Friday, November 30, 2012

Enjoying God's Delight!

Psalm 18:19 - "He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me."

God does not rescue us out of obligation, but out of great desire! He knows that if left us to our devices, we would isolate ourselves into a corner where the enemy would ravage us. Then, hopelessness would be our heritage rather than the expansiveness of His love. By allowing our spirits to shrink from Him and others, we exchange a large piece of spiritual property for one that confines us. This will ultimately keep us from God's purpose.

Have you ever experienced a wide open expanse in God's Spirit? This comes from touching His heart when we stand in the gap for others. In this way, God helps us to intercede through both prayer and witnessing Jesus from our lives to others. When we give ourselves to touch God's heart, He allows us to experience His Spirit that is full of joy. ... Lord, help us to come to You and to intercede in prayer and through our testimony of giving on Your behalf! There is no greater freedom when we find this secret place of Your love!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Tomorrows in God

Joshua 3:5 - "Then Joshua said to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.'”

Today will always be the day of salvation (II Corinthians 6:2). God will always do great things in our lives if we will but surrender. However, there is also something to loving God enough not to want to sin anymore. That results in sanctification or holiness. We can never save or sanctify ourselves. But what we can do is consecrate ourselves for God today. Then, an extraordinary thing takes place. Our "tomorrows" begin to be filled up with the presence of God moving in our lives. If we are busy loving Jesus, then we don't have time to worry about the cares of this world. He begins meeting our needs in the most sublime ways because we are meeting God's desires by loving Him.

Has God ever taken care of you "just in time?" When it was the last minute, has He ever moved on your behalf? Those who love Jesus today by consecrating day after day for Him see this happen throughout their tomorrows. Will we trust Him today, beloved? He wants to make today our day of salvation as we give ourselves totally to Him. Then, just watch the miracles begin to flow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seeking God's Glory

John 5:44 - "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?"

A rhetorical question by our Lord, but one that nonetheless should be answered by us all. For some of us, the frequency of the necessity to do so should shame us. The half-brother of Jesus stated it very poignantly saying that when we cling to jealousy and selfish ambition, that every evil thing exists within (James 3:16). To seek another's glory other than our own is a death sentence for our fleshly nature—one that many of us are quite reluctant to fulfill.

Many of us have forgotten how exquisite it feels when we are in the middle of God's will and seeking His glory. We experience the peace of God and the joy of the Holy Spirit when we are functioning from that place of simplicity. Beloved, may we turn to God several times during our day and say, "What is that you want from me right this moment Lord?" If we will then perform this exercise throughout our day, we will once again find ourselves in that place of not only seeking God's glory but finding it. ... Oh, what joy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

From My Distress ...

Psalm 118:5-6 - "From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear."

Nobody likes to be in pain. A troubled or grieving heart is often the worst type of sickness because there does not seem a quick remedy. To lose a loved one or to experience morbid depression can feel as if something has scooped our insides dry and left us numb. However, at our lowest we can become God's candidate for a miracle. At these times, we need to lean on God and others to help us through.

However, often God desires us to learn to rely upon Him. While distress is often the precursor to relief, pain can likewise cause us to seek relief. While these truisms may seem obvious, how many of us continue to wallow in our sorrow and grief when the Lord has made a way for us? No longer should we feel trapped and claustrophobic God has promised to put us in a large, expansive place if we cry out to Him. Then, as the psalmist, we can truly say, "whom shall I fear? for we will know without a doubt the Lord is for us.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Shacking Up

Zechariah 2:7 - “Ho, Zion! Escape, you who are living with the daughter of Babylon.”

Are we "shacking up" with the world?

Do we attend a church where the parishioners sleep in the pews while the minister talks about the latest headline? Or, do we flock with those who plead for funds for their new building projects yet have diamond rings on both hands? It is one thing for the world to be fornicating with lust and greed. However, it is quite another for the so-called church to do so.

Are we taking a stand against abortion in our land, or have we settled for the killing fields to continue, saying Roe v. Wade will never be turned back to states' rights?

Do we hide behind our suburban homes and bow down to pornography, lust, adultery, and homosexuality? To watch these things on our TVs or our computers is the same thing as condoning them!

Do we always want more, never being satisfied with what we have?

