Are you doing what He said?

Isaiah 15:1-18:7; Galatians 1:1-24; Psalm 58:1-11; Proverbs 23:12

 

“Apply yourself to instruction and listen to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12)

 

Many people share wisdom with us, “Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat.” “If you speak harshly then they won’t listen to you.” “Exercise will strengthen your body.” But how much do we actually apply? We know what to do, but are we doing it?

 

Living out a prosperous life in Christ is work, plain and simple. When I say prosperous, I am speaking of a well-rounded, supernatural walk. In order to be a spiritual person it takes intimacy with God through prayer and ingestion and application of the Scriptures. This lifestyle requires a willingness to change. God will give us everything we need, but we have to be the ones who put it in play. (II Peter 1:3)

 

Let’s look at a few Scriptures and you tell me if they require any action on our part. Romans 12:2 “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” II Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing…” I Corinthians 9:27 “I keep my body, and bring it into subjection…”

 

They all demand a response and there are plenty more where those came from. Bottom line is, if we are going to walk in peace and victory we must give ourselves wholly to a relationship with God and the things that He instructs. You can’t have a relationship with a person without spending time with them in some way. It’s the same with the Lord. I encourage you to not only hear these words of knowledge but apply them today!

 

PRAYER:

Lord, I ask You to reveal truth to me. Give me a desire to know and serve You with my whole heart. Be real to me. I pray to take and apply all good instruction and advice I receive through the Word and from people. Help me to make the effort Lord. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

I Know Who I Am, Send Me Lord

Isaiah 6:1-7:25; II Corinthians 11:16-33; Psalm 54:1-7; Proverbs 23:1-3

 

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple…Then I said: Woe is me, for I am ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with the coal and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, and your sin is atoned for. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for us? I said: Here I am. Send me.” (Isaiah 6:1, 5-8)

 

We are all unclean people even though we hardly recognize it until we literally come into the presence of the Lord. Most have a tendency to judge themselves according to the behavior of others. “Well I may not be as holy as Sally, but I’m certainly not as bad off as Stan.” You’ll always be able to find that type of comparison. Our need is to get in the presence of God to see just how “unclean” we are. Isaiah immediately sensed humility and reality in front of God. He realized there was nothing he could do to clean himself up for this holy and righteous God.

 

The Lord provided the means of salvation for Isaiah, his sin paid for. After receiving this newness of life, Isaiah hears the desire of the Lord, he receives His call and answers it. “Here I am Lord, send me.”

 

Isaiah knew he was an unworthy candidate that lived among a bunch of unworthy people, but like Isaiah, once we know Jesus, we must know that we are worthy in Christ, we are a forgiven son/daughter in Christ, we are called and equipped through Christ. Go in the power of His name and fulfill your destiny, all of the power in Heaven is behind you.

 

PRAYER:

Lord, please give me the wisdom and revelation of who I am in Christ Jesus. Teach me not to count on my own righteousness but rather to rely on yours. The enemy tries to hinder me by bringing up how human I am. I want to move beyond that by knowing You and trusting You. I ask You to forgive me of any sin in my life and teach me how to move forward so that I can see others made whole and brought into Your kingdom. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

A Little Hard Work Never Hurt

Isaiah 3:1-5:30; II Corinthians 11:1-15; Psalm 53:1-6; Proverbs 22:28-29

 

“Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” Proverbs 22:29

 

Learning how to do a task well and turning it into your livelihood is brilliant. The Word states above that if we are willing to be persistent and competent in our work then we will rise to the top. The Lord can bless someone who is moving toward a goal; however, it’s hard for Him to anoint a person who is not. Ever heard a person say, “Oh, I’m just waiting on the Lord.” Well, you can wait on some things perhaps, but for the majority of things it seems that God expects us to do our part. If we are waiting for God to part the seas on what we should do with ourselves, then we will probably be waiting a good while.

 

God speaks to us through His Word, His people, circumstance, and that still small voice. If God has given you an idea, get up and start the process. As you step out on faith and get moving He will meet you where you are and open doors as you need. Keep pressing forward, doing your best and God will prosper your way.

