REMEMBER THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US – – Not Just Good, but the Best – Part 3…

2 Corinthians 3:7-11 – “But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.”  NKJV

I believe that the paragraph of our text speaks to the heart of the entire chapter and the message of Paul’s call for Grace, not Law.  It must be studied in connection with Exodus 34:29-35.  Paul never denied the glory of the Old Covenant Law because there was glory in giving the Law and maintaining the tabernacle and temple services.  Paul argued that the Glory of the New Covenant of Grace was far superior, not that the Old had no glory.

He gave definitive reasons for his argument that can provide us with help, hope, and comfort.  In 2 Corinthians 3:7-8, he reveals that the glory of the New Covenant means Spiritual Life, not Death.  Do you remember what happened when Moses came down from the Mountain after his conversation with God?  His face was shining with the Glory of God.  It got the attention of the people very powerfully.  Paul was arguing from lesser to greater glory.  If there is glory in the Law that brought death, how much more is there in the New Testament’s Covenant of Grace that brings life?

  • The Law cannot justify the Lost Sinner. (Galatians 2:16). 
  • The Law cannot give a Sinner Righteousness. (Galatians 2:21).  
  • The Law cannot give the Holy Spirit.  (Galatians 3:2). 
  • The Law does not give an Inheritance. (Galatians 3:18). 
  • The Law cannot give Life. (Galatians 3:21). 
  • The Law cannot give Freedom. (Galatians 4:8-10). 

In 2 Corinthians 3:9-10, he reveals that the New Covenant Glory means righteousness, not condemnation.  The Law’s purpose was not salvation because salvation cannot come by works.  The Law produces Condemnation, a Mirror that reveals just how dirty, vile, corrupt, and lost we really are.  It shows our filth but cannot cleanse us; that must come through Grace!  Man’s need is for Righteousness, and God gives His Righteousness through Faith in Jesus Christ!  Galatians 2:21, “For if righteousness [comes] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” 

If you try to be a Law Keeper, you will find yourself feeling more and more guilty every day and with every failure to measure up.  On the other hand, if we trust Christ and receive His Grace and live by Faith, we will experience freedom, acceptance, and joy.  2 Corinthians 3:10 tells us that the Law really “lost its glory” when compared to the surpassing glory of the Ministry of God’s Grace. 

In 2 Corinthians 3:11, we find that the New Covenant is Permanent, not Temporary.  Notice the tense, “that which is passing away.”  Paul wrote at a time in history when the ages were overlapping.  The New Covenant of Grace had come in, but the Temple Services were still being carried on, and the nation of Israel was yet under the Law.  The Judaizers wanted to mix the two covenants.  Paul asked an incredibly pertinent question, “Why go back to that which is temporary and fading away?”  He argued that we are to “Live in the Glory of New Covenant which is getting greater and greater.”

God’s Grace is an Inside Job!  It changes us from the inside, and then that becomes visible on the outside, not vice versa. 

God bless you richly as you live Free in Jesus! 

REMEMBER THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US – – Not Just the Good, but the Best – Part 2…

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 – And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”  NKJV

Back to the contrast, Paul gave of the Gospel of Legalism, the Grace of God, and the reality of Death vs. Life.  One of the many things I love about the apostle Paul was his quickness to give God Glory rather than seeking to call attention to himself.  Paul continually expressed his confidence and trust in God and declared adamantly that his (Paul’s) sufficiency was from God, not anything within himself.  We must never forget that Paul was a brilliant, highly educated man, yet he refused to depend or rely on his own adequacy; he depended on the Lord in all things and at all times.

The Legalist told the people that anyone who kept the law would become spiritual and gain special acceptance and favor with God.  All Legalistic ministries have a way of inflating people’s egos and creating false security in actions rather than pointing to Grace. 

When you promote Grace, you must tell people they are sinners who cannot save themselves.  That is not very ego-building.  Paul’s testimony is found in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”  I like that!  No one is sufficient in himself to minister to the hearts of people; that sufficiency, ability, and power must come through the Holy Spirit and His anointing.

I find the names or ways Paul identifies the Old and New Testaments interesting.  In (v.6), he calls the Old Testament The Letter, and the New Testament is referred to as The Spirit as he referenced the message of Grace. 

