February 17, 2017
The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Step by Step
Each day we take another step through life. Each day we make another decision about the way and the direction in which we walk. It is important that when we begin a journey we have a destination. It is also important that as we travel on our way to our destination that we get our bearings, reevaluate our position and adjust our direction accordingly. Often times in life we can have days of storms and even disasters that shake our lives. We are not moved, but sometimes we need to get reoriented so that we might keep to our destination.
Psalms 44:15-21 says, “We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame is written across our faces.16 All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. All we see are our vengeful enemies. 17 All this has happened though we have not forgotten you. We have not violated your covenant. 18 Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path. 19 Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home. You have covered us with darkness and death. 20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods, 21 God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.” The path of a godly person is often not an easy way to travel. It can often be a path of many trials and tribulations as we step each day down the journey of life that leads us to our destination in Christ Jesus. Each day is producing in us a greater dependence upon His strength and grace to take us to that next step. Each day should see us walking us less in our strength and more in His.
In order to maintain our walk and keep to the path of His righteousness we need a vision.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.” What is your vision today? Write your vision and make it plain. Know where you are headed in Christ and allow Him to work out the details. If we fail to see our vision we will wander and we will stray. The glimmer and the shimmer of the world will catch our eye, or we will become discouraged and disheartened. We need a vision to give us direction and purpose. Spell out what your vision is today. Write it down, see it and write it in faith. Ask the Lord to give you His vision for you. It may sound impossible, but that is what makes it a walk of faith and not of works. Get your bearings and write down where you are going right now and where you see yourself a year from now in your walk and life. Periodically, get with the Lord, take another reading, renew your vision and goals and then walk toward them in faith. Be flexable to move as He directs and guides you even when it doesn’t fit within your understanding and reason. “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psalm119:133)”
February 15, 2017
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Testimony of a Prisoner
I found this testimony of a prisoner named Billy Schmidt on Facebook through a man that friended me. It was compelling as I read it and felt the Lord would have me share it with you for your edification.
Please take the time to read this letter. Through it I explain something great that has changed my life forever. About four months ago I ended up in prison four a couple of months. While I was there Jesus Our God sent an angel of His to me. Along with the angel, Jesus sent with him the Most Powerful visual message I have ever seen In my life.
When I was placed In jail I asked to be put into solitary confinement by my self because at the time I was mentally crushed and exhausted from the miserable self lead mislead life style that I had been living for over thirteen years of my life at that time.
For years now I have believed in Jesus our God and at times prayed directly to Him. But because of my own path that I chose to lead my life with I could never seem to put my life together for a long period of time.
While I was in solitary confinement by myself I begin praying to Jesus our God asking Him to help me in any way that He would. When I was there about three weeks I had a bail hearing coming up. Around that time I begin to read a Holy Bible that was in my jail cell, I read the book of Matthew and the book of Revelations both that are in the New Testament. Also about that time I asked Jesus to be in control of my life and to guide me and direct me and to have happen for me what ever He as God sees best for me. I explained to Him that if I did not get out of jail when I was to go to my bail hearing I would understand because He is God and God knows what is best for me. When I went to my bail hearing the out come of it was that I had no one to bail me out of prison. I was not upset because I believed that this was part of the plan that Jesus had for me. So at that time I remained in custody and I was returned to the jail.
Again I picked up the Holy Bible and started reading it, This time from the beginning. I wanted to figure out how humanity and creation really did come to be. I became very interested in what the Holy Bible was saying and I believed what it was explaining did happen and that it was infact real. Through out the next couple weeks from that time I read the Holy Bible quite abit. I was just over a couple hundred pages into the Holy Bible some were when Moses was leading the twelve tribes of Israel out of Egypt to the land that God promised Jacob, It was called the promise land.
So one day in around this time I was lying down on the bottom bunk of the bunk beds. I stood up and put my hands along the top steal bunk bed frame in front of me. I looked straight ahead towards the wall in front of me when I noticed someone beside me. He turned and stood right in front of me. In my mind I said a ghost then I said no an angel, I knew it right then and there. I could litterly feel his presence from him it was a very strong alive feeling. He stood in front of me and I was amazed. I could not talk. He knew I noticed how different he was from us. The structure of his skull and jaw line was awesome and nothing at all like ours. Were our temples are on each side of our skull, his skull was wider there and on both sides there on each side of his skull was a round plate about three inches wide and round. The plates were not flush with his skull but slightly deeper in each side of his head. The plates held more color in them than the rest of his skin.
