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

Monday, October 31, 2011

"And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?" Matthew 16:26 NLT

If our prayers reflect what is really important to us then we might learn that we are totally consumed by the temporal things of the world. Temporal; pertaining to or concerned with the present life or this world; worldly: temporal joys. Secular, lay, or civil, as opposed to ecclesiastical.

There is nothing inherently wrong with praying about worldly needs. After all Jesus in teaching His disciples to pray said; "Give us each day our daily bread." Luke 11:3.

Yet His prayer began by acknowledging the Father and His holiness, asking that His kingdom come to earth, and that God's will be done. He taught that we are to pray for forgiveness of our sins and we ourselves are to always, at all times to forgive those who sin against us. He also prayed that we would not be led into temptation, but that we would be delivered from all evil. These are kingdom values, these are God's heart revealed to us regarding what is important to Him in prayer!

Clearly what is important to God has to do with eternal matters much more than temporal. Are we placing too much value on what we need vs what God desires for us in this life?

God has revealed what prayers are pleasing to Him in His Word;

1. Exodus 33:13-14; Moses asked of God; show me Your ways.

2. Nehemiah 1:4-7; Nehemiah fasted, wept, prayed day and night for God to hear his prayer confessing the sins of God's people, and his own sins. He prayed for God's mercy to be upon him as he went before King Artaxerxes.

3. 2 Samuel 2:1-4; David inquired of the Lord before he made a move. He was specific in his inquiry and he went according to the word of the Lord.

4. Psalm 51:1-17; David's prayer is a result of godly sorrow that leads to genuine repentance. Life applications abound in this psalm for every truly repentant child of God.

5. Daniel 9:1-19; Daniel fasted, seeking God in prayer, confessing the sins of His people and appealing to God's mercy, for Daniel knew he couldn't appeal to God based on his righteousness. Great life application for us, our petitions can never be based on what we deserve, God forbid, but always on the mercy of God! Such prayer is very pleasing in God's sight, honest, persistent, fervent prayer is rewarded see; Daniel 9:20-23.

6. Ephesians 1:16-19; Paul's prayer for believers, spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. That we may know the hope of our calling, what are the riches of God's glorious inheritance, what is the immeasurable greatness of His power!

7. Ephesians 3:16-19; Paul prays that believers may be strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may know what is the breadth, length, heighth and depth of the love of Christ, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God!

8. Philippians 1:9-11; Paul prays that our love may abound more and more, with all knowledge and discernment, so that we choose that which is excellent, to be pure and blameless, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ!

9. Colossians 1:9-11; Paul prays the we may be filled with the knowledge of God's will so that we will walk in a manner worthy of Him, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Strengthened with all power according to His glorious might!

10. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 2 Thessalonians 1:11; May God sanctify us completely, and may your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless. May our God make you worthy of His calling and fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power so that the Lord Jesus is glorified in you!

Read the title scripture again Matthew 16:26. "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?"

Does it really matter if someone gets healed if they don't know the Lord Jesus as Savior? Is a job interview more important than a person's soul? Which is more important where you live or where you will spend eternity if you died before you finished reading this sentence?

Temporal needs are to be prayed for but let's adjust our prayer requests to line up with what is important to God as revealed in His Word.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back." Luke 19:12-13 NASB Continued

Of course you can't even set foot on the grounds of the "Family Business" unless you enter by the Narrow Gate! (Matthew 7:13)

You must confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. For all who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10, 13)

There is no other name given under Heaven whereby men will be saved than the name of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords! (Acts 4:12)

Christ alone is the Narrow Gate! (Matthew 7:13)

I've saved the very best room for last; it is the Executive Lounge!! This is the most thrilling, over the top blessing you will ever know and it is given to every believer who is working for the Family Business! To those of you familiar with the 'Open Door' policy in some major corporations well this trumps "Open Door'!

Here is how the Executive Lounge works;
1. You can meet one on one with the Head of the business Jesus Christ, CEO anytime day or night, no restrictions; He has removed all of the barriers that separated you from Him! (Hebrews 10:19-23)
2. The door is always open, no appointment necessary, no one to schedule through, not even a waiting room, for no earnest seeker ever has to wait, He will drop everything to meet with you! (Jeremiah 29:12-13)
3. You will have His full complete attention because His love for you personally is beyond our ability to comprehend! (Isaiah 55:8-9)
4. You are always welcome and you may stay as long as you like. He will greet you with arms open wide as He holds you so close that you can actually hear the beat of His heart!
5. Never, ever forget it cost Him His very life to bring you into the "Family" (John 10:11)
6. Lay your petitions before Him, give Him thanks for all He has done, worship Him for He alone is worthy of all praise, glory and honor! (Revelation 4:11)
7. When you have finished don't leave! Now is the time for you to listen to Him. Listen as He listened; intentionally with all focus on the one speaking. (Ecclesiastes 5:1)

No one ever leaves the Executive Lounge the same as they entered. For to be in His presence is to be filled with peace and over-flowing with joy! (Psalm 16:11)

Whatever else you accomplish in your day, spend quality time with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, make Him your first priority every day. (Matthew 6:33) (Psalm 5:3)

Use all the talents and gifts that were freely given to you. Use them for kingdom work in the "Family Business". The gifts were not given to be hoarded by us, we are to use them to help and encourage others, we are to use them to bring glory to God, they are His gifts of grace to us to benefit others. (Romans 12:6) Faithfully administer His grace to you, for that is being a vessel for noble use. (2 Timothy 2:21)

Friday, October 28, 2011

"So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves and gave them ten minas and said to them, Do business with this until I come back." Luke 19:12-13 NASB Continued

The fourth duty is that we all are constantly to be looking for opportunities to recruit others to come into the "Family Business", to introduce them to Jesus and to join us in our labors. (Acts 1:8)

The fifth duty is we are all to help bear one anothers burdens, to share in their struggles by praying with them and for them all the time. (Galatians 6:2) (Romans 15:30)

The sixth duty is we are to rejoice and be thankful at all times no matter what area of the business we are placed in. This is Jesus' will for us and it makes all the difference in how successful we are in our duties and in our lives. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Now let's cover some of the basic requirements. You are to show up everyday for work, the business is never closed but you are provided a day of rest by Jesus, don't fail to use it, as we all need it. (Exodus 20:10)

You are on call 24/7 as God's work never ends, it continues night and day. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Individual, identical prayer rooms are provided to everyone from the least to the greatest. Please feel free to use them whenever you have the need for as long as you like. (Matthew 6:6)

Daily meals are provided to all as well as proper clothing depending on where you work. (Luke 12:29-32)

There are branch offices in every single nation and some are sent there on assignment. Others work exclusively in recruiting but they report in frequently to be strengthened by their fellow laborers. Those who work the hardest will be given more to do but to the ones who slack off even the few responsibilities they have will be taken away. (Matthew 25:27-29)
Some labor in the open for all to see but most are laboring diligently and fervently behind the scenes. The pay is the same whether you've been employed in the Family Business 1 day or 90 years, it goes by so quickly it is like a mist that evaporates with the first rays of sunlight. (Matthew 20:8-16) And the retirement plan is not to be believed! We cannot even begin to imagine what Jesus has prepared for us, He is doing all the work Himself!
(1 Corinthians 2:9) (John 14:2-3)

Oh, by the way, nepotism is encouraged in the Family Business even though the decision to join the business will always be on an individual basis. And child care is always provided.