I must insist that you not assume that Paul was contrasting or offering two approaches to the Bible.  He was not contrasting Literal Interpretation and Spiritual Interpretation.  He reminds us that the Old Testament Law could not give life; according to Galatians 3:21, it is the ministry of death.  On the other hand, the Gospel of Grace offers life to those who believe because of the Person of Jesus Christ and His Work on the Cross.

I also must insist that you refrain from assuming Paul to be saying that The Law was a mistake or that its ministry is not important.  It is our School Master to bring us to Grace.  Paul understood that the lost sinner must be slain by The Law and left hopelessly and helplessly lost and condemned before God’s Grace could save him!  

Legalism brings death, but Grace brings life!  Preachers and teachers who major in rules (minors) and regulations keep their flocks under a dark cloud of guilt, and that is not where God wants us.  That cloud of guilt kills joy, saps power, and renders our witness ineffective. Christians who constantly measure themselves against others, comparing results and competing, soon find that they depend on the flesh, not the Power of the Spirit of God.  The Bible speaks of ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.’

There has never been a standard that could transform people’s lives, including the Ten Commandments. Only and I mean Only, God’s Grace can do that.  Only the Grace of God ministered by the Holy Spirit can transform a lost sinner into a living epistle that glorifies Jesus Christ! 

Paul’s doctrine of the New Covenant was not an invention of his own intellect.  He had studied and read passages like Jeremiah 31:27-34; and Ezekiel 11:14-21.  The Old Covenant Law, with its emphasis on external obedience, was preparation for the New Covenant message of Grace, where the emphasis is on the Internal and the transformation of the heart.

The Old Covenant is incredibly important but pales in the glory of the New Covenant, a Better Covenant established on Better Promises. The promises of the Old were nothing short of amazing.  I want to talk about that contrast but will pause here and pick up next time in contrasting the glories of the two covenants.

God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!

REMEMBER THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US – Not Just Good, but the Best…

2 Corinthians 3:1-3 – “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? 2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known, and read by all men; 3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”  NKJV

It is indisputable that there can be no counterfeit without a genuine.  Whenever we find a desirable genuine, someone attempts to develop and promote a counterfeit.  Even in the world of specialists such as art, even some of the most skilled critics are deceived by fake masterpieces.  It happens in all areas of life, and those who study counterfeit currency contend that the best way to identify the fake is to study the genuine.  That is also true spiritually.

This was true at the beginning of the Gospel’s presentation and is still true today.  There were and are those who spread and offered a counterfeit gospel.  That happened in the early church, and the counterfeit was a mixture of Law and Grace.  It was spread by those called Judaizers.  Their primary emphasis was that Salvation came through Jesus PLUS keeping the Law.  They also taught that the believer is perfected in his faith by obeying the Law of Moses.  You might be surprised to know that this was a growingly popular gospel in Paul’s day. 

It was the Gospel of Legalism.  I am pretty confident that the popularity of this gospel had to do with the propensity of human nature to earn or deserve rather than trust God’s Grace. It is easier to measure religion than true righteousness.  How many do you know, or have you met, that said, “When I get my life straightened out, I’ll go to church?” 

Paul considered these false teachers as peddlers of the Word of God.  (2 Corinthians 2:17 NIV).  He considered them Religious Racketeers who preyed upon people’s ignorance and completely rejected their devious and deceptive methods.  (2 Corinthians 4:2).  He despised their tendency to boast about their converts.  (2 Corinthians 10:12-18). 

He revealed that one of the reasons the church at Corinth was behind on their promised contribution to the special offering was that the Judaizers had robbed the church. (2 Corinthians 11:7-12, 20; 12:14).  Paul considered them a blight upon the testimony of the Church and tools of hell.  He was not shy in identifying or calling them out. 

The question that comes to my mind is, “How did Paul refute the doctrines and practices of those false teachers?”  He did it in the most powerful and meaningful way possible, demonstrating the Surpassing Glory of the Ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In the third chapter of Second Corinthians, he contrasts the ministry of the Old Covenant [LAW] with that of the New Covenant [GRACE].  He demonstrated the superiority of the New Covenant, a better covenant established upon better promises.

Addressing these contrasts in one setting with any specificity and detail would be virtually impossible. Still, I’d like to list them and highlight some critical points to help us progress in God and have ammunition for refuting false claims.

He Contrasted Tables of Stone with Tablets of Flesh (Human Hearts) – – 2 Corinthians 3:1-3.  The Judaizers were name droppers and prided themselves in having letters of recommendation from important and influential people in the Jerusalem Church.  They argued that Paul had no such credentials and should be rejected.  It is sad when a person has to measure their worth by what people say about them.  Paul needed no letters of recommendation; he had the demonstration and power of God evident in his life and ministry. 

