August 26, 2016
[There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Counsel of the Lord
Are there any of you, besides myself that get in our mind what we want to do and that is like our final counsel? We have decided this is the way it needs to be and in our mind we are right. We are insistent in our arguments and dogmatic in our commitment to see it done our way. Maybe someone has said to you, “It doesn’t matter what I say, you are going to do what you are going to do.” So we bulldog our way through; sometimes it turns out good and a lot of times not so good.
Conviction of purpose is a good thing to have if we follow the right counsel. Proverbs 19 says that there are many devices in a man’ heart. We have our ways of how we think things will work, what is best and how things should be done, but is that God’s counsel or ours? What we often find out, and don’t like to admit, is that we are not always as wise as we thought we were at the time we decided what the right way to do something was. What we all have to come to the realization of is that no matter how good our intentions or our motives the only counsel that will surely stand is the Lord’s counsel. How imperative it is in this hour that we develop an ear for the Lord’s counsel. Most times we can find it in His Word if we have ears to hear and a heart to obey. Human nature is such that it usually hears what it wants to hear and kind of ignores the rest.
Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where no counsel [is], the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.” Counsel is an important element of success. Where we lack proper direction we usually fail, but if we have the right counselors to advise us and we have a willing and an open heart to listen, we can be successful because we follow sound advice. The advantage of a multitude of counselors is that you get a multi-faceted opinion and direction. The key here is to choose a multitude of counselors that are people of God and seek to have the mind of the Lord. In that multitude you may find confusion or you may here a reoccurring theme and advice that is a witness that this is the way to proceed. Most of us have had the experience of hearing something that we thought was of the Lord, then we started hearing that same thing or something similar coming from different places and people. It serves as a confirmation in our hearts that what we first heard was true. It is like a multitude of counselors and can work the same way.
Many of us can relate to places in our spiritual walk where we are much like teenagers. We thought we had it all figured out, we had just enough knowledge and information to be dangerous, but in our minds we knew what we wanted and what was best for us. So despite the counsel of others we proceeded to do what we wanted to do. We usually continue in that vain for a time until we gain enough maturity, generally through our failures and mistakes, that we realize we don’t know it all and that those who were trying to give us good counsel weren’t as dumb as we seemed to think they were. Why is it that we can see it in our teenagers, but we can’t see it in ourselves? What we generally find out is that we didn’t want to do something God’s way because we wanted to have our freedom. What we come to find out is that our so-called freedom became our bondage and downfall and our response of obedience really brought the liberty and freedom that we thought we would miss. The sad part is what we had to go through to come to this realization.
Lord, may we find the wisdom of your Counsel each day of our lives. May the divine counsel of the Holy Spirit guide us and order our steps in the ways of righteousness. May You place the will and the do of Your good pleasure within us to follow Your counsel and gain the principle thing, which is divine wisdom and understanding. Help us each day to put on the mind of Christ, not being conformed to this world, but being transformed through the renewing of our minds in Your counsel. Straighten our crooked paths and correct us when we steer off course. Bring us into the straight and narrow of Your divine will and purpose for our lives. In that place we will find the green pastures of your peace and the gentle stream of living water. In that place our soul will be satisfied with comfort and joy because we are the sheep that know Your voice and follow in Your counsel. Amen
August 25, 2016
1 Kings 8:56
Blessed [be] the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
Isn’t it sad, time consuming, frustrating and even a little insulting that whenever you make a purchase using a credit card or check you must verify everything with an I. D.? You can’t even pump gas unless you pay first. Why wasn’t it that way forty or fifty years ago? I think it was because the majority of people were more honest, reliable and their word meant something. Many deals were done with a handshake rather than a contract. More people were raised with the ethics that ‘a man is only as good as his word’. Therefore a person’s word carried more weight and reliability than it does today. Today, among so many, a person’s promise or word doesn’t carry the commitment that it once did. Many of us have grown very lax when it comes to our commitment in carrying out what we have said that we will do. As a result we live in a world of mistrust and we must seek security of some sort on all of our transactions and dealings, otherwise someone will change their mind and their promise or commitment means nothing.
Aren’t we thankful that God isn’t wishy-washy, changing His mind from one time to the next? Aren’t we thankful that His love and commitment aren’t conditional upon our being good enough or performing well enough? 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 says, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” God isn’t slack concerning His promises and our word should be as His word, sure and reliable. It is bad enough that we live in a world and society that are not committed to their word, but we, as God’s people, are not that much different. In fact I have seen many times that a person that wasn’t even a Christian was more reliable and trustworthy than another person who did profess to know Christ. If we can’t and don’t keep our word and our promises then what are we telling the world that is seeing Christ through us. “If I can’t trust you, why should I trust your God?” Brethren, these things ought not to be so. All of us need to raise our level of integrity and character to the point that when we commit and promise something we are bound to carry it through.
