AS GOOD AS THE NEXT FELLOW…


Proverbs 20:6 – “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?”  NKJV

Through the years I have met people who, when asked about their relationship with Christ, declared I am a good person.  They usually tell me what they do not do, some tell me about their acts of benevolence, civic contributions, or something of the kind.  Others will tell me that they go to church regularly and others relatively regularly. 

I have found this passage to be incredibly reflective of how many people view themselves. Basically good or as good as the next fellow.  I recall one occasion when the person who said this, was a regular in church but had a propensity to hit the nightspots and cavort with the ladies while his wife and children remained at home.  He made little secret of his lifestyle but because he considered himself “as good as the next fellow” he felt little reason to change. 

In the many conversations with this individual, he would point out the flaws in other people in the community, the church, and especially those in leadership.  He mostly compared apples with turnips but nonetheless, it was his justification for allowing his conscience to become calloused guarding against conviction.  I understood his argument for I too held those views at one time. 

The rural church I grew up in had flawed people (as do all churches) and I wrongly determined that if some of those people were going to heaven God could not send me to hell for I was “as good as the next fellow”.  I went to Vietnam with that mindset.  It was terribly wrong, but it was the view I adopted because it allowed me to not deal with the pricks of the Holy Spirit.

I had occasions to talk to this individual and in the course of one conversation the account in Mark 10 came up. I read to him the words of Jesus when He was called “Good teacher or Good master” and Jesus stopped the individual and said, “Why are you calling me good?  No one is good except God alone.”  The man was shocked and I continued the account of how this rich individual had proclaimed his personal goodness when Jesus told Him to keep the commandments.  Jesus then informed the rich young man that he still came up short and this individual was a captive audience at that point.  I read to him the words of Jesus, “One thing you lack, go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. THEN come, follow me.”  The ruler was heartbroken and turned away because his possessions held his heart and his personal goodness was insufficient to save him. 

While many, if not most of us, would like to compare ourselves with others and declare that we are “as good as the next fellow” if we are honest, we know that is a flawed view. Salvation is never earned. It is by Grace through Faith.  God does not measure my life against your life, but His standard is Himself, the Lord Jesus, and His Holy Word.  In that light, everyone knows we have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.  If we understand the standard, we know all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.  If we understand the standard, we know that the invitation of Jesus to “Come unto Me” is our only Hope of Salvation!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

THE AWESOMENESS OF GOD…


Genesis 15:1 – “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”  NASB

I thought about calling this The Bible’s Three Step Program but decided to leave it as the “Awesomeness of God” because He is, and the elements listed here reveal that awesomeness powerfully. 

Let’s take this one step at a time or one element at a time and see if we find comfort and encouragement in this passage.  Since I believe the Bible in Galatians that the Blessings of Abraham belong to the believer, I can take this passage and make it personal and mine.  If you are in step with me, I believe it will be powerful for you.

THE DIRECTIVE – – “Do not Fear.”

God came to Abram in a vision and the first thing that He said was, “Do not Fear!”  I have discovered in my walk with God that anytime He says, I am about to encounter something that could, should, and would make me very afraid.  The potential for disaster and danger is always present.  It may be an encounter with the forces of darkness or with man but there is something that would lend to being fearful. 

God’s directive was “Don’t Do It, don’t be afraid!”

THE PROVISION – – “I am a Shield to You.”

That doubles my concern about what is about to transpire, because if I need a shield to protect me from that which I am not to face and that shield is God Himself, it must be incredibly daunting.  But it is also incredibly comforting for God to say, “I (Jehovah God) am a Shield to You!” 

The Bible tells us in Romans 8:31 that if God is for us, who can be against us?  I like to rephrase it and say, “If God is for me, what difference does it make who is against me.”  God is a majority no matter how many are in the hordes that seek my destruction or hurt.  Someone said, “God and me, make a majority.”  I say, “Nope!  God is a majority with or without me, but He allows me to tag along and watch His stuff.”

I immediately think of the promise and provision found in Psalm 91 and take heart that I have nothing now to fear because God is a wall of fire about me.  I do not have to be afraid of the terror by day or night.  I do not have to be afraid of the multitudes who seek my destruction.  I know that I have the angelic hosts of God assigned to keep me safe.  I can rest in the comfort that I am in Him and in Him I am safe.  He is my shelter in the time of storm.  He is my shield therefore for anything to touch me it has to go through Him.  Fear then is laid to rest.

THE PROMISE – – “Your Reward will be Very Great.” 

