THE THIEF’S MISSION…


John 10:1-10 – “TRULY, truly, I say to you, He who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up from another place, is a thief and a bandit.2 But he who enters by the door, is the shepherd of the sheep.3 To him the door-keeper opens the door; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by their names and brings them out.4 And when he has brought out his sheep, he goes before them; and his own sheep * follow him, because they know his voice.5 The sheep do not follow a stranger, but they run away from him; because they do not know the voice of a stranger.6 Jesus spoke this parable to them; but they did not understand what he was telling them.7 Jesus said to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.8 All who have come are thieves and bandits, if the sheep did not hear them.9 I am the door; if any man enter by me, he shall live, and he shall come in and go out and find pasture.10 A thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly.”

I have far more to say than can be capsulized into a short devotional or even several devotionals.  Therefore, I will hit the high points as much as possible and hope that it inspires you to dig a little deeper into God’s Word and Love.

In Jesus’ teaching here in John 10, He presented the truth that He was the Good Shepherd, the one who cared for the flock.  He also revealed that there would be others who would not care for the flock but would be in it for their own prestige or gain.  They would operate in a manner that could only be called theft.  The money-grubbing, charlatans and cheats pretending to be ministers of the gospel give all ministers a bad name.

In this passage and other places, Jesus uses the figure of His church being sheep.  In this, He gives us an insight into the purpose and mission of the arch-enemy of everything heavenly, the devil and his cohorts.

Paul said that we are not ignorant of the devices and schemes of the devil.  It is clear that if the devil cannot stop us from praying, his purpose is to make us inconsistent and ineffective.  He wants to stop us from becoming all God says we are and to prevent us from having anything from the LORD.

THE THIEF COMES TO STEAL

That’s what thieves do, right?  This thief wants to steal God’s word from our hearts (Luke 8 and Matthew 13).  If we are going to have a harvest, we must have a planting season.  The Law of Sowing and Reaping always applies.  He steals the word before it can germinate in our hearts.  He manipulates us so that we do not provide good soil for the seed to be sown in and the rocky places give no root and when trials come, we wither and we draw back.  The cares and pursuits of this life choke out the purposes of God and we lose sight of what has been offered and settle for the temporal rather than enjoying the eternal.

Too often we fail to understand that God’s Word is the absolute authority.  If Jesus or God said it, that settles it.  Someone said, “Jesus said it and I believe it and that settles it.”  I said, “No, your believing or not believing it had no bearing on it being settled as truth, God said it because it is the truth and that settles it.”

We can be like Eve and allow the enemy to put questions in our minds as to God’s integrity and purpose or we can embrace His truth and walk in His freedom and enjoy the abundant life Jesus came to bring.  The devil wants to steal the knowledge that God’s Word is the absolute authority for all things.

He wants to steal the reality of the urgency of the message of the Gospel.  He tells us, that there is plenty of time.  You can make it right someday before you die.  He suggests that the pursuit of your goals, dreams, and ambitions make it inconvenient and there will be a more convenient time.

Reality screams that time (life) is short, the hope of the lost is to hear the truth, and the moment we are living in right now is the only sure opportunity to respond to God’s invitation.  Remember the Thief comes to Steal but we can refuse to allow him access into our lives.  We can turn to God and resist the devil and the devil has to flee.

I want to address this more but will do so next time.  Until then, I pray that you will walk in the freedom that God has promised for those who accept His word and obey His commands.

God bless you is my prayer!

GREAT TRAGEDIES and GOD’S PROMISE – – Part 2…


John 8:21 “Jesus again said to them, I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins; and where I am going you cannot come.”

We covered two of the great tragedies in our last devotional.  We considered the reality that People Die and that People Die In Their Sins.  Today, I want us to move forward as we consider the other tragedy to which I referred at the beginning and God’s Hope!  Now, let us move to the next two.

