"Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. " Jeremiah 33:3

Friday, September 30, 2011

"He pressed them, "And how about you? Who do you say that I am?" Matthew 16:15

Jesus first question to His disciples was, "What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?" their response was some say John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets. Then looking straight at His disciples He said; "And how about you? Who do you say that I am?"

Imagine with me; picture Jesus walking the streets of New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver, Dallas, Palm Springs, DC, Wichita, anywhere USA, and the year is 2011! As the crowds quickly surround Him as they surely would because we know that wherever Jesus went crowds gathered and followed. He opens His mouth, and the crowd is silenced, He slowly turns around and makes eye contact with everyone in the crowd, His penetrating gaze misses no one, not even the children. Are you with me, have you placed yourself in that crowd, are you experiencing the feelings and wonder of the people? Can you imagine locking eyes with Jesus Christ? Now it is just you and Him and everyone there feels the same way for once you look into those eyes everything and everyone fades quickly from view.

He begins with a question; "Who do people say that I am?" From the back a man yells out a great teacher, another says, the Son of God, a child jumps up and down, pointing to Him and screams, Jesus, Jesus! Then a dark accusing voice eerily high pitched, false prophet. Several voices tumble over one another; Allah, Mohammed, then an old man speaks up, you are the King of the Jews, a woman steps forward and declares, you were a great prophet. The rest of the rapidly growing crowd is doing their best to stay hidden from His eyes like little children in school who don't do their homework and don't want to be called on.

Now Jesus turns and looks directly at you again, "How about you? Who do you say that I am?" How would you respond? I would respond, You are Jesus Christ my Lord, the Son of God, my Savior and my Redeemer! That is true, yet Jesus is so much more!!

Do you know Jesus in any capacity other than Savior? Can you say with full assurance and faith; You are the Christ and You have gone to heaven to prepare a place for me that where You are I may be with You forever? Could you say; You are that Light of my life, the Joy of my heart and my soul finds Satisfaction in You alone? Could you say; You are my Peace, my Shelter, my Strong Deliverer, You are Absolute Sovereign over the entire universe and over me? Could you say; You are the King of kings and Lord of lords as you humbly bow before His Majesty? Could you say: You alone are my Source, You are my Shield, You are the Shade at my right hand, You are my Comforter and Your blood cleanses me from all unrighteousness? Jesus Christ desires that we know Him, that we continue seeking to know Him more everyday of our lives, He longs to reveal Himself to us and He does so in His Word the Bible. He is waiting for you on every page...what are you waiting for?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"This mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:29

Christ in you have you ever really considered just how wonderful that is? I know we all think of salvation which is a gift that defies description, yet there are so many other gifts of grace that flow from Christ because; "for all the promises of God find their Yes in Christ" 2 Corinthians 1:20 Sometimes we get so caught up in the monotony of life, the sorrow of trials etc. they we need to be reminded of just some of God's great and precious promises to His children. Be prepared to be encouraged, thankful and grateful, pass them on, we all need encouragement. And nothing encourages like the Word of God!

Promise of Security
"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand." John 10:28

Promise of Heaven
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" John 14:1-2

Promise of Sanctification
"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." John 17:17

Promise of Choosing
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you." John 15:16

Promise of God Hearing
"Call to Me and I will answer and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3

Promise of God Answering
"I am praying to You because I know You will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray." Psalm 17:6

Promise of Gods Everlasting Love
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued My faithfulness to you." Jeremiah 31:3

Promise of Forgiveness of Sins
"I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25

Promise of Gods Comfort
"I,I am He who comforts you..." Isaiah 51:12

Promise of Gods Steadfast Love & Mercies & Faithfulness
"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

Promise of Gods Strength & Help
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Promise to Never Fail or Forsake
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear...for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Promise to Set Us Free
"If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32

Promise that God is For Us
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

Promise God is With Us
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Promise God is Absolute Sovereign
"The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His Sovereignty rules over all." Psalm 103:19

Promise Nothing Can Separate Us From God's Love
"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Any questions?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3

A person with a critical, judgmental spirit is the most unpleasant person you will ever have the misfortune to be around. And if you are that person, you would be shocked to know that everyone else is on to you but you! For the judgmental creature has laser sharp vision to pick up on the faults of others while because of the deception of sin they remain clueless to their own faults.