The analogy Paul uses is interesting, for when God gave the Law, He wrote it upon Tablets of Stone. Israel could read it, but it would not change their lives. The Law is external, and we need something internal to transform from darkness to light.  The Legalists admonish us, DO THIS, or DO THAT, but they cannot give us the power to obey.  The Ministry of Grace, on the other hand, Changes the Heart for it works on the inside.  The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and writes in on the heart.  (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). 

The experience of Grace means far more than some denominational letter of approval of it is Life Changing.  The true test of ministry and message is found in Changed Lives, not press releases or statistics.  The Law reveals sin, but the Gospel forgives sin.  The Law exposes the heart, but Grace heals the heart and cleanses sin.  The Law shows us our deficiency, but Grace shows us His sufficiency. It is truly the difference between Death and Life. 

I want to discuss that aspect and will do so in the next devotional, but for now, I commend the Grace of God to you and declare that Salvation is JESUS, not Jesus And Anything.  By grace, we are saved through faith, the gift of God, and never by works. 

Blessings abundantly are my desire and prayer!


Exodus 12:12-13 – “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”  NKJV

As God prepared Israel for their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, the one thing they had to do to be spared was take the “blood of the sacrificial lamb” and place it on the doorposts of their houses.  When the destroying angel came into the land and saw the BLOOD, the inhabitants would be spared; otherwise, Death would be the result. 

This was symbolic and pointed to the time when Christ, our sacrificial lamb, would offer up His innocent blood on the Cross for the sin of mankind.  In our reception of His sacrifice and grace, the Holy Spirit applies the Blood of the Lamb to our hearts, and we are spared from the plague of sin.  Only by the blood are we spared!  It is not by works, not earned, not deserved; it is “by grace, through faith” that we enter into the family and kingdom of God.  

NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD!  The old gospel song says it perfectly:

            “What can wash away my sin?

             Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

            What can make me whole again?

            Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

             Oh! Precious is the flow.

            That makes me white as snow.

            No other fount I know,

            Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

The prophet Isaiah penned it perfectly in Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.   If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword.”

Some in today’s Politically Correct faux tolerant world do not like the mention of The Blood.   They consider it too vile for polite society and seek to eliminate it from religious conversation.  Unfortunately for them, the Blood opens salvation’s door!  Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission, as declared by Paul in Hebrews 9:22.  Forgiveness is impossible without the Blood of Christ shed for sin.  He paid the divine penalty, and we have HOPE and LIFE through His sacrifice!

What can wash away my sin?  NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!   So today, if you have not received Him, I urge you to listen to the nudging of the Holy Spirit and allow God to apply the blood of Jesus to the doorposts of your heart.

May you walk in the rich blessings of the Father today and every day!


Jeremiah 1:12 – “Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” NASB

I have encountered some people like those that Peter was addressing in 2 Peter 3:9.  He reminded them that God is not slack concerning His promises.  If I can depend on anything, it is God’s Word! I believe that His word cannot be separated from Himself, and if He says it, He will bring it to pass! That is a fact!

When Israel entered the Promised Land and finally took possession of the Land of Promise, we read in Joshua 21:43-45 – “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”  

All of it, every promise came to pass!  Every Word that God said He would do, He did!  That is true in our lives as well.  Unfortunately, we live by the calendar and clock and serve one who responds to neither.  We are time conscious, and He is timeless.  We live in the finite, and He is infinite.  We have self-imposed deadlines and bind ourselves to them, but our limitations never bind God.

I don’t care if God promised something to you when you were ten and now you are eighty; if He said it, He will bring it to pass!  People will fail, but God will not!  Our plans are always flawed, but His are perfect!  Our timing is subject to our interpretation of the need and circumstances. His are limited only to His limitlessness which means they have no limitations, and He is never late!  If we can embrace the words of Paul in Romans 8:28, we can deal with God’s supposed delays knowing that ALL THINGS are Working Together for our ultimate good. All things are not good, but the compilation of them produces the finished product that is good.

The question should not be whether or not God will keep His promises but whether we will ‘faint’ before the promise is fulfilled.  If we believe God to be God, then we can hold on, no matter what, to His promises knowing that His track record is NOT ONE WORD FAILS!

