Friday, September 30, 2011

Daily Devotional September 30 - Experience yields results

"My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thy ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:1-6

If you read these verses carefully you will see that it is the voice of God that giveth wisdom to those who diligently seek Him. Seeking God is compared to digging for silver or mining for gems. It's not that it is easy work, but as you become more experienced in digging or mining you get more results from your work.

If you dig in the scriptures and seek the will of God, God will speak to you and impart of Himself to you, wisdom. When you are mining for gems it is hard work, but as soon as you see a glimpse of a topaz or garnet, emerald, ruby, sapphire or diamond it turns into fun. It's that way with most things. The beginning stages are difficult and there is a learning curve, but as you grow in knowledge about what you are seeking or doing, the work can turn into joy and then into pleasure. It might seem arduous to dig in the Word, to read and to absorb the truths from God, but the payoff is immeasurable and cannot be compared to anything.

Knowing God and understanding God's will for your life is so important. So many people are turned off by the thought that you dig for silver and mine for gems and give up time and sometimes money and what you get as a reward is to "understand the fear of the LORD." The word fear as translated from Hebrew is best understood in today's vernacular as: a deep, unspeakable awe and astonishment, a immeasurable veneration, admiration and reverence for God's unicity. There really are no words to describe what it is to be in the hand's of Almighty God, but if there were, fear is just as good as any. If you are fear-a-phobic to this kind of relationship with God, it is not likely you will get past first base in your relationship with God. If you are wanting a god that is just like you and easily understood and easy to figure out and not very mysterious, not omniscient, not-omnipotent, not immutable, there are plenty of religious orders willing and able to help you out. But the God of the universe cannot be approached from such an, I'll have it my way or no way at all, attitude.

You will come to God on God's terms or not at all. The interesting thing about the concept about fearing God is that once you get it, once you see the significance of why it has to be this way, the fear becomes a love relationship. God is gentle and speaks with a small still voice, goes about working on your behalf all the time, provides for all your needs, supplies ample adventure for your life, only gives you good things, gives you wisdom so you can operate more efficiently and with more success, protects you, inspires you, and God has already created a path for you that contains every component necessary for your joy and peace and success and so much more that there isn't enough paper to contain it all.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Daily Devotional September 29 - Find a way

"Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name." 1 Chronicles 29:11-13

I hear a lot of complaints about the use of old English in scriptures. The Thee's, the Thy's and the Thou's negatively affect the psyche of a great many. I'm not sure but I think God is not moved when people complain so much about so little. If you aren't reading your Bible because it is difficult to understand then you aren't very interested in moving forward with what God has to say. Most of what people say they don't understand, is rebellion against taking the time and effort to read the scriptures, any version.

Enough of that. David has come to know just how much involvement God has in his life. He has seen the grace, the forgiveness, the power, the direction, the victory, the patience, the waiting, the move of God, yesterday and today and David knows that tomorrow as well God will have gone before him and made a way.

God has gone before you and made a way too. More often than not, the obstacles have been removed, the course plotted and surveyed, the road built and the mode of transportation to follow the road has already been done. You are complaining about not having a life when God has prepared a banquet for you. It's easy not to see how God works and more difficult to see through the base things of life and see God's hand at work. But whether you see it or not, God has already prepared for you a great many wonderful things.

David can see it. Can you see it? David finds all kinds of reasons to thank God and bless God and extol God and praise God and worship God and love God and seek God and find God. Is that what part of your day is made of, seeking and finding God, talking to and hearing from God, praying and watching God's mighty hand at work? Oh how simple it is and we have made it so complicated. Find a reason to bless God and magnify His name.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daily Devotional September 28 - Let go and let God

"Many, O LORD my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered." Psalm 40:5

Have you ever noticed that the most appreciative people are the ones that have had an encounter with God? I hope you are one. It's easy to speak like David in this Psalm if you have seen God working and interacting, creating and responding in your everyday life. Don't think for one moment that David didn't go through times when he couldn't hear the voice of God and couldn't see how things were going to work out, because David had his doubts at times just like you do. But at some point in time you really need to let go and let God.

Part of this closeness that David displays is taking time to think about God and to consider just how great a role God does play in his daily life.

David realized that God didn't just create him and then say:
"Now you are on your own, I have made everything you will need, including the raw materials that can be manufactured to make weapons, and including new technological advances for the future. Of course I can't participate in your everyday experience and you will have to fight your battles on your own, and you will have to supply all your own needs and you will have to be a little smarter than the other guy if you are going to survive, but I love you and I will be hoping the best for you. I won't be taking any calls/prayers over the next few thousand years but I do hope you will meet up with the right people and create a religious philosophy that will give you something spiritual to hang on to. I know that people will get all mixed up and call God just about anything, but that's OK, it doesn't matter who they think I Am, all paths lead to God."

No way! David knew in His heart that God was not only on the scene but had plans that were carried out by His chosen people. David knew that if he didn't do certain things that they would not get done, because David was the one chosen to do certain things to fulfill the express will of God. It is the same for you. God has certain tasks that only you can do. It should be comforting to know that the very God of the universe has specific tasks for you to do because God knows you fully and knows what you need to be doing to become whole and satisfied.

It amazes me:
How so many people would rather have the kind of god that just created everything but then leaves them alone.
How so many people are disgruntled to know that God would require anything from them.
How so many people want to cherry pick what God does for them and then leave them alone to do other things. They want a magic genie in a bottle, not a living, participating, miracle working God.
How so many people want a god that is disconnected, unknowing and non-participating.
There are literally billions of people who not only want, but actually have this kind of god.

God's plan for your life is so important. Take a little time today and ask God to reveal more of His plan for your life. It will help you to be more aware of all that God is doing in your life.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daily Devotional September 27 - Where are the men and women who will stand up for Jesus?

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve the gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Daniel 3:16-18

I like this kind of an attitude. This had to be believers that really did have an experience with God. Not only that, but there experience was one of trust in God, unlike those who say one thing and mean another, these three men were clear and so should we be clear. They laid out their plan:
We will trust God
He will deliver us from you (and that in itself is a blessing)
Our God is able to deliver us from the fire
Our God is able to deliver us from your tyranny
But even if God chooses not to save us from the fire, we will be saved from you and from the disgrace of participating in, worshiping and serving your false, non-existent gods and your silly man-made idols.

