Our Pleasure is in the Lord

December 30, 2022

Our Pleasure is in the Lord

Psalms 16:5-11

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

The Psalmist declares, “You have made known to me the path of life, in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy and at thy right hand pleasures for evermore.”  What a wonderfully secure and precious place the redeemed have found in Christ.  Though the earthly realms and kingdoms are falling down around us, though outwardly we may face peril, adversity and death, what a security and peace we have in knowing who and what we are in Christ.  We know that He will not abandon us to the grave.  We know that He is our resurrection and our life, through faith in Christ we are eternally bound to Him.  One of the greatest basic needs that a person has in their lives is the need for security.  We all want to know and live in that safe place where we are not threatened and we have something and someone that we can count on, that will always be there for us.  Someone who will never leave us of forsake us.  That is what we have found in Christ.  He is our security and our strong fortress.  He is our shield and our buckler.  Whatever life throws at us and whatever trials come we know that our reliance, our final hope and confidence is in Him.  Everything else around us may fail, but He won’t fail.  Everyone else around us may desert us, but He will stand by us. 

               The Apostle Paul relates this steadfast confidence and the Lord’s faithfulness in 2Timothy 4:16-18, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge. ¶ Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”  We can hopefully see why our identification with Christ is so powerful and must be so strong.  Our identity is in Him and not in the weakness, frailties and failures of our flesh.  All that we truly are, all that we hope for and walk in faith in, is realized in Christ.  He is our foundational and unmovable rock. 

               We are not going to always understand all of God’s ways or why some things happen as they do, but that must never deter us from knowing Him as our life and eternal security.  The greatest undertaking of the enemy is to rock our boat and to bring about circumstances that will undermine our faith and cause us to forsake it.  What we know is that God never fails.  Our perceptions of God may not always hold water, but that doesn’t mean that He has failed.  He is still sovereign upon His throne and He still holds the whole world in His hands.  What I do know is that in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy and that is why I want to spend a lot of time in His presence.  At His right hand are pleasures for evermore.  There is no greater pleasure in life than to be walking in the perfect will of God for you.  In that place you will have fulfillment, contentment, peace and joy.  You will find the pleasure that the world can not offer.  The world’s pleasures are temporal and fleeting.  So many of them only lead to a hollow life full of darkness and despair, but not so with the Lord’s pleasures.  They lead to life, liberty and fullness of joy. 

               The apostle Paul says it so wonderfully in Romans 8:28-39, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Your life is secure in Him.




Our Little Sister

December 29, 2022

Song of Solomon 8:8-10

We have a young sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister for the day she is spoken for? 9 If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar. 10 I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.

Our Little Sister

               The Song of Solomon is a love song and a love story of the deepest intimacy and maturity.  It symbolically speaks of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the true church of God.  In this passage it speaks of a younger sister.  Her breasts are not grown, so in her we don’t see the maturity, the depth found in the bride.  Many are the people who have a surface relationship with Christ.  Many only know Him in their heads.  Some know Him in their hearts, but much fewer know Him in the most intimate sense of the word.  In that place the power of His love has created such a bond of unity and oneness that even death cannot prevail against it. 

               In this passage the two of them are discussing the younger sister.  It appears that as she comes of age she can become one of two things, a wall or a door.  A wall keeps undesirable things out, while a door can allow them in.  If this younger sister will become a wall, lifting up the standard of righteousness in Christ Jesus then we will build towers of silver, which speaks of redemption, on her.  Towers were built upon the wall for the watchmen and the lookouts.  From there they had a high vantagepoint to see when the enemy might be coming and from where He was coming.  If she is a wall we can build towers upon her.  She can become a fortress and protection of God’s people.  If she is a door then we need to board her up for she be an opening for destructive forces of unrighteousness to enter in.  We must enclose her with panels of cedar. 

               The bride says, “10 I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.”  We see then that God’s desire is for us to be the wall, that force and that presence that stands against this present evil world.  Her breasts are like towers.  She filled with wisdom, discernment, maturity and is a giver of life and blessing.  This is the people that God wants to raise us up to be trees and walls of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified. 

Zechariah 2:5 says, “For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.”  We must stand in Christ as a wall against all unrighteousness, lifting up His standard in the earth.  We are not to be a door allowing every foul thing to come in but a wall and part and parcel of looking out for one another and providing accountability to one another so that the name of the Lord is not defamed, but is glorified in His people.



