Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spiritual Enforcers

II Corinthians 10:5 - "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (KJV)

In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote some sobering words regarding the vanity of childish imaginations and the necessity of godly vision. In I Corinthians 13:11 he states: "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things." In order to become spiritual enforcers for ourselves, our families, and our churches we must grow up and away from our compromise with this world. We must not fellowship with darkness but come into the light of Christ's wisdom. There is no other way to make hell tremble and heaven rejoice regarding the spiritual warfare which is the heritage of every child of God. Our gaze must be so transfixed on Christ as we take on His mind, taking every thought captive for the furthering of His kingdom.

Our legacy is to enforce God's law and bring all offenses before the judge and let Him deal with them according to His will. However, to get to this place of maturity will take us choosing the light over the dark. We must forsake the compromised position, embracing the implacable stance of a stalwart soldier of the Lord. This is the great story that Christ desires to write in our lives. One not of worldly imagination but of godly wisdom born in the heart of the Almighty.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Word of Hope

Matthew 15:23 - "But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, 'Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.'”

Have we become convinced the Lord is the only one to help us, yet we hear not a word from Jesus in this regard? Even worse, is the loud din of those in the church who say, "Just follow Christ from afar! Don't get too close or you will be disappointed!” However, just like the Gentile woman in Matthew we are not to listen to others but keep listening for the "word" from God. Too often, we might give up or give in to others who say miracles are not for today--that Jesus only uses medicine or natural circumstances as contemporary remedies. There will always be the naysayers who are following Jesus on the periphery of faith.

However, when we come and bow down before him as this desperate woman and say "Lord help me!" (verse 25) then all heaven will move on our behalf. Remember, beloved, hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:23). And what is hope? H equals HONEST appraisal of our situation, O equals OPENNESS to whatever it takes to remedy it, P equals PERSEVERANCE or PERSISTENCE to not accept "no" for an answer, and finally E equals EXPECTANCY that it will indeed happen. May we all silence the deafening clamor of those who would suggest otherwise and continue crying out to God until He delivers!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A "Put On" For God

Colossians 3:12-14 - "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

Have we ever been accused of being a "put on"? Being two-faced is wrong if we are using our masquerade to fool others. However, if we are Christians and confess we are often two different people, then we then have the power through humility to be a proper put on. When we allow ourselves to think right about ourselves, we start to think right about others. What we then put on our minds about ourselves and others become expressions of our hearts that transform.

Beloved, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit is a choice. It begins by choosing to put on the Lord Jesus Christ in our every thought. The miracle then happens as His character becomes ours with hearts expressive of Him.

Take Courage!

Matthew 14:27 - "But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'”

How do we react when Jesus speaks to us from the place of implausibility? The Lord does not walk on water to show off his divineness, but in order to show us what is possible when the divine inhabits humanity. He is always out there above the circumstances, yet we often do not have eyes to see.

When we recognize Him then we can hear His words. They are never passive but always an admonition for us to act. Are we in faith or denial regarding the miracle working Jesus? Is the Lord speaking to us to take courage and to no longer look at circumstances with the eyes of fear? If we will accept His loving rebuke, and venture out of the comfort of our denial, then we will see things begin to happen we never thought possible. May we all take courage and dare to believe!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Working Together for Good

Romans 8:28- "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

This is one of the most misquoted verses in all of scripture. People often suggest that God causes all things to work together for good, regardless of the person, place, or circumstance. This is not the case, according to this verse. Paul tells us that He watches out to "cause all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It is important to understand these stipulations in order to obtain this particular promise. The first and most important is love.

God first of all wants relationship before anything. He is certainly interested in what He has called us to do for His kingdom, but above all He wants relationship first. When our hearts are given to Him in loyalty and love, then He can shape our ministries around us for our families, communities, churches, etc. The dynamic of all things working together for good will then be everpresent in our lives when we first love Him and then care for others around us.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Restorative Power of God's Law

Psalm 19:7 - "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple."

God's law has always been perfect. Thus, it is the ideal baseline to see our wickedness as a race of people that have shunned God's requirements. The law may look harsh and demanding from a fleshly viewpoint. However, it is actually full of the love of God that shows His perfect character. This, beloved, through Christ's fulfilling of the law, is able to restore our soul. Our stark need juxtaposed to God's provision is the perfect remedy for sin that ails mankind.

God's testimony is always one of lifting up His holiness. However, it is also one of mercy, as He extends His goodness to us through the gift of grace. The wise of this world will always be confounded by the simplistic wisdom of God's message. God's witness to our restored souls is one of righteousness through His law, yet the wisdom of His power that is saving us daily as we surrender.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Recognizing a Child of God

Romans 8:14 - "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

The profundity of Paul's writings is not difficult to understand. The mark of a true Christian could be characterized by this one verse. If we are walking in God's Spirit, we will not carry out the desires of the flesh; therefore confirming we are sons and daughters of God. A school child could understand this logic because it is meant for those who would become children in their attitudes toward God. He wants to lead us by the hand in such a way if we will but allow Him.

Are we being led by God's Spirit? Or do we tug away from His loving grasp to run to our own desires? He will continue to seek us out ... for a while. However, that time will come when we will not be able to find our way back to His waiting grasp. May we hold tight now, knowing that doing so ensures our kinship with the Father.