Where are the men and women who will stand up for Jesus like this?
Where are the millions who place their faith and trust in God?
Where are those who praise the LORD even when things don't go the way you want them to?
Where are those who will stand up and declare the faithfulness of God even when in an adverse situation?
Do what you've got to do, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Daily Devotional September 26 - Fault finders

"And He (Jesus) entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath day; that they might accuse Him." Mark 3:1-2

There are those in every religious group that see life through doubter's glasses. Not only do they doubt Jesus and/or what Jesus has done or who He is, but they doubt even the work that Jesus has done. It's the same way with pastors and their flock. Too many people are always finding fault with the pastor. It doesn't matter how hard he has worked or how many hours or what he has had to sacrifice to make it all happen, there are those who would throw him under the bus for making even the slightest faux pas.

You would think that the populous would want healing and reconciliation all the time. "That Jesus healing on the sabbath day. What kind of man is he?" You can get like this if you aren't careful. People have so many flaws. If you are constantly on the hunt for mistakes or differences of opinion from others, you won't have to look far. If you are always on the look out for someone to falter, don't worry it won't take too long. But what a cynical view of life. What a judgmental view of life. This is not the Christan way.

The new methodology for modern man is to look for agreement. Look for common ground. Look for understanding. Look for things to go right. Look at your pastor with love and give him your widest view possible. Quit trying to box him in such a small box hat he can't even be a person. If he decides to believe for healing on the Sabbath day or even a Wednesday, maybe it is the healing that is important, not the day.

Maybe it doesn't matter so much what the color of the carpet is.
Maybe it doesn't matter so much that Sunday School starts at 9:45 and not 930 like they did it 50 years ago.
Maybe it doesn't matter if the pastor's wife is involved in every ministry. She probably wouldn't be if she could just get the least bit of commitment from someone who will show up on time.
Maybe it doesn't matter so much that your pastor doesn't wear a tie anymore.
Maybe it doesn't matter so much that your pastor takes the offering at the end rather than in the beginning or the middle of the service.

I could go on for days, but the point is that maybe it doesn't matter so much that everything isn't made to order for you. If Jesus heals on the Sabbath, it's OK. And so are a lot of other things.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Daily Devotional September 25 - It's simple

"But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at the stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed." Romans 9:31-33

It's simple. Righteousness is imputed into us by God. This righteousness that is imputed is cannot be earned, cannot be attained, does not come with a second blessing, is not because we possess or operate in one of the gifts of the Spirit or because we have a church membership or that we have worked real hard. The righteousness that is imputed into you is given to you by God because you have faith in Jesus.

This is a real issue with those who have not accepted Jesus as the only propitiation for our inherent sin. Those who have not accepted the grace of God through faith are those who stumble at the stumblingstone. Not everyone believes that Jesus is the only way to God. Those that don't believe that Jesus is the only way to God are trying all kinds of ways to get to God. Religion, works, legalism, philosophy, intellectual acumen, does not constitute faith. Raw faith in Jesus plus nothing does constitute the righteousness of God.  Having said all that, the righteousness of God is given to believers in Jesus because God set it up this way. To try and find some other way to God is futile.

Daily Devotional September 24 - Have you ever wondered?

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power." Colossians 2:8-10

Have you ever wondered what would it take to be fully accepted by God, in your current condition, in need of no thing in order to stand before God?
Have you ever wondered if you are receiving the blessings of God?
Have you ever wondered if there is something you need to do, like (tithe or give to charity, or join a church, or teach Sunday School or feed the poor, help someone across the street or anything else that you need to do to be in God's good grace?
Have you ever wondered if you said the right thing when you were at the altar or wherever you were when you gave your life to Christ? Or is there something else you need to say to get right with God?
Have you ever wondered about the spiritual gifts of the Spirit and that maybe you are or are not operating in the right gift?
Have you ever wondered if you have to operate in a certain gift to be saved and move forward with your relationship with God?
Have you ever wondered if what you did in the past is really forgiven or is there one more thing you must do before God will take you back?
Have you ever wondered if you have the wrong theology about the end time (pre-trib, post-trib, no-trib) that you aren't accepted into the beloved?
Have you ever wondered if you were baptized by the right person or denomination or if you have never been baptized at all that if you were to die you would go to hell?
Have you ever wondered if you don't take communion at certain times that your salvation is in jeopardy?
Have you ever wondered if since you were married to an unbeliever that you cannot have a full relationship with God?
Have you ever wondered if since you have sinned since you were saved that you lost your salvation?
Have you ever wondered if since you haven't been baptized in the Spirit that your salvation is not complete?
Quit wondering!
You are complete in Christ.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Daily Devotional September 23 - Is your faith growing?

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:16-17

From faith to faith. This verse has been grossly misunderstood over the years. It doesn't mean that the righteousness of God is revealed to those of different faiths or transferred from one faith (Christianity) to another faith (Islam). It also doesn't mean that the gospel is present in differing faiths; That somehow if you acknowledge some story about Jesus, you have received the gospel.

What the verse is speaking to is your internal faith growth. As you learn to live by faith your faith is increased, thus faith to faith. To the Jew, the Gentile, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Shintoist, to everyone seeking God, the message is: receive the gospel of Jesus Christ for in it is the power of God. The gospel contains the power of God, no other message, no other faith.
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism," Ephesians 4:4-5

Now that we have settled that, is your faith growing? Have you been meeting with Jesus and unlearning the things that cultural Christianity has taught you? Have you been exercising your faith and moving forward truth upon truth learning truths from the Word of God and through personal experience? The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. Are you learning more about God than ever before? Is your faith increasing exponentially? These are the signs of a living faith in a living God.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Daily Devotional September 22 - Trust in the muscle of belief

"The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him." Nahum 1:7

What does it mean to trust God or to put trust in God?
It means that you have received the Holy Spirit in your life and you now connect to God via the power of the Holy Spirit within. You believe what the Bible says, every Word. You desire to be with other believers. You find time to pray and not just at dinner. You apply your faith with expectations. You grasp the concept that God made you in His image and likeness and that emulating anything other than Jesus is a encumbrance to fulfilling your purpose and finding yourself. Trust is the muscle of belief. God says it, you believe it.

Is there a difference in trusting God and believing in God?
Yes. Believing is the first step to getting understanding from God. Once you believe God you are able to trust God, but not the other way around. You believe God from the moment you are saved, but you don't start trusting God until you see your faith in action and start to measure the results. Once you see that with God everything is different and that there is no reason to go about life under your own power, you start to trust God.
You learn to trust God whether the answer is yes, no, or wait.
You learn to trust God even if the answer to a prayer was not the answer you were anticipating. You learn to trust God with more than the superfluous.

