WHO IS THAT KNOCKING AT THE DOOR?


Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” NASB

When you get to the last Book of the Bible and begin to read the revelation given to John by the Lord it doesn’t take long to realize that God’s greatest desire is that ALL PEOPLE be saved!  He demonstrates throughout the scriptures and in human history, His willingness to be merciful to man and yet man keeps turning Him away.  How long will He suffer us?  How long will He extend His mercy to man?  How long before the judgment of God falls upon this world and He says, “It Is Enough!”

Most of us have heard, sensed, or felt that knock on the door of our hearts.  We have experienced the prick of conscience and known the feeling of guilt.  We have come to the place where we knew that where we were or what we were doing or had done was wrong.  The issue is not whether we’ve been there or will be there it is what we do when it happens.  Someone is knocking at the door of our hearts, Who Is It?

Satan knocks at the door of our hearts offering everything that has a name if we will just submit to the temptation and follow his lead.  It is all lies but tragically there are multitudes who answer that knock.  Likewise, God is knocking at the door of our hearts calling us to repentance and to eternal life and sadly, too few, answer that knock.  There is a knock at the door of your heart right now.  Today there will be knocks on the door of your life.  Who Is Knocking?

When the Holy Spirit knocks at the door of your heart, He is knocking to offer you pardon from your sin, freedom from your guilt and shame, and access to Eternal Life.  He offers something that can be found nowhere else and can come from no one else.  He offers liberation from the bondage of sin.  So, when that knock comes, I encourage you to look through the peep-hole in the door and recognize the LORD and open wide the door and allow Jesus to come in.  I can assure you that nothing will ever be the same again.  I do not tell you that you will never have another problem, far from it.  I do not tell you that life will be a bed of roses, but if you remember that most roses have thorns you will realize that with the beauty and fragrance of the rose comes some pain.

We are coming to the finale of everything and God is knocking more and more urgently upon the hearts of men and women.  I pray that we each catch the sense of urgency of the hour and allow the Holy Spirit to have access to every facet of our lives and answer the knock on the door so we can have the Lord come in and fellowship with us in a new and more powerful way.

God bless you as you go through your day!

GIVE ME THAT WATER LORD…


John 4:13-14 – “Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again;  14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”   NASB

Some of the encounters of Jesus stretch the most rigid of ideologies religiously and always cause a major problem for those who are unable to grasp that their particular way of thinking, believing, or understanding might have room for expansion.  The Jews and Samaritans alike had a problem with Him on so many occasions and this was no different.  Here he asks a Samaritan woman to give Him a drink from the well.  She is stunned that Jesus; a Jew would even talk to her much less ask for a drink. 

He stretched her mind when He told her that if she recognized the “Gift of God” or the “Son of God” asking her for a drink she would have asked Him for Living Water.  She, like the disciples, was locked into natural thinking and looked at Him and noticed that he had no means of drawing water, the well was deep and therefore she saw no possibility of His statement having any value or means of being fulfilled.  He went on in verses 13-14 to inform her that everyone who drank from that natural well would thirst again but anyone who drank from His well would Never Thirst again and that water would produce a spring inside of them that would be a continual supply of water and eternal life.

She still could not get past the natural. She wondered if this amazing thing could be real and if there was even a remote chance it could be real. If it could be then she would have something which would eliminate her need to come to the well, suffer the ridicule that she no doubt received, and caused her to come at a time not normally used by women of that day.  Jesus went further and broke down the barriers of the mind to the point that He could touch the heart of this woman and she finally recognized that He was the Messiah.

I cried – “Lord Give Me This Water!”  He did and he does, but I want a continual renewal of the spring within so that the water of life continually flows out of my innermost being and flows out like a river touching others around me.  I want to be a source of life not just a receiver of life.  I want to be one who manifests Jesus, not just one that represents Him.  I want to be a voice crying in a darkened world not just an echo in the chambers of the church.  I want to be a Spring of Life producing the life that comes only from Him.  So, I say – “LORD Renew in me this Water, Daily!” 

May the Lord be with you as you go through your day!

WATCHING DAILY AT THE GATES…


Proverbs 8:33-35 – “Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD;”  NKJV

When I first became a Christian and acknowledged God’s call to preach, I had an elder statesman in the Kingdom tell me, “Son, you need to read on Chapter in Proverbs every day for the rest of your life.”  He went on to tell me that it would be in those daily readings that I would gain more wisdom and knowledge about life than I would in any other endeavor that I could engage in.  I have concluded that he was right because I have found answers to so many questions in life and relationships in Proverbs that I never cease to be amazed at the wisdom compacted into such a small portion of writings.