Not just Great but Very Great!  The reward of not allow fear to shipwreck my obedience will be very great.  The reward for having God as my Shield will be very great.  I immediately think of the words of our Lord in Luke 12:32 – “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s GOOD PLEASURE to give you the kingdom.”  (Emphasis mine). 

When I consider the vastness and comprehensiveness of the Blessings of Abraham I am elated.  I think back to the declaration of Galatians 3:29 – “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”   We are heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus, and the Blessings of Abraham are ours through faith.

Jesus totally defeated the devil at the Cross and in the Resurrection and He is in us, with us, and we are in Him.  We are more than conquerors through Jesus and the Power of the Holy Spirit.

CONCLUSION:       

We have no reason to fear because God’s word never fails.  We have no reason to fear because the devil is defeated.  We have no reason to fear because His angels are encamped round about us.  We have no reason to fear because God is our Shield, our Defense, our Protection, and our Provision.  We are invited and encouraged to live every day in the Awesomeness of God!           

I pray that this day and every day will be a day of blessing and victory for you!      

WE MAJOR ON MINORS and MINOR ON MAJORS…


Acts 1:7-8 – “He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  NASB

Let me say, at the beginning, I am not talking about the Minor Prophets in the Bible.  I am intrigued by many eschatological theories advanced in Christians circles.  However, if I understand this and other related passages of the Bible it is possible and even counterproductive to focus on Eschatology to the neglect of the Power of the Holy Spirit and the present work of God in the earth. 

Our mission is not to understand the times or epochs, getting all the prophetic ducks in a row, and know what is going to happen or when.  Our mission is to take the gospel of the Kingdom to the world and reap the harvest.  If that makes me sound like an Evangelist, I can live with that.  I love to teach and preach the word of God. I love seeing people developed and grow in the Grace of God, discover their gifts and calling, and mature in the faith.  I also love to see a person born into the kingdom and rejoice as do the angels when that transpires.

I have friends and acquaintances who spend all their time studying the Books of Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah and are so consumed with knowing who the ‘Man of Sin’ or the Anti-Christ is they neglect the manifestation of the Spirit of God.  They are focused on the “Man of Sin” and forget about the “Sin of Man.”  It is tragic when we make knowledge our focus rather than the demonstration of the Power of God that transforms souls and delivers from the darkness.

Let me give you the Roy paraphrase of what Jesus said.  I did not say translation but paraphrase.  Let me put it in my East Texas vernacular and way of stating it.  He said, “Fellows, knowing what is going to happen and when it is going to happen is not your assignment.  That belongs to the Father and He has it all worked out perfectly and does not require your help.  What you need to focus on is receiving the power of the Holy Spirit that I am going to send back when I get to heaven.  Once you receive that anointing you will have the ability to be my witness here at home, in the surrounding regions, and to the ends of the earth.” 

Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.”  Paul declared to the Church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 2:4 that his message was not simply with persuasive words of man’s wisdom, not oratorical ability but in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and Power. 

Some contend that the miracles were needed to establish the church and those signs, wonders and gifts have ceased.  I suggest that if the Power of the Spirit of God once attracted the attention of people, drew them to Christ, and confirmed the gospel it still does.  We need the energy, strength, and power of the Holy Spirit to live daily and to witness effectively for Christ.  When God demonstrates His power and authority over the forces of darkness it gets people’s attention far more than oratorical discourse.

It may be captivating for the human mind and curiosity to present theories as to who the Man of Sin is when he is going to show up, and what is next on God’s Prophetic Calendar, but it does not transform the soul.  I am not opposed to studying Eschatology, in fact, I encourage it!  But I am far more interested in the result of the prayer Jesus directed in Matthew 6:9-13.  The prayer we call The Lord’s Prayer.  If the Kingdom or the Rule and Reign of God is manifest, and His will is done on this earth that will result in an incredible harvest of souls.  I’ve been praying for the LORD to enable me to win a million souls to Him in my life. 

God bless you as you receive His Power and fulfill His Purpose for your life.

SEX CHANGES – Transgender and God…


Psalm 139:13-16“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.  15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”  NKJV

I am troubled with the hoopla over people like Bruce Jenner and others.  He decided he was truly a woman and went through the extensive effort to become a woman.  Truthfully, no man can become a woman and no woman can become a man.  The chromosomes remain the same before and after any operations.  I heard a psychologist say that people who engage in this behavior have a mental health issue and I would not argue that.  This whole “transgender” fervor and the overt and covert declarations that God blew it in creating people troubles me deeply.

