Monday, October 31, 2016

Daily Devotional October 31 - Do You Believe It?

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

In the sense of light and darkness, God represents light. In the sense of good and evil, God represents good. There is no darkness, no evil in God. How then did evil get started? Good question.

When God created all creation, God embedded into humans the right to choose to do good or to do evil, i. e., the right to deny God and/or the right to step outside of the God ordained parameters of absolute perfection, i. e., free will. With this power given to mankind, mankind has the inherent ability to stand with God or stand against God, stand with the natural parameters applied to each creation or stand against each parameter applied to each creation.

God cannot do evil, but God created an environment where evil can be performed, in the natural world, i. e., the seen world and in the spiritual world, i. e., the unseen world. God is not subject to the parameters of the natural or spiritual world. God is the creator, not the created. God is God and man is man. Man will never be God. Man does have attributes of the likeness of God from birth, and after salvation man has the image and likeness of the Spirit of God, and after this natural life has ended more attributes of God-likeness will be imputed to us. But we will never attain to be God, nor will we ever attain to fully know all that there is to know of God. God is more than we can know, now, after we have been born again, after we have left this mortal body behind, and even after we have been in heaven with God ten thousand years.

Some people don't like that. That's because they have an ignoble view of God. Many people, even Christians want a God they can figure out. They are discontented that God has reserved full disclosure of Himself. Most of the problems we have within legitimate organized (Christian) religion is that each group thinks they have some corner on the "I know more than you do about God market." When the truth is, that even at best, if all the religions put in together and included all they know, their deepest theology, their highest thought, together it would not be of little stature against the greatness of God.

What am I trying to say? God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Do you believe it?"

Daily Devotional October 30 - All The Power Of God Is found In The Gospel

""For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one 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

Paul is not ashamed and I am not ashamed either. The part about this verse that is often overlooked is that the gospel contains the power of God. The implications are that the power of God provides to the believer :
  • power through prayer (healing, salvations, miracles)
  • prophesy and interpretation of prophesy
  • words of knowledge
  • communication with God
  • forgiveness of sins
  • short term and long term blessings
  • visions and dreams of things to come
  • interventions by God into your daily affairs
Add some items to the list from your personal experience.

The point is that those who do not believe the gospel do not have access to any of these spiritual components. Some people think they do. There are people all over the world who call themselves spiritual without accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And from one perspective those who do not believe the gospel can dabble in spiritual things. Because every human was made in the image and likeness of God there is an inherent internal desire to know God and to operate in the spiritual realm. However, without the power of the gospel, there is no direct connect with God. There is however direct connect to the demon world.

That's really the big difference in the ability of believers to ward off evil influences. Believers have the power of God to use against the wiles of the wicked, non-believers do not have this power. That doesn't mean that there are not good people who do not believe the gospel. There are many good people who do not believe in or trust in Jesus. There are even good people who do not acknowledge the existence of God. But don't think for one minute that they enjoy the benefits of having personal relationship with God, nor do they inherit the benefits of the afterlife.

All the power of God is in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Daily Devotional October 29 - How Many Times A day?

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

David spoke of praising God on many occasions and for many reasons. If you were to praise God seven times a day for His judgments and seven times a day for His kindness, and seven times a day for His goodness and seven times a day for His provision and seven times a day for His mercy and seven times a day for His forgiveness and seven times a day for the many wonderful and perfect things that God does for you, you would not have time to stop praising God.

The point isn't how many times a day you praise God, it is that there are more reasons to praise God any times a day than there is time to do it. That's the thing about the salvation experience. You get closer to God and you see more of what God is doing. You see more of what God is doing and you want God to do more of it. As God provides more and more you recognize how God is working His will and you understand more about the economy of God and of course you want to praise Him more.

Praise is inner man recognition of what God is doing in your life.
Praise is an opportunity to communicate with God that you see His unicity and you not only approve, but you are clearly in agreement with what God is doing.
Praise is the personal or corporate outward expression of who God is in your life. The closer you get to God the more often and more perfected the praise.
Praise is your way of saying to God that you commit to following His leadership.
Praise is proof of your internal love for God for all the world to see.
Praise alters destinies.
Praise is recognition that God is in control even when things in your life are out of control.
Praise repairs situations because when you praise God something wonderful, healing and spiritual is given back to you, something unexplainable, invisible but tangible.

When you praise God you don't have to ask for anything. God is ahead of you. All is well. Provisions have already been set aside. What you seek if you were seeking has been dealt with by God who loves you more than you do. It's time to quit complaining and start following God's prescriptions for your finances, health, entertainment, conservation, love and respect for your spouse, children, parents, family and friends.

Think on praise and praise God seven times a day, one day or more than one day. You decide if it is worth your time."

Friday, October 28, 2016

Daily Devotional October 28 - Father Abraham

"Then said he (John the Baptist) to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, Oh generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring for therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." Luke 3:7-8

It's not just Jews and Christians that look to Abraham as the father of their nation. It is many Muslims also. It goes all the way back to Genesis 12. Abraham is the father of nations in this way. Abraham was called to be the father of many nations. Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Esau. Esau sold his birthright and Jacob received the blessing. There is also the birth of Ishmael from Abraham and the Egyptian woman, handmaiden of Sarah. Ishmael represents one nation of people and Isaac represents another, Jacob and Esau also representing many people as well as the twelve tribes of Israel from the sons of Isaac.

All of the offspring of these men claim Abraham as their father. Many are Jews and many are Muslims. They claim sonship by birthright. And children of Abraham they are. But true children of Abraham are made children of Abraham by faith not blood. It is true that Jews and Muslims can call Abraham their father by blood, but it is by faith that they/we receive the promise of Abraham. Christians (Muslims and Jews) are adopted into the promise of Abraham by faith, not blood. "For the promise, that he (Abraham) should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." Please read the entire chapter four of Romans for a deeper look at justification by faith.

I think it is a wonderful thing to be born from the bloodline of Abraham. Every person, whether Jew or Muslim or other should be proud of their heritage. There is so much history and tradition handed down through many generations. But salvation comes by faith in Jesus, not a birthright through Abraham. Yes Jesus overshadows father Abraham. John the Baptist was simply telling those who placed their faith in their bloodline that it would not carry them over into the heavenlies. There are still many people today who can claim father Abraham as their progenitor that have not placed their faith in Jesus, the Father of their progenitor.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Devotional October 27 - Be Careful About Judging Others

"Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than His Maker?" Job 4:17

Mortal man is quite the complicated subject. Mortal man has been trying to take the place of God since the beginning. We should be incorporating God's invisible, spiritual component in our everyday decisions. We are not God, nor do we possess every attribute that God possesses, like: omniscience, omnipotence, immutability. Finding our true place is understanding what attributes we do have that we are in charge of and knowing our parameters/limitations and understanding what will require the hand of God to be completed.