Here we find a nugget that is incredibly powerful and beneficial.  It is true wisdom to “hear instruction” providing you do not “disdain or ignore” it.  The Lord, speaking through the writer probably Solomon, informs us that we are Blessed if we Listen to Him and that our daily objective should be to Watch at the Gates and Wait at His Door.  He tells us that whoever finds Him (GOD) finds life and obtains favor from the LORD! 

FINDS LIFE – -The most critical thing for any of us spiritually and eternally is to “find life.”  We will either Live Forever in Heaven with God or we will Die Forever in hell with the devil.

OBTAIN FAVOR WITH GOD – -In living that life here in the natural it is difficult enough doing so “knowing God” but to live in the Favor of God is most important and powerful.  That places us in a position where when things go sour for others around us, we can Hope in God because He is our Refuge and our Fortress.  We can live life without Fear and in Perfect Peace no matter what storms may come our way.

The key to this is “Listening to the Lord.”  If we diligently Watch for Him and Wait on Him, we will Hear Him and as we Hear Him, we are to Heed Him.  In that condition, we not only draw near to Him, but we find His Spirit leading us in the paths of righteousness and we find the Divine Favor of God resting upon us and what He has placed in our hands to do.  That is a place that we should all desire!

May God bless you as you go through your day!

TROUBLED HEARTS…


John 14:1-6 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.  4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  NKJV

As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death and departure they were perplexed and confused.  Their thought processes up to that point had been that He was the Messiah and would establish an earthly kingdom and they would be part of the inner circle of the administration of that kingdom.  Now He throws them a curve and they have some significant questions and were troubled in their hearts.

Jesus perceived this and spoke specifically to it to bring peace to their hearts and to ours as well.  He turned their attention from the immediate and temporal to the eternal and heavenly.  He spoke of “faith” and the “prepared future” that was in store for each of them.  He reminded them of His trustworthiness and assured them that His departure was not a bad thing but a good thing because of what it meant for them and for us ETERNALLY!

Thomas, who represents more of us than we like to admit, was still troubled and had more questions.  He addressed the reality that He did not know where Jesus was going because his mind was still locked into the temporal.  Jesus answered him with one of the most powerful truths that have ever been spoken – “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”   Thomas, I am going to the Father and you too will come to the Father but to do that you have to gain access through Me.  That access can only be gained if I “go away” speaking of the Cross. 

It is only through the sacrifice that Jesus paid that we have access to the Father.  Had it not been for Calvary we would still be in our sins, lost and undone without God or His Son.  Had it not been for the satisfaction of Divine Justice through the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God none of us would have hope.  But, because of His sacrifice, we can take His words and banish our “Troubled Hearts” forever!

In His Father’s House, there is a place waiting for each of us.  I don’t care if it is a Mansion, a dwelling place, a room, a cottage, or a tent it is in the presence of God Almighty and that is good enough for me.

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

POSSIBILITY OR PROCRASTINATION?


Psalm 90:12 – “So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”  NASB

As the song of years gone by says, ‘Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.’ We often live our lives with a sense of permanence that is deceptive.  Most people I have dealt with or worked with in my years of ministry seem to believe that they will have ‘more than enough tomorrows’ to do the things they either did not do or did not want to do today.  Too often people neglect the vital, focus on the important or trivial, and demonstrate little concern because they believe that they will have time to do it later.  We call that Procrastination!

Every student of the Bible knows that there are promises from God in His word that are seldom claimed, appropriated, and stood on in individual lives.  It has been my observation that too many live ‘beneath their privilege’ in God.  I’ve had people tell me that I focus too much on God’s Promises, but I fully believe that God gave them because He wanted us to enjoy, appropriate them, stand on them, and live them in this present world.  I believe that each step closer to becoming ‘like Jesus’ we find more Spiritual Power in our lives, touch more Souls of men, and experience more Victory in our daily lives!

This Psalm is attributed to Moses.  He was interceding for God to remove the curse that every Israelite over the age of twenty would die before the nation could enter the Land of Canaan.  He acknowledged that most are dying at seventy though some are reaching eighty years of age.  If verse 10 could somehow be attributed to us as a gauge of longevity it would produce an interesting possibility.  [80 years or 16 – 5-year segments].  I wonder how we would live if we evaluated our lives in 5-year increments?  How many have you lived?  How many do you have left?  (Please understand I do not believe that this means we only can live 70-80 years, but I use it as an illustration).