If we are embracing any of these things rather than the Lord, then we should confess and admit that we are Babyonians in Christian disguise. It is time for all of us to wake up!

His mercies are new every morning, beloved (Lamentations 3:22-23). ... May this be a new day for us all!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Proud Fool

Psalm 14:1 - "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good."

It is one thing to be foolish. It is quite another to be a fool. We all think and behave foolishly at times. However, to allow our minds to think foolishly over a lifetime creates the life of a fool. Just because we have gone fishing a time or two does not mean for our epitaph they will say that we were a fisherman. That would be abusrd! When we fill our lives with a certain hobby or work or even faith, then we will be known for what we  have practiced.

To deny God takes faith just as to believe in Him similarly takes belief. Atheists do not like to confess that they cannot prove that God does not exist. Therefore, they must use faith for their hypotheses regarding how and why we are here. The leap of faith becomes even more profound for those who have become fools in their own thinking, because they have nothing to witness to their beliefs other than their own flawed logic.

Believers have not only the irrepressible witness in nature but also the inner witness of God when He causes us to be born again. An argument cannot be won when a child states to an atheistic professor that "they know that they know that they know that God dwells within them." For heavenly wisdom such as this, there is no human logic.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Glory to God

Psalm 115:1 - "Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth."

Within the heart of mankind, we have no true love and no real truth. Everything of spiritual substance is from God. Therefore, it is ludicrous for us to take any "props" for ourselves when we show a bit of kindness, mercy, or love to those both deserving and undeserving. All good gifts come from above, from the Father of Lights. We all need constant reminders that there is a loving God in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are not -- nor ever will be -- worthy of the glory due His name.

Like the psalmist, may we recoil from even the hint of self-achievement in any philanthropic manner. An honest appraisal of this sort only comes from heart revelation born in humility. Through proper wisdom, may we continue to give to Him glory, and honor, and praise for He is worthy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Understanding Our Nakedness

Genesis 3:11 - "And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

It is of paramount importance who tells us we are naked and how we respond. When God tells us about our nakedness, He does it out of love. He desires for us to be clothed in His righteousness. That is why he desires to confront us with that truth. However, the devil loves to tell us we are clothed when we are really not. We may seek to cover ourselves with our own goodness (fig leaves), yet God must cover us in order for there to be true redemption. Even as God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins (Genesis 3:21), nakedness is only atoned for through the sacrifice of blood.

Beloved of God, just as God covered Adam and Eve's nakedness with animal skins, so He covered our transgressions with the sacrifice of Jesus. He is the only One who can cover up our sin so we will never be ashamed before God again.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Growing Gratitude

Zechariah 4:10 - "For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth."

How often are we ungrateful for the small things in our lives which are meant to produce big things? The Israelites became discouraged in the great work God had given them in rebuilding the temple. However, all they needed was a word of encouragement. God will not trust us with the large things until we can be thankful for the small. Our gratitude is often in direct proportion with His graciousness upon our respective lives. However, it takes a keen eye to understand the significance of the seemingly insignificant. It often requires a wise heart to thank God in the day of small things, for this will only lead us to greater things for our families, our churches, and all those with whom we are in daily contact. We must simply look for the goodness in all that comes our way and be grateful for all God gives. When we become thankful, it opens up a new perspective or perhaps one in which we had long forgotten.

Gratitude and thankfulness are the key to unlocking the door of small things which inevitably bring us into the largeness of Christ's bounty. We must merely start today by surrendering to Jesus and allowing Him to open our eyes to all He has most graciously given. Then we will be wealthy beyond our understanding for all God has done for us!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Lord is Good!

Nahum 1:7 - "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him."

Do we know the Gatekeeper, the One in whom we can take refuge when all hell is coming against us? His Name is Jesus Christ and He only allows refuge to those whom He knows! We cannot expect to turn to God in a crisis and imagine Him allowing us sanctuary if we have been living like the devil. The Lord is compassionate and slow to anger with much patience. However, He is also good. Many people think that "good" means God is a Santa Claus or a sugar daddy that will say, "Oh that's okay!" and wink at their sin and give them a few hundred bucks to get them out of a jam. God is good, but He is first of all fair. He will not be mocked but will be both merciful and full of justice. If we accept His mercy, we best be able to also accept His righteous nature and character.

