Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows, For so He gives His beloved sleep.
I had something on my mind as I went to sleep last night that caused me to stay up later than usual and when I went to bed I had difficulty going to sleep. Then I slept a little later than usual this morning so when I got up I felt as if I was already running behind and wouldn't have enough time to get everything done on my agenda for today! As I was praying about these situations the Lord reminded me that He doesn't expect us to solve the problems of the world; He expects us to trust Him and lie down to sleep in peace.
The word for “sorrows” in that verse means “anxiety”. Worrying causes people to lose sleep; valuable rest that their bodies need to function and keep them from succumbing to sickness and disease. Worry is like a cancer that grows without restraint. As Erma Bombeck and others have said: “Worry is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.”
Jesus was a little more adamant about worry and it's consequences when He gave us these instructions about it in Matthew 6:25:
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”
The Greek word for “worry” is the word merimnao and it means “to divide into parts”. The word suggests a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress, and pressure.
Worry divides your mind into parts! It cause anxiety, stress, pressure. You aren't able to put things into proper perspective because your mind is flitting here and there, thinking about the “what ifs” in life. What if I can't make it through this situation? What if I don't have enough money to provide for what I need? What if.....what if....WHAT IF! And everyone knows that the “what ifs” are much larger at night than they are in the day. Our minds seem to run crazy with worry in the night hours. Problems are much more difficult when trying to solve them during the night!
Matthew 6:27-30 “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
Can you change your height; add to it, or grow taller through worrying? No, we all know that worrying can't add an inch to our height. Jesus is saying that it's useless to worry because worrying doesn't change anything! God takes care of His own. The flowers out in the field don't do anything and yet God provides for them. He made them and He takes care of them. Don't you think you are of more importance to Him than a flower? Will He not be more diligent to care for His child?
He calls those who worry, “O you of little faith”. The Greek word for “little faith” in that verse is the word “oligopistos” It is a combination of two words “oligos” meaning “small” and “pistos” meaning “faith”. It describes a faith that lacks confidence or trust too little. Another way to term it is “under-developed faith” as opposed to outright unbelief or distrust.
We all grow in our faith walk through progression. Some of us may be strong in faith in one area and still have weaknesses that we are working on to develop a stronger faith. We believe for things as we have need of them. Faith to meet life's challenges comes through hearing the word of God.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Now I don't believe that means just hearing any part of God's word. I believe it's specific to your need. If you need provision for finances, then you need to search out God's word on how He provides for your financial needs and focus on those particular scriptures. Meditate on them; speak them over and over to yourself speaking out loud so your ears hear the scriptures until your heart receives them as truth and you begin to respond to your situation with faith believing that what God has said is true. The same thing goes for your need for physical healing. God has provided for all of our needs in the crucifixion of Jesus, His only Son. He paid the price that we might have the provision that we need. Get into God's word and find the scriptures that apply to your particular situation and then begin to claim them as yours.
Matthew 6:31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink? Or 'What shall we wear?'
Worrisome thoughts are made your own through what you say! “What are we going to do....” “What if....” “Are we going to have enough....” “Will I make it through this?”
Instead of taking the thought of worry captive and bringing it into obedience to the truth of God's word, we often dwell on the negative and speak out of our fears. That ties God's hands from being able to bring the provision for your need because He is moved by faith, not fear! Fear is “false evidence appearing real” and is to the devil what faith is to God. The devil is moved by our fears. He is ready and willing to bring into existence what we are fearing. God is pleased when we believe that He is who He says He is and that we believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Faith is the vehicle that brings into manifestation the promises of God in your life.
Matthew 6:31-34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?” or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
God knows your needs. Seek Him first; seek His righteousness in providing for His own. He has the answer to all of life's problems. Trust Him to provide for you. Don't worry about the future because each day has enough challenges. Don't borrow from tomorrow's cares; take each day at a time. Worry robs a person of valuable strength that they could be using to plan wisely for the future. There are some things we can do to prepare for what lies ahead; we can pray; we can study God's word to know what is ours according to His promises; we can manage our finances well, planning for future expenses; we can take care of our physical bodies, eating the right things that bring good nourishment into our bodies; we can live wisely and we can REST; trusting Him to take care of the things that we have no control over!
