonder there is no depth in prayer. First of all you have to believe that what you are praying for, God can do. There's so much prayer void of any power and hardly recognizable as communication with God that it's no wonder people are complaining that God is not answering their prayers. And further, so many prayers are uttered (without any sense of urgency or conviction) that the person praying goes on about their life and forgets what they prayed for altogether.

How can you expect to hear from God and to recognize that God has answered your prayers if you can't remember what you prayed for? How can you expect God to take your prayer seriously if one eye is on the TV while you are supposedly pouring out your heart to God. How can you know what to pray for if you aren't listening to the Holy Spirit within? How can you listen to the Holy Spirit within if you've allowed the din of this world to be your guide? It's not that God doesn't hear silly prayers or hear foolish and unwarranted requests, but the idea of prayer is to pray in God's will and what is in God's will will be fulfilled through prayer.
The depths of blessing from God are equal to the depths of communication with (not to) God..

Daily Devotional July 22 - The perfecting Of The Saints

"How long, LORD? Wilt Thou hide Thyself forever? Shall Thy wrath burn like fire? Psalm 89:46

If you have ever had any real trouble, or real pain, calamity or serious altercation, you've felt what it is like to think the Lord has abandoned you or that God doesn't exist at all. When the bottom fell out at your business you probably shouted, where are you Lord? Or when you had to go through a painful experience, surely you cried out to the Lord and asked, why me? Tragedy may have struck a family member and doubt swirled through your head and lodged in your heart. The person you trusted the most did the most harm to you and believes a lie and you look to heaven and say, How can you let this happen? Where are you God? I thought you protected your people? How can you let this injustice take place? "Wilt Thou hide Thyself forever?"

I don't know you and most people deny having ever doubted God or ever questioning God's wisdom. But part of the human frailty is to go through times of doubt and to question God. It is not blasphemy to question God? God doesn't look down on you for having doubted that God was in the situation. God remembers that you were made of dust. God has not abandoned you, nor has God ever left your side. The troubles, sickness, calamity or personal attack that you went through or are currently going through was not from God, but neither is it true that God left you to fall on your own. It is not true that God didn't care or that somehow you just aren't worth saving from the situation. God has never let you hang out on a string to test your meddle, nor have you been tempted or tested by God to see if you would break.
All of your troubles or pain, suffering or loss is from the fall of man. There are three sources that contribute to life's woes:
1 The fall of man where sin was passed on from generation to generation;
2 from satan, your enemy who is out to destroy you;
3 from your own personal choices, when you went against what you knew was right in your heart.

God was there. God never let you alone. God only brings good things to His people.

If you are still in the middle of trouble, sickness, pain of suffering, God is in the middle with you. God loves you and God is doing what is necessary to bring it to an end. But there is more to the whole picture. The real reason David cried out to God and the real reason that you have felt abandoned or unprotected is due to the frailty of your faith. Pray that God will give your eyes faith to see it through. You may never know the why's of it all, but you must, by faith, understand that if you are in it, God is in it with you and God will take you through it. It is part of the perfecting of the saints.

Daily Devotional July 21 - Get Serious About Your Relationship With God

"And the Father Himself, which hath sent Me, hath borne witness of Me. Ye (The Jews Jesus was speaking to) have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape. And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He hath sent, Him ye believed not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life. I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not His writings, how shall ye believe my words?" John 5:37-47

Jesus makes it clear on more than one occasion that if you believe in the Father, you will believe in the Son. The reason that you will believe in the Son is that the Father testifies of the Son and His word is sure. If you believe the Old Testament scriptures then you surely will believe in the Son because Jesus says it is so. You do not have the Father if you do not have the Son, because God the Father spoke it and it is so. These Jews thought they believed in the Father, because they believed in the religious system that was based around the Father, but Jesus was speaking to their heart, not their mental ascent. Jesus could see that they indeed had much religion, with its rules and regulations, ordinances and trappings, but the spirit of the law was void and empty.

They even claimed to trust Moses, they just didn't trust what Moses said. It's easy to get trapped into thinking that going to church or listening to your favorite preacher is the same as listening to and communing with God. Of course there is nothing wrong with listening to your favorite preacher or going to church, but neither is a substitute for personal relationship. If your pastor is doing his job, he is directing you to get to know Jesus better. He is discussing the importance of a personal relationship with God. He is giving you the tools and teaching you how to use them, but you will have to do the digging yourself if you are to uncover the gems of truth from God. It has always been that way and it will always be that way.

Lazy Christians want someone else to do their bidding for them. They want someone else to gather the information, distribute the information, process the information and then send them a check in the mail (so to speak). Lazy Christians want the pastor to do all the work while they receive all the harvest and they want the pastor to do it for nothing. Lazy Christians make up the majority of church boards, so they make lazy Christian rules and lazy Christian programs. What's the point? Lazy Christians are teaching lazy Christians how to be lazy Christians. It was the same in Jesus' time. Jesus was hard on the Jewish leadership because they had fallen away from a relationship driven life/lifestyle like that of David or ShadrachMeshach and Abednego and fallen prey to a legalistic, rule oriented, dogma driven relationship clouded by men who would go to extreme measures to keep you from a personal relationship with God, because they made their money off of the ignorance of the people. If they had taught the people to have a personal relationship with God and that was the only kind acceptable to God, they would not have been able to take so much for offering so little.

I hope you read your Bible and I hope that you have the expectation that God will teach you and talk to you and wants to hear from you, personally. If you really want to go deep with God, get to know Jesus better. He is willing and available all the time.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Daily Devotional July 20 - Newness Of Life

"Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4

We should walk in newness of life just like Jesus walks in newness having been raised from the dead. Walking in newness of life is an indicator of our level of personal relationship with Jesus. This verse is for you for today. Don't look back at all. Just ask yourself if you are getting all you can out of your relationship with God today. Newness of life is offered. Will you take it? Yes it will take some effort. It takes effort to get out of bed in the morning.

Newness of life is when the events of the day are seen through the eyes of active relationship with Jesus. Can you have newness of life and still have problems? Yes. Can you have newness of life and still get sick? Yes. Can you have newness of life and still make mistakes? Yes. Newness of life does not take you out of the world, but it does affect your view of the circumstances. You are just as responsible to assist yourself to get through the day in newness of life as you are to get to work in the morning or evening.

Don't overlook the importance of this verse. You died with Christ (symbolically by water baptism) and (experientially by self will) and you have been raised with Christ (symbolically by water baptism) and (experientially by newness of life). Jesus makes it clear that in and through your life's experiences there will be a trail of suffering and pain, disappointments and eventually physical death. But Jesus also made it just as clear that during this life and these disappointments He would be with you, providing for you, answering prayer, supporting you, side by side and sometimes carrying you through. You may have to go through the fire once in a while, but you are just as protected as ShadrachMeshach and Abednego. Do you believe it?

If you don't believe that newness of life is available, you won't recognize it while you are living in it. If you think that once you were saved you were left on your own to trod through life with weighted boots and that at the end of life God will be waiting there to release you from your prison here, it's not likely that there's much newness of life going on in your life. But if you can reach out right now and take hold of the Word of God and say, "I believe it" newness of life will come over you like a cool breeze. Jesus wants whatever moment you are in to be in with Him; whatever you are going through to be going through with Him; whatever you want to make of your life to make it with Him. You can start a new life right now.