Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Lamentations 3:22-24 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Through the LORD'S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”
This is how God thinks of us every morning. It is because of His mercy that we are not condemned; His compassions that do not fail. They are new every morning. When God looks at that one who has placed His trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, what He sees is the blood of Jesus covering him. He sees what Jesus did on behalf of that person that cleanses him from sin. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son that we might not perish, but have everlasting life! This should give us hope! When we get up in the morning we should just thank the Lord that His grace has been extended to us; His salvation has made us whole; we have been forgiven.
Mercy – Hebrew chesed – Strongs #2617 – kindness, mercy, lovingkindness, unfailing love; tenderness, faithfulness.
God's mercy is His unfailing love expressed through kindness, tenderness and faithfulness. His compassions are new every morning.
Compassions – Hebrew racham – Strong's #7355 to fondle; to love, have compassion upon, to have pity for.
God's mercy causes Him to show tenderness to His children like a parent who would pick the little child up and hold him close to His heart, fondling or caressing him as a parent who kisses and holds his child. God sees us as His very own little children. We are precious in His sight.
Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Because of what Jesus did on the cross on our behalf we now have a place in the family of God. We, who have invited Jesus into our hearts by faith, have received the Spirit of adoption, or the Holy Spirit, whereby we can now call God our Abba, our Father! We are no longer alienated from Him but have been brought near through the blood of Jesus! It is because of God's mercy that we are not consumed; His compassions never fail; they are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness!
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.
If you have never invited Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Savior and Lord, the price has been paid by the blood of Jesus for you to come into the family of God. He is waiting for you to make the choice to live for Him. I would like to pray with you to do that. If you would like to receive Him please pray this prayer with me:
Father God, I come before You in the name of Jesus and I confess to You that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I ask You to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that You are God and that You gave Your very own Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me that I might be saved. I confess that You raised Jesus from the dead; He is alive today and I confess Him as my Lord and Savior. I thank You for saving me. I vow to live for you every day of my life from this point on. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed with me to receive Jesus as your Savior I would like to welcome you into the family of God. That is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. You are now “born again”; born of the Spirit as well as of the flesh. Jesus lives within you through His Spirit and will walk with you through every day, every trial and tribulation that you may encounter. You now have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Friends, if you have asked Jesus into your heart but are struggling with a difficulty in your life today, just know that God loves you; He wants to bring you out of the difficulty so He can bring you into the good plan that He has for your life. Jesus said that in this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) The Amplified Bible says it this way:
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
Jesus said He has deprived the world of it's power to harm you and has conquered it for you! Hallelujah! You don't have to suffer through life's problems. Pray and ask the Lord what you need to do in your situation to bring you out of the difficulty! He will give you the wisdom and direction you need to win the battle. Just be confident in His power to overcome what you are experiencing. He has perfect peace for you in the midst of the storm. All you have to do is receive it and act on it.
Father, I thank You for depriving the world of it's power to harm us! Thank You for taking the sting out of the problems we encounter. Thank You for giving us the victory through Christ Jesus! We are over-comers in You, Lord Jesus! Thank You for living in and through us to Your honor and glory! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
We have a little poodle that hates to get a bath. If she even gets the hint that it's bath time she runs and hides under the bed. She seems to sense it and we dare not ever say the word BATH in her presence or she will tuck her tail and run. We have started using the word “shampoo” as she hasn't figured that one out yet. But we have found that make life so much easier for Abby! So now we have to promise her a “doggie cookie” for all difficult chores, such as baths, hair cuts, and even going out to potty sometimes requires a “cookie”.
So when life is difficult for you to handle, just remember life is so much easier if you take a
I thought I would offer you a little lighter side to my personality today with an inside look at what goes on within when I am stressed, excited, happy or sad! Those emotions incite a rage within me that feels like I have the living within me!
Usually when we have extreme cravings for sweets it is an indication that something within is out of balance. For women, it could be that "time of the month" when the hormones are raging; or it could be a deeper immune problem where the adrenal glands are stressed and releasing too much cortisol into our systems, but whatever it is if we will eat healthfully both physically and spiritually we will find that life will be easier. And unfortunately, eating cookies usually just aggravates the problem.
So, with that said I think I'll go have me a
Won't you join me?
Oh well, I saved you from having to ditch your healthy living program today for a cookie! There are some days when I just have to lighten up and eat a cookie!
