Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Daily Devotional May 29 - You Can Do It

"Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established." Proverbs 16:3

What do you have on your mind that you want God to bring to pass. Ah! You were thinking that if you worked hard enough and you were smart enough you could bring it to pass on your own. There are many things you can accomplish without acknowledging God in your endeavors, but is that the best way to take something in its inception all the way to fruition? Of course not.

Commit your works means to work toward your goal, think hard and make wise decisions. When you do you give God something to work with. Would you really like it if God did everything for you? Do you really think you would enjoy being a clone and not having the ability to make mistakes as well as accomplish great things? We are not clones and God does not do everything for you, but what God does do you cannot do. This is so profound. God gives you the wherewithal to do a great many things, but anything that brings blessing to others and assist the growth of the Kingdom of God, anything spiritual requires God's intervention. That's because we are not spiritual on our own.

Apart from God living within you, your spiritual life is of no consequence, no eternal benefits and no spiritual power. That's why so many alternate religious systems, worldly religions, have religion, tenets of faith, dogma and rhetoric, but the only power is what they can wield with their tongue, a sword or a weapon. Their battle is carnal and doesn't end well. Only that which God ordains lives in eternity with God.

If there is no spiritual foundation then there can be no spiritual growth. And there is no spiritual foundation other than that of Christ. "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."

Daily Devotional May 28 - You Are Able

"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever." Jude 24-25

This is why it is so important to keep your eyes on the ball. Only with God is there any hope that your future will be bright and full of good things. Even some of the things that seem unmanageable to the world can be understood and appreciated as a follower of Jesus Christ.

The reason: God is able. I remember the first time I realized how important this is. I was putting together the names of God/Jesus and one of the first on the list was able. "God is Love." "God is a consuming fire." God is omnipotent. God is omniscient. God is immutable. God is able. Because God is able you don't have to fear life like the world does, nor do you have to fear your enemy like the world does. Because God is able, you are able.
You are able to do much more than you have in mind.
You are able to transcend the indiscretions of the past.
You are able to take back territory from those who stole from you.
You are able to finish your education and move forward with your plan to teach.
You are able to, at your age, to write a story or a poem that moves the hearts of many.
You are able to buy that business. Talk to God and go make a deal.
You are able to get up and go to church each week. Your pastor deserves to see you there.
You are able to win that tennis match against a higher ranked player. Get up earlier and practice with intent.
You are able to get through technical school and get a better job. Hang in there when your body wants to quit. You can and will do it.
You are able as a doctor to apply your faith while serving the public. Quit hiding the importance of performing your God given, life saving skills, with applied faith.
You are able to win that next case on behalf of the underdog. Dig deeper and find the gems that will make the difference for your client. Even if you have to do it on your own time.

You are able because God is able. Think about living like you are the express image of the living God. You will find power and confidence and strength and wisdom, because it is given freely to those who ask. Quit thinking that God wants you to stay down. It is not God purporting that kind of nonsense. God has already gone before you and made a way. You are able. Do you believe it?

Daily Devotional May 27 - Are You Holding Back?

"For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." Galatians 2:19

Dead to the law means that the law no longer has a hold on you. You have been freed to serve God without the hindrance of following the letter of the law. Freedom from the law is not license to sin nor is it an excuse from the responsibilities of following after Christ with your whole heart.

Living unto God is made possible by the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. Living unto God is possible now because we have been adopted into the beloved by God. You are a child of God, therefore you can serve God without reservation. Those who have not been born again cannot serve God without reservation. First they don't believe they can and secondly they do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit in their life. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit we are all doomed to frequent bad choices and unchecked propensities that are not godly. But with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit within we have been enabled to serve God at any level, at any capacity, without boundaries or obstacles.

We have this potential, but that does not mean that we automatically always do the right things or make the right choices. Sometimes we might even make a choice that is contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit. But if you are willing to yield your will to His will, you are empowered to overcome in every situation.

We hear much about how you can't even go a whole day and not sin; everybody sins; after all we are all human. The main reason that there is so much emphasis on this is that people don't want to slow down enough to think before they act. Hours of prayer prior to making decisions is all but dead in modernity. Thinking about and carefully considering all the consequences of our actions is not trendy, nor will it win your friends attention. Thinking about each decision and asking God's approval before jumping ahead is not the way of the modern world.

Much can be done to improve your walk with God and most of it requires that you think on godly things, thus God-thinking. It's not just thinking on godly things that keeps us going forward in growing closer to God, but in the abandonment of and discontinuation of those things that are not godly as well. There is much thought today among Christians about mixing it up; a little church and christian-eze and a little worldliness, a little faithful and a little unfaithful, a little sold out and a little kept back in reserve. The mindset is that this is balance. This is the kind of balance that wins no souls and gets no victory. Just maintaining a minimal relationship with God in order to make sure you enter into heaven is shallow at best and may not be Christianity at all.

Daily Devotional May 26 - Replace Doubt With Faith

"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit, and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; Be not afraid. And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. And He said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saws the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, where didst thou doubt?" Matthew 14:25-31

Let's look at the words of Jesus in this story.
"Be of good cheer; it is I." When the winds of life are tossing yo about, Jesus can and will assist. But believing in a Jesus that walks on the water isn't something that everyone believes. There have been many times in your life where Jesus revealed Himself and you did not recognize Him. But in this story, even though it was a rough night at sea, Jesus simply comes to the disciples and says, "Be of good cheer..." Jesus knows when things are not going right and when you are being tossed to and from with the winds of adversity. Why would he say, be of good cheer? Because Jesus knows that He is the answer to your problem. He will direct you and guide you and then calm the winds of life for you.

"Come." Peter wanted to walk on the water with Jesus. It is one of the first things that happen when we get faith. We feel invincible. We feel the power of God running through our soul and we want to go where Jesus went and do what He does. Could Jesus have walked on the water without incident if he had maintained his faith? Yes. But the truth is that we are confident when we see Jesus doing what He does, but when things start to unravel, we, like Peter, begin to sink. Our demeanor reveals that our faith is being tested. Instead of asking if we can walk on the water with him we are crying out for Jesus to save us. It's OK. Jesus doesn't condemn you and put you down and let you sink simply because your faith teeter totters. If he did we would all drown in our problems. Jesus reaches out and picks you up. But I admire Peter for at least stepping out of the boat. If we did step out of our boat when Jesus said come, we would find that there is much that can be overcome with our faith.

"O thou of little faith, where didst thou doubt? " How many times, when the winds of life were blowing against my ship did I have faith and then lose faith and have faith and lose faith. One minute I felt like nothing could come against me and then I would be begging God for protection and solace. Why did I doubt? Why do you doubt? You have sen the mighty hand of God work miracles over and over again in your life and that of others. Jesus has proven Himself time and time again, and there is still doubt. What are we made of that we could vacillate so much concerning doubt? We are made of flesh and spirit. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. If you were all spirit, like you will be someday, your faith would not go up and down. If you were all flesh, like you are before you are born again, you have no faith and you don't look to God for help. But because you are flesh and spirit there is a constant warring of sorts going on inside your soul. Your spirit is moved by God and your faith grows. Your flesh cries out for some kind of fulfillment and doubt grows. What a dichotomy. The battle rages on. But you can have victory in this life, faith over doubt.

