Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Devotional August 30 - There Is No Sister Religion To Christianity

"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." Matthew 4:23

The gospel of the kingdom. That's something to preach about. Jesus knew that if you would join with Him that what is in the kingdom (present and future) would be yours. The kingdom is the whole sphere of influence that God and His people have on the world. On this side of heaven the kingdom is made up of believers, the angels, the prayers of believers and the answers to those prayers from God (through people and angels and by the Holy Spirit.) The kingdom is in full operation today, on this earth. It is funded by God with all the necessary components needed and with the work of His people to shed light to whose living outside of the kingdom. That's the kingdom's purpose on this side of heaven; for believers to operate in and receive whatever is available and to provide light in the darkness for those who live outside the kingdom.

We are not in the kingdom to fight against those outside the kingdom, but to shed light on them so that they will recognize the Son of God through the interactive relationship that believers have with God that is conspicuous. Members of the kingdom are not to bash those outside the kingdom, but to invite them in. Neither are members of the kingdom to agree with those outside the kingdom, as if trying to bridge the gap between lost and found could be accomplished through agreement with false beliefs. Allowing those outside the kingdom the right to believe in any false thing they want to is not the same as acting like what they believe is the truth. Of course we are to be tolerant of other religions, their practices, their beliefs and their culture, but never in agreement. By agreeing that other religions have the same efficacy as Christianity is the same as enabling an alcoholic to continue to drink.

The kingdom of our God is open to anyone and everyone. The arms of Jesus are opened wide to any and all who will call on His name. God has empowered us to be light in a world where satan runs loose and sin permeates outside the kingdom walls and where sin is far too often let inside the kingdom walls by those who are not committed to a godly lifestyle. It should be clear when those who have never heard of Jesus or maybe they are considering Jesus, there should be a clear line of demarcation set by those living for Jesus. But the line is not clear because so many Christians want to be called Christians, but live like the world. They confess Christianity, but they participate in many worldly pursuits. Too many Christians today are living lives that do not accurately represent "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Jesus was preaching the kingdom when he was in Galilee and Jesus is preaching the kingdom today. Let us also preach/teach/live as if members of the kingdom.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Daily Devotional August 29 - Get Over Yourself

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:"  Romans 15:4-5

I can tell you right now that this is not what Christians are doing today. It amazes me just how easy Christians are offended at each others beliefs. I'm talking about mainstream Christianity, major denominations. It seems that if you don't wear their colors, you are considered a second class Christian. Those who don't believe in the gifts of the spirit cast aspersions on those who do as if they were of the devil and those who do believe in the gifts of the spirit think that those who don't are spiritually dead. This ought not to be. Where is the common ground? Where is the temperence? Where is the patience? How do you comfort one another if you are striving with one another. Get over it.

I'm glad that you believe what you do. But despite whatever faith within the faith you hold, you should find reasons to commune with those of others faiths within the faith. There's only one real Jesus. He only died once for all. He forgave the sins of those in all Christian denominations. He is still answering the prayers of the saints, Baptist, Assembly of God, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Full Gospel, Nazarene, and the new storefront church down the street with a name like, Mount Zion Fellowship of Souls Consuming Fire Ministry.

How can there be likemindedness if all we do is find fault with one another?

Now to the point about good theology. It is true that some denominations have better theology than others and it is also true that some pastors are far better prepared than others to teach eternal truths, but there is no reason to put down those with less talent or experience. This isn't a game where the most polished or professional wins. The body of Christ is a living organism and we should be functioning as a living organism. All born again believers are welcome and all born again believers have within them much truth and some fault. Casting aspersions and cutting each other down and name calling and even thinking so lowly of others as we sometimes do is not godly.

Now about the Church. Most differences are not among the people of different denominations, the difference are theological. One is a Calvinist, another Armenian and still another Reformed or Wesleyan. I've met them all and they all have much to offer and much to learn. Cold hearted anything persuasion is not the will of God.