PEOPLE WHO DIE IN THEIR SINS WILL BE SEPARATED FROM GOD ETERNALLY

The reality is that if a person dies in their sins they cannot go where Jesus is.  He is in heaven and no sin can enter that city.  Tragically, I know many who know about Christ, can quote passages of scripture, and have heard more sermons than they can remember and yet are lost.  Hearing about Jesus or even knowing about Jesus is not enough, action is required.  We must repent and confess our sins and receive His forgiveness and experience the new birth.

In America, a person can hear preaching every day of the week.  You can turn on your radio, or television, or use the internet and hear gospel preaching 24/7/365.  You can have all the Christian books and periodicals you desire.  But if you do not hear His voice and repent (do a 180-degree turn and go the opposite direction) it, does you no good to hear.  Without Jesus, people die in their sins and those who die lost will remain lost for eternity.  Jesus said, “where I go you cannot come.”

I realize that is a morbid, bleak, and dark picture filled with gloom.  But thanks be to God it does not have to be because there is a solution.  Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and is knocking and if we open the door He will come in and transform us through salvation.

PEOPLE WHO DIE IN CHRIST ARE GOING WHERE HE IS

In John 8:31-32 we have the awesome words of our LORD, Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, If you abide by my word, you are truly my disciples.32 And you will know the truth, and that very truth will make you free.”

God has looked down from heaven and provided a way of escape from the fires of hell providing a pathway for us to live in Him and enjoy the abundance of life here and hereafter.  Romans 5:9 declares, “Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be delivered from wrath through Him.”

We have the inspiring hope found in John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to my Father except by Me.”  In John 14:1-3, He promised to prepare an eternal place for us and return to take us home to be with Him forever. 

The way of salvation is personal.  In John 1:12 we discover,But those who received him, to them he gave power to become sons of God, especially to those who believed in his name;”  In 1 John 1:9 we find the path made clear, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Paul declared in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace that you are saved through faith; not of your doing: it is the gift of God:” God’s way to salvation is through the Door (Jesus) that we must walk through in accordance with His word.

Our lives could be pictured as boats adrift in a stream that flows over a huge waterfall.  We are nearing the edge of the falls, and someone throws us a lifeline from the shore, and another offers a line from below the falls.  Which do we choose?

The line from the shore is a sure answer to salvation but the line below the falls is a guarantee of eternal doom and destruction.  Life without Jesus is doom, but Life in Jesus is Eternal.  I pray that if you do not know Him, you will choose the lifeline He offers today.

God bless you as you enjoy this day in Jesus!

FOUR GREAT TRAGEDIES and GOD’S PROMISES…


John 8:21 “Jesus again said to them, I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins; and where I am going you cannot come.”

The man Job said that man, born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble or sorrows.  It is a sad reality that tragedies are a part of life and come to everyone.  I believe that the most disturbing statement in the Bible may well be this verse in John 8.  Jesus said, “…you will die in your sins; and where I am going you cannot come.”  What could be more horrifying that that?  I cannot fathom hearing those words and not falling on my face, repenting of every sin, and pleading for God’s mercy and grace. 

This passage brings four thoughts to my mind as I read it.  I would like to share my thoughts with you.

PEOPLE DIE

That is an unavoidable fact.  When we are born, in a very real sense, we begin to die.  We begin the journey from the cradle to the grave and our eternal destiny.  The writer of Hebrews declares that staggering reality, “…it is appointed for men to die once, and after their death the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27).  We will one day end this journey on earth and stand before God giving an account of our lives to Him who knows everything from beginning to the end.

I told someone, “If you can guarantee me that you will not die, none of your loved ones will die, and none of your neighbors will die, I will not mention death to you again.”  But we know that God has spoken through the Word of God (Bible) that each of us faces this unavoidable appointment.  We will die.  I am not trying to be morbid, but it is a reality that we must face and should face.

PEOPLE DIE IN THEIR SINS

I know some discount and deny the reality of sin.  They insist that everyone will go to heaven regardless.  They insist that a loving God could not and would not allow His children to go to eternal hell.  But we only become His children through the new birth. We are all His creations but not all born again into the family of God. Sadly, they transform the Bible to satisfy their desire to not have to be accountable for their lives.  They seem to forget that God is Love, but He is also Holy, Just, Pure, Righteous, and Merciful.  He will judge sin!  He has to.  Failure to do so would transform Him into something other than the Eternal Righteous God that He is – Totally Without Sin!