Time is either the greatest asset or enemy that we have.  Paul urged his listeners to ‘redeem the time.’  Time is one thing we must learn to use effectively if we are to become the most effective in our lifespan.  We are notorious ‘time wasters,’ at least most of us are.  In order to tap the resources available to us and utilize the ability and power, God has given us there are three things that must take place.

PERCEPTION – – – We must Perceive.

We must perceive ‘who we are.’  Initially, we were sinners in need of God.  We are created in the image of God and as John 1:12 tells us we are sons/daughters of God.  Romans 8:17 identifies that we are ‘heirs of God’ and Galatians 3:29 that we are ‘heirs according to the Promise.’  We read of the Promises of God in Deuteronomy 28 and find in Hebrews 8:6 that we have a ‘better covenant established on better promises.’

We must perceive ‘where we are.’  Or the condition or level of maturity we find ourselves.  Some of us are like the little boy that fell out of the bed and when asked why he replied, ‘Because I stayed to close to the edge.’  Some of us have stayed to close to the condition we were in when we first came to Christ.

We must perceive ‘where we are going.’  That applies both spiritually and in this natural life.

PREPARATION – – We must Prepare to get where we are going.

It is vital that we know the promises of the Book (Bible).  It is imperative that we understand that the Bible is a tool, a weapon, a light, and a resource.

It is vital that we know our inheritance as children of the Most High God.  We must prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually.

PROCEED – – We must Proceed on the Planned and Purposed way.

It is important that we see our potential in God, understand and believe the possibilities, and trust God!  If God says we are to be a Moses, Elijah, Paul, John, Peter, or Daniel why can’t we?  The thing that made them unique was that they were fully surrendered and teachable.

It is important that we believe we can be an overcomer because God says we already are in Jesus.  It is important that we believe that God can work miracles through us.  Remember who God says you are – – ‘A Child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’  Remember that His charted destiny for you is to ‘do His will in this generation.’  Therefore, it is important that we allow God to guide and guard our hearts, thoughts, and lives.  Remember, ‘except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.’

So, as you go through the rest of your life will you go as a POSSIBILITY or PROCRASTINATOR?  The choice is yours.  

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

SUCCESS IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE REQUIRES FAITHFULNESS…


2 Timothy – 2:1-2 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  NASB

Over the past couple of days, we have considered some aspects of what Paul was telling his son in the faith, Timothy.  The charge was for Timothy to find, teach, train, and impart that which was in his heart, received from the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul.  This was critical to the founding and grounding of the New Testament Church. 

There are Three Critical Areas in which Faithfulness is Key:

  1. Faithfulness to God is Absolutely Essential.
  2. Faithfulness in Relationships is Vital.
  3. Faithfulness in Service is Indispensable.

FAITHFULNESS TO GOD.

This needs little explanation or discussion as most would readily acknowledge the need and essentiality of this.  However, if we are genuinely faithful to God it will be manifest in the other areas or dimensions as well.

FAITHFULNESS IN RELATIONSHIPS.

It is an area that most Christians do not work on and need to give attention to!  Remember Timothy’s mistake or potential mistake – ‘Choosing people who were possibly qualified and influential but Unfaithful.’

FAITHFULNESS IN SERVICE.

Faithfulness in Services is Indispensable! We must learn to be Servants. We must learn and become willing to do what is asked when it is asked and how it is asked even when the flesh rises and resists or the ego says that is beneath me.  Even when your ego raises its ugly head and declares that is not using my gifts or abilities to the fullest.  Even when you feel that you are not appreciated and recognized as you should be.

God’s way is to first ‘make the man’ then He ‘releases the ministry’.  Tragically, the Church has gotten the cart before the horse too often.  We recognize ‘gifts’, ‘charisma’, ‘talent’, and ‘ability’ and immediately Send Forth into ministry! 

PERSONAL TESTIMONY.

I was released wrongly but God taught me the necessity of Serving. I was almost immediately sent out because people could see the hand of God on me and God gifted me with passion and ability to convey the message, so the response was Go Out! I should have been sitting and being nurtured but within weeks after my conversion, I was sent out.  I saw that truth in Bible College and have observed it in my 40 years of ministry.