I know this: The hardness of the heart can keep the mind from receiving new light and that is a shame to anyone seeking to be like Christ. And if all you are seeking is to be right, as time goes by, you are going to be very lonely and at the end of it all, being right about minor theological difference will not count for any points. God is not going to pat you on the back and say, 'well done thou faithful and just denominationlist. Your theology was so right I almost had to let you in heaven based on your theological acumen.'

It is not my idea that we should live together in peace and be "like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus." It is God's idea. And that's worth following.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Daily Devotional August 28 - Don't Flinch

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

This story tells us about faith and how it works. Peter asked if he could walk on the water (a miracle) and Jesus bid him to come. Peter did walk on the water. At times in life we go to Jesus and ask Him to work out a situation for us, usually something quite alarming, possibly requiring a miracle. It is like stepping out of the boat onto the water. Then the power of God is engaged and we see that we are actually walking on the water; things are working out, the problem is going away, the answers are coming, the level of fear is diminishing, for a moment you even think that it is fully resolved. Then doubt sets in, you get a piece of mail that sends you through the roof, you hear something that someone said that irks you, you see in a distance that the waves are big and you wonder if you can stand up to them, the winds begin to blow and you feel the first wave of the breeze on your shoulder and you start to tremble.

At this point you are not walking on the water anymore, you are sinking even deeper than before. You start to lose hope, all kinds of thoughts are racing through your head telling you that your circumstances are greater than the miracle. Your faith is waning.

Take a look at the situation in the story. Has Jesus gone anywhere? Has Jesus called back His miracle of allowing Peter to walk on the water? Did Jesus say "Peter start to sink?" Was the power that caused Peter to walk on the water pulled out from under him? Was it inevitable that Peter must sink? No to all the above. It was his faith that made him able to walk on the water and his lack of faith that he sank.

Faith is supernatural. There is no faith except what God gives to those who trust Him. Faith connects the natural life that we live with the supernatural life of God. Faith is the direct connect to all that God has available to mankind. Faith is where miracles are born and faith is where we need to live if we want to transcend our circumstances.

Doubt on the other hand is the antithesis to faith. You really can sink when doubt sets in. No one is immune to it potential potency. Doubt causes our faith to become weak. Doubt allows fear to come in and abide. Doubt can make you say things to God that you will regret. Doubt is a faith killer and faith is a doubt killer.

Next time Jesus calls you out to walk on the water; get out of the boat and keep your eyes on Jesus, don't flinch, stay focused and you will not sink like Peter did.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Daily Devotional august 27 - Resist The devil

"Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:8

What does it mean to resist the devil? First of all you must believe there is a devil or you are powerless to resist him. Believing in the existence of the devil is Biblical. The scriptures talk about the devil in detail and often. If you are still toying with the idea that the devil is just something that the church made up to scare you, you are living in direct opposition to the teaching of the scriptures. You are powerless to stand against the wiles of the wicked one. You can be tossed around like styrofoam in the wind. It is a good thing to read your Bible and believe it.

If you believe there is a devil, then how can you keep him out of your business? It's simple. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Now the theology of it.
The devil is a real being and he is in charge of a great many fallen angels which are now demons.
The devil can and will come your way or one of his demons might be in charge of your particular situation.
The devil or demonic activity can come into your life by the demon spirits barging in or by invitation.
The devil/fallen angels and or demon spirits do have some power, but he/they are not all powerful, nor are they able to be in more than one place at a time, nor are they able to do more than one thing at a time.
The devil and his emissaries are spiritual beings and they are able to interfere with the affairs of mankind in spiritual ways. They can come to you of their own accord, looking for someone to devour or they can be invited in by a willing participant in their evil schemes.

Now here's the part that no Christian wants to hear. The devil or demons have the ability to interfere with the lives of Christians just as well as non-Christians. But there are limitations. Christians have power to resist the devil and or the demons if the devil or his demons come on your territory (life/home/children) without invitation. If you recognize that they have infiltrated your personal space, you can resist their intrusion, (which is their invitation for you to participate in some manor with areas of their expertise).