We are not more just than God, but some discernment of justice is given to us to apportion.
We are not more pure than God, but purity of life/lifestyle is for us to seek and find, apprehend, acknowledge and implement.

Justice is only ours to divvy out according to our laws, but the reference here is about a different kind of justice. We do not know other peoples hearts and therefore we need to be careful when making accusations to or about people with whom we have no personal contact. Our justice is to be limited to known events. When we start making judgement on those whom we don't know or have ever met, we have crossed the bounds of our God given rights. This is God's area of expertise and we must refrain as Christians from making judgements beyond our understanding.

Sometimes we think we have the right to cut somebody down or act like we are better than they are, but again this should not be in our job duties. God knows how pure someone is and what their intent is/was and what to do about it. Let's stick to examining ourselves and following God's lead as to what to do about our own behavior.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daily Devotional October 26 - Getting To Know The Inner Man

"Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 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 3:13-16

I want you to get to know your inner man better. It is the inner man that holds the key to all right decisions, wisdom, knowledge, godly actions. Your mind and your body will both fight you all the way. Oh, you think I'm exaggerating. Tell me that you have not believed one way and yet did something another way. Tell me that you haven't made up your mind up about something but your body wanted something different and your mind could not stave it off. Tell me that you didn't know what to do, but did something else anyway. Your body is at war with your mind and they are both at war with your spirit and your soul is suffering the consequences.

I said I want you to get to know your inner man better. Think of your inner man as the inner court; that place called the holy of holies, the inner most chamber of the tabernacle, the place where only purity and heart consecration can survive, that place where God resides, and you enter. That's the inner man. Get to know your inner man better and you will get to know God better, because that is where the Holy Spirit resides.

If you are really trying to figure out where to attend church, or who to marry, or who to go into business with or how to respond when your daughter comes home telling you about her boyfriend, any real issue in life, go to the inner man; the depths of your soul, all the way to that part of you that has not been conditioned by the world or spoiled by philosophy or damaged by unhealthy habits or destroyed by drugs or alcohol. You are more than the results of you life/lifestyle. You are more than the outcome of a particular event like bankruptcy or business failure, divorce, misjudgements or even willful acts of disobedience. You are greater than the sum of your thoughts. You are more beautiful than your body, even if you have abused it for years and it looks like there is no hope, inside the inner man is a rejuvenated perspective, driven by the power of God within. You are more spiritual than you allow yourself to be on the outside. You are probably still stroking your ego, trying to make light of the things you do against God and not taking very seriously the things you do for God.

The inner man is that part of you that:
Can get the job done
Will make necessary adjustments, even if they are not popular, even if they require discipline
Is able to stop taking in what is killing you
Won't be bullied by satan or anyone and just roll over when approached to compromise principal
Does seek higher ground
Will take back lost territory
Won't continue blaming others
Will draw closer to God
Can live life in the will of God

Get to know your inner man and you will be very pleased. That's where God meets you to strengthen you and fit you to be in His image and likeness. Re-read the verse above and see if you agree that God is speaking to your inner man right now."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Daily Devotional October 25 - Do You Believe It?

"Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before Thee, that hath come upon us, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on Thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day. Howbeit Thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for Thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:" Nehemiah 9:32-33

It is refreshing to hear from someone that gets it. Nehemiah understands that God is just. He understands that God is great and mighty. He understands that troubles quite often come from disobedience to the ways of God. He is not going before God making excuses. He is going before God in recognition of God's place. He is going to God with understanding. He is going to God knowing that it is the people that have wronged God, not God that have wronged the people. Nehemiah understands that troubles need to be dealt with and he asks God not to overlook his troubles, and the troubles of others, the troubles of those who have stepped out of the will of God.

Nehemiah understands that what you reap is what you sow, but he also knows to go to God as an imperfect believer and seek the will of God and get answers to their petitions, solutions for their dilemmas and provisions for their needs. I like that about Nehemiah.

It is the same for you and me. We are imperfect believers. I hope you go to God like Nehemiah and list your troubles, seek answers and look to God with expectation for your provisions. God has not changed. God made a way for us to come to Him and find Him and praise Him and Worship Him and ask Him and get from Him. I hope you are OK with this.

The whole universe was created so that you could have your needs and desires met. Of course God is not going to honor silly, irresponsible desires that would keep you away form His presence, but the internal hopes and desires that you have that are in alignment with the purpose of creation and the will of God, are available.

Don't be afraid to go to God, like Nehemiah, and speak the raw truth about yourself and ask for God to intervene. God will intervene and you will get the answer, your needs will be met and you will receive provision. Do you believe it?

Daily Devotional October 24 - What part Of The Bible Do You Believe?

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed." Genesis 2:7-8

Note: After 30 years in ministry and more than 16 years as an ordained pastor and thousands of interviews with people about their faith, I have found that way too many people have settled this question this way: Just don't read the Bible, act like you know what the Bible says, convince someone that you are a Christian and keep Christian cultural correctness as your guiding light. 

These events make the roots of your faith. This is what happened at the beginning of creation of earth and mankind. Of course the entire story reveals how God made the stars, galaxies, animals, light, plants and all other known and unknown creations. It is these beginning scriptures about the beginnings of mankind that make the roots of our faith.

If you don't believe these simple words about creation, then how can you expect that further revelation will be given to you , whether it is spiritual or scientific.
Spiritual in the sense that revelation is built upon revelation, truth upon truth, the root of this foundation must be secure and strong or even what we do receive will not get properly processed.
Scientific in the sense, that if in the quest for discovery in any science discipline, creation in its truth is not recognized, evaluations will be skewed. A good example is Darwin's theory of evolution. This theory has no roots, therefore the truth presented is science fiction. All the sciences were created by God to work. They all have a beginning and if scientist believed the basics first, their foundation would be secure and their analysis would be scientifically sound.

Too many Christians don't really care how it all began. They are willing to buy into made up science in order to keep the peace with the so-called academics. They are willing to make light of the importance of the root of their belief system. Some are even embarrassed to say that the scriptures are an accurate representation of what really happened. Wait a minute! If you don't believe the simple, easy to understand truths that are clearly revealed, how can you expect to understand the more complex and more difficult to discern truths?

The Bible is true. The stories are true. The time lines are correct. God did create man and woman. God did put it all in order with a Word. The Israelites did cross the desert for 40 years with the same shoes. Moses did part the Red Sea. Elijah did raise the dead. Mary was a virgin when she had Jesus. Jesus did die on the cross. Jesus did raise from the dead. Jesus is alive.

Believe the whole Bible and the whole Bible will become applicable to you.

Daily Devotional October 23 - Read The Bible And then Make Up Your Mind

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:5

Not everyone is friendly to this verse. I've heard many pastors say that "that's not what it means." That's what's wrong with stale and un-renewed theologies. Once a group has made a doctrine of faith or a church resolution or a church polity, in many cases that stays the rule for decades or centuries, leaving no room for new light from God; growth in the inner man that dissuades one from believing something that parts from the true meaning of a verse. As the church grows, so does our understanding and with understanding comes enlightenment, a bigger view of God and a better view of God.

