1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  NASB

The Gospel or the Good News, what is that?  In many ways, the word “gospel” is a useless word in our modern language.  I say that because, by and large, most do not know what it really means.  Many think of it as being the first four books of the New Testament or The Gospels.  The word gospel in the 15th century meant, “the good, glad, merry, news that makes a man fairly leap for joy.” 

When we realize that God loves bad, messed up, rotten, selfish people and would include them in His family and make them His friends – That is GOOD, GLAD, MERRY NEWS that will make a heart leap for joy!  That’s the Gospel.

If the God of the Bible is the kind of God who will come to me and love me and I do not have to earn or deserve His Love that is incredible news and the best word to describe it is GRACE!  Grace means that God gives us that which we do not and cannot earn.  It is the opposite of what we deserved. That’s our God.  Because He “is” Love, He must deal with us in Grace.  Everything He is to us, people who do not deserve His Love or Mercy is Free and can never be earned.  It is GRACE and that’s the GOSPEL!

God gives, not based on what we have done.  It is not through something in us.  It is because He IS who the Bible says He IS.  The only thing that we can do is respond to His love and say, “thank you.”  When we do that, we discover that He means it and we can relax and rest in that reality and know “I’ve Got It!”  That is the Good, Glad, Merry News – THE GOSPEL!

God is Love and acts in Grace and my response must be in Faith.  It is not us trying to be better, we would never be good enough.  It is not our trying to do good.  It is Faith!  It is simply saying, “Thank You!”  When we do that a miracle takes place and we are ‘born again’. 

But what happens in this ‘rebirth?’  We are birthed into the Family of God.  What is the character of God’s Family?  It is LOVE!  Therefore, the Love that God is comes into us and we are new people – That’s the Gospel.  That’s the Good News!

To demonstrate just how much man needs this, God threw in an extra ingredient that has confused many people.  God put in the Law at Mt. Sinai and took it out at the Resurrection of Jesus.  He gave the Ten Commandments.  Well, it looks like ten, but I suggest it is truly only one.  Later in the Book of Leviticus, He boils it down to two, “Love the LORD with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  That’s the nuts and bolts of it.  If we love our neighbor we won’t murder, steal, slander, etc.  Love handles all that.  The commandments are simply manifestations of God’s Love. 

You may manage the first nine without love but not the last one.  “Thou shalt not covet…”  Covet gets to the motive and it means that you do not even want to.  To fulfill that commandment, we have to find something that will make us ‘not want to.’  That’s Love!  When you love you will not want to hurt your neighbor.  You will want to do the opposite and bless them.  That’s where man has totally failed.

Consider Israel at Mt. Sinai and hopefully, this will become even more clear.  God sent Moses down the mountain to see if the people really understood what they were getting into in His covenant.  They insisted that they did and would do everything God directed.  Moses went back up the mountain and told God, “They understand.”  God sent him back three times, and in thirty days, they’d blown the whole thing.  They did not understand.

God gave the Law to show them and us just how much we need for Him to take over and produce Love in us.  He gave the commandments to illustrate the futility of trying to keep them.  Have you ever noticed that the more you try to keep them the worse you fare in that effort?  The Law stirs up sin.  The Law was never given as a way to salvation.  It was given to drive us into a state of despair and a sense of helplessness. 

We find ourselves steeped in sin and we see that the Law is pointing to Love.  We think in our hearts, “What a marvelous idea.  I wish I could do that.”  Man is forced to admit that a Society of Love is what we need, but he does not have it in his heart.  He wants the entire world to love but selfishly wants to continue in his selfishness.  Thus, man is plunged into despair. 

There is a solution and we will address it in the next devotional but until then, walk in the Love of God and let His love be shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit. 

Have a Great Day!


1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  NASB

Let’s get back to defining Love.  If God loves like we love what would happen?  He would come to us and would never find anyone who is “in His class.”  That would be impossible.  That would mean we are out of luck in having Him Love us.  If God were to love someone, not in His class, he would no longer be God.  That is a major dilemma.

God would not only not find anyone in His class, but He would find people that are disharmony with Him.  We do not jell with His holiness and love. We are selfish.  We like being that way and have no real intention of changing in our natural state.  We do not mesh with God, in our natural state.  There is nothing in us that God can respond to and cause Him to say, “That is the Best Person I know!” 

Therefore, if God loved as humans love, then we would all be finished.  There would be no hope.  Sadly, that’s where the religions of the world are.  That is the kind of God they serve.  Let me relate a story that a missionary shared that illustrates this powerfully.