God’s Gift to Us

December 28, 2022

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God’s Gift to Us

               This simple verse is so profound because it is the summation of God’s love and purpose.  We say that Christmas is about Christ’s birthday and yet it so often about us and not Him.  His name is mixed in amidst the presents, Santa Clause and the traditions of the season, but do we ever focus on what can I give back to You?  What present can I bring You Lord Jesus that would be honorable and pleasing?  Is it about kneeling before the Christmas Tree on Christmas morning or kneeling before the throne of grace in true worship, adoration and appreciation for the King of Kings?  It is always good to remember how Christ came to us, God incarnate, in the flesh of an infant child, but we no longer worship the baby Jesus, but the resurrected Lord.  It is to Him that we give thanks and praise for becoming the son of man, so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.  He came down to bring us up. 

               Our greatest gift back to the Lord is a life that is consecrated, honoring and obedient to His Word.  The greatest gift we can give is to allow our lives to be the full expression of His indwelling presence; ‘no longer I that live, but Christ in me.’  As we remember in this season, Christ coming into the earth, let us remember to daily give back to Him what He desires to be in us.  We are His Redeemed, the joy of His salvation.  He delights in us.  Always allow Him to be your greatest delight and the object of your full love and affection.  Never trade the hope you have in you for the glitter of this world.



Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

December 27, 2022

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

1 Chronicles 29:20

And David said to all the assembly, Now adore (praise and thank) the Lord your God! And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed down and did obeisance to the Lord and to the king [as His earthly representative].

               God is so good all the time.  He is so worthy to be praised even in our darkest times.  We celebrate holidays that commemorate Christ and it is good that He receives honor in days such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  The truth is every day should grow sweeter and sweeter as we live it in Him.  Everyday, we should want to come and adore Him.  None of us have to think very long or go very far to realize how many blessings He gives and how much goodness He bestows.  Certainly, if I ever grow up to be like anybody, I want to grow up to be like Jesus.  He is the bright and Morning Star.  He is the glory and the lifter of my head.  In times of trouble we cry out to Him and He hears us from His holy hill.  How precious and rich is the grace of the Lord over our lives.  He protects us, keeps us, prospers our ways, touches our infirmities, and comforts us in our time of loss and grief.  How empty, meaningless and hopeless our lives would be if it were not for the One who has created us, to love us, and for us to love Him.  Every day, the cross of Calvary should bring us to tears, as we comprehend in some small measure the grace of God that was and still is extended to us through it. 

Who can really comprehend God, laying down His very own life in His son to reconcile us back to Him?  I can’t fathom that great of a love.  What grieves me is how lightly and commonly I respond to that majestic love.  How worthy He is of all our love, praise and adoration.  How we often reflect so little of it in our daily lives, in our actions, words and deeds.   Sometimes, we praise Him with our mouth, but our hearts are far from Him.   I know that the fuller our hearts are of Him and the more intimate we are in our relationship with Him, the richer and more sincere the praise and worship that we offer up. 

               One of the most precious things about King David was the anointing he had to praise and worship God.  No wonder David was so precious to the Lord.  David just knew how to love on Him.

He gives a convocation at the dedication of the Ark of the Covenant in 1Chronicle 16.  There, in verses 8-36 he declares, “8Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. 11Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. 12Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth; 13O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. 14He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 15Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; 16Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; 17And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, 18Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance; 19When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. 20And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; 21He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, 22Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. 23Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation. 24Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. 25For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. 26For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 27Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. 28Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 29Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 30Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. 31Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth. 32Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. 33Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth. 34O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 35And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. 36Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.”

               Today, let your heart just rejoice in the Lord.  In our thoughts and in our words let us acknowledge Him for His awesome greatness, goodness and love.  May our lives be a sweet sacrifice of obedience and our will, mind and emotions fully bowed down before Him.  May all that we are, all that we do and all that we are becoming be to the praise, the glory and the worship of His Holy Name.  Just take the time to really love on Him, ‘cause His goodness never fails us and His mercies are new every morning.’