Once we know "the Lord is good" and understand He a Father who disciplines His children in love, then we will know the strength of His stronghold. There will be nothing to assail us for we have put our trust in the One who is vigilant to watch and keep us through every danger.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saved by Grace!

Titus 3:5 - "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,"

God's mission statement to mankind is encapsulated in this verse, beloved. First and foremost, it is nothing we have earned out of our own righteousness. Only the blood of Jesus and His redemption could take the foulness of our treacherous souls and cause us to born again by His Spirit. Oh what mercy and grace!

Justification before God can only be achieved through a total cleansing. We will never be more white and holy in God's eyes then when we first accepted Jesus' redeeming work. Though our sins were as scarlet they were made as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). In Christ, we have been made the righteousness of God (II Corinthians 5:21). Ah, but there is so much more! We have the privilege as sons and daughters of God to live holy by the "renewing of the Holy Spirit." Our gratitude for His indescribable gift should be one of passion and desire of to dwell in His presence. By surrendering to God, moment by moment, we experience sanctification, causing us to be changed into the image of our Savior while in mortal flesh. Oh, the prospective joys of looking like our Master in this lifetime! It should thrill us and propel us to His feet that He might make us instruments of love to this dying world!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Fall and Rise of the Believer

Micah 7:8 - "Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me."

We will fall from time to time. It is inevitable because we are sons and daughters of light and we live in the darkness. A beloved brother who is from what many would call the heart of darkness in Africa states how the darkness is so much more pronounced here in America. "At least there," he states "we recognize the darkness and what we must fight. Here, there are so many things pulling at you that it makes it much harder to live as a Christian in your country." While this may be true, God will always give us grace to live in the midst of sin. He will allow our lights to shine in the darkness if we will but allow Him.

The subtlety of the flesh and the devil will sometimes get the upper hand in our lives. When we fail, the enemy of our souls desires we concede and believe we will never overcome. This deception has claimed many, but it does not need to claim another. "Though I fall I will rise" is a fundamentally accurate promise which all believers can put their hope. In order to rise, we must first fall upon the Lord and then He makes us ascend through His redemption. The tragedy is when we fall into the arms of despair rather into His arms. May we always fall on the Rock of our salvation. There is only hope in Him.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jesus Our Healer

Jeremiah 17:14 - "Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for You are my praise."

What is our first reaction when we get sick? Do we reach for the Bible and God’s promises, or do we swallow an aspirin? Or, how do we react when we are sick with anxiety or depression? Do we go to God or the things of this world to help us?

Religion and medicine are products of the temporal world, imperfect instruments that seek to make a cursed world right. However, when God heals and saves He does it perfectly because He invokes the eternal to supersede the temporal. He famously calls into being that which formerly did not exist. Beloved of God, we must continue to seek God for that which replaces the natural efforts of mankind. We must cry, "Abba, Father, Papa!" and He will cause supernatural deliverance, saving us to the uttermost.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

God Our Deliverer

Psalm 108:12-13 - "Oh give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain. Through God we will do valiantly, and it is He who shall tread down our adversaries."

How many of us lie in bed and worry about the coming day and all we must do? Martin Luther is said to have risen an hour earlier for prayer when he knew his day would be busy with the things of this world. It was his buffer against the cares and concerns he knew that would try to consume him. Prayer was the key to him remaining in God’s peace.

God never meant for us to pursue our careers on our own, nor raise our families by ourselves, or face life's troubles without His help. Life will always serve us our share of adversity. However, whether we decide to be our own god and go it alone, or choose to trust God Almighty will be the great determiner concerning our outcomes. Not only will God give us the victory if we trust in Him, but we will overwhelmingly conquer as He pulverizes our troubles. May we all fall on Him so He might crush all that would assail us.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Miracle of Confession

I John 1:7 - "But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

Possibly no other scripture explains sanctification and living holy better than this one of John's. It's not about making ourselves obey it's about making ourselves confess. Once we are honest about our sin (and sins) before God and man, THEN God empowers us to obey. The blood of Jesus doesn't merely cover our sins but rather obliterates them! (It is like a nuclear blast producing a spiritual mushroom cloud of destruction!)