Build up your faith by reading the Bible, listening to godly pastors, participating in a weekly church service, praising God, thanking God and worshipping God. Doubt is replaced by faith at the same rate that you allow God entrance to your heart.

Daily Devotional May 25 - Keep It Simple

"He came unto His own, but His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:" John 1:11-12

Jesus came unto His own people,a people He had been nurturing for thousands of years, a people He had entrusted with the oracles of God, but when He arrived, they did not recognize Him. It's no wonder, they had created for themselves about 100 rules for every one commandment from God. It's not better to expand the Word of God. It is better to keep it simple and follow the clear instructions given.

The religious people of the times had made up there own idea of how things would be. Doesn't that sound like today? They were looking in the wrong places at the wrong times, but when Jesus showed up at the exact moment when He said He would and under the exact conditions He said would be when He would come, they were caught off guard, because they trusted in themselves more than the Word of God. We see a similar parallel in today's society. Many well meaning Christians are off on their own tangent, doing as it pleases them, believing what feels good and followings systems more than the simple Words of Jesus.

But along with those who are bent on having it their own way, there was a remnant that came to know Jesus through faith.

Today there is a remnant that have come to know Jesus by faith. They read the Word and they get it. They believe what Jesus says and they do not have false expectations of God's economy. They understand the times they are in and they apply Biblical standards to their lifestyle. They don't hide their faith at work nor do they live differently behind closed doors. There are those who simply follow Jesus and to them gave He power to be the sons of God.

A son of God. What else could you possibly want out of life than to know that you are the offspring of the creator of the universe? It amazes me that we look and seek after so many things that are truly temporal of of no great value now or later, when the best and the most important things seem to be on a sabbatical. As a son of God there are many benefits, too numerous to number, but also there are responsibilities.
What if while we were praying to God for the many things that make life easier we were to ask God to lay on us something that would require the hand of God to accomplish, something not easy and affordable, but something great and seemingly impossible? This is the kind of stuff sons of God live for. Think about it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Devotional May 24 - God's Grace

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." 1 Peter 5:10

"The God of all grace." I am excited every time I even hear the word grace. I know where grace comes from and the grace that God freely bestows is the real thing. God's grace makes me tingle with joy.

  • I know that because of God's grace I will not receive a fair trial when life comes to an end, because God's grace is my covering and Jesus is my advocate. I will be pardoned for my role in not following God's best for my life.
  • I know that because of God's grace, tomorrow has within it, unlimited resources and boundary-less parameters.
  • I know that because of God's grace today will be full of God and whatever befalls me has been tempered by the grace of God.

God's grace is more than unmerited favor and more than atonement for sins, it is the only reason we can be at peace with God at all. God's grace bridges the gap between our finite and somewhat stubborn minds and the infinite and perfect mind of God. I wouldn't change a thing that has to do with the grace of God. It is perfect.

God knows that you will have suffering in your life. God knows about the hard times behind you or the ones you are in right now or those that wait ahead. God has intervened already, before your calamity, before you ask, and he has provided the power of His grace directly to your situation. We will suffer a while and then...whoa!! God works out for us, in this life, that the burdens that once plagued us or that we are currently going through have a limited season. What is unlimited is what God is going to do with your situation. If you have already came through the fire, you should be able to see what God did to protect you. If you are currently going through the fire, don't let go of God's promise to you. Hold on tight and wait on the LORD. God will not let you down.

God is going to establish you. Don't be afraid to take back lost territory. God will assist you, but you have to make a concerted effort in your own heart.

God will strengthen you. Look up and expect to get some spiritual biceps. God is strengthening you so that you can continue to fulfill your purpose, in and through Christ.

God will settle you. God will lay a basis for your life to move forward with purpose and an expected end. No more worrying about having it all work out, God will make a way for you. Think on what God has already accomplished for you and you will have no trouble understanding that God will settle you. There is rest in your soul when you truly trust God's actions. God's grace, what a marvellous plan.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily Devotional may 23 - Are You Unskilled In The Art Of Waiting?

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God." Phillipians 4:6

Don't get discouraged. Your prayers are working. The answer to your prayers are on the way. When you pray all of heaven moves forward to accomplish the results you need. God designed us to have a link to God through prayer. It is real and it works.

Now, you may have been praying about a specific situation in your life or that of another and it seems like heavens doors have been closed for the season. No way. The only reason you ever get the feeling that God is not listening or that God is not able to accomplish what you pray for is that you are unskilled in the art of waiting. Actually, if you were to not pray at all, God has already designed and provided sustenance and provision for your life. You pray because it is the modus operandi that God designed for you to have two way communication with God.

If you could unlearn the teachings about praying to get something, you could see that prayer is so much more. First and foremost our prayers should be directed to God as dialogue to get to know God better. Once you get to know God better you start to see that God is on your side and that your disruptions to a happy and blessed life are from other sources. As you go to God in prayer to get to know God, you start to get a clearer picture of what to pray for if you were to pray for something for yourself or others.

Prayer was never meant to be begging for something just because you want it.
Prayer was also never meant to be like having a genie in a bottle and when you want something you make a wish and it is granted.
Prayer was meant to be a real place you go to communicate with God about your life and to hear from God what you need to secure the best life possible.

If you were to spend time with God enough to hear what God is saying in your life and to see what direction He has ordained for you, then when you prayed your prayer would be in accordance with the express will of God and you would see results to your prayers manifested in your heart first and then in real time on earth.

Finally, don't be discouraged. Your prayers are being dealt with. Your inner desires and inclinations for yourself and others is taken very seriously by God. Pray believing and let God work it out in His perfect timing. Trust that God has not abandoned you just because you are not hearing His voice right now. God is deeply invested in your life and those that you love. He has not turned His back on you. He has heared your prayers. He is answering your prayers right now.

Want to test it? I am so confident that God has heard your prayers and that God has already initiated the answer that I can tell you that in just two days time (from the time you read this) God will reveal to you in your heart a change in thinking that gives you confidence that in due time your prayer will come to pass. Instead of wondering if..., you will know.

Daily Devotional May 22 - Who Drives Your Train

"If ye had known Me, you should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye now Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto Him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, and how sayest then, shew us the Father?"  John 14:7-9

I want to make a few theological observations.

First, if we know Jesus we know the Father. God is not elusive or hard to find out or difficult to understand. The Father is known through the Son. Knowing Jesus is knowing God. There is no separation between God the Father and Jesus.

Secondly, Jesus said, "Have I been so long time with you , and thou hast not known Me,..." Jesus had only been with the disciples for three years and Jesus says that's a long time. I bring this up to settle some wrong thinking. I know people who have been a Christian for 20, 30, 4o years who have not grown in the faith, in some cases, not at all. They have hung on to a belief system that was developed years ago through their denomination and they never tested the waters or found out through personal Bible study if what they believe is scriptural. If three years with Jesus is a long time, what is forty years?

