Author Archives: michaelfranklinministries

Don’t Miss Out

Isaiah 50:4, “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary…”

Christ came to be a voice to the weary. He came to teach the ways of His Father. He came that we might have life. And when He left, He told us He was sending a helper, the Holy Spirit, to live within us (John 14:16).

Do you experience the ‘KNOW-HOW’ to deal with that difficult person at work; the ‘KNOW-HOW’ to handle the foreclosure; the ‘KNOW-HOW’ to handle the sickness;  the ‘KNOW HOW’ to handle the troubled teenager;  the KNOW-HOW to say what needs to be said? If you have a relationship with Christ and have welcomed the Holy Spirit into your life, you have access to it. In fact, it is in you. God has given us a well-instructed tongue so we can speak to the weary in spirit, witness to the non believer, and encourage the broken. When we face hard-times, feel depressed, and all around us seems chaotic, God has given us the ‘KNOW-HOW’ to make it through.

Isaiah 50:4, “…He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed (taught).”

Have you ever thought, “God awakened me!”? It has happened to me numerous times, where I felt with certainty God awakened me for a particular reason.  In fact, this morning at 5 am it happened.  I should have been exhausted but was wide awake an hour early for no reason…or perhaps for a reason.  Whether it was to pray for someone, read a Scripture, listen to His Voice, prepare for a situation I will face, or simply to rest in His presence, I knew He was there…and speaking.  Isaiah is telling us, God wakes us up every morning to instruct us of our day -to tell us how to deal with this or that.

How many of us miss that? He is giving us the ‘KNOW-HOW’ so we can come against any obstacle in our path. How many of us jump out of bed and start running full force never preparing for our day? How many of us miss out on our instructions and walk blindly through the day? The old adage is “running around like a chicken with its head cut-off.” Perhaps that describes how we jump into our day when we could have learned from God what was coming and how to deal with it.

If you want the ‘KNOW-HOW,’ make God your first uninterrupted appointment every morning. If it means less sleep, so be it. Don’t miss out on God’s instruction to you. It is His promise to us when we listen to Him. As the great reformer Martin Luther put, “I have too much to do today not to pray.”


Delight

Psalm 35:9, “Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation.”

Take a moment today to stop and enjoy life. We are all moving on the fast track. Schedules are filled to the maximum with appointments and activities. We are so busy doing our list that we do not even realize if we actually like what we are doing.

When is the last time you stopped to notice which bird in your yard was chirping so beautiful. Do you even listen to them for any length of time? What about the stars at night, or the flowers blooming, or a butterfly passing by? When is the last time you really looked at your children? Noticed their eyes?

Time stops for no one and it is moving quickly.

Yesterday, I was running late for an appointment but as I was leaving the building, I noticed two children in a nearby park, playing.  It was their laughter that caused me to stop. I leaned up against my car and simply listened. The voices reminded me of my children many, many years ago. Oh, how I miss that sound! I can remember coming home and hearing the kids in the yard and how they would drop everything and come running toward me.

Don’t miss your life because you’re too busy living it. God created so many splendid things for us. Take the time today to really notice what is around you. Refresh yourself. Taste your food. Listen to the sounds surrounding you. Touch those you love. Rejoice in the God who gave it all to you. Fill your spirit with Him.

Today, delight in the God of your salvation.


In Jesus

It may sound like an odd question to you but the reality is, we can become slaves to our job, our home, our spouse, and even our children. We can become slaves to sin as well, allowing the desires of our flesh to rule over us. We may let other people or things run our lives; and before we realize what is happening, God is no longer in control of us, someone else is.

Paul writes in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” 

Because of Christ, the things that used to have a hold on us, no longer do. We do not have to be identified by our careers or our status in the community. Our identity comes when we realize that we are sinners forgiven by God. Christ set us free from the things of earth which enslave us and make us lose our focus.

When I was in my early teens, there was a group of guys that I really wanted to belong to. I tried everything to fit in with them. Before long, the way I talked, walked, and even ate reflected them. Probably some of you had a similar experience. We followed some knuckle-headed punk because we didn’t understand who we were. I am so glad that in Jesus, I don’t have to be anyone but myself. I don’t have to dress a certain way, or walk and talk a certain way. I don’t have to buy elaborate things or live in a certain type of house and drive a certain type of car.

In Jesus we are free to be the people God made us to be. Today, celebrate your freedom. Celebrate the person God made you to be.


Well-Equipped

During the reign of King David, Israel was surrounded by enemies. Very much like modern-day Israel, the nations around her were thirsty for the blood of God’s people. David’s job was not easy. Being under the constant threat of war must have caused him anxiety and fear; yet, he writes in Psalm 143:5 – 7, “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works, and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.”

It’s hard to imagine that the slayer of Goliath knows panic. Consider, if God had given you the power to take down a giant with a stone and a sling, wouldn’t you walk a little taller. Prance like a peacock? Stick out your chest and pound it? But even David struggled with doubt and when he did, he considered all that God had done for him in the past.

