Monday, March 28, 2011

Boldness & Courage

Reading from the Book of Acts 4:13-16, 31

13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.

Do you ever feel inadequate sharing with other people about God because you have not recieved much formal Christian education or training?  The best schooling is what I call "the school of the Holy Spirit." Ask Him to teach you through the Word, as you spend time in prayer, and as you rely on His grace. We learn through the Word of God and our experiences in life.  Experience itself is a good teacher. God's Spirit leads us through many situations and will teach us as we go through them if we are open to learning. In the Gospels, Jesus does miracles, but in Acts, ordinary people do miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Believe that He can use you in mighty ways.

31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness and courage.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Lamp For My Feet

Reading from the Book of Psalm 119: 105

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Wandering around in the dark can be scary and frustrating!  Do you ever feel like you are wandering in life, not sure of which way to go?  God's Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.  God promises to use His Word to instruct you in the way you are to go, one step at a time.

The Lord’s will for our lives is like a lamp that casts light a few feet ahead—not a high-beam headlight that lets one see way off into the distance. How, where and when, are turns in the road that perhaps neither you nor I can see ahead at this time. But if you are following God’s will for your life, moment by moment, along the path of the duty of the moment, one thing is for certain: the path will lead you to that crossroad. The light of wisdom will show you how, where, and when to go. You can't miss the turn if you're on the right path!

The key is that the lamp of your heart contains the Word, who is Jesus. That He is living and dwelling within you; that your heart is filled with the oil of faith; that you are listening to His voice, and obeying it. Then you will have the necessary light for the approaching time and the only light will be that burning flame which is in your heart.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Great Shaking!

Reading from the Book of Ezekiel 38: 14-23

 14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will rouse yourself.[b] 15 You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, 16 and you will attack my people Israel, covering their land like a cloud. At that time in the distant future, I will bring you against my land as everyone watches, and my holiness will be displayed by what happens to you, Gog. Then all the nations will know that I am the Lord.
 17 “This is what the Sovereign Lord asks: Are you the one I was talking about long ago, when I announced through Israel’s prophets that in the future I would bring you against my people? 18 But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! 19 In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day. 20 All living things—the fish in the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people on earth—will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth. 21 I will summon the sword against you on all the hills of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord. Your men will turn their swords against each other. 22 I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur! 23 In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

The Lord Our God speaks now...

My holy people; even as I have done before, I will use your fierce enemies to administer discipline to you.  Even the fiercest of enemies, in a most unexpected way, will I use to administer discipline to you in the days to come.

Why, My love, must you pursue other lovers?  Why, My love, must you insist on being unfaithful in your heart toward Me?  I have loved you with an everlasting love.  I have crowned you with loving kindness and tender mercies.   I have done what no other would do, yet you return unfaithfulness of heart toward Me, your King and your Savior.

Out of the very mouth that pronounced Me King and Savior in your life, you spew curses and lies.  Out of the very heart you invited Me to reign in for eternity, you invite strangers and foreigners to your bed.  In the very place I am to be served and worshipped, you instead entertain and prop up yourselves.  I cannot, I will not, overlook these things any more.  My Great Heart is broken toward the condition of My beautiful bride-to-be. 

Therefore, it is now time to show My love, to demonstrate My love, toward you.  It is time to cleanse and purge, to shake and remove, so that the remnant may remain pure and the few that are faithful will find a resting place in Me.

My judgments are true and holy and just.  They are founded on My love for you.  My Great Heart finds no joy in judgment, no delight in punishing.  I do what I must, to preserve and prepare you for our eventual wedding day.

The dirty dress will be replaced by one that is clean and white.  The smudged face will be scrubbed clean and the dirty shoes will be cleaned and made to shine.  The dirty and tangled hair will be put in order.  The miss-shaped basket you carry will be made whole again, able to collect and carry beautiful flowers, for Me again.  Your voice, harsh and broken, will be made sweet to My ear again.

Today, I declare My undying love and care for you, My love.  With sadness, I release judgment to bring about a cleansing and purifying of My Church.  It is time to seriously consider your true heart condition.  It is time to seriously consider that it may be you, I am speaking to, not another.  It is time to look deeply into My eyes and ask Me what I desire, instead of pursuing your own dreams and your own ways of living.  It really is time to put away your selfishness, to shake it off, to remove it, to enter into true heart communion with Me and to follow your King.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Crown Of Glory And Honor

Reading from the Book of Psalm 8:4-6

 4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
 5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.

