Monday, December 31, 2018

Daily Devotional December 31 - Until The End Of Time

"I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living."  Psalm 116:9

"God, help me to walk in who I am
Lord, help me take my place
And be among those who’ve received
Your blessings and Your grace

God, help me walk in who I am
And follow not another’s plan
Seeking higher ground I will
Seek higher, higher, higher still

God help me walk in who I am
That all my testing be not in vain
That I could boast, (no wasted pain)
For a glimpse of You, I’d go again

God help me walk in who I am
That I would do my family well
Provide my wife with pleasant days
And my children with godly ways

God help me walk in who I am
That I should trust my inner man
Step out in faith and expect to see
Results that prove God lives in me

God help me walk in who I am
Speaking words that edify
Trusting in the Word of God
To bring to pass the best of life

God help me walk in who I am
A praying man who counts on God
To bring to pass - what I can’t see
To make me all that I can be

God help me walk in who I am
With words that speak of future plans
And teaching that provides the soul
With food that helps the spirit grow

God help me walk in who I am
Yielding not to satan’s ploys
Listening not to satan’s noise
Joining not with satan’s boys

God help me walk in who I am
Boasting not what I can do
Taking people to the cross
To get them through

God help me walk in who I am
Standing firm in what You’ve said
Bringing those who need to know
First the salt - then the bread

God help me walk in who I am
And never doubt Your ways
To always be alert to see
You are the Ancient of Days

God help me walk in who I am
And learn to be what You designed
Each day to serve You more and more
Until the end of time"

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Daily Devotional December 30 - No One Sets Out To Go Against God, It Must Be Learned

"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit."  Romans 8:5

Every Word of truth that we receive becomes part of who we are - but just the same every word of truth that we reject or rebel against also becomes part of who we are.  God speaks to us to create in us a likeness of Himself and when we yield to God's spoken Word - we become more like God.  We start to and continue to operate with wisdom and prudence and truth.

When we do not yield to God's spoken/written Word - when we listen to God's Word with indifference - then what we receive is incomplete and unable to solve our problems, cure our diseases, help us through troubles.

When we do not yield to God's spoken/written Word, we are compelled to speak to the issues of life under our own power, by our own strength, with our own words, without the aid and support of God's economy.

Isn't that how most things get messed up in the first place.
No one of sets out to go against God.
All the ugliness of life is learned behavior.
No one starts out thinking - "hey someday I'm gonna be a drug addict - or hey let's go get drunk, maybe we can crash our car or hit some innocent bystander."
No one takes their first drink or their first puff on a cigarette or marijuana and says, "My that has a delightful taste." No, our body, mind and spirit all cringe at the smell and the taste of harmful or intoxicating substances.  You have got to be taught to like it.

Without someone standing over us and egging us on, we would all turn down drugs and alcohol and cigarettes as if it were poison.  We wouldn't take the chance on anything that might cause us harm if it hadn't been for someone patting us on the back and telling us, "it'll be alright.'You've got to exposed to a whole lot of evil before considering such a grotesque act of evil.
Teens don't start out on a Friday night thinking they will get pregnant or be given a drug to seduce them by someone that says they love them more than their own mother.

When we do not yield to God's spoken/written Word - little by little we stray from God's plan for our life.
Little by little we develop a philosophy of self reliance.
Little by little we become less like God's image and likeness - because we cannot be like Christ without Christ.

We cannot imitate holiness - it is received from God unto us. We cannot create it or make it or become it or contrive it.  Everything to do with being spiritual except the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit is a fake.  All the Christian look-alikes - (the tares as the scriptures calls them) are filled with double standards, empty promises, unsupported statements of belief, vain thoughts and idle words.  They are impotent of the ability to ascertain the will of God and powerless to perform it.

When we do not yield to God's spoken/written Word - We are slowly convinced that we do not need God. Eventually, if we were to live long enough, we could eradicate the idea of God altogether, but that's not how we started out.  No, we learned from others how to turn away from God - how to sneak around - how to hide from our responsibilities - how to be two people.

Those who have learned their way away from God had better stop what they are doing and turn around.  You need to tell them:
They are in eminent danger.
They don't have a lifetime to work things out.
God is gathering His people under His wings to take them out of this perverted and subverted culture.
You need to tell them to stop looking and start seeing. Jesus Christ - God among man - lowered Himself to walk among us - to go before us and make things right for us.

We can, by faith live out the rest of our life under the guidance and leadership of Almighty God.
We can, by the power of God, say no to things that use to rule us like the gestapo ruled over Auschwitz.

See, God designed us so that when we do not believe God's written/spoken Word - when we do not yield to what God has said - we become incapable of reflecting the likeness of Christ - we become unable to do the will of God - we become paralyzed and powerless, because we were not designed to be without the indwelling Holy Spirit.

I hope you are getting this. We were not designed to be without the indwelling Holy Spirit.

God speaks to us in His written Word and by His spoken Word to create in us a likeness of Himself and when we yield to God's spoken Word - we become more like God.

  • It is during this time of yielding that we receive power from God.
  • It is during this time of yielding that we receive the filling of the Holy Spirit.
  • It is during these times of yielding that God is in agreement with us and His will is accomplished.

The Spirit of God is above and beyond us. The Spirit of God knows all things. God, the Holy Spirit knows all about us, what we want, what we need, what we should pray for. The Holy Spirit knows what is good for us and what is not.  The Holy Spirit indwells us for a purpose. That purpose is so that we will yield to Him and be filled to overflowing, with peace and comfort, fulfillment and joy.
When we yield our body
When we yield our mind
When we yield our heart
When we yield our spirit
And ultimately when we yield our soul
God's will for our life is accomplished in our lives.

If we do not yield to the Holy spirit, the Holy Spirit cannot fulfill God's will in us. If we do yield to the Holy Spirit, then God's will is accomplished, (not by us, but in us,) by the Holy Spirit.

Yielding is when we trust God so much that we let go of the reigns.
Yielding is when we come before God without any agenda.
Yielding is when we don't have to have all the answers.
Yielding is when we submit ourselves to God - without any deals. If you do this for me I'll do that for you.
Yielding is when we are quiet before God, surrendering to His will.
Yielding is allowing God to teach us, fill us, work in us and through us without any barriers.
Yielding is where we receive from God His will, His plan, His power, Himself; God abiding in us in such a way that His will is performed, not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us.  That is the relationship we can have with God.

We cannot yield to the Holy Spirit at all until we have been born again. Until we have been born again our relationship with God is strained and uncertain. We do not have the confidence that God is on our side and we do not understand the workings of God.

Until we are born again we cannot yield to the Holy Spirit.
We are totally at the mercy of natural law.
Once we have been born again the Holy Spirit comes to make His home in us and abide in us.
I believe that all of us want to thoroughly understand how to be in God's will and how to stay there.
Simply yield to the Holy Spirit.  See what God will do with you right now when you make God such an offer as to yield your will to His.