The question I have, and until now have given almost zero thought to is:  “What will people like Bruce or Caitlynn Jenner say to God when they stand before Him?”  Will they tell God He blew it?  Obviously, they believe He did so how do we square this type of behavior with the Bible?

David declared in Psalm 139 that man is “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that God knew our members, parts, gender, etc. before we were even conceived.  If we believe that God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent how do we reconcile the suggestion that He screwed up in creating us?   Bill Gothard said years ago that those particular physical characteristics in each of us were marks of ownership and a recognition that God did not make mistakes. 

I guess if we pressed this to the limit, we would have to question other cosmetic attempts to fix what God created in our human bodies.  Honestly, I do not know how to answer those questions, although I have an opinion, I have not thought, researched, and prayed it through to the place of having a core conviction regarding it.  I know in my own heart that I am a Creation of God and God is Perfect!   I have to believe that He knew what he was doing in creating me.  He made me a male, gave me the particular physical traits that I have, and since He knows the end from the beginning, I would be inclined to believe that He did it for a reason. 

I was not created 6’5″ with six-pack abs and each of us have likely, from time to time, questioned why some part of our bodies were created as they were.  Personally, in my one life and body, I understand some of them and others I simply accept.  Why are some members of the same family able to dip into the gene pool and have a full head of hair and others given to male pattern baldness?  There are so many physical traits that we could delve into but if we accept what God has created and focus on Him, not some perceived deficiency in us we will be ahead in the game of life. 

I am convinced that if I lament the abundance or lack in a particular aspect of my physical frame, I will open the door to the devil to create an unhealthy condition in my heart.  I will become prone to question God in all things, not just those particular things.  I will miss the reality and truth that I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and my frame is His design as is my gender.

I would not have the audacity or courage to stand before God and say, “Sorry Father, but you blew it when you created me.”  We are told that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and if we do not like the temple can that spill over into not liking the architect of the temple?

I find myself looking at this matter and although I probably won’t give it a lot of time. I sense that we are going to be dealing with people in church and life who have questions that we need to have answers for. I would ask that you examine your heart, God’s Word, and prepare to give answers to those who challenge and honestly inquire.  We are to be ready to give an answer to every man for the reason of the hope that is in us.  Know what you believe and why?

God bless you!

THE GREATEST RIGHT OF ALL RIGHTS…


John 1:12-13 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  NASB

I have often read this passage and wondered at the wording.  In the KJV it is rendered ‘power’ but in the margin, it is reflected as ‘right or privilege’ to become the sons of God.  The word translated power, privilege, or right is the Greek word (exosuia).  In a very real sense, it is ability.  It reflects the privilege of becoming.  It reveals the capacity to become.  It describes potential, authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, and strength.

Therefore, receiving Jesus and believing on and in Him opens the door to the Greatest Right or Privilege man could ever experience, becoming children of God.  In today’s world, people talk about their rights.  I even hear preachers and Christians talking about their rights in God and speak as if God is obligated to do whatever they tell Him if they say it in faith. 

I am not trying to negate faith or even positive declaration of God’s Promises.  I am simply focusing on the Greatest Right of all Rights and that is being born again or becoming Children of God. 

Let me address salvation from the perspective of rights.  What does it mean to become a Child of God, born again, a member of the family of God, and an heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus?  When we are members of the family of God, we have the right to live without fear.  We have the right to anticipate eternity in heaven.  We have a right to expect God’s angelic hosts to back up us when we encounter evil.  We have the right to come boldly into the presence of God because He invited us and extended that right to us.

We have the right to be called the Children of God!  Most of us have encountered situations in life where who a person is (family lineage), affords them privileges that others do not have.  In the military, we had the saying, “Rank has its privilege.”  As believers, we are afforded the Right to use the Name above all Names, Jesus.  We are extended the right, authority, power, and privilege to use His Name against the powers of darkness.

In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”  How much authority?  ALL AUTHORITY!  How much does ALL cover?  It covers everything!  Therefore, if Jesus has ALL Authority in heaven and on earth then his next words are powerfully important in connection with our Right, Privilege, Authority, and Power to become Children of God.  As Children of God, we are the target of His words in Matthew 28:19-20, based on His Authority He instructed us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Our Right in believing extends to the exercise and use of His Authority that is ALL Authority.  In Ephesians 2 we discover that as Children of God, Born Again Believers verse 6 reveals something incredible and powerful.  It says that He has, “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places…”  Wow!  In 1 John 4:17, we are informed that “…as He is (not will be but is), so are we in this world.”  That is the here and now not when we get to heaven in the sweet by and by.  We are, because of who we are and who He is, more than conquerors through Jesus!

