Saturday, August 31, 2019

Daily Devotional August 31 - God Knows

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 30 - I Believe What Jesus Said

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

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

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

Jesus has already said and done all that is necessary for all mankind to come to Him and believe, and even more than that, keeps on coming to them and calling them and showing them and unveiling Himself, and they continue to deny Him.
  • They continue to say 'show us clearly' and blaming God for their doubt. All the while they believe in other gods and other things that neither live or have ever shown themselves clearly. 
  • They believe in those who have never called them or spoke to them, those who make no spiritual effort to bring them unto themselves. 
  • They believe in other gods who have never breathed or walked or lived. 
  • They believe in gods that cannot speak or teach or show love or mercy or forgiveness. They believe in all kinds of silly formulas and systems and rituals and cultural activities that neither are from God nor bring you closer to God. They deny the Son of God, that lives and is full of mercy and forgiveness and call on other gods that have done nothing for them, ever. 
  • They believe in a fantasy made up by religious and intolerant men, ignorant of the truth about God, but full of themselves. 
  • They believe this way, not because they found their truth for themselves, but because someone else forced them to receive it. 
  • They don't come to Jesus because their leaders will make their lives and the lives of their families a living hell. It was that way when Jesus walked the earth and it is still that way among a great many.
Don't blame Jesus for what men do or you will be very disappointed. If you are thinking, 'well if Jesus would just make Himself known clearly to the world, through some grand miracle then people could believe,' you will find out that Jesus already did and no they won't believe. I believe what Jesus said.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Daily Devotional August 29 - What Do You Mean, Don't Get Even?

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

Note: This is good theology. If you call yourself a Christian then you should have a  handle on your belief system. If you don't want to practice the principles of Christianity, why do you want to be a Christian. Cultural Christianity, where you are a Christian because your parents or wife or husband is, has never bee a part of God's economy. There is no "accepted into the beloved" by proxy. You either enter in by your own volition of you haven't entered  in.

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Daily Devotional August 28 - Holiness

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

Note: Because of poor teaching from our pastors, men and women have kept distance from the word holy. The modern mindset is, "Why pursue the unobtainable." The truth is, God imparts holiness into people and its not because they have the nicest suit or the highest hair or the biggest mouth. It's not because the pastor/teacher/rabbi/priest force feeds the flock with religious overtones of an unreachable God nor is it because you sit in the pew and follow unrestrained cultural behaviors that are rooted in man-made religious rhetoric. No, holiness is imparted to those who listen to God and strain man's version of Christ through a fine sieve to trap the impurities and bulk non-nutritious fodder of religion, and intake the most pure teaching of the Holy Spirit.. 

This might seem like an impossible task, but it is not. Be ye holy is instruction to set your eyes on Christ and rely solely on the work that Christ has done to purify you. Through the sanctification by the Word of God you can be holy.
Now if you are thinking that being holy is doing everything perfectly you are mistaken.

If you are thinking that being holy means that you won't ever make a wrong decision, you do not understand the Word of God.
If you are thinking that being holy means that you have to be a member of a holiness church you are not thinking wisely.
To be holy is to follow after Christ, acknowledging your frailty, your insufficiency, your inability, your inadequacy; acknowledging what you are able to do and moving forward with your skills and talents to serve the Lord, but also acknowledging what you cannot do without the hand of the Lord and asking God to accomplish in you what you cannot do. No one is holy apart from Christ. That's right!  So-called holy men who claim to be holy, that believe in other gods and do not accept Christ as their Saviour, are not holy. They are religious. You cannot be holy without the indwelling Holy Spirit living within the inner man.

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

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

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

You cannot help but be holy because Christ is in you.

I have said many times in order to go forward with understanding you will have to unlearn a great many things.

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Daily Devotional August 27 - One

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

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

Part of spiritual growth requires unlearning a great many things. That frees up space for new enlightened thoughts. You don't put new wine in old wineskins.

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 26 - Are You Ready To Unlearn Some things?

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

Note: Before we get started I want to mention that unlearning is just as important as learning. Think  of it this way, When Edison was working on his invention for the light bulb he had about ten thousand failures. He was careful to recognize the importance of each failure and applied that wisdom to pursuing the desired end, which was to invite the light bulb. It is the same with Christianity, in order to get closer to God you will have to put off, unlearn a great many things that you have been taught along the way.Through this process of unlearning your relationship with Christ will grow and grow and grow. 