God equips us with the resources we need to defend ourselves every day, not so much against blood thirsty warriors as in David’s day, but against temptations; against financial burdens; against marital break-up; family disorder; and against sickness. See, we need the “armour of God” to defend us today just as much as David needed it to defend his people against the violence of other nations.

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.” Psalm 143:8.

The weapons we fight with today have the power to demolish the strongholds of our lives. You do not have to battle it alone. You do not have to fall into the pit like others. God not only knows what you are battling but He already has a way out for you. “Show me the way I should go, Lord…I spread out my hands to you, O God.”

Someone asked me the other day, “Are you really as calm as you seem to be about life?” I’d love to answer unequivocally, “Yes!” but I am just like you. I struggle with issues just like you do. Every morning, I have to look at the beautiful sky before me as the sun rises and renew my strength in the Lord, just as King David did. Battles rage around us, no different from Israel. But how we prepare for those fights makes all the difference in the outcome. “I consider, Lord, what Your hands have done for me in my past, and I trust in You, O God, for what I need today.”


Wherever you go

Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Wherever you go today, isn’t it comforting to know God is with you?

When I was in elementary school, one of my classmates, Scottie, had severe asthma. Everywhere he went, he carried a bag filled with medicines. He was very thin and fragile, couldn’t run at recess, and usually had a runny nose. Some of the 6th graders picked on him on a daily basis.

We were all petrified of the 6th graders. One boy in particular had chest hair – in the sixth grade! Our teachers offered no protection. Most of the time they appeared to be sitting under the shade tree with their backs turned. No, the playground could be one of the most frightening, nothing anyone can do about it situations in a young life.

But things changed one day when Scottie’s brother returned from Vietnam. He came to our school to bring Scottie his lunch. He walked right out on the playground to see his little brother. The whole playground froze, staring at this guy, as he sat down beside Scottie. We saw Scottie’s arm pointing in the direction of the 6th grade boys who had terrorized him over the past six months. His brother looked at them long and hard, stood up as if he were about to take action, paused only for a moment, and then left.

From that moment on, it was like Scottie had an invisible bodyguard next to him wherever he went. And nobody, I mean NOBODY, messed with Scottie after that or any of us for that matter.

When I read this verse, I think about that day on the playground and what it is like for me and you with God, only a zillion times better.

Be assured, if you need help today, God is there. Whether it is provision, protection, strength, comfort, clarity, peace, or whatever, He is there for you.

 


If I were your enemy…

If I were your enemy, I would cause division in your family and friends- then you wouldn’t be as strong – but alone. When divided, I wouldn’t have to worry if I should attack you – you’d be vulnerable because you were isolated. There is strength in numbers, unity in vision, and direction in goals.

I’d probably tell you all that you couldn’t do. I would look for your strengths, the things you feel good about doing, the talents you have, and I’d slowly chip away at them. “You think you’re a good singer, but really, you are a bit flat.” “You think you’re a good writer, but nobody reads you! You have nothing to say.” “You think you can do it, but deep down, you know you can’t.” Doubt causes second guessing – questioning – anxiety.

If I were your enemy, I’d find a way to break your heart – into a million pieces. I’d cause people you love to say things which paralyze you and make living difficult.

Satan is not hard to read, is he? He does the same things over and over again. And we continue to buy his ploys and tactics.

The reality is, God’s people are a mighty force. Satan knows it.

He uses people to write words, to create lies, to speak his dark words in order to destroy.

So why are you allowing him to wreak havoc in your life? Stop listening to the lies. Stop allowing him to use you to hurt others. Stop giving him the foothold he needs to control you.

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

The power of the gospel changes everything – it breaks down barriers which divide; it gives us confidence in who we are and where we belong; and it heals hearts with forgiveness and love.


Who He is

Exodus 3:11-12, “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

As a parent when asked a question such as the one Moses brought before God, I would probably respond, “You are a bright, intelligent person who can do anything! I’ve seen you go after goals and fight through struggles with the determination of a lion. You not only have the ability but the know-how to do it.”  I would have told him or her, “You’ve made great grades in school or you are so kind to other people or you have such a great personality” – whatever fits – whatever works to give them the courage to do what he or she needs to do. Not so with God. He didn’t even address Moses’ question.

Has anyone ever asked you something that you didn’t even feel it valid to justify with a response; you just skipped over it and went on? That’s what God did to Moses. He doesn’t pump him up, flatter him, tell him why he chose him; instead, God tells him who He is.

14″God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Some of us spend a great deal of time trying to “find” ourselves. I know people who hike all over Europe searching for who they are. I know people who look for themselves in alcohol, drugs, friendships, marriages, extra-marital affairs, careers, sports, movies, and a litany of other avenues. I often hear, “If he can just find himself…or when I find who I am…or I just don’t know who I am.” Do you realize that if you are looking for yourself; if you are wondering who you are; if you are uncertain of why God created you, look to God! He is your Creator. Why not go to the source of who made you to determine who you are!

God didn’t have to answer Moses with anything other than, “I will be with you. I am the Great I am.”

Because when God is with us, it doesn’t matter who we are, we are with the Great I Am! When we know who He is, we know who we are!