That should prompt us to think about family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and everyone we meet could one day die in their sins without Jesus.  Jesus addressed the importance and value of the soul when He asked, in Mark 8:37, “what could a man give in exchange for his life (soul)?”  Dying without God’s forgiveness and the new birth is at the top of the list of most tragic things.  It has eternal ramifications.

Revelation 22:11 declares, that people often die the way they have lived.  “He who is unjust will continue to be unjust: and he who is filthy will continue to be filthy: and he who is righteous will continue to do righteousness: and he who is holy will continue to be holy.”

Everyone, no exception, will face eternity in the condition in which they died and based on their lives.  If a person lives without Christ and dies without Christ, they will die in their sins and face the judgment of God and the eternal reward of that rejection of His Grace!

I want to deal with this one more time but will pause here.  I pray that the LORD will rain His mercy upon you and enable you to live free of sin and guilt. 

Have a Great Day!

LOOKING AT THE THREE GREAT NEEDS – Part Three…


John 4:35 Do you not say that after four months comes the harvest? behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, which have turned white and have long been ready for the harvest.”

We have considered the first two parts of the Los Angeles slogan – “Vision to See, Faith to Believe, Courage to Do.”  Now let us move to the last part and mine the gold that is there.

COURAGE TO DO.

It is beyond tragic that sometimes we see and believe that something can be done but lose heart before we even attempt the task.  Courage is absent and we are defeated by our trepidation before we dare to do what we see and believe possible.

James 2:17 – Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”  It is beyond tragic if we allow fear to defeat us.  We do not have to fear because the devil is a defeated foe, and we are more than conquerors through Jesus!  We have been given authority over all the devil’s power, so Why Not Use It?

Joshua 1:7 – “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”  Then in verse nine, we read, “God is with you wherever you go.”  That is powerful.

We have no need or cause to fear man because the work before us belongs to God and He is going before us.  We do not have to fear the devil because Jesus completely defeated him at the Cross and in the Resurrection.  We do not have to fear difficulties because nothing is too difficult for God and no mountain can resist faith.

Philippians 4:13 declares, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  How many things?  ALL THINGS! 

A brief snapshot of this is in the Old Testament in the man named Shamgar.  The Bible says that he slew six hundred Philistines with an ox goad.  An ox goad was a wooden tool, about eight feet in length with an iron spike or point on one end, and was used to spur the oxen along and could be used as a scraper to remove the clods of earth from the plowshare when it became encumbered.  He certainly did not have a weapon of war but a farming tool and achieved this feat by the power of God.

King Asa had these qualities as we see in 2 Chronicles 14-15 that he went out against two-to-one odds.  Asa cried out to the LORD, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us. O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name, we go against this multitude, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”  In brief, His prayer was, “It’s All You God, so Help Us, Please!”  If we place ourselves in the hands of God, we have placed ourselves in a position of Unlimited Possibilities.

I heard years ago about a lady in Church describing faith, obedience, and responsibility.  She said, “If God tells me to jump through a hole in the wall, it’s my responsibility to jump and His to make a hole in the wall.”  What if we lived that way with Vision to See, Faith to Believe, and Courage to Do?

Believers, we have the message and the commission. We have been given Power and authority through the Holy Spirit.  The only thing that is waiting is for us to respond to God’s call and say yes!  He is calling now, what is your answer?

God bless you!

THREE GREAT NEEDS – Part Two…


John 4:35 Do you not say that after four months comes the harvest? behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, which have turned white and have long been ready for the harvest.”

We addressed the first part of the slogan from Los Angeles – “Vision to See, Faith to Believe, Courage to Do” now let us move to the next part and uncover the treasure hidden therein.

FAITH TO BELIEVE.