Verses like this one strike at the heart of religious philosophies that teach that Christianity is a performance based religion. requiring its members to follow a set of rules that were not imparted to us by God. That's the way it was when Jesus came. Jesus wasn't angry at those who were living a holy life or trusting in God or even following tradition as long as they were not making up rules and traditions that would nullify the truth from God. It is the same today.

I hear more extra biblical teaching than I do worthy biblical teaching. It seems that too many pastors, preachers, ministers are willing to preach church doctrine or 'get something quick schemes' instead of Biblical truth. It appears that those in leadership are more worried about bringing in enough income to build an empire, than they are in teaching the infallible truths of God's Word. Sometimes if you were to tell the people the truth, they would not like to hear it. It goes against what they have believed for forty years.

Jesus did all the work that you need to be accepted into the kingdom of God. You are not accepted because you said the right things or because you did something or because you gave a certain amount every week. You are accepted because God called and you answered. You were made righteous (by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation) you didn't become righteous over time. You were made righteous by God because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. You can't add to that. Quit trying. Accepting the work of Christ in its truest sense is the Biblical way. Remember we are following Jesus, not your denomination.

(Just to set the record straight; in no way am I saying that being a part of a main-line denomination is bad or less desirable than any other way of serving God. Denominations are for people to have organized and prosperous groups to join together to serve God and man. The rules for the denomination are a good thing and those who are members should follow the rules of the denomination, but the rules of a denomination are not scripture. Scripture truths supersede church doctrine.)

What I am saying is, too many church members don't read or know the scriptures as well as they should and they rely on being told what the scriptures say, too often. If you have a Bible, read it and then make up your mind if certain religious traditions are true or not.)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Daily Devotional October 22 - God Without Jesus???

""If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.... He that hateth Me hateth My Father also." John 15:18-19 and 23

Maybe you haven't experienced the world hating you yet. Maybe you haven't seen the results of living a sold out to Jesus life and trying to fit in with those around you that don't believe. But in time, if you are faithful to God, you will see the hand of the world come down on you. You will also see the hand of God lift you up and protect you.

I like being chosen by God. I like the fact that Jesus has called me out of the world. But you already know that Jesus didn't call you of out of living in the world. There's a difference. Jesus calls us out of living worldly to living godly. It's not the arduous struggle that has no end like some purport. It is a simple giving over of our will to the will of God. I know this, to be loved by the world is awfully shallow. It is hardly ever sincere and if the world loves you it's just because it wants something from you.

People hated Jesus because he was Jesus. Think about it. Jesus never sinned nor did he do anything to anyone that was disrespectful or wrong and yet they hated Him. If you follow Jesus you will be ostracized by those who hate Jesus, not because you are you, but because Jesus is Jesus and you are willing to be associated with Him.

Jesus sets the record straight. If they hate Jesus, they hate the Father also. If they hate Jesus they hate God. It's that simple. There are a lot of people that want God without Jesus. It can't be. There is no loving God without loving Jesus. You might think that that is unfair, but it is God's way. Jesus is God. Why is it that so many people don't like Jesus anyway? What has Jesus ever done to anyone to bring on this hapless attitude against Jesus? Nothing. People judge God by the company He keeps and God keeps company with Christians and Christians are imperfect, sometimes inappropriate, definitely not sinless and quite often either ignorant or even offensive. Non-believers judge holy God by sinful man. It's all mixed up.

If mankind were to judge Jesus on His own merits there could be nothing except acceptance. That's how much God loves you, that He is willing to be despised for the likes of you and me. By keeping company with you, Jesus's message is tainted. But in the end the Bible tells us that every living soul will be without excuse. God has revealed Himself through Jesus and Jesus reveals Himself through you and me. That's how it is. I would hope that we would at least attempt to be His ambassador with some resemblance."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Daily Devotional October 21 - What Is Enough Evidence?

"He saved others; Himself he cannot save. If He be king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." Matthew 27:42 "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst they good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:19-31 Also read John 5:39-47

Isn't it ironic that those who don't believe are always trying to tell those who do believe, what to tell those who don't believe, to convince those that do believe, not to believe?

Had Jesus walked off the cross, whomever didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God believed, would still not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. God designed man to believe in God through several methods, all of which non-believers deny.
1 God designed each person to have, in their soul, a desire to know their creator. It is inherent.
2 God designed all creation to speak of Him through the experience of the sciences.
3 God designed each person to have a need to connect with the source of their existence.
4 God designed every person to respond to the inner call from God.
5 God confirmed His existence through the writing of the scriptures, where he used men, to confirm in writing God's self disclosure, throughout the ages. The Bible is the only book that reveals the actual genealogies of man from Jesus backward to Adam.
6 The Bible verifies and codifies the history of man from Adam to Jesus by having the Bible span about 4,000 years from Adam to Jesus with multiple writers from differing cultures and milleniums, cohesively joining together the only credible source for historically accurate anthropology. And then from Jesus until now and beyond the Bible prophesies unquestionable events that have taken place and that will take place in the future.

Even if Jesus had come down from the cross or if someone went back from heaven to earth to notify those on earth that God is real, heaven is real and hell is real, those who don't believe wouldn't believe. The non-believer is always looking for more evidence. If the evidence that is available isn't enough, well, think about it.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily Devotional October 24 - Life Can Be A Little Complicated

""And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, satan hath desired to sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:31-32

Are you doing a good work? Do you believe that Jesus is Lord? Have you decided to follow Jesus? Are you a member of a church? Do you teach Sunday School or have a ministry? Are you trying to do the right thing in your family life and your business life?

If you have said yes to any of these questions, then listen carefully.
  • satan will try to take away all the progress you have made.
  • satan intends to take back from you all that you have gained; money, friends, responsibilities, integrity, land, houses, children, parents, spouse, anything and everything that you are steward over.
  • satan will use trickery, advertisement, people, money, lies, family, friends, church friends, anything to make you change your mind about God.
  • satan will entice you, try to crush you, tickle your ears, divide you from those you love, break your spirit, take your things, plant weeds, make you think your something you are not, buy you, and try to make you into a fake.
  • satan is real and satan is smart, cunning, crafty, calculating, sneaky, scheming, treacherous, deceitful, duplicitous, deceptive, misleading, conniving, hateful, vile, relentless, repulsive, wicked, malevolent and foul.
When Jesus says he (satan) will sift you as wheat, Jesus knows what you are up against. Jesus knows that satan will attack you without reason, without cause, without consideration, without fear of reprisal, without any consideration for you, your family, your business, your friends, your church, your anything. If satan decides to sift you as wheat it is because you exist. You don't have to be doing a good work, living a holy life, nor do you have to be messing up, having fallen to the bottom, losing the battle or thoroughly ruined, having fallen away from what you know is right.

satan comes to sift you as wheat because you exist.