Does it make a difference in which God I put my trust?
It is sad that this question even needs to be asked or answered. Yes it matters. It matters so much that those who put their trust in any god other than the God whose Son is Jesus has put their trust in no one, nothing. They don't exist. The way you know if you have believed in the only living God is by the connection of Jesus Christ. If you are trying to find a way to believe God, but not believe what He says then what's the point. If you are trying to make a god for yourself, that you like what that god thinks more than the way that God discloses Himself in the Bible, then you are trusting in nothing, no one. There is only one God and God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How do I know if I am trusting God or just playing church?
How much time do you devote out of your day/week to search the scriptures or to commune with God in the cool of the day?
What interests you most?
Do you have a propensity to find ways to help others or lift others up?
Is the only experience you have with God on Sunday morning, or Friday or Saturday?
When someone asks you about God do you first tell them what denomination you are from/with?
When you are at church are you in a hurry to get out?
Are you faking your relationship with Jesus so no one will know that you don't have a clue?

Life is short and God deserves an answer from you. Are you going to trust Him with your life and everything in it, or not? You know, sometimes it's just time to grow up and move forward.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Daily Devotional September 21 - The cross of Christ

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

The preaching of the cross has power.
Talking about the cross has power.
Praying about the cross has power.
What kind of power? Supernatural power from God.

The cross is the beginning of the journey with God. It is where we go when we really need for God to move on our behalf. You have heard of people 'laying it down at the cross.' That's because we come to realize that in our own power we just can't get the job done, and we know that at the cross there is power, so we take our care and burdens, our pains and our hurts, our disillusionment and our betrayals and we lay them at the cross. Why? Because it is at the cross where God takes all those things that we laid down and consumes them unto Himself. The supernatural power of God mixes in with the natural experiences of mankind and things turn around.

It's true. The cross is the power of God to those who are saved. Unto others it is foolishness. The cross brings to nought the work of the devil, not only when Jesus died for us, but even today. The cross is not only a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, it is the power of God given to those who trust in Jesus. Those of you who have laid down a great many things at the cross understand that it is the pickup point where God meets man and removes any and all cares, burdens, pains, hurts, disillusionments and betrayals. Jesus knows what it is like to be betrayed by friends and He made a way for you to move on from it and even more to be healed from it and even more to get back lost territory. Don't get me started!

At the cross you can find relief from the everyday drudgery, from the din of the world, from inner bitterness that has risen up over time, from your own sins and indiscretions. The cross has the power to extract the poison that has been put in you by association with this worlds system. If you had any idea just how far our generation has fallen away from our true purpose in God, you would run to the cross and lay it all down.

Daily Devotional September 20 - Have you ever had an encounter with an angel?

"And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.  but the angel said unto Him, fear not Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John." Luke 1:11-13

Have you ever had an encounter with an angel? Are you skeptical about the existence of angels? Do you believe that angels are real but they just don't appear anymore? Have you desired to be in the presence of an angel? Let's talk angels.

First of all angels are real. Angels are servants of God that go about doing whatever they are assigned to. Angels have access to both heaven and earth. Angels are invisible except when they aren't. Angels can come to you in a dream, when you are day dreaming, in a vision, or in person. But angels have a job to do and they are not going about trying to impress you or scare you. Angels do the work assigned them by God. Demons, which are fallen angels, do the work assigned to them by satan. Angels and demons have similar attributes, thus the spiritual battles that you hear about or have experienced first hand.

Of all the angels created 2/3's are holy angels and 1/3 are fallen angels. God did not separate the angels so that there would be an unfair advantage to the holy angels. The angels that fell from their first estate fell by their own will and followed satan on their own recognizance.

I know that there are a lot of ridiculous stories about angels and that makes it very difficult to cull out the ones that are true against those seeking attention, but it is made clear in the scripture that angels are real and they have very important tasks to do on behalf of believers. Angels are ministering spirits to believers.

As far as angel worship, that is out. We are the higher creation. We are never to bow to or worship an angel and any angel that might request such is not an angel, but a demon. We will judge angels. Angels are messengers and spiritual helpers working the will of God on your behalf. They shouldn't be worshipped nor should they be mocked or made fun of as if they don't exist. God is wise and doesn't assign angels to go and make appearances to those who are not going to be receptive. Nor do angels make themselves visible for their own glories sake. They are past that.

Unlike humans, angels finish their assigned tasks. We can, but quite often we don't, for whatever reason. God speaks to you and me, just as God speaks to angels, and we have free will, just like angels, but we don't always do the will of God. Unlike angels we were created in the image and likeness of God. Angels know their place. It is you and I that have difficulty in following Christ. Unlike angels, you and I are under grace. Our sins were paid for by the blood of Christ and we will be like Christ. Unlike angels you and I are a child of the living God and joint heirs with Christ.

Angels have a job to do and it is my hope to be about my Father's business enough that angels are directed to participate. How about you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Daily Devotional September 19 - Wield you power wisely

"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

This freedom is freedom from something as well as freedom for/to something. The freedom from is the freedom from the power of sin over the body and mind. Until you are saved, there is no freedom from the power of sin because your spirit has not been made alive in Christ; you don't have the indwelling Spirit of God within you. Of course someone who has not received the Spirit of God within can fight against sin in the flesh. Many do and they win the battle some of the time and you can be a really good person and do mostly right things even if you are not a Christian. But what a non-born again person can't do is erase the penalty for past sin and correct the problem of inherent sin born into them through the race of Adam.

When Christ sets you free, many wonderful things happen. None of these things happen to anyone who has not received the Spirit of God.
1 You are set free from the penalty of sin imposed on you through Adam.
2 You are set free from the power of sin over you, because when you are born again you receive the Spirit of God internally; your spirit is made alive and has within its imprint the ability to stand against sin in all its forms.
3 You are set free to serve God without the burden of going to God guilty. This is really important. You currently have (as a born again believer) the ability and the right to go directly before God, without any mediator, such as a priest, pastor, apostle, rabbi, guru or any other spiritual leader. This right to go before God enables the supernatural power of God to be available while on the natural earth/world. You can come to God in your current condition and make a request and all of heaven will go about working out the dilemma with your consent. You can invite God into any situation that you are in, any plans you have, any business you intend to start-up, any new church start-up, any relationship you might be going into, any anything, and God will make His ways known to you so that you can make the right choices in life. God will not make the choices for you nor will He avert your foolish choices if you indeed invite Him in and then go against His will. Free will is part of this freedom that Christ gives us.