I want to stress some of the job benefits that Jesus makes available to all, but sadly, inexplicably, are used by very few. The first is the BURDEN Room, you enter, lay down your burdens and put on the yoke that Jesus provides. It is an easy yoke and the burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Next is the WAITING Room, you must be patient in this area, you focus on Jesus and think of all He has done for you, all that He is doing for you, then with a grateful heart full of thanksgiving you wait on Him and He renews your strength, enabling you to run, walk or even fly if necessary. (Isaiah 40:29,31) The last room is the WISDOM Room, over and over you will be confronted with tasks, people, problems, trials that you have never faced before, Jesus knows that and therefore He has provided all the godly wisdom you will ever need and it is yours for the asking! (James 1:5)

At every entrance to the business there are two rooms available to all. The first room is where you can daily confess your sins to Jesus and receive His mercy, grace and forgiveness. He cleanses you from all your unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) The second room is where you daily forgive all those who sin against you. Not just the ones who ask for forgiveness, but everyone. (Matthew 6:12)

Those who choose not to avail themselves of these two rooms have troubling and unproductive days and it is so unnecessary.

To be continued...... 10-29

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. He called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, "Do business with this until I come back." Luke 19:12-13 NASB

The scripture listed above was a parable that Jesus told and the word business stuck out to me and resulted in the following story. I hope you enjoy it. This is a three part story appearing; October 27th 28th and 29th.

The "Family Business" wow! What a great way to describe the body of Christ! Let me see, if I was speaking to a new recruit or even to a brother or sister who is a gently used senior, my message would remain the same; the most important duty in the Family Business is to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all of your heart; (Matthew 22:37) Christ is the Head of the Family! (Colossians 1:18) If it wasn't for Him none of us would have a job or a future! (John 14:6) The second most important duty in this business is to love all of our fellow workers, this is a written requirement because we can only accomplish our tasks, by working together. (Matthew 22:39) Jesus gave us different skill sets and He designed them in a way that requires all of us working together to achieve optimum performance! (Romans 12:3-8)

Our love for Christ and for one another is one way that we attract new recruits resulting in the continual growth of the Family! (John 13:35) We must always be watching out for ways to encourage and support one another for that is when we are most efficient, when we put the needs of others before our own. (Romans 12:3) (Hebrews 10:24) You see that is the way the Head, Jesus, designed the "business", there are no superstars, just servants working shoulder to shoulder accomplishing His purposes. (Luke 9:47-48)

The third greatest duty and in reality all of the duties are actually privileges is to; daily read the Business Manual, aka the Word of God. We are to read seeking the help of the One Who breathed out, inspired the Manual, our Helper, the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things and brings to our remembrance everything Jesus said. (John 14:26) Never ever think you can complete any task in our Business without knowing the Manual!! (Proverbs 3:5-6) The Manual is also an authorized biography of our CEO Jesus Christ! (John 1:1) We must read it daily and meditate on its various chapters. (Joshua 1:8) Transfers are common in our Business and each department requires different skill sets, different challenges, all of which are addressed in the Manual. (Jeremiah 29:11) (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

One of the most amazing things about the Family Business is that you never know until you show up for work, where you will be working or what awesome people will be working along side. Please don't allow the 'unknown' nature of the Family concern or trouble you for when you were recruited and brought into the Family you were given everything you will ever need to complete every single task that you are ever given. (Ephesians 1:3-4) Your part is to; show up everything else has been taken care of.

Just keep your eyes on the Head, Jesus, there is so much that has to be done and the deadline is rapidly approaching, the end of the Family Business on earth has never been closer. It won't be easy, nothing worth while ever is. Some of our tasks will be very difficult but we are never ever alone, God is with us (Romans 8:38-39) (Psalm 139:7-12), God is for us (Romans 8:31) and there are millions in the Family Business who can come along side and help us. (Romans 12:9-13) Many of which we will not meet until that final trumpet call. ( 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

The second installment will be posted 10-28.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT

Don't you just love this verse? Just think, because of Christ; all who place their faith and trust in Him become an aroma that is pleasing to God!! Because of Christ's sacrifice of Himself on the cross, His perfect sinless sacrifice ended for all time the need for additional sacrifice! Because Christ's death was to satisfy the debt that sin owed not just for my sin but for the sins of the entire world!

Never again will a sacrifice be needed for sin, Christ died and rose again conquering, sin, and death. "by means of His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption." Hebrews 9:12. "But as it is, He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Hebrews 9:26. "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." Hebrews 10:10, 14. Praise His name forever!!!

That is why believers carry the aroma of Christ, the Lamb of God, not because of anything we did but rather it has everything to do with what He did for us!

I have a friend that wears a beautiful fragrance, no not the type that comes into a room before you do and lingers in the air after you leave. You don't even smell it unless she gives you a hug, and she is a great hugger. I love being hugged by her because then I carry around that fragrance for the rest of the day. There are other fragrances that I dislike and I don't like being hugged by people wearing those scents, mainly the musk based ones, because that fragrance is offensive to me, and I don't wish to wear that around! Note; not the people, the fragrance is what is offensive.

I know you already know where I am going with this. So here are the main points, life applications.

1. If I am to be the fragrance of Christ to another person, I have to deliberately engage with them. I can't just bump into them along the way, I have to stop and "hug" them.

2. My attention and focus must be upon them, Christ was deliberate, in the moment, He was intentional with everyone He engaged with. We must follow His example if we are wearing His aroma.

3. To have Christ's aroma in us also means that people will be drawn to us, because of His favor surrounding us and that is why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit every day that we may know how we should respond.

4. To have Christ's aroma on us also means that some people will be offended by us, we will be a foul odor in their nostrils. Jesus talked about that in John 15:18-19; "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as it's own; but because you are not of the world but I chose you out of the world; therefore the world hates you." And in Matthew 5:10; "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And again for encouragement, 1 Peter 4:14; "If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you."

Believers are blessed to be the aroma of Christ, great blessing carries with it great responsibility... to everyone who has been given much, much will be required.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever..." Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV

There are many mysteries in the Bible, many things that our finite brains cannot comprehend for the Bible was inspired by our Infinite God, we even need Him to help us to understand the things that He has revealed! The things that are revealed are enough to bless us for several lifetimes, so lets look at just a few of them today.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16.

"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 with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:9-13.

"Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:10-12.

"Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Galatians 5:22-23.

"Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!" Isaiah 6:3

"God is not man, that He should lie or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?" Numbers 23:19.

"The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His Sovereignty rules over all." Psalm 103:19.

"The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!" Lamentations 3:22-23.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and to him who has no might He increases strength." Isaiah 40:28-29.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever." Isaiah 40:8.

"So shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty. But it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the matter for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11.

"For I am the LORD; I will speak the Word that I will speak, and it will be performed. I will speak the Word and perform it, declares the LORD God." Ezekiel 12:25.

"Then the LORD said to me...I am watching over My Word to perform it." Jeremiah 1:12.

"For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

"And Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39.

"And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." Hebrews 11:6.

God wants nothing short of total surrender...

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like." James 1:22-24 NLT

What keeps a child of God from doing or applying the Word of God? Sometimes it is just plain rebellion, I'm going to live life my way, no one is going to tell me what to do, not even God. If they only knew that they are settling for a life that is so far below what the Lord has for them, they would run not walk into God's presence and cry out for mercy and forgiveness. And the Lord would respond immediately with open arms filled with love and grace.

But it isn't always rebellion, sometimes they are in error because they don't know or understand scripture. And to not know or understand the Word of God is to not know or understand the living Word, Jesus Christ. Matthew 22:29 says; "Jesus replied, "Your mistake is that you don't know the Scriptures, and you don't know the power of God."