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

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

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

Monday, August 26, 2019

Daily Devotional August 25 - Ask

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

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

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

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

For the skeptic: Don't ask. Keep trying the same old philosophy of doing it yourself. Keep following your own set of rules for life. Keep doing things the same way expecting the results to change. You r stubbornness will be your undoing. Don't even try the excuse "I used to go to God for this and that, but God never did anything to help."  Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

Daily Devotional August 24 - Watch And Pray

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

Note: Before I get started, please try to remember that the things happening to your loved ones are also covered under the benefit package that God has bestowed on believers. God is not out to lunch leaving you helpless with an unresolvable situation. God has intricately woven the fabric of the mistakes that we/loved ones have made with the perfection of what God has made and the results are written in the Lambs Book Of Life. Watch and Pray and see the handiwork of God.

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 23 - God's Purpose, Your Purpose

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

You should know, that if you are saved, God called you and you answered yes. When God called you and you answered yes, you did not know what that would exactly mean or where that would take you, but God did. God called you so that His purpose for you would be known, developed and utilized.
What is God's purpose for you?
What has God purposed for you?
What has God purposed you for?
What is your purpose for God?

What is God's purpose for you?
These are important questions that must be answered if you are to complete your mission in life. Whether you hold to the fact that God has declared your future and you are following His lead or that you declare your future and God is helping you, you can rest assured that God knew all about everything you had in mind before He even create the earth. It doesn't matter too much which philosophy you adhere to concerning who purposed what, but it does matter that you recognize God's part in what you are doing. If you don't need God to help you accomplish what is on your mind, and you don't need faith to get from one point to another, you are definitely not fulfilling what God's purpose for you.

What has God purposed for you?
Everything. All of creation was designed for you. God prepared a path so that you would have all the components necessary to complete any tasks that God calls for or that you are inspired to do. The earth and all the natural materials are available for you to dream, design and build you dreams. Along with the natural materials is the intelligence that God endowed you with that also contains all the components necessary for you to fulfill what God purposed for you as well as fulfill what purposes you might be inspired to accomplish. What God has purposed for you is everything.

What has God purposed you for?
All of creation was designed to enable you to fulfill your purposes in life. There are more than one. I don't mean fulfill your purpose, like becoming a Jaguar salesperson or a LPN. I'm talking about the direction you are in. If the direction you are in is to use your talents, skills and insight to fulfill God's purpose in your life and to fulfill your dreams, goals and tasks at hand then you are already in the right direction. God will continue to bless you as you move forward. If you are not considering God's participation in your life's endeavors then you are not noticing what God purposed you for. You are very important to the overall plan that God has for mankind. What God purposed you for can only be accomplished by you.

What is your purpose for God?
What is your intent with God? What is it that you want God for? What do you want to do with God? All of these questions are to spark you to realize that even though God has a purpose for your life and God has purposed creation for you, what you do with God will have a great deal to do with your life's success story. I bring this up because many modern Christians, in their mind, are just using God. They see God as a distant, uninterested, out of touch with modernity, God that once played a role as pertains to creation, but now is just a product of/in the mind. Too many Christians do not rely on God on a daily basis to accomplish their life's dreams, goals and tasks at hand. What is your purpose for God?

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Daily Devotional August 22 - There Is No Sister Religion To Christianity

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

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

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

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

Jesus was preaching the kingdom when he was in Galilee and Jesus is preaching the kingdom today. Let us also preach/teach/live as if members of the kingdom.
Agreement with those who have found a religious system that mimics what they want for a divine entity does not enhance the Kingdom of God in any way. It enables them to grow further and further away from a true perspective of God. Don't be mesmerized by the cliche jargon that man-made religious systems come up with to disguise their anti-Jesus belief system. Most cults are masters at deception under the guise of  a wishy-washy love-fest.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Daily Devotional August 21 - Get Over Your 'Self'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Daily Devotional Augusat 20 - Don't Flinch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 19, 2019

Daily Devotional august 19 - Resist The Devil

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

Oh! You don't believe there is a devil. If life hasn't convinced you yet, then don't bother reading this message.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 18 - Co-Creating With God

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

My favorite subject.