What does Jesus say about keeping your word? In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus says, “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” He doesn’t ask us to bind ourselves with oaths and swear by other things that we have no control over, He simply tells us to have the integrity to let our yes mean yes and our no mean no. He is saying, just be a person of your word. Are we liars, promise breakers, false and untrue? This is what we are saying about ourselves when we don’t follow through and keep our word. Even more, this is what we are communicating about God to the people that are watching our lives and seeing our actions.
God is wanting us to be promise keepers, true to our covenants and promises to Him first, but also to our wives and husbands, families, friends and the people that we interact with in life.
Are you a person of integrity and a person of your word?
August 24, 2016
Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].
The Former and the Latter Rain
The former rain was the rain of preparation for the seed. It gave the seed the moisture that it needed to grow. This is what the Lord has given us in measure by the Holy Spirit. We have a foretaste of that which we saw in Jesus without measure. We have been given the rain that we need to grow up into Him in all things. The former and the latter rain are the preparation rains and the maturing rains together. They are the outpourings of God’s Spirit combined into one great outpouring upon His people that the fullness of Christ power and life might be manifested through us.
The apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 3:14-20, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Paul wouldn’t have prayed for us to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God if there wasn’t a time, a season and the ability for it to happen. To some of us it may seem blasphemous that we could even think such a thing, but remember the new creation man in you was birthed after the image and likeness of Christ. God’s purpose and plan for us is that we mature into His likeness. Ephesians 4:13 talks about the body of Christ being built up, “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Does that give us any revelation of who God has called to be? Paul says that to those who are mature they will see this calling and run toward the prize of the high calling that is in Christ Jesus. Our life and calling is about so much more than a shallow Christian life lived out in mediocrity until we die and go to heaven. It is about pressing into the fullness of what Christ has called us to be in Him. Our maturity and growth is going to spill over into body for the spiritual maturity and growth of all of us together. It is as Ephesians 4:14-16 says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” We are God’s seed and His harvest in progress. He doesn’t want us to always be looking at what we aren’t, but rather what we are becoming and already are in Him.
The Lord is speaking to us in this hour from Hosea 6:1-3, “Come, and let us return to the LORD; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. 2 After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. 3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”
August 23, 2016
Come near to God and he will come near to you…
Come Near to God
In this time and this hour there should be an urgency in our hearts to pull back from the world and all that it represents. Our attention and our focus must be heavenly; upon His kingdom coming in this personal earth, as well as the earth at large. If we continue in the world it will only be and anchor that pulls us down into its destruction, chaos and judgement. Today is a day of heavenly vision and divine insight. It is a day to get a revelation of why you have been created to be who you are. God has designed you, purposed and placed you in the earth for such a time as this. Each of us in Christ has a calling and a destiny. If we haven’t discovered what that is then how much more we need to come near to God to gain understanding of our true identity and purpose.
Everything else must become secondary in our pursuit for Him. Father God is our primary objective and goal and anything else before Him detours us from what we must lay hold of. There is a sifting going on. On God’s threshing floor the wheat and chaff are being cast together into the air. The wheat will remain, but the chaff will be blown away.
Today God is calling His people in a separation unto Him.
You are on a ship and it was destroyed, but you escaped with your life. You’re in the water with the ship’s debris all around, but in the distance you see a life raft that is completely in tact and floating. You know that in it there are provisions, water, blankets and protection from cold and sharks. Would you settle for just clinging to the ship’s debris or would you move whatever was necessary out of your way and swim until you were able to reach that raft? Where would your eye be fixed and where would your goal be set? Jesus is that life raft in the midst of this earthly debris. With all that is within you swim for Him. He is not only your means of survival, but once you are safely in Him your focus can then be on rescuing others.
The problem in our relationship with God, is not God, but us. It is our sin that causes separation. It is not that God is not there or has turned His back on us. His desire is for our relationship, but we have to get in alignment with the instruction of His Word and the revelation that we are a new creation man. When we are willing to do things His way, we will see the results that He promises us. When we are willing to wait and hear the direction of the Holy Spirit we will see the results in our lives that we are looking for. It is God that is waiting for us. If we want Him to come near to us then we need to fully turn our hearts to where He is. It is not in all of our efforts, but in our submission, waiting and obedience. Move whatever earthly debris that is hindering you out of the way as you make your way to Him.