I am convinced that we sometimes see the need but fail to do what is needed because we have no faith for the task.  Sometimes the task before us or the need seems impossible or beyond the reach of our ability.  It is like having a $100 need and only $40 in the bank.  It would require faith to step out when the resources do not seem present.  However, if we are resigned to waiting until we have everything in hand to dare to step out, we may never step out.  Sometimes it requires an Act of Faith to break through the obstacles and turn loose the blessings.

Mark 9:23 declares, “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Mark 11:22 declares, “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Faith in Who or Whom?  God, not what you have in your hand or what you know you can do.  God is the God of the Impossible and if we believe Him, He said, “Nothing is impossible to us because nothing is impossible with Him.”

Our faith must be in God!  That is first and foremost and we must trust His ability to do what he said He would.  Our confidence must be in His integrity and honesty that He will do what He said He would.  We must see ourselves as instruments in God’s hand.  Our faith is in God, not us. 

Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “…if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you shall say to this mountain, remove from here to there and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”  That is incredible but completely credible!  We must develop the ability and willingness to Believe God!  We must learn to rely on His faithfulness and His character to do exactly what He has declared in His word.

Someone said concerning the Revivals of the Church that revival came to the Early Church because – They heard and believed His report.  They obeyed His word.  They prayed and trusted Him totally.  Revival continued in the Early Church because – They made His kingdom the focus of their lives.  They applied His Word to their every situation.  They prayed and trusted Him totally.

I believe that pattern can continue or be reproduced in today’s world and church if we will do what they did and become what they were we will have what they had.  God has not changed!  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  We need Faith to believe Him and need to begin living as if He were telling the truth!

I will take this one more step in the next devotional but for now, I will pause.

God bless you as you allow Him to instill Faith in your heart to believe and obey His Word!

LET ME OFFER THREE GREAT NEEDS


John 4:35 Do you not say that after four months comes the harvest? behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, which have turned white and have long been ready for the harvest.”

I want to draw something out of the annals of trivia housed in my brain. It was something that happened decades ago in Los Angeles, California.  The L.A. Chamber of Commerce offered a prize of $500 for the best slogan submitted for their city’s campaign.  A mother of three children won with this slogan, “Vision to See, Faith to Believe, Courage to Do.”

If you take the time to dissect and examine that slogan you will find some incredibly powerful truth embodied in it.  I believe that this is the need of the hour for God’s people and His church.  We need Vision, Faith, and Courage.  Vision to see, faith to believe, and courage to do.

I believe that it is vital that we develop those three things in today’s church.

VISION TO SEE.

For me, one of the most perplexing problems in much of the church is the lack of vision.  Had the early church been devoid of vision, like many modern-day churches and leaders, the Church would have died in its infancy.  The apostle Thomas said, “Except I see, I will not believe.”  Much of today’s church says, “Except I see, I will not do.”

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.”  The KJV and others use the word perish.  I believe that it is vital that someone reveals the truth or people perish.  It is vital that someone articulate the vision or people will never become committed to it. They will go in their separate directions rather than becoming a unity, an army, a family, or a body.  A candle has little value if it is hidden under a bushel and eyes are of little value if there is no vision.

Reconsider the text verse John 4:35, please.  We need vision to see what needs to be done.  Preachers frequently urge people to work for the LORD but fail to tell them what needs to be done or even why.  What needs to be done?  One aspect is our Commission to take the Good News (Gospel) to the world.  We are promised that God’s Truth will set people free!  Truth liberates deception and falsehood enslaves. That is part of destroying the works of the devil and seeing the Kingdom of God come upon the earth.

My heart’s cry is that God’s people will awaken, realize the need, and catch the vision of the Body of Christ.  Each member is important just like each member of our physical bodies is important.  All members are not equal in ability or function, but all have a purpose and if the body is to be all it can be, each member must fulfill its purpose.  You are important to the Body.

Let me make a statement that some may disagree with – “Your Church’s spirituality depends on you.”  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  A battle plan is effective only if all the soldiers do their job at the prescribed time and in the prescribed way. 

