Friday, February 28, 2014
The changes brought about by God's Word in your life and mine are not primarily for the purpose of making us good or successful or happy or wealthy or prosperous or problem free. The primary purpose of these changes is that we might know God fully and intimately so we can reflect Him in all we are and say and do, bringing glory to the One Who created us.
Is your life complete? Do you feel you are waiting for something, but you don't know what? Do you have an aching loneliness, a hunger pain of the spirit, a yearning deep inside yourself for something? For Someone? Then get in touch with your Creator. You are hungry for God. You were created with a capacity to know Him in a personal, permanent, love relationship. That capacity is empty until you establish the relationship with Him for which you were created.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12, NKJV
Although God is the Creator of us all, nowhere does the Bible say we are all His children. On the contrary, there are two conditions you and I must meet before we can be called God's children. One is that we must receive Jesus, or open the door of our hearts and invite Him to come in. The other is that we must believe in His Name.
Believing in His Name means we must be willing to commit our lives to all that He is as represented by His Name. And His Name is Lord Jesus Christ.
The qualification for being a child of God by believing on His Name means much more than just head knowledge. It is not just giving intellectual assent to the fact that the Name Lord Jesus Christ is the label attached to the Person. It means to rest in Jesus, to put all of our trust on Him alone for forgiveness and salvation.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7, NKJV
Temptation, whether in the form of a serving of birthday cake when you're on a diet or the bed of your neighbor's spouse, intensifies through toleration. The toleration leads to a preoccupation of thoughts, and it's not long before we reach out to touch it. At that point, there is almost no turning back.
What temptation have you tolerated, thought about, touched, and toyed with? "It's just one more glass of wine." "It's just a little harmless flirtation." "It's just a magazine at the checkout counter." "It's just one date." Watch out! If you tolerate it, think about it, and toy with it, you are just a step away from actually doing it. So . . . instead of tolerating sin, turn from it NOW!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18, NIV
God has clearly commanded you and me to "be filled with the Spirit." But an unconfessed sin or resistance to His authority will block the "flow" of His life within us. If we do not deal with it, our spiritual lives become stagnant and we lose our attractiveness and usefulness to God. And we have nothing refreshing about us that would draw other people to Christ.
What is hindering you from being filled with the Holy Spirit? To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be under His moment-by-moment control. He has not been given to you so that you can keep Him confined to a particular area in your life. Let Him loose! He is Lord! The amount of power you experience to live a victorious, triumphant Christian life is directly proportional to the freedom you give the Spirit to be Lord of your life!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, . . . and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:2-4, NKJV
I understand that a turkey and an eagle react differently to the threat of a storm. A turkey reacts by running under the barn, hoping the storm won't come near. On the other hand, an eagle leaves the security of its nest and spreads its wings to ride the air currents of the approaching storm, knowing they will carry it higher in the sky than it could soar on its own. Based on your reaction to the storms of life, which are you? A turkey or an eagle?
It's natural for me to be a turkey in my emotions, but I have chosen to be an eagle in my spirit. And as I have spread my wings of faith to embrace the "Wind," placing my trust in Jesus and Jesus alone, I have experienced quiet, "everyday" miracles:
His joy has balanced my pain.
His power has lifted my burden.
His peace has calmed my worries.
So . . . would you spread your wings of faith and soar?!
Friday, February 14, 2014
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13, NIV
We love others
who meet our needs,
whom we get along with,
who make us feel good,
who do things for us,
whom we like.
In essence, our first concern is for our own well-being and having our own needs met, and we love others in proportion to the extent they fulfill those purposes. Our second concern is that others respond positively to our overtures; if they don't, we refuse to continue to love them. But Jesus outlined a radically different kind of love - a love that puts the needs and well-being of others before our own to the extent we would sacrifice our time, our energy, our money, and our thoughts in order to demonstrate it. We are to demonstrate it to others whom we may not like or with whom we may be incompatible or who respond negatively or who may never do anything for us in return! Now that's radical!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13, NIV
God is righteous and just. But God is also loving and merciful. He cannot be less than Himself.
Satan, in his temptation of Adam and Eve and in his plan to defeat the purpose of God, failed to take into account the very character of God. He failed to realize one very important thing - how much God loved the man and woman He had created and the depths to which His grace would go in order to bring them back to Himself.
It never entered Satan's wicked, self-centered imagination that God would commit the fullness of His eternal, divine nature to bring man back into a right relationship with Himself. It never occurred to Satan, who ever seeks his own preeminence, that the Creator of the universe would lay down His own life in atonement for man's sin. But that's exactly what happened. The solution to the problem of sinfulness is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Monday, February 10, 2014
"Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6, NKJV
God never asks us to give Him what we don't have. But He does demand that we give Him all we do have if we want to be a part of what He wishes to do in the lives of those around us!
Remember the servants at the wedding in Cana? They had the thrill of knowing firsthand that water went into the pitcher, but wine came out! They had the unparalleled experience of participating in a miracle! Could you be in danger of missing the thrilling blessing of participating with God in a miracle because, for whatever reason, you won't give Him all that you have? The disciples did not know it at the time, but they were on the verge of participating in a miracle because they gave Jesus everything they had found to feed the crowd: five barley loaves and two small fish! As a result, the entire multitude was fed-and blessed!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
"It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."John 16:7, KJV
The very promise Jesus gave us contains a name for the Holy Spirit that reveals the uniqueness of His nearness in our loneliness. This name, "Comforter," is equally translated from the Greek text into six other names, each of which describes a slightly different aspect of the Holy Spirit's precious, personal ministry in our lives:
Comforter: One Who relieves of mental distress
Counselor: One Who gives advice and manages causes
Helper: One Who furnishes relief or support
Intercessor: One Who acts between parties to reconcile differences.
Advocate: One Who pleads the cause of another.
Strengthener: One Who causes strength and endurance
Standby: One Who can be always relied upon
Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to have Someone with these attributes in your life? If you belong to Jesus, you do have that wonderful Someone. You have the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. Revelation 21:4, NKJVOne day, God Himself will take your face in His hands and gently wipe away your tears as He reassures you there will be no more suffering.
There will be no more . . .
suicide bombers or fiery infernos,
broken homes or broken hearts,
broken lives or broken dreams . . . .
No more cancer or strokes or AIDS . . . .
No more war!
You can look forward with hope, because one day there will be no more separation, no more scars, no more suffering - no more tears at all - in My Father's House.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13, NKJV
Joy is supremely different than happiness. Happiness, which is an American's inalienable right to pursue, seems to depend more on circumstances or things or people or feelings. Joy is independent of everything except our relationship with God. Someone has defined joy as peace dancing! And Jesus, with eyes that must have sparkled in anticipation of the blessing that His beloved friends were going to receive, explained, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11, NIV).
One of the hallmarks of those who are immersed in a love relationship with Jesus and His Father, which they express through abiding obedience, is joy! Joy in Jesus! Joy in living our lives for Him! Joy in abiding . . . and obeying! Joy that is complete, with nothing that needs to be added to make it more so.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
"Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." Matthew 7:24, NIVOn what foundation are you building your life?
What feels right?
What everyone else is doing?
How stable is your foundation? When an unexpected crisis comes, will your life remain firm and steadfast, or will it all collapse?
The foundation of faith in Jesus Christ is one on which you and I can build our lives with confidence, knowing it will last, not only for our lifetimes but for all eternity as well.
As Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount, He said, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock" (Matt. 7:24-25, NIV). So . . . check your foundation!