But don't let anyone fool you, when you are born again, blood washed, sanctified, filled with the Spirit, full of the Holy Ghost, any way you want to say it, you also have the free will to go against the will of God, with the same measure of your ability to follow after Christ and do the will of God. Those who teach that your ability to sin ceases after getting saved or a second blessing or getting filled with the Spirit are mistaken and that kind of philosophy gives the believer a false sense of pride and security. Your ability to sin is part of the power you will always possess on this side of heaven. However, your propensity to sin will be reduced at the same rate as your commitment to faithfulness. Yes you can overcome. Yes you can make the right decisions. Yes you can live a faithful life/lifestyle. Yes you can keep your commitments to God. Yes you can follow Christ. Yes you can overcome temptation. Yes you can choose not to sin. That's what true freedom in Christ is; you have the freedom to sin and you choose not to. You have the power to resist and you wield it wisely.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Daily Devotional September 18 - Unlocking the power of the Bible in your life

"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham...So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations." Matthew 1:1,17 also see Luke 3:23-38

I would venture to say that there are many people that have never read this or other genealogies from the Bible, however there is valuable information tucked in this and other genealogies. If you were to read these two genealogies you will find that they trace the physical heritage of Jesus from His birth back to Adam. That lends a lot of credibility to Bible scripture. No other book from any other religion can do that. First of all only God could arrange for an accurate accounting of the generations from Adam to Jesus. The main reason no other book can do that is because the Holy Bible is the only inspired book approved by the direct influence of God. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible discloses the history of man as well as the history of the earth, animals, and all other created substances. Only someone who has been there from the beginning could possibly put together an historical document that can stand up against scientific scrutiny. The Bible can.

Over and over again, as our technology increases, we find more and more verification of historical accuracy. Ancient civilizations that the Bible talks about by name, as they are uncovered, validate scripture. This has happened over and over again, from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran to the discovery of the ancient Hittites, which until this generation, were considered non-existent. Those using old arguments to discredit the Bible are having to find new arguments to keep the myth alive, i. e., that the Bible isn't the Word of God.

I also want to mention that if you are interested in the deeper walk you will have to read the entire Bible. Not for points, not so you can say you did, for that reason has no spiritual value, but so that God can speak into your intellect the mind of God. The primary source of inspiration in your soul is from reading the Bible and hearing God speak into you the whole counsel of God. Just knowing a few stories from Sunday School isn't enough to go up against the enemy in this generation. You need the whole armour of God to fight and win modern battles. There is power in reading the Word and you need it to go up against the modern threat of apathy and ignorance. You might find that every page of the Bible is chocked full of vital information and you have been living without the ability to unlock it's power in your life.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Daily Devotional September 17 - Where do you look to see God?

"Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. And he that seeth Me seeth Him that sent me." John 14:6
"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 thou then, shew us the Father?" John 14:9

As theology goes, this is one of the big issues. Sometimes it's hard to see why there is such disagreement when the scriptures speak so clearly. The problem isn't with God making Himself clear. There is also no problem about who Jesus thinks He is. The problem is that different denominations have differing views on this issue, thus creating doubt and suspicion among everyone. You decide for yourself what Jesus is saying, but there are a few notes of interest I think you should consider.
1 Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me." This is Jesus making it clear that when you believe on Jesus you believe on God. If you don't like what Jesus says, Jesus makes it clear that you don't like what God says.
2 Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me." Jesus again is making it clear that if you choose to believe what He says or not, either way you are not believing or believing what God says.
3 Jesus said, "And He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me." Jesus makes it clear that when you look at Jesus you are not seeing Jesus, you are seeing God.
4 Jesus said, "Have I been so long time with you and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip." When you see Jesus, whom do you see?
5 Jesus said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." When you see Jesus , you see the Father. What does that tell you?
6 Jesus said, "and how sayest thou then, shew us the Father?"

To encapsulate:
If you believe Jesus, you believe God.
If you know Jesus, you know God.
If you have seen Jesus, you have seen God.
Who told you that you need to look further than Jesus to see God?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Daily Devotional September 16 - Where is your focus?

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption , and this mortal must put on immortality." 1 Corinthians 15:51-53

This moment in time is one of the benefits of being a Christian. God does not want us focusing on the hereafter, but God has put at our disposal ample information about the future and life after death of the body. All through the scriptures there are references to different times in the future, different events, revealed for your edification and expectation of the future. It is wise to have a healthy understanding of the future without getting caught up in the religious politics of these future events, holding to one view or another, i. e., post-trib, pre-trib, when the body goes to be with the Lord, how we are transformed, whether the earth is rebuilt or remodeled, who the two witnesses are, Mystery Babylon, the seven heads and ten horns, and many other easily arguable topics. If you are the one that is right or if you are mistaken about certain events in the future, God's plan for you will remain the same.

Can you imagine if God left it up to only the group that is right to determine the outcome of it all? There would be chaos and impropriety to say the least. But God does not leave the future in the hands of men and women who are trying to steer people to believe their bent. Yes it is important to know the truth and to be right about it, but it is not as important as following after Jesus and letting Him work in you and through you despite your religious background. Some things transcend church polity.

One thing for sure; It is in the now that your time and energy needs to be spent mastering your calling, seeking the mind of Christ, abounding in love, blessing others, praying, worshiping, teaching, ministering, caring for the sick, being hospitable, studying the scriptures, fellowshipping with believers. Keep your eye on the ball. Look forward to a future that is wonderful and beyond anything you could ask or dream, but let your mind and heart work while it is day to assist others to be a part of God's great adventure.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daily Devotional September 15 - How much of what you are doing do you let God have?

"Search Me O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:"  Psalm 139:23

This is a little brave. We are struggling at best just to keep our appearances up; to at least make it look like all is well and we are on the right path and now we are going to invite Jesus to look closely on our thoughts, and expose us for who we really are; our motives, intents and passions revealed. This is the sign of a man who has lost the battle with God. David has been there done that. He has been on his own, lead tens of thousands, lied, cheated, committed adultery, felt that God did not exists and now he gets it.