The devil/demons need a foothold to take or even hang out on your territory. If you haven't given them an opening, they can only pass by and taunt you, tease you or tempt you. But they cannot stay in your space unless you allow it. They can go and come back and that forever, but they cannot stay and reap havoc unless there is legal grounds for them to stay.

Legal grounds could be many things, but in particular:
You are actively involved in harming others through actions of your own.
You are actively involved in an extra-marital affair while you are married.
You watch and enjoy violent movies/video games.
You are involved with illegal drugs.
You are involved with any kind of sexual perversion.
You are involved with a cult.
Keep in mind this is Christians I am talking to.

For non-Christians all they have to be confronted by and participate with the devil/demons is to breath.

Of course if you invite the devil/demons into your life, they will come gladly and do your bidding.
I hope you understand what is at stake if you dabble with the devil, but if you don't there are no words that I can say that can explain the complications, turmoil, heartache, pain, suffering and misery associated with purposely allowing the devil/demons entrance into your life.

Resist the devil. You can do it. If you are born again you have within you the ability to live a life that the devil and his demons have no interest in. "...Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Daily Devotional August 26 - Co-creating With God

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

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

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

Let's just say that you find a way to remember to pray to God about your situations and thank Him along the way. What comes to you as a free gift is the peace of God. Peace in your heart when the floor is falling out from under you; Peace in your heart about the outcome; Peace about your future. God wants you to learn to co-create with Him in this way.
Recognize your issues
Give them over to God, thoroughly
Pray about them
Do what you can toward an equitable end
Know in your heart that what you see is not the whole story
Know in your heart that God is working on your behalf
Thank God while you are passing through the fire
Thank God at the end of it
Has already gone before you, before you had the problem to make a way for you to solve the problem/dream/request/situation
Hears your prayer as the invitation to co-create with you
Gives you life, strength, energy, tools, power to do what you can
Works out all the details so that in fulfilling your problem/dream/request/situation, it is perfectly intertwined with all others to benefit everyone
Accepts your thanks as an offering
Puts a final stamp on your situation as completed under the hand of God and files it away, not to be revisited without your express permission

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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Daily Devotional august 25 - Sanctification Does Not Mean Washing The Pot The Second Time

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

Sanctification. Sanctification is misunderstood and mis-taught in many circles. Sanctification has many sides and has much meaning in our lives. But let's set the record straight. Sanctification is a work of God. God sanctifies. You cannot make a list of things you have to do and when you have checked off every item on the list, walla you are sanctified.
  • Sanctification is recognized in one's life by behavior, but it is not won by behavior.
  • Sanctification is the external response of an internal work.
  • Sanctification is a love fest between the creator and His work.
But you can't earn sanctification nor can you earn salvation. You will never be good enough to be sanctified. Only by grace through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross can you or anyone get sanctified. The Word of God says, "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Sanctification is taught that it is a second work of grace. Sanctification can only be considered as a second work of grace if salvation isn't a finished work. Salvation is a finished work. Yet the ongoing product of salvation is:
  • Getting to know God better
  • Adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate the new light that has been shown in your heart.
  • Continuing education by the Holy Spirit as one goes through life making decisions.
  • Learning how to pray and how to supplicate.
  • Finding solace and peace after doing things differently from the way you used to do them before getting saved.
  • Reading the scriptures and finding new truths that replace the old man way of thinking.
  • Worshiping and praising God with other believers and finding out how God intertwines the lives of believers together to make one body.
All of these things take place after salvation and all of them are a second work of God and a third and a fourth and on and on until the day you go to meet the Lord.

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

Daily Devotional august 24 - What Were You Last Called To Do?

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional august 23 - Is Your Soul At Peace With God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 22 - The Biggest Word In This World, Grace

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daily Devotional August 21 - I Know The Will Of God For You

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wait a minute. We can know the will of God concerning us? You mean God wants us to understand what is the best direction to take for our life and what parameters we should set in our life so that we can stay in the will of God?