Jesus is revealing the Father here and the Father is revealing Jesus and we find out that when we see Jesus we see the Father. Why is it that we can't just accept the Word of God and believe what it says? I will say this. It is easier to believe the scripture than a whole lot of silly notions that religion has made up about God. When Jesus says, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father," I believe it. It settles many trinity questions for me. It settles my heart that I don;t need to get to know three Gods, the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Son. I get to know one God who has revealed Himself to me through Jesus, "for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9)

And just one more thing. It's not blasphemy to question the/your church denomination's stand on a subject. It is wrong to take an oath or become a member of a denomination and then harbor differing theologies than that of your denomination, but to question certain doctrines through personal Bible study and prayer is of eternal importance. Then to take your differences to your pastor and discuss them is not only appropriate but wise. Give your pastor a chance to speak to the issue and maybe even do some research and then make up your mind, but don't sit under anyone's teaching for a long time if you harbor vast differences in theology.  It's not fair to your pastor or yourself.

First of all if you have differing views from your pastor you probably aren't much assistance in building up your congregation and if you have differing views than your pastor you are stagnating in your walk with Jesus. Get to know your Bible and become part of what God is doing with those who are following Him.

Daily Devotional may 21 - Solace In The Storm

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13

It's hard to look at the troubles that we go through with anything other than disdain. But part of maturing is to see the actions of this world through the eyes of God. Whether or not you are a Christian you are going to have troubles, complications, sickness, pain, obstacles, barriers, disappointments and for some even greater calamities.

While in the middle of troubles, your perspective determines much of the level of pain and disappointment. Those who have come to know God fair better in these situations because they understand that even the worst of situations, because of the universal work of God among mankind, God can be glorified in your situation and you can gain experience and perspective. And if you really want to you can find peace and even joy, knowing that nothing has come upon you that God is not going through with you.

Think of it this way. Why not squeeze life for all it has? God makes it clear that you are not in your problem alone. You will get through it. Being a partaker with Christ means a whole lot more than suffering with Christ. Problems and turmoil is measurable. The benefits of being a child of God are immeasurable.

I would say that most people have a very short term view of their situation and life in general, but there are other perspectives that are godly and will provide much comfort. Seeing further out beyond your troubles with an understanding that what God has allowed has a bigger purpose than what you can see and that because God is thoroughly involved in your situation, you can have an expected end of hope and joy and peace. If you can find a way to think that what you are going through has purpose and to believe in your heart that God is sovereign and that no matter what man does to you, God is bigger, you will find solace in the storm and peace in your heart and the power to get through it.

Daily Devotional May 20 - The Process

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

A reverent grasp of holy God is a prerequisite to being given wisdom by God. Let's talk about this for a minute. Seeking God to get to know God is different than seeking God to get a need met or seeking God to fulfill a particular desire we have or even seeking God on behalf of others.

As you develop a relationship with God your eyes are opened to things that your eyes were not opened to prior. The understanding of how God operates among mankind is advanced as you grow closer to God. When God says "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom," God is letting us know about the depth of His holiness.

I wish we talked about getting to know God better for the sake of getting to know God better. When preaching is couched in terms of (what we are going to get in return for what we do for or with God) we have a skewed view of God, not caused by God, but caused by man interfering with God's interpretation of Himself, through the scriptures. If you were to read the scriptures and pray about the interpretation and set aside any preconceived notions about what so and so said God said, you would have a clearer understanding of what God has to say about Himself, about us and about how God operates among mankind.
Originally I began to fear the LORD because God said to.

Through following what God said to do I began to fear the LORD because I was able to see the great chasm between God's holiness and ours.
Then I feared the LORD because I was gaining wisdom from the experience which made it more understandable to me why I should fear the LORD.
Now I fear the LORD because I want to.

Daily Devotional May 19 - Wisdom Is Sweet Like Honey

"My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off." Proverbs 24:13-14

What a beautiful analogy. Wisdom is sweet like honey. Wisdom is different than knowledge in this way; wisdom is imparted to us by God, while knowledge can be acquired. Wisdom is a gift from God that God imparts to us in direct proportion to our inner man's desire to be like Christ. Knowledge is the natural way that mankind grows intellectually. True wisdom is a spiritual component, knowledge a natural or physical component.

James says "if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally..." James 1:5a. What you will find after a deep search through the world of knowledge is that wisdom cannot be found out, like the sciences can be found out.

Here's the dilemma. Man wants to say he has wisdom even if he doesn't recognize God in his/her life and wisdom has taken on a new meaning in modernity to mean; real smart in a specific discipline. But true wisdom is from God and cannot be accumulated or found out by the natural use of our intellect. Seeking knowledge does not lead to wisdom unless the knowledge sought is directed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Being able to come up with a catchy phrase does not make one wise. Some of what modern man attributes to wisdom is simply excellent prose or literature, but not wisdom.

"When thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward."
What is the reward?
More wisdom and the open doors that come with it.
A closeness with God that comes through received wisdom from God.
Request from God for you to do something special for God that only one with wisdom can
accomplish.
Additional benefits that require power from on high that is bestowed upon one with wisdom.

Daily Devotional May 18 - Draw A Line In The Sand

"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement; That ye may approve things that are excellent;..." Phillipians 1:9-10a

God is not talking about carnal knowledge here. Just gaining knowledge is of no consequence, but gaining godly knowledge is. Gaining knowledge about how God operates among His people and what you can do to be and stay in the will of God is the kind of knowledge that will bring good judgement. The knowledge of the holy brings many blessings. The blessings are released as the gems of truth are discovered through perseverance in the faith.

If you have been in church for thirty years and you still don't understand or believe in your heart the fundamental truths provided in the stories in scripture, you have not abounded in knowledge, you've stagnated. You are not ready for the onslaught of a wicked enemy, you might fall prey to his tactics, because you are not prepared. As time passes by you should know more about the things of God than before. You should be able to speak to God and hear clearly His voice answering you. You should know how to go into the presence of God and how to activate your faith in crisis. You should be thanking God in the mountain top experiences and following God's leading in the catastrophes of life. You should know where to turn. You should know how to pray and how to receive from God.

God wants you to approve the things that are excellent and by default disapprove of the things that are not excellent. We have a generation of talented men and women that still approve things that are not excellent. They still allow wickedness to enter into their households through TV and video games, the Internet and books. Of course TV and video games the Internet and books in themselves are not evil. They are simply devices that transport information, but the information that is allowed to come into your home, your life, should be monitored for godly quality content.

I wonder why this is such a topic of great contention. I have had many Christian men and women tell me that it doesn't make any difference what they watch or what they see on the Internet as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. That's the argument of a weak man or woman, that still gets their ya yas from carnal sources. There is better and there is a more excellent way. Seeing what is pure and beautiful, looking upon God's creation in awe, demanding more from your network, not participating with every whim that passes by, all reveal that you are seeing a more excellent way. I think we all owe it to God to go through a purifying process at least as long as we have allowed the entrance of ungodly influences in our life. It doesn't take long, once you draw a line in the sand about your position to stand for Christ, that you will see great results, in your own life and many of those around you.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Daily Devotional May 17 - Someone Is Knocking At Your Spiritual Door

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

What is the door?
Why is Jesus standing at the door?
How can you hear His voice?

