Monday, August 31, 2015

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.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

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.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

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!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

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!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Morning Prayer

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

While evening prayers are often built upon reflection concerning our day, our time with the Lord in the morning should be hopeful. The prophet tells us in Lamentations how the Lord's mercies and compassions are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Promises such as this should evoke expectancy in God's children as they prepare themselves for the upcoming day.

Morning Prayer should be deliberate. For some, this means sitting or kneeling in a quiet place. For others, they may meet God as they walk, bike, or run. Wherever we meet God during our day, we should keep His word close at hand. Meditating on God's word and then praying it back to Him should be the ongoing discipline of every believer. For those who choose to exercise while praying, the word of God should be rich in their minds and hearts. There are few things as delightful as when God makes His word come to life during our prayer times. No matter where we choose to meet Him in our morning devotions, we should always have open hearts that cry, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening!"

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Blissful Sleep

Psalm 4:8 - "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety."

Hypnophobia is an abnormal fear of going to sleep. It is estimated that millions suffer from this sleep disrupting disorder. Clinophobia similarly is a fear of going to bed and trying to sleep. While many cannot relate to these irrational fears, they are very relevant to many who suffer the debilitating night terrors they create. While most of us do not suffer from insomnia in these ways, some of us nonetheless have nights where we toss and turn because of anxiety and worry.

David understood the dilemma of worry and how it affects faith. In this psalm, he puts his trust in his Creator who is able to sustain him both during the day from his enemies and the thoughts of them during the night. Like David, if we are living in faith in a vertical manner during the day, we will generally find ourselves sleeping well at night in a horizontal position. May we all trust God in our waking hours for blissful, content sleep throughout the night.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Holy Trembling

Psalm 4:4 - "Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah."

To tremble is defined as to "shake involuntarily, typically as a result of anxiety, excitement, or frailty." Emotions are powerful expressions and the psalmist is telling us something particularly pertinent by using this word. Trembling is a bodily response to physiological or psychological stimuli. Many of these are appropriate, such as when we tremble from the cold or we are excited when we meet a celebrity.

However, trembling over sinning or the prospect of it is expressed through lust. Instead, we should tremble in the fear of the Lord, meditating first in our mind and then in our hearts regarding God's greatness. As we do, we put God in His proper "celebrity status" as the Creator of the universe. That the Omnipotent, Omniscient One would desire to meet with us in a personal manner on a daily basis should give us all an inner tranquility and stillness as we meditate on His Person.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Psalm 3:8 - "Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah."

Redemption is God's gift to all mankind through His Son. However, comparatively few will accept His great gift. Salvation can only be wrought in a man, woman, or child's heart through divine grace. Christ redeemed us all, yet salvation has to be "worked out" in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and through our cooperation (Philippians 2:12-13). Just as redemption cost Jesus His life, salvation will likewise cost us our life. To give any less is to come up short of God's desire for His sons and daughters.

The Psalmist tells us in another passage how salvation can never be divorced from its source. He lifted up the "cup of salvation" in gratitude, understanding the true ownership of saving grace (Psalm 116:13). He knew His own efforts were feeble and incomplete and without God he was doomed.

We are not our own, beloved of God. Nor will we ever possess anything we can give back to God except the time we use to worship and serve Him. May we always understand there is salvation in no other than Jesus Christ. His redemption made this possible, as God's salvation continues to save us daily, becoming conformed to the image of our Redeemer.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Vigilant Partnership

Nehemiah 4:17 - "Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon.

We should never think we can rest on our proverbial laurels once we give our lives to Jesus. While He has completed the inner work within our hearts, the outer workings of our broken lives often need much restoration. Redemption through Christ's blood can never be more complete in our lives. However, living the life of a builder and a warrior will be our heritage until we one day meet the Lord. While God's temple within is now inhabited by the Holy Spirit and we are forever holy in God's eyes, we must partner with Him by building the walls of our fortress that will stand against the enemy of our souls.