Yet we know from today's title verse from James 1:22-24 that just knowing the Word of God is not enough, we need to do it, we need to apply it to our lives. To apply means; to put into use! Jesus had much to say about hearing His words and doing them.

"Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." Matthew 7:24-27.

"Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them." John 14:21. Know this; Jesus views our obedience to Him as love! Obedience brings revelation; revelation of Jesus Christ the living Word and revelation or understanding of the written Word!

So how do we connect reading, hearing the Word and doing the Word? How do we read the Word that was written thousands of years ago and apply it to our lives in the 21st century?

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17. "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." 1 Corinthians 10:11.

For example; Daniel lived and wrote the book of Daniel in the sixth century B.C. yet it is full of applications for us today. (All of Gods Word is full of life applications.) Daniel loved the Lord and remained true to Him while living in exile in Babylon a very evil, idolatrous nation, how did he do it?

Daniel 1:8 "Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank..."

The life application for me in 2011 is; I must settle it in my mind not to defile myself before God. (Settle it not when staring down temptation, settle it, draw the line in the sand, today.) It is an act of the will, a choice, to be obedient to God and to His Word.

Daniel 6:10 "When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously."

The life application for me in 2011 is; I will humble myself by coming into the presence of the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving through out everyday then when the trials come I will be ready because I will do what I know to do, I will call out to my Lord and He will hear my prayer and answer me.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and the sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." Romans 1:19-20 NLT

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains, from where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD Who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2. All of creation screams Creator!!

Not to the eyes alone does creation speak, to those who have ears to hear-God is continually speaking through what He has made.

The gentle whisper of the breeze through the pine trees, the gaiety of a mountain stream, the sunlight glistening in the water spray, sunlight and shadows play together deep in the woods and the valley floor is covered in wild flowers, the variety and color revealing the creativity and delicate hand of the Divine Artist that brought them into being. Who can behold the stalactites and stalagmites reaching for each other in a cave and not sense Someone far greater than themselves. Listen to the silence in a cave, what is it about nature that causes human beings to speak in hushed tones? It isn't the beauty of the art; it is the awareness of the Artist that brought it all into being!

An electrical storm in the Rocky Mountains sends grown men to run for cover as lightening flashes across the night sky, brighter than any fireworks display that man is capable of making. And the deafening roar of thunder makes you jump and you realize in that moment how very small we truly are.

"On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly." Exodus 19:16,18.

Who among all the people of the earth have not marveled at a sunset? That is God's spectacular way of bringing down the curtain on a another day. And for all of us morning people the sunrise fills us with hope; a brand new day God has given us on Terra firma to make a difference in someone's life and to walk before Him in righteousness.

"And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night...And God made the two great lights-the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth...And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:14,16-17.

Creation is breath taking but don't worship the creation, worship the Creator and His name is the Word of God, Jesus Christ!!!

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." John 1:1-3.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Colossians 4:5-6 NASB

Jesus said to His disciples and followers, "...you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8. Every born again believer is to be a witness for Jesus Christ, it isn't up to evangelists, pastors and teachers, it is a command for all of us who call Jesus, Lord. The most amazing thing about being His witness is that He does all the work; He gives the opportunity, He prepares the persons heart to receive the gospel, He gives us the words, (our only part is to be the obedient vessel!) and He alone convicts a soul and grants them godly sorrow that leads to repentance. And then a soul is saved, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, sins forgiven and they are born again. "In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:10.

"Jesus said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, You must be born again." John 3:3,6-7.

There is a very special joy that fills your heart when you have the privilege of sharing Jesus Christ with another, and a strong sense of the presence of the Lord when you are blessed to be able to pray with them for salvation. Just think, the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ was entrusted to every believer not for themselves alone but so that we might share the Good News with those that are lost. What a privilege, what an honor, who would dare refuse? You don't have be a bible scholar, you don't have to be super out going, all you have to be is surrendered and obedient, God does it all and He gets all the glory, you are just blessed out of your mind by getting to be a part of His work!

I would like to share with you some of the opportunities to witness that the Lord gave me over the past few years so that you might be encouraged and looking for the open doors that God gives you. Please note; God gives opportunities in the oddest places, none of these happened in church. Life application; I have to get out of the pew and into the world to share Jesus Christ.

The point is God will break into our lives at any moment, any where, any place, any time and we must be ready; here are a few of the places and people He put in my life.

I love shoes and one time I was shopping and the young girl who was waiting on me, said she was going to switch to this exotic diet because she suffered from anxiety, this was my cue and I responded, there isn't any diet in the world that will help you with anxiety, but I know Someone Who can take away your anxiety and His name is Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. May I tell you about Him? She said yes... We jumped up and down later that day in the shoe department, because she was born again, she now knows for herself the Prince of Peace! He orchestrated the whole thing and to Him belongs the glory!

Airplanes and airports are great places to share Christ because you have a captive audience. And God is quite capable of delaying flights when a soul hangs in the balance. One of my sister in laws received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord sitting in an airport terminal. The delayed flight was then cleared for takeoff! Our God is amazing!!! As I drove away from the airport, the dark clouds parted and the sun burst through the clouds and the thought came to my heart, God has given me a picture of what He just did in my sister in law's soul, He delivered her from the pit of darkness and transferred her to the kingdom of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ the Light of the world!

Technology can carry filth of the world, but praise God it carries the Gospel of Jesus Christ, three times I have shared and prayed with individuals on the phone to be born again. One time I sent an email to a gentleman who couldn't talk on the phone because he is elderly and losing his hearing, with much prayer I sent the email which was quite lengthy,full of scripture and Good News, two days later I received an email back that I still have, he said he asked Jesus into his heart and confessed his sins and knew he was forgiven. He is 90 years old.

The Lord also gave opportunities in the following places; hospital waiting rooms, during an ultra sound, in Bible study twice, in hospital rooms, in a stroll around a lake,the break room at work, in several restaurants, at a roadside vegetable stand, in a hair salon, in various peoples homes, in my home with the workmen who were installing a new counter top and on another occasion with the gentleman who installed a new heater, with people in the check out line, in the parking lot at Wal*Mart, at a garage sale, with my grandson on a shopping trip, and a children's book I wrote for and about my grandchildren with the plan of salvation. It was complete with my pathetic attempt at illustrations, but my grandchildren didn't mind, they just laughed. I will never forget any of these people or these Divine appointments, I praise and thank God for each one, they are forever etched in my memory and I look forward to spending eternity with them.

Okay just one more example; it was in a bible book store, in the bible section, two young women were looking for a bible, one of the women asked if I knew anything about bibles, I asked them what they wanted to do with it, etc. And we looked at two study bibles that I knew were very good and compared them side by side. She made her choice and I asked her, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, have you ever been born again, because if you don't know Him you will never be able to understand any bible. She said she didn't and God swung that door wide open, I took the bible she had chosen and we ended up in Romans 10:9-10,13; "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For Whoever will call on the name of the LORD will be saved." God did what only He can do and we bowed our heads, held hands in the bible section of this very busy book store and she was born again! Glory to God!!! A very dear friend and my aunt and uncle were there too, they saw what was going on and stayed in the back ground praying for this woman, it was their open door too. We had a praise festival right there, even some of the employees were in on it, we were all so full of the joy of the Lord that we were positively giddy!

If sharing Jesus Christ with others is not the abundant life, then I don't know what is. Ask God for opportunities, for open doors, it is His will so He will hear and answer your prayer.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me..." Psalm 139:23-24

People that go for an annual physical do so in part because they want to monitor their overall health. Most of the major health concerns, cancer for instance; if caught early there is a greater chance of beating it, before it spreads to other organs, etc. So to have an annual checkup is a good thing.