Let me offer another that may not be received – “Your Church’s effectiveness depends on you.”  Please understand, that I am not saying you as separate from the Holy Spirit. If each member of the local church does what God has designed and called them to do, their community will be reached with the gospel.  I pray that God will open our eyes to help us to have Vision to See what needs to be done and be willing to do it. 

We also need to see what is being done.  If I can see what needs to be done and what is being done, it is easy for me to know what I can do.  When God spoke to Isaiah the prophet He asked, “Who will go?  Who can I send?”  Isaiah shouted, “Here am I, send me!”  You do not need to volunteer for every task but if you have the ability and gifts to fulfill that need, then Why Not You?

I will address this more in the next devotional.

God bless you as you experience Vision to See!

WHAT THE PROMISE IS AND IS NOT…


Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  NASB

I have heard people quote this passage and say, “God will make everything good.”  You can see that that is not what that says if you examine it carefully.  It does not say that everything is going to be good but that everything will be used (good and bad) to work together for your good.  Terrible horrible things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people and the goodness or badness of an event in one’s life does not reflect their piety or lack thereof.

The Promise is – “God will cause all things to WORK TOGETHER for good to those who love Him, those called according to His purpose.”  The Promise is not – “All things are or will be good.”  I am reminded of Joseph in the Bible when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery, and he ended up in Egypt.  He went from managing Potiphar’s house to prison and then ascended to a place of rulership in that land.  That was amazing.

Then, his words to his brothers, when they came and bowed before him, were, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it (or took it and worked everything together) for good.”  His words were similar to Mordecai to Queen Esther, “Who knows if you have been brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this.” 

The events of life, for the believer, may be bad individually, but God takes them and blends those experiences and events with all the other events and experiences to produce the finished product that is GOOD!  His Promise is not to take every bad thing in life and make it good but to use it to produce, for you, GOOD!  You are the finished product He is interested in not just the individual events or encounters in life.

I have used the illustration many times of baking a chocolate cake from scratch.  In that process, you have the baking chocolate (bitter), baking soda, flour, butter, eggs, sugar, milk, etc.  Some of those are good and some, if eaten alone, would not be very tasty.  The baker takes the individual ingredients and blends them together into a mixture.  The eggs are beaten and whipped together into flour, baking soda, sugar, milk, etc.

In life, we often feel we are being BEATEN by events, but that beating or blending is melding every experience into a mix that can produce the finished product.  Then, once everything is blended it is poured into a baking pan, placed in the oven, and heated for a specified time.  In life, we not only experience the blending which feels like a beating but once we are sufficiently beaten and blended, we are placed in the oven of life and the heat is turned up. 

It is here that the complaints of most of us reach a crescendo and some even become angry with God over the plight they are experiencing.  But, in baking, once the mix is cooked or heated for a specified time it is taken out of the oven and the wonderfully moist and tasty chocolate cake is produced.  The baker then puts on the icing and serves that tasty morsel to the delight of chocolate lovers.  In life, when God pulls us out of the oven, he puts the icing on the cake through the Holy Spirit and produces a life that is drawing and appealing to the seekers of Life and Truth.  He works the good and the bad in our lives blending them into a mix that produces the finished product. 

I have stood before families having to tell them of the loss of a child, a home, or something terrible and I would never tell them “This is good.”  I tell them that God has not forgotten or forsaken them and that He takes the bad things of life and blends them with the good causing them to work together for our good. 

God is focused on the finished product, not simply the individual experience.  A few years ago, I watched a TV show in which a young boy had cancer and he told the doctor he was not afraid to die.  The doctor asked if it was because he believed he would go to heaven and the boy said, “No it is because I believe I won’t.  If I believe in heaven I’d have to believe in God and then I’d have to believe God gave me cancer.”  That is a wrong theology embraced by too many. God did not give him cancer!

