Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Daily Devotional March 31 - Let There Be Light

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

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

But you have to believe what you read.

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 30, 2020

Daily Devotional March 30- - Let God Work It Out.

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional March 29 - Whom Do You Follow, The Flesh Or The Spirit?

"He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction." Proverbs 13:3

Look, you think you are a good person and overall you are, but don't disregard the words of wisdom from Solomon. If you are mouthy and have a difficult time expressing your wishes unless you yell or say some demeaning thing, think about the consequences of your actions. The words you speak and the intonation of those words has a lot to say about you as a person.

This is something you can rectify. You have within you power over your own mouth. Do you want to yield to your baser instincts or rise to newer and higher thinking? What you think and what you speak have a great deal to do with who you are and where you are today. But even if you like the way things are and even if it doesn't bother you if you speak abruptly or disrespectfully to your children or your spouse, you might not like the long-term results of such actions.

Your spouse, children and friends were made by God to hear in their hearing every good and worthy word you can muster up. They were designed to respond to the sounds of the indwelling Holy Spirits voice being uttered through a willing vessel. They were designed to be built up and encouraged by the words you speak and the thoughts you think. I know I don't want to be responsible speaking trash into the hearts and minds of those I love.

This is a war between the spirit and the flesh. Your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak. Your spirit seeks and desires the higher things of God, while you flesh seeks the baser things, the lesser things and ultimately death. Your spirit has within it the vocabulary of God, while your flesh has within it a very limited and sometimes degrading lexicon. Yes this will require some energy and some hard work and some sacrifice, but doesn't everything of value cost something?

Friday, March 27, 2020

Daily Devotional March 28 - You Shall Be Filled

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

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

Oh the depths and riches of a relationship with God. Do you hunger and thirst for this kind of relationship with God? If you do God says you will be filled. Try to believe it long enough for God to reveal Himself through/in your current circumstance and fill you up.

Daily Devotional March 27 - Get Your Mind Aligned With God Thinking

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

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

Being at peace with God means that when you think of God you think that God knew what He was doing when He set it all in motion and you are completely convinced that God knows what He is doing right now, in your life and those across the world.

Being at peace with God is knowing in your knower that when you go into the presence of God that all that is Holy and perfect awaits you there. You understand that you go into the presence of God with expectations of being changed into a clearer image of God's Son than you were before. You know that being at peace with God is understanding that the moments at hand are for using toward your desired end and that fighting God avails no benefit.
Being at peace with God is sublime. It is undefinable. It can only be learned from being in the presence of God.

Once you recognize that God is on your side and that all of creation was designed for you and that every possible scenario was worked out for you before the earth was even made, you should find time to make it right with God and get in line with His thinking, God-thinking.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Daily Devotional March 26 - Unlearning

"And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as a crystal, proceeding, out of the throne of God and the Lamb...And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever." Revelation 22:1, 5

Many people believe that living on the earth is some kind of a training ground for acceptance into heaven. And that if we can survive the brutality of living in a quagmire and sustain ourselves long enough, when we die there is some place magnificent and grand to enter into. They look at life as a testing ground to see if we are worthy of going to heaven. Many believe that if they join this group or that religion or if they are good enough or from the right bloodline, if they make it through this tortuous and unfair life, they will enter into heaven and receive eternal life.

I wish that you would read your Bible and unlearn all the false things that are said and taught about God. The only thing true in the statement above is that there is a place magnificent and grand to enter into. But the rest of it is false assumptions based on unsubstantiated teachings.

Here's how it really is:
Earth is not a training ground, but a very beautiful, God created place that has within it every component necessary for living a wonderful and blessed life. Earth is full of beauty and natural wonders that cannot even be fully understood, because they are also magnificent and grand. I know, in your heart there is much rebellion with this concept. If you are like most people you have seen enough unfairness and irresponsibility and ugliness and meanness and darkness that to compare heaven with earth just doesn't add up. Your right those things won't be in heaven, but the problem with earth is not earth, it's people. God made it perfect. We messed it up.