Jesus understands the whole dilemma. That's why Jesus tells Peter he is going to pray for him. That's why Jesus prays for you. That's why you need to be praying for others. Prayer provides a disconnect that thwarts satans ploys. Prayer has the power to step in between a situation and sever satans hold/stronghold/s. Prayer contains the power to overpower satan.
Ignorance does not have the power to overpower satans projects.
Denial doesn't work either.
Only prayer was designed to pull the plug on satan's activities.

Jesus prayed that Peter would hold fast to his faith. Jesus knew that there was a storm coming unlike anything that Peter had ever experienced. The only way to survive was to implement his faith. It is the only way you will overcome the wiles of the wicked one also, simple faith. If the faith you have is only in yourself, you are faced with having to fight against a powerful enemy with no weapons, naked and vulnerable, unable to stand against, fight against or even run from the evil one. No faith means no protection and no weapons to fight back.

Next Jesus says something rather disconcerting. Jesus says to Peter, who had been with him for three years, side by side, watching all the miracles and seeing results from his own hands, "when thou art converted, strengthen the brethren."
I will just say this.
Playing with God like he doesn't exist, or he is your toy or genie in a bottle will not be enough when you are tested in battle.
Playing church because it is apropos will not help you in the time of need.
Acting like you have faith while you are living out another life provides no protection against the evil forces of this world.
You have to have faith and it must in God, through Christ.

Jesus told Peter what Peter didn't want to hear. Jesus dressed him down to save his soul. Peter believed he was as strong as Jesus. Peter believed he would be protecting Jesus. Peter was wrong about Jesus and many today are wrong about who they think Jesus is too. Go ahead and read verse 33-34 and verses 54-62 and see how easy it is to think something different than what Jesus says. I would rather believe what Jesus is telling me than to create my own version and hope I am right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Daily Devotional October 19 - Hell Isn't A Pretty Subject

""For what profiteth a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:" Mark 8:36 and 1 Peter 1:24

Can you lose your soul? Yes. You can lose it in this sense; You are alive and you have the power to feed and nurture your soul with the Word of God. You can commune with God and you can hear from the Holy Spirit all things pertaining to building up and filling the soul with God things. Your soul can be enlightened with the things of God. You can decide today to enhance your soul by praying or worshiping or praising or thanking God. But there will come a time when you will no longer have that power. When you die, if you are born again, you will still have power over your soul. You will not lose control of you. What good is it to gain all the material wealth that the world has to offer and then lose control of your living soul for eternity.

By losing control I am saying that in hell (the place where non-believers will reside for all eternity) their soul remains alive and they are conscious of their surroundings, but no longer will anyone who goes to hell have any control over anything, not even their existence. They cannot even die or become unconscious. Maybe it is important to believe and to reveal the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the only way to avert a terrifying destiny.

Just one more note: Modern man doesn't fear hell. We can thank our preachers for that. Modern man doesn't believe hell is the place that Jesus says it is. I think everyone should re-evaluate what they believe. If the scriptures are true about salvation and true about the benefits of knowing Jesus and you recognize the truth of this by the evidence of experience, shouldn't we also believe what the Bible says about hell?

Daily Devotional October 18 - Tolerance

""And it came to pass, that He (Jesus) went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and His disciples began, as they went to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto Him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And He (Jesus) said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: There the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." Mark 2:23-28

It's not just the sabbath issue, but the naysayers and the legalists push their rules on others and many of the rules are not from God. So often the spirit of the law and the letter of the law are worlds apart. The fact that Jesus addressed this issue is real important as we look at the mind-set that promotes things like punishing or ostracizing those who don't follow some unknown strict code of conduct. The body of Christ is made up of a variety of differing cultural and ethnic proclivities, many that don't have anything to do with heart purity of godly living. You can dress different than someone else and still be living just as holy a lifestyle. You can have differing interests and still follow Jesus. You can even believe a little differently than your Baptist/Methodist/Presbyterian/Non-denominational/Holiness/Apostolic/Missionary of other named group of believers and still follow Jesus.

That's the point. The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. David ate the shewbread, in today's vernacular, the host, the Eucharist, the wafer, holy bread, sanctified for use. The disciples picked corn on the sabbath day. What is the spirit of the law of God? Of course it is appropriate to have rules and follow them, but there is room for irregularities within those rules, circumstances of exception.

The question becomes, is there a place in your heart for differing views if those views do not threaten true Christianity; If those views are not corrupt or misleading or sinful or inappropriate? Can you make room for the occasional foible or unforeseen circumstance that might require that you are merciful and forgiving? I hope so. I'm not advocating giving up or compromising any of the cardinal doctrines that are clearly outlined in the scriptures. But I have seen much majoring on the minors and minoring on the majors as if you were hired as God's watchdog to make sure everyone does it the way you do.

You are to become like Christ. Religion is for finding the grace and mercy and love and forgiveness of God, not for the binding together of like-minded men and women who are following some rigid and unforgiving set of rules, rules that God has not written, in order to appear to others to be holier or better than those around them. Religion should steer you to become a servant to others and to make special places for the less fortunate and to lift others up and encourage them, not to shun and despise those who have been brought up differently or those who may have learned a different, less perfect theology.

Daily Devotional October 17 - The Spiritual Mind, The Carnal Mind; What A Battle

""And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Carnal is referring to the mindset of (in this case) believers who have not matured. Why is it that so many people want to stay in the state of carnal minded? Is it possible that they are afraid that if they cave in to following the precepts of God that they will not be able to do some things? Maybe it is because they are afraid that they might become like the people they make fun of. Maybe it's because they have never really tasted of true Christianity. Whatever the reason, if you are reading this, it is time to make up your mind that you are going to step out in faith and try to experience a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God.

Becoming spiritual minded is a requirement for becoming a mature Christian. But this kind of spiritually minded is not the kind that your non-believing friends have made up in their minds that you would be like if you were spiritually minded. 

Even shallow Christians (carnal minded Christians) have a negative view of becoming spiritual, as if becoming spiritual made you forget what it is to be a man or a woman with needs and wants and desires. Nothing could be further from the truth. Becoming spiritual opens your eyes and your ears to higher thinking. Closer to God becomes your mantra and with closer comes wisdom. You will start to make wiser decisions and handle more issues with less effort than ever before. Becoming spiritual puts you in touch with your inner man, that part of your whole self that is the home of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Having access to the power of God is far more initeresting, adventuresome and exciting than sitting around watching TV, hoping that you will be enlightened by Hollywood's finest playwrites.
The only way to get free from the duldrums of apathy and following the continuous drain of the rudimentary lifestyle is to make up your mind that you are not going to just 'tolerate' life anymore. You have got to make up your mind that you are going to receive the best that God has to offer and then do something with it. God is liberal with His gifts, blessings, money, love, mercy and forgiveness. 

God will enhance your life in direct proportion to the measure you give it. If you give it little you will grow little. If you give it much you will get much. If you give it more, you will receive more than imaginable. If you give it your all you will receive God's all. God set it up this way so that you would learn to co-create with God.

