MEASURE YOURSELF…


Psalm 15 – “O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?  2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.  3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.  He who does these things will never be shaken.” NASU

Self-examination is something that all of us should do from time to time.  Not that we might figure out a means whereby we can ‘earn’ our salvation but to see how we are living that salvation and representing the LORD. 

The Psalmist asked two things that are basically the same, who may abide in God’s tent and live on His holy hill.  The tent or tabernacle is representative of the movable temple and depicts the church militant the holy hill is where the permanent tabernacle was build and represents the Kingdom.  His question was who may ‘abide’ there?  Then he gives examples of the character and characteristic of the one whom God would deem acceptable.  It is not a list to show you things to do to be acceptable it is a list that shows what the character and characteristics are of those who are acceptable.

  1. He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart.

Wow!  That would eliminate a large portion of politicians, would it not, and many others even members of the church.  Integrity, Righteousness, and Truth are cornerstones of the character of the one who may abide.

  • He does not slander with his tongue, nor do evil to his neighbor, or take up a reproach against his friend.

Again we see integrity, righteousness, truth, loyalty and being a person truly motivated by God’s love.

  • In shoes eyes a reprobate is despised, but honors those who fear the LORD.

Before you justify despising a person realize that the description is ‘reprobate’ and the focus is more on the deed and character and less on the individual trapped in that mind-set or lifestyle.  He is not afraid to call ‘sin’ sin and pays tribute to those who fear the LORD and are faithful to Him and His Kingdom.

  • He swears to his own hurt and does not change.

His word is his bond even if it costs him and does him harm in the process when lying or going back on his word would relieve him of financial or social difficulty.  This is a ‘covenant mentality’ not a ‘contract mentality’ which our world lives in today.  This is the person that says, “even if it kills me I will keep my word and honor my commitment.”

  • He does not put out his money at interest, or take a bribe against the innocent.

He cannot be bought and is not swayed by greed. If he helps someone with a loan it is interest free not usury which describes excessive interest.  He will not regard people based on what they have but view each person on their own merit and situation.

This person will NEVER be shaken!  That is a powerful promise from God that if this is the condition of our hearts we can go through life confident that He Is There no matter what we face or when we face it.  He Is There no matter the odds or obstacles.  He Is There and will NEVER leave us or forsake us!

So as you go through this day set your heart to be that person who Can Abide in the tent of the LORD and on His holy hill.  Blessings abundantly!

THE LORD IS MY HELPER…


Hebrews 13:5-6 – “…I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” 6 so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”  NASU

As the writer of Hebrews was addressing his love for those of the household of faith. He articulated the directive of the Lord to always be hospitable to strangers, the needs, prisoners, and those who are suffering ill treatment he discusses both the sanctity of marriage, sexual purity, and money.  He then reminded everyone that the cornerstone for doing right in all these areas of life, is to remember the promise of the LORD that we will Never be deserted or forsaken.  It is a reminder to remember the guarantee of God that because He is our Helper fear has no place in our lives and there is no cause to be concerned about what man may do to us.  Simply as stated in other places – “If God is for us who can be against us?”  You could say it this way – “If God is for us, what difference, does it make who is against us?”

As I go through life knowing that I have a divine promise that I will Never be deserted or forsaken and that God is my Helper then I can face each day without fear. I have a deep settled confidence to do that which the Lord has quickened to my heart.  In the final analysis, it really doesn’t matter what happens to us when we know that our eternity is in the hands of the Almighty God the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  When we know that the one who formed us before we were even a gleam in our daddy’s eyes is taking care of us.  The one who wrote all our parts in His book before we were conceived is not going to desert us and is our Helper!  That one gives us boldness and confidence to do whatever is before us and do it will boldness and faith. 

If you do not know that you have Help!  If you do not know that you will not be Deserted!  If you do not know that you will not be Forsaken, you will be subject to ‘fear’.  That fear can become and will likely become a paralysis preventing you from being and doing what God has charged you with.  The converse gives you Hope, Joy, and Confidence.  So, as you go through this day go armed with the knowledge that GOD has promised to Never leave, desert, or forsake you and promised to help you!   

You are armed with GOD, so face the day with that in mind!  Blessings!

WHOLE LOT O’ SHAKING GOIN’ ON……


Hebrews 12:25-29 – “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.” NASU

God has been stirring my heart for some time that a Shaking is coming!  I don’t mean a little discomfort or things being a little out of place I mean Shaking as in ‘earthquake levels’ in the world, lives, churches, businesses, and government.  It is coming because men have turned away from following and honoring God.  I am not saying I think it is coming I am saying It Is Coming! It is Coming! As to when,  I don’t know but I sense that it is soon!

