PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN GOD’S PRESENCE…


Text:  Psalm 15 & Psalm 24

There is something perplexing regarding the walk that most Christians seem to have with God.  We seem to move from mountaintop to valley.  Our lives are often roller coasters and there is the continual back and forth from the mountain to the valley.  We have momentary flashes of God’s Glory which lifts us into His presence and then we fall back into our valleys until we again receive another burst from God’s Glory.

I am perplexed because that pattern does not seem to fit the pattern of Jesus or His disciples.  If David, with all his mistakes and sins, could find an abiding and continuing experience in God, why can’t we?  We, New Testament Christians, who have a Better Covenant established on Better Promises and the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  We, who have unlimited grace, and the fullness of two covenants.  Should we not have the abiding manifest Presence of God in our lives?

Is it possible to break the erratic crisis-oriented approach to God’s Presence that many seem to have and learn to abide in Him continually?  I think of the words of Jesus in John 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…”  If that place of the presence of God were not possible, He would never have uttered those words.  Also, I recall His response to the disciple’s request for Him to teach them to pray in Matthew 6 where part of the prayer included the request for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.   That speaks volumes to my heart about what is possible in Him.

It is possible for us to have the spiritual breakthrough that elevates us into an attitude of Praise and Worship rather than petition and work?  Is it possible to have Permanent Residence in His Presence?  That is my question and my quest.  I want more, no I want all of God I can receive, in this life.  This life is where my commission is carried out.  I know I will have that in heaven, but I am living and working in the here and now and I want God’s Presence now!

I am Hungry!  I am Thirsty!  I am tired of living for momentary flashes of God’s Glory and Presence. I want more!  If I have ever moved into His Presence, even momentary, and I have, I want to move there to make that my habitation and reside in His Presence.  I want the atmosphere of Heaven to permeate my life and I want to learn to develop the culture of the Kingdom in this life.  I want more of Him!  John said, “He must increase but I must decrease.”  I want to decrease so that He can increase in me and live in the Fullness of His Presence, Person, and Power.

That brings us to the two parallel passages found in Psalms 15 & Psalms 24.  There is a clear contrast in these two Psalms, yet both ask essentially the same question.  “What does a man have to do to enter the presence of God?”  That is a vital question for each of us who want more of Him in our lives.

In Psalms 24:3 we read, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place?”  In Psalms 15:1 we find, “O LORD, who may abide in Thy tent? Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?”  

Notice that one Psalm speaks of “Ascending” into God’s Presence and the other speaks of “Abiding” in His Presence.  One desires to ‘stand’ in God’s Presence for a moment and the other wants to ‘live’ there.  I want the latter, I want to ABIDE in His Presence. 

Our Christians history is filled with examples of incredible spiritual awakenings and outpourings of His Spirit and the manifestation of His Presence.  At Pentecost in Acts, we find the first massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon people.  At the turn of the century there was an outpouring in Greenville, SC led by a Baptist minister, Robert R. Singleton in 1905.  In 1900 there was an outpouring at Bethel College in Topeka, Kansas led by Reverend Charles Parham and Agnes Ozman.  We have reports of spiritual explosions led by Hugh Cadwalder, W.J. Seymour, Elder C.H. Mason, G.B Cashwell, and E.M. Bell.

In those moves of God, there were Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, etc.  They and their churches and communities were touched by an outpouring of God’s Presence that thousands were won into the kingdom, lives were changed, people healed, delivered, and set free.  These people met God and would never be the same.  They were never again satisfied with ‘business as usual’ Christianity but wanted God’s Continuing Presence in their lives, home, cities, and churches.

We have seen it in history, but can we have it in our lives?  I have a conviction that you may or may not share and I will address it but will pause here and say, “Go with God and He will go with you.”  

Have a Great Day in Jesus!

THE SHEPHERD – (Part Two)…


Psalms 23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  NASB

Let us now consider a second aspect of the personal ministry of Jesus as our Shepherd.  There are many things that need to be said but understanding the brevity of space and time I will highlight a few more aspects.  I hope they resonate with you and enhance your Christian walk.