Daily Devotional December 29 - Getting Your Unbelief Under Control

"You mustn’t be complacent and apathetic, living like you don’t have a Savior - afraid of what the world will think - worried about every little thing. The cares of this world have brought many a good man and woman to ruin.

You should be rejoicing that God has not left you here alone and powerless to fend for yourself.

Awaken young sons and daughters of the Almighty and stake claim to your rightful deed:
Peace and joy in the Lord
Comfort and reparation in the Holy Spirit
Mercy and Grace are your inheritance

You are found, not lost.
You are a conquerer, not conquered.
You have something to shout about.
You have the Word of God in you.

As a pastor, I want to invite you, at this crossroad in time, to take a hard look at your life:
  • Not to discomfort you - although when God gets His way in you sometimes your comfort level is disrupted.
  • Not to make you feel remorse - although, you and I both know that when we sense the stir, the unction of the Holy Spirit, sometimes the pain of remorse for our lack of passion towards our Savior.   
I want to invite you, at this crossroad in time, to take a hard look at your life:

Because God has called me to do this thing.

This turn that you are about to make is a milestone in your spiritual walk with God."
   
    Excerpt from God thinking XCVI -  Getting Your Unbelief Under                          Control by Keith C. Powell Copyright 2015

Daily Devotional December 28 - A New Begining

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  Joshua 24:15

The new year is coming up fast.  Not everyone confesses a New Year's Resolution, but making a declaration to pull away from certain things that you have let creep into your life might be wise.  It's easy over the years to allow little indiscretions work their way into your lifestyle.  But it is just as easy to kick them out. 

That's what Joshua is saying in this verse.
Paraphrased: "If you aren't into the Lord and you think you have found other gods that can meet your needs, go with them.  If you have found other paths that you believe will take you to your desired destination, go on about it.  If you like the way things have been going and you don't want to include God in your life, then make it known.  Quit dabbling with God.  God is not a toy.  For me and my house, we will continue to serve the Lord in whom we have breath and life.  To turn back now would be like an ant falling into an ant-eaters hole."

It doesn't really matter whether you put stock in the New Years Resolution concept or not.  It is the beginning of a new year, a new day, a new decade.  This is the first day and first days are important.  Sometimes the way you start something out is the way it ends.  It's not superstitious to want to start out the new year with hope and direction.  The Lord offers this hope and direction.  Jesus can make an ordinary year into an extraordinary experience.  I'm not willing to try out this new year without asking God to go before me at every turn; make a path real straight and discernible; offer His supernatural intervention when needed and to give me the wherewithal to surmise my circumstances and make wise decisions.  I've made up my mind, for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  How about you?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Daily Devotional December 27 - Are You Thirsty?

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  John 7:37-38

I love what Matthew Henry says in Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, "We must not frame Christ according to our fancy, but believe in a Christ according to the scripture."

Jesus wasn't placating people with smooth words that have no substance.  No, Jesus was speaking the Word from His own mouth to anyone who would hear.  It was the end of the feast of Tabernacles, just before everyone would depart to their homes.  Jesus takes this moment to address the crowd.  What Jesus offers is no small thing.  Jesus reveals His divine authority to save and to make alive.  In these two sentences lies the gospel message.

The Christ of the scriptures reveals Himself, shows concern for every person, offers them a solution to their issues and invites them to make the same offer to others.
Jesus reveals Himself as the Christ of the scriptures, the Savior.
Jesus call cries out to everyone because He knows that without Him the people will remain thirsty: Thirsty for a grasp of the true spiritual life:
  • Thirsty for rest for their souls
  • Thirsty to find the answer to their questions in life
  • Thirsty to get to know their creator
  • Thirsty for right living
  • Thirsty to know the truth
  • Thirsty to have the ability to rise above their circumstances
  • Thirsty to understand the ways of God
  • Thirsty for healing in their body
  • Thirsty for a true religious experience
Jesus states the truth about Himself, "He that believeth on me."  Jesus sets the stage for the rest of His  ministry.  There is no other true spirituality.  There is no other Savior.  There is no other personality to seek of prophet to follow that has the power of God.  There is no other way to God.  Jesus makes it clear that He is the Christ, the anointed One, the very Son of God and God Himself.

Jesus then goes on to prophesy what would happen to all those who wold accept Him, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  Living water is different than still water or stagnant water.  Living water is moving, being filled and filling others.  There is a flow; From God to you - from you to others.  This flow is stewardship.  God enlarges each of us in certain areas of expertise to gain insight, inspiration and wisdom from God, not so that it can make us smarter than others or more talented than others or richer than others, but, because we are His children, God gives us these things because He knows that we will give it to others.  That's the difference in stewardship and ownership.  

When Jesus speaks it's time to listen.  Make a pact with yourself that when you read the Bible you will believe what Jesus of the scriptures says.  It will be the truth and it will come to pass every time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Daily Devotional December 26 - God's Word Never Fails

"Trust in the Lord..."  Psalm 37:3a

1st Do you believe God said this in His Word?
2nd Do you believe that this Word is true?
3rd Do you understand, by the Holy Spirit the wisdom of the principle?

In other words; have you received the wisdom of the Word from God and have you maintained your faith in it without changing or looking back to reconsider whether you believe it or not?

Has the Word been made alive, so that when you read it you trust it implicitly to perform what it says it will?

You can answer that by answering this. Do you apply the truth that you received from the Word of God to all areas of your life?

We say that we trust the LORD, but do we trust the LORD? I believe that most of us do not trust God the way that we should:
  • Implicitly without reservation
  • With full assurance that Gods Word will be fulfilled
  • Without any doubt
Really there isn't much since in reading on until you believe what God has already spoken to you.  Every lesson - every principle - every truth from God must pass this test in your heart before you can receive the power and authority of the Word.

This test being:
1st Do you believe God said this in His Word?
2nd Do you believe that this word is true?
3rd Do you understand, by the Holy Spirit the wisdom of the principle?

We hear the voice of God through God's Holy Word. We receive the fulfillment of the Word of God when we receive the wisdom of the principle or revelation by the Holy Spirit.  "Trust in the LORD." It is the Word that created the heavens and the earth and all that is within it. It is the same Word that created life itself.
Now watch this carefully.
God speaks His Word and creates the heaven and the earth.
God speaks into existence light, plants, animals and even mankind.
God can speak anything into existence out of nothing, because there is no resistance.

Where there is no resistance - God's Word flows freely.

When God speaks His Word to you - You have free will to resist or receive.  If you did not resist the Word of God, every Word would be yours. 

  • Every Word would perform its task.  
  • Every Word would bring into existence its purpose.  
  • Every Word would be fulfilled.

Every Word of God that you:
1st Believe God said it.
2nd Believe that this word is true?
3rd Understand, by the Holy Spirit the wisdom of the principle?