Frequently when someone is called or God uses them to some degree or measure of success and instills a vision in their hearts along with His promise and we respond with bad timing.  Many who have been called develop the mistaken idea that they should be immediately released to pursue that vision, but they are not ready.

  • They are overcome with the VISION.
  • They expect to be RECOGNIZED.
  • They become more SPIRITUAL than anyone.
  • They make sure everyone knows they are ANOINTED, APPOINTED, CALLED, and COMMISSIONED.
  • They demonstrate an inability or unwillingness to listen to others without a CRITICAL ATTITUDE believing in their hearts they could do a better job, or they just know better.

They have not learned one of the key traits for Leadership is rooted in a Servant’s heart! If we do not learn how to Serve, we are not qualified to Lead!

God bless you as you go through your day!

WHAT DEPOSIT ARE YOU MAKING IN OTHERS?


2 Timothy 2:1-2 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  NASB

Making disciples, as seen in verse two ‘commit to…’ is essentially ‘making a deposit’ in their lives.  It is like putting money in the bank.  You drive alongside or go inside and deposit the money and the money is there when you need it.  But, what about the times when you do that with people and they quit on you, betray you, hurt you, leave you, abandon, you in the time of heated battle? 

You may say, ‘that deposit didn’t work am I supposed to do it again?’  YES!  Everyone’s been hurt or will be hurt.  If ‘fear’ grips your heart you dare not go back into isolation and refuse to risk being hurt again.  If you do, then the devil’s plan is succeeding.  The temptation is always there to protect your heart from hurt but when you realize that you cannot if you are to continue in the ministry and fulfill the commission the Lord gave us you will press on.  Always remember you cannot function in battle alone and be effective.  This is a Body Ministry.  This is an Army!  This is a Family!  This is not a bunch of isolated individuals or body parts trying to be the whole for that is certain defeat!

In making disciples we quickly learn the power and importance of Forgiveness! We must determine that we will forgive, forgive, and forgive.  That will prevent a root of Bitterness from springing up in our hearts and defiling us and others.  It is necessary to maintain order and keep the battle moving forward.  If we have been ‘abandoned’ in the war zone we need to be ‘healed’ and ‘restored.’  Refuse to allow wounds to fester and become infected.  Healing comes by allowing the wound to be opened, the blood to flow to it and life to be administered. 

A word of wisdom and warning – “Pick the right friends this time!”  Do not be too quick to lay hands on people.  How do you pick the right ones?  Discernment and testing!  I’ve had people want to be friends and comrades in arms as the battle began only to find that they quickly became disillusioned and disappointed.  They had expectations of me that I could not fulfill and therefore they turned on me.  Some have been offended that I would joke, laugh, enjoy recreational sports, etc.  They expected me to be, as they stated “different” which really meant ‘abnormal’ and ‘weird’.  They had not learned that we are all human and even Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. 

It would be easy to say, “Never again. I won’t risk being hurt.”  That attitude and approach will seal the deal, making failure certain and limit any effectiveness we might have in the kingdom.  Too many pastors have allowed the wrong people to be made ‘elders’ and ‘deacons.’  We do that in our churches and our lives too frequently. That is why it is vital that we exercise the ‘discerning of the Spirit.’ 

Always remember that the qualifications for leadership are not ‘community influence’, ‘financial status’, ‘charisma’, or ‘perceived leadership potential.’  It is Commitment!  We all have the capacity for a great number of friends but only room for a few close intimate relationships.  You are to ‘deposit’ a portion of your life into that person or persons and that deposit is precious so guard it with your all.  You are going to war with this individual so you must Know Them! In war, you must “know” your fellow soldiers will stand and do their jobs.  Your life may and probably will depend on it.  I am not talking about preferences I am talking about War!  Once you have committed your life to Jesus you are a candidate for Font Line Duty!

There is nothing more destructive to a local fellowship than misplaced leadership.  Likewise, there is nothing more destructive to an individual life than misplaced friendships or relationships.  1 Corinthians 15:23 tells us that “bad company corrupts good morals.”  Proverbs 25:19 teaches that “confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.”  It is painful and can be quite harmful.

In your enlistment in the Army of God, I pray that God not only equips you for battle but enables you to equip others and to have the spiritual insight and discernment to recognize the ‘right people’ to stand with.

Blessings as you go through your day!