Father, I thank You for providing for our every need. You have not forgotten anything, Father, and You know what lies ahead of us, the challenges that we will face. I thank You for going before us into each one of them and preparing us for success in them. Thank You for being our God; our Provider; our Healer; our Need Meeter! Thank You for blessing us with all good things. Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may be facing challenges in which they see no way out. Father, I pray that You will give them the assurance that they can trust You to provide for this need in their life. Father, I ask You to give them the scriptures that they need to focus on that will give them peace and comfort as they stand firm believing in faith that You will meet this need. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer for I believe I receive when I pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Romans 15:5-7 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive on another, just as Christ received us to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
My heart is saddened by what I see happening in the Body of Christ, where we have believers fighting against one another over political parties and candidates. The past election seems to have brought out the worst in those who call themselves “Christians”. It has gotten to the point where I wonder if Jesus died in vain when the Word tells us in Ephesians 5:25-27 that He loved the church so much that He died that He might sanctify her and wash her clean by the word so He could present to Himself a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle; holy and without blemish. This is not what I see in the Body of Christ today. There are those who simply cannot understand why our President was re-elected and bash those who voted for him as if they are totally responsible for the ungodly nation that we have become. And then there are those who can't believe that people who call themselves “Christians” would vote for someone who they feel was running to promote the rich and famous. The mud-slinging has been really bad throughout this election process but it is continuing on even after the election has taken place.
Paul addressed discontentment within the Body of Christ in Romans by admonishing believers to receive one another as Christ received us. The Word tells us that Jesus demonstrated His love for us by giving His very own life for us when we were yet sinners. (Romans 5:8) He didn't ask us to wash ourselves clean so we would be acceptable to Him. But He died for us when we were at our worst and then He cleaned us up by washing us through the Word. His blood provided the payment for our sin that we might be the righteousness of God in Him. It is as we yield ourselves to the Word and His Spirit within us that we can come together as brothers and sisters in Christ and live before the world as that Church of holiness that we will be able to glorify God with one mind and one mouth. As long as we are fighting within ourselves we will not be able to show the world that we are His because Jesus said they would know we are His disciples by our love for each other.
John 13:34, 35 “A new commandment I give you you, that you love one another. “By this will all know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
How can the lost come to know Jesus when the Church is fighting among themselves? How can they see that we belong to Him when we do not have love for one another?
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come; For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Verse 5 in the New Living Translation says this: They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.
Perilous times forecasted as being a sign of the last days will put pressure on people that causes them to act in ways that are not indicative of loving, Christian behavior. They will act religiously, but they will reject the power of the Holy Spirit who works in them to change them into the reality of their Christianity. These are the things that we must be aware of and overcome to continue to endure to the end. These are temptations that will come upon us that we have to resist so the world will see that Jesus lives within us and be drawn to Him. How can a light shine brightly when the lens is covered with dirt and mud? And yet we are to be the light shining into the darkness that leads the world to Jesus.
Paul urged Timothy to preach the word of God in season and out of season because there would come a day when people would no longer listen to right teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 NLT Preach the word of God. Be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and follow strange myths.
Hebrews 4:12, 13 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
The Word of God changes peoples hearts! It cuts out the bad and shines a holy light on what needs to be changed. But when people run from one “feel good” meeting to another they come away with only the goose bumps of the evening, no change of heart, still believing a lie and treating other believers as if they are the enemy. Nothing that is taking place today is hidden from God's eyes. And we will all stand before Him one day and give account for our behavior toward each other.
We must heed the Word today and begin to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with love and respect.
Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT Follow God's example in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave Himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to Him.
Ephesians 4:31, 32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as ll types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Father, I pray for unity in the Body of Christ today. I thank You for giving Your very own Son that we might be Yours. Thank You for washing us clean through the water of the Word that we might be a glorious church without spot or blemish. I pray that we might now act like that glorious church that You will be ready to receive unto Yourself on that day of Your return. Father, I pray that we will treat each other with respect, looking our for the interests of our brothers and sisters before our own. I pray that we will lift each other up and speak words of love and kindness to each other. Father, I ask You to forgive us for allowing a spirit of division to come into Your Body, the Church. Father, drive hatred and bitterness far from us and establish us in love. May we exhibit Your love to the world around us that they may see we are Yours and be drawn to You through our witness. I ask You, Father, to bring us back together that we might be that light in the darkness that You have called us to be. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Matthew 5:14-16 “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.
I am so excited about living in the last days before Jesus' return! The book of Acts tells us that those who live in the last days will see the great outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh that God will use to bring in a mighty harvest of salvation! Yesterday at church we heard two prophecies at two different times in the church through two different people, but both spoke the same word. It confirmed to me that God is moving forward with His plan to usher in the last days harvest. Both of the prophecies spoke of this portion of Scripture in Matthew 5 where Jesus spoke of His people being the light of the world. He also cautioned us to not be fearful about seeing the great darkness that would be increasing in the world, because the darker the world becomes the greater would be the light of His people, His church. Light shines the brightest in the darkest night.