Earth is not a training ground to see if you will be faithful to God so that you can be assured that you get a ticket into heaven. First of all there is no ticket into heaven. Those who do not love God on this side, and enjoy a relationship with God while on earth, and trust that God is their Savior aren't going to trust God on the other side either. In other words, if you don't like the call to holiness on this side you aren't going to like heaven either. But more than that, heaven is a place that we dwell in,but heaven is not eternal life. Eternal life starts on this side at the moment that you accept the great sacrifice that God made for your redemption.

This eternal life has within it, on this side, a place called Rest, that can be found, understood, apprehended and lived on this side. You are living in eternal life right now. It's not something that you are going to get as you enter the pearly gates and St. Peter or Moses looks at your golden ticket and says, "ticket validated," come on in. You are in before you go, because eternal life is now. I tell you that if you can believe this you will live differently.

Even though heaven is a place, within you lives the essence of what heaven is made of. And to one degree or another you can perpetuate the thinking that nothing can be done about earths pitiful condition or you can think that you can and will, share this eternal life that is within you with others. You can think good thoughts toward others. You can pray for others. You can do something extraordinary for others and you don't even have to let them know who did it. You can look at earth and see its beauty. You can visualize living in this paradise, not to make light of the next paradise. You can enter into the Rest of God. You will yourself there, by stopping long enough to sense the presence of God. It's true, you will have to turn off the TV, radio, Apple iphone, android, Internet, and beeper, but if you believed that you could enter into a place that was like heaven, wouldn't you maybe give it a try?

If you think going to heaven is going to be great, you have got to get alone with God and experience the quiet and peace associated with finding His Rest for your soul.

Daily Devotional March 25 - Is The Bible Just A Good Book For Grandma?

"Let no corrupt communication proceed our of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29

This simply makes good sense. The Bible is filled with 'good sense' recommendations and 'must do' commandments. The Bible instructs you how to live and how to have the most success at life, how to advance and how to be a peace in your heart.

It is disturbing though, to see how many Christians really only see the Bible as a good handbook for Grandma. Many today do not believe the the Bible is an instruction manual for how to live a right life. Many today don't see their lifestyle in a right and wrong view. Relativism is the new bible. What's good for you might not be good for me. What's sin for you might not be sin for me.

It is amazing just how far even the (born-again, blood washed, spirit filled, Holy Ghost, Bible believing, sanctified, justified, double-dipped Christians) will go to get and do what they want to. Even if it is a direct command from God not to do a particular thing, they will do it and justify it. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it doesn't work.

The creator of the universe put everything in order so that some things work with creation's purpose and some things go against it. Does that mean that if you have a different opinion about a particular subject than God that your opinion will work? Never. Not for the long haul. I know, you think you know best. You think that God is old fashioned and needs to be updated and you are willing to take on the task and believe and promote what God condemns in hopes that God will change His mind, or worse, you think God was wrong in the first place. No. You will find, in due time, that the Word of God is sure and sound and right. You, your friends, others with differing views from God's view will not bring God around.

Many really good people, that would give their shirt off their back, and serve the community and otherwise live a decent life, have a false view about God's purpose and direction for mankind. The Bible says "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth," not some, not a little, not for a good joke, not because you grew up with other people who do, not because it will win you a laugh, not because you are mad, not because it doesn't matter anyway. No. Just not. It's not just corrupt communication, it's corrupt living too.

I know, you think that doing this or that is OK because after all "I'm not hurting anybody," "it's my own business." God's economy does not work like that. All of life's decisions are tied to a universal truth. Just as physics and biology and chemistry and aeronautics all work all the time, providing for unbelievers and believers with the same results, so does the Word of God. What God spoke was and is true, always. You can buck it for a little while, a long while or even all your life; you can believe it or not, but God's Word has stood tall from the first word to the last breath taken on earth. You really want to be doing what God is blessing and what works all the time and that is found in the Bible. Simple, straight and easily to be understood truth. That's what makes for a good life. That's what works. That's whats right.