Father, bless my friends with a good day today! May they walk in the light of Your love and experience the goodness of Your presence. I pray, Father, that we will each seek You for our significance in life and not try to “feed” our emotions when it is really a spiritual hunger that we are experiencing. Even though we've looked at a lighter side of things today, I pray that we will always understand that deep within we have a spirit man who needs the nourishment from Your Spirit, Your Word and Your Presence! May we seek You with our whole hearts! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Monday, July 30, 2012
Genesis 16:8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai's maid, where have you come from, and where are your going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
Hagar, Sarai's maid ran away from her because she mistreated her. She suffered an injustice at the hands of her mistress.
How many of us have suffered injustices at the hand's of another? We see and hear of it all the time in our world as evil grows more prevalent. The mistreatment of children, women and even the elderly. God sees all the injustices that are taking place in our world and He cares!
The angel of the Lord told Hagar to go back and submit herself to Sarai.
Genesis 16:9 The Angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”
I have often wondered why God would ask Hagar to go back into a situation where she was being mistreated. It seems so unjust; so unfair. The heart of compassion that I have for the hurting says, “no, run away, as far away from it as you can get.” And yet, my ways are not God's ways. He often asks us to do things that seem to us as “over the edge”. But God had a plan to bless Hagar's life and if she had continued to run away from her uncomfortable situation it would have changed the course of God's plan to bless her life.
The angel of the Lord went on to tell Hagar a little bit about that plan:
Genesis 16:11, 12 And the Angel of the LORD said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
The name Ishmael means “God hears”. God heard Hagar's crying; He saw her distress and He came to her aid. God understands and cares about the injustices in our lives. He is a restorer of those things that have been stolen from us. He blesses us in the midst of the injustices and gives us a glimpse of the good future that He has in store for us. Even though Ishmael would be a man that would constantly be in disagreement with his brothers, Hagar knew that God saw and heard and understood her situation and was there to bless her through it.
Genesis 16:13 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “have I also here seen Him who sees me?'
Hagar was in the desert. There was no one around her. She had sat down by a spring of water in the wilderness and yet God saw her there; He came to meet with her in her despair and disappointment. She called His name El Roi, the God who sees.
God sees everything that happens to you. He is aware of the injustices and He often directs us to stand up and confront the wrongs in our lives because until we confront the fears that come along with the injustices we are held in bondage to the lies of the enemy. God asked Hagar to go back and submit herself under Sarai's hand. There was something that God wanted to do in Hagar's life that meant that she would have to submit herself unto her mistress. We can't fully understand God's ways until we do things His way. Submission is God's way. He asks us to submit to those in authority over us so He can have an open channel to work through. As long as we are adamantly set on doing things our way in our time we are not open to allowing God to work in His way and timing. It is as we submit to those over us that we prepare an open avenue for God to move in our situations.
I remember a time in my working career when I was employed as an office manager for an insurance agent. He was a former military man, very harsh in his mannerisms and communications with people; definitely not a “people person”. He had me in tears my first day before noon and yet God had given me the job; I knew I was there at His will and every time I prayed about leaving He would not release me. This one particular time I was very upset about a situation that he had asked me to deal with in relation to a person in the community that I felt was not my place to handle. It was regarding something personal and even though I was his office manager I felt that he should have handled his own personal communications. I had prayed about the situation that morning and as a part of my devotions that day I was reading out of a Bible that I had purchased to give to one of the youth in our church. It was a New Century translation and I was reviewing it for accuracy before giving it to the Youth Director. My reading that morning was in Ecclesiastes 10. I began in verse 1 and when I got to verse 4 the Lord spoke to my heart:
Ecclesiastes 10:4 Don't leave your job just because your boss is angry with you. Remaining calm solves great problems.
I was floored! I had just prayed about leaving my job, one more time. I was miserable in his employment. Such injustices constantly happened. Every new employee we would hire would cry on my shoulder because our employer was so harsh and difficult to work for. They never stayed and yet God wouldn't let me leave! Why, Lord! I don't understand why I have to stay and others get to leave. God knew I needed preparation to lead through submission to the authority over me. He continued to speak to my heart through 1 Peter 2:18-23:
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps; "Who, committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Could this really be God's way? Does He really want us to bear with those who are harsh and hard to get along with? Jesus gave us an example by not reviling in return for the injustices done to Him but instead committing Himself to Him who judges righteously. He turned the injustices over to God for Him to deal with.