Isaiah prophesied to Israel that they would be a great light in the darkness in Isaiah 60. God's people always shine forth as lights in the darkness because Jesus is the Light and He lives within His people.
Isaiah 60:1-5 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see; They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
Have you ever looked at an outside light in the night when it is dark and seen the multitude of bugs that have been drawn to the light? That's a great illustration of how the people will be drawn to the Light of Jesus residing in the believers in the last days. As the darkness grows darker, the light will become brighter. The glory of the Lord is resting upon His people and as the world becomes more pressured through the challenges of life there will be a more noticeable difference between those who know the Lord and those who don't. That word for glory in Isaiah 60:1 is the Hebrew word chabod.
Chabod – glory – means weightiness; that which is substantial or heavy; glory, honor, splendor, power, wealth, authority, magnificence, fame, dignity, riches, and excellency.
The glory of the Lord upon believers that will distinguish them from others is going to be His favor to succeed in difficult times. It will be obvious to the unbelievers that there is something different about you. No matter how difficult life becomes, you as a believer in Christ Jesus, will always come out on top. Yes, there will be persecutions, but even in those times when we're persecuted there will be an obvious peace about us. People will be drawn to the wisdom of the believers and God will use that wisdom to direct others to them so they can share His love with them. God will use that to influence them to be saved. He is going to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh as He said in Acts 2. When that happens believers will be prophesying, receiving divine direction through dreams and visions and there will be great manifestations of the glory of God in the extreme darkness. We are seeing that happen even now as there becomes a more noticeable difference between the believer and the unbeliever in this day and age.
When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, which means the house of bondage, one of the plagues that he brought upon the Egyptians was darkness. Exodus 10:21 said the the darkness was all over the land of Egypt, darkness which could even be felt. It was thick darkness over all the land except for in the houses of the Israelites.
Exodus 10:22, 23 So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. The did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
God's light shines in the lives of His people. There was a noticeable difference between the children of God, the Israelites, and the Egyptians. There will be a noticeable difference in the lives of the believers as we enter into the last days as well. The Light will shine forth into the darkness!
I am excited to be a part of the last days' outpouring. I know that I have been placed here in this day and age for such a time as this. How about you?
Father, I thank You that even in the darkness the light of Your love and life shines through the believers. I thank You for what You are doing in our lives today. You are moving and showing us that even though we see the great darkness increasing around us there is still hope because You are still working in the lives of people today! Thank You for including me in this outpouring of Your Spirit. I am excited, Lord, for all that You are doing in, around and through me at this very important stage in my life.
Father, I pray for those who don't know You this morning. I ask that You would cause them to see the difference in the believers around them. I pray that they will be drawn to the Light that lives within those who know You as Savior and Lord. I pray that You will cause them to desire what the believers have. I ask You, Lord, to bring them to salvation before it's too late. Father, open the blinded eyes to see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ so they can be saved. Pull down the veil of deception that Satan has hung over their minds that blinded them so they couldn't see the Light of Jesus around them. Show them Your great salvation and continue to draw them by Your Spirit to the saving knowledge of Jesus. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Psalm 62:5-8 NLT I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor come from God alone, He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge. Interlude (Selah)
Avies paraphrase: God alone is my Source; He is my refuge from the storm, my high fortress for protection from my enemies. He is my salvation and my honor; my hope is in Him and when I am in His protective custody no enemy can reach me! I trust in Him at all times! I pour out my heart to Him in times of trouble because He is my refuge. It is in Him alone that I put my trust and my hope!
Through the last year I have seen and heard of so much fear that is going around through the internet and from well meaning friends. I have had to weed through what I chose to believe and what I believed was simply scare tactics sent from the evil one. I am amazed at how much fear has been circulated through the lives of well meaning Christians. It serves to me as an indicator of where our faith is and what needs to be taught to strengthen us to meet the challenges of our future. As I've read and studied God's word throughout the last 25 years the one thing that has repeatedly been revealed to me is that God is a God of faith; He does not instigate fear in the hearts of His people, but we have an enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy and his attacks against God's people are based on his ability to deceive and cause us to fear what he can do more than we have faith in God's ability to provide for, protect and bless His people. We may be going through tough times, but the God who spoke the world into existence is the One in which I place my trust and I know that He will provide and care for His own!
Psalm 118:8, 9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.
