Surrendering Our Whole Life in Prayer

Saturday, 2019-06-29

Bible Reference: Psalm 41:4
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: So in my sickness I say to you,
“Lord, be my kind healer.
Heal my body and soul; heal me, God!
For I have confessed my sins to you.”

OBSERVATION: How often do we stop to consider in praying to God, that He knows all about our whole body, our soul and our everyday life? As we meditate today, let us think about how it must sound to God when we (albeit unintentionally) come before Him pleading for a specific need, but ignoring the other aspects of our relationship with Him. Are we trying to sweep those other things under the rug, hoping that God will overlook them and just meet the need that concerns us at that very moment?

APPLICATION: David, a man after God’s own heart, wanted to make sure that God healed him from the inside out, not just the illness that was at hand – the urgent need. Perhaps we are so used to speaking with our doctors and giving them just the information we feel they need to know, because we know they are often in a rush to listen quickly, diagnose, prescribe, and exit the room! Do you suppose that we go to God with that same mentality? I would be willing to suggest that we have gotten ourselves into trouble from self-diagnosing our own medical issues, and from sharing with our doctors only what we feel they need to know. But I don’t believe this differs a lot from what we do in communion with our Savior. He knows all about our ugly attitudes at work, about our missed opportunities to share Christ with a coworker, and the evil things that we pondered that day, yet we go before Him each evening, thanking Him for a good day, and asking for a safe, good night’s rest. Also, there are times that we may have had a very similar day of temptation and trials, yet we snap into a prayer to God and ask for relief from our painful back, but never think to ask Him for a purified mind in which we might allow the Holy Spirit to have the liberty of miraculously moving us towards a friend who needs the Lord. Friends, I pray that we might take note of the prayer from David and develop a similar practice of conversing/praying about the whole person – our entire life’s challenges, and not just our aches and pains. I believe God wants to use us for His awesome kingdom work, but I also believe that He wants us pure, holy, available and willing to represent Him under His terms and not for our own selfish gain. God will reveal His purpose to us, when He sees that we are serious in our relationship with Him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for accepting us as Your children and for using even us to be a witness for You. Please deal in our hearts so that we may be so much like You that others will feel the love of Christ, see the works of Your hand, and witness what it means to be forgiven by the Maker of heaven and earth, our almighty God. Oh that You may be glorified in all things because of our willingness to allow You to work in our whole life. Please speak to those who will read this devotional but have not allowed You full reign of their lives. May this be a day of reconciliation for them, I pray. AMEN!

Only God Can

Friday, 2019-06-28

Bible Reference: Isaiah 40:31; 41:10,13
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 40:30      But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded, never weary. They will walk—never tired, never faint.
41:10     So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you. I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up.
41:13     After all, it is I, the Eternal One your God, who has hold of your right hand, Who whispers in your ear, “Don’t be afraid. I will help you.”

OBSERVATION: Three separate verses, but each pointing to the source of our help, the source of our strength, and the source of our protection. In our troubled world, most of us face the fear of increasing crime and subsequent harm to ourselves or our loved ones. Meditate on the words, and reassurance given in these three verses today, and be comforted that our God is able to adequately care for His children!

APPLICATION: Often troubled times will face us and, we will automatically respond in certain ways, based on past experiences. However, all too often there will be a certain twist to our current dilemma that was never a part of our past experience. It seems to me that we respond, or react, based on information that we have fed to our brain over the years. I wish for you, my friend, what I would desire for myself, that there would be so much of God fed into my lives through the Scriptures, such as the verses we are meditating on today, that we would respond to life’s circumstances in a way that is pleasing to God, and very dependent on His all powerful hand. It is so easy for us to assume the position of knowing it all, and that we only need God for those decisions that we are stumped on, but over the years we have developed a faith in God; a trust in His powerful and all-knowing capabilities; and we have read verses like the ones we have today where God has promised to care for us, protect us and direct us along the right path. Let us therefore be encouraged to consult with our God, and be willing to obey what He leads us to. If it’s from Scripture we already know, then I believe He will quickly bring it back to active memory. If it’s a new revelation, then I believe He will direct. Let me encourage you to read over the above verses again, and allow God to saturate your minds with the assurance of His love, His wisdom and His direction for your life. He’s got this! All we need to do is to tap into His goodness and allow Him to be our Master and our God.