Using the same rational should we not go for a spiritual checkup to monitor our overall growth or lack thereof? For this type of checkup there is only One expert the Great Physician, the LORD God. We go to see Him in His office located in the third heaven and as busy as He is there is never any waiting, no need for an appointment! We have as much time with Him as we want, all day if necessary, but just a reminder don't you do all the talking after all you are coming for His wisdom, His diagnosis, and His treatment plan so intentionally listen to Him! And of course, be obedient to do what He tells you to do.

In any checkup there is information you need to fill out before seeing the doctor, so please take your time, read the following carefully and answer each question honestly, after all God already knows everything about you. Filling out the form is more for your enlightenment. Your privacy is protected, this is just between you and the LORD.

1. Do I love the Lord Jesus Christ more today than at any other time in my life?
2. Have I honestly grown in the wisdom and knowledge of God?
3. Am I walking in a manner that is pleasing in His sight?
4. Am I bearing fruit in every good work?
5. Is Christ first in my life?
6. If not where does he rank? (If you are unsure, check how you spend your time and how you spend your money.)
7. Do I meet with the Lord in the morning for Bible reading and prayer?
8. Every day?
9. Is the Word of God (Bible) transforming my mind, ridding it of worldly ways and lies?
10. Am I sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with those that do not know Him?
11. When was the last time?
12. What was their name?
13. Am I staying in touch with them, or am I praying for them?
14. Has my service for God, taken priority over time spent with Him alone?
15. What are the idols in my life, those things that I spend my time and money on?
16. Do I have Jesus' heart for the lost, for the hurting, for the poor, for the suffering?
17. What do I do to show I have Jesus' heart for these?
18. Do the people that I work with, that I know through sporting events etc., know I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ?
19. Am I obedient to the Word of God when it costs me something? Am I obedient?
20. Am I ashamed of the gospel and Jesus Christ when I am in a group of non believers, don't answer too quickly, silence denotes shame.

Please don't condemn yourself if this is convicting you, because remember what God says in Romans 8:1; "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." And 2 Corinthians 7:10; "For the that sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret..." So let this form reveal to you areas that you need to take to the Great Physician and He will welcome you with open arms, forgive you and counsel you as to what action you need to take. God loves you with a love that is absolutely unconditional and He wants the very best for your life and that includes removing those things from our lives that hurt us and keep us from Him. God is for you, He is your greatest encourager!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 NASB

Have you ever been really intentional with God in prayer? Have you confessed to Him your biggest fear? Have you entrusted Him with your deepest desire, the one you haven't shared with anyone? Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you, honestly pour out your heart to Him, you will never regret doing that, you may only wonder why did it take me so long? There is nothing that is hidden from God; He knows you best, and loves you with an unconditional love. What is your need today?

Feeling inadequate? "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God." 2 Corinthians 3:4-5.

Feeling stressed? "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7. "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul." Psalm 94:19.

Feeling lonely? "A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24. "...I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5.

Feeling weak? "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-29. "He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power." Isaiah 40:29. "For God has not given us a Spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7.

Feeling frightened? "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their vindication is from Me, declares the LORD." Isaiah 54:17. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9. "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

Feeling unsure? "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6.

Feeling unlovable or unloved? "You are precious and honored in My sight, and I love you..." Isaiah 43:4 "...The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:5,8.

Feeling depressed,bound up? "To open blind eyes. To bring out prisoners from the dungeon, And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. I am the LORD, that is My name..." Isaiah 42:7-8. "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bands apart." Psalm 107:13-14. "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions." Psalm 107:19-20.

What is your deepest need today? "Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

Ten years ago today as I am writing this post the Lord called my Mother home to be with Him for all of eternity. So even though there are times that I miss her so much that it hurts; I am at perfect peace because I know that she is with Jesus Christ her Lord and Savior. That isn't wishful thinking on my part, it isn't because my Mother had lived a sinless life, only One person ever did that and His name is Jesus Christ. And it is because of Him and the trust and faith my Mother put in Him and what He did on the cross over two thousand years ago that I know without a doubt she is with Him. I also know because I had the humbling honor and blessing to be able to share Jesus Christ with both of my parents, (Romans 10:9-13.) I was on my knees with Dad on one side and Mom on the other, on their knees when they asked Jesus to forgive their sins, to take over their surrendered lives to Him and they according to the Word of God were miraculously born again that very day. Mom and Dad both are with Jesus and I know that one day I too will be called home to heaven to see my Savior face to face and see my parents once again.

So today is a day of reflection, today is a day to think of my Mother and to consider the legacy that she left for my brother and I. My Mother was a woman of prayer, not just the prayers that some pray when they have come to the end of themselves and that is all they have left to try, no my Mother had an ongoing dialogue through out the day with Jesus. After all what is prayer but a conversation between a believer and his or her Lord? The Lord desires to be the most important part of our lives not just on Sunday, not just in our daily quiet times, but 24/7 He is with us and longs to hear from us. He is always speaking, the question is are we listening?

My Mother prayed about everything, because she read and studied her Bible and she knew that there wasn't anything that concerned her that Jesus would not be interested in. 1 Peter 5:6-7 says; "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." She prayed every time we got in the car to go anywhere, she prayed when she heard an ambulance or passed a car wreck for the people involved, she prayed for total strangers, anywhere, any place, any time. She prayed without ceasing for my brother and me I know, because I was blessed to live with her following my Father's death for two years and 4 months. I also know because all the rest of my adult life I lived away from her and she always knew when something was going on in my life, always! And I didn't tell her, the only way she knew was because God placed a burden on her to pray for me, and His timing was always perfect! Prayer is actually much more about listening, than it is about our doing all the talking...

Time and time again I heard my Mom praying over the phone for someone and I learned a valuable lesson, people love to have someone pray for them, even people that don't know Jesus! More about that later. I learned not to tell someone I was going to pray for them if they asked, but I was to pray for them at that moment, no matter where you were, one time a lady asked me to pray for her at the entrance to a very busy Wal*Mart, (is there any other kind?) and we bowed our heads and prayed right there. Mom taught me that valuable prayer lesson through her life lived out, not just words. Toward the last few months of her life she was frequently in the hospital where she prayed for the nurses, the doctors and the patients around her. And she prayed for her grandchildren by name every single day, prayed that they too would know Jesus, that they would fulfill His purpose for their lives, that they would love Him with all their heart, mind and soul and know His love for them personally. Because of her legacy I too lift up my grandchildren by name every single day, and my sons and their wives by name everyday, many times more than once. And I lift up my brother and his wife and their children and grandchildren every day its what Jesus taught us to do in the Bible and it wasn't just His words, He modeled the way for us. See; Matthew 6:6, Mark 6:46 and Luke 6:12.

This is about obedience to God, He commanded us to pray for one another, to lift one another up in prayer, pray for those who are unable for whatever reason to pray for themselves, pray for strangers just as Jesus prayed and died for strangers.

What is your legacy, what will your children or grandchildren remember about you? The world values, money, and possessions left but those things are temporal, seek to leave behind those things of eternal value; the most valuable of all; the Good News of Jesus Christ, share Him with everyone in your family, share Him with everyone He gives you an opportunity, after all the value of a single soul cost God's Son His very life, try estimating a cost on that... what could we ever leave behind that would be of more value?