THE SHEPHERD PROTECTS HIS FLOCK.

Psalm 23:4, tells us, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.”  We have a complete sense of security and safety.  We know that the shepherd’s crook (rod) and his staff were weapons of defense and implements of rescue for the sheep. 

The Shepherd protects against enemies.  The sheep were continually in danger from the wolf, bear, lion, and thief.  The shepherd’s presence banished all fear from the flock, and they grazed and rested with no fear.  Isaiah 26:3 speaks to this principle, “The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace because he trusts in Thee.” 

The Shepherd protects the flock with his life.  Jesus warned in Matthew 10:16 that we were being sent out as sheep in the midst of ravenous wolves.  But He promised in Hebrews 13:5 that He would never leave or forsake us.  In John 16:33, He offered the comfort that He had overcome the world.   Therefore, He can be trusted completely!  It is impossible to get to us without going through Him and He is impenetrable.

THE SHEPHERD LEADS HIS FLOCK.

He never drives them, he leads them!  He leads to still, quiet, refreshing waters.  Those are not troubled waters that frequently we find ourselves.  When we are following the shepherd, He leads to still and quiet waters where we can be refreshed and restored.

Jesus said, “If any man thirsts let him come to Me and drink.”  He gives peace in the time of trouble and calm in the midst of the storm.  We saw that in Mark 4:39, “And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.” 

He leads in right paths and those paths are safe paths and paths that bring good.  Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  In Matthew 7:13-14 He said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”  He never drives the sheep, He leads them!

THE SHEPHERD LOVES HIS FLOCK.

He loves them individually and loves them as a flock.  Every possible preparation has been made to ensure that we are able to live for and through Him.  He wants us to enjoy His rich blessings, have heaven on earth, and live eternally with Him in heaven.  He will lead us if we will follow.

What do you need from the Good Shepherd today?  Do you need refreshing, peace, protection, nourishment, healing, deliverance?  Whatever you need know that the Shepherd is whatever you need and in Him and through Him we have what we need in His provisions and promises!

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

THE SHEPHERD…


Psalms 23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  NASB

I hope that you re-read this entire Psalm as we consider ‘The Shepherd of Shepherds.’  In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  Also, in Matthew 20:28, we discover the words of our LORD, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

The subject of the ministry of Jesus is an inexhaustible subject and this Psalm is a direct focus on that ministry.  Jesus came, without question, to be our Savior, our Healer, our Deliverer, and our Guide.  He came to give His life that we might have life, but His personal ministry to us and for us does not stop there.

The personal ministry of Jesus goes far beyond our present ability to comprehend.  When we consider some of the aspects of His ministry, we see things in Him that will or should help us better serve Him.  I am convinced that the more we know Him the better we can serve Him.  My friend Garry Smith says, “You can’t serve a Savior you do not love, and you cannot love a Savior you do not know.”  That may be a paraphrase of his saying, but I believe it conveys the idea.  The more we know Him the better we can serve Him!

I want us to consider some of the aspects of this personal ministry and hope it will inspire us, and build our faith, increase our confidence and trust in Him.  The Bible tells us that “In Him, we live and move and have our being.”  We also read that He is our “present help in the time of need.”  He is our Shepherd! 

The personal pronouns me, my mine, are used 16 times in this Psalm.  That personalizes it powerfully! What a statement the uttered by the – THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD!  But that leads to several questions.  What does it mean to you and me personally?  What does it say about Him?  What is a Shepherd, and what does a Shepherd do?  I want to hit the high-points on those questions and hope that I offer something that is beneficial in your continuing Christian walk.

THE SHEPHERD PROVIDES FOR HIS FLOCK.

Caring for the flock is a basic function of a shepherd.  Let me give you a Roy paraphrase of a portion of this Psalm: “The LORD is my shepherd; therefore, I cannot lack anything because He makes, takes me to a level path and adjusts my pathway so that I lie down in green pastures that are filled with abundance of provision, lush and filled with the needed refreshing.  He leads me beside the still waters the waters of refreshment.  He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies and anoints my head with oil so that my cup continuously runs over.  I am overflowing because of my Shepherd.”