The carnal mind is the enemy of God-thinking. The carnal mind will keep you trapped for years and provide the ammunition to continue blaming others for your own unwillingness to cooperate with the plan of God for your life. The carnal mind doesn't serve you, you serve it. Your passions and desires are not ever met while nurturing the carnal mind. That's why you have to go back again and again to get the same things over and over again without ever being fulfilled. The carnal mind promotes the art of repeating the same mistake over and over again. The carnal mind is the enemy of God.

Being spiritually minded is about participating in what God is doing in His kingdom, here, on this side of heaven, now, with what you have. Nothing more and nothing less.

Daily Devotional October 16 - The Dispensation Of The Fullness Of Times

""Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which he hath purposed in Himself. That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:" Ephesians 1:3-10

The dispensation of the fullness of times. All that God did from even before the creation of the world/s and all that is within them, God did knowing the end from the beginning. You should be ecstatic that God, in His wisdom, found a place for you in eternity with Him. That God would even consider you to be His child and that God wants to spend all eternity with you is a blessing immeasurable. The dispensation of the fullness of times is the culmination of the last generation of man, also known as the dispensation of grace. This is the final dispensation before things are wrapped up here as we know it. You might be wondering if there is any clue to when the end of the last dispensation is. Of course no one knows the time or date, but we do know the season.
The dispensation of the fullness of times is the seventh dispensation of time also called the kingdom covenant
The first is the dispensation of innocency or the Edenic Covenant
The second is the dispensation of conscience
The third is the dispensation of human government or the Noahic covenant
The fourth is the dispensation of promise or the Abrahamic covenant
The fifth is the dispensation of law
The sixth is the dispensation of grace (You are living in the dispensation of grace)
The seventh is the dispensation of kingdom

The first five dispensations have passed. In the book of Matthew and Luke you will find genealogies going back to Adam; every generation from Adam to Christ accounted for, about four thousand years. From the time of Christ to now about 2,000 + years. That is nearly 6,000 years divided by six dispensations. According to Christ we are living in the last times. The dispensation of grace started with the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. For those who are skeptical about prophesy, let's just say that we are closer to the end of the dispensation of grace than we were two thousand years ago. The next dispensation starts when the body of Christ is raptured. The next dispensation lasts seven years plus 1,000 years plus a little while according to scripture. Whether the dispensation of grace goes on for another ten thousand years or it comes to a close tomorrow is of no consequence if you are in love with Jesus."

Daily Devotional October 15 - Oh Boy!, Theology. Hold On To Your Seat

"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever." John 14:16

For how long? Forever. Good theology: Believe what God says before you believe what someone says about what God says. The Godhead; the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit abides with us from the moment we accept Christ as our Saviour. I know that many religions have different rules about salvation, but clear uninterpreted truth direct from scripture should not be quickly dismissed.

There are a few reasons I am making this point.
First: Jesus is praying the Father that the Father will give you the Holy Spirit. If Jesus prayed that for me, I would know for certainty that it was for all eternity. I don't believe that God the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit makes mistakes, or qualifies someone for salvation that they have to later rescind, or change their mind about how secure salvation is for the believer. Jesus prayed the Father, the Father sent the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit resides within the believer.

Secondly: All that being said, everything to do with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are eternal things. Do you really think that the one most important thought of all, the salvation of believers (the joining to God of fallen man to become joint heirs with Christ by adoption) is ill conceived? Do you really believe that Christ died for your sins and when you were born again that what Christ did through the atoning sacrifice was not quite good enough to last? Are you of the persuasion that in order to be fully saved you have to jump through hoop number two or three or that being saved is just temporary as long as you don't do or say something wrong? If that were the case none of us would have a chance.

Thirdly: Salvation is a finished work of God for all eternity. Sanctification is the ongoing process of being purified in word and deed. But being sanctified makes you no more saved than you were before you were sanctified. Being sanctified makes you no more holy either. Being sanctified does make you more cognizant of your spiritual responsibilities, but standing before God there are not two lines, the saved line on the left and the sanctified line on the right. Just the thought of it reduces the possibility of the sanctified having a better place before God, because God lifts up the humble and abases the proud.

Those of you who treat salvation as a lesser gift should be ashamed. And you need to get your theology straight. Salvation is the All in All work of God that all other things spiritual come under. Sanctification, holiness, purification, spiritual gifting, fruit of the Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, measure of faith, all fall under salvation. None of these things exist unless a person is saved. And when a person is saved all of these things become part of the process of being with God forever.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Daily Devotional October 14 - Don't Be Afraid To Be Holy

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Ephesians 2:19-22

I love this description of the believer. First of all we are no more strangers. That means that we read the Bible. We have come to know God through an understanding given to us by God of Himself. We have come to Christ and we know it. We have gone further than being born into a Christian family. We have made a conscious choice to join up with Jesus.

We are fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God. We are not above nor are we below, we are fellow-citizens with those who have gone before us and those who are here doing the work of a believer. A fellow-citizen comes with the rights afforded all citizens. These rights are given from heaven and adopted on earth. These are the rights to blessings, power in the spirit, enlightenment in the mind, supernatural intervention into our daily affairs, answered prayer and protection and action on our behalf from the heavenly hosts.

Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Everything to do with our faith is built upon the men and women that have gone before us; those who believed and trusted God and gave us the scriptures. The apostles and prophets have disclosed the mind of God as they experienced the hand of God throughout their lives. This is the best way to communicate to multiple generations; that which happened to you personally. That's why the scriptures are true to each generation, because they were written in real time, by real people who had real experiences, recorded for our benefit.

Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. Jesus Himself is the head of the Church, the body of Christ. It is Jesus that the scriptures point to and it is Jesus that we trust. Jesus is the rock of our salvation. Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith. No Jesus, no God. It's that simple.

All the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. The building is your body. Your body and my body house the Holy Spirit. It is all those people from all denominations and non-denominations who trust in Christ as their saviour that make up the building, Christ is the cornerstone of that building. Fitly joined together means that everyone who has come to Christ has something to offer the body. I wish we would stop making one person higher than another. It is not that way with God.

In whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. We are the abode where God takes residence in the person of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. An habitation is for the living. Today, if you are a believer that Jesus Christ is your Saviour, you have within you the unlimited power of Almighty God, housed inside your inner man. You should live as if you were housing the holy oracles of God. We have the eternal word available for use as we need it supplied by the power of the Holy Spirit within. You really do have the answers. You really do have the ability. You really can live holy. You really are holy.

So much of this type of teaching is foreign to the body of Christ. God's Word goes deep and the mine of spiritual truths is laced with gems from God. But so many people have been so busy that as they walk along, even though God has dug up the gems for them and laid them on top of the ground, they are so busy they don't even see them. Keep your spiritual eyes open and let God live in you, because you are the habitation of God."