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


2 Kings 5:9-14 – “Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So, he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”  NKJV

This account of Naaman, the Syrian commander, is one of several in the Bible that reflects ‘unrealistic’ or ‘unfulfilled expectations’ and the problem therein.  Naaman had leprosy, which was a virtual sentence of death.  His wife had a slave girl from Israel, and she said to her master’s wife, “If only my master were with the prophet in Samaria!  For he would heal him of his leprosy.”  Naaman’s wife relayed the information to Naaman, and he relayed it to his king.  The story begins with a letter sent to the king of Israel to heal Naaman. 

Imagine, if you will, receiving a directive from a powerful enemy to do something you could not do.  How would you view it?  The King of Israel considered it a provocation to war and was distraught.  Elisha heard about the King’s hysteria and directed that Naaman be sent to him.  Naaman followed the king’s directive, and his entourage proceeded to Elisha’s house; the problem opened in a major way and revealed the “Problem of Human Expectations.”

Elisha told the commander to go to the Jordan river and dip himself seven times.  Naaman was furious! He considered it an insult for someone of his stature to be instructed to do that.  He expected pomp and ceremony. He expected the prophet to stand before him, wave his hands over the leprosy and heal him in a dramatic fashion.  He expected something that, in his mind, would be fitting for someone of his stature.  He left furious, and one of his servants took his life into his own hands and approached Naaman asking if Elisha had instructed him to do something great, difficult, or monumental, would he not have attempted it?  As a result, Naaman realized he had nothing to lose and obeyed.  The result was a complete cleansing of leprosy and restoring his flesh.

Had he allowed his ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unfulfilled expectations’ to rule, he would have died in Syria a Leper! How often do we fix in our minds how things should be and reject everything that does not fit that image and fulfill that expectation? Could it be that we fail to receive answers to our prayers because we ‘predetermine’ how we expect things to be, and when they do not satisfy those expectations, we reject all else? 

Isaiah 55:9 reminds us that God’s ways are higher than ours, and when we attempt to subrogate our ways over God’s, we are doomed to the realm of ‘unfulfilled expectations.’  I see it in relationships, businesses, churches, and spiritually that ‘unrealized, unfulfilled and unreasonable expectations’ bring disappointment and failure.  We do not have to live at that address, for we can subject our expectations to God’s will and ways and allow the Holy Spirit to birth in us the purposes of God. 

Demanding from others that they meet our expectations can and often is unrealistic and a catalyst to difficulty.  I am human.  You are human.  We are flawed vessels! If we expect perfection from flawed vessels we are not being realistic.  We need to be like the Naaman who went down into the Jordan, not the Naaman that drove off in a huff, wounded because his expectations were not satisfied.  I am learning daily how Paul could say he was content wherever he found himself.  His expectations were God, not his preconceived ideas of how things should be.

God bless you as you go through this day!


John 15:13-16 – “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  NKJV

There is an overriding reality that is inescapable as we study Scripture.  It leaps forth in the 66 Books of the Bible and is visible page after page and passage after passage.  It is something almost impossible to explain and almost inexplicable.  That of which I speak is the Incomparable and Incomprehensible Love God has for mankind! 

We are His creation, but our history has been one of rejection and rebellion.  He would have easily been justified in smashing the race like bugs and virtually did that saving only Noah and his family.  He has demonstrated His incredible patience and willingness to give us second, third, fourth, and fiftieth changes, yet mankind continues to seek something other than Him.

The work of Christ on the Cross is a testimony of the depth of God’s love for mankind as is revealed in John 3:16.  Jesus, in our text, testifies that He considers us His friends! In laying down His life, He has demonstrated the “no greater love.”  Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 that God “… is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  Paul wrote in Romans 8:37-39 regarding God’s love for mankind and declared that Nothing could separate us from God’s love.  In Ephesians 2:4-5 he reminds us of the depth of God’s love.

God’s love is unconditional, whereas human love is conditional.  If others reject us and spurn our demonstrations of love by disrespecting, disappointing, and turning their backs on us, love would not describe our feelings toward them.  But with God, He loves us regardless.  His unconditional love will not vacate His holiness or judgment.  He has promised that if we ‘come to Him,’ He will not reject us, but if we reject Him and die in that condition, He cannot overlook our sins. 

