Saturday, February 02, 2013
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
When we look at the beginning of mankind and his life in the Garden of Eden before the Fall of man we see how God intended for His man to relate to Him. We can understand how God intended for life to be for mankind.
In the beginning God created man in His likeness and image and gave him authority over all that was in the Garden; all the wild-life and plant life. He gave him rule and dominion and the ability to subdue all that God had placed under him.
Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God gave His man supreme authority in his own sphere of influence. He empowered him to rule over the earth; his sphere of influence. Man was to be in communion with his God and then pass on to his world that which he received from his God. Communion with God was the key to releasing his authority in the world. That all changed when sin entered the picture!
When sin entered into Adam's and Eve's lives the first thing we see happening is their fear of God; they were afraid to come into His presence to commune with Him. Sin hinders a person's ability to come boldly before God's throne to receive the help that he needs. It causes a person to want to run away from God and hide from Him instead of running to Him to fellowship and commune with Him. Sin hinders a person's ability to hear God's voice and feel His presence.
God wanted His man to fellowship with Him; to experience all that He had created him to be and do. Sin broke the channel of communication and caused his man to lose his confidence in exercising his authority over the world that God had given him. Sin caused man to be afraid of God; where he had once run to God to get his significance and acceptance, he now hid and cowered down from Him because of the effects of what he had done. Man's ability to hear the voice of God was now blurred and condemnation from the enemy now played a bigger role in his awareness of his God and what God thought of him. He now knew the evil of his world, just as the serpent had said, but it wasn't as great an idea as had been presented to him when he had been tempted to eat of that which God had said to stay away from.
Isn't that what sin does to us today also? Doesn't it hinder our ability to feel love and acceptance from our heavenly Father? When you sin don't you feel like running and hiding to escape the watchful eye of your Father in heaven? Does condemnation haunt you and give you the feeling of never being any good to anyone because you can't get control over a sinful habit?
Well, I have good news for you! God knew that His man would sin and that his communion with Him would be broken because of it. He planned ahead of time for what He knew would be needed to free man from the power of the enemy and the sin that so easily besets us. He made a way where there seemed to be no way! That way was made through the sacrifice of Jesus for the sin of mankind! God is in the restoration business! He restores what the enemy steals from us. When Jesus died for your sin and mine He made it possible for us to come back to the state that we were in before the Fall of man, in the Garden of Eden, where we lived in communion with our heavenly Father. Jesus restored our authority in our world. He gave back to us everything that sin took from us!
Romans 5:17-21 NIV For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
Jesus restored back to us everything that we lost when Adam and Eve sinned. Condemnation comes through sin; the door was opened for the enemy to enter into our lives through sin. God told Cain when he was thinking about killing his brother that sin was lying at the door waiting to have him; but that he should master it.
Genesis 4:6, 7 NIV Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will yo not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
God told Cain to keep the door to sin shut. If he had listened to God he would have been able to stay in right relationship with Him. He would have continued to be able to live in communion with his heavenly Father. But Cain chose his own way over God's. And he opened the door to the enemy's work in his life.
The only ground that Satan can take from a believer is the ground that we relinquish to him through sin. Sin opens the door for the devil to wreak havoc in the life of a believer. It diminishes our authority over our sphere of influence; it dims the voice of God in our hearts and it gives the enemy a foothold in our lives. Sin destroys our relationship with God and opens our lives to enemy attack. The way to stop it is to close the door to sin!
Romans 6:12-14 NKJV Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
When we submit ourselves to God and resist the temptation of the enemy to sin, we are taking an active part in closing the door on the enemy's ability to ruin our relationship with our God.
What are you doing to close the door to sin in your life? Are you living above the temptations of this world and the lure of the enemy to be independent of your heavenly Father? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hearts through asking God to forgive you and He will restore you to a right relationship with Him. The channel for communication will be cleared and you will once again be able to fellowship with Him and hear His voice. Don't allow the enemy to block your receptors!