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

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

Let's just say that you find a way to remember to pray to God about your situations and thank Him along the way. What comes to you as a free gift is the peace of God. Peace in your heart when the floor is falling out from under you; Peace in your heart about the outcome; Peace about your future. God wants you to learn to co-create with Him in this way.
You:
  • Recognize your issues
  • Give them over to God, thoroughly
  • Pray about them
  • Do what you can toward an equitable end
  • Know in your heart that what you see is not the whole story
  • Know in your heart that God is working on your behalf
  • Thank God while you are passing through the fire
  • Thank God at the end of it
God:
  • Has already gone before you, before you had the problem to make a way for you to solve the problem/dream/request/situation
  • Hears your prayer as the invitation to co-create with you
  • Gives you life, strength, energy, tools, power to do what you can
  • Works out all the details so that in fulfilling your problem/dream/request/situation, it is perfectly intertwined with all others to benefit everyone
  • Accepts your thanks as an offering
  • Puts a final stamp on your situation as completed under the hand of God and files it away, not to be revisited without your express permission
After you have come through, God is so good that He makes the entire process available to you over and over again, as much as you need God's intervention throughout your entire life. It's so good that it passes all understanding. Why would God do that for you anyway? Because God's love for you is so great it cannot be understood or written about with any real accuracy.

Daily Devotional August 17 - Don't Let The Word "Sanctification" Throw You

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

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

Sanctification is taught that it is a second work of grace. Sanctification can only be considered as a second work of grace if salvation isn't a finished work. Salvation is a finished work.

Yet the ongoing product of salvation is:
  • Getting to know God better
  • Adjusting your lifestyle to accommodate the new light that has been shown in your heart.
  • Continuing education by the Holy Spirit as one goes through life making decisions.
  • Learning how to pray and how to supplicate.
  • Finding solace and peace after doing things differently from the way you used to do them before getting saved.
  • Reading the scriptures and finding new truths that replace the old man way of thinking.
  • Worshiping and praising God with other believers and finding out how God intertwines the lives of believers together to make one body.
All of these things take place after salvation and all of them are a second work of God and a third and a fourth and on and on until the day you go to meet the Lord.

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

Note: I know some religious circles think of sanctification as a badge of honor for having earned the title through much spiritual preparation, certain prayers, doing what so and so said to do, having hands laid on by certain people and/or many other external activities. What folly. All of these things are important and necessary for the spirit filled life, but only the inner man can receive sanctification and no one can give it to you, there is no prize and God sanctifies those who are faithful to Him.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Daily Devotional August 16 - What Were You Last Called To do?

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

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

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

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

For those who are unwilling to get off the fence, you need to know that most everything of real value in your life will stay on hold until you say yes to God. It's not that God will punish you if you don't say yes to His call, it's that the very best that is available to you isn't released until you start moving in the right direction. You were designed that way. You were designed to live in the will of God. You were designed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You were designed to hear the word of God for your life, to answer that call and to move forward in agreement with God for your good.

God cannot provide for your harm, nor can God go along with and bless decisions that will not be good for you or your family. You cannot box God in and get Him to agree with your foolishness. God is the Father of lights and only does good to/for/in His children. You can straddle the fence if you want to and you can go another direction if you want to, that's free will, but no thing will work just right until you do what you were last called to do by God.

Daily Devotional august 15 - Is Your Soul At Peace With God?

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

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

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

Why is this important. You are a living soul (Genesis 2:7), you live in a physical body and you have (if you have been born again) a living spirit. The Holy Spirit abides in you making your spirit alive. You are very much connected to God in every way if you are born again. You have within you the knowledge of the will of God for your life.

The battle that we all face is that our body, which has become accustomed to being flattered by the world, doesn't seek the same things as our spirit, which has been quickened by the Holy Spirit, therefore our soul is not at rest. For your soul to be at rest, you have to align the desires, propensities, affections of the body with the will of the spirit. This is war. But rest assured, you can win, on this side of heaven, while in the flesh.

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

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

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Daily Devotional August 14 - Are You At Peace With God?