 

PRAYER: Father, help me to be so intimate with You that I hear and perceive Your voice. Strengthen my faith to move forward, even if I occasionally misread I pray You will help me to not get stuck in that but to continue listening and moving forward. Thank You so much for all You have done and all You continue to do in my life. I love You Lord, in Your name I pray, amen.

Three Strand Cord

Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12; II Corinthians 6:14-7:7; Psalm 47:1-9; Proverbs 22:16

 

“Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

 

No man is an island. No man lives to himself or at least he shouldn’t. God has designed us to be interdependent upon each other. Sure, maybe you are more of a loner type that doesn’t mind being alone, but you will still need people at some point in your life. At the very least maybe they need you…

 

You may be thinking, “Well I live alone. I’m not in a relationship.” This concept goes deeper than a marital relationship or even a roommate agreement. It could apply to a friend or family member and you don’t have to necessarily live with anyone in order to have relationships. God even puts the solitary in families because He is acutely aware of our need for each other. (Psalm 68:6)

 

Our relationships here teach us how to have fellowship with God. If we can’t relate with those we can see, how can we ever like the Invisible God? God uses others to help provide for various needs but how can He do that if we never open ourselves up to relationship with others. Will you get hurt, probably. Will someone do you wrong, most assuredly. But it still doesn’t mean that we can hole up and keep all people out. Everything in life is a risk but people are worth it. The benefits far outweigh the risks and aggravation. Always remember to include God as the third strand in all of your relationships. He will bind you together and, if you allow Him, keep things right and balanced.

 

PRAYER:

Lord, help me to be open to relationships. Give me wisdom concerning those whose only desire is to harm me so that I can be aware and cut it off. I understand that with people comes stuff, but I trust You Lord. I know it’s Your way of making sure that we are all taken care of throughout life. Father I ask that You be that third strand of the cord in all of my relationships.

Never Give Up!!!!

Job 37:1-39:30; II Corinthians 4:13-5:10; Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 22:13

 

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25)

 

“Now we have this treasure in clay jars so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed…Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (II Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-18)

 

Got you a great scripture today so be of good cheer. At some point in time we will all have struggles in life. Did you know that in these “valleys” of life are where some of our exponential growth will take place, if we handle it with the right perspective. I’ve been through serious crisis with and without the Lord and I must say that with Him is a much better road. Just think about folks who are walking through cancer or divorce without Jesus. Shudder to think…how do you get peace, how do you get vision, how do you carry on…

 

We were once a lump of clay but now we are clay jars, prepared on the potter’s wheel for our purpose in this life. We are an open space that is being filled with the power of God with each and every tribulation that we press through. This uncommon power and love of God is what keeps our eyes focused on the eternal unseen instead of the temporary things we see with our natural eyes. It keeps us from being overwhelmed by the world. Even though every day brings us one step closer to our body’s demise, our spirit man is growing leaps and bounds with the age, experience and fortitude that we gain through the years of relationship with the Lord.

 

To attain this peace everything in life must be viewed against the backdrop of heaven. Paul calls our trials “our momentary light affliction” because compared to eternity in heaven, anything we walk through here is comparably short. I know it may not feel very light or momentary to us, but be encouraged, God is with us. He will not give us more than we can bear and He will most assuredly see us through. Nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39)

 

You, my friend, are a warrior, you are more than a conqueror. You have the blood of Jesus running through your veins, you are tattooed on the palm of God’s hand. You are somebody in Christ Jesus! Don’t you ever give up, don’t you ever give in, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that God is with you and He is for you. He said He would never leave or forsake you and God is not a man that He should lie! (Hebrews 13:5; Numbers 23:19) Hallelujah! This would be a good spot to give Him some praise! Sometimes you just got to praise your way through!

 

PRAYER:

Lord, I thank You for my “momentary light affliction” and I ask You for the grace to endure, the sense to seek You and the wisdom to stay next to You. I pray that You would allow me to experience the peace of Your presence. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Compassion for the Afflicted

Job 20:1-22:30; II Corinthians 1:1-11; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 22:2-4

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4)

 

God is always with us no matter what we endure. His heart is close to the broken and afflicted. He has the ability to bring serenity to the worst situation. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed it’s hard to sense His presence, but He is there. After walking through difficult seasons of life and experiencing God’s peace we are then able to offer that same heart’s ease to others. Be encouraged, we serve the God of all comfort and mercy.