The only Right that matters or the greatest Right any human can have is the Right, Privilege, Authority, or Power to become Children of God.  That relationship, position, and condition affords us privileges and authority beyond what most believers believe.  Whatever Jesus was, He is.  Therefore, if we are like Him and seated with Him now, then what He was, is, and will be, we are through Him.  Let’s start acting like God is telling the truth. It is all conditioned upon repentance, faith, and obedience.

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

WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?


Luke 8:22-25 – “Now it came about on one of those days, that He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they were sailing along, He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended upon the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. 24 And they came to Him and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm. 25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”  NASB

Jesus’ question in verse 25 is important and interesting.  He asked, “Where is your faith?”  This was not a question of existence of faith as much as it was the location of faith .  It was a matter of trust. Jesus had said, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.”  That alone should have been sufficient as it revealed the desire of the Master.  Their faith was challenged when the the elements, natural elements, impeded their progress. 

The disciples woke Jesus up and said, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”  Jesus awakened and took immediate action calming the storm.  Then He turned to them and said, “Where is your faith?”  His question was both location and existence.  His inference was that their faith was in what they could see more than what He had said. It was also a question of the existence of faith. 

Where is it was His question. He spoke in light of the fact that had it been with Him and had faith been present in them, they could and should have spoken to the winds and waves and not been fearful of dying?  Where, in the sense of what they were focused on. His question caused them to look in the mirror of their hearts and ask, “What do we trust the most, what we can see or what He has said?” 

 We all encounter situations in life where the question could and should be asked, “Where is your faith?”  Where in the sense of location and where in the sense of existence.  I am reminded of the words of the wise man in Ecclesiastes 11:4, “He that watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.”  If we allow what we see and hear become a more powerful determiner in our lives than what God says, we will be as the disciples, fearful of life and filled with doubt.  We will need the Savior to rescue us.

Rescue is not the demonstration of the Kingdom of God nor what Jesus has commissioned and authorized for us.  He has authority over all the power of the enemy and has given us His authority.  His finished work on the Cross totally defeated the devil and triumphed over him.  We are seated with Jesus in the heavenly places.  We have been given the Power of the Holy Spirit to pull down strongholds, bind the strongman, and loose the dynamics of the Kingdom in this world.  Therefore, the appropriate question for each of us to ask is, “Where is Our Faith?”

Jesus came and operated as man empowered by the Holy Spirit.  If He did all He did as God, then I am impressed but do not feel the compulsion or commission to emulate Him.  If He did what He did as man anointed with the Holy Spirit and our example, then what He did I am to do.  We dare not forget the words of our LORD in John 14:12-18 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” NASB

Therefore, I ask, “Where Is Your Faith?”  I also urge me and you to commit ourselves to seek Him first and foremost.  I ask, “If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and if the Word of God always accomplishes that which He sends it to do, Why Not Now? Why Not Us?”

Lord, help us to place our faith in You and Your Words not what we see, feel, think, or experience in the natural if those things are contradictory to what You have said.  Let our Faith by in You and Your Promises.

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE…


Philippians 2:14-16 – “Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”  NIV

Philippians 2:14-16 – “Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” NKJV

I truly believe that we should examine everything with due diligence and verify doctrines with the Word of God.  I also believe there is a place for willing obedience to those in authority in the Church.  I love what the apostle Paul had to say in 1 Corinthians 11:1 – “…follow me AS I follow Christ.”  In the earlier portion of the text chapter, Paul tells the hearers to have the same mind as the Lord Jesus walking in obedience.

We are taught in Scripture that we are “living stones” placed in God’s building by the wise master builders that God has selected to oversee our spiritual walk.  In the natural, a stone is placed where the mason desires as prescribed by the architect but in living stones, we tend to resist, argue, push back, and let our egos override our obedience.  We sometimes think of ourselves more highly than we ought at any particular time.

James 4:10 informs us that if we humble ourselves before God, He will exalt us.  When?  In His time!  Attitude is a problem in society and the spiritual realm.  Our attitude determines our altitude and our altitude determines our aptitude.  If we truly love the Lord, we should be content to bloom where He plants us and remain there until He transplants us.  If our assignment is cleaning the toilets, shoveling out the stables, sweeping the floors then let us be the best we can be at that task.  If our assignment is standing before people, then let us do that with humility and allow the Holy Spirit to live and speak through us. No matter our assignment we should pursue it without complaint and argument. 