What is the door?
The door is our own heart/mind/soul/spirit. Because God breathed the breath of life into us and because God made us in His image and likeness, we have the ability to allow God into our life or to keep God out of our life and we do this by exercising our free will, again to allow God into our life or to keep God out. God stands at the door to our life. Stands means ready to enter. Jesus isn't just passing by every once in a while and if we happen to hear Him coming we can make provision to let Him in. Jesus is standing at the door ready always to enter into our life*.
*Footnote: I've talked with a lot of people who have not let Jesus in and when we get to this part of the discussion they say they don't like the idea of once they let Jesus in they can't kick Him out when they want to. I know it sounds irreverent and it is, but to those who have not submitted their will to God, they still have the idea that God is going to take away from them things that are precious to them and that God is not going to allow them to have any fun anymore.
When Jesus enters into your life, He enters in for all eternity. I wish our pastors would level with people on this issue. You can't try God out to see if you want to be His child. You don't get to taste the wine of the Spirit and then decide if you like it or not. God knows when you are sincere. Don't get too worried about those who you wonder if they are sincere and their lives seem to reflect more of the world than of Jesus. God has it all under control. No one is going to fake their way into the presence of God, nor is anyone going to force their way into the kingdom of heaven. God knows the intent of our inner most being.

Why is Jesus standing at the door?
Because Jesus can only enter by invitation. That's how God made you. That's how God designed life for us. We seek God, we find God (not that God was ever lost) and we ask God into our self. When we ask God in, God comes in, because God is faithful. God is standing at the door to your heart right now, unless you have already let Him in. Either way, you can only come to God by invitation and God only comes into you by invitation.

How can you hear His voice?
Here's the scoop: If inside the door, on your side of the door, there is much confusion and turmoil, noise, gossip and indiscretion, it is difficult to hear the voice of God. However, God's voice doesn't need to be very loud if you have the din of life turned down and put your ear up to the door and listen carefully. God isn't going to drown out the noise inside to get your attention. God is patient and He is willing to wait until you are ready. I love that about God.

God knows each persons life intimately and God will wait until you are ready, but God is always knocking and always calling to you to let Him in. If you are ready, turn down the noise for just a few moments and you will be able to hear the voice of God.

Daily Devotional May 16 - Make A Choice

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1

Freedom/liberty in Christ has been so poorly represented most Christians don't know what it is. The key is freedom/liberty from, not freedom liberty to. The liberty that Jesus affords us is the liberty or the freedom from the sinful inclinations that, in prior times were impossible or very difficult to overcome. Freedom in Christ is not freedom to do against God and then find some formula that allows for us to have the sin or indiscretion banished, as if we could do harm to another and then go and ask forgiveness and all is well. It also doesn't mean that if you have done something wrong or sinful and hurt others that you cannot be forgiven either. The line is drawn this way.

To knowingly set out to do damage, hurt others or hurt yourself or to do sinful things, knowing that they are definitely not of God puts you in a position where you are at odds with God. When you are ready and you have come to your senses and you realize that you have sinned against man and against God and you are truly remorseful of your transgression and you turn from the way that you once acted and make a conscious decision to abstain from further engagement in such activity, you are then ready to ask for forgiveness and be forgiven.

Because grace is so great and God is so merciful there is always a time for everyone to get right with God and there is always an open door to do so. God never shuts the door, but you can.

True Liberty.
You are at liberty to follow Christ and to the best of your knowledge live according to the will of Go.
You are free from the bondage of not being able to say no and not being able to turn down those things that are hurting you or someone else.
You are at liberty to engage in righteous practices and to participate in the plan of God for His children.
You are at liberty to take from the bounty of all that is available to a son of God and joint heir with Christ.
You are at liberty to pray for healing and financial help and salvation for others and success for your business, a knowing that your prayer will be met with the abundance of God who gets great pleasure in providing for you and those you pray for.
You are at liberty to come into the holy of hollies and sit at the feet of Jesus and talk and listen and be changed and find your way again.
You are at liberty to take charge of your life and put your feet forward to accomplish your calling.
You are at liberty to stand in the gap for others and make a way for them, by ministering to them with the power that God has given you by His dwelling in you.

When Paul says be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage, he is talking about going back to the old ways, before you received power from God to overcome. There was a time for me and there is a time for you to draw a line in the sand and not cross over again. The bondage was before freedom, before your faith kicked in, before you had the power of God working in you and through you, before you made a confession of your faith, before you understood the consequences of sin.

Think of it this way. You have a choice, bondage to the world or freedom to access all that God has made for your good. Which one do you want?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Daily Devotional May 15 - What Is The Kingdom Of God to You?

"And seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:29-32

What does it mean to seek the kingdom? Is it that you seek after some place that you will go after you die? Is it a kingdom where Christians are in control of this world's system? Is this kingdom just a place of thought? There has been too many unanswered questions by many well-meaning leaders.

The kingdom of God is a place in your heart/mind/spirit/soul where God resides. You are in this kingdom right now if you are born again. This kingdom isn't coming as if it were never here, but it is coming in that it is always moving forward with the mind of God. Someday the kingdom of God will be free of sin and corruption. For now, the kingdom of God is the place where God resides in our life.

You don't have to earn the kingdom. You receive the kingdom from a Father who wills you to have it. And it pleases God to do so. The kingdom is free of denominational dogma. The kingdom is operated on Biblical principles that are universal. The kingdom of God has within it all that God has disposed for us to have physically and spiritually so that we can go through this life, missing nothing of eternal importance. Fulfillment is when we understand the parameters that God provided for our perfect welfare and we learn to live in it. The kingdom of God is the only place where fulfillment can take place, because in order for anyone to actualize their full potential they must be born again and have their spirit made alive by the indwelling Spirit of God.

It pleases the Father to give the kingdom to any one who will have it.

Daily Devotional May 14 - Co-creating

"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building."
1 Corinthians 3:9

God-thinking demands that we hear what God is saying and then respond accordingly. God-thinking has no alternate agenda of its own. So to really enjoy the benefits of God-thinking we simply need to hear God and then move on what we hear.

We are labourers together with God.
Here in this verse the Bible tells us that we are labourers together with God. I have come to know that about God. We are co-creators with God. God does many supernatural events for us and we provide the events for God to work with. God created all that there is and set it in motion and provides for continued sustenance from the creation and we utilize what God created and convert it into things that we enjoy. We have situations that come up that we have done all we can and we need the hand of God to move on and God moves on them because we ask God to. Co-creating is the way of God and man. We are labourers together.

We are God's husbandry. We are the farmers of the fields God provided. We are the doctors of those who fall ill. We are the mechanics that repair what is broke. We are the teachers that express what we have learned. We are God's workers. God has a plan. We work the plan. We are co-creating together.