Father, I come before You this morning to thank You for the way that You made for me to be in right relationship with You; through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. Father, I thank You that I can come boldly before Your throne of grace to find help in my time of need because Jesus made the way for me. Thank You for your forgiveness for my sin. Father, I lift those up to You who may be struggling with sin in their lives. I pray that You will show them that if they will confess it to You, agreeing that it is wrong, and ask You to forgive them that You will do as You have promised to restore their relationship with You. Father, give them the courage to run to You and not from You. Father, draw them by Your Spirit to once again be set free from the effects of sin and the evil one. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, February 01, 2013
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
In the early days of man's existence, while Adam and his wife were still living in the Garden of Eden, God came to them and walked and talked with them in the cool of the day. His presence was real to them because they spent time with Him communing during the day. The knew His presence; they heard His voice because they walked and talked with Him regularly. All throughout the Bible we can read of people interacting with God through relationship; walking and talking with Him. God hasn't changed; He still wants to commune with His people.
When God's man sinned in the Garden it affected their relationship with God. Sin cuts us off from the presence of God and places a barrier between us and Him.
Genesis 3:9, 10 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Genesis 3:22-24 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”--therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Sin caused the relationship between God and man to be distanced; broken. Man could no longer walk and talk in close relationship with His Creator. Sin changes your life and your ability to relate to God. It breaks the relationship and causes a gulf to form that keeps you out of God's presence. Sin kills relationships! Sin entered mankind and destroyed his ability to commune with God through the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That one sin brought sin into the bloodline of all humanity.
Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus-death spread to all men, because all sinned--(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law, Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Since sin entered the human race through Adam and our relationship with God was severed through that sin, we were no longer able to communicate with God in close relationship because sin drives us out of the presence of God. It was imperative that because one man sinned and caused the break in our relationship with our God that in order for the payment to be made to restore the relationship it would have to be done by a sinless man. A man sinned and broke the communion with God so another man who was without sin would have to die to pay the penalty for sin and thus restore man to a right relationship with God. Jesus was that man. Sin travels down through the bloodline so all who are born in humanity are born with sin already in their lives. That natural bent to sin then causes man to live a life of sinful choices so man becomes a sinner both by birth and choice. Only a sinless man by birth could pay the price for man's sin. The bloodline of man comes through the father so only because Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit could He be born without the sin nature of man.
Luke 1:31-35 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Jesus died to reconnect man with His God. He paid the price for the sin that separated man from God in the Garden of Eden. Jesus reconciled man to God so that we can, once again, live in communion with our God.
Romans 5:6-10 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
In order to appropriate that payment for sin into your own life personally, you must understand that the blood of Jesus has to be applied to your life for the payment for your own sin. He died for all mankind, but for the reconciliation to be complete for a person it must be made your own; it must be personalized.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:6-10 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, “'Who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 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.
Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Personalizing what Jesus did for you in payment for your sin is simply believing in your heart that He did that; that He is the Son of God who died for the sin of mankind, and confessing Him as your own personal Lord and Savior. That is calling on the Lord; making Him the payment for your sin so that your relationship with God can be restored; reconciled and re-connected. You do that through prayer.
If you have never made Jesus your own personal Lord and Savior and would like to pray to have your sin forgiven and your relationship with the Father reconciled please pray this prayer with me and mean it in your heart.
Father God, I believe that my sin separates me from You. I believe that Jesus died to pay the payment for my sin so that I can be restored in my relationship with You. I believe that Jesus is Your Son and that He died for me, personally, so that I can live my life in right relationship with You. I believe that You raised Him from the dead and that He will live in me through the presence of His Spirit restoring me to have communion with You. I receive the payment that Jesus paid for my sin and ask You to save me and restore me to right relationship with You. Lord Jesus, I ask You to come into my life, into my heart to live Your life through me and be my own personal Lord. I receive You as my Savior and Lord and confess that I will live my life for You from this moment on. Thank You for saving me. I receive the indwelling Spirit of God; the Spirit of Jesus as a seal upon my heart that guarantees that I am Yours. Thank You, Holy Spirit for living within me to lead me and guide me through life and to fellowship with me through prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer and received Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord you now have eternal life through the redemption that He provided for you on the cross of Calvary. You are now a part of God's family and have the full rights of a child of God. You have the ability to commune with the Father once again through the presence of His Spirit within you. Through spending time with Him in prayer you can commune with God and hear His voice as He speaks with you through your fellowship with His Spirit. You have been restored to Him!