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

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

You are to give thanks to God for everything. It is the will of God concerning you. I know this is going to be hard to swallow, but you are to give thanks for the wrong things that others do to you, for your job, even for your current situation. It is foreign to most Christians today to believe the Word of God, but it shouldn't be. God gets it. God hasn't abandoned you. God hasn't said anything He has to take back. God didn't have anything written down in the Bible, that looking back, He wishes He hadn't revealed.

There's nothing to cover up in God's Bible. It's all there to assure you that you are reading the real truth. There's no stories about mythological characters in the Bible that you have to weed through to figure out who's real and who's an allegory. It's all there, revealed in its raw truth so that you can see the condition of mankind when left to their own devices and also so that you can see the results of following a loving Savior.

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

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

Daily Devotional august 20 - You Ought To Always Pray

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

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

Jesus knows that all battles are fought on the spiritual battle ground as well as the physical. As you do what you know to do with the wisdom you have you move the physical realm, but to be in alignment with the will of God for your life the spiritual realm must be moving at the same rate. The spiritual realm in your life requires prayer.

Prayer is the condition required by God for God to incorporate all the necessary spiritual components for you. It's not that God doesn't do anything without you praying for it, but there is no way you can know the will of God or make the right decisions unless you are communicating and hearing from God. This is best done through reading the Bible as you pray for each situation. You will receive answers for your mind. There will be action taken in the heavens on your behalf and you will get understanding in your heart. That's why men ought always to pray.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Daily Devotional august 19 - You Don't Need To Help God

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Daily Devotional August 18 - Are You At Peace With God?

"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

Read this slowly and carefully.
Are you at peace with God? If you are a born again believer and you are not at peace with God, it is because of what you have been taught about God. If you are not at peace with God you are in a struggle with yourself.
God is not contending with you about anything.
It is not God that has you all tied up in knots.
It is not God that makes you feel unworthy.
It is not God that gives you a feeling of inadequacy.
It is not God that has you believing that you have to die to be at peace with God.
It is not God that has you convinced that if you don't give a certain amount that you are at odds with God.
It is not God that tries to win your affections by causing you to feel guilty.

You have been justified by faith. Stop right there. Yes, it is that easy. You have been justified by faith. It is the invisible faith within you that has cleared you from the penalty of sin. You are at peace with God. If you can break through and believe the Word of God on this issue:
It will transform the way you live and everything that you have been taught.
It will unravel the knots in your belief system.
It will set you free from the tyranny of false preaching.
It will loosen you from the cords of misinterpretation of the scriptures.
It will align you with what God believes about you.

If God is at peace with you and you are not at peace with God, isn't that a real waste?
But you say, "you don't understand, you don't know me or my circumstances." You're right, but I don't need to either. I'm declaring to you that I don't trust in what you are able to do with yourself. I trust in what God says He is going to do with you. I have a pretty picture of what God is doing and is going to do in your life. I can't help it. It's what the Word of God declares and I believe God, not your feelings.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Daily Devotional August 17 - How Many Times A Day?

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 16 - What Kind Of Foundation Are You Building?

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

What kind of foundation are you building your house on? If your contractor built you a house and did not put a foundation under it you would want to sue him, but many people build huge houses (lifestyles) with no regard to the things of God (the foundation) and wonder why they come crumbling down at some point in time.
  • In some cases it is someone you know real well that turns on you.
  • In some cases it is someone you love that finds someone else to love more than you.
  • In some cases its sickness.
  • In some cases its financial trouble.
  • In some cases it is the loss of a loved one.
What ever it is when the stream floods its banks, do you have the foundation that can withstand the flood? All that God wants from you so that you can have a foundation that can stand up to heavy winds and floods (troubles and obstacles) is for you to be dependent upon the Saviour.

See, it is imperative that you learn to trust the wisdom of God. It is imperative that you do what Jesus has instructed you to do. It is imperative that you read the Bible and learn how to assimilate its teaching into everything that you do. It's imperative, because when the winds of life blow and the waters come, what will be left of you when they pass?

Will you have enough strength to carry on and pick up the pieces? You will if you have a strong foundation.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Daily Devotional August 15 - Good Advise

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Daily Devotional August 14 - Are You Robbing God?