I am not suggesting that you mindlessly obey human authority but that you allow the Holy Spirit to hone and develop you in His time and in His way.  Iron sharpens iron and few of us like being sharpened for it is sometimes painful and hard on our egos.  Paul, a mighty apostle of God could honestly declare that he was content wherever God placed him and in whatever condition he found himself.  Why?  Because his inner peace, contentment, and significance did not come from external recognition or position it came from a relationship with the Lord Himself.  It came through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. 

When God determines it is time to promote you, He will, and you will find success.  If you force doors open you will find discontent, dissatisfaction, and disappointment.  Let your attitude be one of obedience and I am convinced God will open the doors to your dreams in due time!   

God bless you as you go through this wonderful day!

IS THIS US?


Job 1:9-11 – “Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 “Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 “But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face.”  NASB

Is what us, Roy?  Is the charge the devil made against Job reflective who us today?  Is it reflective of the mentality of Christians in 2021?  On one hand, the charge against Job is a compliment and on the other reflects the belief of the devil that man is in it for what he can get, just like he is.

Job, as revealed in the chapters and verses of the Book of Job, was a man that reverenced God.  Satan charged that Job was only doing it for what God had blessed him with and the protection of God.  My question is whether the charge of the devil against God could be applied to us and be correct. 

Let me say at the beginning, the devil is not omniscient.  He is not a 2nd god he is a created being that fell in rebellion.  He is a liar and the father of lies.  What he said regarding Job or any of us for that matter was either based on evidence that he believed he saw or was presumptive about human nature.  Job proved the devil a liar and wrong.

The question is, “How many of us truly reverence God when our faith is tested, and unexpected and unexplained hardships come into our lives?”  I cannot overemphasize that the devil is not omniscient.  I contend that he does not know how we are going to respond before we respond.  He presumes and has a mountain of evidence and examples to base his presumption upon but omniscient, he is not!  He has witnessed the failure of humans in handling hardship to make a good and even educated guess, but he does not know beforehand.

In times of physical, moral, or economic crisis how many draw, back, and become sullen in those times?  How many put on a good front, say the right religious words, and pretend but inside they are raging with anger, defeat, and disappointment?  How many have hidden or latent resentment toward God because of the tragedy and the perception that God let us down?

The devil insisted that Job reverenced God because of God’s blessings.  I believe he was basing that assumption or presumption upon the millions of times he had witnessed human reaction when bad things came their way. 

I contend that the extent to which we truly revere or fear, worship, and praise God in the midst of unbearable difficulty or loss is the extent to which we truly reverence God when things are going well.  I suggest that if we are in it for the blessings, we are only serving God for the loaves and fishes rather than because of Who He is and His incredible love.  Are we fair-weather Christians or rock solid in our commitment and abandonment in Him? 

Learning to truly praise God in the midst of trial reflects a closeness to Him and the depth of our relationship.  If we make God above all else, and if our greatest desire is to be obedient to Him and love Him with our whole body, soul, and spirit regardless of the circumstances we make a liar out of the devil.

God never denied that He had a hedge of protection around Job.  He expressed His confidence in Job and held him up as an example of a person who would stay true in all things.  The devil’s contention that Job was only serving for the blessings was thwarted and, in the end, Job came forth as fine gold and received a double portion.  We are reminded in Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  WE MUST NOT QUIT!

I pray that each of us will set our hearts to not be the kind of people the devil accused Job of being and be those who “in everything give thanks.”  May we become people who make “count it all joy when difficult times comes our way” knowing that those trials give God the opportunity and platform to demonstrate His grace, goodness, mercy, and strength.            

God bless you as you demonstrate to the devil and the world that God is your source and you seek Him above everything ALL THE TIME!   Have a Great Day

YOU DID NOT BUILD THAT…


1 Corinthians 4:7 – “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  NASB

This is not a political post but a devotional and hopefully it will be inspirational.  I had a man tell me a few years ago, “I am a self-made man.”  I responded, “Satisfied with second best, right?”  He was perplexed and became a bit agitated at my question and said, “Everything I have I have produced myself and earned.”  I said, “Still second best.” 

Before he could go over the edge and lose his cool even farther, I quoted the text verse and said, “Truthfully, as James 1:17 declares, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.” I continued my discussion and said, “If you are self-made that is not the best.  If you are God-made that is the best, so which would you prefer?”  After he reflected on that a moment, he said, “God-made.” 

