Monthly Archives: August 2015

When you speak

Psalm 103:20-23, “Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.”

Do you realize, when you speak God’s Word, when you do His will, when you declare His Name over your situation, angels will respond? It is a very important part to know. What comes from our mouths is pretty significant. It can change the outcome of our situations.

If you will, consider that words are secondary to our thoughts. We think and then respond. Sometimes, it may appear as if we put no thought into what we are saying, but words come from the thoughts we have. It is important to meditate on the Word of God; to fill our thoughts with God’s Word so that when we respond, it will reflect Him. What is on our minds shows in our words.

Psalm 91:10-12, “No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. 11For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. 12They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.…”

There is a great deal the Lord is telling us in these two scriptures. When we praise Him and when we declare His word over our lives, He instructs His angels to protect us. That in and of itself gives me reason to sit up and take note. The times we need to praise Him the most are the times we don’t feel like praising Him. I’ve learned over the years in ministry, when people are in trouble or hurting or confused, they tend to run away from God. They tend to shake their fists at God. Those are the times His people need to shout out His name in praise because His angels will come to their defense.

One of the greatest weapons of warfare we have is praise. Psalm 34:1, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Not sometimes on my lips or just when things are good and I feel happy, we are to declare I will praise the Lord ALL the time and His praise will ALWAYS be on our lips.

Today, thank God for the blessings of your life. Thank Him for the discipline He has given you. Thank Him for the trials and struggles that you will overcome because of Him. Thank Him for His ability to heal you. Praise Him that He is the ultimate victor and glorify His name because Satan can’t have you. You are God’s child.


A new and better person

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

One of the toughest concepts to accept is the reality of the forgiveness of God. There was a time in my life when I wondered if God could forgive me. I spent a great time feeling sorry for myself and my stupidity. But, even when we have made a serious mistake; even when we have hurt someone; even when we have lied; even when we have betrayed; we have a new beginning – a “do over.” in Christ.

When the kids were little and would act up, Connie gave them a chance to “do over” what they messed up. Sometimes I wish I could hit the rewind button and rephrase my words or redirect my actions. With Christ, we get a fresh start, a clean slate. He keeps no record of wrong. When we come before Him, asking for forgiveness, no matter how bad we messed up, Christ redeems us. He wipes the slate clean.

Some of you may have sin in your life that you have not confessed to God.  Maybe you think it is too awful; maybe you are too ashamed to admit it; maybe you don’t want to face God. Today, go to Him in prayer so that you can begin fresh and new today. Ask Him to cleanse you of your sin. Thank Him that you can be forgiven. Then, with your fresh start, leave the sin behind you and move forward a new and better person.


Your unfailing love

Psalm  143:8, “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go for to You I lift up my soul.”

This morning as I prepared for my day, I thought of this verse. I thought of the words and the importance of putting our trust in God each and every day. The very first words that come from our mouths as we open our eyes should be these. There are times in our lives when we can only see the next step and sometimes, it is difficult to see even that; but God can see the whole path. He knows what’s up ahead and He will faithfully guide us through the terrain as long as we allow Him to do so.

King David lived through tumultuous times. At the time he wrote this scripture, the surrounding nations were after the blood of God’s people. During this time period and even today, Israel was constantly threatened by the countries around it who were eager to conquer the land and destroy its people. But David relied on a Warrior far more powerful than the current threat of the day. He knew God had the bigger picture, the whole blueprint. He knew in Whom to put his trust.

This morning, try it. Memorize this verse and commit to quoting it every morning as you start your day. Each day, God’s love for us is new and fresh. He is completely sold out to us. And His love is unconditional, borderless, never-ending. Openly profess that you put your trust in Him. This means ‘whatever’ happens in your day, you know God is with you. Whatever fire you need to walk through, He’ll walk through it with you. Whatever storm you need to ride out, He’ll ride it out with you. Whatever decision you need to make, He’ll help you make it. Whomever you need to see, He’ll make sure you meet with them. If you do not need to see them, He’ll make sure you don’t.

You simply need to lift up your soul to Him.


A glorious future in Christ

Luke 7:37-38, “A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”

Misjudgment. It happens routinely and unfortunately daily in our lives. We judge people based on their past. In this scripture Mary Magdalene, a woman with quite a sordid past, anoints Jesus’ feet with a very expensive perfume. People who witness the gesture find that it is wrong – erotic in nature – inappropriate. The Pharisees can’t understand Jesus even allowing a former prostitute and demon possessed woman to touch Him.