Shattered Dreams

December 26, 2022

Shattered Dreams

Genesis 37:20

Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

               Joseph, the son of Jacob, was a dreamer.  God gave him dreams and visions.  In his immaturity he had to run right out and tell everyone about his dream.  Since the dream revealed his greatness above his brothers and family they weren’t nearly as excited and receptive of his dreams as he was.  Matthew 7:6 says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  This is not to say Jacob and his sons were dogs or swine, although the principle is much the same.  We have to use wisdom when God reveals certain things to us.  They may be real and burning in our heart, but there is a time and season for all that He gives us.  Sometimes in our immaturity as Christians we want to dump all that we know or think we do on those who are no where close to hearing and receiving the things God has given us.  We can be more than disappointed with the results.   The natural man can have a hard time receiving the wisdom and revelation of God, because to him it is foolishness.  God will drop holy and precious nuggets into our hearts at times, but rather than digging it up and sharing it with everyone we need to leave it planted in our spirits, bath it in prayer and let it grow in God’s time.  As with Joseph, the things God showed him weren’t for many years to come.  Everything in Joseph’s life seemed to shout that His dreams weren’t true, that he had lost it, it was just His imaginations.  What God puts in our hearts will burn in our hearts.  We won’t forget it, but satan will try his best to rob it from us.  Joseph lived a life where he was sold into slavery and bondage by his own brothers and then later falsely accused and thrown into prison by Potiphar’s wife.  Talk about shattered dreams, everything in the natural said it was impossible.  Yet, Joseph never lost his vision and more importantly he never lost his faith and trust in God.  No matter what his circumstances, he didn’t give up or forsake his virtue and integrity. 

               What is the dream God has given you today?  Does it look in the natural hopeless and unattainable?  Good, because what is impossible with man is possible with God.  Don’t bury that dream under discouragement and seeming failure.  Dig it up, dust it off and hold it back up to God who gave it to you to begin with.  He is the God of the impossible.  If he can take that slave boy and prison convict Joseph and make him to be a ruler over the most powerful nation of that known world what can’t He do for you?          

               Circumstances, trials, life’s situations may have shattered your dreams, but if they were birthed of God then He is able to bring them to fruition.  Hold fast that which God has given you.  Don’t give up.  Let your faith lay hold on that which God wants to bring to pass in your life, in His time and His way.  There was a day Joseph saw all of his dreams fulfilled and he saw his brothers bowing before him.  He was in a position he could have taken revenge, but instead the wisdom of God prevailed in this man who through years of testing and trials had been perfected.  He told his brothers in Genesis 50:20(NLT), “As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.”  God is raising up saviors out of Zion today.   Obadiah 1:21, ” And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.”  There are a people in Zion that He has given a dream that only He can bring to pass.  God is still perfecting a people like He did with Joseph.  He has given them a dream and a vision.  Like Joseph, we trust God to bring to pass the revelation word he has placed within our hearts.  Hold fast to your dream.



Affectionately Loving One Another

Romans 12:10

 [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Did you ever notice that the people that you end up neglecting and abusing the most are usually the ones you say that you love the most?  They are most often your family, close friends, or even your brothers and sisters in Christ.  The ironic thing is, that we often give preference to the ones or the things that are putting the more demands and abuses on our lives, but in the scheme of things are less in importance.  Somehow, we just expect those we love and prefer to understand when we put them last on our agenda or speak or treat them harshly.  Perhaps many of you, like myself, find your lives out of balance with your priorities and preferences.  In a society in which we find ourselves running like crazy in a thousand different directions, with people and pressures pressing in on us on every side, when something has to give, it is usually our family.   That can apply to both our immediate families as well as the family of God.  Isn’t it strange that we are doing all these things that in our minds we consider for the benefit of our families and yet they are often suffering as a result of them?  What’s wrong that picture?

               I speak this first for my own benefit and then for the benefit of anyone else who thinks it may apply to them.  I find I get an agenda set in my mind and I’m not real tolerant of interruptions to that agenda.  Some of you, like myself, may find that you have created walls of hurt and wounded the ones closest to you.  You have communicated to them so many times through your actions and words that they aren’t as important or as valuable as so many other things in your life.  My feeling is that this is a major problem with good many of our families and relationships.  We all need to get our priorities in order.  God and his people are often at the forefront of our offense list.  It is not usually something we do intentionally and often quite subtly these neglects and abuses creep in to undermine our most precious relationships and destroy one of the most valuable commodities we possess, our families, friends and brethren.  We often put up our pretty fronts around others, but the loved ones so often see a whole different face and attitude. 