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

Read this slowly and carefully.
Are you at peace with God? If you are a born again believer and you are not at peace with God, it is because of what you have been taught about God. If you are not at peace with God you are in a struggle with yourself.
God is not contending with you about anything.
  • It is not God that has you all tied up in knots.
  • It is not God that makes you feel unworthy.
  • It is not God that gives you a feeling of inadequacy.
  • It is not God that has you believing that you have to die to be at peace with God.
  • It is not God that has you convinced that if you don't give a certain amount that you are at odds with God.
  • It is not God that tries to win your affections by causing you to feel guilty.
You have been justified by faith. Stop right there. Yes, it is that easy. You have been justified by faith. It is the invisible faith within you that has cleared you from the penalty of sin. You are at peace with God. If you can break through and believe the Word of God on this issue:
  • It will transform the way you live and everything that you have been taught.
  • It will unravel the knots in your belief system.
  • It will set you free from the tyranny of false preaching.
  • It will loosen you from the cords of misinterpretation of the scriptures.
  • It will align you with what God believes about you.
If God is at peace with you and you are not at peace with God, isn't that a real waste?
But you say, "you don't understand, you don't know me or my circumstances." You're right, but I don't need to either. I'm declaring to you that I don't trust in what you are able to do with yourself. I trust in what God says He is going to do with you. I have a pretty picture of what God is doing and is going to do in your life. I can't help it. It's what the Word of God declares and I believe God, not your feelings.

Daily Devotional August 13 - I Know The Will Of God For You

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

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

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

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

We are to give thanks to God for everything. It is the will of God concerning you. I know this is going to be hard to swallow, but we are to give thanks for the wrong things that others do to us, for our job, for our current situation. It is foreign to most Christians today to believe the Word of God, but it shouldn't be. God gets it. God hasn't abandoned you. God hasn't said anything He has to take back. God didn't have anything written down in the Bible, that looking back, He wishes He hadn't revealed. There's nothing to cover up in God's Bible. It's all there to assure you that you are reading the real truth. There's no stories about mythological characters in the Bible that you have to weed through to figure out who's real and who's an allegory. It's all there, revealed in its raw truth so that you can see the condition of mankind when left to their own devices and also so that you can see the results of following a loving Savior.

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

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

Monday, August 12, 2019

Daily Devotional August 12 - You Ought To Always Pray

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

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

Jesus knows that all battles are fought on the spiritual battle ground as well as the physical. As you do what you know to do with the wisdom you have you move the physical realm, but to be in alignment with the will of God for your life the spiritual realm must be moving at the same rate. The spiritual realm in your life requires prayer. Prayer is the condition required by God for God to incorporate all the necessary spiritual components for you. It's not that God doesn't do anything without you praying for it, but there is no way you can know the will of God or make the right decisions unless you are communicating and hearing from God. This is best done through reading the Bible as you pray for each situation. You will receive answers for your mind. There will be action taken in the heavens on your behalf and you will get understanding in your heart. That's why you ought always to pray.

Daily Devotional August 11 - You Don't Need To Help God

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 10 - How Many Times A Day?

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 9, 2019

Daily Devotional August 9 - What Kind Of Foundation Are You Building?

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

What kind of foundation are you building your spiritual house on? If your contractor built you a house and did not put a foundation under it you would want to sue him, but many people build huge houses (lifestyles) with no regard to the things of God (the foundation) and wonder why they come crumbling down at some point in time.
In some cases it is someone you know real well that turns on you.
In some cases it is someone you love that finds someone else to love more than you.
In some cases its sickness.
In some cases its financial trouble.
In some cases it is the loss of a loved one.

What ever it is when the stream floods its banks, do you have the foundation that can withstand the flood? All that God wants from you so that you can have a foundation that can stand up to heavy winds and floods (troubles and obstacles) is for you to be dependent upon the Saviour.

See, it is imperative that you learn to trust the wisdom of God. It is imperative that you do what Jesus has instructed you to do. It is imperative that you read the Bible and learn how to assimilate its teaching into everything that you do. It's imperative, because when the winds of life blow and the waters come, what will be left of you when they pass? Will you have enough strength to carry on and pick up the pieces? You will if you have a strong foundation.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Daily Devotional August 8 - Good Advise

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Daily Devotional August 6 - Are You Robbing God?

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

The way that I see it, is that most people don't know that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
  • Most people think of the Holy Spirit as a distant ethereal power and not as God within. 
  • Most people don't really like the idea of God being that close, but more so they don't like the idea that they should live for someone else, even if it is God. 
  • Most people think they own their own bodies and will do with it as it d--- well pleases them. I'm talking about Christians too.
Our generation is not very devoted to the things of God. Those who live a life of the high standards of godliness and holiness are few and far in-between. Why is that? Everything with God in it is better than anything without. Why then is it like pulling teeth to get people to live a lifestyle congruent with the teachings of Jesus?