August 22, 2016
Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say,
“I am strong!”
11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD!
12 “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. 13 Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow— so great is their wickedness!”
14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
16 The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
A Sobering Word from the Lord
There shall be a day of mourning and sorrow for the sun shall not shine by day, nor the moon by night. Spiritual darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people. The Lord is with His own. Many stand in the valley of decision. They need to act quickly and not hesitate.
The Morning Star was given to bring light into the world, but the world received it not. People will cry out for light, but none will be found. They will stumble for lack of vision and knowledge of the Lord. The Lord in His grace has poured out the blessing of His grace and salvation, making it known unto every nation, tribe and tongue. The nations will be brought into the Valley of Judgement and Valley of Decision. “Choose this day whom you will serve. Before you are life and death. Choose this day who you will serve, for you stand in the Valley of Separation.
The Lord will thunder out of Zion. He will sit in judgement of all who have profaned His name and His people. You do not want to hear the hard things I have to speak. You want your ears tickled with blessing and good words. I have many rich and wonderful things for you My people, but you must not withdraw in fear and unbelief at the fires of purification that stand before you.
You worship My Son in this season and that is good, but so many are content to keep Him the infant child and fail to see Him mature into the warrior King. You have become content on the milk and Christ remains the infant in your hearts. Woe to them that give suck in this day for you have fed milk when by such time many of you should be mature and partaking of the meat of the Word. Pray that your flight be not winter when all is spiritually cold and dead. Oh My people, come into the fullness of your calling. Put aside the frivolous things that consume your time and resources. It is a time when the kingdom of God is to come into the earth and your kingdom is so polluted. Purify your hearts ye double-minded. Make straight the way of the Lord. The times are upon you and you continue to tarry in their season. The trumpet has sounded and the alarm has gone forth, but still you sit in your complacency and slumber. Awaken My people and arise to the marvelous calling that is before you. Become spiritually alert and astute to what I am about to bring to pass. Know that I am with you if you are in Me, but so many have strayed from the hedge my protection, because they have been rebellious and disobedient in their hearts. Their affections are far from me.
Today I am calling unto you, “Return unto Me!” Soon the door closes and those who are not prepared will not come in. This is the day of your reconciliation, forgiveness and restoration. Respond to the season of My compassion and mercy. Darkness is coming, enter in while you have the light. Hide yourself in the shadow of My wing and I will cover you there. I am purging and preparing My people for this time of darkness and for a time you will be hidden. The time of My judgement is at hand, be sober, vigilant and pray in the Holy Ghost. Turn your heart from all impurity and defilement of flesh and spirit. Come unto Me with a broken and contrite heart and I will not turn you away. My Risen Son stands at the gate awaiting My Word to go forth. Ready your hearts for your Redeemer cometh.
August 19, 2016
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Fellowship with Father
I just want to share with you some of what the Holy Spirit was speaking into me during my time with Him this morning. I think the thing that we all desire from Father is a “now Word” that speaks to the season and the time that we are in. I believe that what He is speaking to each of us is largely relevant to what He is speaking to His body at large. At least to those who have an ear to hear His voice.
The Holy Spirit is freedom, liberty, no more walls, restrictions or limitations. He is a river that can not be dammed up or stopped. He overcomes all obstacles in His path as we flow in the Spirit of God. As we are filled with that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead we go where he goes and we also prevail against all obstacles and restraints. The Holy Spirit flows and moves in the tabernacle and the tents of His people. We must behold Him as the Israelites did as the cloud in the wilderness and move when He moved and stay when he staid. The children of Israel lived outside the cloud. We now live within the cloud of His presence. That is the shadow of the Almighty and the shadow and protection of His wing.
Respect and honor the Holy Spirit. Hold Him in high and holy regard. He is not common or to be taken for granted.
Why sickness and affliction lingers?
Like prison ministry you learn in the midst of the prison how to bring freedom in. You learn how to express out of your weakness His strength and out of your need, His provision. When man learns to find the heavenlies and God in his limitation, then, not only does he become free, he is able to bring other into that freedom. The kingdom is not that which is without, but that which is within. When you walk in the unseen, even in the midst of the reality of your natural world, then you walk in the Spirit and in faith. It is more needful and important to see with the eyes of the Spirit than even with natural sight. Faith moves your circumstances, it is not circumstances that determine your faith. God’s people get discouraged because they don’t always see in the natural realm those things that are taking place by the Spirit. All things have a time and season; a time of planting, cultivation, watering and then the harvest. Faithfully walking in the “I AM”, even when you don’t see, hear or feel will over time and faithfulness produce the “I AM” in you. Faithful is the man that does not see and yet believes.