I was one of those people until the Lord set me free by a truth found in His word. "Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things." Romans 2:1 The truth is that the things that irritate you in others are the very same things you have within yourself. That is hard to swallow but if you are willing to intently look at your natural face in the mirror of God's Word, and you don't just walk away and forget what you saw, if you are willing to do and act on what God's Word says, scripture says that person is blessed. James 1:23-25

Jealousy and envy quite often are the motivating accelerants that fuel the critical spirit. They are unhappy with themselves so they put others down in a vain effort to boost their own ego, all to no avail. No one is immune from being critical of others and I am completely dependent on the Lord to keep me from slipping back particularly when I am feeling down on myself. That is the time that I quote out loud; "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 The truth will dispel a lie any time!!

The Lord revealed the real condition of my heart when I read "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick." Jeremiah 17:9 Our hearts are desperately sick, because of sin we are capable of anything, yes, anything and it is only by the grace of God that we as His children have been set free from the death grip of sin! Now when I have a critical thought regarding another I have only to remember my own sin and the truth of my condition, who am I to judge the servant of another?

We have been set free; free to to obey Christ's commandment to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. Loving beats judging hands down!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must necessarily believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him out." Hebrews 11:6

Faith is absolute trust in God, trust that could never even imagine that He will ever forsake you. The Bible puts it this way; "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1, and in John 20:29, "Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." If you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you are blessed because you have not yet seen your Savior face to face. But you know and are assured that one glorious day you will!

Faith is not found in reading secular books or even religious books, it is not found in any one particular denomination, you don't receive faith by osmosis we don't get it through our genes, just because your parents or grandparents are believers that doesn't count as your faith. And if you are looking for faith in the world you will really be confused and disappointed, people put their faith in the strangest things; in a religion, in nature, in a man, in money, in a company or in their IRA, in horoscopes, in fame, power or wealth, or in ourselves, none of which are worthy of our faith. The Bible tells us exactly where we find faith; "So faith comes by hearing what is told, and what is heard comes by the preaching of the message that came from the lips of Christ the Messiah Himself." Romans 10:17 Amplified Bible

It is through the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, that is how by faith we are born again by putting our faith and trust in Christ alone; His death on the cross for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead. "Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:9-10,13

Now our life of faith truly begins, how then does our faith grow? We grow when we as believers grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ, when we explore His love, the depth, the height, the length and the breadth of that love and while we can never plumb the depths we can come to know the One who died for us. There is only one way to know Christ and that is through His Word, the Bible. Please don't settle for just hearing what someone else (pastor, teacher, friend, writer etc.) knows about Jesus, know Him, seek Him for yourself!! It requires time, there are no shortcuts, daily time in His word and in prayer, when you seek Him with all of your heart He promises you will find Him and He is a man of His Word! Jeremiah 29:12-13 As wonderful as it is, please don't settle for salvation and never know your Savior, what a tragic waste that would be!

Another way our faith grows is through testing. We can have a mind full of faith but until it is tested it is only head knowledge. To get it into our hearts, to really own it we must be tested. For instance, it is easy to quote; "My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 Until you have been without a paycheck and had a mortgage, and children to feed, you don't truly know from experience the full truth of that scripture. If you can quote Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Can you witness to a stranger or a family member with boldness? Can you know the joy of the Lord in the midst of your deepest sorrow? Can you forgive the unforgivable? Can peace reign in your heart when the market keeps dropping, when prices keep going up and your income is stationary? If you have experienced these things or others like them you can truly know the truth of Philippians 4:13,19 for it has been tested, you have experienced God's provision, His strength, His peace, His joy when under the circumstances none of it should have made any sense. Faith that isn't tested will never stand. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." James 1:2-3

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

I honestly have no idea when I first heard or read the beatitudes found in Matthew chapter five, I must have been a child. All the words of the Bible seem so simple to a child yet little did I know that the first time I ever read anything in the Bible that is the least I will ever know or understand! Every time we hear, read or memorize any scripture in the Word of God it hides itself away in the recesses of our heart and mind. And we aren't even conscious of it. The Holy Spirit is the One who brings to our remembrance all of the Word of God that we have hidden away in us, just as Jesus promised, in John 14:26; "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." When little children are taught to memorize scriptures, they never forget them, they only think they have but get any group of adults together of all ages and start quoting well known passages like the 23rd Psalm and most will be able to quote them even if they don't remember memorizing them! That is the work of the Holy Spirit!