In this Shaking it will touch ‘everything’ that can be touched.  Everything that is not ‘rock-solid’ in God will be shaken out of place. Every thought that is not anchored in God and His word will be shaken.  Every philosophy that is not rooted in the principles of God’s Word will be shaken. 

Every government, business, church, nation, or life that is not founded solidly upon God’s word and honoring him Will Be Shaken! It is coming!  This is not going to be man-made it is going to be God-made.  In that sense, nothing will escape because God ‘knows all’ and ‘sees all’.  You won’t be able to run and hide.  You can’t play games.  You can’t make alliances that will give you a free pass.  THE SHAKING IS COMING!

What are we to do?  Immediately make 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew 6:33 cornerstones in your life.  It is time to do deep and careful evaluation and allow the Holy Spirit to place us under Heaven’s microscope and weigh us in the balance and if we are found wanting to deal with whatever it is in our lives that needs to be brought into alignment with God’s word, will, and way. 

Don’t delay and feel that when the Shaking begin you will then turn to God because it may well be too late. I know I sound like an alarmist but I sense that this shaking will be of such epic proportions that your teeth are going to rattle with the shaking that is coming.  I do believe that God will protect His children who are following Him. Those who have made 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew 6:33 cornerstones in their lives. Those who are walking Holy before Him.  I don’t mean some definition of Holy as concocted by man but as defined by the Spirit of God and the Word of God. I mean total commitment to Him!

I’m sounding the alarm and hope that you are hearing the call.  It is coming!  May God bless you as you go through your day!

THE GOAL OF PREACHING…


1 Timothy 1:5 – “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”  NASU

I had someone ask me in a preacher’s conference what the goal of my preaching was.  I thought about that carefully before answering and this passage came to mind.  If I use this text as my foundation and target it is threefold.  I believe encapsulated in those three targets or objects enables us to move into a deeper place with God and set us free from the powers of darkness in a wonderful way.

LOVE FROM A PURE HEART.

In the Psalms, the Psalmist asked, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?”  The answer was, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart…”   The cry of his heart in Psalm 19:14 was, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight…”  In Psalm 51:10 he cries out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” 

Peter reveals to us the desire of God and the purpose of the believer in 1 Peter 1:22-23, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God…” 

Augustine said, “Love is the only sign that distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil.”  Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

If I can present Jesus to you so that He becomes real, Love will naturally flow into you and from you.  It is in that state of forgiveness and grace that your heart is purified and out of the purity of your heart you can and will demonstrate God’s Love.

LOVE FROM A GOOD CONSCIENCE.

In 1 John 3:21 we discover that a heart at peace with God free of condemnation gives confidence.  We are able to stand before God, not because we deserve or have earned favor but because of the Blood of Jesus.  His Grace in frees our conscience to walk in righteousness.  Not self-righteousness but His righteousness. 

Freedom from guilt enables the heart to receive the goodness of God.  If our hearts are filled with guilt and shame, we tend to withdraw and build walls to protect and hide our flaws.  We are not able to give or receive love and build up each other in love, joining our gift to the gifts of others in the Body. 

If I can present Jesus and His Grace to you in a way that helps you to have perfect peace knowing that your sins have been forgiven you are able to give forgiveness and love as He loved.

LOVE FROM A SINCERE FAITH…

Notice that each of the legs of that triangle of life includes Love.  We will never truly express, demonstrate, receive, or give love without trust.  My friend, Garry Smith says, “You cannot love a God you do not know, and you cannot serve a God you do not love.”

It is in my confidence in His veracity and truth that I become a candidate for the impartation of His love and goodness.  So, the objective of my preaching is LOVE!  Love from a Pure Heart, Good Conscience, and Sincere Faith.  It is to inspire the hearer to allow the Holy Spirit to bathe the heart in Grace, free the conscience of guilt, and inspire confidence and trust in God.

He has never and will never fail.  He has never and will never forsake.  He has never and will never fail to keep His promises.  He is trustworthy and able to keep that which we have committed to Him for all eternity. 

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

DECISION TIME…


Joshua 24:14-15 – “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 24 The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the LORD our God and we will obey His voice.”  NASU

In life, we have to make ‘choices’ and at some point, most people realize that there are ramifications associated with those life decisions.  Some never realize that and live in such a way as to fail to take personal responsibility for their bad decisions, expecting someone to take care of them and bail them out when they get into trouble.  That is not being a productive member of society nor is it what God expects of us spiritually.