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of the inhabitants’ continual rejection. I believe God weeps over our world today.  There have been at least three times in my life when I heard God weeping as I was in prayer meditating on the Word. It was one of the most disturbing experiences I have ever had. I sensed His heartbreak, and I was broken.  The Omnipotent One could crush us like aluminum cans and remove us from the planet with the stroke of His finger. Yet He chooses to Love us and demonstrates longsuffering beyond human comprehension.

We can never merit that love, but through grace, He extends it.  As I meditate on this today, I tremble, realizing the times I have taken His mercy for granted.  How could anyone reject such incomparable love? 

How?  I believe that to reject God’s love, we must become so self-absorbed that our love for ourselves overpowers our reason.  I believe that to reject God’s love; we must believe the Lie of the devil and elevate ourselves to be equal with God in our minds.  Jesus said in John 8:32 – “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  If we truly SEE the finished work of Christ on the Cross and God’s Love, we will respond and be made free.

I pray that if anyone is teetering on the fence, undecided about God, His mercy, grace, and love, you have your eyes opened and See.   I pray that each of us gains spiritual sight to a greater measure and Sees God’s, Great Love!

God bless you as you go through this day!


2 Corinthians 9:6-8 “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”  NKJV

I have long believed through my study of Scripture and watching people that generosity or the lack thereof reveals a person’s heart.  I am convinced that if God does not have our pocketbooks, He does not truly have our hearts, for where the treasure is, the heart is also.  I know the context of this passage is focused on money, but I want to press it beyond that and do not believe that I am violating truth in doing so.

The Law of Sowing and Reaping goes far beyond monetary consideration.  The principle of reaping what we sow, later than we sow, and more than we sow, whether it is money, time, patience, or love, is a fact of life.  In this truth, God Promises that He will cause All Grace to abound to us so that we have All Sufficiency in All Things and have an abundance for Every Good Work!  That is an incredible promise!

Sadly, some have taken it as a promise of personal wealth and attempted to manipulate God through their giving.  God is interested in the gift and the motivation behind the gift, and His blessings are in accordance with that principle.  It would behoove us to examine what we are giving, why, or what we are not giving and why.  It will reveal our hearts, either good or flawed.

I have personally experienced times when I desperately needed finances and had no means of acquiring those funds.  I recall one such incident where I had a $500 need and 55 dollars to my name.  I do not mean I had that amount of ready cash; that is ALL I had in this world. 

The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said tithe on my need.  My response was, “What? God, I have $55 to last me a whole week, a wife, and two small children to care for.  If I give the $50 you are asking for, I will have $5 left.”  Three times I heard ‘tithe on your need.’  I took the $50 and planned to put it in the offering on Sunday morning, and as the plate came around, I tried but could not turn it loose. 

I spent a miserable Sunday afternoon, and on Sunday night, when the offering took place, I threw the $50 in the offering plate.  It felt like a hot potato that I had to get out of my hand.  I believed God would care for us, but my humanity kept me awake all night battling thoughts of my failure in my responsibility to my family, and they would have little to eat this week if…  That is the problem IF…  

I was in the condition of the man that said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”  The next day after a time in prayer, I went to town to run an errand for the church, and a person walked up to me on the street and said, “The Lord spoke to me last night to give you this.”  They placed an item in my hand and walked away.  I sat in my car and opened my hand, and it was a check for $550.00. 

God met my need and gave me back the $50.00 above the need.  My family was cared for, the need was met, and my faith was given an adrenaline shot that has never been forgotten.  God responded to my obedience and blessed me despite my fears, questions, and doubts. Since then, my giving has been cheerful, and I have not given out of necessity since that day but out of a desire to honor the Lord and help others.

I have faced times when I desperately needed someone to assist, comfort, love, or counsel me and found that the return on my investment in others came back to me many fold.  God Never fails to send help in the time of need, and if we allow Him to control our time and treasure, we will find that Grace will Abound to us in a mighty manner.

God bless you as you go through this day!

LORD, I AM THIRSTY – – Part 4…

Psalm 42:1 – “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”  NASB


  • That involves and means ‘total surrender’ of our lives to our LORD. 
  • That means to seek the will of God in all things and walk in the light you have received.
  • That is Total Surrender! 

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 11;28-29, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

He followed that up in 1 John 1:7, saying, “but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”  If we are to have all of Him, He must have all of us.  He must have control. He must increase, and we must decrease.  He must be Lord as well as Savior.  He must find us a yielded vessel.  We cannot have His fullness without coming to Him in total surrender.