While I don't remember when I learned certain passages in the Bible I am very aware of those times, which are all most every day, that the Holy Spirit of God brings them to my remembrance and makes application of them to my or someone else's life circumstances! No longer do the scriptures remain simple as when I first read them, now I was stunned to know and realize what Jesus was truly teaching and how that effects the way I look at my circumstances, my view of the world and my reaction to it is totally turned upside down! Then the next time I return to these now familiar passages additional truth begins to surface, Jesus means what He says, the sermon on the mount wasn't just an outline of a lofty goal that was that was completely unattainable. Far from it, that is exactly what He meant and with that understanding my Teacher, the Holy Spirit made known to me that if I was ever to live that way there was only one way and the first truth I must realize is no matter how fervently I try, I never will! But on the heels of that first truth came the next truth; namely that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ living within me could live that way through me!

The first time we read a scripture is the least that we will ever know...every time we return to it we will know more, the simple becomes impossible, the difficult becomes known and in the circumstances of our lives the application reveals itself.

Start reading the living Word of God and never, ever, stop it will transform your mind, change your life and show you great and mighty things that you do not know.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink." Matthew 14:29-30

I love the disciple Peter, he always seemed bigger than life, when he blew it, it was big but he had a passion for the Lord Jesus that is to be admired. He was the first of all of the disciples to realize who Jesus really was; You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then not long after he rebuked Jesus when Jesus told the disciples what would soon happen to Him. Peter was way out of line rebuking his Master and he was thinking not of God's purposes but his own. Jesus strongly rebuked Peter and said "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a hindrance to Me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God but on the things of Man. There are so many wonderful stories of Peter and the Lord and so many life applications for all of us. Is my mind set on the purposes of man or God?

One passage in scripture I have always treasured because of what it reveals about the Lord Jesus in His dealings with Peter and by application we who believe and follow Him today, in 2011. Just before the Lord went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the night He was arrested he said to Peter; "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; And when you have turned again strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31. Simon aka Peter responded that he was willing to go to prison with Jesus and even to death to which Jesus responded; before the rooster crows you will have denied even knowing Me three times. Which Peter did. Look again at what Jesus said to Peter, knowing what would happen, He told Peter I have prayed for you. He didn't pray that Peter wouldn't sin, He prayed that Peter would not lose his faith for Jesus knew how Peter would feel after he denied Him. He is more concerned with our faith, our repentance, (turning) and that we get on with the ministry or purpose that Jesus has called us to, (strengthen your brothers). God forgave Peter before he sinned, and He didn't change His plan for him He prayed for him and that is the way He deals with us! Jesus forgave our sins on the cross, His plan for our lives has never changed, and He intercedes for us that our faith may not fail! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, Hallelujah!

The night that Jesus walked on the Sea of Galilee all of the disciples saw Him, yet Peter alone asked Jesus to bid him come to which Jesus replied; Come. Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water towards Jesus but then he looked at the waves and the wind and terrified he began to sink, he cried out; Lord, save me! And Jesus stretched out His hand and pulled Peter up. Again so many life applications for believers today, Peter walked on water, the others stayed in the boat, we too need to get out of our safety zone, get out of the boat. Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the storm and immediately the fear caused him to doubt and go under. When we are in a storm we can choose to keep our eyes locked on Jesus and walk on top of our storm or we can focus on the storm, lose sight of the Lord and go under, the choice is ours. Peter cried out to Jesus, he didn't cry out to his buddies in the boat and Jesus immediately took hold of him. When you start going under because you have been looking at your storm and not the Lord, cry out to Him, He will hear and He will answer and grab hold of you. Are you in a storm? You can walk on top of your waves, eyes locked on Jesus or if you are going under cry out to Him now and He will pull you to safety!