In this situation, Joshua is addressing the people and rehearsing Israel’s history. He brings the people to a clear understanding that where they were and what was before them was theirs only because of God, His grace, mercy, power, and love. 

Joshua wanted to bring the people to a decision and commitment to ‘serve the Lord.’  He gave them a choice – They could go back to the old way of life and serve the gods of their ancestors or be “Moon worshippers” as Abram was before God’s call or they could serve the gods of the Amorites in whose land they were living.   Those were possibilities or they could, as he and his family had chosen, would ‘serve the LORD’.  The people came to the place that they declared they too would serve the LORD and obey His voice.  They didn’t but they make the choice that day to come into covenant with God, THE LIVING GOD!

There was a time when many of us made the decision to follow God and serve Him.  It is time to renew that commitment and make the choice to serve Him.  There is coming very soon a time when anything less than a total commitment and resolve to Serve God with a Whole Heart will open the door to the opportunity to turn back. If we do that will guarantee that we fall by the wayside.  There are going to be pressures that come to mankind that will require a resolve to love God even to death.  I am not trying to be morbid but telling you what I know from scripture and what the Lord is speaking to my heart.  That time is much sooner than many believe possible.  Today is the day of Salvation.  Today is the time of decision.

So it is my prayer that you choose to serve the Lord with your Whole Heart and even if you are faced with death, will hold on to your commitment and resolve. God will never leave you nor forsake you.

God bless you as you go through your day!

TODAY’S PROBLEM IS SELF CAUSED…


Deuteronomy 11:26-28 –  “Behold, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing, if you listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to and obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following (acknowledging, worshiping) other gods which you have not known.”  Amplified

I am going to mix the political and the spiritual in this devotional.  It may not sit well with some and others will see it as truth.  I believe that the reason we, in America and much of the world, are in the mess we are in morally, societally, socially, politically, and spiritually is self-caused.  We have done it through Disobedience! 

That is not a popular topic in today’s Christian world and one that is seldom heard from many pulpits today.  I believe it is that absence in preaching that has helped to create the monster that we now face in declension and depravity that is growing exponentially in our midst.  The text I used can be summed up quite simply.  “Obey and you will be blessed.  Disobey and you will be cursed.” 

Before someone argues that a Loving God would never curse people, I suggest that you read the Bible and consider the requirements of God for Obedience.  His holiness demands that we be holy.  Jesus did not give the disciples the model for prayer to make life difficult but to open the door to the Presence of God and Abundant Life.  His instruction for us to “seek first” the kingdom of God and the righteousness of God was to enable us to come into His presence where there is the fullness of joy.  Everything God has done has been to bring us back into a relationship with Him and through our obedience, we learn His person and as we learn His ways and witness His acts we learn to Love Him completely.

Christians today need to stop fretting, whimpering and acting as though evil is more powerful than truth and God.  IT IS NOT!  I believe that we, the born-again believers stand at a pivotal time and how we respond will determine our future on this planet.  No, I am not talking about climate change or anything of the like.  I am talking about Freedom, Liberty, and Relationship with our Heavenly Father.  I am talking about our ability to fulfill our Commission and Mission in Life.  I am talking about becoming One with God and realizing the objective Jesus placed before us to “abide in Him” and have His Words “abide in us.” 

I do not believe that our societal problems can be solely blamed on liberalism, paganism, neo-Leninism, socialism, a corrupt judicial system, or those on the other side of the political aisle who cowardly refuse to stand against evil.  I believe it is because we have “Believed A Lie” and bought into the idea that there are acceptable and excusable sins.  THERE ARE NOT!    Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).  Paul told us in Romans 12:1, that obedience was an act of worship or spiritual service.  The Bible is filled with references to obedience and blessing.  I refer you to Genesis 22:18; Exodus 19:5; Luke 11:28; and James 1:22-25. 

We are told by the apostle John that Obedience proves our Love for God and that Obedience demonstrates our faith in Him.  Samuel chastised Saul and reminded him and us that Obedience, in God’s eyes is better than sacrifice.  (1 Samuel 15:22-23).  Paul again reminded us that Disobedience leads to sin and death.  (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 15:22).  It is the desire of the Father, according to Jesus to “give us the Kingdom.”  God wants to bless us and give us peace. 