He asked a tribal witch doctor, “If you were to preach to me, your faith and I were to come to you with a problem, how would you tell me to reach the Most High God?  I know that you believe there are many gods, but the Big One, the Most High, how could I reach Him?”  The witch doctor said, “That is a problem, because the Big One, the Most High God is not interested in you, because you are not good enough for Him.”  That’s the view of many religions in this world and sadly, some Christians live as if God is not interested in them.

We say it in a much more sophisticated manner, but it is said in churches all across this land.  We have been taught that we are not ‘good enough’ for God.  Therefore, He is not interested and we many feel that they have to work, labor, and struggle to become ‘good enough’. 

Once I understood the biblical definition of the Love of God, I immediately realized that our definition of human love is useless in describing God’s Love.  God’s Love is utterly other than our kind of love.  It is not even in the same family.  When the Bible says that “God is Love” it means that He does not reach out to His class.  No, He reaches down to EVERYONE!  Human love reaches up to those they count the most beautiful and the best.  Human love reaches out to they almost bend the knee in worship.  But God reaches down to people that are clearly unworthy of ever being loved by Him. 

That makes no sense but that is the truth of God’s Love!  If we say that God loves good people and makes them His friends that is not a revelation.  That is taught by virtually every religion in the world.  But in Christianity, we say, “God loves the bad, messed up people and makes them His friends.”  That is amazing!

It is almost beyond belief that the Holy God who is Love makes His best friends out of unholy, bad, messed up, rotten, and selfish people.  That is GOOD NEWS!  That is the Gospel, the Good News.

I need to discuss what the word Gospel means but will hold that for the next devotional. 

May the blessings of the LORD overtake you and enrich you on this wonderful day in Him!


1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  NASB

What is the Big Picture of the Will of God for our lives?  There is a Big Picture that is true for every believer.  The details may not be the same as to how it is worked out in our lives, but the overall Big Picture is the same.  So, what is the Big Picture?

The desire of God for His children arises out of Who He Is!  God is the Way. He IS and has a desire for us – “That we become a manifestation and a demonstration of Who He is.”  There is none more perfect than God and if He is perfect, there can be no higher call than to manifest or demonstrate Him before the world.  The Big Picture which is His will and design for every person is “That we manifest Who He is.  That we become demonstrations of Him to the entire world.”  Remember, Jesus said, “Go ye therefore to all the world.”

That raises another important question – Who Is God?  John told us that God is Love. That is the ultimate identifier of God.  That means that everything we know about God or will ever know about God is rooted in this truth. 

Let me explain it with the thought of God’s Almightiness.  We think of God as the ultimate Power, He is Almighty.  But remember, God does not ‘have’ power He ‘is” power.  God said, “Let there be light and there was light.”  God spoke things into existence.  That is the ultimate demonstration of Power and His Almightiness. But, imagine a God with that kind of power who is not love.  He would be a monster of monsters.  Love controls everything that we know about God. 

We think of God as Omniscient, knowing everything past, present, and future.  But imagine a God who knows us to that extent and does not even like us.  We are sometimes ashamed to confide in closest and most intimate friends some of the thoughts that pass through our heads.  Can you imagine a God that knows those thoughts even before we think them and does not love us?  That would bring such terror that suicide would be a normal thought.  Imagine a God with all we know about Him from Scripture and strip Him of Love – He would be an infinite monster!

When it comes to definitions, the Bible does not say: “God is Power.”  I am able to discover that He is through study, but the Bible does not specifically say that.  But when it comes to “Love”, it says it explicitly.  HE IS LOVE!  It is not something He has it is what He is.  Love is not something apart from God, HE IS LOVE!  Thank God He is.

That presents a problem for many in the Body of Christ today.  Why?  Because we do not know what Love is.  When we say, “God is Love” we use a word that is useless in truly understanding God.  We define God’s Love based on our definition and understanding of Human Love. 

What do we mean when we say, Love?  I urge you to walk carefully and think your answer through.  When we say that we often mean that we reach out to someone we consider “in our class.”  Don’t allow a false humility to arise, that is exactly what we do.  It is rare, very rare that someone has real love for another that is not perceived in their class. 

For example, in the old European economy, if a member of royalty falls in love with a commoner, they are fired.  When a king falls for a commoner, he loses his kingship.  So, when we fall in love, as humans, we tend to keep within our perceived status or class.  We tend to fall in love within our tribes.  We tend to keep unspoken boundaries.  We never acknowledge it or talk about it, but the evidence is there.

When we say, “I love this person we are saying this is a person who calls forth my highest admiration.”  When we see them, we admire them and have that Wow factor existing in our hearts and minds.  When we talk about that person, we view them as someone special and in a sense, there is an element of worship involved.  Therefore, when we Love someone it means that they answer to what we feel is beauty.  Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.  Beauty is something that happens inside our heads.  That’s how we understand love.