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Jesus answered, "You're off base on two counts: You don't know your Bibles, and you don't know how God works." Matthew 22:29

Years and years ago my pastor at the time said something I will never forget; "You will never know Jesus better than you know His Word, the Bible." At the time I really didn't have a clue exactly what he meant but the Lord burned it into my memory, that is how important the Word of God is to a believer in Christ. Our bibles are the revealed heart, will, purpose, of our infinite God, and we His creation are finite therefore when we study God's Word we must ask for understanding to grasp the wonder of this Holy Book. "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3. What an incredible invitation from our Creator, ask Me and I will reveal Myself to you, I will take you places in the pages of this book that you never even knew existed! I will begin at the beginning and make known to you the end of the world as you now know it! Only a fool would ignore this precious Book that God has provided His children. His Book is alive, and the words contained within it give life, and hope, peace and joy and most important of all they reveal the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ! The Word of God is a gift of God's amazing grace that is beyond measure, it gives to those who seek and is the only mirror that we should ever concern ourselves with, because it reveals not only our Lord but our true selves as we immerse ourselves in the truth of it's pages. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness. His invitation stands; Call to Me and I will show you... O taste and see that the Lord is good, nothing else will ever satisfy like He does, Lord make us a people of one Book. Caution: the Bible is highly addictive, but all the side effects are good!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"He got right up and went home to his father. When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him and kissed him." Luke 15:20

I have always loved the story of the prodigal son, what insight we are given into the loving, forgiving heart of our precious Lord!! What a comfort to know that God never ever leaves us, He is for us and not against us and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, hallelujah!! Unfortunately I can attest to the truth of those promises for I was a prodigal, I thought I knew better than God what to do with my life and it ended in a train wreck. Some of us have to squander everything we have, before we come to the end of ourselves. What we don't realize is the whole time we are off doing our own thing, the God of all creation is watching us and not only watching us but watching over us. Yes our Lord is watching out for us just as the father of the prodigal was! Of course when we are living our lives with self on the throne, our thoughts are not on our heavenly Father. Some prodigals learn how much they need and miss their Father quickly, others take years to come back not because they don't long for their Lord, they do but they believe Satan's lie that God won't welcome them back. That was me. Then gently, lovingly the Lord began wooing me back to Him, through His Word, the Bible. He was not condemning, not condoning, just loving me and holding me in His forgiving arms, just like the prodigal son. I didn't know love like that existed but now I do, I have been forgiven much and my love for Him is over-flowing. Don't ever believe that you are beyond God's reach, don't ever believe the lie that God will not forgive you and won't welcome you back. His eyes are on you right now, He has never turned His back on you, not for one second. Turn to Him now, today when you hear His voice, please don't harden your heart. Run, don't walk into His loving arms that are full of grace and mercy. Cry out His name and before you finish, He will be with you...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of "living water." John 7:38

The world measures success by wealth, power, possessions etc. The believer knows that these things are not evil in and of themselves, but they are temporal and our soul is eternal, and the only things that really matter in this life are the things that are done by the Person and power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. He is the "living water" that Jesus was referring to in John 7:38. For He is the one that is at work within the believer both to will and to work for God's good pleasure. Philippians 2:13. He is the One who is our Teacher, He guides us into all truth by revealing to us the truth that is found only in the Word of God. Yet this enlightenment that He gives is never just for us, those rivers are flowing, a believer is not to be a reservoir, we are to be conduits! God's love for mankind, God's will for our lives, God's plan for salvation, God's greatness, God's power, He is the headwaters for the river that flows through us as believers, He is the source! Sadly many believers have no idea of the power that resides in them because they do not know the Word of God which contains 66 books or "tributaries" any of which contain enough power and life to bring light and life to the entire world! Check what is coming out of your mouth, is it life, is it witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ, is it the Word of God that encourages, warns, comforts, and gives wisdom, is it a river of living water? Do our words have eternal significance?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"If any of you wants to serve Me, then follow Me. Then you will be where I am, ready to serve at a moments notice." John 12:26

