Friday, March 9, 2018

Woe, to the Rebellious Children

Reading from the Book of Isaiah 30:1-2, 9-13
Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Isaiah 30:1 is another of those "woe" passages we see from time to time in the Bible. In it the Lord pronounces a curse upon those rebellious children who turn from trusting in Him to take counsel of themselves, carry out their own plans, and flee to "the shadow of Egypt," rather than resting under the "shadow of the Almighty."

Isaiah 30:2, in this case, fleeing to "the shadow of Egypt" refers to turning to the arm of the flesh rather than leaning on the arm of the Lord. In other words we are not to trust others, in ourselves, or in the world, but only in the Lord. We are to acknowledge Him in all our ways so that He may direct our paths. We are to find our strength in Him alone.

Isaiah 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. 12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

When you and I make our plans or run to other people instead of trusting in the Lord, we leave a weak spot in our wall of divine protection. At a time when we least expect it, the enemy will break through that weak spot. When that happens, we will indeed be like the "broken section of a high wall" mentioned in Isaiah 30:13.

God does not want us to have weak spots in our lives. He wants us to rely on Him and be obedient to Him so our "walls" will remain strong and thick and our lives will be blessed and full. The more we depend on God, the more He can do through us. Sometimes we may have to go through brokenness before we enter His blessings. Sometimes before God can promote us, He has to remind us of our place.

He is the answer to all of our problems, especially when we are broken. And our children, who have forsaken the Lord, who have taken the path of destruction, are coming upon a time where meeting the Lord face to face will be their final rebellious act.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Showers Of Blessings

Reading from the Book of Ezekiel 34:26
Ezekiel  34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

"I will send... showers of blessing." Notice that the word 'showers' is plural. God will send all kinds of blessings. And all His blessings go together like links in a golden chain. If He gives you saving grace, He will also give you comforting grace. God will send "showers of blessings."

What is your season today? Are you experiencing a season of drought? If so then it is the season for showers.

Are you going through a season of great heaviness with dark clouds? Then that too is the season for showers.

Look up today, you who are dried and withered plants. Open your leaves and flowers and receive God's heavenly watering.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Laying of Hands Upon You

Reading from the Book of Acts 8:14-18, 10:44-46
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given.

The Holy Spirit is the seed of eternal life that leads us to salvation. God gives His Holy Spirit to the truly repentant person after baptism by the laying on of hands by His true servants. Then, through the gift of the True Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ begins to live His life in us.

 Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.
The Word of God teaches that though some people received the holy Spirit through the laying of hands, other times the Spirit was simply poured out upon people. The believers who came with Peter were amazed because they witnessed how freely the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the crowd as evidenced by their talking in unknown tongues.

You can ask God to fill you and baptize you in the Holy Spirit right now, right where you are, by simply praying. Then wait on God quietly and believe you have received that for which you asked.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Choice To Be Humble

Reading from the Book of Matthew 23:12, 1 Peter 5:6
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

Humility is a quality that is greatly underemphasized in today’s standards. The world today does not know what humility means, and they do not know how to appreciate it. More importantly, they do not know how to do it. The sad fact is they’re not all that sure they even want to have it.

Culturally, we're much more drawn to the energetic, dynamic, charismatic, crowd-drawing people. That's who gets the headlines and the attention. But if we listen closely and watch carefully, we can see in Jesus someone who is humble, but strong; humble, but charismatic; humble, but crowd-drawing; humble, but dynamic.

The same Jesus who stilled the storm and spoke to the crowds is the same Jesus who washed feet and died on a cross and held babies in His arms when it wasn't politically correct.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Peter 5:6

Humility is a choice. We’re never told in the Bible to pray for God to make us humble. It’s something you choose for yourself.
Humility doesn’t mean thinking of yourself less. It means thinking of others and God more. If you have experienced some success and are beginning to get prideful, then ask God to teach you how you can be humble. Make a conscious effort to change your perspective about who you are and where your success comes from.

Make a choice to be humble. Making a choice means you change your mind. You go from thinking one way about your life to thinking another way.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Believe And Praise

Reading from the Book of Hebrews 11:3, Psalm 33:8
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Many is the modern-day evangelical who has attempted to harmonize the plain sense of the Scriptures with Big Bang concepts of stellar evolution, and a uniformitarian framework for Earth history. This exercise seldom results in a tempering of secular thought but rather in a compromising reinterpretation of Scripture, making it say something it clearly does not say.

The Bible says that “the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3), that all things that now exist were simply called into existence at God’s spoken command.

Creation was a true miracle. It was not (as some insist) merely a godly oversight of cosmic processes acting on eternal matter, nor was it the gradual appearance and disappearance of matter in a steady-state transformation. Only a poor regard for Scripture, coupled with an overly high regard for current astronomical theory, could interpret Hebrews 11:3 as the explosion of a tiny, super-dense “cosmic egg” (that did not “appear,” i.e., too small to see), itself the result of a “quantum fluctuation in a vacuum” in a Big Bang which produced the entire universe.

Our response should not be to disbelieve and twist but to believe and praise. 

“Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” Psalm 33:8

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The "One Thing"

Reading from the Book of Psalm 27:4

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
If you could ask for only one thing, what would it be? David said there was only one thing that he sought dwell in God's presence. More than anything else, David wanted to now God, to see God as He really is and to be with Him. Truly to know God is the highest calling that we have.

We can get so distracted with busy details of our lives that we neglect the most important thing...spending time with God. How foolish we are to spend our lives seeking those things that cannot satisfy while we ignore God, the "One Thing" Who can give us great joy, peace, satisfaction and contentment.

The world is filled with empty people who are trying to satisfy the void in their lives with the latest-model car, a promotion at work, a human relationship, vacation, or some other thing. Their efforts to find fulfillment in those things never work. It is sad that so many people waste their entire lives and never realize it. They never know the joy of seeking the "One Thing" they really need.

Each one of us has a God-shaped hole inside, and nothing can fill it except God Himself. No matter what else we try to fill it with, we will remain empty and frustrated.

If God is on your list of things to seek, but not at the top, I encourage you to move everything around and put it all after Him. If you will put Him first in everything you do, you will reap the harvest and be blessed. Investing your life in God is the very best thing you can do. Seek the "One Thing." 


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cracked Pots

Reading from the Book of Isaiah 6:1-9
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Before God can use us, He needs to cleanse us. Isaiah realized he had a sinful, unclean mouth that needed to be dealt with. Isaiah's heart cried for change and God sent help.

The coming forward of the seraphim with a coal of fire is recorded in verse 6 as an instantaneous happening, but answers may not always come so quickly to us. We would all prefer miraculous deliverance, but most of the time the Lord puts us through a cleansing process.

God will always look for someone who has a perfect heart toward Him, not necessarily someone who has a perfect "performance" before Him. When the Lord has the heart, He can always change the behavior. This truth should encourage those of us who want to be used by God, but who often feel that we just have too many flaws. We come to Him as we are, and He molds and makes us into vessels fit for His use. God uses "cracked pots."