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

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

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

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

If you are working a different plan doesn't it seem logical that there has been a miscommunication?
And if God has been clear about His concerns and direction for the world and if you are travelling on another path, doesn't it seem logical that there is a misunderstanding?

And if God has given you all the tools and the power to live in His will and you are not, hasn't there been misappropriation of spiritual funds?
And if God has provided you with every opportunity to live according to His word and you are living out a worldly life, hasn't there been serious mismanagement?

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

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Daily Devotional August 13 - God Thoughts Are Remarkable

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

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

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

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

Everything that goes wrong can be attributed to one of these sources. Unfortunately, too many come from our own disobedience. We mess it up and then beg God to fix it. I'm not saying it is that way in your case, but overall, we played a huge role in our current situation and along with the unfair actions of others and the actions of the spiritual underworld, we might not be living out what we thought we would be at this point in life. But the answer to this dilemma is this. What are you going to do with what God allowed to happen?
Why not turn things around?
Why not use your gifts and talents to bring in a little income and benefit the world also?
Why not drop the bitter attitude and replace it with faith for the future?
Why not increase your faith and be better prepared the next time evil comes knocking at the door?
Why not give God your very best for a season?
Remember Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give thee."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Daily Devotionalo august 12 - Is Your View Of God A God sized View?

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional august 11 - Don't Be Afraid To Understand

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Daily Devotional August 10 - Consequences For Actions

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

There are large groups of people that do not have the thoughts of the Lord in their mind. They don't know what God intends. They don't know the story of life. They don't have the thoughts of God in their mind. They are bent on following after their own devices. They are driven by their own pride and self-serving ideals. They hate another people because they don't have the thoughts of God in their minds, neither do they understand God's ways. They are fighting a battle of a few thousand years ago. They've let the hatred pass down from generation to generation, without suppressing it or stamping it out for the better good of all. God has called them, but they answer with gestures of hate. This is what happens when we deny God His rightful place in our life design. We become bitter and full of pride.

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

The problem is that there are consequences to your actions. The consequences are not acts of God against you as some think. They are natural results that are the outcome of your actions.
If you are moving closer to God each day, the outcome is that of growing in grace and understanding the will of God and the results of your decisions are favorable. Even when things go wrong, you have confidence that through prayer hard work you can turn it around. Even in the deep valleys you have assurance that with God all things are possible. Even during the most bottom of times, you have within you the knowledge that being in the valley in God's will is far better than being on the mountaintop out of God's will.

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

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

Friday, August 9, 2013

Daily Devotional August 9 - No Meditation Required

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

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

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

God wants you to come boldly as in confidently. You can do that if you know Him. God wants you to come to His throne with expectations. Not expectations like rubbing the genie in the bottle and making a wish, but expectations that whatever God hands you, is for you only and to be utilized for your good and the betterment of all mankind.  Yes, God has global expectations for all mankind and those parameters and instructions are established in the scriptures, but when you come boldly before the throne it is for personal instruction.

You  are not a lemming and the scriptures were not written so that we could all do the same thing and be the same thing. The scriptures were written to memorialize God's intent for mankind so that when you forget your way, you can go to the scriptures and find your way back.

Don't be afraid to come boldly before the throne. Nothing will happen there other than you will be made a little more like Jesus. Don't believe anyone that tries to tell you that someone must mediate between you and God because you are not able and they are. It is a lie. God wants you, just as you are, to come and meet Him, at His throne.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Daily Devotional August 9 - The Truth Is Exciting

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Daily Devotional August 7 - Him i Declare Unto you

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

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

First of all the gods with or without a name do not answer prayer.
  • They are not listening.
  • They are not responding.
  • They are not speaking to the hearts of their followers.
  • They have never lived, nor do they live today.
  • They are not instructing their followers.
  • They do not exist.
Whether someone is worshiping an unknown god or a god with a name, it doesn't matter. They are worshiping a non-existent being/statue/idol. To reveal to them that there is a real God with a name and how to connect the dots is one of our responsibilities as a Christian. I mean, how can you really have met Jesus Christ and not have the necessary information to give someone who is desperately seeking what you possess? You have within you the key that unlocks the door from lost to found; from darkness to light; from worshiping ignorantly to worshiping with purpose and results.