Daily Devotional October 13 - Wait

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Psalm 27:14

"Wait? You've got to be kidding. There's no more time to wait.
I need to do this and I need to do it now.
I want this thing and I want it now.
I need to marry this person and I need to do it now.
I need to do this business venture and I need to do it now.
I need to buy this thing and I need to buy it now."

"Why would God instruct us to wait on the LORD?
If God is all seeing and full of power, why can't God work around it for my sake?
What difference will it make if I wait? I will probably lose the opportunity and then what?
If I don't marry this person they will find someone else."

Are you sure?

God doesn't ask to wait for all eternity, it might not even be for a day, but to wait until you hear from the Lord is wise. God does want you to wait until all of you questions have been answered before making important decisions. Don't purposely heighten the risk of whatever you have in mind by moving forward too quickly. Most of the time the only thing that requires immediate attention is response to a disaster and moving too quickly on other things can make a disaster. There is a best way to handle making decisions so that they turn out well:
  • Don't pin yourself against the wall in the first place.
  • Pray about your situation and see if you get a leading from the Holy Spirit concerning the matter.
  • Make sure you look at whatever it is that you want from three distances; short term, along the way and long term. All three distances away from now have to fit or don't make the decision yet.
  • Make sure you measure what it is that you think you have to have right now three ways;
I. Have I fully vetted the situation to make sure that what I think I am getting is what I am getting? It takes a little time to figure this out.
2. Do I know enough about what I am getting to know that it will be sufficient along the way for beginning to end, to meet my needs (financialemotional, spiritual)? If not take some time and find out.
3. Is this thing I have to have right now going to end well? Are there other considerations that need my attention before I give it over to destiny? Do I really know what the outcome will be?

The best way to tell the outcome is to measure it carefully in the beginning to make sure it meets these next three criteria:
  1. Can what you want be sanctioned by God?
  2. Is what you want able to follow godly criteria? Can you use godly principles in the business you want to buy? Is the person you chose a godly man or woman? Is your business venture, idea, sound and fair or is it a gimmick, an MLM or other type of scheme? Is where you want to go full of enticements that might steer you off the track?
  3. Can you talk to God and listen to God with a clean conscience along the way if you choose this thing/person you want?
If you are thinking that all of this is just poppycock, you really do need to take some time, take a sabbatical from the pressure of the moment and wait. It will be the best decision you ever made."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Daily Devotional October 12 - Life Is Like A Vapor

""Go to now, ye that say, today of tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:13-14

Pray before you move. Is it God guiding you to move here or there because He has a plan for your life, or is it that you think you will make a killing if you go to such and such a place? You can have both, but just to move to get gain is foolish. You might get rich. You might lose it all. But to move to get gain doesn't give God the honor nor does it follow the biblical prescription of bringing your plans to God for approval before setting out on a venture.

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow." A lot can happen in one day and we really don't know about tomorrow, but to go into tomorrow on our own fuel, so to speak, doesn't make sense to James and it doesn't make sense to me either. You need spiritual fuel and that comes from the Spirit of God. When God has been invited in to what you are doing, in advance, before you move for gain, you will get understanding. Whether things go right or if they go wrong, if you succeed or if you fail, there is understanding when God is involved. The Spirit of God communes with your Spirit to help you to get out of the experience necessary components that make a godly life.

James goes on to remind of us of the brevity of our life. A moment with God is better than a lifetime without. Life is short and God wants us to dispose our time wisely. Wisely is when we bring God into our situation early; early in the morning, early in the decision making process, early in the business start-up, early in the relationship, early in our decision to move. When you do this, you are inviting God to supernaturally intervene in your natural world. Time is spent wisely when you are following the lead of the Holy Spirit in your life/lifestyle. If my life is a vapor, when it is over, I want it to have left more behind than I took with me. I think that is what James is trying to tell us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Daily Devotional October 11 - Pastor Bashing Is Out

"And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour over you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

In no way does it make light of your personal relationship with God to admire and support your pastor. We all develop at different times in our life. Your pastor has the job of trying to speak to people of all different levels of understanding and levels of commitment to God. It is a difficult job. Your pastor isn't perfect. Paul knew that about the pastors, teachers, apostles, priests and ministry leaders of his day and yet he still admonishes us to esteem them very highly.

You and I both know that there are pastors that do not deserve to be esteemed. They have lost their way. They are confused an they have misaligned loyalties. They are carnal minded and in some cases they have run amuck and shipwrecked. Of course these individuals are not to be esteemed highly as pastors, but even these who once were devoted and doing the work of God need to be loved, rehabilitated and forgiven.

But for the most part Paul is speaking about the majority of pastors that are devoted to seeking and finding the gems that God has strewn through His Word. Most pastors plead with God for wisdom and enlightenment. They have found God in Christ and now they are desiring to be filled with the presence of God. They are not satisfied to follow the status quo. They are emboldened to step out in faith and believe God for everything. They follow God and they are teaching, to the best of their ability, that which they have learned. They can't wait to share some nugget of truth that moved them.

Mature pastors who are serving the Lord in a day by day relationship are even willing to admonish their flock with hard truths, truths that hurt a little, truths that cause one to step out of their comfort zone, truths that step on toes, truths that edify but sometimes crush the ego of those living an un-devoted life/lifestyle. All of these pastors are marrying and burying, dedicating and educating people day in and day out. They deserve whatever good thing you can bring them.

But we have a sickness in the church today. I hope you are no part of it, but if you are, please consider these things:
Your pastor should be paid at least twice what they are getting. How can you esteem someone very highly and at the same time ask them to work for minimum wage or worse? Quit thinking that you are more spiritual than your pastor or that you know more than he does. Your pastor is more likely to play down his true connection with God and the plethora of knowledge that he has so that no one will feel offended. Don't ever say anything about your pastor or any pastor that you didn't see with your own eyes. There is a sickness today with people bashing pastors that they have never even met. That's ungodly. It's one thing to have an opinion about a politician that you don't know anything about, but politicians bring it on themselves. They like the negative banter as well as the positive and in most cases they deserve it, but your pastor is not a politician. He or she is a man or woman chosen by God to be infused with God's wisdom to be shared with others. Be the first to never say anything or report anything about your pastor or any pastor that you didn't see with your own eyes. You will change the world.

Your pastor's wife is off limits. Nothing should be said or reported about the pastor's wife unless it is good. God doesn't need you to help Him keep her straight (in your eyes). Every time you see the pastor's wife you should have the same respect and love for her as for the pastor. She is not to be used to get to the pastor. That's ungodly. She is not to be told how to live or instructed by those who think that the pastor's wife should do everything the way their grandma did it. She is to be esteemed highly because the two are twain. Shower her with gifts; money, things, vacations, time away, gift certificates to the mall, all the things that would bring a smile to someones face are the things you should bring to her. Say good things about her or don't speak at all. Be there like a good friend. The pastor's wife is not your enemy just because the pastor reached your heart with a truth that hurt a little. Get off your high horse and get things in perspective. Be the one in your church that starts a new policy. The 'I will only say and do good things about and toward my pastor's wife policy'. Your pastor's wife has so much responsibility and over so many people. Give her a break and rebuild your relationship with her or move on. Nobody deserves deprecation from a self imposed critic.