PRAYER: Praise God that we serve a God that can do the things that are impossible in man’s eyes! Not only am I convinced of the truth of Your Word in the above verses Lord, but I was also reminded of this in my New Testament reading today where You healed the sick, cast out demons and quieted their mouths. Praise God, You truly are a God who can do miraculous things, even those things that we think might seem impossible to us. Lord, with that confidence, please allow me to ask for You to touch the hearts of the unsaved in my community. Please open their hearts and minds to the message of Your Word, convince them of their sin, and create a desire within them to know You personally. Please convict the hearts of the saved. May we never be ashamed of the Gospel, and may we always be such examples of our Savior that the unsaved will see You and want to accept and serve You. Oh that You may be glorified through Your children today, and may the power of our awesome God be evident in all that we do and say. AMEN!

Tempted and Tried

Wednesday, 2019-06-26

Bible Reference: Luke 4:1-3
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 1–2 From the moment of his baptism, Jesus was overflowing with the Holy Spirit. He was taken by the Spirit from the Jordan into the lonely wilderness of Judea to experience the ordeal of testing by the accuser for forty days. He ate no food during this time and ended his forty-day fast very hungry. It was then the devil said to him, “If you are really the Son of God, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread for you.”

OBSERVATION: Being led by the Holy Spirit, we know that the timing of everything done by Jesus was perfectly ordained. No doubt, a very high point in the ministry of Jesus Christ, and in the relationship between He and His Father, was His baptism. Imagine being told audibly by God Himself, that He (Jesus) was His (God’s) beloved Son in whom He is well pleased! Wow, I’m sure that kind of encouragement would give you a boost in spirit for the rest of your life! Let’s see what encouragement lies ahead in this for us!

APPLICATION: I’ve heard friends talk about the kind of challenging day they had avoided the Word of God at the beginning of their day. I’ve also heard just the opposite – about the peace one may have had after an intimate time with God in prayer and in the Word. However, I believe the message in this Scripture for us today, will remind us of a few things:
1). Jesus was so pumped up after experiencing God in baptism in the Jordan river, that He willingly and obediently went into the wilderness, knowing that the same God who reassured Him of His love, would also be with Him through the most challenging times of life, and especially in the wilderness;
2). There are no respecter of persons in Satan’s world. If anything, Satan will make it a point to go after God’s chosen children, because the others are already his! But we are reminded in Scripture that ‘greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world’. Our part is to stay in fellowship with the One that we choose to follow, so that there is no doubt in our minds, or question of confidence in the power and willingness of our Master.
Friends, I’m here to tell you and/or remind you, that there is no other god like my God, for He is the One that came down in the form of a dove, blessed and encouraged His Son, then strengthened, directed and protected Him in the wilderness, so that you and I might be reminded of the love and awesome protection our God has for all of His children, including us. The other lesson I see in this Scripture for our meditation is that temptation came upon Jesus when He was ready in His spirit, His mind, and in the current circumstances of His life. What about us? How prepared are we for the temptations of Satan when we depend on a relationship with God that has not been infused by your input or deliberate effort since last Easter when you attended church in order to satisfy a nagging mom? When you really can’t find your Bible, because you haven’t seen it since you walked back in the house from that same Easter service? When you’ve estranged yourself from the commitment you made before God to your spouse, and you have separated yourself from them and your children, because you couldn’t stand the demands they had on your life? When your only friends are those that you meet up with at the local bar for a drink. Ones that have warned you not to call them outside of that place? How spiritually and mentally prepared are you for the temptations and challenges of your day? Do you have a support team standing besides and behind you, that includes a friend like our awesome and powerful Savior? If not, why not? May I encourage you to read my Footnote and the associated links included, to see if God might have some additional decisions for you to make today? We know from Scripture that our God is able, will you test that today by surrendering your life to Him? I implore you do do that today, my friend!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, it is evident that Satan is still very much alive today, just as he was in the Wilderness when he tempted and tried You. We carefully read from Your Word how You overcame the temptations of Satan, and we have reminded ourselves how this is still a BIG problem for us today. Having been given the answer to this dilemma, I pray that we will humble ourselves before You, seek your face, and surrender our lives before You. Please Lord, touch the hearts of my readers whose hearts are hardened to the things of Christ. Help them to understand that the answer to all of life’s challenges lie at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. May we surrender our all to you today, is my humble plea. AMEN!

What Do You Do With What You’ve Been Given?