No doubt can enter in. No wavering. No trying it out to see how it works. What it takes for God's Word to work its power in you is (no resistance from you).  Listening or hearing in itself will not activate the power and authority of God.  The Word has to be heard - received - believed and trusted for it to have power in you.  You have to trust God at His Word.

Now in your defense:

I believe that all of us have decided in our heart that the Bible is the Word of God.
If not, then let's get together and pray about that.
It is a huge step of faith, but it is essential if you are to receive power and authority from God.
By believing that the Bible is the Word of God, you allow the Holy Spirit to use the scriptures to teach you and train you. You allow the Holy Spirit access to your heart by faith.
Believing that the Bible is the Word of God gets you to the place where you can receive understanding from God.  But for the Word of God to create what it says in your life, you have to trust God.

God knows the end from the beginning.  God is not going to allow you to try Him out and test Him to see if God is all He says He is, like trying out a new car. God knows when you are fooling around, and He knows when you are trusting in Him. God knows when your faith is in yourself and God knows when your faith is in Him.  Because God knows all these things, He set His Word up to work for those who trust Him, when they trust Him. This is a principle of God and it can never fail."

Daily December 25 - MERRY CHRISTMAS

MERRY CHRISTMAS

"Can we just bask in His glory for a moment and reflect on all that Jesus has done for us this year.  It is beyond measure.  Jesus still coming and going, sending and praying, answering and performing miracles for you and me. 

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."  Luke 1:26-28

The provision of God is universal and comes to each and every person that God made.  It is God's way of providing equally for all. The means of this catholic (world-wide) provision of God is through nature, i. e., gravity, biology, physics, ecology, astronomy, physiology and all the other natural provisions.

But the favor of God comes to those who have a personal relationship with God.  All of creation provides beauty and excitement, adventure and mystery to any and all who choose to utilize creations elements. You don't have to be a born again believer to package or repackage creations components. Everyone has the same opportunity to seek, find and use natures ingredients and bake their own cake, so to speak.

But to have assurance that all will be OK in the midst of the storm requires the favor of God.  The favor of God comes with commitment and preservation of a personal and continuous and deep relationship with Jesus.  Anyone can mine for gold or diamonds or start a business and receive the benefits associated with perseverance and hard work, but to receive a nod from God for a job well done requires the favor of God.

You might be thinking, just get on with it, just tell us how to get the favor of God so we can move into that experience quickly, but the truth is that many people want the favor of God without commitment and loyalty, allegiance, constancy, steadfastness, devotion and affection, love and faith toward God.  The favor of God requires that we die to self, lose our life to save it, put others ahead of ourselves, exchange our rights for obedience and trade in our will for God's will, not that popular today.

God shows His favor upon men and women whom God knows will hang in there to the end. God knows you and I that well. God does not distribute His essence without full knowledge of the past, present and future.  If we want the favor of God, we must make up our mind to follow His Son, today and tomorrow and when the bottom falls out and when our ship comes in. 
In the up time and in the down time. 
In times of health and when our health has left us. 
When we are treated fairly and when we are mistreated and maligned. 
The favor is evident to the faithful, because it is revealed through relationship. 

If God gives you or me favor, so be it. We have a sickness in our society that if someone becomes successful, or receives a blessing, many around them become discontent with them or disappointed with them or in some cases even troublesome toward them.  And in some cases we are fighting against the favor of God. 

The Lord has called you out and seeks to show Himself worthy to anyone who will prepare a table in his heart for the Lord.  
To anyone who will offer up his life for a better one.
To anyone who will seek the will of the Father over his own.
To anyone who will bow the knee to His Son, hear His voice and follow hard after Him.
To anyone who will build on the name of Jesus and not their own.
To anyone willing to let go of their dream for a better dream.
To anyone who will come to the alter and lay it down, lay it all down: money, children, successes, problems, troubles, religion, finances, everything. 

The favor of God comes when we do naturally what God has ordained beforehand. 

When we seek His presence and find it.
When we set our heart to serve the Christ.
When we make choices to follow the precepts handed down to us through the scriptures and handed down to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

See, receiving the favor of God is not based on what you've done, where you've been who you've hurt, how you've mismanaged your money or anything else you've done while trying out life outside of the will of God.  The favor of God is based on what you've given God to work with.  What part of yourself have you given God to work with?"

Monday, December 24, 2018

Daily Devotional December 24 - You Will Get All That God Has For You

"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.  Fare ye well."  Acts 15:28-29

There are two thoughts I want to extrapolate from these verses.
First, how does James know that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost not to place too heavy a burden on the gentile believers?
Second, along with accepting Christ as your personal Savior, God gives us His principles in succession, truth upon truth, precept upon precept, over time and during the process of living the Christian life/lifestyle.

How does James know that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost not to place too heavy a burden on the gentile believers?  The Holy Spirit lives within us and we can know the mind of Christ and the will of God and the expectation of the Holy Spirit if we are in alignment with His will.  If we are in love with Jesus and following after His ways, it is almost second nature to hear and understand the voice of the Holy Spirit within.

A good knowledge of the Bible and a healthy dose of following after Christ and anyone can know the will of God.  We make a big deal about it because there is a lot of money to be made on keeping people in their ignorance and bliss; steering believers to believe that they need a mediator between them and Christ or that the 'average' Christian can't know the will of God; It must be revealed by a priest or prophet or apostle or preacher.  Sorry, but you are just as responsible to gather and follow the teachings of Christ as anyone and you have been endowed with the ability to activate the power of God within you equal to and the same as anyone who claims Christ.  We all have different gifts, but all who are born again have within them the Holy Spirit of God.  All who have been born again have the same chance to find and develop the mind of Christ.  James and you can know what the Holy Spirit desires you to do or say.

God gives us His principles in succession, truth upon truth, precept upon precept, over time and during the process of living the Christian life/lifestyle.  The Holy Spirit did not want to lay too heavy a burden on the new gentile believers at this time.  The process of the Christian life is to start and then move forward and then grow and then abide in Christ and each of these phases are filled with events and struggles, obstacles to overcome and barriers to break down.  At every turn there is a principle of God to be opened up and then utilized, new truths to be learned and new directions to take.

No one gets all of God at one time nor do they get all that God has for them in one sitting.  The process is to grow in Christ and to go through things that develop a God-consciousness in us.  We start out by accepting Christ and we move forward co-creating with God to accomplish the will of God in our life and for the overall good of all.  During this process we also fulfill the prophesies of God concerning mankind and the condition of the world that we live in.  Don't take your part in all this too lightly.  God chose you and that makes your position pretty important.  No you will not get it all at the same time, but you will get all that God has for you in His time.  God's way really is the best way.

Daily Devotional December 23 - Arise and Go

"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee."  Luke 15:18

This is a passage from the parable of the lost son.  If you need to re-read the story it is found in Luke 15:11-32.  This story is about how we all have made choices that did not glorify God and were not for our benefit either.  We thought at the time that we just had to do this or that.  We tried out the grass on the other side, so to speak.  Some of us made choices that took us away from our protection and others even further, to actually abandon our principles altogether, but all of us have made choices that have not glorified God.