Your pastor's kids are off limits. What kind of person would do something harmful or say something harmful about the pastor or his wife in front of their kids? What kind of person would rebuke a child for something they thought their father or mother did? Jesus talks about those kinds of people and he said it would be better if they had never been born.

Even worse what kind of person would let a child suffer in any way to get at their pastor or his wife? I've seen it happen. It's as if they were possessed with an obsession to get at the pastor and the children are simply a stepping stone to climb over or even crush without cause to get their revenge ya yas. These are the people that should be kicked out of the church. Your pastor won't do it. He is entirely too tolerant for his own good, but you on the other hand can put a stop to this kind of evil behavior. Never participate in any conversation about the pastor's kids unless it is to bless them. They are kids and they aren't going to be perfect, nor are they going to be as spiritual as your grandma. Get over it. This is a new generation and these kids must find themselves in this generation. You can't tell them into it. Your story isn't their story. Simply love them unconditionally and you will be following Christ. Nothing else will do.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Daily Devotional October 10 - God Will Answer Your Prayer

"Have mercy on me , O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly." Psalm 31:9

Not feeling it?
Everyone has troubles. Some troubles are self imposed, some come through the willingness of our friends and family to pass their troubles on to us and some by others whom we don't know at all, but they wreak their havoc on whomever is in the way. Either way, the only way to rest assured that your troubles will come to an end so that their is understanding on your part, is to pray to God.

David cried out loud with pain to God because David knew that his prayers would be heard and answered. He had seen the work of the mighty hand of God in his life and the life of those around him. David knew that God was his answer to his problems. I hope you know that God is your answer to your problems. There's no trouble like the kind of trouble the heart generates when you try to hide your problems from God.

God will answer your prayer. Call out to God with your troubles. Again, even if you caused the problem, God's forgiveness is bigger than your problem, bigger than your mistakes, bigger than your indiscretions, bigger than your sin.

Daily Devotional October 9 - Which Path Are You On?

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14

Unbelievers and naysayers call Christians narrow-minded. The truth is that non-believers and naysayers are the narrow-minded. How can I say that? Easily. Before we have Christ our entire outer world is within the bounds of what scientist have discovered and our inner world is the expanse of the natural man's mind, concentric at best. Talk about narrow. Once we have Christ we understand that all the worlds that we can see, even with the most powerful telescopes, is just a handful of our outer world. Our outer world goes beyond and includes heaven. Our inner mind is expanded and we have the mind of Christ as it is developed by the Holy Spirit of God within. We can see further and deeper into a situation and our inner world is vast and capacious.

Strait is the gate is referring to the direction inside the gate. If you were in a tunnel, the tunnel is strait, not curving around and no exits to the left or the right. The way of passage to God is strait through the gate that leads to God straight ahead.

Narrow is the way has nothing to do with narrow-minded. It has everything to do with the means by which one must come to God. God designed us to come to to Him through Christ. There is no other way. There is no spiritual ladder based upon levels of intuition or restraint of specific activities. The atoning blood of Jesus is the only way to God. That's what narrow is referring to in this passage.

Maybe that's why there are few that find it. It's so simple and so easy to enter into the strait gate and follow the narrow passage to holy God. God designed it this way so that everyone could easily come in and partake. But man is hardened by such an invitation from God. Man wants it to be difficult and easy to distinguish who is doing it best and who is trying harder and who is doing the most. Man's corrupted and nurtured ego is the wide gate and his foolishness the broad path and through it man finds himself in the end, with much disappointment.

You can start out on the broad path and still find your way, but few there are that find it. Once you have wandered aimlessly in the vast wasteland of the broad path, it's hard to tame the ego, it's hard to see clearly and it's hard to give it up, even if it is killing you. Because on the broad path there are offers of a great many illusions, some of them can make you think you have found your god, and you did.

Daily Devotional October 8 - Read The Book Of Revelation

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Revelation 15:2

Over the beast: the devil and his emissaries in the end times
Over the image: the image of the beast that was installed in Israel in the end times
Over the mark: The mark in the hand or the head as a means of identification to receive food and goods in the end times
Over the number of his name: 666 the number that represents the works of the devil in the end times

"Why bother? After all we will probably be gone on to be with the Lord by this time." I'll tell you why. If you are a believer you will be there. If these events take place before you die, you will have been informed about the events of the times through the book of Revelation. If you have gone on to be with the Lord by then you will be there. That's right, all of the book of Revelation is discussing what will be happening at different periods of time and you will be there participating. The vision that John saw, you were in. John was taken into the future and you were there.

It's just as important that you know what is going on at that time as it is in this time. That's the point of Book of Revelation. So many people think that it either shouldn't be read or that it is just for those in the future or that only theologians understand it. Nothing could be further from the truth. You were designed to read and understand the book of Revelation. It was written for you. Saying that it is too complicated or not understandable is like calling God a liar. Just check out the first three verses.

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John: Who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophesy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Revelation 1:1-3

Does this sound like God has designed some allegory or unknowable story that you should dismiss as unimportant or inconsequential? How can you be blessed by the book if you haven't read the book and how can you keep those things in the book if you don't know what they are. The book of Revelation is to be read, not feared, understood, not bemusing. Try just reading through one time before you use your concordance or commentaries or study guides. It's not that they won't help, because they will, but the help they give you is intellectual and the Word of God speaks to you internally spiritually.

Daily Devotional October 7 - God Is God In Your Current Situation

"But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." Genesis 51:20

This comes from the story of Joseph, who was sold to the Egyptians to become a slave by jealous brothers. Joseph was accused and punished for crimes he did not commit and his brothers did treacherous and ungodly things to him. Many people along the way hated Joseph and he was mocked, lied about, tortured, ruined and despised by many. Joseph had it rough and everything that could go wrong went wrong. The people that hated him didn't have a cause.

Here's the question that so many people ask. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I have had to deal with this in my life and offer consolation to others that have asked this question. But over the years I have learned that this is not a question that should be asked by us about God. The question shouldn't be "Why do bad things happen to good people." The question should be, "what are you going to do with what God allowed to happen?"

What happened happened. I know the pain of awful things coming my way and maybe you do to. Your pain might be that your loved ones haven't come to Jesus or maybe you are real sick. Maybe you have lost all hope and you think that God wouldn't heal you if He could, because you don't feel that you properly reconciled yourself for past sins or whatever.  Maybe a friend betrayed you or fellow workers lied about you to get rid of you.  Maybe people believe a lie about you because someone said something hurtful.  The point is, God is going to be God without your consent. What are you going to do with what God allowed to happen? Rather than give you all the things you could say or do that don't work, let's get to the quick. God is God and will be God with or without your recognition, but you have the right as a believer to interact with God, to bring to pass a desired outcome. You were designed to co-create with God. It's true, what you think and what you have faith to believe for plays an interactive role in what God allows to happen.