David now knows that if he exposes his whole self to God that there can be a connection that can't be there when we are hiding from God. Even though God knows everything that we are hiding, it is the hiding that keeps us from accessing and utilizing the power of God within. You are driving the 'how close can I get to God train.'
If you exclude God from your everything, God will not be discerned when things go wrong.
If you exclude God from some things, those things are under your power and protection.
If you exclude God just a few things, those things will have to be brought to fruition without the supernatural intervention of the Holy Spirit.
If you invite God into a few small areas of your life, those areas will be blessed an you will be able to see God at work.
If you invite God into more areas of your life, those areas of your life will be purified and stabilized and you will see that God is alive and working in your life, for your good and the good of others.
If you invite God into most areas of your life, most areas will reveal the power of God working in you and through you, you will see the hand of God at work.
If you invite God into your everything, God will be noticeably involved in your everything. Your life will not be the same in any manner, because God will have burnt off the hay, wood and stubble of your affections, crushed your evil passions, built up your character, enhanced your skills and put within you a new direction. If you invite God into your everything, there will be some pain and disappointment, because not everything in your life acknowledges or serves God and you will lose the desire to keep those things around. They will lose their hold on you and you will lose your desire to service them.

But the rewards of this kind of knowing inside your soul has its own value, above and beyond the conspicuous. Giving yourself over to God in this way changes the why to it all. Instead of seeking to be filled and seeking gratification and seeking wealth, you will seek the overflowing of these things knowing that you have become a vessel of use where God can pour out His love, mercy, grace and wealth on others, through you. You realize that from now on nothing stops at you as if you are the destination, but all things go through you to bless others. You get the whole stewardship, not ownership concept and you love it.

The truth is that not everyone really has the interest in going deeper with God. They will have to give up too much of the world. They like the look of being spiritual as they stroke their ego from atop the precipice, but they don't like the depth of the deep where they hear the voice of God, calling them into the unknown.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Daily Devotional September 14 - Is a nation really blessed?

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance."  Psalm 33:12

If you were thinking that it doesn't make any difference what the majority of people believe in a nation, think again. The inner blessings to the individual who believes in God can be anywhere and is. But the outer blessings to a people/nation has a lot to do with their accumulated faith. It's like corporate prayer, (prayer of people in groups); when the mind-set of a group of people is in alignment with the mind of God there is action in the heavens on our behalf. God moves among the individual believer and God moves among believers as a nation.

I won't go there, but just imagine for a moment what it is like in the nations that clearly deny God and make no place for: open worship of Jesus, men of faith or women just because they are women. Just imagine what it would be like if you couldn't tell others when you had a revelation from God or an inspiration or learned when you learned a new truth or just wanted to thank Jesus publicly.

Yes, the nation whose God is the LORD is blessed and in innumerable ways. I'm delighted to live in America and I love my country, not just because I was born here, but also because God has blessed us. It could be that way across the whole world, but it isn't. Men and women who are blinded by pride and arrogance deny God His place in their land. That's too bad, but in no way does that mean that we should bash our own country as if it weren't true that God has blessed us. It's not God that has planted the seed that we should not have national pride or that we should not recognize and praise God for His many benefits. Only those who are blind to all that God has done and is doing in America could even make such a ridiculous comment.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD;" Oh, if you are wondering 'what's the big deal, it's the same Lord over all religions;' you are sorely mistaken.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Daily Devotional September 13 - Unlearning leads to enlightenment

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:19

To know the love of Christ: This is more than accumulated knowledge. Accumulated knowledge can take you deep into understanding the sciences and the world, but the knowledge of Christ is given by the Holy Spirit into the inner man as God sees fit. You will never be in charge of how much God gives you or how much God allows you to see or understand. You are only in charge of what you do with what God gives you and allows you to see and understand. You are not in competition with anyone to see who can be the most religious or the most spiritual. If you are in any competition at all it is with your own ego.

The love of Christ emanates from God and cannot be learned or earned by seminary degree or by any other means of competing for knowledge. Wisdom is given to you by God, at God's good pleasure, to the faithful, and cannot be earned by study or good works. The love of Christ is the outpouring of the love of God upon mankind. God does this because He loves you. God pours out His Spirit on you because He is God. God does this to fill you up with God-likeness. The more you empty of yourself the more room is available for God-likeness. You can empty out the stuff that keeps you from more of God; push down and out thoughts and actions that are not godly, but you can do nothing to be filled with more of God except to receive from God what God freely gives you. You can acquire knowledge, but you can only receive the love of Christ.

You have to get this right if you ever want to see more of God. You will have to unlearn a great deal for the love that passeth all knowledge to be recognized. Each generation is being taught what the last generation learned. If they learned well they give us a good start for our venture with God but if they learned poorly they give us a bad start. Either way we must unlearn what is erroneous and learn truths that empower us for ourselves. If you want to rest on the laurels of those before you, go ahead, but if you want all the fullness of God, you must unlearn some things.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Daily Devotional September 12 - Focus on what does have great value

"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he posseseth."  Luke 12:15

This should be good news for all those who have tried almost everything to make money. Even much preaching has been devoted to assisting people to get more. I've heard sermons where it was said that money is by far the most important thing that Jesus ever talked about. And more often than not, much will be promised to you in the way of financial blessings if you support so and so. Just for the record, the money that those who want your money promise you, is not their money to promise you.

God is the owner, we are the stewards. It's a lot more important how you distribute what you have than how much you have. "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith." Proverbs 15:16

Your life has great value in the way you live it, not necessarily in how many things you accumulate. The abundant life can included having more money than you need, but you can live the abundant life with what you currently have also. The abundant life is your life in Christ, that connection between your inner man and God.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with having a lot or having more than you will ever need or even having more than many people will ever need. It's not that there is anything wrong with having money, its just that if you begin to trust your money with the same enthusiasm as you should trust Christ or have trusted Christ before, then you are going to miss the inner blessings that come from God to those of all financial statures.

The world says that a man's stature does consist of the thing hr/she accumulates and that message is taught and shoved down our throats through much television and radio day after day. But God says differently. A man's/woman's true wealth is measured by the character of his soul; a genuine heart; right relationships; honesty in his dealings; integrity when no one is looking; an ear that hears God; feet swift to go where lead; a heart that is kind and generous; one who doesn't hold to tightly what he has, but shares what he has with others while on the way to his/her success; not one who is only willing to share what they win later or when their ship comes in.

Jesus says "take heed," (beware) that you don't focus on something that doesn't have any real value. Focus on what does have real value and God will make sure that you will have everything you need, and more. Luke 12:16-31

Daily Devotional September 11 - Have you ceased from your own works?

"Let us therefore fear, lest (for fear that) a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it....There remaineth a rest to the people of God. For he that entered into his rest, he also ceased from his own works, as God did from His."  Hebrews 4:1, 9-10

This 'rest' is a gift to you from God. It requires that you enter in. It requires that you believe that it is available and that you can enter in, however it requires nothing from you. This is possibly my favorite attribute of the Christian life. Let's look at some of the factors of the Christian life to see where the 'rest' of God fits in.