God always has a "come back" for every "set back" you encounter!
Romans 12:17-21 says: Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Now, before you leave saying that I am in favor of women and children staying in abusive situations, please listen to my heart. I believe the key here is found in verse 18: If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. There are some situations where it is just not possible to live in peace. Those would be the situations of extreme abuse, where a person's life is in danger. I do not believe God wants a woman to stay in a relationship where her life is in danger or the lives of her children are at risk. Put distance between you and the abuser! God is in the delivering business and He will make a way for you to be freed from the abuse. Take it and then let God deal with the abuser!
But in situations such as I have described in my experience with my employer, He had a blessing waiting for me that could only happen if I stayed in that situation. As my employer progressed towards retirement God impressed upon his heart to reward me for the years of service in his employment. He always paid me well; he never wanted me to work if it was snowing outside. He would begin pacing and looking out the windows as it snowed until he would finally say, “I think you need to go home; I don't want you driving in the snow.” When he sold his agency at retirement he told the new agent that I was a part of the deal; if he didn't keep me in his employment and honor my salary and benefits he would not sell his agency to him. It wasn't until three years after his retirement that God released me from working in that agency and gave me a new place of employment in my own town close to my home. I worked for him for eight years and three years longer in the employment of the new agent. During that time I learned the beauty of submission and how God blesses people through their attitude of humility towards those who are in authority over them.
1 Peter 5:5-7 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,
God resists the proud, but gives grace, unmerited favor, the ability to do in and through you what you can't do for yourself, to the humble. When you submit yourself to the authority over you, you are opening the door for God's grace to move into your life. And in due time He will exalt you; He will lift you up and bless you as you cast your cares upon Him.
God always has a "come back" for every "set back" in your life.
This morning I ask you these questions: “Where have you come from and where are you going?” What are you running away from? Are you fearful of the injustices that have been done to you? Are you allowing God to be your defender or are you trying to defend yourself? God has a blessing with your name on it! The centurion in Matthew 8:8, 9 told Jesus that he knew the power of authority because he, himself, was a man under authority and he said to his soldiers that were under him 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes. He then told the Lord to only speak the word and his servant would be healed. The power of submission! Jesus responded to him:
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
Could it be that submission to authority is tied to God's idea of “great faith”? According to Jesus it is.
Father, I thank You for seeing every injustice done to Your children. I thank You, Father, for protecting the defenseless ones. Thank You for delivering them from harm and protecting them from evil. Father, for those who are struggling with submitting to the authority that You have placed over them, I pray for them to have courage to live at peace with those around them. I pray that You will show them that You are working in their situations. That you are bringing deliverance and freedom as they submit themselves to you and their superiors. Be close to the brokenhearted, Father, and heal their hurts. Strengthen them and give them peace! Thank you, Father! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
God has a “come back” planned for every “set back”. Will you believe Him?
Sunday, July 29, 2012
1 Chronicles 16:25 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved.
As I reflect and think back through the years I can't help but remember all the good things He has done in my life. He is great and greatly to be praised!
This morning I will go to church and worship the Lord. It is the Lord's Day! And I will again be honored to be in His presence; to join together with others as we proclaim how great our God is!
Hebrews 10:24, 25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
With that joining together in worship comes more opportunities to see God work in and through my life and the lives of those around me. God has so blessed me with the ones that are around me to encourage me and, likewise, that I can encourage and support in their walk with the Lord. As time draws near to the return of the Lord Jesus we each will have more and more opportunities to be “Jesus with skin on” to those around us. That may sound arrogant to some of you, but if the Spirit of God lives within you then you are to some the only reflection of the character and nature of Jesus that they might see. There was a song years ago that said, “you may be the only Bible that some people ever read.” This morning I would like to ask you, “of what reflection are you to those around you”? Are you reflecting Jesus to the world or would they be surprised to know that you belong to Jesus?
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Salt and light....Jesus said we are to be salt and light to those around us?