God has always wanted to have communion with His people. He wants us to walk and talk with Him. That has been His plan from the beginning of the creation of mankind. He longs to share His heart with you and have you share your heart with Him. It is possible through salvation to have a living and vital relationship with the One who created you and loves you the most! What is keeping you from spending time with Him? Is there unconfessed sin in your life that distances you from Him? If so, confess it quickly so the channel of communication between you and Him can be opened once again. Even though Jesus paid for your redemption there are still times, as born again believers, that we sin and that sin hinders our ability to come boldly into His presence. We must confess it and be cleansed regularly!
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Learn to live your life with a short sin account with God. When we quickly confess that we have sinned we then are able to come boldly into His presence to commune with Him.
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
It is as we commune with Him, through His Spirit, that we find the guidance that we need for our lives. It is in His presence as we fellowship with Him that we find joy and the pleasures of a life lived in communion with God. That's His plan for us; to be connected with Him through the relationship that He, Himself, paid for with His very own blood. Will you take the time to get to know Him? Will you develop the one relationship that pays eternal benefits; your relationship with God? It is developed through prayer; through communion with the Holy Spirit as you share your heart with Him and listen as He speaks words of love and acceptance to you; words of guidance and of leadership in how He wants you to live. The Spirit of God is waiting for you to come to Him and receive!
Father, I thank You for the payment You made for my sin. I receive Your forgiveness and the reconciliation that Jesus provided for me on the cross of Calvary. I long to commune with You Holy Spirit, to know You more, to hear Your voice more completely and to fellowship with You. Thank You for listening as I pray and for speaking to my heart as I listen for Your voice. I pray that those who have never heard Your voice clearly will begin to seek a deeper relationship with You. I pray that they will come before You and wait until You speak to them, not rushing in with their list of requests and then leaving before You have a chance to respond to them. I pray that we all will hunger and thirst for a deeper walk with You. Thank You, Father, for honoring our requests to live with You and share in fellowship with You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All One God, yet three divine Persons; each one fully God, and each one showing fully the divine nature of God. Father, the Creator, Jesus, the Son, the Living Word, the exact representation of the Father, our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, the convict-er of man's sin, righteousness, and judgment, and the power arm of God. All three have existed from before there was anything that could begin—and all are equally God. All have their place and role to play in the lives of people. We are made in the image and likeness of God; spirit, soul, and body; a tripartite being, just as God is a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In 2 Corinthians 13:14 the word gives three distinct roles that the Trinity plays in the lives of men. It is through the Lord Jesus Christ that the grace of God offers salvation, the entrance into eternal life and forgiveness of sin. If it were not for the blood of Jesus, man would be eternally lost and separated from God. Grace has been said to be God's redemption at Christ's expense. It is by grace that a person is saved through faith in the shed blood of Jesus as the payment for his/her sin. Without that understanding and acceptance for the payment of our sin, personally, we cannot have a relationship with the Father.
Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
If it were not for the love of God, the Father, who gave his only begotten Son, man would be eternally lost and unable to be spiritually born into the family of God.
John 3:16, 17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
If the Holy Spirit did not commune with man we would not have the help that we need on a daily basis to direct us in the way we should go, to convict us of sin in our lives, to point people to Jesus for salvation, and to equip us to live and succeed in being all that God has created us to be. We would not have the friendship of God or His close interaction and fellowship. We read in the book of Acts of the early Christians who, in their walk with the Lord, had only the Old Testament scriptures to tell of how God wanted to interact with them. They experienced the Holy Spirit as a person through His daily interaction with them without having the New Testament to tell them who He was or what He wanted to do in them and through them. Their only knowledge of Him came through direct revelation from God through Jesus telling them about Him and their personal experience with Him as He lived and moved in them and through them. They experienced Him more than they knew Him through the Word. They had God encounters more than Word encounters!
