Thursday, March 29, 2012
Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Sometimes things in life can become overbearing and the cares of this world weigh us down to where we feel discouraged, almost defeated. It is at those times when we can look to the Lord and say, “You are my refuge and my fortress. You are the one that I look to for safety from the storm, Lord. You are my God and it's in You I will trust.” It's in the time of trouble that the reality of who God is comes to rest in our lives. It is in the crucible of life that we often-times turn to the Lord with total abandon, because it is in those times that we are the most needy.
Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16:13, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They responded, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then He got to the very crux of His conversation when He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Jesus wasn't as interested in what everyone in the world thought of Him as He was of wanting to know what each individual disciple thought of Him. Simon Peter answered Him saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Simon Peter had a revelation of who Jesus was. He had a personal relationship with Jesus that led Him to the revelation knowledge of the deity of Christ.
When Simon Bar-Jonah came to the revelation of who Jesus was to Him, God changed his name to Peter, meaning a rock or stone. When Peter came to that place of understanding that Jesus was to him God in the flesh, he was changed. That's how it is when we come to the Lord and He reveals Himself to us; we are forever changed. We are strengthened to withstand whatever storm life may pitch at us. Each of us comes to that place where Jesus says to us, “Who am I to you? Am I your own personal Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Fortress, Refuge; am I your God?” It is usually in the time of trouble that we have that encounter with the Lord because we have an issue that needs to be addressed at that particular time. If we've never received Jesus as Savior we will be confronted with our sin and realize that we can't be forgiven through our own works of righteousness because God says that our righteousness is as filthy rags and nothing that we can do will earn our salvation. So we trust Him as Savior. It may be that we are experiencing a sickness that we are confronted with the question from the Lord, “Who do you say that I am?” and we see Him as our Healer. Or maybe it is in the time of financial need that we come to the revelation knowledge that God is our Provider. Whatever we are going through is an opportunity for Jesus to reveal Himself to us as the answer to that need. He truly is El Shaddai – the all sufficient God, eternally capable of being all that His people need!
Today I choose to say of the Lord, “You are my God, in You I will trust”. No matter what comes my way I know, Lord, that You are my El Shaddai, the God of plenty, and very capable of being all that I need in my life. I will not look to the right or to the left, but I will focus my eyes on You, for You are my God. I trust You, Lord, and I thank You for taking care of me.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Luke 5:4-6 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.
When Jesus told Simon to launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch Simon responded in faith saying even though we've fished all night with no results; "nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net." He recognized that God's word superseded anything that he could see, feel or think about his situation. He chose to take a leap of faith depending on God's word. And when he obeyed the results far outweighed anything that he could have imagined.
Reasoning would say that night fishing is the best; Jesus told him to launch out in the daytime. Reasoning would say I didn't catch anything when I tried the last time; why should I think it will be any different just because Jesus said to try again? Reasoning would say everyone is going to think I am crazy to go back fishing again in these waters where I didn't catch anything in the prime time for fishing. Reasoning stifles faith. Reasoning comes through our minds, faith comes from our hearts. Reasoning comes from walking through life according to our senses; or sight walking. Faith arises from from within as a result of walking according to God's Word and is step by step, trusting in Him, not depending on what we see, feel, or think.
2 Corinthians 4:17, 18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We may be going through a difficult time right now, but when we look at that situation through spiritual eyes we can see that it is subject to change. Peter experienced a night of not catching any fish when that was the perfect time to catch them, but when Jesus spoke into his situation, and He followed His direction, His situation took a 180 degree change. He chose to walk by faith, listening and heeding the directions of the Master, instead of what he could see in the natural.
2 Corinthians 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight"
Today, I choose to walk by faith, not by sight. I thank You, Lord, for going before me into every situation that I encounter today. Your Word is truth, O Lord, and what I see with my eyes is temporal, subject to change. So, I thank You, Father, for the truth of Your Word that supersedes the facts of my life today. I trust You, Father with my life knowing that You are watching over me and working in every situation that I encounter. Thank You, Lord, for changing me from the inside out. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Romans 3:3, 4 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”
Is God's word true in our lives or do we judge the faithfulness of God's word by what we are experiencing in our own lives?
I think the key to understanding this subject and seeing the manifestation of the truth of God's word in our lives falls in the first part of verse 3: “For what if some did not believe?” God's word becomes a reality in our lives as we believe it. The truth of the matter is that what God says about us in His word is always the truth whether our lives reflect it or not. We need to judge our lives by the truth of God's word instead of judging God's word by what is taking place in our lives.
For example, God's word says in Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” But what if I have bills waiting to be paid and not enough money in the bank to pay them? What if my financial state is in ruin? Does that mean that God's word lies and my current situation is the truth? No, God's word is always true; my life's happenings need an adjustment so they will line up with the word of God.
Another example, God's word says that “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8:17) And 1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose strips you were healed.” The truth of God's word says that Jesus is our Healer. So, if my body is suffering a physical infirmity does that negate the truth of God's word? I don't think so!!! It means that my body needs to come into alignment with God's word and I need to do the right things to help my body reflect God's healing virtue.
What about this one...Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” So, can I judge God's word by what I see or do I have to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth in order to receive what God's word says?