His jaw was a lot wider than ours. His jaw line reminded me of a spaded shovel. From the back of his jaw right around to the other side. This was truly the work of Jesus our God. I must say this angel was Hardcore and I knew because of his appearance that he has a grate life. He appeared to be about thirty years old and he was in his prime condition.
His hair was brown and nothing like ours. His hair came out of his scalp in tight spirals. It appeared that each individual hair on his head was much thicker than each of the hairs on our heads.
His eyes were brown in color and glossy. His eyes were much bigger than ours. I must add his entire eyes were dark brown. There was no white at all in his eyes. Towards the middle of his eyes mixed in the brown were black speckles. Suddenly he appeared right in front of me face to face eye to eye. I do not remember him moving forward towards me suddenly he was just there. I stared right into his eyes and saw something that I had never seen before that day. His entire brown eyes and the black speckles through them. Under his eyes there was no stress misery or pain. This was something that I had really noticed. Suddenly we were no longer face to face but he was standing back were he was standing before we were eye to eye. Again I do not remember him stepping back suddenly he was just there.
Then his eyes changed and in each one of his eyes the black speckles formed together as a black pupil in each brown eye. Then in each black pupil I seen something that I have never seen before. At first I could not even comprehend it. Then I realized that in his pupils was the look of Powerful Strong Peace. Peace with such Strength that at first I could not grasp. Then in each pupil of each of his eyes his pupils literally began to swarm with such a Peaceful Power. Then in each of his pupils along with the swarming Peaceful power came a White swarming mist.
Then the angel came forward and locked his eyes directly into my eyes. Then In each of his eyes I saw a dark brown Powerful Cross. Then suddenly I no longer saw the angel or anything else. What I did see was one dark brown wood grain Cross on a hill. Then the Cross I saw began to form silver capping around each end of it.
Suddenly I was standing near the edge of a mountain on the mountain flat were Jesus was crucified died and gave His life for the salvation of humanity. I noticed that the mountain flat that I was standing on was very flat. The mountain appeared to be made from some shiny beautiful black gem. I remember looking ahead of me and far back behind the mountain flat were miles of nice yellow fields of hills that went straight back.
I saw the Cross of Jesus coming up the side path that comes to the back of the mountain flat. From behind the Cross I heard the Loudest Thunderous Sounds following the Cross of Jesus. The Cross reached the back of the mountain flat then turned and started coming towards me. The Cross was Tremendous and held the Most Power I had ever seen. Then the Thunderous Sounds followed behind the Cross and up the mountainside path and up over the hill on to the mountain flat. Than I saw that the Thunderous Sounds was Powerful Flames of Burning Fire that stretched out in a long half circular shape row behind the Cross. The Fire went from the far left side of the Cross, behind the Cross and over to the far right side of the Cross. As the Cross Of Jesus came closer towards me the Flames of Burning Fire grew Extremely Tall with such Powerful Strength.
Once the Cross of Jesus moved forward to the spot were I believe was the very spot were Jesus our God was crucified and died for humanities sins, The Most Powerful Cross and its Supreme Flames of Burning Fire then stood still. I remember looking over my left shoulder towards the mountainside cliff ledge. The cliff side of the mountain edge that was on the side of my left shoulder went out a lot more then the other side. I remember that beyond the cliff ledge down below from a distance was a round white city.
Then It was if the Most Powerful Power of the Cross of Jesus and Exceedingly Great Burning Flames of Fire and the Superior Sounds of Thunder all became One. The mixture of this was the Extremist Most Powerful Power I had ever seen and herd in my life. I realized that what I was starring at was the Power of Jesus my Lord my God the Holy Spirit. I knew then, Jesus our God is the One and only Extremist Power in all existence.
Then suddenly I was no longer standing on the mountain flat in front of the Cross of Jesus our God. Then again what I remember seeing was one dark brown wood grain Cross on a hill. Again silver capping began forming around each end of the Cross, But this time in the middle of the Cross shone the brightest ray of LIGHT I have ever seen.
Then I saw two Most Powerful Crosses with Wild Burning Flames of Fire behind the Crosses. Again along with the Flames of Fire was the Loudest Sounds of Thunder from the Flames of Burning Fire. Again the mixture of the two Most Powerful Crosses the Burning Flames of Fire and the Thunder became the Most Powerful Extremist Power I have ever seen and herd.