Monday, October 17, 2011

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the LORD. And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

How big is your God? Have you given Him His proper place or have you mistakenly shrunk Him down to your level of understanding? God Almighty will not be placed in a box, let alone in our tiny minds! Don't be offended, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and our brain is beyond the understanding of the best minds of this world, but Who created our wonderful brains? Our Majestic, Holy LORD!!! He is our Provider, our Deliverer, our Warrior and He is totally not like us!

We think like this, material need, must have money, right? Wrong! Matthew 17:27.
On one occasion Peter when asked if His Teacher paid the two-drachma tax, responded yes. Then Jesus said the sons are free from tax, nevertheless He instructed Peter to; go to the sea, cast a hook, take the first fish that comes up and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to the tax collector for me and for yourself. Who does that!! Our Jesus has unlimited ways and means to meet our every need! God is not limited by your paycheck or your retirement plan.

When God brought His people out of Egypt, out of bondage, He led them into the desert. The desert doesn't have fast food, no grocery stores, it has sand and sun. God had a huge crowd to feed every day for years how did He do it? He fed them with manna which they had never seen, He fed them with a days portion everyday except the sixth day that would be enough for two days. And no one had too much and no one had too little, God saw to that. Exodus 16:4-5. Heavenly bread, who would have thought. Later God sent quail to the people you can read all about that in Numbers 11:31-32. We are to be thankful for what we have, that is the life application from Numbers.

Water in the desert is the difference between life and death. Where would we look for water, dig a well, look for trees, pray for rain? God gave them water out of a rock, a rock! Exodus 17:5-6. Are you beginning to get the picture?

One more provision to the children of Israel before we move on. Bloomingdales, Wal*Mart, and Nordstroms hadn't yet expanded to the Middle East, let alone the desert, so what did they wear for forty years? I don't know how the guys would answer this question but we girls would probably be eying some of the tents, just so we wouldn't have to wear the same thing year after year. Maybe have a huge tent sale, with the women of the different tribes contributing their gently worn garments. What did God do? "Your clothing did not wear out on you, and your foot did not swell these forty years." Deuteronomy 8:4. Clearly we need to get our priorities straight.

God commanded ravens to feed His servant Elijah and then later God commanded a widow to feed His servant Elijah, a widow who just had enough to feed her and her son one last time!
1 Kings 17:4,9. Gods ways and thoughts are clearly not ours! He is absolutely amazing!!!

God delivered His people Israel from Egypt with a mighty hand, in a very dramatic fashion. God could have delivered any way He chose, He chose to send plagues, plagues of their own Egyptian gods. Then the climax at the Red Sea; the children of Israel on the banks and the whole Egyptian army in hot pursuit...what to do? We might ask God for a bridge, or for ships, God didn't build a bridge, He didn't provide ships, He did what only He would think to do, He parted the sea!!! Wide enough for the people to cross on dry land, walls of water on either side and deep enough to drown Pharaoh, his army, his chariots and his horses when God released the walls of water.

The Word of God is overflowing with people, times and places where God shows Himself strong on behalf of His people, a Mighty Warrior is our God!!! Read Judges 7:1-25. Consider Gideon who was up against the combined armies of the Midianites and the Amalekites. Gideon had 32,000 men of Israel, the first thing God did in a very unique way was to eliminate all but 300 men! Then armed NOT with rifles, not swords, not even slingshots, they carried a trumpet, an empty jar and a torch just as directed by God then the LORD set every man's sword against his comrade in the opposing army! What a strategy, designed to teach that God is to be glorified not man! Life application: trust not in the arm of flesh, trust in God alone! We could speak of David, Joshua, Moses and what God did in their battles using hail, the sound of marching in the treetops, trumpets, confusion, and a sling and a stone! But you can read that for yourselves.

How big is your God? The more of His Word that you know the clearer your perspective of Him will be. Just gaze up into the sky tonight and worship Him, its good for your soul and it is pleasing to Him!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions." Matthew 7:20. continued from post on 10-14

John chapter 15 is full of life applications; John 15:2; "... every branch that does bear fruit He prunes that it may bear more fruit." When I bear fruit the Lord will remove everything from my life that is undesirable and not profitable in order that I may bear even more fruit.

John 15:5; "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." When I stay connected to Jesus by abiding in Him; in His Word and in prayer then I bear much fruit, unconnected to my Source Jesus Christ no fruit will be evident.

John 15:8; "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples." When I have the fruit of righteousness evident in my life my heavenly Father is glorified and I can know that I truly am a disciple of Jesus Christ and so will others.

Matthew 3:8; "Bear fruit in keeping with repentance." True repentance is turning from sin and choosing to follow God and His commandments. The fruit will involve a changed life that is noticeable and sometimes dramatic. Acts 26:20 referring to the message of the Good News says in part; "that all must repent of their sins and turn to God and prove they have changed by the good things they do."

Fruit is also included in some intercessory prayers from the Word of God. Colossians 1:10; "so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." Philippians 1:10-11; "so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

James 3:18 NASB; "And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9.

I have always loved the following verse! John 4:36; "The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!"

What better way to end our brief look into fruit as it appears in the Word of God than to thank and praise Jesus Christ for the gift of righteousness and the fruit of righteousness that blesses others. Hebrews 13:15-16; "Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions." Matthew 7:15-16, 20

One time on a trip with family members in California I saw a sight I will never forget. It was the most beautiful orange tree I had ever seen in my life. It was enormous and striking, hundreds of intensely colored oranges in stark contrast to the dark green foliage, I couldn't take my eyes off of it. As we got closer I saw that the weight of the oranges was pulling down the limbs of the tree some were just a few inches off the ground. This wasn't in a groove it was all by itself and that orange tree that God created really got my attention. I clearly remember it as if it was yesterday and I remember praying, God may my life look to You as this orange tree looks, full of mature fruit, fully pleasing in Your sight. That is still my prayer today.

Gods Word has a great deal to say about fruit; what is the source, what causes immature fruit, we are appointed to bear fruit, we are identified by others through our fruit, and there is even fruit in repentance.

The fruit/works of the flesh; "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, orgies." Galatians 5:19-20.

The fruit of the Spirit; "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23.

The fruit on "my" orange tree was mature and I'm sure delicious, and no I did not grab one. Fruit that is mature fulfills its purpose, it is consumed and enjoyed by many. In the same way when a believer has mature fruit in their lives, we are fulfilling one of our purposes, namely to bear fruit; which brings glory to the Father, and it is not for ourselves but to bless and nourish others in their walk with Christ Jesus.

In contrast, Jesus told a parable about a sower and some seed, which stands for the Word of God. Some seed fell along the path and was eaten by birds, some fell on a rock and it withered because it had no moisture, some fell on thorns and the thorns choked the growth, some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. Jesus explained the parable to His disciples and in Luke 8:14 He explains what the thorns represent; "The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity."
Immature fruit is not good for anything, beware of the thorns of this world.

Special note on the seed that fell on good soil, hear what Jesus said in Luke 8:15, "But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the Word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." The Word was heard, and it is taken inside the person, it becomes part of them, it transforms them and fruit comes, not automatically, not immediately, but in time to those who persevere; maintaining in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement, continue steadfastly.

Appointed to bear fruit. Jesus speaking in John 15:16 said; "You didn't choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name."

The subject of fruit will be continued in Saturday's post. Otherwise today's post would read like a novel! Have a blessed, bountiful, fruitful day!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him." Colossians 2:6 Amplified

Have you ever thought about God walking? Can you close your eyes and visualize God and you walking together? I tried that this morning, and since I have no visual of God in my head other than the pictures of Jesus in my childrens Bible or the movie The Passion, I visualized His presence and that too wasn't a visual so much as a feeling. Now think of His presence with you everywhere you go all day long today, do you have it? Consider the changes you might make if you knew Gods presence was with you every minute, for He is with us every minute of every day and every night!