Tuesday, 2019-06-25

Bible Reference: Psalm 40:1-3
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: I called to the Lord, and he heard me.
    He heard my cries.
He lifted me out of the grave.
    He lifted me from that muddy place.
He picked me up, put me on solid ground,
    and kept my feet from slipping.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see what he did and worship him.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.

OBSERVATION: The Psalmist asked the Lord…. no he cried out to the Lord for help, and the Lord heard his cries. The Lord made a new man out of the Psalmist and caused him to be an example to others in search of a Savior. Perhaps that’s what God wants to do with us today in order to use us in touching someone in need of a Savior. Let’s pray for God’s guidance today as we meditate on His Word.

APPLICATION: Around us there is so much in automation. We press a button on a microwave and out food is cooked, or heated up in just minutes. We are able to text a reminder to a friend that may be hundreds of miles away, and immediately the phone will ring with them thanking us. So what do you suppose happens in our relationship with God? Do we comprehend the need to develop and maintain a relationship with our Creator? Knowing that God has the power to instantly heal, powerfully bring the dead back to life and any other miraculous act that He chooses, how many of us truly take the time, or see the need, to earnestly bow on our knees before our Master and cry out in deep reverence and concern, knowing that there is only One who has the power to heal our spouse; protect our child on the roads that are filled with careless and distracted drivers? Friends, this Scripture reminds us that in response to the deep concern, and sincere pleas of the Psalmist, God answered His prayers; lifted him up from his depressed state; encouraged him to look up in hope, instead of despair and failure. In fact, God placed a new song in his heart that demonstrated the new spirit of a revived man! Notice that this ‘new life’ – a reflection of God in the life of the believer, leads others who might be looking in, to our Savior, the giver of life and all good things. I was so encouraged to be reminded of the concern my Savior has for my well being, and how He has time for the concerns of folk like you and I. We don’t generally find anyone here on earth that has time to listen to our concerns, because they have so many of their own. But when we live in total surrender to our Maker, we are assured that He loves us unconditionally; He cares for us – His children; and that He already has a place prepared for us where we will live eternally in His presence. Oh what a love our Savior has for us! Do you know Him personally my friend? If not, please take time to read my Footnote and take the necessary action to accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior! There is no greater joy!

PRAYER: From the ugliness of our sin; from the depth of despair; and from the hopelessness of Hell, praise God I can claim Jesus, my Lord and Savior, for all eternity. Lord, I pray that there will be some who will read this devotional, that for the very first time they would see the need for a Savior. Oh that today might be that day of Salvation for them. You came to this world to bring hope and everlasting joy. May that become evident to ones you have chosen to hear You message of hope today. AMEN!

Authentic Fruit

Saturday, 2019-06-22

Bible Reference: Luke 3:7-9
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: John the Baptist: You bunch of venomous snakes! Who told you that you could escape God’s coming wrath? Don’t just talk of turning to God; you’d better bear the authentic fruit of a changed life. Don’t take pride in your religious heritage, saying, “We have Abraham for our father!” Listen—God could turn these rocks into children of Abraham! God wants you to bear fruit! If you don’t produce good fruit, then you’ll be chopped down like a fruitless tree and made into firewood. God’s ax is taking aim and ready to swing!

OBSERVATION: John the Baptist addressed the crowds that came to be baptized by him. However, when he saw the religious leaders and the onlookers, he realized that they may have had ulterior motives. So in a plea to help them understand that he was not promoting a ‘spectator sport’, but rather a lifestyle change, he told them what their lives should demonstrate after accepting Jesus. This is still very applicable today, so let us meditate on this for a few moments.