As modern day Christians we need to have God encounters! As I look through the Scriptures I see where people have had powerful encounters with God through the Word from Genesis to Revelation that changed their lives personally and impacted our world for God's kingdom purposes! Living out our Christianity is more than reading the Word and interacting with God through faith in what He has said. It is knowing Him through the experience of His presence in our lives as it is spoken of in His Word.
Jesus said it this way in John 17:3:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
This “knowing” is not just a knowledge received through intellectual activity, but it is an experiential knowledge of God through the interaction of the Holy Spirit in a person's life. The word for “know” is the Greek word “ginosko” and it means to have a knowledge that comes through intimacy such as a husband knows his wife through their sexual union. You can be married in name but not be “one” in flesh until that marriage has been consummated through the sexual union of the husband and wife. So, our “knowing” God is to be a knowledge that arises from communing, interacting, praying and getting to know God through the work of the Son on the cross of Calvary and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
The Greek word for “communion” in 2 Corinthians 13:14, when speaking of the Holy Spirit, is the word koinonia, which means partnership, participation, or (social) intercourse; to communicate or have fellowship.
I've found in my years of ministry that people have relied on knowing God more through the written word than through the interaction or fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus chastised the leaders of His day for thinking that they could have eternal life through searching the scriptures and not coming to Him to receive the life that only He could give.
John 5:39, 40 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
He later said that when He went back to the Father that He would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to take His place and to live within His followers.
John 14:16-18 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--”the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus, the One who lives in a born again believer that is there to interact with them, offer friendship and fellowship and communion that is His presence in our lives. Each person of the Trinity has a part to play in the life of mankind. The Word of God leads us to an understanding of God, shows us His character and nature and instructs us in right living, but does not take the place of the person of God in our lives. Bill Johnson in his book, “Walking in the Supernatural” says it like this: “It's difficult to get the same fruit as the early Church when we value a book they didn't have more than the Holy Spirit they did have. It's not “Father, Son, and Holy Bible.” It's Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “We must rely on the Holy Spirit to bring the words of the Bible alive.” The Word of God is vitally important and the life we live must be a life based on God's word, but we need God encounters to experience the reality of God in our lives.
Questions for reflection today would be: Have you had a God encounter? Do you fellowship with the Holy Spirit? Is His presence known and felt in your inner most being?
Father, I thank You for Your interaction in the lives of mankind. I thank You for giving Your very own Son that we might have eternal life. Without faith in the shed blood of Jesus we would be eternally lost and separated from You. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for taking my sin upon Your back and nailing it to the cross. I know that no one took Your life from You, but You willing laid it down for me that I might be born again. Thank You for saving me. Holy Spirit, I thank You for living within me, for being my friend, my confidant and my Helper. You are the One that lets me know that my life is in Christ Jesus and that He lives within me through You, His Spirit. Thank You for Your presence in my life and for talking with me, fellowshiping with me through my days. Lord God, I thank You for all of Your interaction in the lives of mankind. You, God, are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and every person and aspect of Who You are is active in my life. Thank You for living with me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you have never invited Jesus into your life to be your own personal Savior and Lord, you need to do that to be in right relationship with the Father and to have the Holy Spirit living within you. Your sins that separate you from God cannot be forgiven without your acceptance of His shed blood to pay the penalty for your sin. That's the place of beginning in your walk with God. It has to start there. If you would like to receive Jesus as Your own personal Savior and Lord please pray with me and sincerely mean this prayer in your heart.