Are there changes you might make; such as being alert to the needs of others all around you because you know that would be pleasing to Him? Are there places and people you might avoid because you know that to take Him there would grieve His heart? Jeremiah 23:24 says; "Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill the heavens and the earth? declares the LORD." Psalm 139:2-3; "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways." God knows us, He knows everything about us and He loves us completely because it pleases Him to do so!

Scripture tells us Moses walked with God as did David, Abraham, and Enoch. Enoch walked with God 300 years! And then Scripture says, Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Enoch didn't die, God just walked him right into heaven! I love that!

Would you like to walk with God? What does that look like? God told Abraham to walk in righteousness, to walk in righteousness means to walk as Jesus walked, not sinless perfection, we cannot do that, but we can walk in obedience to His commandments as revealed in Scripture, as Jesus walked in obedience to His Father's commandments. Logistically what has to happen to walk with God?

Amos 3:3 AMP says; "Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed?"

1. There is nothing casual about walking with God or living for God. Christ was deliberate in everything He did, as His followers our lives need to be deliberate. We deliberately come into Gods presence, and seek His face, we deliberately make that effort.

2. Agreement on where to walk has to be established, we determine from God where we will walk, for He is the one that is directing our steps! By a deliberate act of our will we choose to follow where He leads no matter where He takes us. For where He takes us we have never been before, its so exciting to walk with our LORD, guaranteed to have a purpose and it will be the road less traveled, we can count on that! Will it be scarey at times, yes! But God is with us and He that is in us is more powerful that he that is in the world. Will we stumble along the way, probably, but God will pick us up, He will make our steps sure. What if we lack strength? He will renew our strength!

3. The LORD sets the pace not us, be very careful not to run ahead, and don't get distracted along the way and look up and realize you have lost sight of Him. We must stay in step with Him. Just as the children of Israel followed the cloud in the wilderness, when the cloud moved, they moved, when the cloud stopped, they stopped, that was written for our instruction today in 2011. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, focused and ready for whatever lies ahead.

If you desire to walk with God today pray this prayer and make it your own. From Colossians 1:9-10; "...may you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." 1 John 5:11-12 ESV

If you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ then you are commissioned by Jesus Christ to bear witness to Him among the lost in the world. Jesus didn't commission just evangelists and preachers, He commissioned you and me, the common people to be; responsible, to be loving, to be His light shining in the darkness, His salt that; irritates, preserves and makes thirsty, depending on who we are talking with. Jesus sends out saved sinners to save sinners by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ! Every believer has a testimony within them, each one is different because our testimony is what Jesus Christ did in our own individual lives.

Yet every believer has in common with one another the following; we are all sinners, we were all searched for by God, we all in different ways heard the Good News, the gospel of Jesus Christ, we all believed and responded to Jesus Christ and were saved, born again not of the flesh or the will of man but by the Holy Spirit. With Christ is forgiveness of sin, with Christ is reconciliation with the Father, with Christ we have what people would be willing to pay any amount of money for and it cannot be bought, we have peace, a free gift from the Prince of Peace, we have joy that is not dependent on circumstances, and we know and receive unconditional love in Christ! Salvation is a gift from God it cannot be earned by us.

"In Christ, redemption through His blood...In Him we have obtained an inheritance...In Him we were sealed with the Holy Spirit Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it." Ephesians 1:7,11,13-14. Christ began the good work in us and He will finish what He started. Philippians 1:6. Christ Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy! Jude verse 24. What are we to say to all this.....we are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and all of our mind and all of our strength everyday that He has given us under His sun.

What are we to do with all this.....we are to give it away! Freely we have received, freely give! Jesus came out of heaven, clothed Himself with flesh, walked among His creation sinless, and willingly died for us on a cross and He rose from the dead because death could not hold Him and He did that for the sins of the whole world!!! Can we not cross the street where we live and share Christ with a neighbor who if they died as you are reading this would be in hell? Jesus on earth was despised by men; are we to let the possibility that someone may laugh at us if we shared Christ with them cause us to be disobedient? Christ wept over Jerusalem, how can we be so callous and unfeeling toward the lost? God give us Your heart for the lost, we were the lost at one time. Help us to be obedient to Your commission to be Your witnesses to a lost and dying world.

One of the greatest joys on earth you will ever be blessed to experience is to share Jesus with another soul that He died for and pray with them to ask Jesus to forgive their sins and come into their heart and take over their life...the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who is saved! Don't live your whole life without ever being obedient to Jesus' commission; "...you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8

When was the last time you shared Jesus Christ with someone? When was the last time you even tried? Opportunities to share come to those; who pray for them, to those who are looking for them, to those that want to share the greatest thing that ever happened to them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"I LOVE the LORD, because He has heard and now hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live." Psalm 116:1-2 Amplified

Prayer, few things are as mysterious and yet straight forward in the Word of God as prayer. God has made known to us how He feels regarding prayer so lets begin there. GOD IS FOR PRAYER!

GOD SPEAKS TO US IN PRAYER! Jeremiah 33:3; "Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know." Ecclesiastes 5:1; "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God, To draw near to listen is better..." Isaiah 50:4; "...Morning by morning He awakens; He awakens my ear, to hear as those who are taught."

GOD DELIGHTS IN OUR PRAYERS! Revelation 5:8; "...golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." Hebrews 11:6; "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who who seek Him." Psalm 25:14; "The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He makes known to them His covenant."

PRAYER IS HUMBLING AND THAT IS A GOOD THING! Psalm 95:6; "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!" Ephesians 3:12, 14; "Christ Jesus our Lord, in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father..." Philippians 2:10-11; "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

PRAYER IS A COMMAND, NOT A SUGGESTION! 1 Thessalonians 5:17; "Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." James 5:16; "Pray for one another... The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." Ephesians 1:16-17; "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him."

GOD GIVES US HELP AND ENCOURAGEMENT IN OUR PRAYERS! Romans 8:26-27; "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Hebrews 4:16; "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." 1 John 5:14-15; "And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him; we are sure that if we ask anything according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we positively know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know (with settled and absolute knowledge) that we have (granted to us as our present possessions) the requests made of Him."

Just think of it, we have access 24/7 to the LORD God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, Supreme Sovereign over the universe!!! It is unfathomable to me yet true, He welcomes us, He hears our prayers and He doesn't forget them and yes, He answers every prayer; not always as we asked, but always as is best. How long has it been since you entered the "Most Holy Place" just to thank and praise and commune with Your God?

"But when you pray, go into your most private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open."
Matthew 6:6

Monday, October 10, 2011

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit..." John 15:16 ESV

Why do some believers get up without fail and seek God in the morning, before their day begins? Why do they lay their petitions before Him and eagerly watch, having the assurance that God hears their prayer and answers. Therefore they will call on the name of the Lord as long as they live. Why do they set their alarms, forfeit some sleep and make themselves leave their warm bed to commune with their Lord? Why not forsake the temporal for that which is eternal?

Because they study Gods Word, the Bible, and they believe every single word from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is truth and it is truth in their lives; proven, tested, believed. Their faith is built upon that truth and their lives are lived in obedience to the truth that has been revealed to them. Not living in sinless perfection but in righteousness before their Lord. Most wonderful of all of the benefits of meditating on the Word of God is growing in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ! He promises to reveal Himself to those that keep His commandments and love Him. John 14:21.