Then again I realized that I was face to face with the angel and that the Most Powerful two Crosses and Flames of Fire behind the two Crosses and the Thunder was in each eye of the angel. In each eye of the angel was the Most Powerful Cross of Jesus the Extremist Flames of Burning Fire and the Wildest Thunder. Again I was watching the Power of Jesus The One Only True Extremist God Of All, through the eyes of His messenger the angel. Then the Crosses in each eye of the angel and the Burning Fire and the Thunder from the Burning Flames of Fire and the angel suddenly all disappeared.
Then I realized that I was standing in front of the bunk beds in my jail cell. I then realized that the entire time the angel was standing in front of me he was standing exactly were the metal bunk beds were. When the angel was standing in front of me the steal bunk beds were they should have been were not even there. The angel was there. The bunk beds had disappeared. Then when the angel disappeared the bunk beds reappeared.
What happen to me that day was so powerful and much for my mind to comprehend that I was disoriented afterwards for some time. I remembered the angel up until about were he locked his eyes onto my eyes. After that the rest of what had happened took some time to sink in. That swarming Peace that I saw in the angels eyes right before the angel locked his eyes onto my eyes. I’m sure that was the Holy Sprit and I believe Jesus our God sent that with the angel as a gift for me. When the angel locked his eyes onto my eyes the angel put that swarming Peace that was in the pupils of his eyes directly into my soul and it healed me on the spot. Much of my misery and fear for life is gone. I sleep better and now see this life of mine completely different than before that day when all this of what I explained happened. I no longer crave the addiction to misery that I once had.
Jesus our God sent me a visual message with His messenger the angel. The message was Jesus. Jesus our God. The message strait out showed me that Jesus is our One True Only God. Jesus came to this earth and let Himself be crucified on His Cross. Jesus died so that humanity could have forgiveness of sins. Jesus is our Savior from death. If humanity believes in Jesus through Him we can enter eternal life forever.
This Is all real. Jesus our Lord our God is real. The Holy Spirit is real. Prayer towards Jesus our God Is real. The Holy Bible is real. There is no shame at all if you honor our LORD JESUS THE HOLY SPIRIT. Jesus is our Savior from death. The forgiveness of our sins. He is Jesus our God. He created us and it is thanks towards Him why we are here on this earth. From what I have seen I now Know that Jesus our God is the Extremist Power in all creation. JESUS is our LORD our GOD the HOLY SPIRIT. He is more than any of us will ever be. Jesus our God has literally saved my life and I believe my soul forever. If you honor Jesus our God and ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins and to have Him help you with your soul and your life, your life through Jesus our God can only become better.
February 14, 2017
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
As it has come to be the season where the leaves have changed their color and are falling to the ground I take stock of my own life and see that age is coming upon me, the hair is receding and the winter is before me. As we grow older we begin to see that it is not always the outward that is permanent and beautiful, for that beauty will fade and pass away. Even in the Christian world we see a lot of outward demonstrations of worship and religious fanfare. All of these outward manifestations have their day and they catch the eye, but most soon fade and pass away. Proverbs 30:31 says, “Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” This outward life is like the beauty of a woman. It is vain, as is the favor of man, for it is not the outward that is the heart and soul of a substance, it is the root. When all of the outward beauty falls from a plant and outwardly it looks cold and dead, there is still the life that remains, but it is hidden to the outward eye.
So many Christians go through life living by the appearance of what looks good or spiritual, but the true life and tenacity of a thing is in the root. The root is not really concerned for the outward things, the outward beauty that stems from the root comes as a natural manifestation of that which it is by nature and character, but the root is more concerned in the things which are not seen. It is always seeking to go deeper into the ground and extend itself into new places of moisture and nutrition. That is the description of the man and woman of God. They aren’t nearly as concerned for the outward beauty, as they are for going deeper and more intimate in their relationship with Christ, which is their life, their source, supply and water. Judging a person by the outward appearance is a vain and shallow thing. In order to truly judge a thing, you must first truly know its heart and its root. There are those in the kingdom of God today that by their outward appearance and circumstances you might consider them forsaken, barren and cursed of God. That is because you don’t know their root. Their roots have wrapped themselves around the very heart, life and fiber of God. They live, move and have their being out of that life. Outwardly there may not be beauty that one would desire them and others may in fact pity them, but some of these ones have more life and reality of God than all the pretty Christians will ever know. That is because they have come to experience and lay hold of God in the dark places, in the droughts, in the heat of the summer, the freezing of winter and the fires that have burned away the outward beauty. There is no comeliness that you should desire them. They are really quite similar to another root that is spoken about in Isaiah 53:2-7, “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. ¶ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
This is a day and an hour when we don’t want to be moved by what we see outwardly. Judge a matter by its root and where its heart is. Situations and circumstances will not move one who is firmly and deeply planted in God. Miracles and outward manifestations and lofty words will not move them. Even the Anti-Christ can manifest these. Look to the heart and the root of a matter, there you will find the true revelation of what it is or what it is not. Out of what many will have judged to be nothing will come the true oaks and trees of righteousness; the planting of the Lord.