Paul had the right idea, 'let me tell you about Jesus.' If you have been saved from your own ignorance of worshiping whomever or whatever, you have been set free from the hold that the world system has on people that do not know God. You have been set free to connect with God anytime, anywhere. You have been adopted into the kingdom and you have received a full share to all that is available to God's people. You have a remarkable gift from God and it is your responsibility to reveal the experience with all who might be without. I already know the argument about not being able to talk to others about Jesus, that it just isn't your responsibility and that you have decided to leave it for someone else to do, but that isn't really an argument, it is an excuse. What you think you don't know how to say to someone will come out just perfectly if you trust the Holy Spirit within you concerning the matter. You might be the only person available who has met Jesus to discuss this with a certain person.

There's other reasons that born again believers won't share Jesus. They think they will be laughed at or they are worried that it will finally be found out that they are Christians. Let me deal with both.
If you are worried that you will be laughed at, you need to get your priorities straight. Knowing God through the person of Jesus Christ is the one most important piece of knowledge you have or ever will have. If you are afraid of being laughed at, you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.
  • More than likely you are really helping anyone to find their way to Jesus.
  • More than likely you aren't really living for Jesus.
  • More than likely you aren't sure about Jesus.
  • More than likely when others are telling really dirty jokes, you just laugh and let it go as if it didn't matter.
  • More than likely you are really liberal with your daughter and let her wear anything she wants to, even if you are not in agreement.
  • More than likely you allow your son to watch just about anything he wants to and play any video game he wants.
You're not a very good witness for the gracious work that God has done on your behalf. Is it possible, that maybe you only have a cultural relationship with Jesus, that you have been conditioned to believe that God exists, but you have never confessed your sins and been born again and began a personal relationship with Jesus?

There is no other kind of saved other than saved through faith in Jesus Christ. At some point in time, you realized that you were separated from God by sin and you confessed your sins and God saved you by your faith in the work that Jesus did on the cross. If you have not done that you are not saved. You are not saved because you go to church or because you your mother or fatter told you that you are a Christian. You are not saved because you always do the right things or because a priest told you you are saved or because you take communion, have been baptized, confirmed or performed any other outward expression of an inward work. You are saved if you have recognized your sinful nature and asked God, by faith, to come into your heart and to cleanse you. Nothing else will do. Nothing else works. No one can go to God on your behalf and get you saved.

The other reason that you might not tell others about Jesus is that you are worried about being found out. I hope you are not one of these people, but you may have been at one time or another or you may know Christians that operate incognito. Operating incognito is not biblical, nor is it right. You are not protecting yourself or your family by hiding who you are. It may be different in other countries or in times past. I'm not arguing the point. But if you are in America and you have been born again, then what is keeping you from letting others know about your faith is cowardice. I know you don't want to hear it, but someone has got to tell you that trying to be like the world and accepted into all kinds of situations that do not glorify God, is not your calling. To be friends with the world is to be an enemy with God. (James 4:4) We are in the world but not of the world. (John 16:18-18) It is not godly to be a Christian and hide the fact from your friends or colleagues at work. There is too much of that going on today. You are not doing yourself a favor nor are you doing your co-workers a favor either. You are living in false pretence. You are powerless if what you do is under false pretence. God can only work in truth. The power you have within you is not activated under false pretence and you will not be able:
To effectively pray and receive the answers to prayer
To ask for a miracle with expectations
To witness so that someone else will come to Jesus
To stand against evil in your life
To take back lost territory
To make course corrections in line with God's will for your life
To fulfill your purpose for being where you are
Let me put it this way, do you want to be found out when Jesus returns?

Daily Devotional August 6 - The Secret Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Daily Devotional August 5 - What Are you Leaving On The Table?