APPLICATION: Have you ever been in a store, or at work, or at the mall, and found yourself near enough to overhear an individual tearing an employee apart verbally? Then, as you drew near enough to the heated conversation, you saw that it was someone from your church? I know, church attendees could also become agitated, frustrated, unhappy and upset over certain circumstances just like everyone else, right? So why then do you suppose that John addressed this problem, and why would God have instilled this in the heart of Dr. Luke to present this as part of the Gospel? I believe it all goes back to a phrase that became very popular some years ago ‘what would Jesus do’ (WWJD). For circumstances will present itself as a test to what we are made of. In this teaching today, we could see that Luke used a similar tactic to that of Jesus, where he demonstrated a truth to the religious leaders through a parable. He likened their lives to that of a tree that bears fruit. For a farmer will cut down a tree that bears no fruit, so that the fruit bearing trees might flourish. But how would this apply to people, you might ask. I believe that you would be upset if a child that you paid years and years of tuition fees to gain their medical degree, finished school and did nothing more than hang around the house without a desire to work in his/her profession. They may have a medical degree, but if they refuse to work in that profession and keep up with their trade, are they really a doctor? The same example holds true when looking at a married person who refuses to sleep at home, take care of their spouse, and continue to flirt with everyone walking into a nightclub. So what about one who felt a nudge from the Master, and surrenders their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit then resides in that individual and leads them in a life dedicated to God’s will, and His direction for their life. When all of this is in place and the individual decides to ignore the Holy Spirit’s leadership and do his/her own thing, how do you think God must feel? Don’t you think that John was probably spot on with his accusation of them being a brood of vipers? Friends, I believe that our take away today is that we must be true to what we claim as our life’s influencer. If this is Jesus Christ, then others will see (fruit) from our actions, our priorities, our words of encouragement, our prayers, the books we read, and the results of all these things will be evident in our outlook on life and the love we show towards others. These are all (fruit) that we see anytime that we read about our Lord in Scripture, therefore we should imitate Him! When this happens, the world will know that we are authentic in our Christianity. Seek God’s help my friend, and He will be your guide and your help through every circumstance of this life!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, please touch Your children today and help us to never take for granted all that You did so that we might have life everlasting. Oh that we may take our commitment seriously to give you FULL control of our lives, and that we may be obedient in every way to Your Word – Your Book of Instructions for the Christian. As we follow You, I believe that our lives will reflect the very image of Jesus – fruit (evidence) that the world know and appreciate to whom we belong. We need You to do this oh Lord, for in and of ourselves we are helpless in overcoming the evil that’s all around us. I know You can, and I believe You will, so I thank You in advance dear Jesus. AMEN!

Blessed is the One Who…

Friday, 2019-06-21

Bible Reference: Psalm 1:1-3
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)

Bible Text: 1 Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. 2 They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night. 3 They are strong, like a tree planted by a river. The tree produces fruit in season, and its leaves don’t die. Everything they do will succeed.

OBSERVATION: I believe that everyone alive might have a desire to know what it takes for them to live a happy and fulfilled life. In fact, I believe there are times that we clip reminders on our refrigerator to help remind us of what’s best for us, and what should we try to avoid that day. God does exactly that through the Psalmist, so let’s meditate on this Scripture and see how it applies to our individual lives.

APPLICATION: In the Word of God, we are told that God himself called David a man after His own heart. In other words, David’s life imitated what God expected from His creation. I believe this should be every Believer’s goal, for we know that when we follow God’s commands and His teachings to us in His Word, then it must be pleasing to God! In this very first Psalm, David gives us some attributes, or indicators of a blessed person, and I wanted to draw attention to these qualities so that today we may strive to achieve these qualities ourselves:
1).  They don’t listen to the wicked – this might happen when we listen to what the world is directing us to for happiness. Unfortunately, every time we turn the TV on we are given these options;
2).  They don’t go where sinners go – don’t go to a place where you would be embarrassed to take Jesus with you. Remember, you invited Him into your heart. Remember He lives and reigns in us, through His Holy Spirit. Will you really take Him into a questionable place?
3).  They don’t do what evil people do – these are folk that don’t know Jesus and have no concern for Jesus in the things that they do. Our actions are to be compared to what Jesus did or what He taught us to do. Pilots and doctors follow their text book for obvious reasons. We should be doing the same thing – those things that God has taught us to do or that His Holy Spirit is directing us to do. These will be totally opposite to what the evil person might lead us to do;
4).  They meditate on the Word of God, love His teachings and continually think about them – God’s Word is our textbook. It is our guide to living like Jesus expects of us. To keep it fresh in our minds and to follow its directives, we must make it a priority to read it and meditate on it regularly.
When we follow the above, we become strong in our faith and committed to God’s commands. We will not be easily eroded away like a tree beside the water’s edge, but we will stand firm so that others might catch a glimpse of what Jesus actually looks like, and how, through faith, our lives are living examples to the unsaved.
Let me encourage you to reflect back on your life over the past few days, who have you imitated? Does your life reflect the ways of Christ, or just the general public (this world)? Did your life show enough of the qualities of Jesus that you were accused of being a Christian? Friend, you shouldn’t have to tell someone you are a Christian, they should know you are by your actions, your speech and your demeanor. Let us all commit to live our lives with the teachings of the Psalmist very prominent in our character and our actions. Then, perhaps, others will see Jesus and want to know Him personally.