February 13, 2017
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
We have entered into what can be stressful times for many as the unemployment and foreclosure numbers increase with a struggling economy. Even in good times there can always be reasons for worry and concern. It is one thing to have someone say don’t worry about it and another when you’re in the midst of the fire.
I remember when we were first married. The company that I was working for went into bankruptcy and I was laid off of work. Sharon, in particular was stressing over the loss of the job and the Lord gave this scripture out of Matthew 6 to us.
What is Jesus saying to us in this scripture? Is He saying I just need to go through life singing “Que. Sera Sera” whatever will be will be? He is not telling us to have a careless attitude, but again, not focusing upon the circumstances, but upon His promises and His kingdom. Isn’t He telling us that if we are walking and living according to His will and purpose that He will see that our needs are met? We don’t always know what form that will take or even how He will do it, but He does tell us, “Don’t worry”. God is not one of anxiousness, but of rest. Sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is lean back into the arms and love of Jesus and just rest. Sometimes our nature is that I have to be doing something to solve this problem, but it is so often with our efforts and intellect that we seek the answers. God’s ways are often so contrary to our flesh. While the flesh wants to be doing, God is wanting us to be resting. It doesn’t mean that we are not knocking, or seeking, or asking, but rest that God will open the doors that He has for you and don’t be anxious about it.
The apostle Paul speaks a similar word in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Come to the Lord with all of your needs, but come with an attitude of thanksgiving, knowing that your needs are met already in Him. Don’t allow your circumstances to rob your joy. The circumstances will pass, but the Word of God and His promises stand forever. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
If you are in anxious times, quiet your soul, walk by the Spirit and enter into the rest of God. Just fellowship with Him as He begins to give you new direction or meet the needs that are pressing upon you. He often works in different ways than we might imagine, but then that is what makes Him uniquely God. What can we lose that God is not able to restore in greater measure and abundance? Our position and identity in life is not determined by the job or title or credentials that we hold, it should be determined by who we are in Christ. Standing in the perfect will of God should be the only position that we seek. In that place we can not fail.
February 10, 2017
Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
The Lord reminds us today how many times He has exhorted us through His Word not to fear. Fear takes place when we see our surroundings from a position of the natural and not a position of faith. When God exhorts us to “fear not”, He is exhorting us to get our eyes back upon Him who is our strength and our salvation.
The Psalmist, King David expresses this in Psalms 56:4, “In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” David expresses here an important principle to victory in our lives and circumstances, “In God I will praise His Word.” Exalting God’s Word and promises over our trials and afflictions is the greatest weapon that we have. Then we are making the declaration of faith by the authority of God’s Word and our trust is in Him. This has far more power than we often realize. There are times we might expect immediate results. That can and does happen, but many more times we have released a dynamic in heaven that goes to work in our declaration of faith according to the Word and the will of God. That dynamic may work through the natural realm to affect our circumstances according to what we have praised God’s Word for. It doesn’t mean that God didn’t hear and honor His Word. Often it is when we look back in our past we can see how God has worked in our life those things we didn’t see any change in at the time. Never take lightly the authority and the power of God’s Word. We only live in a free and democratic country today because of it.
Our fears are often present when our eyes are upon others and what we fear of them, rather than God. This where it is imperative that we know who we are in Christ and take our stand and authority as believers and witnesses of the MOST HIGH GOD! In Psalms 118:6, David says, “The LORD [is] on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” We must realize that our life is hid in Christ, in God (Colossians 3:1-4). For satan to touch us, he first must go through the Lord to do so.