It is in this statement above that I find is the beginning to all rebuilding or re-structuring of our lives.  All correcting of the direction we are headed in; all misalignment with God's perfect will for our lives.  "I will arise and go."  Inside your heart you must say these words to get back on track with God.  It has to be your own personal acknowledgement that you have strayed from God and your own acknowledgement that you will get back up and go toward the Father that all spiritual growth is built on.  Without you activating your own free will to go, you will stay in the path in the opposite direction of God's purpose for your life.

Why is that important?  Nobody can do this for you.  Not even God.  Free will is powerful and within its parameters all spiritual growth is activated.  Free will activates the power of God to be used to bring to pass the will of God. When free will is activated to follow after God, God's purpose and direction for our lives is not encumbered by our choices, because the choices we make are made with forethought and prayerful attention.

Even though we have all strayed away from God, are you ready to say, "I will arise and go???"

Daily Devotional December 22 - Are You OK With Being Perfected?

""The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of Thine hands."  Psalm 138:8

Do you feel like God is perfecting you?  If not, it is likely that you are not spending enough time with God.  God does so many things for us, in us and through us, but perfecting us is a primary work of God in man.  The perfecting that God is doing is a cleansing of the mind.  The more time you spend with God, the more thoughts about God are generated.  These God thoughts have in them the power to alter your thinking.  And it is through the altering of your thinking that perfection is being performed in you.

As the new year approaches it might be that God is calling you to a closer walk.  It only requires your time, your heart and your mind.  Different attributes of God are revealed when you approach God at different seasons and for different reasons.  For example when you approach God when you are desperate for an immediate fix of some situation, you see Sovereign God working His will through your situation.  When you approach God when you are in need of money you see the God of provision.  When you approach God for healling you see God's miraculous power to heal the body.

When you approach God without any reason except to be close to Him, you see His purity and His light, His holiness and His beauty.  You see the "come unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden," God.  You see beyond your immediate circumstances and start to understand the big picture, the one that includes others as well as yourself.  You see the gentle hand of love reaching into your heart to purify you with God thoughts.  You see the God that created everything and in everything a purpose and a direction.  What God has done starts to make sense.  You get a clearer vision of the end and the middle doesn't look so scary.

When you get even closer you see yourself through the mind of Christ.  You see the beauty of living to serve God and you grasp why you don't have to be the center of the universe to be fulfilled.  Stay just a little longer and the desire to stay gets greater.  The drive to do it your way becomes hollow.  Your spiritual eyes start to focus and you see the bounty that God has provided.  You see the storehouses full of benefits and blessings with your name on it.  You see that what God has already done with you is more than you ever dreamed.  Yor eyes are opened to another dimension and you start to see the connection between your problems and His solutions.  "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth Me," makes sense.  I am the Lord's handiwork and God is the craftsman.  "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

Daily Devotional December 21 - Who Is Changing You?

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and forever."  Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  To shew that the LORD is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him."  Psalm 92:12-14
This word grow as translated from the Greek is: to change into - enlarge or increase. To enlarge or increase our estate. To grow or change means that we will flourish like the palm tree - Grow like a cedar - Flourish in the courts of God - Bring forth fruit in our old age.  These are not negative things.  Change is not a negative thing.
If we are following Jesus Christ we are changing. The word of God is alive and written so that we would change and change and change. And each change is to make us more like God.

A static relationship with God is not a relationship at all. A static relationship is religion. With religion we can stop and get off anywhere we want to and still maintain our so-called relationship with God.  With a static relationship with God we can easily be led astray.
  • We can fall into temptations
  • We can become unfruitful
  • We can abandon the brethren
  • We can even turn away from God
But with a vital and changing relationship with God, everyday brings new ground to break, new horizons, newness of life.
  • We can flee temptations
  • We produce fruit
  • We stick with the brethren
  • We draw nearer to God
We risk our souls when we bargain with God. God calls us to change so we can be more like God. An elder, mentor and friend of mine at age 87 told me, "A  man or woman of God is always a teachable man or woman."  Isn't it the truth.

The greatest opportunities in our lives have been when we were open to receive what God had for us and the greatest moments among those opportunities are when we received what God had for us.

Each time this happened we made progress in our lives. We allowed God to change us and every change that God makes in us is good. Let's pray that God will change us and not allow us to go another day without opening ourselves to Him in a way that change could take place.

There are ten things that happen when we are not growing or changing:

  • We can become stiff, callous and un-pliable
  • We can be easily led astray
  • We can go back to our old ways
  • We will lose our sense of urgency in the things of God
  • We will waste time wallowing in the past or even in the present
  • We will stop producing fruit - Think about it - How long can fruit hang on a tree before we just cut it off and throw it away, because fruit becomes rotten on the tree.
  • We can miss our calling
  • We can become complacent and careless
  • We will slowly turn back to where we have been
  • Lastly, God cannot use us, because we are not willing to follow Jesus wherever He takes us. 
Sometimes we get into ruts and just stay there.
We resist change.
Sometimes we hold on to the familiar because its easy.

  • We hold on to old doctrines of men.
  • We hold on to our own opinion, even after new light has been shown.
  • We hold on to the world and what it offers.
  • We hold on to the past.
  • We hold on to our guilt.
  • We hold on for FEAR OF CHANGE.
Yet, God calls us to trust Him in a way that demands change. Each step of faith with God is one of relinquishing the familiar or the stagnant and receiving what God has for us. That takes change. It's not easy to step out on the water expecting God to keep us up, but we must if we want to walk with Jesus, because our walk with Jesus is a faith walk, every step of the way.

There are ten things that happen when we are growing or changing:
We become softened and pliable, easy to be talked to and loving to others

  • We cannot be easily led astray
  • We will not turn back to our old ways, we abandon them 
  • We recognize the urgency of the things of God
  • We live in the now and don't live in the past, opening old wounds
  • We will be producing fruit 
  • We will find our calling
  • We will become excited and careful
  • We will never go back to where we have been
  • God can use us because we go wherever Jesus goes
Are we the same person you were ten years ago?  I hope not. If you are you have missed much life.  God has a precious plan to grow you and I into an holy temple.  A place good enough for God to reside.  No! I am not saying that we can of ourselves make ourselves good enough to be God's dwelling place.

God makes us good enough to be His dwelling place.  God designed a plan to purge us and live in us.  Each of us, because of Christ, are worthy to be God's temple and together we grow into an holy church.  Growing or changing does not happen at the same time for everyone. What moves one person, does not move another. Sometimes a verse of scripture will change someone forever and another will not be moved at all. Some of change easily and some of us change slowly and with great difficulty.  All change comes from influence.  We are influenced by everything we come into contact with as well as being influenced by the omission of contact.  