It has been said that Psalm 118:8, 9 are the verses that are at the very center of the Bible. I have not counted them to see if it is true; however, I did research it a little and found that there is substantiation that supports this belief. Both of these verses speak of trusting God instead of man.
Look at what it says: Amplified Bible It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
There is one who we are to trust and take refuge in; God and Him alone! He is the only Source that we can count on. He is the One who will protect from the storm; provide a refuge in the time of trouble; hear and rescue us from disaster. Who are you placing your trust in? Where is your faith?
Jesus chastened His disciples for not having faith when they were in the boat crossing over the sea and a great storm arose when He was asleep in the boat and they became frightened that they were going to perish because the storm was raging around them. They woke Him from his sleep and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38) The scripture goes on to say that Jesus arose, rebuked the wind and said to the storm, “Peace, be still!” When the sea obeyed he turned to His disciples and said, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:39, 40)
Could it be that God is asking us, as born again believers, the same thing in the day of our storm? “Why are you so fearful?” “How is it that you have no faith?” Jesus was right there in the boat with His disciples when they encountered the storm. God is right here with us, living within each believer by the presence of His Spirit. He is with us in the midst of our storms. Has He not said that the Greater One lives within us and is greater than he that is in the world? (1 John 4:4)
Jesus Himself cautioned His disciples about getting caught up in the tribulations that were yet to come in John 16:32, 33:
“Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
How did Jesus overcome the tribulation of the world? By depending on the Father who was with Him. He knew His source was not in man, but in the Father. He placed His faith in God, not in man. His trust was in His Source, the One true God. He knew where He had come from and where He was going. (John 13:3) You may say, “well, He was the Son of God”; “He was God Himself, in a physical body”. And that is true, Jesus is the Son of God; the second person of the Trinity; the very exact representation of the Father. But, Jesus was also a human being, like you and me, who depended on the presence of the Holy Spirit within Him as God, His Father, had anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power to go about doing good; preach, teaching and healing; demonstrating the power of God resident within the life of a believer. (Acts 10:38) Jesus laid His deity aside to become a human being that He might experience all that we experience in life and still overcome and be counted worthy to redeem mankind through paying the penalty for our sin. (Philippians 2:5-11) It took a sinless man to redeem the authority back that man had given to the devil through the Fall in the Garden of Eden. (Romans 5:12-21) Jesus depended on the Father, through the power of the Spirit that we might have a worthy example to follow showing us how to life by faith, just as He did.
Romans 12:3 tells us that we have all been given a measure of faith. But our success in our walk of faith depends on what we do with that measure that we have been given. Jesus' disciples once asked Him to give them more faith and He simply responded that it only take the faith of a mustard seed to pull up a mulberry tree by its roots and plant it in the sea. (Luke 17:5,6) The size of our faith is dependent up the size of our God. Do we see God as a small God or has He been magnified in our lives to the magnificent, all-powerful God that He really is?
God told Joshua when he was getting ready to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land that He would be with him and would not leave him nor forsake him. He told him to be of good courage; that no man would be able to stand before him and that as He was with Moses so He would be with Joshua. He went on to say in Joshua 1:7-9:
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Notice that He instructed Joshua to meditate in the Word; that's what the Book of the Law was at that time. He told him to not let it depart from his mouth, but to meditate in it day and night, and be sure to observe all that is written in it. In other words, don't just read it, but DO it! In the book of Romans it is recorded that our faith grows through hearing the Word; or in other words, faith arises within us through meditating on the Word of God.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith comes as we hear and do the word of God. Faith grows within our spirits through meditating on the Word! To meditate in the Hebrew means “to reflect; to moan; to mutter; to ponder; to meditate or contemplate something as one repeats the words. The Hebrew word for meditate, hagah, represents something quite unlike the English “meditation”, which may be a mental exercise only. In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them in a soft, droning sound, while utterly abandoning outside distractions. To meditate on the Word of God for faith to arise in your heart is to speak the Scriptures over and over again until they take root in your spirit and become life to you! When God's word as the solution to your problem becomes bigger within you than the problem is on the outside of you, then you will have faith to overcome because God is your Source!
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Just being born again does not mean that you overcome the world. The potential is there but it is not automatic. The victory comes as you exercise your faith to overcome! Thank God, He has well equipped each one of us for the victory, but will we do what is necessary to send fear fleeing and win the good fight of faith?