You will never quench your thirst, in the natural, by looking at a picture of water or reading about the water. You have to Drink!  This means we must have a whole-hearted reception of His water and Him in our lives.  We must receive His gifts, His fruit, and His Spirit.  His Word must live in us. 

I call your attention to 1 Cor 12:4-13 –“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” 

The gifts of the Spirit are directly connected to our relationship with and our connection to Christ. 

In Galatians 5:22-23we discover a powerful truth.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  That is like a magnet to a hungry heart! 

In Revelation 22:17, we are invited to Come.  The thirst can come.  The hungry can come.  The willing can come.  You and I will never be filled and satisfied until we come to His River and Drink!

CONDITION NUMBER FOUR – We Must Believe on Jesus as the Bible Teaches.     

Biblical belief implies obedience is required if we are to receive His fullness.  We must walk in complete obedience!  There are no shortcuts to God!  Jesus told His followers in Matthew 28:20 to go into all the world and share the message of Grace and then teach the new converts to Obey God’s Commandments.  He also told them to tell the new converts that He would guide and comfort them.  In Mark 16, this is repeated, and in verses 15-20, He gives a more detailed directive. 

In John 14:15, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  After His resurrection and ascension in Acts 1:4, we find the followers of Christ assembled just like He had instructed, and they were WAITING for the Promise of the Father.  They were awaiting that River that would spring up inside them through the Holy Spirit.  In Acts 5:32, they testified that they were His witnesses, and so is the Holy Spirit God gives to the obedient. 

The truth is that if we want more of God, we can have more of God!  The problem is not on His end. It is ours.  If we want more of His Holy Spirit, we can receive.  If we want to see the Power of God manifest in our lives, we can have that Power.  Whenever I talk to God about Power, He talks to me about Purity!


Thirst, come to Jesus, Drink, Believe, and Obey. 

My question to each of us today is,“Are We Thirsty?”  Do we long for more of God?  He is willing and waiting for us to Come and Drink!  We must allow our thirst to draw us to His River!


  • Having More of God is not Automatic. It requires effort on our part.
  • To Quench our Thirst, we must come to Him and Drink!
  1. The question is, how intense is our Thirst?
  2. Will we invest our time and energy to pursue Him?
  3. The question is will we determine that anything less than the fullness of God is unsatisfactory in our lives. 

If we are hungry and thirsty, we will have all of God we can receive.  The supply is unlimited.

God bless you as you pursue Him!   Have a fantastic day!

LORD, I AM THIRSTY – – Part 3…

Psalm 42:1 – “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”  NASB


Sometimes, I fear that I make things seem overly easy! There are some conditions to receiving the Spirit and Power of God in our lives to the fullest.  It takes more than just wishful thinking or saying we want it.

John 7:37-39 – “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ” If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”  39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.” 

I ask that you join me in giving some thought to the conditions required to receive that fullness of God that our hearts crave.

CONDITION NUMBER ONE – “We Must Become Thirsty.”

This means that we must develop the ardent, eager, famishing, keep, and all-consuming craving and passion in our souls for complete union with God and with the fullness of His Spirit. 

In verse 2 of our text chapter, the Psalmist cries, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God….”  In Psalm 63:1, the writer desperately seeks and says, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirst for you, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  That is thirst!

Psalm 143:6 declares, “I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as in a parched land.”  The picture is incredibly clear, to find God and have our spiritual thirst quenched, we must become desperately and earnestly thirsty!  He must become the most important pursuit of our lives.

In Isaiah 41:17, the prophet speaks of the afflicted and needy seeking water, but no water to be found.  Their tongues are parched from lack of water.  God promises in the next verse that He will open rivers on the bare heights and send springs in the midst of the valley.  No matter where they were, there would be that desired spiritual water! 

Then, in Isaiah 44:3-4, “For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; 4 And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.”  

What a picture! If we seek Him, we will find Him.  If we develop this kind of thirst, we will be satisfied.

Elisha had that kind of thirst in 2 Kings 2, seeking a double portion anointing.  He followed Elijah to Gilgal, to Bethel, then to the Jordan.  He refused to be denied. He refused to accept the delay.  He refused to accept the denial. He pressed into the double portion because He was thirsty!  Joel said God would pour out His spirit upon ALL FLESH, including you and me, if we are thirsty!

May the LORD increase your thirst and help you become determined to press in and drink!   We will consider this more in tomorrow’s devotional. 

God bless you richly is my prayer and desire!