We are God's building. Whoa!!! We are God's building? That's right. Our body, mind, soul and spirit houses the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are the temple that God resides in. We are the physical house that the invisible God lives in. We are the sanctuary that God dwells in.
Wouldn't it make sense that we should keep the sanctuary clean?
Wouldn't it make sense that we should honor our life/lifestyle enough to allow the Spirit of God to be seen in our actions?
As God's building should we assist in damaging it?
Should we take special care of the environment that the Holy Spirit resides in?
We should allow the Spirit of God to have free reign in our lives and allow God to be revealed to others through our building. We should keep it clean, maintain it well and have a long term plan for its use. We are the building of God.

Daily Devotional May 13 - Be Aware Of The Times

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. ...ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 7

I don't sit around and ponder how bad things are and get all upset over the events worldwide that point to this being the time towards the end. But I have been thoroughly warned in scripture of the conditions that represent fallen man at his worst. And I can see that the Bible has made quite a case for this era in time meeting scriptural criteria for the season of time called the end times.

My point is to remind you that the times that we are in have been carefully understood by God and before each day passes, God sees what is about to take place and because God loves us so much, God told us about many events, times and season of life before they happened. I love that about God. Not only did God give us a road map to find our way, he told us about the hazards along the way, where each road would lead and what to start to look for when you were coming to your destination.

If you look at the verse in Daniel, "many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased," before the time of the end. This was written about 2,500 years ago, when all that we know as technology did not exist in any form. If the Bible had said, 'many shall run to and fro and man shall increase in knowledge,' anybody could have said that. After all we predict things that we think are going to happen based on what we know all the time. Sometimes we are right and sometimes we are wrong. But this verse in Daniel says, "and knowledge shall be increased."

It is clear to me that Daniel didn't come up with this on his own, but he was instructed by the Lord through real visions and real meetings with real angels, just like he said. There is a huge difference in personally increasing in knowledge and increasing the knowledge that is available. No one can deny that we are in the most technologically advanced time in history, but more than that, because of the computer age knowledge is being expanded at such a rapid rate that today we can only learn tidbits of a select field of study, and even in that the knowledge is expanding so fast that no one can keep up. "Knowledge shall be increased."

What does this mean? I believe that God prepares the way for each person in each generation to understand the times they are in so that they will live life to its fullest in the designed era of time that they are in. The Bible is full of opportunity to get to know about your own personal bents and characteristics better as well as see the world as a whole and to understand why things are the way they are. I believe the scripture provides enlightenment to your current situation; answers to your questions and direction to move forward with success. But just as denying that you are sick when you have a sickness won't heal you , neither will denying the signs of times stop the clock. The balance of how to live in the end times and yet enjoy life is found in the scripture.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Daily Devotional May 12 - Have You Been Fooled?

"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  Galatians 3:1

I would say today, 'O foolish church, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, but through other means you find solace and comfort for your soul; through lukewarm teaching that gives you comfort that you have no responsibility for your actions or through candy coated preaching you get the feeling that you don't really need to know the truth anyway.

  • Haven't you seen enough, that you now know without a doubt from whence your strength comes?
  • Haven't you already seen the mighty hand of God at work on your behalf?
  • Do you still need convinced of the work that Christ did on the cross on your behalf?
  • Who ever told you that you could be entangled in the world and have peace with God at the same time?
  • Who told you that you don't need to follow Christ?
  • Who told you that your actions were inconsequential?
  • Who told you that faith in Jesus and religion are the same thing?
  • Who told you that you could do things your own way without consulting God and expect it to work out?
  • Who told you you are of no value?
  • Who told you that you can't follow God in your daily life?
  • Who told you you are too old to accomplish what God called you to?
  • Who told you that you are too young to do a great thing for God?
  • O foolish church who told you that you don't need weekly fellowship with other like minded Christians?

God made His church to be united and to seek His face and to look in the scriptures to get answers. Those who rely on someone else to do their Bible study for them will not advance the kingdom, nor will they understand God's ways, nor will they be able to interpret the leading of the Holy Spirit in their life. They are the blind leading the blind.

The church should be a beacon of light in a dark place. Churches today should be so full that people would have to stand outside to hear the message. It's not just the poor quality of preaching that is to blame, it is you and I also for settling for less than God demands. Let's take back our Christian heritage and start obeying the truth/the will of God.

Daily Devotional May 11 - Wait? You've Got To Be Kidding

"The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man would both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." Lamentations 3:25-26

There is a lot of advise in scripture. Some of it we take in with a sigh of relief as if it were a valuable gift. Some we have to come to terms with and fully understand before we are willing to subject ourselves to it. And then there is some advise from the Lord that we just plain don't like.

Waiting is one of them. Your world is closing in and the pressure is on and you feel misused and hurt and you are finding out that those around you have been using you and there is trouble on the left and obstacles on the right and the Lord says, "wait." You've got to be kidding.
If I wait the boat will fill up with water and I will sink.
If I wait the bottom will fall out and I won't be able to recover.
If I wait someone else will go ahead of me and take my place.
We just don't understand why a loving God that is able to perform any miracle on our behalf would have to wait. If God...then why wait.

God wants us wait until we hear from God concerning the matter. God doesn't tell us to wait as in wait indefinitely or to wait too long where there is much disappointment or not to wait long enough where you are unprepared. God wants you to wait until you hear from God concerning the matter.

If you jump ahead of God's timing you will go into your decision making too soon and suffer greatly from being unprepared.  It's like driving too fast and then having to stop in too short a distance.  It is not safe.
If you wait too long, you miss the window of opportunity that was allotted for your situation.
But if you move according to the inner leading of the Holy Spirit all will work out.

God wants you to trust Him enough to put things in His control. God knows that whatever the need is, if it is in His control, the end will be better. If every decision you make you make from the hip, you are not consulting with God and the outcome will be unpredictable. I don't know about you, but I have had enough of the unpredictable, the uncertain, the unsure. I need God's intervention in God's timing in order for the results to be long term and satisfying.

When someone older who has been in the faith for decades says to you to wait on the Lord, they really know what they are talking about. They are in for the long haul and they have seen the mighty hand of God at work on their behalf many times. Their advise is good and biblical. Sometimes waiting on the Lord seems inconvenient, but jumping ahead is far worse and waiting too long because you don't really have any faith and you can't hear the voice of God is also disappointing. But waiting on the Lord as you pray about your situation, praising Him through it and worshiping Him in it, that is good and it will always turn out different than you predicted. We tend to think the worse, but oftentimes the results after waiting, leaning and hearing from the Lord, are good.

Daily Devotional May 10 - There Are No Shortcuts

"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John 3:1-3

I want you to see the most important part of this verse, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us." God has already bestowed upon us favor and title. All the time people are looking for what they already have, because they are not in touch with the presence of God enough to discern who they are or what they have. You are a son of God, now act like it. God tells us to purifieth ourselves, because all purification of the mind takes faith in God and personal discipline to accomplish.
There are some requirements if you are going to be able to see in your life what God has already accomplished.

You must be born again. That's right, there is no other way to become alive in the spirit except to be born again. In other words, you must recognize that you have sinned against God and that the only means of payment is through the blood of Jesus, (because there is nothing you can do to be worthy to make the atoning payment for sin).