PRAYER: Lord, we your children need You, and we need you desperately. To live in this world, yet to not live like the world, is very challenging. It’s like swimming upstream. It’s like doing just the opposite of what the rest of the world does. And this has become quite a chore for us. Please mold us into the person that You need here and now to touch the hearts of the folk that are still in need of you. We need the same power that gave David the strength to be called a man after Your own heart; that gave Moses the fortitude to stand firm for You, even when his people were plotting to kill him. I know that You can still give that kind of strength to me and also to my friends that are committed to serving you today. Please have Your will and way in our lives today, I humbly plead in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

The Dress and Place of Royalty

Wednesday, 2019-06-19

Bible Reference: Luke 2:6-7
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 6–7 When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. After wrapping the newborn baby in strips of cloth, they laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village.

OBSERVATION: I found it amazing to be reminded of the story surrounding the beginning of our Savior’s life, then compare it to the story surrounding the death of our Master and Lord. He was born and wrapped in strips of cloth, compared to His death being also wrapped in strips of cloth. There was no guest room available for Mary to give birth to our Lord, compared to the borrowed tomb in which our Lord was placed after His death. Yet His birth was worthy of prophecies hundreds of years earlier, and His death resulted in eternal life for all who would accept Him right up to and including this very day! Oh what a Savior!

APPLICATION: If you were told that a member of royalty was having a baby, and you wanted to visit to show your love, I’m sure that you would go to the most popular hospital with the most proficient doctors, knowing for sure that the mother and child would be there. If you were to try and identify the mother and child as they left the hospital, you would look for the best dressed mother who would leave in the newest and most expensive car, wouldn’t you? But in our Scripture today, we are reminded that the mother of Jesus had to make up a bed in a stable – perhaps unlike what we may call a stable today, but it was a place where the animals laid at night. The Savior of the world was therefore born in a stable – a very humble beginning for One would would be referred to as the King of all kings! What I found most interesting as I read the story again, is that Mary wrapped the baby in ‘strips of cloth’. I know, it has always been a part of the Christmas readings, and nothing has changed. But something that immediately came to mind is that Jesus was again wrapped in ‘strips of cloth’ for His burial also. The other thing that I believe God wanted me to really grasp this time around, is that there was no normal accommodations found for the birth of His Son. Now, I really don’t feel like that’s to make us feel sorry for Jesus, but it made me realize that after Jesus was crucified, there was also a search for someone to bury Him, and a burial site to place Him. Friends, our Savior came to this world in perhaps the most humbling location, to an unmarried couple. He died a shameful death, hanging on a cruel cross, and was buried in a borrowed grave. Yes, Christians celebrate each of these events – at Christmas and at Easter, but I believe that God wants us to know that He would have climbed every mountain, or crossed every ocean to satisfy the need of mankind to have a personal relationship with the Savior of the world. For He was sent to us especially so that those who accept Him might enjoy a relationship with the King of all kings here on earth, and to also confirm our eternal destination when we are called out of this world. There are many songs that come to mind as I write this: What a friend we have in Jesus; He’s my Rock; I’ll fly away; Face to face with Jesus; etc, etc. To my Christian friends, rejoice with me today that regardless of how our Lord entered this earth, and how He was cruelly treated at His death, He did it all just for us! We have a hope while we are alive, and we have an even greater hope knowing where we are going, and with whom we will spend eternity! It just don’t get any better than that!! To my friends who have yet to accept Jesus as Lord, please be reminded that you have no assurance of tomorrow, or even the next minute, for our Savior can return at any moment. Prophecies are aligned for His coming soon, so please consider my Lord while you are able to. He created you, and He loves you more than anything imaginable. Just like any earthly father, my Lord would be overjoyed to have all of His children around His feet on Judgment Day. That includes you, my friend, but only you can initiate that for yourself. I encourage you to do just that today. Please contact me, or use the tips in my Footnote to help you meet my Savior personally. Your life will never be the same!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Your coming to this world to save sinners such as I, is beyond anything that anyone else could do for us. I would humbly ask that just as you healed the sick and raised the dead, that You express Your awesome power yet again today and touch the hearts of all who will meditate on this devotional. For those who will need to meet You for the first time, please miraculously touch their heart; convince them of their sin and the subsequent need to ask for forgiveness of their sin. Lord touch Your children today, for our witness is more important today than ever before. People need the Lord. Oh that they may clearly see Him in our lives, and want to know our Lord and Savior. AMEN!