We must be vigilant knowing that we cannot just build God's kingdom in our lives, our families, our ministries, etc. without the ever present threat of the enemy attacking us. He will always hit us in our most vulnerable place at the most opportune time. Often, these are not great sins he tempts us with, but small compromises. As the enemies of Nehemiah sought to "partner" with him in rebuilding the walls, we must never allow the flesh or the devil to have a part in God's work. Unless the Lord builds the house (or the walls of our lives through sanctification), we labor in vain when we partner with another.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Take Your Seat!

Psalm 1:1 - "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!"

Often, the first place of compromised faith is perpetuating Satan's question to Eve, "Did God really say ...?" (Genesis 3:1) Once he can get us to question God, then we begin to scoff at His directives. Once firmly seated in unbelief, we will find ourselves standing at the crossroads of God's way or “in the path of sinners." Many have lost their way as they begin down this path. The road is broad with multitudes to counsel with along the way. Surely, those who continue down this path state that "there is no God" by both their words and actions (Psalm 14:1).

Not so for the humble of heart who choose to seat themselves with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). By submitting ourselves to the wisdom of God rather than our own perceived "knowledge," we shield our hearts from sitting, standing, and then walking away from God. Beloved, our ultimate fate will depend on where we decide to rest today – either in the seat of scoffers or with Christ through His redemption.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Power of Praying for Others

Job 42:10 - "The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold."

We can be set right with God, and yet we can fail to enter into all He has for us due to a narrow focus. God wants to take care of us and our needs. There should be no doubt of this certainty. However, He also desires to rocket us into another dimension of blessing by caring for others. Job's restoration was only complete when he prayed for his friends. He needed to look beyond himself and concern himself with his friends in the same manner God cared for them.

In the first book of Chronicles, we see a perfect example of the somewhat cynical prayer, "God bless us four, and no more!" In I Chronicles 4:10 we read: "Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, 'Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!' And God granted him what he requested." Out of His great love for us, God will often answer our somewhat selfish prayers. However, God desires to not only sustain us but also to obtain for us His double-blessing. We must simply look beyond ourselves, seeking the welfare of others in our time of prayer with Him.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Returning to the Source

Job 42:5-6 - “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You. Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.”

Knowledge is not the same as wisdom. While the former may lead to the latter, there is no guarantee this will occur without God and how He chooses to reveal Himself. When we finally start to understand the Lord in a particular area, it becomes a wisdom epiphany that often changes our entire paradigm of belief. For instance, we might tell ourselves that we must be more patient with others. However, until God starts working that part of His character through us, we have only known it in concept. The reality of God is always demonstrated in action.

Repentance always results in returning to our source. Since our flesh and bone are made from the dust, we might revert to "dust and ashes" as Job did in our new found awareness. If nothing else, we may bow low and prostrate ourselves under His revelation. Even as our body relates to its origin, our soul will fall toward God as its source. Much like the law of gravity will always take effect when a weighted object is dropped, we too will return to our Center which is God when we allow His law of love to enlighten our knowledge with His wisdom.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

God's Ownership

Job 41:11 - “Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine."

God Almighty, the one and true God, has never sought repayment for sending His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die for the sin of mankind. This is what makes Him unique amongst all other religions. Every other belief in God, other than Christianity, demands repayment of some kind. These faiths conclude that we must be like God, so therefore we must work to attain to His character. Or, that we strive to recompense Him in some way for all of His benefits toward us.

Truly, the only thing we can give back to God is ourselves, which He already owns. One of the truest expressions of this is giving Him our time in worship. Devotion takes on many forms, but it should never be looked at as something that makes God like or love us more. It is impossible for Him to love us more than He already does, which is infinitely. All we can truly do as believers is accept His great gift and say thank you. When we expend time in this manner, we acknowledge we can do nothing further in the grand plan of redemption.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jesus' Lordship

Psalm 16:2 - "I said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.'”