I am concerned that Christians have ceased to fear God more than they fear man.  I am concerned that the prevailing mood through the erosion of our convictions is to allow the ‘little foxes to spoil the vine’ and we are allowing things morally and spiritually wrong to have accepted status in our society.  The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6).  Sadly, too many homes have abdicated that responsibility, lost that perspective, and in their pursuit of being tolerant and understanding allowed their children to be stolen from them.  Now, they wonder why their adult children are spiritual train wrecks. 

America is becoming the murder capitol of the world through abortion and senseless violence that is driven by selfishness.  Preachers and churches today are mistakenly attempting to make magnanimous statements of love, inclusiveness, and tolerance for lifestyles the Bible calls an abomination. 

God has not called us to be popular but preachers of truth and demonstrations of His Righteousness.  Love does not justify sin, it covers it.  Covers it, not in hiding it but with Grace, Love, Prayer, and Forgiveness.

I have preachers tell me, “If I preach what you are suggesting, I will run off half my congregation.”  I contend, “It would be better to have half a congregation than a congregation that is so filled with leaven the purtifying stench of sin is repulsive.”  If what the church is and what the world is, is not different the Gospel has no appeal and power. 

I conclude with this “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now [a]salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us [b]behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”  (Romans 13:11-14 NASB.)

If we could not impact the world and make a difference God would not have left us here.  We have a mission and a commission.  We are to be Salt and Light in this world.  It is time that we “come out from among them and be separate.”  It is time that we not only represent Jesus but manifest Him.”

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

MICROWAVE MENTALITY CHRISTIANITY…


Luke 21:19 – “In your patience possess ye your souls.” KJV

I am fully aware of the context of this passage but want to use it to speak to a particular issue that I have been aware of in my life and in much of the Christian world – IMPATIENCE!  We have been trying to live as Christians with a “Microwave Mentality” for way too long.  We have been spoiled with the instant everything in our lives.  Unlike our parents and grandparents generations where they had more of a Farmer Mentality we have a Magician’s Mentality.  We want it yesterday!

My mother and grandmother cooked most things from scratch, as they called it.  I well remember when my mother bought an instant cake mix and baked a cake with it rather than from scratch.  Then we were introduced to instant potatoes rather than real potatoes that had to be peeled cooked and mashed.  Next was instant coffee which didn’t make it in our house because my dad could not tolerate the thought of not having his coffee brewed or boiled.  He normally would take a stove top percolator and remove the insides leaving just the pot, put his water in and then pour in the coffee grounds and boil the coffee.  That was fine until you got to the bottom of the pot and your cup would be filled with those pesky coffee grounds.  He did graduate to the more modern coffee makers such as Mr. Coffee and that was a major step for him. 

The farmer knows that the seed he plants today will not be harvested for weeks or months. He has no expectation of waking up the next morning and having corn ready to harvest or any other crop.  Today we expect our food and everything else to be virtually instant.  We don’t like to wait! 

I am probably one of the world’s worst about waiting especially at a restaurant.  I don’t like to sit and wait 30 minutes or an hour for a table.  I’d rather go somewhere else.  I don’t like waiting at the doctor’s office or in the examination room.  I want my computer to operate with blazing speed and when I go to the ATM I expect my cash to be instant.  Unfortunately that also spills over into our relationships with others and with God. 

I am NEVER late, unless it is beyond my control and then I do everything within my power to notify those who are waiting for me.  I don’t like waiting for someone who habitually arrives late because I consider it inconsiderate and an expression of the lack of value of my time.  I like meetings to begin on time and when I pray I want an immediate answer.  God works on me on that part quite a lot.

We need to learn the value of a patient spirit.  It will help eliminate frustration and even enhance our health and well-being.  Amazingly, with my lack of willingness to wait on many things I love to fish and can sit all day long fishing without getting a bite and be content.  I’m patient.  I can hunt the same way.  So, I realize that it is a mind-set that I can change with regard to other things that I cannot control.  I can choose to learn patience and in so doing learn to rest in the confidence that God is in control and I can trust Him.

If you are an impatient person then you need to hear what I’m saying today and as I’ve been told before “chill out.”  I know that’s not a term used today and dates me.  I remember once when I was single before my wife and I got married I was out on a date and the lady with me slapped my shoulders and said – “Roy, relax.”  I had no idea that I was tense but apparently it was so obvious that she did that.  God has done the same thing to me on more than one occasion. 

So as you go through this day ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be patient.  I know that in developing patience you will encounter things that test your patience and you may not like my advice but it is worth it to LEARN PATIENCE! 

May the Lord be with you as you go through your day!