I hate to leave you dangling but will pause until the next devotional and discuss our interpretation and definition of love more deeply. 

Until then, have a great day in God!


1 John 4:7-11 – “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  NASB

What does God want for my life or want me to do in life is a question I hear frequently.  In our text, the focus is “Love.”  John tells us that love is from God and that everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  Then he says the same thing in the reverse order, everyone that does not love does not know God because God is Love!

There are two important things we need to consider in this passage.  Love is ‘from’ God.  The imagery I would like for you to consider is to seeing yourself standing before a Living Spring of water and seeing it burst forth from the earth.  John was standing in the presence of God and declared, “Love is from God!”  It literally pours out from Who He is!  Then, in the next verse, he anchored that reality by saying, “God is Love!”

We must understand that God does not have love, He is love!  I have water but I am not water.  I have money (not much) but I am not money.  I have knowledge but I am not knowledge.  It is out of Who God is that love flows.  The result of that flow of love is that we “know” God.  The apostle insists that if we claim that we have love, others know that because we love.  It is impossible to “know” God and not love.  That is not up for debate, it is an eternal fact.  We don’t have to pray about it, it is reality.

Therefore, if God is love, and love is from God, and I say that I know God, it is important to differentiate between “knowing about” and “knowing.”  This means that I “know” Him intimately and personally.  The word know means to penetrate.  If we say that we know God, we are saying God has penetrated us and now lives in us.  It is in that relationship and condition that we can truly love.  Thus, the mark or identifier of a Christian is LOVE!  Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER!”

Now to the title question and the often, frustrating pursuit of many believers trying to discover the will of God for their lives.  I am amazed at how overly fascinated many become with discovering the will of God.  That is good and bad.  It is good that we want to know the will of God and bad that we make it almost a mystical thing.

In my years of Christian ministry, I observed the shock when people realize that the Will of God for their lives is often the obvious.  I had a person insist that simply could not be because they believed knowing the Will of God was a mystical experience.  They were convinced that God would never want them to do what they were most qualified for and the most comfortable doing.  They were convinced that God would want them to do something that was not easily discoverable.  Then, they would know it was the will of God, but the obvious, that could not be.

Somehow that view makes God weird and suggests that He is not our side.  One person said, “If I say, I don’t want to go there or do that, that is exactly what God will want me to do.”  Possibly, but I suggest that God is conditioning our hearts to want to do what He wants us to do.  Therefore, people spend an enormous amount of time trying to discover where God wants them to go, what He wants them to do, and how they can do it.  It sort of not seeing the forest because of the trees.  We make the trees so tall we cannot see the forest and enjoy its beauty and benefit.

We become overly concerned with the minute and bog down in the details of the discovery.  The reason is, we become so busy with seeking to know we do not see the obvious.  I contend that before God springs something on you, He always prepares your heart.  He causes you to want to and then asks, “Would you like to do this?”  That’s God.  He is not weird and certainly not sadistic.  He wants to lead the heart and I contend that if we follow our hearts, we will discover the Will of God.  He is always Leading our Hearts!

God walks us into it, and we do not have to be overly concerned with the minute details. We need to focus more on the Big Picture.  Therefore, the question is “What is the heart of God for my life or your life?  What is the desire of God for us?”

I want to address this more in the next devotional but until then, I say, go with God and He will go with you.  Have a great day in Him!


I Samuel 17

It is in 1 Samuel 17 that we find the account of a young shepherd boy becoming a national hero and overcoming impossible odds in an epic battle that saved the nation.  This is often referred to as a demonstration of courage.  Is it accurate to describe this as a demonstration of courage or was it a demonstration of faith? 

I suggest that courage is not adequately defined by courageous acts.  That may sound confusing but what is courage?  If we simply use the Merriam-Webster definition we would render it, “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”  That seems woefully inadequate or incomplete but that is the official definition. 

I feel compelled to ask, “Is it possible to do a courageous act and not have courage?  Can we do an act of courage and not be courageous?”  I have been in war and know that sometimes things are done that appear a demonstration of courage but were done out of necessity and were courageous, but the heart of the person was not one of courage.  I have seen people that could rightly be described as cowardly do incredibly courageous acts in an emergency and the heat of the moment.  You may argue, well they could not or would not if courage was not present in the heart.