You must allow the faith you have, that you operated in when you were born again, to reveal other aspects of a spiritual life with God. This means keeping active in a personal relationship with God through Bible study, prayer, fellowship, worship, praise and contemplation. There are no short-cuts to seeing and understanding the work of God.

You must invite God into your life; your situations, your marriage, your life at school, your business, your relationships, your everything. This might sound odd since you already have God inside your soul by the entrance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but God operates by invitation only. If you want all that you possess to be blessed by God you will have to allow God some say in your decisions. This is where most people are not willing to yield. They want to do what they want to do even if God has already said not to do it in the Bible. They think they are going to convince God that what they are doing is OK, because it feels good or they want it so badly they have been blinded. But God has already spoken and laid the groundwork for living within His will. If you are looking for a voice to tell you that what you are doing is OK, even if it is outside the express will of God, you will get it, but it won't be the voice of God.

You must purify yourself. If you are thinking that God does all the work and there is nothing you can do toward the purification process, you have been misled. You are not a clone or a robot. God speaks in you and to you, but you are not a marionette. Think for a moment if there are things that have crept into your life that are not godly. It probably took quite some time for the indiscretions to take hold and make a place in your life. It might take time to make the necessary changes to rid your body or mind of those things. Some take longer than others. God isn't expecting you to reverse every bad habit you have in a moment, He understands that you were made of dust, but God does expect that the direction you are in is to move closer to Him and further away from the bondage's that you have allowed to take hold in your life. You must do this. You must pray about it and put feet to your prayers. You will have to make decisions and keep them.

One thing you must believe: You are able in Christ to overcome. You can make any change that you make up your mind about and thoroughly saturate with prayer and true commitment to God. God will intervene and supply the supernatural components for you to accomplish the seemingly impossible. But you must believe that it is possible with God. God wants you to purify yourself to benefit yourself and those around you.

It is this purifying process that our modern, even Christian society, has ignored. The way of God is not the way of the world and never will be. Don't wait, for the time is at hand that you can call on God and receive all that is available for you. It is more than you ever dreamed of and better than you can even imagine.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Daily Devotional May 9 - Which Way Are You Headed?

"I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments."  Psalm 119:59-60

David exposed more of himself to us than you and I would want to do. He wrote down for all time his weaknesses for all to see. He revealed to us that even when he was king, he was frail and needy of someone, something greater than himself. He knew that left to his own devices it would be a short time until his life would fly apart like a broken fan blade.

David knew God. And because David knew God, he knew what to do about his insufficiencies. David knew that he could only take things so far and then, even in the best of conditions, he could not solve every problem nor meet every need, external or internal. Throughout the Psalms David reveals his inability to master life on his own. He tried and at times he strayed away from the knowledge within, but over the long haul David came to his senses, and because of that he pens many important truths for us.

David thought on his ways. Have you given serious thought about your ways? Have you drawn a map and laid out a plan concerning some of the destinations you will encounter along the way because of the direction you are in. You know you can have a lot going on that is right and good and still have a habit or certain indiscretions that will steer you into certain areas that are not good for you or your family. David thought on his ways and concluded that he needed to turn to what God had said or is saying. He did this because he had tested out this theory before and every time that he would find himself on a jaded or corrupt path he would consult with God and turn around and get back on the right path and things would work out. He tried this over and over again. David was stubborn, but maybe no more stubborn than your or me.

Once David realized he was going in the wrong direction he turned around with haste and started on the God path again. You can easily be assuaged to go your own way and make your own path. And many things go well when you are on your own path. God made it that way. God created everything so that even without acknowledging Him you would have all the components you need to live a healthy and productive life. You don't need to acknowledge God to exist, and work, raise a family and take vacations. But your life is limited, so limited without the presence of God. The decisions you make might benefit you or even your family, but with God you benefit everyone with the decisions you make. You can do a great many things on you own power with your own direction or religious philosophy, but with God all things are possible.

You can get yourself into many cracks and crevices on your own, but getting out isn't so easy. You can work a job without ever acknowledging God, but you can truly be blessed and fulfilled in your work if you have a relationship with God where you allow God to intervene in your life. You can learn a lot about science and life on your own, but you can know the Maker of it all with a relationship with God. You can live a life limited by your surroundings and circumstances and all that nature has to provide or you can live a life with all that and a regular infusion of the supernatural also.

I can't think of one area of life that is not enhanced if God is involved with you by invitation. I'm with David and I thought about my ways and that made me make haste to turn to the living God and find out more about His ways. My ways have a limited and abrupt end. His ways have unlimited opportunities and no end at all.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Daily Devotional May 8 - God Is Clear About It

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14

Throughout the scripture there are many references to the same subjects. Sometimes God builds a case for us to consider and sometimes God does more than make it plain. This is one of those verses that makes it plain. Inside your Spirit resides the Spirit of God if you have been born again. That Spirit of God, God within, makes a path and leads you on that path. Every decision you make could be made with the mind of Christ by the Spirit of God if you were to invite the Spirit of God within to participate in your decision making.

Just as you invite the Holy Spirit of God to participate in your decision/s, the Spirit of God is inviting you to participate in God's decisions/direction/events. Over time what the Christian should be looking for in their walk/lifestyle is for what they are inviting God into, God is inviting them into. These are the Sons of God.

Too much emphasis has been put on the peripherals of Christianity and not enough on the spiritual connection. Even if you have devised some other formula to qualify your position in the kingdom of God, or if you do not believe that personal relationship is of any real importance in the overall salvation program, the Bible says that those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.

Why not hear what God says and learn to trust in His words? It has been my experience that many people who claim to be a Christian cannot claim to have any connection to the Spirit of God as in being led by the Spirit. I believe it is safer to read what God says and do it than to rely on unsubstantiated systems, devices, theologies, sciences or man made formulas when it comes to our relationship with God and our eternal destiny.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Daily Devotional May 7 - What Can God Do Through You?

"Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think, according to the power of God that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

You really need the right perspective to get understanding of the implications in this verse. Watch this:
God is able to exceed our expectations of what we ask or even can think of, but it is in us/through us that what God is able to do, God does What God can do, God does do in you, by you and through you.

What gets done that God can do, God does in you, by you and through you, with your invitation, understanding and cooperation.

What you can ask God for or think to do, God can do with the power that is in you.

Whatever power is in you is what is available for God to do what God can do in you, by you and through you.

If what power is in you has not been developed through prayer and communication and relationship with God, God will do what God does, in you, by you and through you in direct relationship with the power or lack of power that is in you.

If what power is in you is active, available and enriched through cooperation with the will of God, due to constant prayer, communication and relationship with God then God can do whatever you ask or think and even more, because what is in you is allowed by you to flow freely, not encumbered by the influence of this world's system.

What is available to you is immeasurable, but what you allow to flow through you is measurable. Allow God to have His way with you and experience all that is available. This is for all the church, for all ages throughout all time."