Never underestimate the miracle of confession, beloved of God. Without it, it is like trying to send a rocket into space without rocket fuel. Once confession through humility is added to our “spiritual tank,” then we soar.

The devil and our flesh cringe at the prospect of it because it means their demise. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hearts Burning for God

Jeremiah 20:9 - "But if I say, 'I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,' then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it."

Often, we as Christians go to our prayer meetings and offer a quick prayer for this or that, and then move on to something else. Where are the Jeremiahs of our day? Where are those who become burdened for individuals, situations, nations, are etc. and burn within? Where are those who must "pray through the burden" otherwise it burns within them as holy heartburn? Beloved of God, glib prayers produce nothing. If we say we are praying in faith, then where are the results?

If we are truly "spiritual mountain movers" then why is not the earth quaking from the man or woman of God that burns for God? To those for whom much is given, much is required. Can He trust us with His burden? 

Lord, help us to burn for You instead of this world. Help us to burn within, so that others might not burn for eternity! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hephzibah … God's Delight!

II Samuel 22:20 - "He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me."

God did not send His Son to die for mankind because He felt sorry for us. He does not continue to pull us out of jams because He feels some type of responsibility as a Father. No, but He does it because he delights in us. The Lover of our souls is captivated by us and desires we continue to look to Him through the good and the bad. The gaze of our soul toward Him and His loveliness further impassions His great love for us. (See Isaiah 62:4 where God refers to His beloved as Hephzibah or “my delight is in her.”)

In our vilest, wickedest, moment God knew what we could be and delighted to give us redemption through His Son. Now, He delights when we turn back to Him from our stumbling. He takes great joy in continually transforming us into the image of His Son. Beloved of God, may we never let the enemy lie to us that God is shaking His head in disgust over us. He delights in us if we keep turning toward Him. The gaze of His soul towards ours results in rapturous love that will last for an eternity!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Giving Ourselves to Others

Matthew 14:16 - "But Jesus said to them, 'They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!'”

Jesus never spoke without purpose. In this case, he is making a simple declarative statement with a command. He gave clear direction with no possibility of misunderstanding. Yet, the disciples were initially dumbfounded on how to complete the task at hand. Sometimes God needs to startle us into the realization that we are totally incapable of fulfilling His commission.

If those whom we are in contact with either in our ministries or just in everyday life are going away from us hungry, then that is a problem. Not enriching others is the same as impoverishing them. Life is never neutral. Beloved of God, Jesus has called us all to be broken bread and poured out wine for mankind. The secret is not trying to break ourselves up in small pieces but instead allow the Lord to distribute us as He sees fit.

May the Bread of Life find willing hands with all of us to bring great nourishment to those famished for reality.

Monday, November 12, 2012

God’s Fiery Hammer of Love

Jeremiah 23:29 - “’Is not My word like fire?’” declares the LORD, “’and like a hammer which shatters a rock?’”

As God's missionaries to this earth, how do we handle the word of God? How do we send it out? Is it like fire in our bellies and unless we speak we will explode? If our souls are not on fire for God then it is impossible to ignite another. Do we then revert to our own efforts which the Bible refers to as “strange fire” that is not of God? (Leviticus 10:1) Or, is God’s word like a hammer in our hands? Sadly, for too many of us it is like a rubber mallet! The former will pulverize stony hearts, resulting in salvation. The latter tends to just stun or jar, but the hardness still remains.

Beloved of God, may we once again be entrusted with the true fire of God. This means obedience with no compromise to make our passion once again burn bright. Then, the hammer of God will once again find its mark on the rocky heart. These will only come through total surrender to Him. Once He can trust us with His word in power, we will then see God do extraordinary things we never thought possible!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Exchanged Life

Matthew 16:26 - "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Jesus asks us these probing questions, allowing us to come to our own conclusions. There is nothing we can desire in this lifetime that will complete us other than Christ. No relationship, or house, or car, or no amount of money in the bank will ever equal a fair exchange for our soul. The devil gets us on the cheap if we settle for less than the Exchanged Life with Jesus Christ.

To forfeit is to give up or give in. It means surrendering and relinquishing responsibility. To merely turn our soul over to the devil when Jesus has paid the price for our freedom is high treason. May we not sell ourselves short regarding how much it cost the Lover of our soul. To do so would create horrendous loss through eternal separation from the One who redeemed us with His life. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Cost of Freedom

Galatians 5:1 - "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."