In the account of David and Goliath, I contend it was David’s Faith, not his courage that caused him to do what he did.  It was his Confidence in God that propelled him into a powerfully courageous act, not necessarily his courage.  In order to fully define what I am saying and hopefully make it applicable to our lives in the present let’s go back to the account.  We will address several issues, conditions, or situations and from there determine the power of Faith and Confidence in life.

The Philistines and Israel were at a stalemate.  Both armies were camped on the field of battle.  Saul and his army were in the valley and the Philistine army was in the mountains.  The Philistine champion, a giant in the natural, named Goliath would step out for all to see and shout to the armies of Israel a challenge that caused them to cower in the shadows in fear.  He taunted them and threw down the gauntlet challenge that he would face one Israeli in battle.  Each combatant would represent their respective nation.  It would be winner take all.  Israel had no person with the faith, confidence, or courage to take up the challenge. 

David’s father had sent him to the battlefront to bring supplies and provisions to his brothers in the army.  David arrived as Goliath was doing his daily taunting and issuing his challenge.  Several things transpired in that moment and in the minutes that followed.  Some on the battlefront asked David, “Have you heard this Philistine taunting Israel?”  The Bible says that they were ‘dreadfully afraid.’  Fear and panic had gripped their hearts and even the promise of great reward and become the son-in-law to the king were not enough to inspire courage or prompt them to act. 

David, to the dismay of his older brother, asked, “And what is to be done for the man that kills this enemy and takes away the reproach from Israel?”  He then issued the words that are incredibly telling, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the Living God?”  That’s the key.

David’s spirit was moved deep inside as he heard the Philistine defy the armies of the Living God.  He had walked all his life in commitment to and confidence in God.  He had protected the flock with the sense that God was watching over him.  He believed that God, the Living God, was the protector of Israel.  He believed the prophets of old and the Promises of God in the Abrahamic Covenant.  He was surprised that not one of his fellow Israelis had risen and exercised the promise of God that one would chase a thousand. 

It troubled him to the core of his being that anyone would defy God through bringing reproach on the armies of Israel, the armies of God.  Something rose up inside of him as he remembered the lion and the bear, he killed to protect his father’s flock.  He remembered what he had heard from his earliest remembrance about the Living God, the protector of Israel. 

Saul heard that there was someone willing to take on this enemy.  He called for David and was surprised at his youth.  David said, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight this Philistine.”  Had that simply been Courage speaking, David would have taken the armor and weapons Saul offered.  He would have trusted the arm of flesh and fought like all men, using natural weapons of warfare.  But, he did not.

David rejected the unfamiliar weapons and choose what he knew.  I suggest that it was not the sling and stones that David trusted, but God.  I say that because when he stepped onto the field of battle, he heard Goliath’s lament about his youth and how that offended the giant.  David said, “You come against me with a sword, with a spear, with a javelin. That’s what you have but I have something beyond what you can see and something you know nothing of, The Name of the Lord!” 

David then prophesied to Goliath and said, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.”  At the end of his prophetic utterance he revealed what this was all about, he said, “Once I have defeated you, then everyone here, both sides, will know that there is a God in Israel and that God does not fight with man’s weapons.  This battle is God’s and I come in what I know, THE NAME OF THE LORD.”

It was David’s Faith, his Confidence in God, and his Commitment to the Living God that drove him to the field of battle, not simply human courage.  His faith propelled him into a courageous act.  His confidence in God produced a confidence in him that enabled him to dispatch all human emotions of fear and doubt.  He knew God and the God he knew had delivered him before and would deliver him again.

I find it interesting that once on the field of battle and after his prophetic pronouncement he did something amazing.  He ran toward the giant! Tragically, even in exploits of courage people tend to walk carefully and seek to avoid danger trying to gain an edge.  David faced his giant and ran toward the problem.  He took one stone, hurled it at the giant and the stone flew with amazing accuracy and struck Goliath in the forehead causing him to fall to the ground.  He ran to Goliath took the giant’s own sword and cut off his head. 

David’s demonstration of Confidence and his response to Faith caused him to act courageously.  He faced the giant and rather than trying to fight the giant the normal way he took what he knew, the Name of the Lord, his sling, and a few stones.  He ran toward the enemy further confusing Goliath and hurled the stone with amazing accuracy rendering him unconscious.  He then took the sword of the giant and killed him, beheading him in full view of both armies. 

David was incensed by the blasphemy and his commitment to God refused to allow him to accept the status quo.  He was disturbed by the lack of confidence he witnessed in the armies of Israel.  He trusted God not man and defeated the enemy of God’s people.  It was David’s Faith that produced the Courage through Confidence to do this exploit.