God brought the truth of this scripture home to me when my middle grandson was born with under-developed lungs. I was believing that God would touch him with His healing power and develop those lungs to sustain his life. I was strong in that belief until I would get a negative report from the doctors. Then I would tell that report to others. Finally, the Lord spoke to my heart and brought this scripture to mind. He said “you need to align the words of your mouth with what you are believing in your heart”. When I made the adjustment and began to speak what I was believing in my heart we saw a turn around in his health. He rapidly changed. The doctors were amazed and his lungs were quickly strengthened until he was strong enough to be released from the hospital. You see, to believe is not just mental assent! The Greek word for believe is “pisteuo”. It is the verb form of the word “pistus” which means “faith”. It means to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, and rely on. It expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. To believe is to be so fully convinced that what you know in your heart is true, that you speak it out your mouth and function as if it were happening right now. That means that if I believe God's word is true I will speak it and act on it. It takes precedence over what I see happening in my life.
James said it this way in James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hears only, deceiving yourselves.” If we are going to believe God's word is true then we must come to the place where we no longer just read it, but we act on it!
Today I choose to believe God's word over what I see happening in my life. I will speak out what I believe in my heart so I can be a doer of His word and not a hearer only.
Thank You, Lord, for the truth of Your Word. I acknowledge it above the experiences of my life. I will judge my life by Your word and when the experiences of my life don't line up with your word I will change what I can to cause them to come into agreement with Your word. That means that I will do what I can to improve my heath so my body reflects You as my Savior, Lord, Healer, Sustainer, Provider and Deliverer! Thank You for being my All in All!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Luke 14:28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it---"
This scripture is talking about the cost of discipleship, of following Jesus; that we need to weigh the cost and be determined to follow Him before we set out on that journey. But this scripture can apply to our everyday lives in how we think about a healthy lifestyle. It can be viewed from the negative as well as the positive. As I think back over my life and those of family members, I've come to the realization that I need to count the cost of choosing a lifestyle of "no restraints" on my eating habits. I am the youngest of five children, two of which have had heart bypass surgery and currently suffer from diabetes. The risk of heart disease and diabetes is multiplied in my life because of family members currently suffering from those illnesses.
Praise God, I have been redeemed from the curse of the law of which sickness and disease is a part. Galatians 3:13 says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"),. When you look back at Deuteronomy 28 where the curse of the law is described you will see that sickness and disease is a part of that curse. Jesus bore my sickness when He took stripes upon His back and hung on that cross to pay the penalty for my sin. Sickness is a direct result of sin passed down through the generations that began in the Garden of Eden when Adam ate the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat.
So, if I have been set free from that curse, what must I do to walk in that freedom? The first thing I must do is accept the salvation that God so freely offers me. We are not always completely aware of what Jesus purchased for us in salvation. I know that He purchased salvation for me, spirit, soul and body. He died for my whole being! Thus, I receive Him as my healer! Then out of gratitude I will walk out that healing on a daily basis by choosing to work with Him to establish a healthy lifestyle so that the enemy cannot come and steal the healing that God has given me. My responsibility, then, is to protect what Jesus purchased for me on the cross. I choose to follow Him by living for Him, presenting my body to Him as a living sacrifice, not being conformed to the ways of the world, but by choosing to count the cost of following Him, spirit, soul and body. The choices I make in eating and the exercise I provide for my body bring glory unto Him and enable me to walk out the freedom of His so great a salvation!
Today I will count the cost of not choosing the proper foods to fuel my body and I will follow God's plan for healthy living. I will live for Him, and properly assess my lifestyle and do what I can to assure that I am working with His healing salvation in my physical being!
Thank You, Lord, for saving me from my own unhealthy dietary habits. I choose Your way today, Lord. Please help me have the courage to say "no" to those things that my emotions crave, the unhealthy responses to food that only feeds my taste buds, and choose the foods that will fuel my body and bring strength and good health to it. Thank You, Lord, for empowering me by Your Spirit to live for you! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Yesterday I was a little discouraged because I hadn't lost any weight for about two weeks so I began seeking God's direction for 'tweaking" my weight loss plan. I felt that I was doing some things right but probably needed a little adjustment to cause my body to respond to the plan for weight loss. I decided that, even though I was staying within my calorie allowance, I probably was eating too many wrong carbs and needed to adjust that to achieve optimum weight loss.
This morning as I was spending time with the Lord I was reminded of God's plan for me to prosper and be in good health as His word states in 3 John 2. I know that it is God's will for me to be healthy to fulfill the call that He has on my life for without optimum health I will not live long enough to do everything that He has planned. In this scripture the word for "prosper" means "to help on the road" or "succeed in reaching". God desires for me to succeed in reaching good health; good health physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and financially, or simply in all things! My ability to succeed is based on how I view this or as the Word says; just as my soul prospers! My soul is my mind, will and emotions. That means that I will prosper as I think and relate to my goals emotionally and as I set my will to succeed. So there are some questions that I need to ask myself before I can expect success. What am I thinking about? Do I expect success? Am I emotionally prepared to succeed or do I have a negative attitude regarding my ability to win this battle? Am I determined to win or is this a half-hearted effort?
Since I am an individual the help that I need on this road to prosperity is tailored for my unique needs, just as He has a plan tailored to meet your needs as an individual. It is up to each of us to determine what works best for our own individual journeys. But He has promised to provide the help that we need if we will seek His directions.
Today I am thankful that He leads me down the right road for success! Thank You, Lord, for showing me that I needed to tweak my plan for weight loss. I need Your help, Lord, to be all that You have created me to be and do what You have called me to do. Thank You, for directing me in making the changes that will help me to succeed! And thank You, Lord, for the 2 pound weight loss this morning! To You be all the glory, Father! In Jesus' name. Amen.
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