The Shepherd provides nourishment for the flock.  He guides them into pastures where there is an abundance of rich nourishing food and leads them to the quiet waters of refreshing.  He spreads a table before them so that they never lack.  In fact, the sheep in this shepherd’s flock have no sense of lack because they totally rely on and trust him.

That principle is evidenced in things that God did for His flock.  There was bread (manna) in the wilderness.  The bowl of meal was ever empty for the widow who fed Elijah.  The 5,000 were fed with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the 4,000 with 7 loaves and a few fish.  He is a provider.

Matthew 6:11 instructs us to pray for our daily bread.  In Matthew 4:3 we see the temptation of our LORD by the devil trying to get Him to turn stones into bread.  Jesus’ response was, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

The Shepherd not only provides food he provides shelter.  Psalm 91:1 informs us, “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most-High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  In verse 2 we see Him as our refuge and fortress and in verse 4 we are encouraged that under His wings we are protected and can trust.

In Matthew 11:28 our LORD invited us, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  Jesus is our Shepherd.  He is our Provider and He is Always MORE THAN ENOUGH!  He is Jehovah-Ra’ah our Shepherd and as Hebrews 13:8 reveals, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

I want to touch on more of the personal ministry of the Shepherd but will pause here and take this up in the next devotional.  It is my prayer that the LORD will watch over you in your walk today and keep you safe and lead you in right paths. 

God Bless you and I pray that you have a fantastic day!

YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO GOD…


Psalms 8:4 – “What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?”  NASB

The Book of Psalms is loaded with glorious truths that excite the heart and explode in us a new sense of Spiritual Power and Spiritual Presence.  When we feast at the table of the Psalms we come away with a new awareness of God’s Person, Love, Grace, and Majesty!  Here in Psalms 8, we find David expressing a new infusion of Hope and a deep sense of Surety and Security for the Child of God. 

I love how he begins, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth.”  In a very real sense, he is saying, “Jehovah, my God, You are my sovereign Lord and Master…”  In verses 1-3 he draws our attention to God in His Glory, in His Work, and in His Power. 

In verse 4 he draws a contrast between God and man.  Man, in comparison to God, seems so insignificant, helpless, frail, and utterly useless.  God, on the other hand, is filled with glory, majesty, power, and perfection.  The contrast is arresting and revealing of how dependent man is upon God, his creator to give and sustain life.  Without Him, we are hopeless and helpless.  In contrast to God’s Creation, David asks, “What is man?” 

It is easy for man to develop a sense of his unworthiness to the point that he gives up.  When we view the contrast between man and God some develop an unhealthy sense of unimportance.  They allow the enemy to plant the seed that we are without worth and worthless and that leaves man without Hope.  That is a terrible state to find oneself in but that is not the end of the story. 

Yes, we are insignificant in comparison to God.  Yes, we are without hope without God.  Yes, we have sinned and come short of His glory.  But, in God’s eyes, man is very important.  Man is far more important to God that most can see or believe.  I am convinced that one of the most needed things in the face of trial, difficulty, tribulation, or persecution is the realization that “I am important to God!”  I am important enough for Him to care for me and provide for me.  That is not Hopeless it is Hopeful.

I ask that you examine the Bible’s revelation of the Worth of Man to God.  We will touch on the high points and move rapidly through the discussion.  I hope that it will inspire you to dig deeper and meditate more on God’s View of Man.

MAN IS MORE VALUABLE THAN ALL THE CREATURES OF THE EARTH.

We need only refer to Genesis 1:26 to verify that assertion.  God gave man dominion over them.  None but man, of the creatures became living souls.  In fact, the animals became the source of food and clothing for man.  You are worth more than all the creatures of this earth to God. 

MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD

You and I are the Reflections of God.   If you will, God wants us to be the Reflection of Perfection.  Are we perfect?  Far from it but In Him, forgiven, and filled with His Spirit we can fulfill his decree, “Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:48).  If it were not possible for us to be holy and filled with His perfection it would not be in the Bible. 

THE SOUL OF MAN IS WORTH MORE THAN THE ENTIRE PLANET.

In Matthew 16:26, we read, “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  We must remember and realize that God ascribes unparalleled worth to the soul of man.  That is true even in light of the reality that God knows everything about us.  Knowing our warts, flaws, and the kinks in our armor, He still ascribes that worth to man.  That is incredible!

MAN IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR GOD TO ALLOW CHRIST’S BLOOD TO BE SHED FOR US.

Consider John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 as you allow that to sin into your spirits and encourage you.  He has provided a pathway for redemption and the unparalleled sacrifice at Calvary is evidence of how much God Loves us and Values us.

MAN IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR JESUS TO RETURN FOR US.

I ask that you reflect on John 14 and as you meditate on that portion of God’s Promise you will find a serene calming of all your fears.  He is returning for those who are waiting for Him, walking after Him, and watching for Him.  As we consider the provisions, He has made for us, how can we not be filled with a sense of worth and peace?  You may feel inferior, unimportant, insignificant, worthless, hopeless, and helpless but God sees you as Valuable!  You are worth the Blood of God to God!  That is Amazing!

What have we to fear if God is for us?  Why worry if God is able to do all things and is on our side?  Remember who and whose you are.  You are Royalty, God’s Children!  Let the declaration of Matthew 10:28-31, sink deep into your being.  He said, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 “Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

What should we do?  Being praising Him for His Love and Truth.  Seek His assistance and guidance in our daily walk.  Come boldly before the Throne of Grace and ask His help, protection, provision, and guidance.  If you are born-again you are a King’s kid and an heir of God through Jesus!  I rebuke the spirit of unworthiness and helplessness right now and ask the Holy Spirit to flood you with Peace.   

God bless you as you bask in His presence today!

EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES – – Part Three…


Job 40:6-9 – “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm, and said, 7 “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified? 9 “Or do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like His?”  NASB

We have considered a couple of the most common excuses to justify sin and today it would serve us well to address one that is incredibly damaging.  It is the excuse, “I Can’t Fulfill God’s Requirements Because I Have a Sinful Nature.” 

When a person says that, are they saying that every faculty and even the very essence of their makeup was poisoned and made sinful by Adam?  That sin nature came to you through the bloodline?  Do they mean that they were born in sin and the substance of their being is so saturated with sin that they have become sin themselves?  Those are both true and false declarations. 

If a person is saying, “God You made my nature itself sin and I am and will always be a sinner, therefore you cannot blame me for my condition, you did it” that is an indictment against God. That position ignores the Lamb of Sacrifice and the work of Jesus on the Cross.  What is sin?  God says it is Transgression of the Law but beyond that, the Bible clearly reveals that sin is ‘missing the mark’ and to miss the mark we must, as did Adam, become rebellious and disobedient.

If God is responsible for my sinfulness, then I cannot be blamed and there can be no condemnation.  That would make God the most-evil being ever!  If I am not personally responsible for my sin, then I have no sin.  Yes, Adam brought sin into the race and yes, through Adam all are under the domain of the devil.  However, we must never forget that the Bible makes it clear that the ‘soul that sins shall die’ and that is the result of personal choice and personal rebellion against God’s Law.  If we make it solely about a ‘sin nature’ then it is God’s fault, not ours.  I suggest that God does hold you accountable for Adam’s sin but for your own. 

It is time that we stop blaming God or anything but ourselves for our failure to serve God and enter into a deeper relationship with Him.  He stands at the door and knocks.  He has invited us to enter into His presence.  He has provided the sacrifice in the Blood of Jesus on the Cross to atone for our sins.  Our sins not Adams, not parents, not society’s, but ours!  I am guilty LORD and I stand in repentance.  I make no excuse for my failure to comply with your Word and Will.  I ask mercy not judgment!