God made mankind to live free. We are hardwired with that desire. Those of us privileged to be born or who live in the United States often take these liberties for granted. What others have fought and died to preserve can lose their value when we forget what it cost. Our American Declaration of Independence states freedom of religion is our unalienable right. However, as the founding fathers stated, these "rights" are endowed by our Creator.

For God the Father, it cost Him dearly by giving us His Son. As citizens of heaven, we can likewise forget how much freedom and liberty cost. Our “unalienable right” as Christians entails submitting to God and Jesus Christ and then living in harmony with all men. As followers of Christ we never have to submit to a yoke of slavery. This was accomplished through the finished work of Jesus Christ. However, there will always be those men who don't desire to live "harmoniously." We must all do our part to live spiritually as well as socially active in a world that desires to consume Christian believers. May we resist with all the fortitude in which God gives us, for in only so doing, will we be truly free.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Guarding God's Treasure

II Timothy 1:14 - "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."

Thank God that Paul tells us to guard "the treasure" within through the help of the Holy Spirit. Too often, Christians believe they must concentrate more on the promises, or determine to not sin in a certain area. While these are notable exercises, they are pointless if we have not first turned to God through His Holy Spirit to help us. The best we can hope to do in our own power is to defend ourselves by greater effort. However, in order to offend the enemy and make him shrink from his assault is to first surrender to Jesus Christ in our thoughts. Paul tells us not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This is not mind over matter but instead regarding what matters most to our God. When we seek to guard our minds and hearts, then we are merely making a positive thinking construct. In so doing, when we first seek the Lord and ask Him to help us rule our minds with His desires, then He fortifies our hearts with the security of the Holy Spirit. It all comes down to Whom or what we allow to guard our minds. For in so doing, this is the entity which will inevitably guard our hearts. If it is our intellect, we will succumb to the devil and our flesh. It it is humility of mind as found in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:2), then no power or demon from hell will ever be able to break in and spoil the treasure of God.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This for "That"

Luke 5:8 - "But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!'"

Does it bring us to our knees when we see "that" for which the Lord has done? Peter's "that" was the Lord's ability to perform the impossible when he and his comrades had toiled all night for nothing. Sometimes, God can reach us best when He shows us our inadequacies in the things in which we think we excel. Peter undoubtedly thought of himself as a "professional" fisherman. There may have been none like the fishing teams of Peter and Andrew or James and John. Yet, this itinerant preacher comes who grew up in Nazareth, miles from Galilee and tells them how to do their job! The first miracle is that Peter conceded to do what the Lord asked. When he surrendered his intellect to Jesus, then the next miracle occurred -- a boat load of fish! But then the greatest miracle of all happened. Peter saw his inadequacy and acknowledged the Lord's ability to do more than he ever thought or imagined.

What are we facing today that we think we can handle alone? We may consider we have gone through troubles before on our own. Why should we trouble the Lord? The reason is obvious from Peter's example. Surrender of our human reasoning allows God to perform great things if we will but obey. May we all look to Him for He is able to do abundantly beyond anything we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Presidential Prayers

I Timothy 2:1-4 - "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

It matters not who we believe should be the president of the United States. It matters not if we believe Hugo Chavez should not be the president of Venezuela or whether Putin should rule over Russia. God still rules supreme over the universe and expects us to align with His choices to rule upon this earth. God uses all things to work together for His purposes. We must never disallow His sovereignty to work through less than desirable leaders. However, we must continue to pray that these would come to the Lord. Nonetheless, whether they come or not, the ways of leaders are in the hands of the Almighty (Proverbs 21:1). He will have His way with them, beloved of God. However, we must continue to pray so we will be at peace with His conclusions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Jesus Our Anchor

I Timothy 1:19 - "Keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith."

It is not hard to shipwreck one's faith. Especially if one choose to sail in darkness rather than light. Mariners saw the foolishness of sailing at night in perilous waters. Most would drop anchor and wait for daytime to have a visual of the reef or rocks below.