Father God, I thank You for sending Jesus to pay the price for my sin. I believe that He is Your Son, that He lived and died to pay for the sin of mankind and I personally accept His free gift of salvation through the forgiveness of my own sin. I believe that Jesus died for me, was raised from the dead and now lives in heaven at the right hand of the Father. I receive Him as my Savior and Lord and promise to live each day from this day forward for You. Thank You for saving me. As the seal of my salvation I thank You, Holy Spirit for coming to live within me to be my friend, my Helper and to lead me in my daily faith walk. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Father, I thank You for all that You have done for us in providing eternal life through Your Son's shed blood on the cross of Calvary. I thank You for Your presence within us through the Holy Spirit that comes to dwell within the hearts of those who receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I thank You that we can talk to You and hear You speak to us through the communion of the Holy Spirit. I thank You for Your word that helps us to know You. You are the One who gives us life and I thank You for that life eternal that continues on from the moment we receive Jesus into eternity. We can live with You both now and forevermore through Your great salvation! Thank You for all that You have done for us, in us and for what You are doing through us. You are worthy of my praise! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.
Have you wondered what to say to someone in a certain situation? Words spoken at the right time are precious and valuable. God likens them to apples of gold in settings of silver.
According to Wikipedia “A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value.” “The best-known precious metals are the coinage metals gold and silver.”
God places a high value on the words that we speak. According to Proverbs 20:15:
There is gold and a multitude of rubies, But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
He places a higher value on what we say than the economic value of gold and silver. And yet He symbolizes a word spoken at just the right time as being like a precious metal of high value and beauty. He even goes as far as to say that we can speak life into a situation or death with what we say. It is clearly evident that our words carry a lot of weight when spoken into a person's life or situation.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
The Book of Proverbs is filled with words of wisdom. In fact, the unifying thought or theme of the Book of Proverbs is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”, Proverbs 9:10. There is a lot of wisdom relayed in the Book of Proverbs regarding our mouth, tongue and the results of what we say.
Proverbs 15:23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.
Proverbs 16:23, 24 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
What is in our hearts is supposed to teach or control our speech and conduct. God's wisdom teaches our hearts what is the right thing to say and do. Man's heart is a well-spring of life and all the issues of life flow from it. If the heart isn't right, the words that we speak will not be life-giving words. There will be no sweetness come out of the mouth of one who has a bitter spring within his heart.
The Book of James has a lot to say about the tongue and what comes out of our mouths.
James 3:2-12 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.
The words that we speak either come from a spring of bitter or sweet within our hearts. We spew them forth as a fountain or spring and if not controlled they will bring cursing instead of life. If we don't stumble in what we say the Word says we are a perfect man, able to bridle his whole body. When we get the tongue under control, according to the word of God, we will have control over every other fleshly aspect of our lives. It's a difficult thing to do, but if we look at the example that Jesus places before us we can see how it can be done.
Isaiah records in Isaiah 50:4 about Jesus, the coming Messiah that He would have the “tongue of the learned” that He “should know how to speak a word in due season to him who is weary.”
Isaiah 50:4,5 “The Lord GOD has given me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in due season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.
He says that Christ was given the ability to deliver effectively the message He was given. And He willfully submitted Himself to learn each day what was needed to share with those around Him. God opened His ears to hear what He wanted Him to say to people.
Again in Isaiah 52: 7 the scripture records that those who share to good news of salvation with others will have beautiful feet. Romans 10:15 refers back to this Old Testament scripture when it speaks of those who preach the gospel of peace to those who need to come to salvation.
Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
These two verses have always intrigued me because there is a little bit of a mystery in how it's relayed to us. It speaks of “beautiful feet”. I've always thought that meant more than a person being blessed to be used by the Lord in preaching His word. So I stopped to look up the word “beautiful” in Strong's concordance to see exactly what the Greek word means. The word for “beautiful” in the Greek is horaios and it means “belonging to the right hour or season (timely), flourishing; beautiful. What I believe the Lord is saying in this verse of scripture is that it is beautiful when we speak the right word at the right time that brings His word of salvation into the hearts and lives of people. There is a timely word for every needy person and if we will listen the Lord will give it to us so that when we speak it forth it will have a fruitful impact on their lives. Jesus said of Himself in John 5:30 that He did nothing on His own; He spoke only what He heard the Father say.