Nothing compares to knowing and being in the presence of the Lord Jesus, absolutely nothing can ever satisfy like He does. "You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11. "O, taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8. "The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart, the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward." Psalm 19:7-8, 11.

Don't settle for just being saved, why live in mediocrity when you can know and live the Abundant Life? Don't be content with warming a pew on Sundays, be about your Father's work everyday, the fields are ripe for harvest. People are lost, hopeless, depressed, searching for answers and we have the Good News! We have Christ in us, the Hope of glory, it's time to stand up, speak up and show up for Jesus Christ! It's time to be salt and light, it's time to make a difference in this world. "Brethren we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus...as you received instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God, that you Excel still more!" 1 Thessalonians 4:1.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." John 8:32 AMP

Today this lesson is all about lies that believers in Christ fall prey to. Have you ever felt like a loser? Have you ever thought nobody loves you? Have you doubted God, His love for you or that He really heard your prayers, let alone answered them? Have you had thoughts of fear and anxiety? If you haven't ever had these thoughts or thoughts like them, first of all I doubt that you are breathing or the lies in your head have been there so long you aren't even conscious of them anymore, they are now just "feelings."

Ephesians 6:12 says; "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." 2 Corinthians 10:5 says; "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."

Jesus said of Satan; "He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44. Satan is a defeated foe, Christ triumphed over him at Calvary! He can't touch Jesus and he can't touch or possess a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet he can place lies in our minds, lies about God, lies about us, fiery darts to get us to doubt God and our very salvation. He is a liar and an accuser. And if we don't recognize the lies and know they come from him we can begin to believe them. This is especially true if we don't know the Bible, Gods Truth. Jesus said to those who believed in Him; "If you abide in My Word...you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32. Knowing the Word of God is not optional, that is our sword, that is our only offensive weapon, and our shield is faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, that is why we must know the Word of God.

Lie; you are such a loser, you can't do anything right.

TRUTH; "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us." Ephesians 3:20
"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
"Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God." 2 Corinthians 3:4-5

Lie; you can't change, you've been anxious and fearful your whole life.

TRUTH; "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
"When anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul." Psalm 94:19
"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

The battlefield is the mind and if your mind is full of Truth from the Word of God, your faith is strong and your shield can quench all the fiery dart lies from the enemy. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you the lies that you have believed. If you don't think you have any then it is possible you are deceived. Ask and He will answer and tell you. Then deliberately write down the lie and under that lie find at least 3 scriptures that are the truth and write them out. Carry those with you, meditate on the truth until it becomes a part of you. And you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free!

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him..." Habakkuk 2:4 NASB

If you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ you have choices. When Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world our sins were atoned for. When we received that truth by faith in Jesus Christ our sins were forgiven and the power sin had over our lives was broken by the powerful blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! Why then would we choose to sin? The answer lies in the attitude of our hearts.

There are two attitudes of the human heart one attitude is humility; the Bible refers to humility also as broken or contrite. The other attitude is pride; the Bible refers to pride as haughty or arrogant. Humility is NOT feeling down about yourself, nor is it a person who lets everyone walk all over them. Humility is an attitude of the heart that puts Jesus Christ first in our lives, everyday in every way. Pride is NOT seeking to do your best or feeling good about yourself. Pride is an attitude of the heart that puts self first in their life, over God, everyday in every way.

"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." James 4:6 ESV God is opposed to human pride because; Pride is the deification of self! Pride will never bow the knee to another, not even God Himself.

"Everyone proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting, hateful, and exceedingly offensive to the Lord; be assured they will not go unpunished." Proverbs 16:5 AMP Pride will keep you from Gods abundant life, because pride will hinder you from surrendering all to God. Pride establishes its own rules to the exclusion of Gods commands. Pride convinces you that you know what is better for you than your Creator, that is the lie you believe. Pride scoffs in disdain at the commandments of God convincing you that you can pick and choose the ones that suit you.

"The LORD tears down the house of the proud..." Proverbs 15:25 ESV Pride laughs at you and mocks you for believing that your pride will protect you. Pride is a mask that everyone can recognize, everyone that is but the one who is wearing it....

God hates pride because His plan for you is to be conformed to the image of His beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan's sin was pride.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"praying that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him..." Colossians 1:9-10

The above verses from Colossians are part of a prayer that I frequently pray for my family members, for the bible study group, the staff at my church and some days the body of Christ around the world. This prayer is so powerful and so revealing, the Lord provided it to us to pray back to Him! So let's break it down to its individual parts. What does walking in "a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him" look like? In part, I believe it includes the following;

Jesus Christ remains our 'first love.' "You shall have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:3 ESV. God is to be first in our lives, every day, above all things and people that we cherish.

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart." Deuteronomy 6:5-6 ESV. Gods words are not suggestions, they are commands to be obeyed, and obedience to God brings peace and joy to our lives that are beyond measure! Nothing this world offers can even come close!

In the vernacular of heaven, love is spelled; obey. "Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me..." John 14:21 NLT. "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." John 15:10 ESV.

Obedience brings revelation of the word of God and the person of Jesus Christ! "The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who really loves Me...and I will love him and will show, reveal, and manifest Myself to him. (I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.)" John 14:21 AMP. Wow! What an incredible, loving, glorious promise to those who obey God's commandments and they are good, everyone of them. Jesus is the One who explained the scriptures, the parables to His disciples and the Spirit of Jesus Christ who lives within every believer is the One who explains the scriptures to us and guides us into all truth. "Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:45 NASB. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth..." John 16:13 NASB. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16 NASB.

Ephesians 5:10,17-18 NASB says; "Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Understand what the will of the Lord is. Be filled with the Spirit." We learn and discern what is pleasing to God through His word. We learn and discern what God's will is through His word. And we are to be continually filled with His Holy Spirit, Who teaches us all things. John 14:26 ESV.

To obey the word of God and His commandments requires that we; read, meditate,and listen. Then through discernment given by the Holy Spirit, we take the revealed truth and apply it to our lives in 2011 and then we walk in obedience to that truth. Discern, Apply and Do.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"The Holy Spirit says, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..." Hebrews 3:7-8

The world operates in complete opposition to Kingdom of God. People strive to climb some invisible ladder to achieve some measure of success as defined by the world. They do this so that one day in the future they can retire and then have the good life! What a crock, success is never what we envision and in our pursuit of it, we need to be careful that we don't miss the genuine gifts of life that are truly good; intimacy with Jesus Christ, knowing, loving, nurturing and training our children as to what is truly important in life, fellowship with fellow believers, experiencing marriage as God created it, all these things are available if we take the time.

Ah, time, it has been called the tyranny of the urgent, our lives are so filled with busyness we don't have time left to live. Our children need smart phones and computers just to organize all of their activities, could this be the first generation of children that grew older while never having experienced childhood? God forbid! What would happen if the adults married and single, put their itineraries before the Lord and prayed and asked Him to reveal His will for their lives, His plan for their time, His will for their children? He will answer and they are then free to receive and adjust or to ignore and carry on busyness as usual. God will never force His will on His children but consider this; God wants the very best for you and for your children, He has a plan for you and it is good! Do you trust Him? Then take Him at His Word. Ask Him to give you godly wisdom, to direct your steps, to give you favor, and He will! Jesus said; "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10. Are you living the abundant life?

Our obsession with tomorrow is robbing us of today and today is what matters to God. His grace is for today; not yesterday, not tomorrow, today! Most of what worries us and causes anxiety in us is rooted in tomorrow and most of those things that keep us awake at night never happen, we have forfeited today and a good nights sleep worrying about tomorrow. We don't even know if we have a tomorrow, only the One who recorded in His book the number of our days knows. "In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:16. Don't let the past rob you of today, it is over, we can not change it but we can impact today.