Salt – according to Webster's 1828 Dictionary it is 1) the muriate of soda, a substance used for seasoning certain kinds of food, and for the preservation of meat. 2) In chemistry, it is a body compounded of an acid united to some base, which may be either an alkali, an earth, or a metallic oxyd. 3) Taste; sapor; smack 4) Wit; poignancy;
We are to season people with our speech and our presence. As He changes us we will have the natural ability to perceive and understand the things of the Lord and have a keenness and quickness of perception or discernment. Sometimes we will have a sharp or pungent flavor to those around us. That means that they won't always agree with us, but if we speak with a saltiness we will whet their appetite for the Lord. Salt always makes people thirsty. We then preserve them by our witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Wit – 1. The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence. 2. a. Keenness and quickness of perception or discernment; ingenuity.
Poignancy - sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste keenly affecting the other senses: poignant beauty; sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste .
Our speech, our presence and our witness bring people to want the saving knowledge of Jesus for themselves when we reflect the character and nature of the Lord.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Our speech is to be with grace, which by one definition is unmerited favor. As we talk with people we are to show them favor, undeserved mercy, giving them love and acceptance even though they may not be worthy of it. God extended grace to us in saving us. He gave us His life in place of the death that we deserve. He gave His very own Son to exchange our sin for His forgiveness; our sickness for His health; our poverty for His riches! We are salt to those around us!
Light – Greek word phos – Strong's #5457 – meaning “to give light”, expressing “light as seen by the eye,” and, metaphorically, as “reaching the mind,” whence phaino, “to make to appear,” phaneros, “evident,”.
Jesus said we are to be “light” to the world; we are to make Him appear, or make Him evident to those around us. We are to be “Jesus with skin on”, set on a high hill shining for all to see that Jesus lives in us and wants to live in them. We are to express God to the world!
Food for thought: How salty are you today? Who are you reflecting? How bright is your light? Are you a preserving witness of the Lord Jesus Christ?
You know what? God doesn't expect us to do these things on our own. It is only as God changes us that we can offer the reflection of the Lord that changes those around us. You may feel, as I do, that my reflection at times is dim, that my speech isn't always seasoned with grace and that I reflect my own fleshly desires more than His. It is then that I have to go back to the word of God that says:
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed ot the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
You see, it is as we see that God is the One doing the changing that we are in awe of His greatness! We come back full circle to the reason why we worship the Lord; because of His greatness! I can't change myself and you can't change yourself, but we can yield to God's working within us. We can pray that He will show us the things within that He wants to change and allow Him to have the freedom to do that.
I think that the New Living Translation really gives me a greater understanding of what is taking place within me when God is working:
Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.
You see, it is God giving us the desire to obey Him and then also giving us the power to do it! That takes the responsibility totally off of us and places it on Him. He is responsible for making the changes even to the point of giving us the desire to be changed!
Now can you join me in saying “How GREAT IS OUR GOD”!!!!
Father, I thank You for Who You are to me, in me and through me. You are great and greatly to be praised! I am in awe of Your greatness! Thank You for working in me giving me the desire to obey You and the power to do it! Thank You, Father, for this day that I can gather together with other believers in corporate worship of You! May You be blessed by our praise! Father, as we live each day, I pray that You will cause us to be mindful of the words that we speak and how they should be seasoned with grace. I pray that You will show us how to reflect You in all that we say and do; that You will change us so that our light will shine brightly and we will reflect You as You draw all men unto Yourself as we lift You up. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer as I offer it in the name of Jesus! Amen.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Okay, folks, we've had a couple of inspirational blogs so now it's time to pull up to the table and share a meal of the meat of God's word. There's an old song we used to sing years ago entitled “Come and Dine”. Here's the chorus:
'Come and dine', the Master calleth,'Come and dine'
You can eat at Jesus' table anytime.
He who fed the multitude,
Changed the water into wine
To the hungry calleth now, 'Come and dine'.
So, this morning I invite you to come and dine with me at the table of God's word!
Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
When we are babes in Christ we need constant milk whereby we grow just as babies begin their lives. But as we are fed the milk of God's word and begin to put our roots down in Him we find the necessity of going forward and growing in the things of God so we can be nourished by the solid meat of the word and not just the simple, feel good scriptures that give us the warm, fuzzy feelings. There is a place for inspirational messages and a different place for those that challenge us and cause us to grow up and become the over-comers that God intends for us to be. It is only as we exercise what we learn that we will grow. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
What happens when we go through a crucifixion? It is the dying of our fleshly motivations in living life so that Christ can live through us to His honor and glory. We see from the crucifixion of Jesus that He had to lay aside His will in order to fulfill the will of the Father. It takes faith to do that. Paul said that once he had crucified his flesh, in order to continue to live the life that God wanted, he had to do it by faith.