Remember that God has created you for a purpose and God will protect and even allow the enemy permission in the areas that will prepare you to fulfill your mission. Listen to what David told his son Solomon when he passed the torch to him. 1 Chronicles 28:20 says, “And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do [it]: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” When we become secure in Christ in our revelation and in our faith in Him, we truly have no need to fear the world. God has a purpose for our lives. As we walk in obedience and faith to seek out and fulfill that purpose, we can know that God’s is moving on our behalf. If God be for us, who can be against us?
Put away all of your fears today. Fix your eyes and your heart on Christ. Fear not what men can do to you and praise God in His Word for it is your power and your authority. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ that loved us and gave Himself for us (Romans 8:37).”
February 9, 2017
2 Timothy 2:11-13
11The saying is sure and worthy of confidence: If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
12If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny and disown and reject Him, He will also deny and disown and reject us. 13If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.
He Abides Faithful
In the innermost recesses of our soul, in the depths of our spirit, resides the Spirit of God in us. The person that is in Christ knows that this place is their sanctuary, their hope and their redemption. All of hell may be breaking loose outwardly, but this is your place to come and find peace. In the inner sanctuary of your soul is where you find the hope, the faith, the love and the presence of God to give you strength for every trial and temptation. If satan could do one thing to defeat us, it would be to rob us of who we are in Christ. He wants us to focus on the outward man that is often a mess and so often riddled with failures and shortcomings. These things do not negate who we are in Christ. When we reached out with our feeble hands of faith and embraced the salvation that we heard we engaged into a relationship with the Almighty God of heaven and earth, with His Son, Christ Jesus and with His Holy Spirit. That was the day that our names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and we began our journey no longer as a lost and wandering soul, but as one of God’s redeemed. There are some of us who have made a pretty big mess in our lives. Some of us, even after our salvation experience, have committed some horrendous sins. Because of our failures in life and lack of faithfulness to the Lord we may feel hopeless, cast-off, and as if we have committed the unpardonable sin. There may be those who feel like, “ how could God ever love someone like me again after all that I did”?
God’s love, mercy, grace and forgiveness are not measured by human standards. God alone sets the boundaries upon these attributes of His character. I believe in the scripture of 1 John 1:8-9,
“8If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. 9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 10If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts].” We can choose to walk away from our faith and our commitment to Christ and forsake our own mercy. Our sins will reap their consequences. Even though we were faithless, God still abides faithful and even though our love and commitment fell short, His didn’t. God has made a way to return to Him, to find forgiveness and restoration if we will confess our sins to Him and ask for His forgiveness. No one can give us that absolution, but Christ, our high priest and intercessor. It His precious blood that we have trampled underfoot and yet it is that same blood that washes our filth and sin away. It is the fountain of hope and life to all that come to it and will turn from their wicked ways.
If you or someone you know have been discouraged, condemned and felt like God could no longer love you or accept you then you have lost sight of how great the love of God is for you. Jesus left the whole flock of His sheep to go and find the one that was lost. In Luke 15:4-7 He gives this parable, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found [it], he layeth [it] on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together [his] friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” He wants to recover you and I today. He wants to bring you back into the fellowship of His flock, not as one still set on a course of sin and disobedience, but as one who is remorseful and repentant of their sin. He doesn’t forgive us to justify and give license to our sin, but to allow us a way back if we are willing to repent and turn from it.
In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.” No matter what the enemy has told you or the thoughts of worthlessness he has placed in your head, God still loves you and values you more than you could ever imagine. Come back to Him, repent and find your peace again in His fellowship.
February 8, 2017
Have you not just called to me: ‘My Father, my friend from my youth, 5 will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?’ This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can.”
6 During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the LORD.
11 The LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah. 12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north: ” ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will not be angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’ ” declares the LORD.