Father, I thank You for being my Source. I know that You have well equipped me to be a faith-walker and a conqueror through my faith in You and Your presence within me! Thank You, Father, for giving each one of us the measure of faith that we need to develop our ability to win over the effects of this present age. Father, I lift up to You those who may be struggling in their faith walk today. I ask You to show them who they are in Christ Jesus and the great power that You have made available to them through Your Spirit within them. I pray that they will be encouraged in knowing that You are their Source and there is nothing that the evil one can throw against them that can conquer or defeat them when they lean on and trust in You as their refuge and defender. Thank You for granting them the victory through Christ Jesus their Lord! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
I think at this time in our lives, especially in light of what has transpired in the United States this week with the elections, that people are fighting to stay positive and look forward to the blessings that God still has in store for us. It is not the end of the world yet! And how we view where we are at this point in time will determine how we meet the challenges of the future. It is important that we continue to do what God has called us to do, to spread His gospel to the world and to stand firm in our faith knowing that only He knows the day and hour of Jesus' return and until that happens we are to continue to occupy the land and live for Him. We cannot allow a defeatist attitude of no hope to come upon us. With that in mind I want to remind you of the glorious days that God has said will happen before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
Acts 2:16-21 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs on the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.'
The day of Pentecost ushered in the church age that takes place before the return of Jesus Christ. This is what is referred to as the “last days”. They are an overlap of this age and the Age to Come. The Prophet Joel prophesied that there would be a great outpouring of God's Spirit upon all flesh during the days before the return of the Lord. That is what Peter is speaking of in this portion of Scripture. In Old Testament days, because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, He came upon people instead of living within them. His presence was reserved for those who would need to lead the people spiritually and nationally. Thus, in important times when the people would seek the Lord for direction He would come upon a prophet, priest or king to lead them in the way they needed to take. But when Jesus died on the cross and paid the payment for mankind's sin He opened the way for all people who would receive Him into their hearts to be lead by His Spirit who would come to live within them. Now the Holy Spirit directs us by His presence within, and through His word as well as the times of special outpouring where He speaks through people and reveals Himself through dreams, visions, signs and wonders.
Since we are living in the last days we can expect to see more of an outpouring of God's Spirit upon his children as spoken of by Peter on the day of Pentecost. This is a promise that if we receive by faith will give us a hope and excitement about Him flowing through each one of us as His children to bring salvation into the hearts of unbelievers before His return. It is another indication of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus and is an exciting time in which to live. We have been granted the privilege of being a part of the great outpouring of God's Spirit in these last days.
To me this is exciting and gives me a positive focus upon which to set my eyes instead of thinking about how bad things are becoming in our world. It is important that we do not take a defeatist attitude about the negativity of where our nation is headed. People should not lose hope because of what has taken place in the past, but understand that it is simply an indicator of where we are in the time-frame of God's plan to send Jesus back to earth again. We are living in the days of spiritual awakening in our world and we should expect to see the things that have been prophesied to be taking place in our lives in this great time. Faith is how we access the things that God has in store for us. If we do not believe that God will flow through us and speak in dreams, visions and signs and wonders then we will not be one of those that He uses to bring salvation in this manner.
Mark 11:22-26 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Have faith in God! Believe what He has said and respond in obedience to it. Look up instead of looking inward or around you at what is going on in world events. He has not given up on us; we are in His plan to bring salvation to the world but if we don't receive by faith what He has said we won't see it happen in our own lives. When you pray, believe that you have what you've asked of Him. The difference between having and not having happens in your heart. This is not a formula to receiving from God; it is a lifestyle of living by faith. Walk in forgiveness to others so the channel to God is open for Him to receive your prayers; believe in your heart that He hears and answers and confess with your mouth what you have asked of Him. Align the confession of your mouth with the belief in your heart. If it is based on God's word and asked according to His will then there is nothing to stop you from receiving except doubt and unbelief. Stay in faith and you will see it's manifestation.
Be willing to be used of God. Expect Him to speak to you by His Spirit, through His word, and even through dreams and visions. There is no limit to what God wants to do in and through His children in these last days. Believe Him, step out in faith and be a vessel of honor that He can flow through to touch those around you and bring salvation into their lives!
Father, I come before You this morning to give You praise for where we are in Your plan for Jesus' return. I thank You for choosing me to live in this day and hour and to see the great outpouring of Your Spirit upon all flesh. Father, I look forward to seeing many saved, healed, delivered and set free from sin and Satan's bondage in these last days! Thank You for fulfilling Your word to us as we eagerly await the return of our Lord Jesus! May we each one be willing and ready to be a vessel that You can flow through. Help us to look at our future with great anticipation of what You are going to do in the lives of those around us. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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