John 5:30 AMP I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of my own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.
He said He spoke only as He was taught by God and as He got His orders. Wouldn't it be nice if we all would speak only as directed by the Holy Spirit? Wouldn't that solve a lot of relationship problems? I don't know about you but there have been lots of times when I have spoken out of my own understanding and feelings and not out of what I was directed to say by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He learned how to speak a word in due season to those who were weary. He learned every morning as He spent time with His Father what He was to say in those situations that needed a life-giving word directed at a heart of pain or a situation that needed restoration or reconciliation.
How beautiful it is when we learn to speak the right word at the right time to those around us! May we be like Jesus arising early to hear from the Father, learning how to handle the situations in our lives.
Father, I thank You that You have all the answers and You know exactly what we need to say at just the right time. I thank You that You are willing to share with us the wisdom that comes only from You so that when we speak to others about You or speak into their lives a healing word they will receive it because it is given at just the right time and in the right way. I pray that we will take the time to listen when You speak to us about our relationships and how to conduct our lives so that others will be drawn closer to You through our interaction with them. Father, open the eyes of our understanding to see Your plan for our lives and how You want to teach us the valuable lessons that will give us success in our relationships. Give us the tongue of the learned that knows what to say at just the right time and in the right way. I ask You now, Father, to heal the wounds in the hearts of people who have been spoken to harshly. I pray that You will spread the balm of Gilead, Your healing power over their hearts; pull out the fiery darts that the enemy has used through our words that hurt. Please forgive us for speaking wrongly and for allowing our tongues to be like asps of poison. Remove the guilt of our sin and restore us to a right relationship with You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Isaiah 52:12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Every now and then I have to remind myself of Who it is that is my shield and protection, the One who goes before me into every situation and the One who protects me from behind. The last few days I have had this song and video on my heart. It speaks so vividly of how God goes before us and protects us from the rear and the hosts of angels that He has encompassed around each of us.
We can't see into the spirit realm to visually experience the reality of those that encompass us with their swords of protection and the God who is the captain of the host, but by faith we understand through the word of God that it is true and real; there are angels encamped around each of us and God commands them to bear us up in their hands so we do not dash our foot against a stone.
Psalm 91:11, 12 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
In 2 Kings 6:8-17 we read of the story of Elisha and his servant that were surrounded by enemy armies and when the young servant was afraid and wondering what they would do to get out of that dangerous situation, Elisha prayed and asked the LORD to open the eyes of the young man so he could see the angel armies gathered around them to protect them. He said their were more with them than against them.
2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
In Hebrews 1:14 the Word says that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will inherit salvation.
Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
Exodus 23:20 “Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. “Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. “But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. “For My Angel will go before you and bring you into the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off.
God has placed angels in our lives to minister for us when we need their help. He has sent them out to do His word; to act on our behalf as we need them.
Psalm 103:20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.
Angels bless the Lord through doing His word. They are strong and mighty and exercise their ability to protect through hearing and doing His word. As we speak forth His word they are commissioned to work on our behalf.
It may seem to you that in your situation you are alone; that there is no one to help you. But have you remembered that it is God that goes before you into every situation and covers You with His hand of protection. Have you considered the angels that He has placed around you as His army to fight for you and give you protection? You are not alone! All of heaven is with you. Do not be afraid to go into the battle for God has given you His protection and provision. He has given you the victory!
Father, I thank You this morning for the hosts of angels that You have commissioned to work for Your people. I thank You for sending them out at the voice of Your word to do Your work. Thank You for sending them before us and behind us and around us. You have given us the victory through Your interaction in our lives. Thank You for protecting us from the evil one and for granting us Your salvation. May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened to know all that You have provided for us as Your children. Show us in each situation what we are dealing with and how to access the provision that You have made for us. May Your angels give help as it is needed to each of the heirs of Your salvation! Thank You, Father! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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