Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Respect Life

Psalm 8:6 - "You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet."

It takes a loving, merciful God to know how bad the human race would botch His creation and then to put it in His hands. His foreknowledge precluded the inescapable reality of Adam's fall from innocence and creation's plunge into sin and death. Yet, the Divine Author of life nevertheless subjected Himself to millennia of heartache until the world would once again be redeemed in righteousness.

Today, those who know God and the only Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, must practice our behavior toward this one day reality of creation's redemption. We must work within our individual influences and be good stewards of not only the planet, but of everything within our power of influence. We must practice kindness to all, helping the weak and providing safety to all those within our responsibility. Life is a gift, beloved, in all its forms. May we steward all forms within the boundaries of time until the eternal swallows time where there are no limits.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Convenient Time

Acts 24:25 (NKJV) - "Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, 'Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.'”

How often do we send Jesus away? Do we set limits on what we will allow Him to speak to our hearts regarding obedience? Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John the Holy Spirit's main vocation – to convict of sin, righteousness, and the coming judgment (John 16:8). If we are not hearing Him speak to our hearts on these subjects on a regular basis, we have sent Him away to be called at a more "convenient time."

God is not a convenience store where we can expect Him to be open 24/7 if we have grieved Him away. However, we will find once we allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in our hearts, that Jesus Christ will be available whenever we call. We will not have to search Him out, but He will be constantly involved in our inner conversations. If we are inviting Him in to dine with us (Revelation 3:20) and to speak into our lives whatever He desires, then we will have no fear regarding this life or the one to come.

Monday, August 29, 2016

God’s Simple Requirements

Micah 6:8 - "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

God's requirements are not vague. They have nothing to do with being a good person, although this will often be the result of His life in us. Justice must always be married to mercy to make it truly just. That is our first requirement, to do unto others as we would have them do for us (Matthew 7:12). Next we must love being merciful and not begrudge it. Kindness should flow from us like a fountain to others. This is the fruit of being just and merciful.

The foundation allowing justice, mercy, and kindness in our lives is walking humbly with God. There is no other way to walk humbly than to walk honestly. If we bring everything to the Light, then He will allow us to walk in the light with Him. Are we holding back from God? To the degree of humble honesty will determine the manner we meet God's requirements. There is no long-lasting way to consistently meet His standard but by Jesus Christ living within. It is an impossibility to please God otherwise.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Merciful Judge

Psalm 7:11 - "God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day."

This may seem like a fearful thought of God. However, those who understand His nature know where there is anger over sin abides great mercy and love. He longs to have compassion on those who would come to Him in repentance (Isaiah 30:18). Since He is a righteous judge, His judgment is often suspended by His desire for all to come to Him through the redemption of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, God cannot wink at sin. There will one day be a reckoning. While we are in the age of grace, it is best to know we have a reprieve from God's anger and indignation over sin. The day will one day come when the Judge's heavenly bench will no longer offer clemency. Our Advocate, Jesus Christ, stands poised to remit our sins by our acceptance of His grace. God help those who dare approach the Judgment Seat without Him!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

America Enslaved

Nehemiah 9:36 - “Behold, we are slaves today, and as to the land which You gave to our fathers to eat of its fruit and its bounty, behold, we are slaves in it."

Israel became slaves in their own land long before the Assyrians and Babylonians dispossessed them. They had given their hearts to the idols of self-interest, greed, lust, covetousness, and anything else that served their purposes rather than God's. They had turned their backs on God, so He turned His on them. Their slavery came in restrained ways as the subtlety gave their hearts to other gods. The full-force of their realization came when they were occupied by their enemies.

So true for America today! We have slowly turned our backs on God, and He continues to turn His on us. We are slaves, yet many of us do not know it. We have become a nation of lascivious reprobates that no longer desire a romance with the Most High, but we lust for everything that is unholy. Beloved, a day of reckoning is fast approaching. This nation will be given over and occupied unless we seek God and humble ourselves as a nation for our sin. May God have mercy on us in our captivity!

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Cure for Anxiety

Philippians 4:6 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Paul is telling us if nothing were something, then we would have a right to be anxious. However, since everything we deal with in our daily lives is created by God, then we have no right for anxiety. Truly, everything is within His control. Anxiety is a sure sign that we have placed our concern for a person, place, or thing in our hands rather than God's.

Instead of worrying, we should be praying. This sounds logical to most of us, but how practiced are we in this behavior? The psalmist tells us to fret not; it only leads to evildoing (Psalm 37:8). Anxiety swallows our faith and leaves only the bones of fear. We must consecrate our minds on God's promises regarding our well-being and allow Him to sanctify our hearts which will dissolve all anxiety and fear. Through prayer and turning our eyes on the Great Solution, we will practice God's presence until anxiety becomes a shadow of our past life.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Consecrated Life

Mark 6:41 - "And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food and broke the loaves and He kept giving them to the disciples to set before them; and He divided up the two fish among them all."

Consecration is essential before sanctification. Jesus looked toward heaven and consecrated Himself to His Father and His work. Then, the Father was able to sanctify the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. The remarkable feature about this miracle is the inexhaustibility of God and His purpose once His will is sanctified through action. Jesus just "kept giving" the broken loaves to the disciples until there was no longer a need. Not one person received an unbroken loaf, for this would have belied Jesus' consecration and the sanctification of the miracle of the Father.

It is quite easy for us to pray, "Lord make me broken bread and poured out wine for those around me!" It is a noble prayer, but steeped in sentimentality if God has not consecrated us according to his will. Jesus never did anything on His own volition, but only the things He knew were the will of the Father. When God truly gets a hold on us because we have consecrated ourselves for his purposes, then watch heaven move as He sanctifies the miraculous through us. We may not feed the multitude with loaves and fishes, but we will be broken bread in ways we may have never previously considered.