It’s Not You They’re Rejecting

Monday, 2019-06-17

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 8:6-8
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

Bible Text:  6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance.
7 “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me (God) they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment.

OBSERVATION: Way too often we take the weight of the world on our shoulders and assume that everyone is out to get us. For they are rejecting our message and our lifestyle. In fact, they just don’t like us, and won’t listen to us! Be encouraged today, for our Scripture gives an example of where God helped His servant realize that it was really Him that they were rejecting. As we become more like Christ, this will happen to us also. Here’s how we should handle that…

APPLICATION:  Times have not changed very much, for when we consider how churches treat their pastors when they really preach the Word, without regards to whose toes they might step on, then I believe that we could easily identify with Samuel and the Israelites. Friends, it is so unfortunate that we tend to blame someone else for issues that we have caused. It is likewise unfortunate when we look beyond the issues in our own lives, or the condition of our family, or our church or our group, and see so much wrong with others. Let’s think for a moment about issues with a church. Of course, we all know that it’s not the building where the church meets that is the problem, it’s folk like you and I that attend the church that causes the challenges. So look no further than inside yourself when issues arise. Changing pastors will have a similar effect as it was when God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they want. In most cases things will only get worse. Friends, unless we commit and dedicate ourselves to becoming more like Jesus in every aspect of our lives, then anything we become a part of will suffer from the sin brought into our lives by the world. Becoming one with Jesus, means a perfect life, a life without sin – and that should be our aim everyday friends. Only then will we contribute positively to our churches and the groups that we become involved in. Remember, the world hates Jesus. Always have, and always will. So if we look enough like Jesus, they will hate us also, just like God told Samuel. So what shall we do? Determine this day who you will serve, and give it all you have. Be determined to serve only God and His righteousness, so that He might be glorified in everything we do and say!

PRAYER: Lord we so desperately need You in our lives. We want to add positively to groups that we become involved in, because of Your love that is steeped in everything we do and say. Anything else would only add to the confusion and the hatred that normally results. Unfortunately, this also happens in church groups we join, so we are seeing churches that are marred terribly by the impact of this evil world, instead of seeing a church that is always ready to forgive, always looking out for the best in the other person, always contributing to the best in others, always praying for and supporting their pastor/shepherd/leader. Lord, it is very obvious that we need more of You in our lives individually so that we can see more of You in our churches, so that we can see Your church effectively reaching out to the lost community that we serve. We need You in our lives personally Lord, please humble us to earnestly seek Your face and allow You to rule in our lives.


Friday, 2019-06-14

Bible Reference: Numbers 24:12-13
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: Balaam(to Balak): 12 Remember the first time that you sent messengers to get me? Even then I told them 13 I don’t care how much silver and gold you have or what all you’d give to me; I cannot alter what God would have me say. Whatever the Eternal One puts into my mouth is what will come out, whether good or evil words.

OBSERVATION: Reading this Scripture today helped to remind me that I needn’t worry about what others may think, or what they may say about me, as long as I am convinced and determined to carry out the plan of the Lord and speak His Word. After all, when I stand in His stead here on this earth, I want Him to be glorified from all who benefit from His Word, as I know that His Word will not return void. I believe our time of meditation today would be best spent looking at how we might prevent things from interfering in our desire to be resolute in all the things of God.