It's easy to follow Jesus in a crowd of believers; will I follow Him alone in a world that mocks and ridicules Him? It's easy to follow Jesus down familiar streets in quiet, peaceful neighborhoods; will I follow Him into the inner city where gangs reign, where life is cheap, it's sold on every corner, where the only respite from reality is available from drug dealers, where drive by shootings are as common as the mail delivery? It's easy to follow Jesus when you are in His presence, high on a mountaintop with no distractions; but will I follow Him when all I have left is the sound of His voice, for the awareness of His presence has been hidden from me? It's easy to follow Jesus in the light of day when you can see what lies ahead, am I willing to follow Him into the darkness where even the path seems treacherous? The answer lies in the answer to another question, do I love Jesus Christ? Jesus defines love as obedience. "The person who knows My commandments and keeps them, that's who loves Me." John 14:21. Love is a verb it requires action, when we hear "Follow Me" and we respond by following without looking back, we are showing Christ our love for Him. Who exactly are we following? The Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Deliverer, our Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, The Lion of the tribe of Judah, The King of kings and The LORD of lords, The Alpha, The Omega, The Prince of Peace, The Word of God, our Strong tower, The Light of the World, The Bread of Life, Absolute Sovereign, Creator, Son of God, Son of Man, Author of Life, Emanuel, Holy One, Wonderful Counselor, The Way, The Truth, The Life! O praise His Holy Name!!! How can we possibly refuse to follow?

Monday, September 19, 2011

"I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind He will find acceptable." Romans 12:1

What does it mean to be living and holy sacrifices, to be totally, completely devoted to the LORD? I am a visual person so when I think of total surrender and what that might look like, I think of things over which we have no control, sky diving, bungee jumping or those extreme divers who dive off of cliffs 30 stories high into the ocean. Is that why many people who call themselves Christians are reluctant to surrender all to God, they don't trust Him enough to yield all control? I do know it is not for the timid or the meek, you don't test the waters with your toe and ease in gradually. The surrendered life is not for those who are content to sit on the sidelines watching others, not wishing to get involved themselves. But for those who know the LORD, that know His Word it doesn't appear all that dangerous for they know the truth namely that God is Absolute Sovereign over all and that includes us, we just believed the lie that we had control. Are you willing to dive head first into the River of His Delights, can you feel the exhilaration as you are enveloped by the cool water? Now, listen very closely, can you hear the quiet, can you feel the stillness? The stillness is there to remind us of His Peace and to remind us that He alone is God, that there is absolutely nothing that is beyond His control, all the worries and cares that loomed so large in our minds are washed away in His presence. Spend this time daily in the River of His Delights; "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you." Isaiah 43:1-2 Are you ready to dive in, are you ready to surrender all to the One who loves you and gave Himself for you? Don't let anyone or anything keep you from Jesus, He is waiting with open arms, dive right in.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law." Psalm 119:18

One of the most wondrous mysteries concerning the Word of God is that the longer you know the Lord, the more you study His Word, the more you learn of Him, the realization comes that in so many ways you have just begun this journey with Him.
I have never in my life commanded the morning and I have never in my life caused the dawn to know its place. But when I met with you in Your Word today, I met with the One who has! I do not know where the way is that the light is divided, or the east wind is scattered on the earth. I have never entered into the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep. The gates of death have not been revealed to me and I have never seen the gates of deep darkness. But I know the One who knows all these things. I know the One who not only walked the recesses of the deep, He created them! I know the One who enclosed the sea with doors when, bursting forth, it went out from the womb. I know the One that placed boundaries on it and set a bolt and doors. I know the One who commanded the waves and said, "Thus far you shall come, but no farther; and here shall your proud waves stop." I know the One who did all these things for I meet with You in Your Word.
So determine to be an earnest seeker; the rewards are beyond your wildest dreams. Hebrews 11:6.

Friday, September 16, 2011

No chance at all," Jesus said, "If you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it." Luke 18:27

Steel is iron plus fire, diamonds are coal plus tremendous pressure. Steel without fire is just iron, diamonds without tremendous pressure are just coal. My mind and heart began to ponder; what if we considered all of our life, every aspect of it, in light of the truth that GOD IS WITH US! No matter what; mountain tops, valley's, in good days and really tough ones, in the monotony of life and in the moments we cherish...how might it change our perspective? Recognizing the presence of the LORD in every circumstance and comprehending the significance of His presence will result in greater understanding of the LORD and the abundant life He promised! In short, God changes everything!