When we come to the place of David, confessing Christ's Lordship and really believing it, then great things begin to happen. We recognize how His righteousness is the only thing that can ever be "good" in our lives. Religion is replaced by relationship and romance toward the Lover of our souls. Like David, our hearts will rise in praise and thanksgiving when we truly recognize He is Lord and Master of our surrendered hearts.

The Savior tells us in the Gospel of Matthew that many will say "Lord, Lord" on that final day. Jesus further explains how He will disown those who have practiced lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23). Christ is not talking necessarily about just the Ten Commandments. He is speaking about a love for living the character of God which is embodied in the law. The law of liberty has set us free from the bondage of the law, beloved (James 1:25). Jesus is truly our Lord when we instinctively live His commandments. This is true freedom that demonstrates itself in love for God and mankind.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Temptation is Optional

Matthew 26:41 - "Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

God knows we are weak. Truly, we are but dust. That is why it is of paramount importance to continually be watchful over our hearts since we are but mortal flesh while upon earth. Temptations can and should be avoided as Jesus warns. He tells His disciples (and us) that watching and praying safeguards us against temptation. Jesus also tells us in The Lord's Prayer that temptation is not necessary. We must ask God not to lead us in a direction where we would wrestle with the possibility of sinning (Matthew 6:13). This is one of the outworkings of the fear of the Lord and His wisdom.

The Holy Spirit within will always speak wisdom within if we are listening. We often no longer listen when the flesh begins to rule and we allow temptation to tantalize and woo us by its siren call. However, when we feel that devilish wooing, we must quickly turn to God and repent, allowing the willingness of His Spirit to once again lead us away from the destruction that seeks to overwhelm us.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Spiritual Famine

Amos 8:11 - “'Behold, days are coming,' declares the Lord God, 'When I will send a famine on the land. Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord.'"

As it was in Amos' day, so it is now. The context of the eighth chapter of Amos is one of great apostasy. The Nation of Israel had substituted greed for charity. They no longer sought the welfare of others, only what they could selfishly obtain. Therefore, the Lord told them He would send a famine of God's word upon the land. No longer would there be dream or vision to instruct the nation in their wickedness. The silence of God would be their eventual downfall.

Today, we have silenced God by replacing Him with our selfish pursuits. Far be it from us to miss a weekend at the lake rather than serving God in our local church! Or, how about that weekly prayer meeting God has been prompting us for weeks to attend? The world is sleeping in the dark as the church sleeps and relaxes in God's light. However, there is coming a day of reckoning when God will hold us accountable for how we have used our time. Beloved, the days are evil. Let us make the most of each day by including God in our plans. For a day is coming soon when our lives will be laid bare before His throne where we will all give an account.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Love's Foundation

Matthew 24:12 - "Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold."

Oftentimes, in today's world, relativity is not a good thing when it comes to proper discernment of what is right and wrong. In our modern culture, people like to suggest that intolerance is some type of bigotry. However what they might define as an intolerant mindset are actually precepts that can be quite foreign to those whose lives are ruled arbitrarily. God's law will always remain the same, just as absolutism in God's Word will never be diminished in heaven. However, on earth it is compromised every day with increased frequency.

As God's law becomes more irrelevant upon earth, likewise true Godly love becomes harder to find. As the Scriptures states, love for God will become nearly non-existent by the masses before His return. Therefore we who know Jesus must keep our lights burning brightly until the very end. It is our heritage to love God's law fervently, for in so doing, our love will be passionate for both God and man.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Right-sized

Matthew 23:12 - "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted."

In context with this verse, we must constantly be on guard against all forms of self-righteous Phariseeism. When we judge others without humility, not first looking to ourselves and our faults and failures, we exalt ourselves. This is a setup for a fall. Instead of doing someone good, we have done or spoke evil into their lives and also ours. Humility – the understanding of who we are in God -- ensures that when we do speak into another's life, it is with both grace and truth.

Self-righteousness is not only a deception, but it can become an addiction not unlike any other substance. It feeds the need of the flesh to feel empowered and significant. We should all heed James' words when he states that where there is jealousy and selfish ambition, every evil thing exists (James 3:16). May we all understand who we are in God and "right size" ourselves in humility so God can exalt us in due season.