Faith makes things possible, but not always easy! Walking by faith means that instead of reacting to something that happens in my life, I will respond according to God's word regarding that situation. Faith is believing what God says before I see the reality of it. We often make the statement that “seeing is believing”, but faith says that “believing is seeing”.
Abraham is listed in God's word as being the “father of faith”. As we look at the example of how he lived his life by faith we can see a pattern to follow in living our lives.
Romans 4:17-21 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
God gave Abram a promise: that He had already made him the father of may nations. Abram could then either react in disbelief because it had not yet been manifested in the natural, or he could respond in faith by choosing to believe what God said over what he saw in his situation. He saw the deadness of his body and that of Sarah, his wife. He heard the negative voices that came into his mind saying “this is not possible. You both are too old. It's never going to happen. Look at how long you've been waiting for this promised child to arrive.” All those things came against him, just like they come against you. But Abram didn't waver in believing what God had said, but he made the choice to stand with God and resist the enemy that tried to come to destroy the covenant promise that God had made to him.
God promised a child to Abram and Sarai and when He made the promise He sealed it with the sacrifice of a blood covenant.
Genesis 15:8-11 And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
Child of God, He has made promises to us throughout His word, sealed by the blood of Jesus that are covenant promises. It's time that we shoo the vultures away from our covenant and begin to take a stand on His word that paves the way for the manifestation of His promises. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy our lives, God's promises to us, and we are the ones that have to enforce the protection of those promises through faith until we see the reality of them. Faith looks out into the future and grasps what God has promised as if it already exists.
Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
What are you thinking about? Do you have your mind set on the things of God or what you see going on around you? Abram had to lay aside the negative thoughts and pictures of his situation in order to embrace the truth of God's promise. He had to die to self and live in God. We have been born again, given a new life, and that life is the life of faith that God lives within us; we are in Christ Jesus, a new person, created in His likeness and image and given the ability to function by faith through His strength and power.
We are to put off the old man and “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge, according to the image of Him who created him,” (Colossians 3:9,10)
God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did! (Romans 4:17) Are you calling things that don't yet exist as though they did or are you reacting to the situation by speaking about the reality of life as it is now?
Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things now seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand the the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith sees things that are not real in the natural, but understands that the spiritual viewpoint over-rides the natural. The spiritual is real, the natural is a manifestation of what we have already seen in the spirit realm. If your focus is on the negative aspects of life, you will find that those negative things which you have meditated on will become a reality in your life. The elders obtained a good testimony through believing that what God said was the reality and then walking it out. God framed His world by what He said. He brought the spiritual into the natural through His words.
Paul said that even though he went through persecutions and difficulties that he realized that God was working in his life and the situations he encountered were so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in him. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:13: And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak. You see, faith takes God's promise, believes it first and then speaks out of the mouth what is believed in the heart. Speaking gives faith the avenue to bring into your natural world what God promises in His word!
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 12:34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
What we put into our hearts and meditate on will eventually come out of our mouths! If we believe that God lives in us and is the greater One within then we will begin to speak that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13) If we believe that the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in us and has seated us far above the principalities and powers that are arrayed against us, then we will speak that and act on it! (Ephesians 1:19-23)
Jesus encountered a “faith issue” with His disciples in Luke 8:24, 25. They encountered a terrific storm in their lives as they were crossing the sea and Jesus was asleep in the boat. As the storm raged the disciples became more and more fearful of what was going to happen. They awoke Jesus and this is what He said to them:
Luke 8:25 NIV He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked His disciples.
This morning I ask you, “where is your faith”? Are you believing the lies of the devil that your life will never be any different than what it is today; that the bad things that he has brought into your life are what exist in your future? Or will you stand up and say, “no, I choose to believe that God has a good plan for my life and that is what exists in my future”!
Father, I thank You that You have equipped us with the God-kind of faith; faith that believes Your word and acts on what You have said. Father, I pray that as we are challenged to walk in faith that we will not be offended by what we read in Your word, or by the messengers that you send into our lives to share that word with us, but that we will be encouraged knowing that You have already made the way possible to for us to live as over-comers; soaring above the storms of life, rather than chickens who always are looking here and there for a morsel of food, hoping that the bareness of the ground around them is not an indication of the future. May we be not only hearers of the word, but doers! Thank You, Father, for the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
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