What is the message for us?  We must never run from our problems or allow them to intimidate us.  If Jesus’ victory on the Cross was complete and the Bible says it was, we have hope.  If Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth, and the Bible says He does, we have hope.  If Jesus has given us that authority and equipped us with the measure of faith to enforce His victory, we are victorious.  It is not that we will be someday when we get to heaven, WE ARE! 

It is time that we demonstrate who God says we are and rather than trying to be courageous we need to Trust God and in that Trust there will come Confidence and out of that Confidence, we can demonstrate our Faith.  It is Faith that produces Courage and we are commissioned to “Do” the Works that Jesus Did and even Greater through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Believers it is time that we allow our Faith to reach the level of Courage!

SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY – The Blessing of the LORD – – (Part Three) …

Numbers 6:22-27 – “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:  24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’  27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”  NASB

Another Psalm that was written based exclusively on The Blessings of Covenant is Psalms 121.  I won’t quote it in its fullness but hope you read it and drink in the reality and hope it affords.  He declares, “As I go out, there is nothing that can touch me.  There is nothing that can ultimately get to me because I live in the Blessings of the LORD.”  This is Covenant and it is living in full comprehension of the Blessings of Covenant – We are KEPT!

In Psalms 18 David summed up his whole life.  He said, “I love Thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”  Let those words fully impact your thinking and catch the keywords. The fortress and stronghold are things you run into when you are being pursued and trouble is lurking at the door.  David is saying, “In the time of trouble, I walk into God and am Kept.”

How do we do that?  How do we “Walk into God?”  It is a matter of realization.  We are not in the bleachers watching God play the game.  No, if we need this protection, we reach out and take it from the storehouse of God.  The Quakers called it “centering down.”  When your head is spinning, and every thought is flying wild with fear, anxiety, worry, frustration, and uncertainty you do this.  When you feel that everything and everyone is bearing down to do you harm you do this.  When you feel that the pressure of life is just too much to handle and you can’t take the pressure anymore, you do this.  When you are paralyzed by fear you need God to be your Keeper – You Center Down!

In the simplest of terms, it is saying, “Be still my soul.”  I need to understand the truth and comprehend the facts of the moment.  What is the real truth?  God is My strength and wisdom.  He is my KEEPER!  I look deep inside and discover that Jesus is my life and I draw from His strength and receive Him as the shield of my life.  I cease striving and rest in His KEEPING!

In the New Testament, this is conveyed powerfully in 1 Peter 1:5, where we are informed that we are Protected by the Power of God!  In Philippians 4:7 we are promised and provided the Peace of God which surpasses all human knowledge and it guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!  We have the Peace of God and that Peace is KEEPING us!

Let me add this caution.  This is not what we understand as Peace.  It is the Peace of God and there is nothing on the planet that can compare, or we can compare it to.  Human peace has limits, but God’s Peace is the Peace that He is Himself.  The Person in Covenant and KEPT knows who he or she is.  That person knows where they are going and has Peace, the Peace that God puts on the inside!  It is Inner Prosperity that flows out of the innermost being, the Spirit within.

I hope this is resonating with you.  It is, we are Kept, Guarded, and Protected by the Peace of God and the Power of God.  When the world looks at us, they cannot comprehend how we can have such peace in the time of such difficulty.  They see the pressure, but they see the peace that you have in your face and your heart.  It is the Peace of God that surpasses anything humans can produce.

Here is a truth if you can receive it, is liberating.  No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can reach down deep within and discover that Christ is there and remind yourself – “Greater Is He That Is In Me Than He That Is In The World.”  1 John 5 tells us that we who have been born again, the wicked one touches us not.  We are KEPT, people!

Too many believers are afraid of the devil. They fear he will get them.  I hear people request prayer and say, “Pray that I will win.  Pray that I will have the victory.”  No!  We have won!  We need to learn to live in the full understanding of our Covenant Promise and with the Expectancy of God’s Keeping.  We look beyond the oppression and difficulty to the source of our Help and Hope – GOD!  In Psalms 138:2 we read that God honors His Word above His name.  That is His Promise and He will not abandon His Promises.

God bless you as you learn to live in His Spiritual Prosperity, KEPT, and full of the Peace that passes all human understanding. 

Have a Great Day!

SPIRITUAL PROSPERITY – The Blessing of the LORD – – (Part Two) …

Numbers 6:22-27 – “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:  24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’  27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”  NASB

If we go back to Zechariah 2:8 – “…for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”  Think about that! The apple of God’s eye.  If you get something in your eye, all activity stops until that problem has been dealt with.  Right?  You can scratch your arm, stub your toe, bruise a rib but if you get a speck in your eye the entire body shuts down until that is removed or dealt with.  Here God says, “He who touches you, touches the apple of My eye.”  Wow!  That means All of Heaven rallies together to protect us!