His family was struggling with their child facing a health death sentence. They could see nothing good in this nor should they.  It would be ludicrous, in my mind to blame God for the disease in light of the Bible’s revelation that Jesus bore in His body the stripes for our healing.  The Bible says in James 1:17, that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…”  

If God is the one putting diseases on people then why would Jesus bear the stripes for healing? Why would He give power over the powers of hell to His followers to heal? Why would He declare in Mark 16, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My Name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 

Jesus was accused of healing through the power of the devil, and He said asked how Satan could cast out Satan. He proclaimed that He was working against the powers of darkness in His acts of healing.  Cancer, disease, loss of job, home, family, etc. are not good things, but GOD can and will meld the experiences of life into a mix to produce a finished product. That finished product is GOOD!  It is not the individual parts but the finished product that is the focus. 

Every experience in life has brought us to the place we are today and made us what we are.  If we recognize and believe that God will take ALL THINGS and cause them to work together for our good, we can face the good and the bad with quiet contentment and confidence.  

I do not believe nor suggest that we passively accept everything that happens and say, “Well, it’s God’s will.”  The devil is the one who wants to destroy you, not God.  The devil wants to hurt you, not God.  The devil brings a temptation to you, not God.  The devil seeks to get you to turn your back on God, not God.  Fight the good fight of faith and resist the devil and the Bible says he will have to flee from you.  The converse is also true if we do not resist the devil then he will not flee from us.

You are not what you will be.  You are more than you once were.  You can be more than you are.  Cooperate with God and look for what He is doing in your life and rejoice.  He has never failed, and He will never fail.

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

WE HAVE SUFFICIENT GRACE and GOD’s PERFECTED POWER…


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” NASB

I cannot count the number of times I have gone to this passage and reminded the Lord of His Promise.  There have been occasions in my life when my human inabilities were so apparent that barring a miracle from God I would go under.  It is not in the times when I recognize my human weakness that I get in trouble.  It is in those times when I do not that I falter! It is not when I am relying on His Grace that I find myself sinking.  It is in those times that I try to do it in my own strength, wisdom, knowledge, and power. 

It is not when I am vulnerable that I get in trouble.  Instead, it is when I think I am invincible.  Truly, I have learned in life that His Grace and Power are demonstrated to the full in those times when we have come to the end of ourselves and fully realize and acknowledge that “without Him, we can do nothing.”

When trials come, they do not always just go away because we claim a Bible promise, pray, or make a confession.  Sometimes they persist!  That does not mean we succumb to them or allow them to crush us, it is in those times that we need to recognize that He is “I AM, That I AM!”  He does not just have power, He is Power!  He does not just have grace, He is Grace! 

He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent therefore nothing that transpires in our lives is a surprise to Him. Nothing is beyond His wisdom or power to handle.  Our trials are opportunities for Him to demonstrate His Greatness!  I am not suggesting that we pray for trials but rather that when we are encompassed about by a host of hellish devices, we run to Him and rely on Him!  It is in those times that His strength and grace have a complete manifestation of it in our lives and situation.

Therefore, when the storms of life are raging know that Heaven’s Grace will never fail.  That is why James could say with confidence in James 1:2-4 – “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” NKJV

It is not the trial that is to be the focus but HIM!  Focusing on the Problem perpetuates the potential for disaster but focusing on Him provides perfected peace!  The choice is ours; the provision is His.

May the Lord bless you richly as you go through your day!

THE TRUTH OF GOD IS INVALUABLE…


John 16:13-15 – “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.  15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”  NKJV

It is my desire to “speak only those things I hear the Lord saying” and “do only those things I see Him doing.”  I have been asked for chapter and verse and usually refer them to this passage as an example of what I am talking about.  Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit our Advocate, Comforter, and Teacher will “teach” and “guide” us into All Truth. 

We were told that He would not speak on His own initiative but say Only what He hears from Heaven and will “open our eyes to what is coming.”  He will glorify the LORD Jesus Christ and take what Jesus is “saying” and “doing” and share it with us, “imparting” to us “gifts” and “abilities” to accomplish God’s Purposes in this life.  Jesus said, “All things that the Father has are Mine…”  He assured us that the Holy Spirit would take of those things and declare them to us so that we too could know the mind of the Father!