I have had some tell me that they are “Waiting for God’s Time” before they fully pursue His purposes.  I heard of a woman who had lived in sin for many years and she received Jesus in a church service.  She went to the pastor and told Him that she wanted to know God’s will for her life.  He said, “Well, God had to wait a long time for you to come to Him, so you will have to wait a long time for Him to come to you.”  WHAT?  No, No, No, a thousand times No!  God invites us to come and wants us to enter in NOW!  I am not saying rush out and pursue a ministry before you are prepared, established and ready, but God is not going to punish you by making you wait for Him to direct you because you waited a long time to accept His pardon.  That would be diabolical.

ALL EXCUSES FOR SIN ADD INSULT TO INJURY

When accused of a wrong we find ourselves in a position where we must confess, justify, or deny.  Regarding our sin, there is no justification, so the only wise course is confessed and repent.  Excuses render repentance virtually impossible.  You cannot repent of what you do not believe you are guilty of and refuse to admit.  Therefore, I urge each of us to take all our excuses and self-justifications to the Cross and lay them at the feet of Jesus in repentance.

God requires no more of us that we are reasonably capable of doing.  He asks that we give all of ourselves to Him and serve Him with our whole heart.  He has promised that He will give us aid and comfort.  He will guard and guide.  Excuses are evidence that things are not right on the inside and we are, in a very real sense, blaming God for our condition.  Sin is not God’s fault it is the fault of the individual.  We, as did Adam and Eve, choose the path we will take and in that choice is our guilt.

This is a simple prayer we could and should pray: “LORD, I am guilty, and I ask you to forgive me for my disobedience.  I ask that you cleanse me with the Blood of Jesus and receive me into the beloved.  I thank You that You promised that if I would come You would not turn me away.  I receive Your forgiveness and will make no more Excuses!  Amen!

God bless you as you embark on the adventures of today in Him!

EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES – – Part Two…


Job 40:6-9 – “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm, and said, 7 “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified? 9 “Or do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like His?”  NASB

We considered the excuse of “Inability” last time. Today I would like to invite everyone to consider some additional excuses used to justify sin or disobedience, which is what sin is.

How many have said or heard say, “I just don’t have the time.”  I heard someone give the following illustration:  They said, “Suppose I were to tell one of my children, ‘Go do this thing and if you do not, I will disinherit you or punish you with the worst possible punishment.”  Then that child responds, “But Dad, I cannot possibly do what you have now asked, because I have the other things you have given me to do, there is not enough time to do both.  If I had nothing else to do, I could fulfill this directive, but I do not have time to take on a new task.” 

If that child’s statement was a factual expression of the situation and you knew it when you gave the second command, then you are being an diabolical tyrant.  Therefore, if God were to require you to do something that you do not have time to do, He is totally to blame for your failure.  He not you should be punished.   We know that God is not unfair or unkind so where must the fault lie?

Do we really think that God is unaware of the amount of time required and the amount of time we have available?  God never requires us to do beyond our ability.  He does not say, “Love the LORD your God with the power of an angel, He says with All Your Heart!”  For us to insist that we do not have time to fulfill the directive of the one who is beyond time, is to charge God with being unreasonable. We know that God is the most reasonable of all.  God desires that we redeem the time and utilize each moment for His glory, and He will give us the needed and required help to succeed.

I have heard mothers insist they could not do something for God because they had to care for their children’s needs.  God never asks us to neglect our family duties!  But to assert that God is asking something of us that depletes our ability to fulfill our family duties is to charge God with being unreasonable.

I heard a farmer argue that he could not fulfill something that God was asking of him.  He said, “I have to plant my crops.”  I have heard teenagers insist they could not fulfill God’s request because they were too loaded with schoolwork.  The truth is that everything we do should be done for the glory of God.  What is a mother’s first duty?  Her family.  What is a farmer’s first duty?  His farming.  What is a student’s obligation?  His education.  Why?  To enable them to enhance their lives for God’s service!