It is important that we allow ourselves and our children to be influenced by those things that keep us on track with our faith.  And it is just as important to dis-allow some of the distractions that can come our way or our children's way to keep on track.  It is just as important to pull away from those things that distract us from keeping our eyes on Jesus.  The direction we change will be the direct result of what influences to that change. 

To hold to the things of God, we need to be influenced by the people of God.
To hold to the things of the world, we need to be influenced by the world.

If we are to change and be more like God, we will needaround those people that are going in the same direction as we are.

And then the other side of this is:
What we allow to influence us - we will in turn influence others the same
We become more like God - others will become more like God
We allow the world to influence us - we then influence our children with the same thing. This principle cannot be circumvented.

Think about this. God wants nothing from you that God does not give you.

God gives nothing to you that He does not want from you. 

  • We change so we can be changed. 
  • We are given to so we can give away. 
  • We are taught so we can teach. 
  • We are blessed so we can bless. 
  • We are loved so we can love.
  • We are changed so we can change others.
God moves and works through us, via change.
  • If we hold onto what God gives us, we will get no more. 
  • If we bury our talent in the ground, God will take it away. 
  • If we use it, God will replace it or multiply it. 
  • If God gives us a gift and we use it, God will increase (change) it
  • If God gives us a gift and we don't use it, God will take it away
  • If we learn a truth and teach others, we will learn more and more
  • If we learn a truth and keep it to ourselves, we will die with it
Change is inevitable.  Create change or change will create you.  Which is better?

Daily Devotional December 20 - God's Word Never Fails

"Trust in the Lord..."  Psalm 37:3a

1st Do you believe God said this in His Word?
2nd Do you believe that this Word is true?
3rd Do you understand, by the Holy Spirit the wisdom of the principle?

In other words; have you received the wisdom of the Word from God and have you maintained your faith in it without changing or looking back to reconsider whether you believe it or not?

Has the Word been made alive, so that when you read it you trust it implicitly to perform what it says it will?

You can answer that by answering this. Do you apply the truth that you received from the Word of God to all areas of your life?

We say that we trust the LORD, but do we trust the LORD? I believe that most of us do not trust God the way that we should:
  • Implicitly without reservation
  • With full assurance that Gods Word will be fulfilled
  • Without any doubt
Really there isn't much since in reading on until you believe what God has already spoken to you.  Every lesson - every principle - every truth from God must pass this test in your heart before you can receive the power and authority of the Word.

This test being:
1st Do you believe God said this in His Word?
2nd Do you believe that this word is true?
3rd Do you understand, by the Holy Spirit the wisdom of the principle?

We hear the voice of God through God's Holy Word. We receive the fulfillment of the Word of God when we receive the wisdom of the principle or revelation by the Holy Spirit.  "Trust in the LORD." It is the Word that created the heavens and the earth and all that is within it. It is the same Word that created life itself.
Now watch this carefully.
God speaks His Word and creates the heaven and the earth.
God speaks into existence light, plants, animals and even mankind.
God can speak anything into existence out of nothing, because there is no resistance.

Where there is no resistance - God's Word flows freely.

When God speaks His Word to you - You have free will to resist or receive.  If you did not resist the Word of God, every Word would be yours.  Every Word would perform its task.  Every Word would bring into existence its purpose.  Every Word would be fulfilled.

Every Word of God that you:
1st Believe God said it.
2nd Believe that this word is true?
3rd Understand, by the Holy Spirit the wisdom of the principle?

No doubt can enter in. No wavering. No trying it out to see how it works. What it takes for God's Word to work its power in you is (no resistance from you).  Listening or hearing in itself will not activate the power and authority of God.  The Word has to be heard - received - believed and trusted for it to have power in you.  You have to trust God at His Word.

Now in your defense:

I believe that all of us have decided in our heart that the Bible is the Word of God.
If not then let's get together and pray about that.
It is a huge step of faith, but it is essential if you are to receive power and authority from God.
By believing that the Bible is the Word of God, you allow the Holy Spirit to use the scriptures to teach you and train you. You allow the Holy Spirit access to your heart by faith.
Believing that the Bible is the Word of God gets you to the place where you can receive understanding from God.  But for the Word of God to create what it says in your life, you have to trust God.

God knows the end from the beginning.  God is not going to allow you to try Him out and test Him to see if God is all He says He is, like trying out a new car. God knows when you are fooling around, and He knows when you are trusting in Him. God knows when your faith is in yourself and God knows when your faith is in Him.  Because God knows all these things, He set His Word up to work for those who trust Him, when they trust Him. This is a principle of God and it can never fail.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Daily Devotional December 19 - Bring God Into Your Situations

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."  Isaiah 26:3

Do you have an unwanted debt?
Do you have any troubles?
And for some maybe troubles on more sides than one?
Have people said or done some things that hurt you?

For some of us to be burdened by something or someone has been going on for so long we have began to believe that this is the way it is supposed to be. We start to think that it just can't get better, that we will forever be assigned to this station of gloom and troubles and peril.

Along the way in life we have had many teachers. We have been taught what to do and what not to do. We have been taught basic Math, Science and English and even some Bible. Some of us received formal training in a specialized field of endeavor, like health care, masonry, carpentry, mechanics or management. Some of us have a high school diploma, some college , others a masters degree or a PhD.  We have learned a great many things, some to our credit and some to our shame.

One look around and you can see how busy we are as a people. For some of us our day, our week, our entire year or longer is mapped out with little or no room for change or diversion.  Some of us have spent more time thinking about what we cannot do, haven't done or won't ever have the chance to do more than what we can do.  Some of us have dreams or goals that take us beyond our current circumstances. Is there anybody out there that fits this category? Some of us have tried to break away from whatever it is holding us back only to find an invisible elastic band attached to it drawing us back again and again.  How would you like to have the power to overcome the circumstances and see your goals and dreams come to pass?

For those of you who are of age you have been pulled back so many times that you feel like a rubber band and you are more than ready to give it up for something better.

For the youth and those about 20, they haven't experienced the teeter totter syndrome yet - for you, (with just a right Word from God) you will be able to bypass the back and forth motion of indecision and indiscretion - make decisions and stick to them - turn from the unnecessary without loss of territory and find fulfilling opportunities early.

The secret of life is about bringing God into your situation early .
Psalms 63:1 "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;"

The call of God to be invited in early was not meant just to be early in the morning, like so many think, although it can be early in the morning.

It is also early in your relationships.
It is also early in the planning stages of your new business.
It is also early in your ministry.
It is also early in your decision making process.
Early in your job
Early in your spending

My God if you were to seek God early, how many problems and situations that you had to go through could you have avoided?

Don't be too proud of your many experiences. God prefers you learn to avoid satan and his ploys 'early.' Can you sense in your spirit that God has always been there? Oh had we invited God in early?

In a way, for us to make improvement in our life and get beyond our current circumstance, it will be important that we make room in our mind for new light, new inspiration. For many of us, to go into the closet with God we will have to clean out that closet. Just try to get into a closet when it is full of stuff. Does anybody have a closet that is full of stuff?