14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
Walk the Talk
An oriental pastor once told his people, “You people are all talky-talky and no walky-walky.” I fear this is where many of us may truly find ourselves today. We call out and pray to God. We go to church and even read and study the Word, but are our lives producing the fruit of His righteousness and life? This is where Israel and Judah were when this word came to Jeremiah the prophet. We maintain our appearance of spirituality and due diligence, but at the same time we are playing the harlot with the things of the world. Our affections and desires are still toward the earthly things and so we really have a duality of heart. Yes we believe in God and have embraced Christ, but are there still “His time” and “my time”? We talk the talk of the spiritual man around our brothers and sisters in Christ, but our imaginations and affections are often somewhere else on this world. We have to ask ourselves, where is our heart and what is the purpose of our lives? Have we compartmentalized God into our religious box, but then we have another compartment for us to still live in and partake of worldliness that caters to the affections and desires of our flesh? This is what the Lord views as our spiritual adultery and unfaithfulness. Sin always has its judgements and consequences if we continue it, but if we have ears to hear and a heart to receive God comes to us beforehand and speaks the message of mercy that He spoke to Israel and Judah, “” ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will not be angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’ ” declares the LORD. 14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”
God is calling His people out of the world in this hour. He is calling us to repent and turn back to Him with all of our hearts, minds, soul and strength. He desires a people of uncompromising commitment to His purpose and His will. He has and is raising up shepherds in this hour after His heart and that are attuned to His purpose who will lead us into knowledge and understanding. It begins with our repentance and our return unto Him with our whole heart. What is the true basis of our spiritual life? Is it in our talk or in our walk?
February 7, 2017
18And they tempted God in their hearts by asking for food according to their [selfish] desire and appetite.
19Yes, they spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish [the food for] a table in the wilderness?
20Behold, He did smite the rock so that waters gushed out and the streams overflowed; but can He give bread also? Can He provide flesh for His people? 21Therefore, when the Lord heard, He was [full of] wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, His anger mounted up against Israel, 22Because in God they believed not [they relied not on Him, they adhered not to Him], and they trusted not in His salvation (His power to save). 23Yet He commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven; 24And He rained down upon them manna to eat and gave them heaven’s grain. 25Everyone ate the bread of the mighty [man ate angels’ food]; God sent them meat in abundance. 26He let forth the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by His power He guided the south wind. 27He rained flesh also upon them like the dust, and winged birds [quails] like the sand of the seas. 28And He let [the birds] fall in the midst of their camp, round about their tents. 29So they ate and were well filled; He gave them what they craved and lusted after. 31The wrath of God came upon them and slew the strongest and sturdiest of them and smote down Israel’s chosen youth. 32In spite of all this, they sinned still more, for they believed not in (relied not on and adhered not to Him for) His wondrous works. 33Therefore their days He consumed like a breath [in emptiness, falsity, and futility] and their years in terror and sudden haste. 34When He slew [some of] them, [the remainder] inquired after Him diligently, and they repented and sincerely sought God [for a time]. 35And they [earnestly] remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer. 36Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths and lied to Him with their tongues. 37For their hearts were not right or sincere with Him, neither were they faithful and steadfast to His covenant. 38But He, full of [merciful] compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not; yes, many a time He turned His anger away and did not stir up all His wrath and indignation. 39For He [earnestly] remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that goes and does not return. 40How often they defied and rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41And time and again they turned back and tempted God, provoking and incensing the Holy One of Israel. 42They remembered not [seriously the miracles of the working of] His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy.
A Heart of Lust
The account we read here in Psalms 78 is an example of the lust that tends to work in all of us. Often we only think of lust in a sexual sense and there is certainly that aspect of it, but it is much broader than that. It was a quality and aspect of humanity that kept the children of Israel in the wilderness, it continually provoked the wrath of God and it remembered not all His benefits because it becomes so focused on its own. Lust defined is the selfish and self -indulgent desires and appetites of our flesh. Many of us are still controlled, to a large extent, by an attitude and mindset of lust. Our focus is so often on what pleases us and what we want, rather than on what is pleasing to our Lord. Even in our prayers, we are crying out to God to give us meat, give us what we want rather than being content with the provision of God’s hand. Human nature is usually to always want what it can’t or shouldn’t have. There are times when God will allow us to have the lust of our hearts. He will give us what we think we must have. What we find is that the fulfillment of our desires soon becomes a curse. What we thought was going to fulfill and satisfy us leaves us empty and lean of soul. It brings with it consequences that we didn’t anticipate. Verse 33 of Psalms 78 says, “33Therefore their days He consumed like a breath [in emptiness, falsity, and futility] and their years in terror and sudden haste.” This is the fruit of our lust. It is enmity with God and so it brings death to us and not life. It is the antithesis of faith and trust in God’s goodness, sovereignty and provision.
1 John 2:15-17 tells us this, “15Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]–these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.” We want our lust to be for those things of the Spirit that pertain to life and godliness. Our desire is for a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Lord that we might know and experience the fullness of His life and blessing upon us. We must learn from our former examples that the lust of the flesh breeds death, but walking in the Spirit produces life and the attributes of a godly character.