APPLICATION: I believe that there are many times that we look at the people around us and we try to second guess what they may be thinking, what their prejudices might be, and how they may react when we teach something from God’s Word that may be contrary to their normal way of life. Unfortunately, when we teach or preach on things that we feel others need to hear, or on something that will surely ‘straighten’ them out, it seems like those sermons, or topics, normally fall flat on their faces. The reason might be because we are trying to assume God’s rightful job. I find that the times that I seek after God’s perfect will and try to honor that, my life is impacted long before I could teach it or write a blog about it. Yes, I believe that God will definitely direct me to something that my audience needs to hear, as long as I am not on a vendetta to correct the people myself. But let’s take this back to our story about Balaam, for he was one who was resolute in following through with God’s commands, without allowing the pressures of Balak or any of his men dictating otherwise. Balaam also knew that he stood to become a very rich man if he pleased Balak, but he made his intentions very clear to Balak’s men before he ever left his home. He knew that the idea of money would be thrown at him, but he declared that no amount of gold would provoke him into saying something not approved by his Master, the God of this universe. What about you my friend, do you allow the threat of influential people, or the rich and famous, prevent you from speaking the unadulterated Word of God in season, and out of season? I truly believe that if God has a word for us, or our group, and if He chooses to use us to declare that word, and we do otherwise, then we are sinning, because we are not doing, or saying, what He instructed us to do or say. Let us therefore be obedient to our God in every way, so that He would receive the glory that He deserves.

PRAYER: Thank God we serve a mighty, all-knowing God! You created this universe, including all of my readers and myself. What have we to fear? We consider it a privilege to represent You in every aspect of our lives, especially in sharing of the insight You have given us. For it is then that we depend on Your guidance and the words that You would have us share, so that the very depths of a person’s heart might be touched for your glory. Lord, please touch us with a renewed boldness, so that we can stand firm like your servant Balaam, and not permit any intimidation to discourage us or stop us from speaking Your truth. People need the Lord, but how will they know about Him if we hesitate in doing our part. How will they hear from God if we keep watering down the Word for fear of those in our audience. AMEN!

The Power of God’s Promise

Thursday, 2019-06-13

Bible Reference: Luke 1:36-37
Translation: The Message (MSG)

Bible Text: 36-37 “And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”

OBSERVATION: A familiar story is found in Luke chapter 1, but the above words were meant for me today. Like Mary, I often wonder how, or why God would work a miracle in my life, or in the life of my family or my church. But praise the Lord, I am reminded that if my God promises something to His children, we need not wonder ‘how’, or ‘if’, for God’s Word declares that ALL things are possible with God! Let’s stop and consider His amazing power today, that is available to us every day!

APPLICATION: Mary, a young, virgin girl, who had not exposed herself to any man yet, was approached by an angel and given a proclamation that sounded really far out – that in spite of her virginity, she would bear a child. Moreover, this child would be the very Son of God. We may have heard this story so many times that our senses may have been dulled by the prophetic call by the angel Gabriel. But for the purpose of fully grasping the awe of this story today, let us stop and consider the idea of our young child coming in to tell us that: #1 – They are pregnant; and #2 – They will be the mother of God’s Son. Wow, those two statements would probably knock us down to the floor! So, stop for a moment and just imagine how you would honestly react to that news. Furthermore, imagine if you were that young lady who was touched on the shoulder and spoken to by a, a…. a what??? An angel??? Ok, perhaps you are now beginning to understand why Mary needed a little more convincing! But she was given another big shocker, that her elderly cousin Elizabeth – you know, the barren one? Yes, Elizabeth will also have a child soon. Oh my, how much more could this young lady’s heart take? But she was given the tag that helped her to make sense of all this shocking news, for the angel told her that the author of all this is God, and that nothing is impossible with Him. But, you might ask: why was this included in the Bible for us? Oh my friend, I am hoping that you might be encouraged like I was. For when life seems overwhelming, to whom shall we turn? When we feel like God is sending us in a direction for which we seem so unprepared, how will we succeed? When we can’t seem to have children, and we want them so desperately, how, how, how???? Let us remember the words given to Mary by the angel when she stood in disbelief and wonderment – Nothing is impossible with God! When He promised in His Word to be with us through all phases of life – He will fulfill His promises and see us through. When God leads us into a situation, He will see us through! Remember, the same God that caused a virgin girl to bear the very Son of God, is the same God that we serve today! He is still the same God! I praise God that He is the One that I serve, and the One that I adore. Oh what a Savior!

PRAYER: What a wonderful God we serve! Thank You Jesus, for the sacrifice You made so that my sins would be forgiven and that I may have life everlasting with our Father in heaven! Thank You for using Your children in things like bearing the very Son of God; the miracle of birth to a barren lady; healing of the lame, the blind and dumb. Thank You for showing us that we are more than conquerors when we place our faith and trust in You. Please dear Lord, speak to those that choose to ignore You and the love and victory You provide to all who call You ‘Father’ and ‘Lord’ of their life. Oh that You may be glorified today in all that we are. AMEN!