That is marvelous comfort.  The only problem is, we do not always believe it.  We do not always believe that we are Kept.  We live with too much doubt, unbelief, question, and even suspicion that God won’t do what He said for us.  Imagine a situation where All of Deity and All of Heaven rallies to our protection.  That’s the Covenant, the Blessing!  We are that special to God but too often we do not truly believe it.

This incredible concept is taught in the Bible in Psalms 23 and Psalms 27.  They are both based on the concept of keeping.  David wrote them at a traumatic time in his life.  It appeared just a matter of time before the net and noose would be around his neck and Saul would capture and destroy him.  It was there, in that horrific situation with the smell of death in the air that David wrote Psalms 23.  What a revelation and comfort.

He said, “The LORD is my shepherd.”  David had been a shepherd and he knew what it meant to be a shepherd and what it meant to the safety and care of the sheep.  The shepherd was “The Door” to the sheepfold and here he sees God as “His Keeper, His shepherd, and the Door of Protection for him.” 

In the midst of the pressure, trouble, and tribulation David sang this Psalm to God – “You are my shepherd.”  Because you are my shepherd I will not want, and it is impossible to lack or fear because You are my shepherd.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death – You are there protecting and keeping me!  I have no justification, reason, or capacity to Fear because I am Kept by God!  He cries out, “LORD, in the middle of all this You are preparing a banquet table for me.  Here in the midst of my enemies, with them looking on, you are giving me a heavenly banquet!”  Hallelujah! 

Then we come to the last verse which is super powerful.  He said, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.”  Catch each word and examine them, please.  The word “surely” would possibly be better rendered “only”.  I suggest that because “only” means, “I know what I see and hear, but when all the facts are in there is ONLY goodness and mercy following me.  I don’t see the enemy, I see YOU!”

Goodness is at work and Mercy is being bestowed – They are following me!  The word follow, could possibly be better understood as a “relentless pursuing.”  It is not just tagging along behind it is actively pursuing.  It is the determination that says, “I’m going to get you!”  Make it so, LORD, make it so and GET ME!

David is declaring, “I am being relentlessly pursued by God’s Goodness and Loving Kindness.”  When I came to that understanding of what David was saying I said, “Seriously?”  I thought, it sure doesn’t look like it.  I thought that is what Saul was doing, “Relentlessly Pursuing Him.”  But that’s what David saw.  That’s what we need to understand, “God is relentlessly pursuing us to Bless us, Protect us, and Keep us.”  David was declaring, “There is someone closer to me than Saul.  There is someone between me and Saul – IT IS GOD!” 

It was at the end of the encounter that David wrote Psalm 27 and it is a Psalm of Triumph in the midst of adversity.  He shouted, “God is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear?”  He wrote it in a time of mental darkness, danger, and emotional paralysis.  He was essentially saying, “This trouble is great, but the LORD is my Light.”  It looked as if capture was imminent, but he says, “NO!  The LORD is my salvation and deliverance.  The LORD is the defense of my life, I cannot Fear or Dread because God is with me, keeping me.  Even though there is a host encamped against me, my heart will not Fear!”

David looked at the circumstances, but he didn’t look at them, he looked beyond them.  He knew that God was his “Keeper.”  He knew he was a Covenant man and he could fully rest in The Blessing of Covenant.  Thus, “The LORD bless you and keep you.”  He was Kept and we are Kept!

I want to take this up again, but we will pause here and pray that the LORD will be with you and encourage you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him! 

Have a Great Day!


Numbers 6:22-27 – “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:  24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’  27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”  NASB

We have considered The Blessing of Covenant and how that relates or translates into daily living.  I desire to be a little more specific in this discussion.  I feel we need to understand exactly what is being said in this passage and what we can expect in terms of “The Blessing of Covenant.”

The Covenant Blessing was prayed for the Children of Israel every day.  The Priest would raise his hands and invoke these Blessings on the people in the morning and evening sacrifices.  It was daily!  It was never casual or simply an expression.  There was expectation involved, or there was supposed to be an expectation.

Not to belabor or rehearse too extensively but “The Blessing” is a conveyance of power using words.  Words are spoken and those words convey power.  The people hearing those words were endued with power and that enduement enabled them to be successful.  They were successful in material things, but we must never forget that success always begins on the inside.  It is Spirit success and flows from the inside to the outermost extremities of life. 