               Those closest to us rub us the hardest.  We would most like to blame them for being the problem with us, but in reality, if we didn’t already have a problem then a lot of what they did wouldn’t irritate us so.   Like the old saying goes, “You can’t get a person’s goat unless they have a goat to be got.” 

               The unconditional love of God prefers the other above themselves.  It displays that preference by being affectionate.  The connotation of our theme verse is to be tenderly reciprocating love and caring in a relational way as with a parent and child, or husband and wife.  It is preferring the other above yourself.  Please join with me in making it our goal to set the priorities of our relationships and commitments straight.  Let our God be at the forefront of all that we do, then our family, our relationships with each, then those outside and then us.   Let’s make our first priority to invest in the eternal things and then the temporal. 




December 22, 2022


2 Timothy 3:2

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

               We often talk about thankfulness and especially around Thanksgiving time it is a reminder, or should be, of all that we have to be thankful for.  We talk about thankfulness and all the benefits of being thankful.  It keeps us in a right spirit and frame of mind.  It brings us into the presence of the Father and in fellowship with Him.  It enables us to view life from a perspective of how much we do have rather than what we don’t have.

               What do we know about the unthankful?  On a human relational level, we have probably all experienced times when we’ve made a sacrifice or gone to trouble and expense to try and bless someone and their attitude turned out to be totally unappreciative.  It probably offended or hurt us that there was no appreciation on their part and no reciprocation of gratitude for our effort and thoughtfulness.  That is an ungrateful spirit.  God is often the recipient of an ungrateful spirit with regards to His created ones.  What is it that makes one poor woman with poverty and afflictions so thankful to God and another man so rich, powerful and blessed with health, so cynical and unappreciative?  It seems it should be the other way around, and yet often it is not.  The more some have, the more unthankful they become.  There is a greater sense of self and lesser sense of their need for God.

               In our passage from 2 Timothy today we can see that an unthankful spirit is one of the attributes of men in this last day.  If a person in their midlife compares the attitudes in general of today’s youth and younger generations and those of his childhood, what a difference.  As a rule, there was more respect, especially for those older than you and those in authority.  While more recent generations have been given more and prospered more, their appreciation, respect and gratitude have become less and less.  It has a lot to do with a self-centered mentality.  Instead of appreciating what others do for us, we expect it or think that somehow, they owe it to us.  One need only to read this scripture in 2 Timothy to recognize many of the other attitudes and attributes that accompany this unthankful spirit.  It really stems from an anti-Christ spirit.  It is a sign of a hardened heart.  Romans 1:21 describes it like this, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

               Does God love the unthankful?  Sure He does and they are still blessed just like everyone else. 

How are we supposed to deal with such people?  Luke 6:35 tells us, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”  The thing we must remember if we are among the grateful and the giving, is not to become embittered or resentful toward the unthankful.  They may not appreciate who you are or what you have to give, but then you don’t do it for their gratitude; you do it as unto the Lord as an expression of your gratefulness to Him and to reflect His attitude of mercy and grace upon the ungrateful and unthankful of heart. 

               A truly thankful heart is one that is rich in humility.  A truly unthankful heart is rich in selfishness and conceit. Where are our hearts today with regards to true thankfulness?  Have we ever taken the time to sit down and just write out all of the things that we have to be thankful for?  When we do that, we will see why we have so much to thank God for.  Our true thankfulness opens our hearts and spirits to Him and rejoices in His presence and fellowship.

               An unthankful heart closes the door to a God with outstretched arms of love, salvation and grace.  Its focus is always on what I don’t have, what I need and what I want.  It will use and then cast aside all that help it attain its desires.  If we see an unthankful heart in us, even in certain areas of our life, we need to repent.

 ‘We will enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him and give Him praise (Psalms 100:4). ‘



Good Souls Hiding in Ugly People

Luke 19:1-10

And [Jesus] entered and passed through Jericho And, behold, [there was] a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that [way]. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw [it], they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore [him] fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