The Pharisee comments to Peter about Mary indicating his astonishment that Jesus would even allow “this kind of woman” near him. Jesus hears the conversation and asks Peter, “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.” Luke 7:41-43

When Mary rubs the perfume on Jesus’ feet, He does not see a prostitute. He does not see the stain of sins. When Mary rubs the perfume on His feet, Jesus sees her heart – not her past.

Some of you are dealing with sin you do not believe Jesus can forgive. It is difficult to talk with Him about it because you are so ashamed. Not only is He willing to forgive – He is willing to forget. Today, talk to God about the sin in your life. Put it in your past and move on to a glorious future in Christ.


They will see God…

Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

Of all the Beatitudes, this one is the one that hinges on all the rest. You cannot be “poor in spirit” if your heart is not pure. You cannot mourn for a separation from God if you are not pure in heart. You cannot be meek or hunger and thirst for righteousness, or be merciful without being pure of heart. You cannot be a peacemaker or be persecuted for righteousness in Jesus’ name if you are not pure of heart. Bottom line, being pure of heart is the essences of the blessings of God because all the others are subject to the state of your heart.

When you think about your life, what are your goals? Most of us finished high school, started a trade or went to college. Some of us finished college, started a career or graduate school. After graduate school, we got a job, married, started a family, saved money, bought a house, a car, put in a swimming pool or purchased an RV. Some of us have kids that are in school or graduated. We have kids married and starting families. We are saving for retirement or are retired. Now what?

The question this Beatitude answers is really simple – our lives must be dedicated to loving and serving God – to learning about His Word and implementing it in our lives. Our plans should be more about God and His vision for our lives than a nest egg of money. When we live with a pure heart, a heart that yearns for God, a heart that loves our neighbors, a heart that wants to honor God, all the rest falls into place.

The plans of our lives should start with the simple statement, “I want to develop a heart that is pure in God’s sight.”

At the very heart of receiving the blessings of God is our heart. What is the state of your heart?


Humility

Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Ahhhh! the humble…the meek… the world will run right over them, correct? They are doormats! Wimpy, pitiful folks who cannot take up for themselves much less others.  They probably need the blessings of God, pitiful little creatures. Is that what you are thinking?

Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Is this what Christ is talking about?

There are great and tremendous blessings for those who are meek and humble because their inner strength relies on God and not the world. God wants us to be humble and meek so much, He declares we will inherit the earth!

When our strength comes from our dependence on God and not upon money or power or ability, God blesses us. It is our faithfulness in a God who will right the wrong; heal the sick; judge the wrong-doer; provide; give us direction; give us hope; that brings us to this blessing. Being meek shows the world we know who is in control and we rely on Him.

The word Paul uses for humility is not exactly the word used in Matthew 5:5, but I believe the idea is the same. Humility is defined as “the selfless regard for the needs of others over your own.” Jesus was the ultimate example of humility because He put us above Himself in suffering and dying on the cross for our salvation.

Being meek and humble doesn’t mean we just sit back and let the world pass us by for fearing of stepping in front of someone. It isn’t what we do in our lives; it’s all about how we do it and for whom we do it. God wants us to be active and participate. He wants us to excel in life. He wants us to have victory. It is how we excel and who we give the glory to that counts.

Confidence in God to do in us and through us what we could not do otherwise is the blessing of meekness. Ask God today to work through you. Give Him all honor and glory. Experience God’s blessings when you do.


Interference to Opportunity

I recently reviewed statistics indicating the average American salary. The graph showed the people in America who are considered wealthy, middle-income, poverty, and below the poverty line. I wonder if God has lines; not for wealth, of course, but for Christians.

There are many of us who live below the God-line. We do not want to stand up for what we know is right by God. We compromise to oblige society. We don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. Society teaches us political correctness, and in order to comply, we substitute the teachings of God to ‘get along’ or ‘prevent conflict.’

I want to be well-above the God-line; but, it comes with interferences. Jonah is the best example to me in the Bible of one who wanted to love God, wanted to do God’s work, wanted to be a prophet, but he wanted to do it his way and not His way. I wish I could talk with Jonah. His excuses would probably sound a lot like the excuses I hear today. ‘Times have changed.’ ‘Everyone’s doing it!’ “We have to say the right words because Christianity isn’t really in right now.’

Do you have an excuse? Some of you may know the story of Jonah. He literally ran from the opportunity God was giving him because he saw it as an interference in his life; an inconvenience; a thorn in his side. Jonah ended up in the belly of a fish. Where are you right now?

What opportunity is God presenting to you that you are believing to be an interference? What excuses are you making to remain below the God-line? What voice do you use to speak to others — yours or God’s?

Today, ask God to show you how to take the interferences of your life and make them opportunities for Him. Ask Him to give you the courage and the heart to step above that line and start living His word. The choice is yours.