*emptiness, plus God=Creation *our words, plus God=prayer *despair, plus God=Hope *sorrow, plus God=Joy *chaos, plus God=Peace *captivity, plus God =Freedom, *weakness, plus God=Strength *darkness, plus God=Light *lost sinner, plus God=Salvation *empty living, plus God=Abundant Life *a smoldering wick, plus God=Fire *sin, plus God=Forgiveness *temptations, plus God=Escape *ignorance, plus God=Wisdom *rejection, plus God=Acceptance *guilty, plus God=No Condemnation *trials, plus God=Training in Righteousness *America, plus God=Our Only Hope

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"In the morning O LORD, You will hear my voice ; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." Psalm 5:3

I love the quiet before dawn's first light, while all is still in the house and outside even the birds have yet to sing, this is the time I spend with my LORD. At first I whisper a prayer for understanding as I open His Word and listen with spiritual ears to what He will speak to me today. One particular morning He gently reminded me to be wary of the thorns; cares, worries, riches, pleasures of this life. These things choke the Word and keep us from bearing mature fruit, Luke 8:14. Then a command to "declare how much God has done for you." Luke 8:39 That is our testimony, each one of us has a testimony and as we share we remind ourselves how very much we have to be thankful for and it encourages others and brings glory to God. Yes LORD, is the reply of my heart. Reading on in Luke 8 verse 46 stands out; Jesus said,"Someone did touch Me for I was aware that power had gone out of Me." The woman that touched the hem of Jesus garment was in reality touching Jesus with her faith! Our faith in Jesus is what connects us to the power of God, no matter what the need is. Countless times in intercessory prayer I have touched Jesus with my faith for the needs of others; healing, wisdom, salvation, whatever the need is. I pause in my reading and pray for others now. Then in Luke 8:54-55 Jesus reveals His power over life and death; we come into this world when God wills and at His command we leave it! Psalm 139:16 says; "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." God is Absolute Sovereign, according to His will we come into the world and according to His will we leave it. The moment we close our physical eyes in death, the born again believer in Jesus Christ knows that when the spiritual eyes open we will behold His face, and so be with Him for all of eternity!! To live is Christ, to die is gain. What are you doing tomorrow morning?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today"..." Hebrews 3:13

To know God is to trust in Him, He has everything under control. Absolutely nothing catches Him off guard, nothing sneaks up on Him, and He truly does hold the future. We know not what today brings forth, it matters not, for we know and trust the One who does know. How can we say it matters not what today holds? Because we know the all sufficient grace of the Living God is more than enough to hold us fast no matter what! We know that He is with us every second of everyday and in His presence the blackest darkness is pierced with His Light, fears are kicked out by His love, anxieties flee from the Presence of the Prince of Peace and even in our deepest sadness of the soul in His presence is fullness of joy that we may have hope and true worship through our tears. Don't let worries about tomorrow rob you of today. God's grace is for today not yesterday and not tomorrow, embrace today, that is where His grace is. To know God is to trust in Him. To know God is to know and believe His Word. To know God is to be a doer of His Word. To know God is to eagerly, boldly embrace the uncertainty of today. Every day is a gift from God, don't waste it! None of us have any assurance of tomorrow but we do have today, use it wisely.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God." Mark 12:24

Over 30 years ago a pastor told me, "you will never know Jesus Christ any better than you know His word." I have passed this word of wisdom on ever since. Unless we are content to live on the fringes of the abundant life that Christ promised, daily reading and meditating on the Word of God and prayer are absolute musts. We are only deceiving ourselves if we think we can grow and mature in Christ any other way. God's invitation to, "Call to Me and I will show you great and mighty things that you do not know." is open to all who have ears to hear and His promises are true! My time in God's Word the Bible will always be the most sacred times with my Lord that I have! Every day He takes me by the hand and leads me through the scriptures and these times grow sweeter every day. How can that be? I read a quote once from a lady named Cora MacIlravy who lived in the 19th century it read in part; "The smallest light I get out of any part of the Word of God, is that which I receive the first time I come to it in meditation; and every time I come to it afterward, I receive more and more light." That is true as untold numbers of believers have learned. Jesus prayed to the Father to sanctify His disciples and all who would come to have faith in Him that the Father would sanctify them in His truth; Your Word is truth." John 17:16 Our minds are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator, guard what goes into them; tv, the internet, can fill our minds with untruths, and we don't even know it if we do not have the Truth within us. You don't recognize a counterfeit by comparing it with counterfeit the Secret Service trains using genuine, real money to be able to spot that which is not. When you daily saturate your mind with the truth of God's Word your mind is renewed and you will not be fooled by that which is false. Ask yourself, what do I really know about Jesus Christ, is it just what I have been taught or have you discovered for yourself the truth about Him in His Word? Are you content with what you know?