February 6, 2017
1 John 5:1-5
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Believing, Doing and Being
Our relationship with God begins with our believing and embracing Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah and the Son of God. This is the first step in God’s economy and kingdom of entering in and receiving divine life, eternal life and not just physical breath and life. In a relationship where you come to love a person, the first expression of that love would probably be the acknowledgement of those feelings, the belief that you really do love this person and the verbal expression of that love through the confession of your lips. So it is with Christ. We come to know, receive and love Him, because He has first loved us. God not only told us that He loved us in Christ Jesus, He showed us that He did by doing. He puts the actions behind His words that gave creditability and substantiated His love for us. He now tells us that everyone who loves the Father loves His Son as well. The way that we know that we love God is that we obey His commands. We become not only believers of the Word and the commands of God, but doers that practice a godly lifestyle and live in the light of His Word. So we then become not only believers, but also doers. Our actions speak of our love for God, who we are and what we are becoming. He has also placed His Spirit within our hearts that bears witness that we are the children of God.
Lastly, through our faith and our actions we come into the being of what God has called us too. In our earthly lives we often identify ourselves by our occupation. I am a plumber, or an attorney or a banker, or a housewife. Our identification becomes synonymous with what we do. In Christ, what we do is live out of faith in His life and obedience to His word. Our faith and doing becomes our being. We are Christ beings, not just human beings. Our identity is now one with who we are in Christ. We never confuse that with saying that we take the place of His headship and position, but even God’s word declares that we are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:15-18 declares, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” We have been called with the calling of Christ, to share His sufferings and to also share His glory. So many of us continue on in this life still identified with this life and who we are in this world. God wants us to get the revelation of “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. It is who you are in Christ and who you are continuing to become and develop into. You are identified with Christ and it is a process of your coming into His likeness. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”
What started as your faith in believing, became your action in doing and your action in doing is now become your being. “In Christ” is who you are. Let us be identified with Him and live accordingly in His life. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith and that victory resides in us. You are an overcomer and a conqueror because of your faith and identification with the life of God that resides in you. It is what you believe, it is what you do and it is who you are in your being.
February 3, 2017
Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand; 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’”
When Fear comes Knocking
As we read this passage of scripture today that took place during the reign of Hezekiah, we see him faced with the greatest challenge and threat to his kingdom that he had ever known. The king of Assyria, which typifies satan, sent his messenger of fear, Rabshakeh, to attack the faith and trust of the people of Judah and Hezekiah had in the Lord and replace it with fear of the natural. They were facing the greatest force and enemy of their day. Assyria was undefeated and it had taken every nation that it entered into, including Israel. Now Hezekiah is faced with the decision to either give in or trust the Lord. Everything in the natural is saying give it up, you don’t stand a chance. You don’t hold a candle to this giant that now stands before you. What Rabshakeh said was true, no other nation or gods had been able to withstand them. Where Rabshakeh and the king of Assyria failed was in counting the Lord God as like unto the gods of wood and stone.
There are times when we are faced with similar circumstances in our lives. We face giants and situations that are far greater than we are in the natural. They blaspheme or mock our God and expect that we should bow to them. Our very lives or livelihood may be at stake. What will we do? Will we bow in fear to the enemies’ demands or will we throw ourselves before the Lord and plead our case before Him as Hezekiah did?
It is often in our weakness that God’s strength and power are manifest. If fear is able to undermine and rob our faith then we will not see the salvation of our God. If we dare to stand firm in Him then we will see His salvation work, even though it may not be immediate. There are areas in life that we have to walk by faith, humbly and fearfully before the Lord, so that we are not reliant upon our strength or ability, but we wholly lean on Jesus name. The enemy will kick up dust, he’ll rant and rave and do all that he can to strike fear and unbelief in our hearts, but it is our faith in the All Powerful One that prevails. Through prayer and faith we hide ourselves under the shadow of the great Jehovah. We know that when He goes out to battle on our behalf then we cannot fail or be defeated. We are more than conquerors through Christ who has loved us.
In 2 Kings 19:5 we hear what the Lord says through Isaiah, His prophet concerning these blasphemous threats. “So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’”” God is still saying to us, “ Do not be afraid of the words that you have heard.” We must know our Lord today as Hezekiah and the people came to know Him then. He is a mighty Fortress and Deliverer. He will take up the cause of the righteous and in His time and His way that enemy will be defeated. When fear comes knocking, don’t be afraid, only trust and obey.