 

PRAYER:

Father, when I am deluged with problems and crises I pray You will grant me the comfort and peace that can only come from You. You are my healer, redeemer, problem solver, protector and provider. My heart does safely trust in You. Also, please help me to offer that same peace to others who are afflicted. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Kingdom Responsibility

Esther 4:1-7:10; I Corinthians 12:1-26; Psalm 36:1-12; Proverbs 21:21-22

 

We have four key players in the book of Esther: Mordecai, Haman, Esther and King Ahasuerus. To summarize, Chapters 3-5 are about a dispute that begins between players one and two, Mordecai and Haman. Mordecai is a devout Jew who does not bow to anyone but the Lord. Haman, in an elevated position, was to be honored and bowed before, per the king’s command.

 

One day some messy people approached Haman to inform him that Mordecai was not bowing to him. Don’t you just hate it when folks don’t have anything better to do than tend to your business. Some people just have to be in the midst of chaos. If there is nothing going on they feel obligated to create it, which is what these people did.

 

From that time forward Haman noticed that Mordecai was not revering him and it made Haman beyond angry. On top of that, he learned that Mordecai was Jewish. He was apparently prejudice and used his issue with Mordecai to set up destruction for all the Jewish people. How tragic to be so full of yourself and have such a dislike for another ethnic group that you would consider wiping out an entire population. Let me just say that people are people no matter what color or socio-economic status they are. You have good and bad in every group of people. If we find we have a prejudice within ourselves we need to ask God to help us overcome it. All people are made in the image and likeness of God and designed by Him for a special purpose. We must respect all God’s creations. I understand there are cultural differences that we may not understand or that may irritate us, but we must extend grace. What if someone wanted to wipe us out just because of our appearance, religion or ethnicity? Scary, huh.

 

Haman’s pride and prejudice caused him to bring this issue before the king. He proposed that the Jews were troublemakers and should be eradicated. The king gave him the power to issue a decree that the Jewish people would be killed on a certain day. Now I feel like the king could have been less passive concerning giving a man the ability and power to commit genocide. We must always look at all areas of a situation before we jump into agreement with someone. Had the king backed up a little he could have looked into Haman’s claims or motives a little more, or sought more counsel. I mean we’re talking about killing people here. Once it’s done, there’s no bringing them back. Lord help us to respect life and not to jump on a bandwagon or leap before we look.

 

Esther, being a Jewish woman, was mortified when she learned of the plot. I’m unsure as to whether she was going to do anything to prevent this tragedy. She was really afraid as most of us would be. Maybe she thought that since her background wasn’t known, this horrible event would bypass her. Don’t we get that mentality sometimes? “Aw man, I sure feel bad for them, but thank God it’s not me. Hope I don’t get caught. Think I’ll just stand over here and hold my breath till it’s over.” Her uncle Mordecai sent word for her to approach the king and plead for her people. Esther said, “But I could die if I come near the king without being summoned!” She didn’t feel the fire till Mordecai told her this, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:13-14)

 

Esther’s steps were ordered of the Lord, as are all of His children. Don’t run from conflict and hardships. Perhaps like Esther, God has allowed you to be in the midst of the conflict in an elevated position in order for you to protect or expand His kingdom. Maybe it’s not conflict in your situation. Maybe you have the ability to employ, encourage or elevate another person in the Body of Christ that needs a break. Use what God has given you for His glory, it’s the only reason why you are where you are. If you misuse your gifts or blessings you may find yourself on the other end of need one day.

 

PRAYER:

Lord, I give You praise and glory that we can count on You for deliverance in our greatest hour of need. I thank You that You are so brilliant so as to put Your people in key positions to help one another and to perpetuate Your kingdom. Truly You are Lord of all. Forgive me for ever being messy, cowardly or for allowing myself to be persuaded wrongly. I ask You to help me think things through before I get enmeshed in something I may regret. I love You Lord Jesus and ask You to continually lead and guide me. It’s in Your name that I pray, Amen.