You were lost
You were invited into the kingdom of God by Father God
You accepted
You are adopted into the beloved
You are now living in grace
You are growing in Christ and learning and working and wondering and finding; an adventure to say the least
You run across new truths, new to you, not new to God.
You attempt to operate in these new truths and you find that all truths of God work; some might be a little unpleasant, in that they might take you out of your comfort zone, but you recognize the value and attempt to stay faithful to the precepts as they are exposed and understood.
You see glimpses of the power of God operating in you and through you
You start to feel the spiritual connection between God and yourself and you start to understand that God designed for you to be set apart for use and you start to feel how God sanctifies you.
You grasp the concepts of salvation, sanctification, grace, forgiveness, mercy, power and true love.
You live out what you believe over and over again and you realize this is the better life.
You do this and you do that in the name of the Lord, trying to do the right thing, be where you are needed and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
The deeper life becomes a thing.
You see the end from the beginning so you make wiser decisions
You see how the spiritual world and the physical world are intricately woven together
You speak words that build up
You aren't comfortable around nasty shop talk and mumblings about others and gossip
You've given up those things that work against your soul
You love the Lord
You might be spoken against and suffer exclusion by those who you trusted
You might be attacked by those who love you and discredited by those who are jealous of you
But all the while you see God's hand at work in your life
Then you go deeper
You are flushed by the peace of God
You can hear the voice of God speaking into your inner man
You desire to know God better and seek to have and behold the things of God
You finally get it, grace is unmerited favor and you can't work or do anything to cause God to love you any more or to be higher up the ladder with God, so to speak
The word obedience doesn't freak you out anymore, instead you now have a propensity to find out more about the economy of God, pursue it and operate in it
You think about God a lot and you sense His presence more and more
Your not afraid to go into the presence of God and have Him burn up what you once thought was really something
You have died to self. It's not just a saying, but you get it.
You invite God into everything, before you begin
And deeper still
All that happens, all that you do, all that is done to you, all fits and you have a knowing.
You have ceased from your works being outside of what God is doing in you and through you.
You are at 'rest' with God.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Daily Devotional September 10 - Grace

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."  Romans 5:1-2

Whatever you learn and whatever you read, I hope that nothing steers you away from understanding the magnitude of God's grace. Of all theology that one can learn, and all is of importance and great value, the concept of grace transcends the importance and value of them all.

Grace is the part of God that brings mankind into His realm.
Grace is the reckoning between man and His ego and God and His wisdom.
Grace is thought into you personally by God who knows you intimately.
Grace transcends your sin and indiscretion.
Grace is too high of thinking to grasp fully
Pardons the guilty
Loves the unlovable
Forgives the unthinkable
Lasts for eternity
Demands no action
Thrives in all places

Grace, when thinking about God, puts in perspective how great God is. It gives clarity to why we aren't where we were, why we are where we are and glimpses of what God has in mind for the future.

Grace brings all theological perspectives (religious thought) to it knees, in admission that through all the ages and through all the schools of thought and in all denominations, man just can't create a better system than what is already in place; the grace of God.

Grace opens your eyes to see what you are with the hand of God at your back and the mind of God making a path for you.

Grace, as a science, has empirical proof of itself.

Do you love God for the grace He has bestowed on you?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Daily Devotional September 9 - All things spiritual are not equal

"But as it is written, eye hath not see, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man , save (except) the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."  1 Corinthians 2:9-12

There is a knowledge of God, a wisdom that comes from having the Holy Spirit reside in our life. The scriptures make it clear that those who deny Christ do not get internal revelation from God, i. e., understanding when reading the word of God and confirmation in their spirit that what they have read or heard from God is from God and not from man or from other spiritual sources.

It's not talked about much, but those who practice other world religions practice them using the spirit of man within them to discern spiritual things. They have valid spiritual experiences, but their understanding is not enhanced by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Many of the things they believe are real, but they are not sanctioned by Holy God. There is no consistency among the world religions because there is no direction and agreement from the Holy Spirit to all those who practice religious experiences without the aid of the guiding of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit does not cross over and enter into the spirit of man just because that person is following or believing or practicing a religious philosophy incongruent with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit and the enlightenment that comes with having a relationship with God only comes by invitation from mankind to God to come in and make their spirit whole. Without this invitation, all of the spiritual experiences and practices are man made and/or other spirit made, meaning it may be spiritual but it is spiritual in the sense of being generated from mans own conscience, a fallen angel/demon or satan himself. These other experiences are why there is so much confusion. When a person creates their own religion without the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, anything goes.

Other spirits will try to emulate the true Christian experience, creating a false sense of security that simply because someone had a spiritual experience that it must be from God. That's the goal of the evil spirits, to take people on a journey that never connects with Holy God.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

Much of the world is caught up in religion without the Spirit of God. I don't fight them. I love them. But I don't try to act like, since they have a religious philosophy, that somehow that means that they are worshipping the same god. No they don't worship the same god as we do and no they don't believe like someone who has the indwelling Holy Spirit, and no they don't receive the same messages from God that we do and no they aren't going to pass into the everlasting with understanding. Those who understand on this side will understand on the other side. Those who don't understand on this side aren't going to understand on the other side either. Rev. 20:15

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daily Devotional September 8 - God knows

"How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. but if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" John 5:44-47

Too many Christians today don't know much about God. The reason is, they don't read the scriptures. The scriptures/writings of Moses and the others is full of the knowledge of God. Jesus makes it clear to those who He was speaking to (religious leaders) that they have gone astray from the scriptures and started their own religious philosophy. It's not just the Jews and the Muslims that strayed from the scriptures and started their own religious system, there are billions across the world that make their own way.

But Jesus was speaking to all who have chosen another path, "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?"

Why is this important? Because just studying the stories of the Old Testament as a child is not the same as believing and understanding the connection between God and man. The Old Testament points to Jesus as the Saviour of the world. The Old Testament gives the account of the first man and woman and their experiences, triumphs and pitfalls. The Old Testament gives the history of the world from its creation through the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and all throughout the Old Testament God gives men and women His prophesies of the future, even the time we live in. From the beginning to the end of the Old Testament is a chord of connection from God to man that needs to be studied and understood. Then with the New Testament giving account of the life and times of Jesus and the Apostles as well as the prophetic book of Revelation, you can have a world view of impending events as well as direction as to when and how we should respond to certain events.