Even though the Bible says we have been crowned with God's favor and excellence, often we do not act as though we are.  One reason we do not tap into God's blessings is that we do not believe we deserve them.  Another reason is that we have not been taught that the blessings of God can be ours and consequently have not activated our faith in this area.  So, we wander thorough life, taking whatever the devil throws at us without ever resisting him and claiming what is rightfully ours.

You have been singled out by God, Who has placed His crown of glory and honor, or favor and excellence, upon your head.  You may not see your crown, but it is there.  Just like the robe of rightousness in which you are dressed.  You may not see with your physical eyes your robe of rightousness or the crown of God's favor, but they exist in the spiritual realm. We need to remember that the natural man cannot percieve the things of God because they are spiritually discerned.

All things have been placed under our feet by God, Who has given us dominion over all His creation.  Those words do not indicate that we are suppossed to allow our problems or the devil and his demons to intimidate, dominate, and oppress us. If we will recieve by faith the blessing of glory and honor with which the Lord our God has crowned us, not only will our faces shine forth with the glory of the Lord, but we will enjoy respect, esteem, favor, and a good reputation.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Holy And Blameless

Reading from the Book of Ephesians 1: 4-14

4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

One of the strongest desires human beings have is to be loved, to be accepted, and to feel that they belong.  We want a sense of connection and belonging to something or someone.  We want to feel valuable.  We cannot be guaranteed of always getting that in our dealings with people, but we can get it from God.  Even though God knows everything about us, He still chooses us on purpose.  He actually picked us out on purpose to be His very own and to belong to Him.

You and I are no surprise to God.  He knew exactly what He was getting when He chose us.  God did not choose us and then become disappointed because of our inabilities.  God has hope for us, and He believes in us, and is working in us to help us be all that He has in His plan for us.

Learn to recieve God's love. Think about it, thank Him for it, and watch for the manifestation of it in your daily life.  God shows His love for us in many ways, but we often are unaware of it. God tells us we are His, and He sets forth what He wants for us, that we should know we are loved, special, and valuable and that we should be Holy and Blameless.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wisdom's Call

Reading from the Book of Proverbs 8: 1-16

 1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; 3 beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries aloud: 4 “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. 5 You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. 6 Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. 7 My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. 8 All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. 9 To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. 10 Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, 11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power. 15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just; 16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

Wisdom is speaking, and she says that through her, leaders rule.  Wisdom brings us to places of leadership, and if we want to be good leaders we need wisdom and common sense.

Living by common sense is really not difficult.  Just do what you would want others to do to you.  Pay your bills on time, communicate properly, mix encouragement with correction so a person's spirit is not broken. 

As you use more common sense, things will get better for you.  Do not do things that are foolish.  Ask God for wisdom.  While you are at it, ask Him to help you also use good, sanctified common sense in every situation.  That is Wisdom's Call.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fire Out Of The Mouth

Reading from the Book of Jeremiah 5: 10-31

I have chosen verse 14 to refer to.
14 Therefore this is what the LORD God Almighty says: “Because the people have spoken these words, I will make my words in your mouth a fire and these people the wood it consumes.

We see that God was calling Jeremiah to a new level where his words would be mighty and powerful, like fire.

God is also calling you and me to experience a higher level of His power and blessing, and we need to realize that with every new level comes new opposition.  In the face of that opposition, we should chose our words carefully.  We must realize that wrong words can open doors for the enemy that we do not want to open.

God is speaking about not opening doors to Satan.  Satan is looking for any tiny crack he can crawl through in your life.  We need to live more carefully than ever before.  We must be more aggressive against the kingdom of darkness as to what God has planned.  Things that God was patient with in the past, He will have to deal with now.  We cannot walk in the flesh until it is time to exercise our gifts and then quickly try to get in the Spirit.  There will be no power, no anointing released through such a life.

God told Jeremiah He would make his words like fire in his mouth, and that he would make the people like wood.  I have read and heard of past revivals where the anointing of the Lord was so strong at times that hundreds of people fell out of their chairs onto the floor and began crying out for deliverance and salvation.  That is the manifestation of God, making the words out of their mouths like fire and the people like wood.

When I speak God's Word, I want it to have a dramatic effect on people, changing them radically.  Ask God to put His fire in your mouth.