It means “To Be Prosperous.”  Tragically, too many view prosperity as being what we have but the Biblical understanding is that it begins on the inside.  It is “Prosperity of Spirit” that moves from inside to outside.  It means to enjoy physical health and spiritual health.  It means to have a long life and to know the active Goodness of God operating and being manifest in our daily lives.  It means that we have an aurora about us that can is noticed and sensed.  The world will never understand this and too much of the church fails to fully grasp it as well.  It is that enduement from God that causes our enemies to flee before us.  THAT IS BLESSING!

Hopefully, we will not belabored the point to extensively, but I would like to ask that you consider this in more detail with me.  In verse 24 we read, “The LORD Bless you and Keep you.”  That is the beginning of The Blessing – “The Lord Keep you!”  

The Covenant person enjoys the Blessing of the LORD, walks in an alien world, and has success, prosperity, and peace.  We live in a world of darkness that is hostile toward us.  The devil and his demons are real, and they are incredibly hostile toward the children of God.  The world hates us, so we are encompassed by hostility.  Yet, God promises that as we walk in this hostile environment we are “Kept by God!”  Hallelujah!

The word “Keep” is an interesting old English word that used to mean something entirely different than we understand it today.  If you visit parts of Europe and go into the castles you always go through what is called “The Keep.”  It is the first gate of the castle.  You have to walk through it to get into the castle proper. 

The “Keeps”, called that because that was designed to “Keep the Castle” safe from invading forces breaching their walls. If you could stop the enemy there, you remained safe.  There were many ways of doing that.  As an enemy would enter those guarding the castle would be on little balconies high above.  They would hurl arrows, stones, hot pitch, oil, and tar at the invaders.  It was incredibly difficult and costly to get through “The Keeps.”  The word came to mean what we understand today – “I am Kept!”

Therefore, when we hear, “The LORD Keep You” we understand that God is our “Keeps”.  Before the enemy can touch us, he has to go through God.  If he can get past God, he can touch us, but only if he gets past God.  You cannot get past God that’s what the person in Covenant enjoying The Blessing has “perfect peace” – WE ARE SAFE!  We are KEPT!

Hopefully, this whetted your appetite for more, and we will take a step deeper into understanding and detailing in the next devotional.  But until then we say, “Go with God and He will go with you.”

Have a fantastic day!


3 John 2 – “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”  NASB

In keeping with what we have been discussing regarding God’s Covenant and “The Blessing of Covenant” the subject of Prosperity and Success naturally surfaces.  It is unavoidable and some have grossly misunderstood prosperity and pushed it beyond what God intended and made it something other than the biblical promise.  Oh, I believe in prosperity and success, but there are some needed truths that must be brought to the table for us to walk in the fullness of God’s Promise and walk pleasing to Him in all things.

I have long believed and taught that the words “Success” and “Prosperity” can only be understood in the context of the entire Bible.  We can never use Webster’s dictionary to define some biblical words and truths.  Likewise, we must never allow our 21st-century American understanding to define biblical truths regarding Prosperity or Success.  I say that because a large portion of America and the world defines prosperity in terms of dollars and possessions.  That is right and that is wrong!  Maybe I should say, that is incomplete.

The Bible never speaks of Prosperity or Success in that manner.  It says, in essence, “If you have all that money and those possessions, UNLESS you have peace on the inside, then it is a curse, not a blessing.”  The Bible teaches that being Prosperous is first and foremost an Inner Prosperity.

We are at Peace with ourselves, God, and the world.  We live in God’s Inner Blessing.  Our mind is at rest.  Our emotions are under control.  Our Body is healthy.  Additionally, we have the Power to Get Wealth, but it begins deep on the inside and works its way out to the extremities. 

Success, from a biblical view always begins as a Spiritual Success.  It describes the man or woman who has arrived at that place that God intended man to be.  It means you are a person walking with God.  You are a person who knows how to talk with and hear God.  That’s Success in the biblical sense.

The Prosperity and Success of the Covenant Blessing are Powerful.  There is a power upon us which endues us, establishes us to be all that God said we are.  It takes place in the midst of the pressures of life.  I argue that those pressures are there to help bring us into and bring forth these Blessings.  In a sense, it is the negative that brings forth the positive.  The negative enables us to see the positive.  We know sweet because we have tasted bitter.  We know hot because we have experienced cold.  We know light because we have seen darkness.

God has placed us in a world that is full of trouble, difficulty, strife, tribulation, and pressure.  James said, “Count it ALL JOY when you fall into many temptations.”  The Phillips Translation renders it, “Welcome trouble like a brother.”  Why would we do that?  Because it brings forth the positive. 