I appreciate ingenuity, creativity, enterprise, and energy in the pursuit of the goals of life.  I appreciate a person that is a doer, not just a talker or hearer.  I appreciate the willingness to dare to fail rather than failing to dare.  However, if I am to be all I can be in life and the Kingdom of God, I must recognize the source of my strength, gifts, talents, and abilities.  It is God! 

God owns everything including you and me.  I love the words of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”  The Promises of God are incredible and filled with hope. 

Jesus warned that we could not serve two masters and let me expand that to include self.  If we believe we are who we are solely by our own efforts, we are serving the wrong master and shortchanging ourselves.  The gifts and talents God has bestowed upon us are for service rather than personal benefit.  They do benefit us but that is not their purpose.  Peter said, in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

I love the reminder of Jesus in Luke 6:38, “Give and it (what you give) will be given to you.  Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  We are to be salt and light in this world.  Therefore, why not brighten up the corner, room, or place we are and impact our world for God and good?  Why not?  Why not?  Why not?  That is not a question but a prayer that from this day forward we realize that who and what we are is the result of His blessings and grace, not our own ability.

It is in Him that we live and move and have being. (Acts 17:28).  It is ‘in Him’, ‘by Him’, and ‘through Him’ that we are able to do what He desires and what is required.  I pray that the peace of God that surpasses human understanding will flood your hearts and fill your minds with His comfort and confidence.

Let your light shine and testify, “I am what I am by the Grace of God!”  God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

THE “IS”-NESS OF GOD…


Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God…”  NKJV

In taking only a portion of a verse I am always concerned with missing the context but in this case, I believe it appropriate to do what I have done.  Read the verse with me and notice it speaks of the “beginning” or the starting point or origination and then it offers the most captivating thought one could encounter, GOD.  In the beginning God.  That leaps off the page when I read it for it speaks of the “IS”-ness” of God.  God IS not simply Was or Will Be but HE IS! 

Have you considered how many times the Bible says, “God is” and then conveys a truth that is life-changing?  I will not attempt to exhaust the references, but they are numerous, but could we consider some of them in hopes of building your faith and confidence in Him.

GOD IS TRUTH…

He is present truth not simply past truth or future truth but Present Truth.  Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…”  Numbers 23:19 declares, “God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent (change His mind).  Has He not said, and will He not do?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”  He is Truth and we know from John 8:32 that Truth liberates and makes free.  That freedom is Salvation and the New Birth.  The “IS”-ness” of God inspires our hearts and gives us a complete contrast to the devil whom Jesus said in John 8:44, is a liar, the father of lies, and the truth is not in him.  It is in the “IS”-NESS of GOD that we find the freedom and revelation of Truth! 

GOD IS LOVE…

He is now Love not simply God has love, but He IS Love!  That is the “isness” of God coming to light again.  In 1 John 4 there are numerous references to this truth as John declares GOD Is Love!  The apostle Paul highlighted a truth that should encourage our hearts in Hebrews 13:8 declaring that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Taking from that revelation we can anchor in our hearts the reality that God was love in the past, will be love in the future, and is love in the present.  Then when we view the extent of that love in John 3:16 we should be brought to our knees in humble adoration, appreciation, and awe.  God loved us enough that Jesus would die on the Cross for our sin.  God’s Love is found in His “IS”-NESS.

GOD IS LIGHT…

When darkness covered the world, God spoke and called forth light for that is what He is, and light dispels darkness.  1 John 1:5 tells us that, “…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”  He is completely devoid of darkness and light is more than truth it is a revelation and affords guidance.  The Psalmist declared in 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Jesus, the Bible declares in John 1:1-5, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

God is the truth, love, light, life, and the whole of the IS-NESS of GOD can be found in God’s declaration to Moses at the burning bush when Moses insisted on knowing God’s name.  God declared in Exodus 3:14, “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.'”   I “AM” not simply was or will be but I AM.  The “IS”-NESS of God declares to us the Now Reality of Who God is, what God does, and what God has for His children.

He is love.  He is power.  He is truth.  He is light.  He is life.  He is a consuming fire.  He is mercy.  He is longsuffering.  He is THE LIVING GOD!  Some want to declare in the thinking of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche that “God is dead” but I’m here to declare that God’s not Dead! No, No, No HE IS ALIVE, so rejoice, in the “IS”-NESS of GOD!  I encourage you to grasp the “IS”-NESS of God and as you discover the powerful revelations of His word and experience the awesomeness of His person you will find a new boldness and confidence in the face of the world’s darkness.

God bless you as you go through this wonderful day in Him!