It is important to remember that everything does not depend on us alone.  We are the Body of Christ not simply isolated and individual entities in the Kingdom of God.  I believe that to be religious or spiritual also requires being industrious.  I do not believe that an idle person can fulfill the purposes of God.  God expects us to do the daily and practical duties of life and is fully aware of the time and effort required to fulfill them.  All we do is to be done for His Glory.  Who owns the family?  Who owns the farm?  It’s God’s!

I want to deal with another excuse that I believe incredibly germane and one that needs to be viewed carefully.  We will do that in the next devotional so I will pause here.

May the LORD be with you on this wonderful day!

EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES…


Job 40:6-9 – “Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm, and said, 7 “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified? 9 “Or do you have an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like His?”  NASB

I suggest that in the main frame of reference, Job spoke correctly of God, yet in his anguish and agitation under his trials, he said some dumb, harsh and ill-thought-out things.  It was for those things that God rebuked him.  That rebuke is found in the first eight verses of Chapter 40.

Rather than attempting to go back to the original intent or definition of Job’s words, I hope to apply them to people today.  It is my hope to show that every excuse for sin is an attempt to condemn God.  It may not be intentional but that is the result.  I feel it would be germane to our discussion to consider some of the excuses in a more expansive manner.  I also hope to show that attempting to excuse sin adds insult to injury.  Will we be successful?   Only God knows and only time will tell. 

TO MY FIRST POSTULATION:  Every Excuse for Sin Condemns God.

I believe that assertion becomes clear if we consider the reality that nothing can be a sin for which there is a justifiable excuse.  If God condemns that for which there is a justifiable excuse, He becomes tyrannical and must be wrong.  He is neither!  If God condemns that for which we have a good reason for doing, not intelligence in the universe can justify Him for so doing. 

However, God does condemn all sin.  He condemns it utterly and will make no apology for that action.  It is necessary that we realize God is all-wise, compassionate, forgiving, and loving, and will allow no justification for sin.  Sin must be repented of and rejected.  If we believe there is a justification for our sin, then we believe that God is wrong, and our belief seeks to condemn Him.  Therefore, every excuse for sin places blame on God and accuses Him of being unjust!  Whoever pleads an excuse for sin is literally calling God an abusive tyrant. 

SECOND:  What Are Some Excuses Offered as Justification for Sin?

We need to examine them and consider whether the principles established by God are valid and true.  I don’t want to bog down in the minute but ask you to track with me as we consider some of man’s justifications for sin.

There is the oft used excuse of Inability.  How often have we said or heard someone say, “I can’t do that!”  What are we saying when we say that we are incapable?  It is a charge against God that He has asked you to do something that you are incapable of doing.  He is asking you to live in a manner that is not humanly possible.  It is to charge that God, who is Omniscient and Omnipresent has placed this burden on man with full awareness that man is not capable of fulfilling the demand.  That is a horrific picture of who God is. 

What is God’s penalty for sin, which is missing the mark and falling short of His Grace?  It is to remain unregenerate with embracing sin not confessed and not forgiven in our lives.  The ultimate penalty is Eternal Death!  Therefore, whatever God has required of us carries with it the penalty of eternal death if we disobey.  If He knows we cannot do it that would make the requirement diabolical.  That charges God with tyranny of the worst kind!

I contend that God never requires something of us that He has not or will not give us the ability to do.  The Bible says that “His commandments are not grievous.”  They assuredly would be if we could not do what He requires.  Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden light.”  Excuses for why we cannot says, “LORD, your yoke is so hard that no man could possibly endure it, and your burden so heavy that no man can bear it.”  That, in my view, is Blasphemy!

There is a denominational confession of faith that says: “No man is able, either by himself, or by any graced received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.”  Wow!  That says that no person can keep God’s Commandments.  That’s true in our own ability but it goes beyond and declares that even with God’s help we cannot!  That is tragic because it makes the Gospels and God a lie.

I wish to examine some additional excuses in the next devotional and hope that God is using me to challenge you and cause you to think.  If I do that, He will do what He desires in our lives.

May the LORD be with you as you embark on today’s leg of your life’s journey in Jesus!