God knows. That's why the whole Bible is so important. You could have a relationship with God that is rewarding and full and wonderful, but it's not likely that it will be all that it can be unless you believe it and it's not likely you will believe it if you don't read it. Jesus instructs those who really thought they knew what was going on to read and believe the writings of Moses. Don't you think this still holds true? I do.

Just a footnote: You don't read the Bible so you can know more than someone else or to wield your knowledge as an axe. You read the Bible to be enlightened, softened, quieted, humbled, made aware of your surroundings and the times you live in, to know God better, to find the truth about your actions and to do something about it, to be made wiser and of greater use to the Master, to find solace in a wicked world, peace in your heart and comfort for your soul.

Daily Devotional September 7 - I believe what Jesus said

"Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, how long dost thou make us to doubt? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. But ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me:"  John 10:24-27

I think it is interesting that Jesus had told them clearly who He was/is, but because of their own disbelief they did not believe Him. They actually blamed Jesus for their doubt. Their doubt was because they placed their faith in a religious system and not in God Himself, but they blamed Jesus as if He had caused them to deny what they had seen and heard themselves.

It's not that different today. People will say "if God is real then show me some miracle." All the while they are denying all the miracles that have already taken place and continue to take place every day. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice," and herein lies the deepest truth about Jesus. All are called, but few accept the free gift of salvation. Those whom are called and accept the free gift of salvation are the Sheep of His pasture. Those who are called and reject the call are not His sheep, thus those who want Jesus to tell them clearly, over and over and over again who He is.

Jesus has already said and done all that is necessary for all mankind to come to Him and believe, and even more than that, keeps on coming to them and calling them and showing them and unveiling Himself, and they continue to deny Him.

They continue to say 'show us clearly' and blaming God for their doubt. All the while they believe in other gods and other things that neither live or have ever shown themselves clearly. They believe in those who have never called them or spoke to them, those who make no spiritual effort to bring them unto themselves. They believe in other gods who have never breathed or walked or lived. They believe in gods that cannot speak or teach or show love or mercy or forgiveness. They believe in all kinds of silly formulas and systems and rituals and cultural activities that neither are from God nor bring you closer to God. They deny the Son of God, that lives and is full of mercy and forgiveness and call on other gods that have done nothing for them, ever. They believe in a fantasy made up by religious and intolerant men, ignorant of the truth about God, but full of themselves. They believe this way, not because they found their truth for themselves, but because someone else forced them to receive it. They don't come to Jesus because their leaders will make their lives and the lives of their families a living hell. It was that way when Jesus walked the earth and it is still that way among a great many.

Don't blame Jesus for what men do or you will be very disappointed. If you are thinking, 'well if Jesus would just make Himself known clearly to the world, through some grand miracle then people could believe,' you will find out that Jesus already did and no they won't believe. I believe what Jesus said.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Daily Devotional September 6 - Do you mean, don't get even?

"Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide all things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Romans 12:17-19

Recompense to no man evil for evil doesn't mean to not defend yourself in time of need. It means that you do not plot out how to get back at somebody for what they have done to you. I can tell you from experience that there are people who will do awful and ungodly things to you and they will even enjoy it and they might be your fellow church going friends or even parishioners, but God has a handle on it. Learn to let go and let God. God will work out all the ugly details over time. You, nor anyone else gets by with hurting others. It may seem like it for a while, but in due time, God has a way of bringing justice.

Justice could mean that the person or persons who have done you wrong will be blessed by God. God may not penalize your enemies in the way you think. But in and through it all, you have got to keep your head and trust God. As hard as it is to believe, God loves those who hurt you as much as He loves you. And if they will repent and get right with God, God will forgive them and set them on the straight path. You have to be OK with that or you are bucking against the way of God. The same grace that was afforded you so that you could have a relationship with God of value is the same grace poured out on those who hurt you. You might even try to practice Matthew 5:38-44.

God is for mankind and wills to save all and to change the minds of all who would do wrong to others. To be like Christ we should applaud such thinking and think that way ourselves.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Daily Devotional September 5 - Holiness

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (lifestyle); Because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy."  1 Peter 1:13-16

This might seem like an impossible task, but it is not. Be ye holy is instruction to set your eyes on Christ and rely solely on the work that Christ has done to purify you. Through the sanctification by the Word of God you can be holy.
Now if you are thinking that being holy is doing everything perfectly you are mistaken.
If you are thinking that being holy means that you won't ever make a wrong decision, you do not understand the Word of God.
If you are thinking that being holy means that you have to be a member of a holiness church you are not thinking wisely.
To be holy is to follow after Christ, acknowledging your frailty, your insufficiency, your inability, your inadequacy; acknowledging what you are able to do and moving forward with your skills and talents to serve the Lord, but also acknowledging what you cannot do without the hand of the Lord and asking God to accomplish in you what you cannot do. No one is holy apart from Christ. That's right!  So-called holy men who claim to be holy, that believe in other gods and do not accept Christ as their Saviour, are not holy. They are religious. You cannot be holy without the indwelling Holy Spirit living within the inner man.

The instruction to be holy comes with good advise:
Gird up the loins of your mind (God-thinking)
Be sober
Hope to the end of your physical life
Be obedient with the knowledge that you already possess
Rebuilding your life/lifestyle with godly attributes, not turning back to your old ways
You were called to holiness living
Live holy in Christ

One of the arguments against holy living is that only God is holy, how then can we be holy like God? Great question. You can't. When God says be ye holy as I am holy, God is speaking to your spirit. God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and he that worships Him must worship Him in spirit and truth. If you were to trust your inner man, you would live differently. If you were to trust your inner man, you would recognize the godly thing and choose it. If you were to trust the inner man you would realize that God does not call us to anything that we cannot accomplish. You would also realize that you cannot accomplish being holy without allowing God to live in you and through you.

Also to be holy as a man is not meant to assume that we can be holy like God is holy. Every attribute of God is perfect and flawless. When God speaks to us of our faith, belief, holiness, sanctification, power, strength, courage, hope, etc., each of these are to be seen as they were designed to be according to what was created.
God is omnipotent (unlimited power), we have limitations to our power
God is omniscient (all knowing), we were designed with limited ability for knowledge
God is omnipresent (all places at one time), we can only be at one place at one time
God is love, we love
The same with God is Holy. We are holy with Christ in us, because of Christ, not because of something we can do or something we can be or something we can accomplish. We can be holy because Christ lives in us. Now this is where I lose many people.