Daily Devotional May 6 - Think On Things Above

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on the things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:1-2

God knows that if we seek those things above we will certainly be thinking about the best things, about the God things, thus God-thinking. It's hard to get depressed when what is on your mind is God. If the things above are where your affections are, you won't be nearly as disappointed when things go wrong here, on earth. When God says to "set your affection on things above," God is talking about up as in toward the heavenlies, but also up in terms of quality of life and moral and social maturity. Thinking on things above can mean to think about godly things and listen to godly music and watch godly TV and have godly conversation at work and say godly things to your children or spouse or best friend.

If ye then be risen with Christ
Seek the things of God
Participate in what God is doing right now, not what God was doing when...
Look to heaven for your answers
Help to revive the best and most holy things in your life by re-prioritizing the mundane and rudimentary things that might be taking up too much precious time and too much God territory.

Thank God for where you are, despite the conditions. God knows all about it. God may not have put you there, but only God can get you out.
Acknowledge through personal prayer that you get it, i. e., you know that on your own the outcome cannot possibly be as good as with God's help.
Lift up the name of Jesus. Just speaking the word Jesus in your heart or out loud has efficacy.

Learn to appreciate the Bible. Don't let anybody convince you that it is too hard to understand and that this part of the Bible is for this group and this part is for that group and this book is not for this generation and that book is too difficult to understand. None of this nonsense is true.
The Bible is the written Word of/from God and is easily discernible if you want it to be.

Give something away that has meaning or value to you. Don't tell anybody. Don't get any credit. No points allowed. Just do it because giving is the way of God.
Prove your love to that most important person in your life. Somehow, show them you love them. Saying you love someone is good, but showing it is greater. You need to actually stop what you are doing, turn off all electronic devices, think about it. The person you love the most deserves that once in a while you really do give them your highest and most precious thoughts.
Think on the things above. They are so wonderful, heavenly and beautiful."

Daily Devotional May 5 - Good Advise

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

I've learned that as each day passes, I need God more and more. Even though I have become more self-supporting, more educated, more theologically sound, more responsible, more loving, more caring, more hospitable, and on an on, I recognize that all of my proficiencies still require a great deal of improvement. God wants me to cast my cares upon Him. Why wouldn't I. God can handle my problems, whether self-inflicted or brought on by others or from natural causes, better than I.

God says "cast all your care upon Him." All is more than just the big picture things that you might currently be giving over to God. God knows that between your wisdom and His, you are better off with His. God knows that if you do cast all your cares upon Him, that He can handle them and do mighty exploits on your behalf. It's not that God looks at us as unable or that nothing that we do is good enough. That's not the case. God wants you to cast our cares upon Him so that you can co-create with Him the events of your life. God cannot live your life for you and living your life without a constant, meaningful and measurable relationship with God leaves you powerless against certain obstacles.

The problem with holding back in giving all your cares to Him is that you start to build a belief system where you are the deciding factor as to how much of your life God gets to be involved in. You can create for yourself a religious system with formulas that are not from God. You have to give it all to God or you run the risk of not following God when you think you are following God.

I think casting all your cares upon God is good advice."

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Daily Devotional May 4 - Do You have "If I Am Healed I Will Believe Faith?"

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

It's true. I have see many people healed. It seems as if all the healing was preceded by prayer. But you and I know that God has everyone's best interest in mind and He has provided good nutrition and pro-active measures that anyone can apply (believer or unbeliever) to prevent some sicknesses and heal others, just through the natural processes of life.

But what I want to talk about is what happens to our faith if we are not healed of this or that.
First of all I definitely believe in divine healing and I have personally seen it many times. There are literally millions of people with testimony of God healing their bodies miraculously. But too often I have also heard of pastors, preachers and others who seem to deny the reality of sickness, like it doesn't exist. So when someone is really sick they tell them not to say it as if denying the reality of your sickness is the key to healing. It is not. Denying that fact that you are sink has no efficacy, but it does give you false hope and a view of your condition that is not real.

Everyone will get sick from time to time and everyone is going to grow older, have some complications and eventually die. To deny this is silly and makes ones opinion about it superfluous. God does not miraculously heal everyone, nor does everyone recover from their sickness. Some people get sick, their conditions worsen and they die or have a long spell of having to fight their sickness. This is simply the truth. If someone does not get healed and yet they are a believer and they pray about it all the time and they have faith and others are praying for them, but they don't get healed, it does not mean that they need more faith or that they need to touch this hanky or send money to this or that ministry and then... No!

Sometimes God allows someone to continue with their sickness and we know from experience that God allows everyone to die; whether early or late, whether sick or well. The key to understanding is to recognize God's sovereignty in the whole matter.

We must trust the outcome even though it might not match what we think should happen or what our favorite TV evangelist says can happen.
We must have faith in God, not just for the healing and the many blessings, but in and through the very difficult and often perilous times also.
We must trust God despite the outcome.

Faith that demands a certain outcome whether or not it is the will of God is not faith at all.
We are to trust God when all is well and when things are not well.
Sickness is real and denying the truth about it is foolishness.
Telling someone that if they just had more faith they could be healed is a slap in the face of the God and creator of that person, who has, in His (God's) wisdom, allowed this thing to happen. Pray for healing and trust God.

The outcome does not determine the level of ones faith. "The effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man availeth much," but the effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man does not availeth everything." Have faith to be healed, but if God allows you or your loved one to continue in your/their condition longer than you think you/they should, keep that faith and add to it trust that God knows what He's doing.

Daily Devotional May 3 - the Lighted Path

"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

John was a man that was in the presence of Jesus for three years, day and night, sleeping together, eating together, healing those in need, teaching the foolish and religious. John saw all that Jesus did and heard all that Jesus said, except when he wasn't present with Him. There wasn't much that John did not know about Jesus. He had seen Jesus teach in the synagogue, speak to thousands, heal the sick, cast out demons, give people hope, forgive sins, and He watched Jesus interact with all types of people, from the kings to the poorest lepers. John was in on the parables to the people and the interpretation of to the disciples. John was there when Jesus went to the mountain and was seen in His glory with Moses and Elijah present. John heard the voice of God. John really knew Jesus and was born again into the kingdom just like you and me. If anyone can declare God, it is John.

The point is that John says that "God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all." I believe it.
This light that God is is more than light in the way we think of light today, even though we know from scripture that the light that God is is so bright that you cannot look upon Him. But just the same God is the light of revelation and grace and mercy and righteousness, and forgiveness, and tolerance, and love, and faith. This light that God is lives inside the heart and mind of the believing person. You have this light in you if you are a child of God. And this light shines and shows the way. This light is God in us and through us. This light is the working of the indwelling Holy Spirit in the hearts of men and women, teens ans children.