The mind of the Spirit doesn’t think as the world thinks. It is not moved by worldly criteria or time. It sees and moves in the eternal purposes of the Father. The person that walks by the Spirit learns not to succumb or try to move according to earthly standards, pressures or human restraint. So many miss the Spirit, because they don’t know and apply this principle. They must only speak what they hear the Spirit speaking and do what they see the Father doing. As Christ was in this earth, so must we be in this world. The soul must learn submission to the spirit under subjection to the Holy Spirit. This is why so few really move by the Spirit. The soul has not yet been brought into subjection and obedience to the Spirit. God’s Spirit is affirmed by the Word of Truth, because He is Truth.
The way of entry into the kingdom of God is through Christ. He is the only gate. All who are His sheep hear His voice and they know His voice. His voice is revealed in His nature, its love, its correction unto righteousness and its consistency and alignment with the Word of God.
“I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. – Just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
The reason My Father loves me is that I lay down My life — only to take it up again.”
If we are like Christ we must embrace this principle of willingness to lay down our lives.
” Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Mathew 10:39)”
“Bear with Me church, for where I lead you will follow.”
August 18, 2016
Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
What do You Hold in Your Heart?
The story of Joseph is such an inspirational one, because few stories in the Bible parallel the life of Christ like Joseph’s does, especially in the area of suffering. Here is a young man that is treated harshly and unfairly through all of his youth. First, his own brothers sell Joseph into slavery. He is then cast into prison through false accusations and all the time he never waivers in his trust in God and reliance upon him. Joseph didn’t have the outward markings of greatness as the world would see them, but even those that he was put under could see the Spirit of God that was evident in his life. They observed the spirit of wisdom that was with him and were comfortable with placing him in charge of what was theirs.
Some of us have walked a path of suffering and suffering can take many forms. Sometimes it seems that there is no way out. No matter what we do, God seems to keep us hemmed in. What we are able to observe in Joseph’s life is that through this season of suffering when life was so unfair, he acted differently than many would have. We might say he had a right to be resentful, anger, bitter, unforgiving towards people and towards God, but he didn’t choose that path. He chose to keep his heart in the hands of God and trust Him, that He would order his steps. He was simply faithful in whatever circumstances he found himself and did the best he could to serve whoever was put over him. He learned the art of submission and obedience.
I was looking for somewhere where Joseph would reveal his true feelings. I found it in how he named his children. The first one Manasseh was named such because God made him to forget and forgive the betrayal and cruelty of his brothers and all of the trouble and hurt their actions brought upon him. The second son he named Ephraim, because God made him to be fruitful in the land of his suffering. What I saw was that Joseph was willing to submit to God through all of His difficult circumstances. He maintained a quiet reliance and trust in God, while always giving God the glory in his ability to interpret dreams.
God has some of us in a hard place today. It may well be the place of suffering and a place we would be glad to leave if we could. God may well be with us in that place even more than you know. That may be the place where He is training you up in trust and reliance upon Him. It may be the place where He is teaching you to let go of all bitterness and unforgiveness that you may have towards those that have wronged you. Joseph had the wisdom to not allow his circumstance to defeat him or define him, but to shape him into the man of God that could be used for God’s eternal purposes. God may well be training you and I to rule and reign with Him, but we are often trained up in the camp of suffering. When soldiers go through boot camp it is camp of suffering and hardship as they are prepared for the day of battle. God is preparing His people in this hour. Don’t despair in your place of suffering for it may well be the place of God’s preparation in your life. Rather submit to Him and learn of Him the nature of Christ in every circumstance.
August 17, 2016
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
3Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”
“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
9When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
12“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
13Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
15The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
The Blessing of Obedience
This story of God asking Abraham to offer up His only son Isaac, the son of promise, was God’s ultimate test of Abraham’s faith and obedience. It is one many of us are familiar with and hopefully we have seen it as the type of God the Father offering up His only Son of promise, Jesus Christ. What we see happening through this story and through Abraham’s faithful obedience is a perpetual blessing that has been cascading through the ages in both the spiritual and natural realms. The focus of what is shared in this discourse is the promise and the blessing that was produced through this act of obedience.
We learn a number of lessons from this passage. One very important one is that I don’t have to understand why God does or ask what He does, it is only important that I am willing to obey Him no matter what the cost. When God requires a death it is for a multiplication of life. When God plants a seed, that is sown by His people in faith, He has already seen the harvest it will produce. A Father’s heart is for legacy, but legacy is not created by holding on, but in letting go. What God gives us in promise and blessing can become our idol if we are unwilling to release it back to Him. Our heart of complete trust and obedience is the key to unlocking God’s unconditional and exceedingly great blessings and promises.