When we encounter difficulty, we discover God and His Blessings powerfully.  Every miracle that Jesus performed was always an emergency.  Even in the Old Testament, it was always a crisis.  Remember the lady in debt and the prophet had her borrow vessels to fill with oil.  She was in debt, had endured the hassle of creditors, and was desperate and out of that state, that crisis, that emergency God worked a miracle.

I must remind everyone, that as we learn our Promised Blessings and the Principles of God, we are enabled to become the administrators of Blessing rather than the one always needing a miracle.  We are receivers of the Blessing of God.  We can expect His Blessing.  We can and should become channels through which those Blessings flow out to others.  Remember God’s word to Abraham, “In you, all the nations of the earth shall be Blessed.” 

Let me convey it this way and hopefully, it will help bring greater understanding.  The Blessing is designed to become heavy on any person.  It is designed to be so abundant that we cannot contain it.  It is not just for us, but so that we can give out to others without losing any that we have.  It is a river flowing constantly, always giving but never running out of water.

The Bible says that God blessed Potiphar’s house because of Joseph.  Your employer should see such value in you that they would be willing to pay you double just to keep you around because of God’s Blessings.  Why?  Because of the aurora of Blessing that is upon and within you.  It should and can drip from your life.  You have the unusual power given by God to be successful and prosper.

Therefore, in the midst of life’s struggles, we can look at the negative with a Triumphant View.  If we understand this truth, we will live with no sense of Fear or Lack.  The Believer who is resting in the Finished Work of Jesus HAS NO FEAR!  We expect God to cause our enemies to flee before us.  We expect God to supply our needs. We expect the Life of God to be manifest in every situation.  That translates into Prosperity and Success and the total absence of Fear.

We need to become the people that are sought after for us to pray for others.  It should be, “Hey, pray for me because I know God hears you.”  We can ask, No, we must ask.  The Blessings are not automatic, we have to Ask, Knock, and Seek.  Through you and me, can flow all the Blessings of the Fullness of God to our world.

I encourage everyone to begin acting like God is Telling the Truth! Live in the Victory of Jesus’ Victory!


Numbers 6:22-27 – “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 24 The LORD bless you, and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’  27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.” NASB

In contrasting the Old Covenant and the New we must not overlook that in the Old Covenant some sins were not forgivable.  What I mean is that concerning sins like adultery or murder the individual could not repent and be allowed to live, they were stoned to death.  But when Peter stood on the Day of Pentecost, he announced that they could now enjoy a “Complete Perfect Forgiveness” and that it included everyone and ever sin.  He was announcing something that even Jesus, under the Old Testament Economy could not say.  This was Greater Works!

Jesus could only point to it because He had not yet died and arose.  But, on the Day of Pentecost, it was an announcement that had never been announced before.  The New Covenant and Full Salvation and Total Forgiveness. 

I hope you are with me in this discussion.  There is NOW! This is the Final Sacrifice for Sin!  Thus, the Blessings of the New Covenant declares, “Your sins and iniquities, I will remember No More!”  That was not a reality until the Day of Pentecost. 

Let me offer a comparison of Covenants. In the Old, they had the temple with its Holy of Holies, but we live in the Holy Spirit, God’s Holy of Holies.  They had a priesthood, but we have the Final High Priest, Jesus.  We are known to God.  He knows us personally and intimately and we fellowship with Him being made one with Him.  They had the prophets, now we have the Final Word, Jesus!  They had a series of kings, but we have the King of Kings.  They had the Law which told them, “Thou shalt & shalt not” we have the Law written in our heart and the Holy Spirit urges us from within. 

They could talk about Healing, but we can not only talk about the healing of our bodies but the entire universe.  We have the New Heavens and the New Earth in the New Covenant. 

The New Covenant included the physical, but it goes far beyond the physical.  The New Covenant declares, “We are Blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  That is Awesome!

We never discard the Blessings of the Old, but we go beyond them.  They were very physical and material, but we have those and the spiritual as well.  We have the Better Covenant established on Better Promises.

We can rightly say, “We are the People who can say – THE BLESSING OF GOD is upon us!”  He is in our spirits (where we fellowship with God).  He is in our minds, our wills, and our emotions and He is in our bodies.  It is the Will of God that every area of our lives is endued with His Power, the Power that enables us to walk, work, and live in this world as very different people.  We are set aside.  We are different!   Embrace your difference in Jesus!

I ask that you look in the mirror now and remind yourself that You are a Very Special Person!  You have the uncanny, unusual and unique Blessing of God upon you and it enables you to have the Power for health, long life, success, and prosperity.  The prosperity that begins on the inside.  That is a totally different subject that we will deal with in a different format, but for now, YOU ARE BLESSED so BE A BLESSING and RELEASE BLESSING ON OTHERS!

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!