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

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

This is one of many examples where we see a direct correlation between faith of man and action from Jesus. What is your faith capable of? I'm serious. What is your faith made of? Here's why I'm asking. If your faith is made of going to church and reading a little bit of Bible there, you faith is probably commensurate with your attendance. In today's society you need faith that can move mountains. You need faith that you can speak and the heavens move things. You need the kind of faith that can pray against terrorism and at the same time pray for the terrorist. You need the kind of faith that can do battle against the world. This world's system is designed to take everything you have and even more. You need faith to come against that mind-set and take back lost territory.

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

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

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

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Daily Devotional Ausust 4 - Quit Judgeing Others, It's Ugly

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

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

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

Christians are judging other Christians:
Because they believe a little differently
Because they worship on the wrong day
Because they use the wrong kind of pulpit
Because they use the wrong instruments
Because their choir is too old
Because their choir is too young
Because they keep the children in for the worship
Because they don't keep the children in for the worship
Because the preacher wears a tie
Because the preacher dresses too casual
Because the preacher let's his kids sing on the praise team
Because the preacher let's His wife teach
Because the preacher doesn't let His wife teach
Because they don't come to service on Wednesday night
Because they live in a nice home
Because they don't live in a nice home
Because they drive a new Mercedes
Because they drive a junker
No wonder Jesus turned to the babes and sucklings and said, "out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise."

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

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

Daily Devotional August 3 - Behind The Scenes

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 2 - Therapy For Apathy

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

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

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

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

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

You have been elected as God's spokesman/woman for Jesus. You can't stop others from railing on God or speaking their pitiful excuses about why they don't believe in God, but you can stand up for God. You were once lost and destined for hell and now you are saved and your residency is reserved for you in heaven and during this life you have the power of the Holy Spirit within, and in you lives the creator and in you is all the knowledge necessary to become a child of the living God and through you, prayers are answered and by your own words God moves and makes earthly alterations. Just tell them what you know. And if there is nothing to tell them, I would be praying about that. No Christian should be ignorant of the basic truths that have set us free. If you are the kind of person that goes to church, but you have no real interest in the things of God, you always let someone else do the lion's share of the work and you complain all the time, you should be ashamed. That's not Christianity, that's religion.

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

Daily Devotional August 1 - Don't Wander Too Far Away

"Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: (speaking about what Bildad had said about being a hypocrite) but how should man be just with God? If he will contend with Him, he cannot answer Him one in a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered?:"  Job 9:1-4

Job was wise and intelligent. When Job said, "who hath hardened himself against Him, and hat prospered?" he was speaking from experience. Job had watched as people around him mocked God and said one thing and did another. Job had understanding that temporary prosperity is not prosperity at all. Wealth gathered by ill-gotten means, scams, gimmicks, false advertising or misuse or mistreatment of people was short-lived. Even if it looked like one had prospered and had a great amount of wealth accumulated, Job knew that in just as short a time they would come to ruin.

Job knew that if you stand against God you stand against yourself. He had figured it out. We need God in order to be complete. No thing or belief system can replace what God instilled in every man, woman and child, i. e., to be enjoined with God through faith. If you know anything about the story of Job, you know he took quite a licking from satan. He lost family, friends, property and health. He had sunk far lower than he could have ever thought possible. He was allowed to suffer at the hands of our enemy, satan, and without mercy he was tortured by his circumstances. If anyone had a beef with God it was Job.

But Job would not separate himself from God just because his circumstances were bleak. Job would not look to God and curse God because Job knew that life is more than what you can see with your eyes, and the long term connection he had with God was greater than the momentary pleasure of separation from God through anger.

satan is still the god of this world system. (2 Corinthians 4:4) satan has convinced many wonderful people that they do not need God. When a lie resides in the place where truth belongs spiritual disease sets in. The deeper one goes away from God the harder it is to come back, because of pride. Pride keeps billions of people away from a right relationship with God. First they believed a lie and now they purport it. It's hard to turn back. If you are not fully invested with God right now, will you take the time and re-commit. Don't miss doing life God's way, just because you may have gone astray a little. It's a lot harder to get back as you wander further into the world.