What God promised Abraham those many hundred of years ago we are still reaping in our world and in our personal faith today. You, in Christ, are an element of that answered promise to Abraham. You are one of his descendants, stars and grains of sand, rather you were born a Jew naturally or not. “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:28-29)” You see God’s true seed that He is looking for are those that have that same kind of heart as His friend Abraham; a heart of complete surrender, trust and obedience. This is what the Father is looking for in us.
When God made this promise to Abraham, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me,” He swore by what Hebrews 6 calls an immutable or unchangeable thing in which it is impossible for God to lie.
Why did God do this? Hebrews 6:17 says, “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.”
What does that mean to you and I? Sometimes as we labor in kingdom purpose we can get discouraged in well-doing and good works. When can get lazy and complacent concerning our faith and the purpose that we have in Christ. I believe this is what prompted the Hebrews’ writer to share this and remind us of our inheritance; “It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” He says prior to this in verses 10-12, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
The promises of Abraham are flowing through you as you are faithful to persevere in the faith and His blessings are unto you as well who obey and keep His Word. Faint not, for His promises never fail.
August 16, 2016
This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
This morning when the alarm clock went off or you woke up and rolled out of bed, did you do it murmuring and begrudgingly or with a “Thank you Jesus for another great day with you?” The attitude and spirit with which we start our day often determines our outlook and the mood we are in. I’m sure we all remember with others in our household or ourselves, many times that we have resentfully gotten up in the morning full of bad attitudes and negativism. Wasn’t that a delight?
When I used to go into work the standard greeting was, “Hi so and so, how’s it going?” Invariably you would hear back murmuring and complaining about having to come to work. I decided I wanted to look at my day with a little more positive attitude than that. When people would ask me, “How’s it going.” I would reply with a smile and enthusiasm. “It’s just another great day! It’s great to be back isn’t it?” I found that in that attitude, I not only encouraged myself, but I encouraged them to view their job from a different perspective.
Everyday should be a new adventure in God, a new opportunity to succeed at what we maybe failed at yesterday, another opportunity to love and appreciate the people that God has placed us with. In our daily routines we tend to lose our freshness, our spontaneity and our zest for life. Lamentations 3:32-36 exhorts us this way, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, or his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; herefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
God is so good to every one of us. Even in our times of trials and testing, He is with us and He sustains us. He is so worthy of our continual praise, adoration and thanksgiving. Try starting your day out from the moment you awaken, praising and thanking Him for His goodness. You are going to find your day a lot brighter and your attitude much better.
August 15, 2016
1 Peter 1:6-9
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
How many of us have endeavored to do something in life that required us to qualify to participate. If we ever went through basic training in the military, or went out for sports or any number of other events, there was a difficult period we went through of preparation and trials. Many of us can probably remember times in our life when physically and maybe even mentally and emotionally we were pushed to our limits. We may have hurt so bad or been so discouraged we thought we couldn’t go on, we couldn’t make it. Something didn’t just magically happen that suddenly made us qualified and we were taken out of the testing. If we qualified we had to stay the course, we had to persevere and endure. Maybe some of us didn’t make it when all was said done, but the one sure way we were disqualified is if we gave up and quit.
Our life in Christ is often like that qualifying period when God is working in us a greater thing of His nature and character. Sometimes we are pushed to our limits and we want to give up and quit. The old ways of life were so much easier for us. Many do give up when trials come and forsake their faith. They allow the precious seed to be robbed from them and they fall by the way side.
James says that faith produces patience and it is that patience that must have its perfect work in us. We are like a raw sacrifice until we are cooked over the fires of tribulation and trials. It is that faithfulness and steadfastness in the trials that make us to be a sweet smelling savor unto the Lord. It is then that He can say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” It is faithfully keeping our eyes and heart on Him that is the demonstration of our faith and overcoming. Only faith can count as substance that which it cannot see and physically experience. It is that faith that pleases God. It is faith that sees beyond the natural realm and counts God faithful even in the thick of our trials and testing; that is the faith that is more precious than gold.
Today, if you are discouraged, if you are broken, if you are hurting, if you’re feeling bankrupt and destitute, hold fast to your faith. Don’t give up, don’t give in, just keep your heart steadfast in Him. Jesus will carry you through. He will become in you what you cannot be in yourself. It is only as we lose ourselves that He can be. Place it all on the altar. Reckon yourself dead unto sin and the world and alive unto Christ. He will qualify you as you hold fast your faith.