If you want to wallow in the mire of disillusionment and despair, blaming God for all the things that have gone wrong, go ahead. But you can, if you want to, decide that you aren't going to allow what happened in your life to rob you even further of what lies ahead. Get with God on this. Try to trust Him with your tomorrows. Make an attempt to seek the mind of God and offer your suggestions to God. Try to believe that God wants to co-create the future with you, using what you have along with your faith to create something even more wonderful than you ever dreamed. Try to understand that what God allowed to happen is in His hands. Try to trust that God has a greater interest in those in whom you love and yourself than you do.

If you just can't do that because you are too bitter, if you are a believer, simply ask God to change your mind. God will do it because God is God. What if you don't ask God to change your mind and you decide to hold firm, mad and hardened against God? God loves you so much that even if you hold fast and firm, disillusioned and frothing with anger, God will continue to do good things for you and bring to pass wonderful things on your behalf.  If you won't recognize that it is God working on you behalf to bring about a desired end, God is OK with that.  You won't feel the hand of God and you won't rest assured that all will work out, but God isn't going to give up on you because you are stubborn to believe, obstinate in responding quickly to God or simply ignorant of what God is doing.

Daily Devotional October 6 - How Infinite Is The God You Serve?

"He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by name." Psalm 147:4

Numbers are important and God uses numbers, multiples of numbers, special numbers and every other kind of number you can think of. God created numbers. God put all the sciences in place so that they would have measurable results and of course these measurable results are usually found in numbers.

You might wonder, if God telleth the number of the stars, whom did He tell it to? And if he calleth them all by name, what are their names? Those are good questions. The number of the stars is so big that we cannot say it, we haven't invented it yet, we don't have a way to express it. How could we? Those who have been born again understand this better than those who have not, because as we grow closer to God we get understanding that God gets bigger and as we learn more, there's more yet and as we contemplate real deep, there is deeper still. We get it.

The realm of God is beyond our comprehension. We don't have enough space to write down the number of the stars, much less their names. I'm OK with that. If I could know all there was to know about God or figure out every science to its fullest depth and end, then God would be too much like me. But that's not the case. We are made in the image of God and we are to be like God in so many ways and we are designed with the capacity to grasp God concepts, but to think that we could find the end of any is for skeptics, not believers.

Yes God did give each star a name and yes they are innumerable by our standards, but to God they are all easily accessible and discernible. If you are wondering if your problems get the same attention that the stars get, quit even thinking that way. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

Your breath is weighed, your step is measured, your movement recorded, your thoughts archived. There's nothing about you that God does not already know about, your past, present and future; each minuscule event, every nano-second, carefully seen and considered by God, every word of prayer, every hand clap, every everything, all measured, calculated, stored and easily retrievable on your behalf. God takes all these measurements and with that of every other living creature answers your prayers by integrating the same for all mankind at the same time so that you can be blessed, bodies healed, hearts cleansed, minds purified, attitudes adjusted, houses built, food provided and sins forgiven.

Is this a resemblance of the God you serve?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Daily Devotional October 5 - Defining The Kingdom Of God

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable unto God, and approved of men." Romans 14:17-18

"The kingdom of God is not meat and drink." What is the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is the realm of believers, this side of heaven and those who have passed on to be with the Lord. The kingdom of God is anywhere a believer is as well as in the believers mind and anywhere that believers are in the world.
Angels are in the kingdom of God.
Pure thoughts are in the kingdom of God.

There is no darkness in the kingdom of God.
Unbelievers are not in the kingdom of God.
Fallen angels (demons) are not in the kingdom of God.
Evil thoughts are not in the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is made up of imperfect, saved individuals. The thoughts of God are loose, available, plentiful and easily accessible in the kingdom of God. In our minds we have kigndom thoughts and we have other thoughts. The kingdom thoughts help us to move forward with God while the other thoughts quench the Holy Spirit. Kingdom thoughts are God thoughts.

Kigndom food is the Word of God.
Kingdom love is love for those in Christ and those without.
Kingdom works are those things done under the influence and instruction of the Holy Spirit and they positively affect believers and non-believers alike.
Kingdom righteousness is given to us by God through the efficacy of the work that Jesus did on the cross.
Kingdom giving is to give to believers and to non-believers as led by the Holy Spirit
Kingdom hospitality is to believers and to non-believers.
Kingdom theology is for believers only, because only believers can and do communicate directly with the Holy Spirit in the inner man.
Kingdom religion is to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep yourself unspotted from the world. Kingdom religion has no denominational affiliation.
Kingdom gifting is for believers only and given to believers for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ, strengthening the inner man and promoting the gospel to the unsaved world at large.
Kingdom prophesy is for all mankind and written in the scriptures to verify the actions of those who have gone before us, to measure where we are in relation to what God is doing today, and to reveal actions of those in the future and the events surrounding their actions.

Kingdom living is for the believer so that you can live righteously, have peace in your inner man and have joy that can be seen by others. These attributes are approved by God and man."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Daily Devotional October 4 - It Is Written

""Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to Him, He said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:1-4

"It is written" is one of the most important messages from God. The reason is, men and women have the ability to make up their own truths, create their own religious philosophy, make up their own belief system, even create a completely false set of values and morays. But God, in His infinite wisdom, along with creating all the universe and you and me, decided to make sure that there could be no question about all that is necessary for salvation and a godly experience in this life. God did that by creating His spoken word into the written word, using willing, inspired vessels, men and women just like you and me. God still uses men and women to write down inspired words of wisdom and truth that will assist others in finding their true self and experiencing a better life with God.

If you are skeptical about the written word of God, the Bible, then read it. Pray about what you read and let faith have its place in your life. Whatever faith you give to the scriptures will be equally rewarded with belief in those scriptures. Faith turns words on the page into belief that brings things to pass. Can any other book do that? No. The Bible is the only codified, inspired and validated book from God ever written. It is validated through exposure to history without fail and by personal experience and confirmation by the Holy Spirit within. Any attempt to discredit the scripture is futile, because God cannot help but be God and when God had the words of scripture written down, He verified every word so that it could be trusted from age to age without fail.

Don't be sucked in by all the new-agers that believe anything or by other religious philosophies that purport that they are on equal ground with the Bible. If it were so, the Bible would make it clear that there are other sources to qualify your eternal destiny. But there isn't. That's why Jesus can say without any doubt, "it is written," and know that if it is written by God it is as good as if God were standing in the room.

I wish we had believers like that today. When they read the word of God they believe it and move on it and respond to it and follow it, that same as if God had physically given them a command, standing in the same room. Just for the record, that's really the only kind of faith that gets results; the I believe what God says in spite of what I see with my eyes or hear with my ears, despite the outcome, despite anything."