Live fully in today, it is God's gift to us, begin it with Him; "In the morning You hear my voice, O LORD; in the morning I prepare a prayer for You and watch and wait for You to speak to my heart." Psalm 5:3 Amplified Bible. Today is Gods gift to us don't waste it, He may give us an opportunity to share Jesus Christ with someone today that we will never see again, today was all we had with them. Today is when we can follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and make a difference in someones life that will effect them for eternity. Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"That is why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God." Romans 8:8

Currently I am journaling; My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers this is the third time I have done so with my accountability partner. It is a daily devotional that is my personal favorite. What caught my eye in today's devotional was the following sentence; We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him. How true, for it is infinitely easier to work for Him than to take the time required in His word to get to know Him.

Two individuals come to my mind as examples and the first one is Moses. Moses; born a Hebrew, raised an Egyptian in the court of Pharaoh. He had a zeal for God, so when he came upon an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave he killed him. Moses' misspent zeal for God resulted in Moses being exiled from Egypt to the land of Midian. For the next 40 years (see Acts 7:30) Moses herded sheep in the wilderness, just think, 40 years, with nothing but the bleating of sheep in your ears! That's a long time but the required time in God's eyes to change mighty Moses into a humble nobody that God could then use, as He had planned from the creation of the world. For one day Moses came to Horeb, the mountain of God and there he saw a burning bush that was not consumed. Then Moses heard the call of God coming from the bush, God called him by name, "Moses, Moses!" and God introduced Himself to His humble servant and Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look. You know the rest of the story, Moses returned to Egypt and God delivered His people and brought them out of the land of Egypt with God's prophet, friend of God, Moses leading.

The next man is David, shepherd by trade, chosen by God, anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel. God said of David, "he is a man after My own heart." Clearly God was with David yet through circumstances controlled and directed by God Himself David has to run for his life, literally, from King Saul who sought to kill him. David hid himself in the country of Israel's enemy the Philistines , he lived in caves where he was surrounded by misfits that later became Davids mighty men. The man who would be king was living like an escaped criminal for though he loved God and knew God he was not yet ready to be King. God was at work in this shepherd boy and in the tests and trials of this time God was at work building and developing David into the man he was yet to be. On two different occasions David could easily have killed Saul and his own men encouraged him to do so yet David would not; he feared touching the Lords anointed, and he believed God that one day he would sit on the throne but not by his hand but by the Lords! David learned during that time of testing and trials to depend totally on the Lord alone!

Moses and David shared great trials, frequent testing and prolonged exile so that they could become what God had prepared for them all along.

Faith that is never tested is not true faith. Knowing the Lord, requires that we experience; His greatness, His provision, His mighty arm to save, His faithfulness, His power and in so doing we too can be humbled and grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ and fulfill His purpose for our lives.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O LORD, God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16

The verse above, Jeremiah 15:16 is my life verse; Gods Word is to me a joy and the delight of my heart and I would like to share with you some of my times in Gods Word. Come take a stroll with me I love walking through the Bible with others.

It doesn't matter if you have never studied Gods Word, or if you have been a serious student for over 50 years, there is always more to know, more to learn and more wonders to discover!!

Gods Word is alive and He watches over it to perform it, don't let it collect dust, open it, allow it to sink down inside of you and you will never, ever be the same again!

To know Jesus Christ requires an experiential, solo journey. No one can substitute or take your place, God demands you and your time, because as unbelievable as it seems He longs to reveal Himself to you! You were created to share an intimate relationship with your Creator and Lord. And His name is Emmanuel; God with us.

When I meet with the Lord in His word it is different every time; some days are like slow easy strolls with Him through a rolling green meadow. The sun is warm on my face, the breeze is gentle and cool, I am refreshed in His presence, I am comforted by His love.

Other times the Lord holds fast to my hand because the way is difficult, my footing is unsure and I am very frightened. His word is encouraging to me and I am strengthened in His presence, and I know I am safe, for God is with me, a mighty Warrior!

Then there are the times when I feel that I am all alone, the only thing I see is my own reflection in the mirror of Gods word and I hate what I see, I am filled with godly sorrow. I cry out to God and He hears me and forgives me and He restores me with His love and grace.
In Gods presence I am changed from being a badly bruised reed to a strong vibrant, healthy branch again, made possible because I am connected to Jesus the Vine. I learned all about abiding when I meditated on John 15:1-17.

Those times when I am seeking Him with all of my heart in His word, when I am longing for the Lover of my soul, that is when He takes me places that I didn't even know existed. He gives me understanding and I am never so alive or so in love as I am in those shared moments. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart and I have discovered that He, the Lord Jesus Christ is the desire of my heart!! Satisfaction is found in God alone. He is the only One who fills the empty place in each one of us.

On other occasions in the Word, I picture myself in the throne room of God sitting at Abba's feet. I cry over losses in my life, over failures, God is the only one that truly understands , He is the One who comforts me and He wipes away every tear that falls. He is my Shelter in the storms of life, He makes me smile, He thrills my soul.

Often times in the Word, prayer is prompted as God prepares us for trials that surely come in this life. Very soon I will be caught up in a storm, the horizon holds only angry, black, rolling clouds, lightning bolts light up the sky and the thunder is so loud I can feel it in my chest. O God, I cry for You to deliver me from the storm and You gently remind me that You are in the storm with me, God is always with us in good times and bad and He will never forsake us. Thank the Lord for His word that prepares us for storms,that reminds us of how Great He is, and His everlasting love for His children.

Gods word is a treasure that you can't afford to ignore...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things." James 3:4-5

If the rudder of a ship is broken it cannot stay on course.
If our tongues are broken because of lying, gossip, grumbling, complaining, and filthy language we cannot stay on course with God. The Holy Spirit will never lead where our broken tongues will take us and the Holy Spirit never follows.

If the rudder of a ship is broken it endangers its passengers and every other ship in its path.
If our tongues are broken we endanger everyone within the sound of our voice. From precious little ears, to the people that we work with who have heard our claim to be a Christian. No one is safe from a broken tongue; it slices like a knife, grieves the Holy Spirit of God and dirties everyone who hears our words, most of all ourselves. Whoever said sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt you, is a liar! Words go down deep within us. If you don't believe it why are so many teens committing suicide because of bullying?

If the rudder of a ship is bent there is a constant tension and struggle just to steer the ship.
If our tongues are bent it is because we are allowing lies and truth both to be part of our conversation; we claim we believe Gods Word, we even quote it, yet when faced with a crisis, all too often our words show; fear, doubt, confusion, anger, self-pity and anxiety. Our words reveal that we are what is called in the Bible a double-minded man unstable in all our ways. When our lives and our words are in agreement with Gods word we are confident, our steps are sure and our conversation builds others up.

The Bible has much to say regarding our tongues; Proverbs 18:2,4,7-8,21
"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."
"The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook."
"A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul."
"The words of a gossip are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body."
"Death and Life are in the power of the tongue."

Jesus said; "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matthew 12:34
What is in your heart? Listen to your words, they reveal your heart. If you are not satisfied with what you hear then use your mouth to confess your sin to God and He will forgive and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Then yield your tongue to the power of the Holy Spirit, use it to bring life, believe it or not He can tell you "don't say that" before one word ever leaves your mouth! We really do desire to be vessels fit for noble use, it begins with our tongues.