We cannot help but be holy because Christ is in us.

I know that you don't feel holy all the time. I also know that you don't always make the right decisions or choose wisely in every instance, but that is not what constitutes holiness. Holiness is imputed on the believer, not earned, nor is it accumulated after many years of faithful service. That kind of holiness is good works and good works are beautiful proof that God is in you working His will. But holiness is installed in you by faith. God designed you to be holy, because He is holy, and you are holy because He is holy. God spoke holiness into you, just as God breathed the breath of life into Adam.

The religious cannot stand this concept, because they want you to earn your holiness, working it out week after week, never attaining, always striving, waiting until you die so you can claim holiness. All that they create is more people who don't trust God, nor believe what God says.

Being holy is for the living, not the dead and holiness starts the moment you are born again, not after you die. I ask you this: Which is better, that you continue to try to attain that which you cannot, or that you receive what God already spoke into you before you were born?

Daily Devotional September 4 - One

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all." Ephesians 4:4-5

One collective body of believers in Jesus
One Spirit, God
One hope and that is through Christ
One Lord over all
One faith because there is only Father God, The Holy Spirit and Jesus
One baptism into that faith
One God who is the Father of all
God is outside of you, in you and works through you

Getting your theology correct is important. Most truths are simple and clearly defined in the scriptures. Most scripture defines itself and does not need an interpreter. I would say that most problems that have to do with religious differences are directly connected to man's unwillingness to read and teach the Word of God in its simplicity. When the scriptures are followed there is no need for extra-biblical preaching and teaching. Pointing everyone to look to Jesus for all their needs to be filled isn't an easy sell in modernity. People would rather be roped into something that has surface pizazz than to find the time to dig deep and find God's message/calling for them. Most people fear the calling of God because they have been taught that they will have to give up everything they once knew, and quit 'this' and start to 'that'.

Leaving denominational differences out of the equation for a moment, God had men, full of the Spirit of God to write down the important components of finding your way to a spiritual life with God. In His wisdom, God left the actual spiritual connection to be made personally between God calling you and you inviting Him into your life/lifestyle. The Bible directs you to the living God. Pastors, priests, evangelists and ministry leaders should all be doing just that. They should be guiding you to a personal relationship with Jesus.

That's where the true action is.
That's where the true power is.
That's where comfort for the soul is found.
That's where strength to go on under awful circumstances comes from.
That's where you will get understanding.
That's where your prayers are answered.
That's where your healing will come from.
That's where wisdom will come from.
That's where you have to go when the bottom falls out.
That's where all the mountaintop experiences are.

Read the verse above real slow. See if you get a sense in your heart that man has really complicated, numerated, extrapolated, expanded, convoluted, confused, obfuscated, muddled, and simply changed, what is clearly, One.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Daily Devotional September 3 - Are you ready to unlearn?

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

Jesus is knocking at the door of every humans heart. Each person of precious value to a loving God. Each person with their idiosyncrasies, character and personality, sin and indiscretions has been invited to come to Jesus. Even those of you already have a great relationship with the Lord, this is a personal invitation for more; a call from Jesus for a more intimate experience.

We sometimes think of God as being far off and too grand to want to commune with us in the cool of the day and the calm of the night. We don't always want Jesus to see us as we are today, with out day to day issues. We want to kind of get things straightened out and then call on Jesus when we think He will approve of our actions. We have it all wrong. Jesus is asking you to knock and let Him in so that you can sit together and talk and eat and live, together. Jesus hasn't ascended to some far off land that can only be approached after we die and go to heaven. Jesus awaits are invitation. Open the door of your heart and be real. Let Jesus come in and dine with you tonight.

Do you know that Jesus loves you just as you are? That's right, there's nothing you can do to make God love you more. Of course there are many things you can do to live a more pure and holy life, but God doesn't look at us through our human frailty. God even mentions in the scriptures that He remembers that we were made of dust. When God looks at you, He sees His son or His daughter and He loves you very much. It's not hard to have a special personal relationship with Jesus like this, but it will take some unlearning.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Daily Devotional September 2 - Ask

"If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"  Luke 11:11-13

"Give a man a fish you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime." Chinese proverb

The reason God gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask is because the Holy Spirit is the ultimate gift. The Holy Spirit can provide over and over again. The Holy Spirit provides wisdom in the inner man so he/she is able to get his/her needs met over and over again. The Holy spirit inspires you so that you don't have to go through life seeking after the same thing over and over again. The Holy Spirit gives you God's perspective and God's insight so that you don't have to go through life wallowing in the mire of ignorance. The gift of the Holy Spirit is worth more than if you were to be given everything you ever wanted that your eyes can see.

This world's goods, as good as they are, fall short of the internal gift of the Holy Spirit. The problem is, most Christians just haven't been trained to ask. God tells us to ask because that is the connection that God designed for us. God has also made it clear that He will not give us something ridiculous or anything that is not for our good. I like the way that God designed it all. If you really want something, pray about it and ask God about/for it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daily Devotional September 1 - Watch and pray

"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41

Of course Jesus is speaking to those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The Spirit of God within us is the person of the Holy Spirit and dwells in the believer to guide them and direct them into holy living. Our spirit is that part of us that is invisible to our physical eyes and that part of us that continues on when our body dies. Our spirit is strengthened when we adhere to the ways of God and weakened as when we do that which we know is not godly. Our spirit is enabled by the Holy Spirit within us so that we have the power to stand against the lesser way. Our spirit is being built up by God while our flesh is being torn down by time, misuse, poor choices, apathy and depression.

Watch and pray to build up your spirit and to bring your body into subjection so that you can live a life commensurate with following after Christ. When you watch and pray it is far less likely that you will be carried away with every wind of doctrine and follow silly philosophies. When you watch and pray it is far less likely that you will fall into temptation. When you watch and pray it is far less likely that you will grab the dangling carrot.

This is a warning to those who are strong in the faith as well as to those who are not. Your spirit is willing to follow after God in every decision, but sometimes your body will convince your mind (rationalize) that what the body wants will somehow fit into what is good and best for your soul. Just a side note: Your body is not a good indicator of right from wrong. It is far better to rely on the written Word of God and get understanding in your spirit by the Holy Spirit than to rely on what your body is telling you. Think about it. Your body has a life span of maybe 100 years or a little more. Your spirit lives for all eternity. Your body will eventually die. Your spirit will never die. The war between the body and the spirit is real and demands that you use your mind to discern between the two. If your body is winning all the arguments, you will have much troubles in life.