Therefore, we can fully expect to walk through this maze called “life” with calm assurance in our hearts because we “know” the “mind of the Father” through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.  We do not have to become flustered and frustrated with the events of life, we can rest in the Peace of God because we have a “Comforter” who will “guide” us into All Truth! 

I have been through both ends of that spectrum.  I have experienced that dilemma sitting in a doctor’s office awaiting a report that caused great trepidation.  But through the prayers of many friends, the Holy Spirit came in and calmed my spirit and assured me that “God was in control.” Looking back, I observe how quickly things went from trepidation to rejoicing and God’s Peace flooded my heart. 

The devil tries to shipwreck our lives, but the Holy Spirit brings the Peace of God into the matter powerfully.  It is there that Holy Spirit speaks into our hearts what He is “hearing” in the Throne Room of Heaven we can walk out of that situation in total victory!  To God be the Glory!

That is why the apostle Paul told us in Romans 8:26-30 – “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”  NKJV

If I can recommend anything to you it is to learn to “trust” the voice of the Spirit of God.  He will not lead you astray and He will always guide you according to the Word and Will of God.  If what you are hearing does not line up with God’s Word “it is not the Spirit of God speaking” so discard it.  If it lines up with the Word of God and brings the Peace of God “rest in it” and be at peace.  God is working on your behalf and will guide you into all truth! 

May the Lord’s blessings be richly upon you as you go through your day!

YES, SOMETIMES QUITTING WOULD BE SO EASY…


Galatians 6:9-10 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” NIV

Have you ever reached a place where quitting would be so easy that it seemed the only logical thing to do?  Yet, in your heart of hearts, you knew that quitting would ensure defeat and you will be in worse shape than if you keep “fighting the good fight of faith”?  I have! 

I have had times when I wanted to just crawl under the Juniper tree and say, “Lord, just take me home.  I’m tired, nothing is happening, and nobody cares.”  Was it a pity party?  Oh yes, but it is more than that, sometimes it is battle fatigue.  Sometimes you have struggled with the same issues for so long that and seen virtually no results that discouragement sets. 

That mindset clouds your ability to see the bigger picture, the promises of God, and prevents you from hearing the encouragement of the Holy Spirit to keep going!  Sometimes you feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming straight at you not an answer but certain destruction.  It seems more than you can bear and “quitting would be so easy.”

Paul gives us some counsel in this passage that can and should move us from pity, discouragement, despair, and certain defeat to an “assured victory” in the Lord and Life!  The scripture tells us in James 4:17 – “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” NIV

Of course, we do not want to fall into sin, and we do not want to displease the Lord so we struggle to keep the faith because we know as Hebrews 11:6 tell us – “…without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” NIV.  That is part of the problem, we struggle rather than rest in Him!

We want, as Paul urged in Philippians 3:12-14 – “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” NASB.  Therefore, it is imperative that we keep pressing toward the mark and keep reaching for the prize, the ultimate victory in Christ.

God has promised a “harvest” if we do not “give up.”  He has promised to come through for us if we “refuse to quit.”  He has promised that in His timing He will send the abundance of the harvest into our lives.  Our problem is we want to dictate the timing, but God will never play that game.  He is the Sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He knows the end from the beginning and all in between.  He knows, when, where how, and how much needs to be done and that is exactly what He will do, and it is for our “best good” that He does it. 

Our part is to Refuse to Give Up!  I have told people for years – “The devil cannot win Unless we quit!”  If we refuse to quit the devil is already a defeated foe.  He has not stopped fighting, deceiving, and striving to shipwreck lives but, he was defeated at the Cross and Resurrection by our precious Lord Jesus Christ! 

We are now, right now, more than conquerors through Him who loves us!  So, when you feel like quitting, call someone who will kick you in the seat of the pants and tell you NO!  Make sure that you have in your circle of friends one who will be iron sharpening iron, not someone who wallows in the muck with you. Fall on your face before God and repent and allow the Holy Spirit to encourage you and give you “grace for the time of need.”  But above all Do Not Quit!  The only way you fail is If You Quit!

May you have a blessed day and a wonderful week in the Lord!  Blessings abundantly!