It is the same with our prayer closet in the inner man. You can't get into the prayer closet with your inner man if it is full of stuff. I want you to get a sense of approval from God on this issue - It's OK to dump some of that stuff:

Some of the unused
and in some cases, unfit stuff
to make room for pure Christ.

You wouldn't throw a treasure from God into your junk drawer or cluttered closet would you? But we do. We take the very breath of God and mix it with so many lesser things.  It's hard to keep our minds stayed on God when our minds are so cluttered with superfluous and worthless thoughts.  Maybe it's time to re-evaulate what we allow to have the pre-emminence in our life and re-stack our thinking to think more like God, thus God-thinking.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Daily Devotional December 18 - Will You Get All That God Has For You

"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.  Fare ye well."  Acts 15:28-29

There are two thoughts I want to extrapolate from these verses.
First, how does James know that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost not to place too heavy a burden on the gentile believers?
Second, along with accepting Christ as your personal Savior, God gives us His principles in succession, truth upon truth, precept upon precept, over time and during the process of living the Christian life/lifestyle.

How does James know that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost not to place too heavy a burden on the gentile believers?  The Holy Spirit lives within us and we can know the mind of Christ and the will of God and the expectation of the Holy Spirit if we are in alignment with His will.  If we are in love with Jesus and following after His ways, it is almost second nature to hear and understand the voice of the Holy Spirit within.

A good knowledge of the Bible and a healthy dose of following after Christ and anyone can know the will of God.  We make a big deal about it because there is a lot of money to be made on keeping people in their ignorance and bliss; steering believers to believe that they need a mediator between them and Christ or that the 'average' Christian can't know the will of God; It must be revealed by a priest or prophet or apostle or preacher. 

Sorry, but you are just as responsible to gather and follow the teachings of Christ as anyone and you have been endowed with the ability to activate the power of God within you equal to and the same as anyone who claims Christ.  We all have different gifts, but all who are born again have within them the Holy Spirit of God.  All who have been born again have the same chance to find and develop the mind of Christ.  James and you can know what the Holy Spirit desires you to do or say.

God gives us His principles in succession, truth upon truth, precept upon precept, over time and during the process of living the Christian life/lifestyle.  The Holy Spirit did not want to lay too heavy a burden on the new gentile believers at this time.  The process of the Christian life is to start and then move forward and then grow and then abide in Christ and each of these phases are filled with events and struggles, obstacles to overcome and barriers to break down. 

At every turn there is a principle of God to be opened up and then utilized, new truths to be learned and new directions to take.  No one gets all of God at one time nor do they get all that God has for them in one sitting.  The process is to grow in Christ and to go through things that develop a God-consciousness in us.  We start out by accepting Christ and we move forward co-creating with God to accomplish the will of God in our life and for the overall good of all.  During this process we also fulfill the prophesies of God concerning mankind and the condition of the world that we live in.  Don't take your part in all this too lightly.  God chose you and that makes your position pretty important.  No you will not get it all at the same time, but you will get all that God has for you in His time.  God's way really is the best way. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Daily Devotional December 17 - Arise And Go

"I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee."  Luke 15:18

This is a passage from the parable of the lost son.  If you need to re-read the story it is found in Luke 15:11-32.  This story is about how we all have made choices that did not glorify God and were not for our benefit either.  We thought at the time that we just had to do this or that.  We tried out the grass on the other side, so to speak.  Some of us made choices that took us away from our protection and others even further, to actually abandon our principles altogether, but all of us have made choices that have not glorified God.

It is in this statement above that I find is the beginning to all rebuilding or re-structuring of our lives.  All correcting of the direction we are headed in; all misalignment with God's perfect will for our lives.  "I will arise and go."  Inside your heart you must say these words to get back on track with God.  It has to be your own personal acknowledgement that you have strayed from God and your own acknowledgement that you will get back up and go toward the Father that all spiritual growth is built on.  Without you activating your own free will to go, you will stay in the path in the opposite direction of God's purpose for your life.

Why is that important?  Nobody can do this for you.  Not even God.  Free will is powerful and within its parameters all spiritual growth is activated.  Free will activates the power of God to be used to bring to pass the will of God. When free will is activated to follow after God, God's purpose and direction for our lives is not encumbered by our choices, because the choices we make are made with forethought and prayerful attention.

Even though we have all strayed away from God, are you ready to say, "I will arise and go???"

Daily Devotional December 16 - Are You Concerned With Being Perfected?

"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth forever: forsake not the works of Thine hands."  Psalm 138:8

Do you feel like God is perfecting you?  If not, it is likely that you are not spending enough time with God.  God does so many things for us, in us and through us, but perfecting us is a primary work of God in man.  The perfecting that God is doing is a cleansing of the mind.  The more time you spend with God, the more thoughts about God are generated.  These God thoughts have in them the power to alter your thinking.  And it is through the altering of your thinking that perfection is being performed in you.

As the new year approaches it might be that God is calling you to a closer walk.  It only requires your time, your heart and your mind.  Different attributes of God are revealed when you approach God at different seasons and for different reasons.  For example when you approach God when you are desperate for an immediate fix of some situation, you see Sovereign God working His will through your situation.  When you approach God when you are in need of money you see the God of provision.  When you approach God for healling you see God's miraculous power to heal the body.

When you approach God without any reason except to be close to Him, you see His purity and His light, His holiness and His beauty.  You see the "come unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden," God.  You see beyond your immediate circumstances and start to understand the big picture, the one that includes others as well as yourself.  You see the gentle hand of love reaching into your heart to purify you with God thoughts.  You see the God that created everything and in everything a purpose and a direction.  What God has done starts to make sense.  You get a clearer vision of the end and the middle doesn't look so scary.

When you get even closer you see yourself through the mind of Christ.  You see the beauty of living to serve God and you grasp why you don't have to be the center of the universe to be fulfilled.  Stay just a little longer and the desire to stay gets greater.  The drive to do it your way becomes hollow.  Your spiritual eyes start to focus and you see the bounty that God has provided.  You see the storehouses full of benefits and blessings with your name on it.  You see that what God has already done with you is more than you ever dreamed.  Yor eyes are opened to another dimension and you start to see the connection between your problems and His solutions.

"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth Me," makes sense.  I am the Lord's handiwork and God is the craftsman.  "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

Daily Devotional December 15 - Create Change or Change Will Change You

"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  To Him be glory both now and forever."  Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  To shew that the LORD is upright: He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him."  Psalm 92:12-14

This word grow as translated from the Greek is: to change into - enlarge or increase. To enlarge or increase our estate. To grow or change means that we will flourish like the palm tree - Grow like a cedar - Flourish in the courts of God - Bring forth fruit in our old age.  These are not negative things.  Change is not a negative thing. If we are following Jesus Christ we are changing. The word of God is alive and written so that we would change and change and change. And each change is to make us more like God.