               There are a lot of people in this world, and perhaps in some degree or another we are some of them, who are living out a life of ugliness and sin that they don’t really want to be inside.  Perhaps they have been caught up in a lifestyle, or addictions, or behaviors that they really hate in themselves, but seemed trapped and unable to change.  There are a lot of people who really don’t like who they are or the ugliness that they can manifest through their actions.  Zacchaeus was such a man.  He was the chief of the publicans or the tax collectors the most despised and hated of people among his countrymen.  He was a little man in a big position, but it wasn’t where he was happy.  He had wealth and position, but He didn’t like who he was.  He was unhappy because he was living contrary to the nature that God had intended for him.  I looked up the meaning of Zacchaeus and it means, “pure or innocent”.  Now it is not hard to see that Zacchaeus’ life was anything, but that.  He had heard everyone talking about this Jesus and the extraordinary man that He was.  Something stirred in Zacchaeus’ heart as he sought to try and see this man.  Sometimes it is hard for us to see Jesus, because our stature has become so low, but he didn’t let this detour him. Even though the crowds of people who knew and hated him tried to prevent him from pressing through he was determined that he would see Jesus.  We are often crowded out by condemnation that says we are not even worthy of seeing Jesus.  The first step in changing the ugliness of who we are is seeking higher ground.  It is in seeking a higher vantagepoint where we can see Jesus and where he can see us.  There needs to be a determination to seek out the one who can change what we hate in ourselves.  God had created Zacchaeus to have a pure and innocent nature, as He has created us, but it had become perverted through sin, greed and the world.  When Jesus passed by and looked up in that tree where Zacchaeus was hanging out, He didn’t see that ugly little chief tax collector that everyone else saw.  He saw a man that needed to be returned to the nature of who he really was, pure and innocent.  Jesus basically invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.  Now Zacchaeus could have said no, but like many of us we so desperately want to be different and changed from what we have become into what He has created us to be, we know that we need to accept His invitation. It is our only hope.

               It was the fellowship and the communion with Jesus that transformed Zacchaeus’ heart.  After He had been with Jesus, he recognized what had been missing out of His life.  Position, power, authority were no longer the compelling issues with Zacchaeus.  He just knew he wanted to be right with God and he was gladly willing to give up or restore whatever was necessary to maintain that relationship that he found with Christ that day.  It is in the presence and relationship with Jesus that our ugliness will be transformed.  As we are conformed not to the world, but transformed through the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus, we see change.  When Jesus becomes the sole object of our communion and companionship our lives will change from the inside out.  We are always trying to change the outward things, but until the inward attitudes of the heart and soul come into spiritual alignment with God’s heavenly purpose the rest of us can’t really change.                 If you feel like that ugly person without, not necessarily in looks, but in attitude and disposition then seek higher ground.  Jesus is looking at you and seeing the inward man of the heart, that good and precious soul that He created in His image.  Come into His presence and give your life to Him so that God, by the Holy Spirit, can transform you into who you really are.  Come to repentance and make things right with God and with others.  Today God wants to truly bring salvation into your house and into your soul.  He wants to transform that ugliness into the beauty and the purity of soul that He has created you to be



The Garland

December 20, 2022

Proverbs 1:7-9

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.

The Garland

               A garland is like a twisted wreath, inner-twined, twisted and woven together to make like a crown for the head, an ornament or necklace to go around your neck. It was something that people would adorn themselves with or it might be like a prize or crown in the winning of an event.  The Word of God speaks of it in terms of wisdom.   The scripture teaches here that wisdom begins with knowledge and knowledge begins with the fear of the Lord.  If God so desires to crown you with righteousness and glory then know that it starts with the knowledge of the fear of Him.  Wisdom and knowledge are a fabric that is woven into our lives from the time that we are small children.  God has commissioned us and commanded us as parents to raise our children up in spiritual truth and knowledge.  It is a parent’s duty and responsibility to not only give their children the fundamentals to operate in the physical realm, but to instill the knowledge and wisdom of spiritual truth and life so that they may know and experience the spiritual realm.  It is the wisdom that our parents teach us that give us our moral and spiritual compass so that we might find our way as we mature and are faced with decisions and temptations in life. 

               Proverbs 4 is very good at bringing this truth home and so I would like to share about the first 15 verses with you. “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.

2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3 When I was a boy in my father’s house,

still tender, and an only child of my mother, 4 he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.” 10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11 I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. 14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” 

               Our Father’s Word is His wisdom and instruction to us and rather we were given His Word in our youth or we found His truth later in our lives, His exhortation is to adorn your life with this wisdom for it is life to you.  Allow it to be twisted, inner-twined into and adorn every aspect of your life and being.  “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.”  Wisdom is the knowledge of God unto salvation, but beyond that it is the instruction to possess the fullness of your salvation.  It is what guides you and keeps you from the pathway of sinners and unrighteousness.  She will guide you in straight paths along the high way of holiness.  She will lead you into the fullness of life and everlasting joy.  She will give you the ears to hear, receive and walk in what the Holy Spirit is speaking into your heart.  Allow wisdom and discipline to be the garland that adorns your head and neck.  This garland is the anointing and the blessing of God’s life upon you.  Never forsake or put it away from you. 