The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us Jesus is the anchor of our souls (Hebrews 6:19). When we have ventured beyond the light of God's grace, we should allow Jesus to anchor us until the light dawns once again. This is the marriage between faith and a good conscience -- believing that Christ will protect us in the darkness of our souls and staying honest with the Lord regarding our inability to anchor ourselves. Once His light comes, then we will once again sail free, unencumbered by contrary circumstances. Those who choose to go it alone find themselves another casualty in the bone yard of those whose faith is shipwrecked.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ashamed of Sin

Ezra 9:6 - "And I said, 'O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.'"

How ashamed and embarrassed are we of our sins? Do we hear an inspiring sermon on revival and then head for the buffet after church and stuff ourselves? Or, do we join the Wednesday night prayer meeting and ask God to move upon our land and then stand outside and talk about "so and so" who has had an affair? (Of course, we say we are discussing it in a "prayerful way!") God mourns over His body as much as He does the world, beloved. We have become so sensualized in the church there is no longer a plumb line to compare ourselves. However, God desires to raise up those who live according to God's word -- who turn from wicked slander and sensual living. Or, those who weep out loud when they find out their brother or sister in the Lord has sinned! Beloved of God, it is time to be ashamed and embarrassed that many of us call ourselves Christians. We blaspheme the fair name of Christ by doing so!

Have we had enough of playing church? Do we blush in shame over our sin? If not, we will continue to get what we have been getting, and remain basically who we are.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spiritual Breath

Job 32:8 - “But it is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding."

Before we were born again of God, our spirits were lifeless. Jesus Christ, through His indwelling Spirit has breathed life once again into our mortal bodies, causing us to take on the immortal. Just as Adam drew breath from God, there is life in no other than the Almighty as He chooses to give us understanding through His Spirit. If we say we know God and yet rely purely upon our own intellect or ability, then we are functioning from a soulish place. The devil through our flesh will always seek to imitate God's Spirit within a man. However, there is a marked difference. The carnal flesh will tend to exalt itself, while the Spirit of God in the spirit of a man or woman will always lift up Jesus. The breath of the soul is foul to the senses, while the breath of the Spirit is always sweet and desirable! May we all manifest His Spirit through humble submission, invoking the breath of God to waft over our spirits to others.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Life and Godliness

II Peter 1:3 - "Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."

Many of us have heard stories how vagrants die living in poverty, yet a deceased relative had left them a vast inheritance. Their lack of knowledge regarding their wealth was the difference in how they lived. Our knowledge of our inheritance in the Beloved will determine how we live today and each subsequent day thereafter. We must see, as children of the King, that we are wealthy beyond our wildest dreams. However, our treasure is of a heavenly nature and satisfies beyond what earthly treasures promise. He has freely given ... may we freely receive.

Lord, open the eyes of our hearts that we might embrace all You have freely given through Your Son.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Redeemed from Violence

Jeremiah 15:21 - “So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”

Violence takes by force. Hence, the feeling of violation is because someone or something stronger than us has seized upon our vulnerability. When we walked in the ways of this world, we were continually subject to people, places, and things trying to best us. As sons and daughters of God, He has promised freedom from violent oppression. Whether it is addiction or the physical or emotional abuse of another, Jesus commands freedom for us. Whatever would seek to hold us, these must loose their grasp when we accept His redemption and declare we are free in Christ. Beloved of God, our escape from violent oppression is to simply trust in our gentle Savior. The promise is ours if we accept it, believe it, and stand assured of its reality. ... He is our Great Peace.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Merciful Judgment

Isaiah 26:9 - "At night my soul longs for You, indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."

I often marvel when the godless become all inflamed when someone mentions the possibility that God still judges the earth through natural disasters. These do not know my God. For my God is a God of both judgment and mercy. This is the reason He is holy. There is no other way He could be otherwise without the juxtaposition of these two character traits within His Divine Nature. Somehow, those who mock the God of the Bible have instead this sickening, mealy-mouthed god who chooses to wink at sin.

The truth is this, beloved of God. The Lord God Almighty has put every nation on a probationary warning that He will no longer tolerate sin. He refuses to bend His character to adjust to ours. He will not excuse immorality, lasciviousness, licentiousness, or perversion. If the Lord Jesus turned away from these and did not judge them, He would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah on that final day.

If we do not surrender to Him and experience His mercy now, we will experience His judgment both now and in the life to come. Choose this day whom you will serve ... As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).