Monday, September 12, 2011

"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." Isaiah 6:8

Here am I Lord, send me! I don't remember the first time those words from Isaiah 6:8 jumped off the page of the bible and into my heart as the Holy Spirit opened my spiritual ears and the Logos became for me a word directly from God. But I do vividly remember my reaction; lie face down on the floor before Him in prayer. The memory of that precious time, those words and my prayer to be the one who is sent, will forever live as vividly today as they were some thirty years ago! Note; Isaiah was in the presence of the Lord, in His very throne room when he heard God's words with his own ears. I too was in God's presence when I "heard" God's word from His word the Bible, His written Word. I have never heard God's word audibly, I have never had a vision as Isaiah did but as a born again child of the Living God I can boldly enter His throne room of grace any time, any where, praise God!! I meet with Him every morning in His Word and in prayer, and His presence is as real to me as any earthly relationship I have. Any believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can know sweet fellowship with Him but it takes time. No one stumbles into the throne room of God, we don't accidentally pick up the Bible and have it come alive at that moment. No, we must be intentional in our search for Him, an act of our will that persists and doesn't give up. He promises in His Word that; You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD. Today is a wonderful day to seek the presence of the Lord, He is waiting for you.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning..." Lamentations 3:22-23

One sure thing about darkness, we know dawn awaits. As surely as downpours are followed by rainbows, as surely as thunder rushes in and fills the vacuum lightning produces, as surely as wild flowers bloom sown by an invisible Hand, as surely as seed time is followed by harvest so too can a child of God know that trials do have an end. Every trial that a child of God experiences is hand crafted by that same invisible Hand, and the Potter knows what He doing. His loving Hand is making His child a vessel fit for noble use. Trials teach us more than smooth sailing ever will, for they keep us close to the Lord. Jesus' disciples discovered that He was sovereign over nature when the storm came up on the sea of Galilee; when He spoke the waves were smoothed and the wind ceased it's howling. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights. He is our fortress, our strong tower, a very present help in time of trouble, and He is just a prayer away. His grace is all sufficient, His love is unfathomable, His promises are true, His compassion is comforting, and He will never leave you or forsake you! Not ever!

Friday, September 9, 2011

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." Philippians 2:13

O God, Your ways and thoughts are so very far above me, I cannot grasp them! As Your Spirit works within me to sanctify, I know not where He is within me, I know not how He works, I only know He is at work by the changes that I experience in my attitudes, words and actions. I am in awe and profoundly grateful for what He has done and for all He has yet to do! I know the darkness has gone and light has penetrated my soul, deep, tender healings have taken place, indifference and coldness have been eradicated and the love of God has been sown into the brokenness of my heart. Despair has given way to hope and even as I pen these words my eyes are stung by tears; so overwhelming is my gratitude and awe of You!! The love of Christ, a power like none other!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace

For longer than I would like to admit I used to separate my days into blocks of time; quiet time which is time spend in prayer and reading the Word of God, time that was mine to fill as I pleased, time for family, time for friends, time for work and time for the Lord's work. Then the Word opened my eyes to the life of my Lord Jesus Christ; He too had time alone with His heavenly Father sometimes continuing all night, but when He rose up from His knees He didn't leave the Father behind. No, He took the Father with Him everywhere He went, in everything He did. Even in the seemingly mundane walks on the dusty back roads of Israel, from one city to another.  Jesus knew the presence of the Father when He delivered the sermon on the mountain, when He healed the blind, the deaf, the mute, lepers, women, men and children, as He cast out demons from people, as He raised the dead; His friend Lazarus, the widow's only son, and the child of Jairus the ruler. The Father was with Him when he fed the 5000, and when He spoke one on one with the woman at Jacob's well, The Father was with Him when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He was with Him when He raised His only Son from the dead. Jesus knew the presence of the Father through struggles and triumphs, in pain and in joy, in sorrow and sadness, that relationship was under-girding it all! How much more do I need to practice the presence of Jesus in my life 24/7. His words speak to me; "Walk with Me and work with Me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace..." Matthew 11:29