Monday, August 10, 2015

God's Welcome

Acts 10:34-35 - "Opening his mouth, Peter said: 'I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.'"

God's welcome is to anyone who will observe His criteria to accept Him. The first criterion is the fear of the Lord which means to look to God in reverence and humility, knowing ultimately we are not God. Too often people attempt to come to the Lord by just doing "what is right." This is the trick of the enemy to lull us into believing we are gods and merely good works will save us.

There is salvation in no other than Jesus Christ, as Peter proclaimed to Cornelius in this passage. The centurion was a God-fearing man which allowed Him the rudimentary basics for God to welcome him into His kingdom (Acts 10:2). We must likewise understand that without our surrender of self and thinking that God is lucky to have our "good works," that God cannot welcome us. Instead, we make Him our enemy. May we all surrender in the fear of the Lord and seek to do what is right in His eyes so we may all one day hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master." (Matthew 25:23)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Mark of a Pharisee

Matthew 21:26, 46 - "But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet. ... When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet."

Just as in Jesus' day, the great hallmark trait of a Pharisee is the fear of man. When a man or woman truly surrenders to God, they tremble before God with joy and the fear of the Lord. They understand that fearing what man might think in regard to their faith is superfluous and without merit. They have eyes upon Jesus and not on what others might say or do in a "religious" manner.

If we are not being seized by God and the things of Him, then we desire to seize Jesus to silence Him within. We are allowing our flesh to rule which will always seek to arrest Jesus and kill Him regarding His Lordship in our lives. Are we allowing Jesus full liberty within? Or, have we like the Pharisees a fear of man and selfish desire that seeks to elevate self? May we all submit to the fear of the Lord and allow Him to reign within us all.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Bringing Others to Jesus

Matthew 21:14 - "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them."

We are deceived if we believe that people will come to the Lord by their own power. Jesus gave us explicit instructions to go into the whole world and preach the Gospel (Matthew 28:19). Making disciples is often messy work. Often, we must go out of our way to bring those infirmed – both spiritually and physically – to the Lord so He can heal them in body, soul, and spirit.

In order for us to bring them into "the temple," we must be equipped to do so. Have we a relationship with the Lord where we can lead others to a place of peace and rest in Christ? Have we surrendered ourselves to Jesus so we can boldly come before Him for others? There are many blind that need our guidance and many lame that might need us to carry them to the Lord. May we all have the wisdom to do so when called upon by the Holy Spirit.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Love and Compassion

Matthew 20:34 - "Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him."

Often people confuse God's compassion with His love. The Lord certainly loves at all times, for this is His nature (Proverbs 17:17), However, His compassions are often kindled according to His great will (Hosea 11:8). These ebb and flow in perfect measure as He touches and mends lives. Jesus' nature did not always look loving, yet He never failed in this respect, even when He was angry or openly grieved. Likewise, His compassion was always at work although it was most demonstrative when God's heart was "kindled."

Always know God is a loving Father, even when He does not appear that way. The sign of a mature believer is patiently discerning how the Lord chooses to reveal Himself through His compassion. When God does touch us, there is a new awareness of His love and kindness and a greater desire to follow Him no matter where He might lead.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Gain Through Loss

Matthew 19:29 - "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life."

Jesus addresses every type of possible wealth in this verse which people generally value. Property, family relationships, and finances are the foundations of life here upon earth. However, the Lord is telling us when we allow the paradigm to shift from temporal thinking to spiritual reasoning, then the law of reciprocity is released in both realms. Physical and material sacrifices for Jesus' sake equate to multiplicity of reaping both in this life and the one to come.

We must guard ourselves from a sense of ownership of anything, whether it is people, places, or things. Hold things loosely and allow God to give and to take away as He chooses. His promise is that we will have well above anything we can ask or think at the end of our life if we will believe and follow accordingly.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What Are You Looking At?

Job 31:1 - “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?"

Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:22 that “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light." In Job's case, he knew there was much more at stake than merely sinning by looking with lust at a woman in an adulterous manner. He understood how the world will tempt us with its beauty in any number of ways. In Job’s case, it is an attractive virgin. However, we know that the only things not truly defiled by sin are the things God gives, and not what we take through inordinate desire.

What we allow our eyes to gaze upon will result in a covenant with our soul, and ultimately it will capture our heart. What we permit our eyes to gaze upon today will become our master tomorrow. Those who know the Lord must turn their eyes upon Him, the Beloved. For in so doing, we consecrate ourselves as His bride and our covenant of marriage to Him alone.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Valley of Decision

Joel 3:14 - "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."

The day of the Lord will characterize itself in a terrifying way to most. However, the day of the Lord can also be a day of great victory. For those of us who have accepted the Lord Jesus, our day of the Lord has come and God has already entered into judgment with our sin through the Lord Jesus Christ. Only as we have accepted Him as our sacrificial Lamb, will we then have moved from judgment to mercy as our sin has been forever atoned for by Christ's perfect life.

The tragedy is that most will be caught in the conundrum of their own indecisiveness, not accepting the Lord's most gracious gift before their respective death or His eminent return. If only they had known how close the Lord was to them in this time of decision! He patiently waited for their response but there was none.

As the writer of Hebrews tells us, if today you hear His voice, do not harden your heart but give your life to Him for He is full of love and abounding in mercy (Hebrews 4:7).

Monday, August 3, 2015

No Remedy

II Chronicles 36:15-16 - "The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy."

America is today on a precipice and about to fall into judgment where there will be no remedy. We have forsaken biblical principles that made this country great and have ridiculed those who still stand on them. We call good evil and evil good as we allow judges to rewrite the law according to popular opinion.

Beloved, there is a day coming in short order that will make Sodom and Gomorrah’s judgment look merciful. They were devoured by God's judgment in a moment in time. However, America has set herself up to go into captivity and then prolonged destruction.

However, there is still time to reverse this calamitous certainty. If we as a people would repent and turn from our wicked ways, then God would hear from heaven and heal our land (II Chronicles 7:14). However, the time is short. May we turn to Him before there is indeed no remedy.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Divine Recognition

Acts 4:13 - "Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus."

Have you ever recognized someone as having been with Jesus? They aren't difficult to spot. As the Pharisees witnessed, the hallmark of these folks is their immovable confidence in what they believe. How does confidence of this type manifest itself? Well, it starts in secret and spills out publicly. It oozes out of believers that truly believe their Lord and desire to spend time with Him. It comes by searching out His Word, and then living it to the best of their ability. It comes by living out the Great Commission and spreading the love of Jesus Christ to their communities, counties, states, countries, and finally to the world. Godly confidence is something that cannot be self-created but is a by-product of living and breathing the Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis.

Do you want to provoke amazement as the Pharisees experienced? They merely acknowledged the confidence of Peter and John, that they were uneducated but yet they recognized the Lord Jesus in them. Confidence in one's standing with the Lord only comes by getting into that secret place with Him -- to pour out one's heart and to pour over His word. Then, when we come out into the public light, there will be little to mistake any of us from having been with our Risen Lord.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Flee Immorality

Genesis 39:7 - "It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me.'”

Lust will always lie, telling us it has something to give but it always seeks to steal everything of God within. Joseph understood the paradigm of lust and resisted it vehemently. The sin which sought to enslave him was only the catalyst which propelled him toward another kind of enslavement. However, the latter incarceration was part of God's plan to raise Him up in due season.

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 6:18 to "Flee immorality." Often, however, when we flee temptation, we are placed in a situation where it seems we are being punished for our resolve. When we consecrate ourselves from sin and the lusts thereof, God will sanctify us in time and reveal Himself to us in new ways. Like Joseph, we may not understand immediately in our obedience how we will be made holy and placed above our enemies. However, if we stand strong and not give in to despair, He will open up our proverbial jail cell to the expanse of His blessings.