I think it is mainly because people are spiritually lazy. They like the idea of God, but not the responsibility of having to participate in the plan of God. The plan of God is for all mankind. What we do and say affects what others do and say and this is universal. Gods plan is to assist every person to become like His Son. What is your plan?
  • If you are working a different plan doesn't it seem logical that there has been a miscommunication?
  • And if God has been clear about His concerns and direction for the world and if you are travelling on another path, doesn't it seem logical that there is a misunderstanding?
  • And if God has given you all the tools and the power to live in His will and you are not, hasn't there been misappropriation of spiritual funds?
  • And if God has provided you with every opportunity to live according to His word and you are living out a worldly life, hasn't there been serious mismanagement?
There's no reason to 'mis' anything. All that God has is available for anyone who will pick up the baton and run with it, or walk, or crawl or ride in a wheelchair or hobble on crutches, whatever it takes other than not grabbing the baton and not moving forward. You have been commissioned to glorify God in your body. It's simple. If you are not working that plan, you are robbing God.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Daily Devotional August 5 - The Truth Is Exciting

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Devotional August 4 - Don't Be Afraid To Understand

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Daily Devotional August 3 - consequences For Actions

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

There are large groups of people that do not have the thoughts of the Lord in their mind.

  • They don't know what God intends. 
  • They don't know the story of life. 
  • They don't have the thoughts of God in their mind. 
  • They are bent on following after their own devices. 
  • They are driven by their own pride and self-serving ideals. 
  • They hate another people because they don't have the thoughts of God in their minds, neither do they understand God's ways. 
  • They are fighting a battle of a few thousand years ago. 
  • They've let the hatred pass down from generation to generation, without suppressing it or stamping it out for the better good of all. 

God has called them, but they answer with gestures of hate. This is what happens when we deny God His rightful place in our life design. We become bitter and full of pride.

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

The problem is that there are consequences to your actions. The consequences are not acts of God against you as some think. They are natural results that are the outcome of your actions.

If you are moving closer to God each day, the outcome is that of growing in grace and understanding the will of God and the results of your decisions are favorable. Even when things go wrong, you have confidence that through prayer hard work you can turn it around. Even in the deep valleys you have assurance that with God all things are possible. Even during the most bottom of times, you have within you the knowledge that being in the valley in God's will is far better than being on the mountaintop out of God's will.

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

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

Friday, August 2, 2019

Daily Devotional August 2 - The Truth Is Exciting

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Daily Devotional August 1 - Him I Declare Unto you

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

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

First of all the gods with or without a name do not answer prayer.
They are not listening.
They are not responding.
They are not speaking to the hearts of their followers.
They have never lived, nor do they live today.
They are not instructing their followers.
They do not exist.

Whether someone is worshiping an unknown god or a god with a name, it doesn't matter. They are worshiping a non-existent being/statue/idol. To reveal to them that there is a real God with a name and how to connect the dots is one of our responsibilities as a Christian. I mean, how can you really have met Jesus Christ and not have the necessary information to give someone who is desperately seeking what you possess? You have within you the key that unlocks the door from lost to found; from darkness to light; from worshiping ignorantly to worshiping with purpose and results.

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

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

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

The other reason that you might not tell others about Jesus is that you are worried about being found out. I hope you are not one of these people, but you may have been at one time or another or you may know Christians that operate incognito. Operating incognito is not biblical, nor is it right. You are not protecting yourself or your family by hiding who you are. It may be different in other countries or in times past. I'm not arguing the point. But if you are in America and you have been born again, then what is keeping you from letting others know about your faith is cowardice. I know you don't want to hear it, but someone has got to tell you that trying to be like the world and accepted into all kinds of situations that do not glorify God, is not your calling. "To be friends with the world is to be an enemy with God. "(James 4:4) "We are in the world but not of the world." (John 16:18-18) It is not godly to be a Christian and hide the fact from your friends or colleagues at work. There is too much of that going on today.

You are not doing yourself a favor nor are you doing your co-workers a favor either. You are living in false pretense. You are powerless if what you do is under false pretense. God can only work in truth. The power you have within you is not activated under false pretense and you will not be able:
  • To effectively pray and receive the answers to prayer
  • To ask for a miracle with expectations
  • To witness so that someone else will come to Jesus
  • To stand against evil in your life
  • To take back lost territory
  • To make course corrections in line with God's will for your life
  • To fulfill your purpose for being where you are
Him I Declare Unto You. Please do the same for someone else.