Weapons of Our Warfare

December 19, 2022

Weapons of Our Warfare

1 Corinthians 10:3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

               How many of us are still trying to combat and fight flesh with flesh?  Is just a positive mental attitude, or using a right formula or trying to be good enough or religious enough going to win our battles over our flesh?  What we are experiencing in our lives is frustration, defeat and condemnation.  We want to do right, but we are still experiencing that law of sin working on our flesh. Our flesh, and even soul, are not very good at overcoming the weaknesses in themselves.  The Word says that the weapons that God has provided for us are mighty to the tearing down of strongholds.  There are many of us that haven’t experienced a lot of victory in tearing down these strongholds.  We continue to allow these strongholds to be a part of our thinking, behavior and being.  We are still identifying with them and in so doing we continue to give them life and power over us.  Our greatest weapons are not our earthly thinking.  That is the source of our greatest defeat.  We think as the world thinks and not as the Spirit of God thinks.  When the Word exhorts us to be renewed in the spirit of our mind, it is telling us to put on the mind of Christ and renew our thinking according to the Word and not according to our natural reasoning.   It is telling us to put our identification on of who we are in Christ and not on whom we have been in the flesh.

               The first place we must come too is a place of total surrender to the Lord and the Holy Spirit that indwells us.  We are like a country taken over by the Lord, but the flesh still maintains its pockets of resistance, it’s guerilla fighters that provide avenues for the flesh to have access and regain position and power.  Most of us don’t want to admit to these, but they’re there.  We know they are there because we are struggling with these fleshly strongholds in areas of our lives.  Romans 12 starts out by telling us the first position we need to take, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. “ The first thing we need to do is offer our lives a living sacrifice which means that we are willing to lay the flesh upon the altar and allow it to be consumed.  It means that we are turning our mind and thinking from a worldview to a kingdom view.  Our thinking, goals and attitudes are no longer geared towards this earth; they are geared towards heaven and the spiritual calling we have in Christ Jesus.  Here, in this earth, we have no abiding place, but our eyes must be set upon the city whose builder and maker is God.  It is in this mindset that we begin to fashion our lives and our thinking after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh.  As we begin to walk in the Spirit then all that flows through our senses begins to flow through Him.  He is the Discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  If we are sensitizing ourselves to Him then He begins to put His finger on the wrong motives, thoughts and attitudes that are working in our lives.  If we indeed want the weapons of the Spirit to operate in our lives, we must first be in agreement and submission to the Holy Spirit.  While the Holy Spirit indwells us to help us in living a godly life, He by no means usurps our will to decide and choose to whom we obey and to whom we give our mind and our flesh over too.  If we want to choose the fleshly things, then the Holy Spirit will back off.  We may still have a conviction that what we are doing isn’t right, but if we desensitize ourselves to the Holy Spirit through following after our self-will then we will be less and less sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  When God says draw near to Me and I will draw near to you, He is saying as you become more sensitive and obedient to Me then you will begin to sense more of My presence and dealings in your life.  The thing we learn about walking in the Spirit is that it is a continual conscious act to live in that place.  When we walk after the Spirit long enough it may become more natural to us, but our spirit man must always be a guarded city.  As soon as our defenses go down the enemy is ready to come in. 

               Indeed, the weapons of our warfare are mighty, but they do demand diligence and full surrender of our hearts and minds to Christ.  Our overcoming is by allowing the Holy Spirit to overcome every thought and temptation that is contrary to the will of God.  We will no doubt loose some battles along the way, but that must not discourage or detour us from our mission of being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ.  In this life, the warfare is continual and ongoing, but we do have the weapons to defeat our foe.  We must indeed to do as Ephesians 6 exhorts us too and put on the whole armor of God that we might stand against the whiles and schemes of the devil.  It is up to us to appropriate our spiritual weapons and armor through fully and unceasingly yielding ourselves as living sacrifices in obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit.



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