A static relationship with God is not a relationship at all. A static relationship is religion. With religion we can stop and get off anywhere we want to and still maintain our so-called relationship with God.  With a static relationship with God:
  • we can easily be led astray.
  • We can fall into temptations
  • We can become unfruitful
  • We can abandon the brethren
  • We can even turn away from God
But with a vital and changing relationship with God, everyday brings new ground to break, new horizons, newness of life.
  • We flee temptations
  • We produce fruit
  • We stick with the brethren
  • We draw nearer to God
We risk our souls when we bargain with God. God calls us to change so we can be more like God. An elder, mentor and friend of mine at age 87 told me, "A  man or woman of God is always a teachable man or woman."  Isn't it the truth.

The greatest opportunities in our lives have been when we were open to receive what God had for us and the greatest moments among those opportunities are when we received what God had for us.

Each time this happened we made progress in our lives. We allowed God to change us and every change that God makes in us is good. Let's pray that God will change us and not allow us to go another day without opening ourselves to Him in a way that change could take place.

There are ten things that happen when we are not growing or changing:

  • We can become stiff, callous and unpliable
  • We can be easily led astray
  • We can go back to our old ways
  • We will lose our sense of urgency in the things of God
  • We will waste time wallowing in the past or even in the present
  • We will stop producing fruit - Think about it - How long can fruit hang on a tree before we just cut it off and throw it away, because fruit becomes rotten on the tree.
  • We can miss our calling
  • We can become complacent and careless
  • We will slowly turn back to where we have been
Lastly, God cannot use us, because we are not willing to follow Jesus wherever He takes us.

Sometimes we get into ruts and just stay there.
We resist change.
Sometimes we hold on to the familiar because its easy.

  • We hold on to old doctrines of men.
  • We hold on to our own opinion, even after new light has been shown.
  • We hold on to the world and what it offers.
  • We hold on to the past.
  • We hold on to our guilt.
  • We hold on for FEAR OF CHANGE.
Yet, God calls us to trust Him in a way that demands change. Each step of faith with God is one of relinquishing the familiar or the stagnant and receiving what God has for us. That takes change. It's not easy to step out on the water expecting God to keep us up, but we must if we want to walk with Jesus, because our walk with Jesus is a faith walk, every step of the way.

There are ten things that happen when we are growing or changing:
We become softened and pliable, easy to be talked to and loving to others

  • We cannot be easily led astray
  • We will not turn back to our old ways, we abandon them 
  • We recognize the urgency of the things of God
  • We live in the now and don't live in the past, opening old wounds
  • We will be producing fruit 
  • We will find our calling
  • We will become excited and careful
  • We will never go back to where we have been
God can use us because we go wherever Jesus goes

Are you the same person you were ten years ago?  I hope not. If you are you have missed much life.  God has a precious plan to grow you and I into an holy temple.  A place good enough for God to reside.  No! I am not saying that we can of ourselves make ourselves good enough to be God's dwelling place.

God makes us good enough to be His dwelling place.  God designed a plan to purge us and live in us.  Each of us, because of Christ, are worthy to be God's temple and together we grow into an holy church.  Growing or changing does not happen at the same time for everyone. What moves one person, does not move another. Sometimes a verse of scripture will change someone forever and another will not be moved at all. Some of change easily and some of us change slowly and with great difficulty.  All change comes from influence.  We are influenced by everything we come into contact with as well as being influenced by the omission of contact.  

It is important that we allow ourselves and our children to be influenced by those things that keep us on track with our faith.  And it is just as important to dis-allow some of the distractions that can come our way or our children's way to keep on track.  It is just as important to pull away from those things that distract us from keeping our eyes on Jesus.  The direction we change will be the direct result of what influences to that change. 

To hold to the things of God, we need to be influenced by the people of God.
To hold to the things of the world, we need to be influenced by the world.

If we are to change and be more like God, we will need to be around those people that are going in the same direction as we are.

And then the other side of this is:
What we allow to influence us - we will in turn influence others the same
We become more like God - others will become more like God
We allow the world to influence us - we then influence our children with the same thing. This principle cannot be circumvented.

Think about this. God wants nothing from you that God does not give you.

God gives nothing to you that He does not want from you. 

  • We change so we can be changed. 
  • We are given to so we can give away. 
  • We are taught so we can teach. 
  • We are blessed so we can bless. 
  • We are loved so we can love.
  • We are changed so we can change others.
God moves and works through us, via change.
  • If we hold onto what God gives us, we will get no more. 
  • If we bury our talent in the ground, God will take it away. 
  • If we use it, God will replace it or multiply it. 
  • If God gives us a gift and we use it, God will increase (change) it
  • If God gives us a gift and we don't use it, God will take it away
  • If we learn a truth and teach others, we will learn more and more
  • If we learn a truth and keep it to ourselves, we will die with it
Change is inevitable.  Create change or change will create you.  Which is better?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Daily Devotional December 14 - What Are You Willing To Trade In?

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."  Mark 11:24 

We usually look at this verse as if we were to pray for some thing or some gift, some tangible, material thing.  But for the sake of today, let's just look at this verse as it pertains to receiving God Himself.  For just a little while, can you try to clear your mind of all that distracts you from receiving God.  Let's not worry about your kids right now, or your parents or anybody, right now.

  • Please forget just for a moment everything that you usually let press into your life during the week.
  • Please drop your guard, that you felt that you had to have up all week, and let God have His way with you this day.
  • Please forget about all the barriers and obstacles that seem to be in your way of making personal progress.
  • Please forget about your circumstances, finances and troubles.
  • Please forget about what you don't have.
  • Please just let God, be God, and have His way with you.
  • Please take it one more step - practice some God-thinking
  • Please, just for the moment, trade in everything you hold onto so dearly, for what God wants you to have.
God says that you can overcome your circumstances, whatever they are, if you will but let go and let God.  I believe that you have limited what God wants to do in your life.
What have you become accustomed to that is less than God's best for you?
What is it that you really would like to see happen in your life?  This might take a few minutes to figure out, but the process is worth it.  Take time and think about this in the depths of your heart.

  • Do you want peace in your house?
  • Do you need delivered from bondage?
  • Do you want to get along with your spouse or best friend under the anointing of God?
  • Do you want to see your kids serve the Lord with reverence and awe?
Sometimes we are living as if our hands were tied.  We can fall into the trap of living as if God were far away or distant.  Sometimes we act like God doesn't care.  We live with less and in less because we constrain God.  Think about it. Some of us have fought or are still fighting against God, all the while God is giving to give you blessings, but you are blocking them because of free will. God makes His blessings available, His overcoming power, free and without strings and we fight against God. We fight against receiving God's very best for us. We hold on too tightly to what we have, because we haven't come to the place, where we believe, that what we have, is supposed to be traded up for what God has in store for us.