"And in Him is no darkness at all." God is not the author nor the distributor of evil among mankind. God cannot do what so many uniformed Christians think He can. God is the Father of lights and the giver of all that is good. If you have a skewed view of God due to having been taught by those who have skewed view of God, you will not understand the events in life nor will you be able to receive all that is available to you. God does not bring sickness, disease, pain, calamity or tragedy of any kind at any time to anyone. All the evil that befalls us from one of three sources:
1 Our own free will
2 The fall of man
3 The devil and his demons

You are not getting a message from God to step outside of the will of God to have something or someone you want. If it was from God it would have all the natural and righteous trappings that accommodate a gift from God. It would bless you and bring blessing to others without hurting or denying others their fair due. It would resemble what Jesus would do and it would shine like the light. It would be something you can share with your church and something that you need not hide from your son or daughter, husband or spouse. God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Let the light of Jesus shine through you into others. Look to the Light for your direction. Follow the Lighted pathway that God has prepared you for and prepared for you.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Daily Devotional May 2 - Man Can't Live By Bread Alone

"And the devil said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, it is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Luke 4:3-4

You need to eat. You need to breathe. You need liquids to live. You need the Word of God to live.
You need the Word of God because:
You are a spiritual being as well as physical being.
You need the information in the Bible, because the creator of all that is, is responsible for its content, and within it lays the answers to all your questions as they were pre-ordained by God.
Every word of God that you ingest into your soul will alter your condition to the positive.
You will be full of joy and full of peace in your heart.
You will have power to overcome the temptations of the world.
You will have co-creating abilities with God, so that your prayers are assisted by your lifestyle and the pre-emptive and pro-active measures necessary to bring to pass the impossible.
You will be blessed on a daily basis.
You will hear the voice of God inside your being to assist you with daily decisions.
Every facet of your life is enhanced when the Word of God is heeded.
When you are tempted, just like when Jesus was tempted, there's no way to outwit the enemy on your own wisdom; it takes the embedded Word of God, not worldly wisdom to fight evil.
If you are wondering why this seems so serious, it is because life is serious. Even though we are made for fun and laughter and true happiness, the only way to have it is in Christ. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God."

Daily Devotional May 1 - Hold Close To Jesus

"And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, all ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." Mark 14:26-27

I have a hard time believing just how prejudiced a good portion of Americans are against Christianity. It seems that daily we are under attack by atheist and agnostics. Out laws are changing allowing less freedom of personal rights for Christian expression while opening up and expanding the rights other groups.
While this is happening there will come a time if it hasn't already happened in your life that you won't fit in with the 'in crowd.' If you are following the Lord with all your heart you will have to be making alternate decisions to that of your co-workers and many family members. They will want to go and do certain things that you are very uncomfortable talking about, much less being a part of. But you will be pressed.

How do/will you fare with that kind of pressure? Will you be offended to stand for Jesus? Maybe you are already dabbling with the world and you are currently involved in something or with someone that you know in your heart is not right. Jesus said His disciples would be offended because of Him that very night. They didn't believe Him, but just a few hours later, they denied even knowing Him.

People, even other Christians will find many occasions to:

  • Put you down
  • Make fun of you
  • Demonize you
  • Ostracize you
  • Lie about you
  • Stereotype you
  • Profile you

Can I say, that when the smoke clears, I want to still be standing with Jesus.

Give me the strength Lord to stand with you when the fiery darts of opposition come my way. Help me to keep my focus. Help me Lord to stand with you when it would be so much easier to cave. Help me to be a light and a good example to others by holding close to my Savior."

Daily Devotional April 30 - Hear The Voice Of The LORD

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." John 16:12-13

The spoken Word of God contained in the Bible is the (Logos) the voice of God written on pages, full of power, unchanging and infallible. Every word in the Bible is the spoken Word of God penned by chosen vessels.

The spoken Word of God spoken into your heart is the (Rhema) Word of God, not written on paper, but written on the tablets of the heart, written in your mind and in you soul.

There are many Christians today that only rely on the written Word of God for their nourishment and inspiration and even though it is true that the scriptures contain all that is necessary for becoming alive in the Spirit and saved from our sins, it was never meant that the Word of God would prevent you from seeking and hearing what God has to say to you personally from and by the Holy Spirit. The spoken Word of God, written (Logos ) was written for the purpose of guiding you to receive the spoken Word of God (Rhema) the voice of God speaking to you in your heart. There was never meant to be a separation from hearing the Word of God, the Bible, and hearing the Word of God as spoken to us by the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is God speaking to us.

If those who were with Jesus were not ready to hear certain things it would make sense that neither are we. Yet, after Jesus went away, He sent the Holy Spirit to continue the conversation between God and man. That is the work of the Holy Spirit today, i. e., to continue the conversation between God and man. If you have any fear at all about conversing with the Holy Spirit, (maybe because of the way you have been taught), you have been unjustly held back from your rights in Christ. The Holy Spirit was sent to continue the work and dialogue that Jesus was doing when He was here. The Holy Spirit is to be embraced and not shunned.

Today, this day, this moment, the Holy Spirit has a word for you. What could possibly keep you from wanting to hear the voice of God? The answer would take volumes to share, but there are two distinct and easily agreed upon reasons why people don't listen to the Holy Spirit. Before I get into that, at least agree that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth and show you things to come.

The first reason people don't listen to or have conversation with the Holy Spirit is; they don't believe in it. You cannot activate dialogue with God unless you believe you can. Many people have been taught that the Holy Spirit is the power of God or that the Holy Spirit is only for charismatics or other silly teachings, but the truth is: the Holy Spirit is God and God lives in you if you are born again and the God that is in you that is the Holy Spirit speaks to you and guides you and show you the way. If it were not true, then why would Jesus say it is true?

The second reason that people don't listen to or have conversation with the Holy Spirit is: they don't want to. That's right many people have heard from the Holy Spirit and they don't like what they heard. They are still swayed by a carnal mind. They have been born again, but when the Holy Spirit speaks to them about what they are doing or where they are headed, they don't like it. The Holy Spirit only speaks truth and you know how much the truth can hurt sometimes, especially if you are involved in something that is sinful or against the ways of God. You can't hide from the Holy Spirit like you can your spouse, children or co-workers. You might want the blessings of God, as long as they come upon request without any labor or responsibility on your part. But when God speaks to you of those things that you need to break away from or that are hurting yourself or hurting others, you don't like that part. Many people could be talking to God every day but choose not to because they really don't want to hear what God has to say to them.

All of us have been there, but to stay there is not going to benefit you. Hiding from your true purpose and denying your own self your rightful place in the work of the kingdom only wastes time. Do you really have time to waste? When all that God has to say to you is freely given and all day long, every day, and all is for your benefit and the benefit of others, and every Word from God is true and every understood Word of God helps to correct your path, what could be more important than hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit?

Daily Devotional April 29 - Operating In God's Will

"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;...wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:1, 17

I would hope that you are following God to the best of your understanding. God entreats us to act like His children. God knows that if we operate in His wisdom, all will work out in His will. God wants you to know what His will is for you and how to operate in it. God tells you to to be followers of Him because God makes available for you all the components to accomplish what He called you to.

God tells us not to be unwise because God has made available internal wisdom through the Holy Spirit. Prayer and communication builds wisdom. Personal relationship with God creates an atmosphere where you can exchange your fleshly wisdom for godly wisdom. Understanding what the will of God is can be a joyful thing. The Lord is interested in giving to you everything you need to live your to the fullest. Take advantage of all that is available. Following God is a beautiful experience, not to be compared to anything. I hope you believe it."

Daily Devotional April 28 - 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."