God has many times, sent to you and me, angels to steer us when were getting ready to make certain decisions. God puts up red flags, barricades, walls and closed doors and sometimes we go around them anyway - and the consequences in some cases are still with us. Past baggage - unconfessed sin - guilt - confusion - even addiction.  God has opened up opportunities for us all along the way of our life. Sometimes we turned away and we are still feeling the consequences.  I am convinced that every one of us has less of what God wants for us and we have more of what God doesn't want for us because we didn't or wouldn't receive from God all that He has for us.

There are plenty of reasons - guilt - pride - fear - disobedience - trusting in the wrong person - wrong thinking - false beliefs - prejudice, greed or low self-esteem.  If we want to we can trade in the less of what God wants for us for the more of what God wants for us. But we have got to trade it in.
Would you trade $5.00 for $500.00?

You have got to give up what you have to get something. You cannot receive from God until you give something up.  You have give God something to work with.

Luke 5:36-38 says, "And He spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved."

You cannot get the best that God has to offer until you get rid of the less. You don't just give it lip service, you must lay down the old to get the new. You must let go of the old, stale and unproductive thoughts if you are to receive a new regenerating Word from God.  Before God can give you anything new, you must trade in the old.  God will not let you try on the new until you lay down the old.  God won't let you and I see if what He has for us is going to be OK with us. We have to trust Him implicitly.

Your heart and your conscience knows what it is that you are afraid to give up, or, exchange, trade in, for something new.

It doesn't matter what it is.
It could be a habit?
It could be poverty?
It could be money?
It could be something you've done?
It could be a belief?
It could be a gift?

Whatever it is. Now hear this closely. Whatever it is. If you give it to God; I mean lay it down, and walk away from it. I mean throw it over the cliff; that kind of letting it go - God will replace it with something better - every time.  What are you willing to trade in so that you can receive something new and wonderful from God?

Daily Devotional December 13 - Bring God Into Your Situation Early

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."  Isaiah 26:3

Take your time and let this sink down deep. This is good advise.

Do you have an unwanted debt?
Do you have any troubles?
And for some maybe troubles on more sides than one?
Have people said or done some things that hurt you?

For some of us to be burdened by something or someone has been going on for so long we have began to believe that this is the way it is supposed to be. We start to think that it just can't get better, that we will forever be assigned to this station of gloom and troubles and peril.

Along the way in life we have had many teachers. We have been taught what to do and what not to do. We have been taught basic Math, Science and English and even some Bible. Some of us received formal training in a specialized field of endeavor, like health care, masonry, carpentry, mechanics or management. Some of us have a high school diploma, some college , others a masters degree or a PhD.  We have learned a great many things, some to our credit and some to our shame.

One look around and you can see how busy we are as a people. For some of us our day, our week, our entire year or longer is mapped out with little or no room for change or diversion.  Some of us have spent more time thinking about what we cannot do, haven't done or won't ever have the chance to do more than what we can do.  Some of us have dreams or goals that take us beyond our current circumstances. Is there anybody out there that fits this category? Some of us have tried to break away from whatever it is holding us back only to find an invisible elastic band attached to it drawing us back again and again.  How would you like to have the power to overcome the circumstances and see your goals and dreams come to pass?

For those of you who are of age you have been pulled back so many times that you feel like a rubber band and you are more than ready to give it up for something better.

For the youth and those about 20, they haven't experienced the teeter totter syndrome yet - for you, (with just a right Word from God) you will be able to bypass the back and forth motion of indecision and indiscretion - make decisions and stick to them - turn from the unnecessary without loss of territory and find fulfilling opportunities early.

The secret of life is about bringing God into your situation early .
Psalms 63:1 "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;"

The call of God to be invited in early was not meant just to be early in the morning, like so many think, although it can be early in the morning.

It is also early in your relationships.
It is also early in the planning stages of your new business.
It is also early in your ministry.
It is also early in your decision making process.
Early in your job
Early in your spending

My God if you were to seek God early, how many problems and situations that you had to go through could you have avoided?

Don't be too proud of your many experiences. God prefers you learn to avoid satan and his ploys 'early.' Can you sense in your spirit that God has always been there? Oh had we invited God in early?

In a way, for us to make improvement in our life and get beyond our current circumstance, it will be important that we make room in our mind for new light, new inspiration. For many of us, to go into the closet with God we will have to clean out that closet. Just try to get into a closet when it is full of stuff. Does anybody have a closet that is full of stuff?

It is the same with our prayer closet in the inner man. You can't get into the prayer closet with your inner man if it is full of stuff. I want you to get a sense of approval from God on this issue - It's OK to dump some of that stuff:

Some of the unused
and in some cases, unfit stuff
to make room for pure Christ.

You wouldn't throw a treasure from God into your junk drawer or cluttered closet would you? But we do. We take the very breath of God and mix it with so many lesser things.  It's hard to keep our minds stayed on God when our minds are so cluttered with superfluous and worthless thoughts.  Maybe it's time to re-evaulate what we allow to have the pre-emminence in our life and re-stack our thinking to think more like God, thus God-thinking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Daily Devotional December 12 - Engaged In The things Of God

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  John 4:23-24

Life was never meant to be a game where we juggle our professional life, our family life, our Church life, our work life - as if they were independent of one another.  The only life that glorifies God is the integrated life.

The unbelieving world - secular humanist - agnostics - atheist and - this is a hard saying, the lukewarm Christian - All want you and I to play their game and their game is - GOD IS NOT FIRST.
There's more that the worldly purport, like this.
  • The things of God are not to be integrated into your life.
  • You can juggle a little church with a little world.
  • A little marriage with a little womanizing.
  • A little Christianity with a little Eastern philosophy.
  • A little G rated TV with a little ....
  • A little integrity with a few bounced checks.
Freedom and enlightenment is when we are free from the wicked influences of this world - not when we are free to indulge ourselves in them.  Take just a few moments and think the deepest thoughts of God you can muster up.  Allow yourself to be mesmerized by God.  Allow your thoughts to go deeper than before.  Talk to your inner man and listen as your highest self expresses God's perfect will in your life.  Visualize standing or sitting or bowing in God's presence, before the throne of God.  Force your mind to stop racing around and listen to God, carefully and often - without your cell phone on.
Go to God in your spirit and sense His acceptance of you.

This is cleansing and powerful.
Change your vision of God - close your eyes and see God in the inner man.
Think higher and loftier thoughts.
You can always tell when you are making headway with God.

As you get closer, God gets bigger.
As you know more, there's more still.
As you go deeper, deeper gets deeper.
As you draw closer, God pulls you even closer.

Make up your mind to put God-thinking into action. Force the things of God to the top of your thinking and push down all else. Some things need to be pushed so far down that they are pushed out altogether.  To worship God in spirit and truth will require that your mind is engaged in the things of God.

Note: If you think this is a religious thing to do, it would be mistake. Having a spiritual relationship with God can be as mutually fulfilling as a religious relationship, or even better. A religious relationship is pragmatic, a spiritual relationship is evolving, fluid and in real time. People teach religion, God imparts wisdom.