Fully and Totally Committed To Him

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28 “The Lord heard the request you made to me. And he said, ‘I have heard what the people said to you, and they are right. 29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever. — Deut. 5:28, 29 NLT

God chose the children of Israel to be His people and as long as they were obedient, He blessed them and provided for them.  But, oftentimes, they were disobedient and God had to discipline them.  He has chosen us to be His peculiar people in today’s world.  It is His heart’s desire to bless us daily and provide everything that we need to live Godly lives.  We, like the children of Israel, often require discipline.  Because of choices we make, a just God cannot bless us during our times of disobedience.  This does not mean that every rough patch we go through means we have sinned, some of those times, God allows so that we can grow spiritually.  God is not looking for times to discipline us, He is looking for times that He can pour out His blessings on us.  He is looking for those whose hearts are totally committed to Him.  As we read in verse 29, God says “Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments.”   If we have that kind of heart, then God promises us that we will prosper forever.  He is still looking for those with that kind of heart today, hearts that are fully committed to Him.

9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. — 2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-31-2018

Sometimes A Good Father Says “No”

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 26 “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more.  — Deut. 3:24-26 NLT

Deut 3:24-26 ISV

From a human viewpoint, if anyone deserved to enter the Promised Land, it was Moses. When God told Moses to speak to the rock to cause water to flow out, Moses in his anger, struck the rock.  Compared to all of the foolishness of the tribes of Israel, this seems like a small thing to us.  But God views things and events from a totally different perspective.  Whatever His reasons were, God’s answer to Moses’s prayer was “No”.  God gave Paul the same answer when Paul asked God to remove “the thorn in his flesh”.  We are not sure what the “thorn” was nor exactly why God said “No”, but Paul was assured that he needed the “thorn” to keep him humble.  In both cases, God heard the prayer and answered.  Not the answer the men wanted to hear, but He answered.  The prayers that we humans refer to as “unanswered” are the ones when God gives us an answer we don’t want to hear or when we don’t agree with His answer.  Neither Moses nor Paul rebelled against God because of His answer.  They accepted the answer as God’s will and continued to be God’s servants.  God did not “owe” Moses and Paul anything for their obedience. He owes us nothing and will never be indebted to us.  We, on the other hand, owe Him everything and will always be indebted to Him.  He blesses us simply because He loves us and it gives Him great joy to bless His children.  The good works that we do are to show God’s love to others and to show our obedience to God.  
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. — Luke 6:35, 36 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-30-2018

“Our Father Is In Charge – Enjoy the Trip”

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For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”’ — Deuteronomy 2:7 NLT

If you have ever taken a road trip with your kids then you have heard the question, “when will we get there?” or “how much longer?”.  One Mother’s answer was “Your Father is in charge, he will take care of us and we will arrive safely.  We can just enjoy the trip.”  That is a lesson that the Israelis never seemed to learn.  Their stubbornness and refusal to learn it changed a trip that should have taken only eleven days into an adventure that lasted over forty years.  Because of their attitude, we read in Hebrews, that the original generation of Israelis never entered the rest that God had prepared for them.  Instead of enjoying the trip, the Israelis continually moaned, groaned and whined.  How many days have we wasted whining when we could have just relaxed and enjoyed the trip?  How many more days will we waste moaning and groaning because, like the Israelis, we don’t trust our Father to provide for us and bring us safely home?  Moses told the children of Israel “during these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.”  They wanted a lot of things they didn’t have, but they had everything they needed to make the journey.  The Lord our God is still with us and we lack nothing that we need.  If we could ever learn to rest and enjoy the trip, it would not matter when we got there because each day would be a new experience enjoying the presence of the Lord.  Remember that God is our provider and our shield, rest in His presence and repeat as often as necessary.

 
6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7 So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. — Hebrews 4:6, 7a NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-29-2018

Give It All Up For Jesus

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28 Then Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “I tell all of you[a] with certainty, there is no one who has left his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the gospel 30 who will not receive a hundred times as much here in this world—homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields, along with persecution—as well as eternal life in the age to come. – Mark 10:28-30
God has nothing against rich people or people that are successful from a worldly viewpoint.  Riches, power and position are neutral and can be used for good or for evil. It is the misuse of these things that causes our issues with God.  He allows us to have those things for His honor and His glory.  We are to use whatever we have, be it little or be it much, as a means to an end, not the end itself.  We should use those things for His glory here and now and be ready to give them up completely, if necessary.  Any good thing that we have now comes from God and belongs to God.  When properly used, it will bring glory to God now.  If it is necessary for us to give it up to bring glory and honor to the Father, we will receive a return now and rewards in eternity.  It is not about the amount we give, it is about the sacrifice we make in giving to God.  The poor widow put in two small coins, others gave much more, but only she received praise from Jesus.  She gave her grocery money, they gave from their surplus. When we have the heart of the widow and give like she gave, then the blessings will come. Not because we gave a lot, but because we gave sacrificially, trusting God to meet our every need.  Don’t be concerned about the amount or the percentage, don’t quit giving when it hurts, just keep giving until it feels good.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-28-2018

“Day And Night”

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Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  — Joshua 1: 8,9 NLT

In verse one of this chapter, we read  “the Lord spoke to Joshua”.  So the instructions for Joshua to study the Books of the Old Testament that Moses had written came straight from the mouth of the Lord.  The Lord says that “only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do”.  God gives us the same instructions about studying the whole Bible.

15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
The King James version says “study to show yourself approved unto God”.  How much time do we spend in meditating on God’s Word?  How often do we go out into the world unprepared because of a lack of studying the Book of Instruction that God has given to us? Is it any wonder that we are so often defeated when we haven’t given God time to speak to us before we enter the fray?  How often do we go naked into the battle instead of being dressed in the whole armor of God?  Is it any wonder that we walk so timidly when God has commanded us to be “strong and courageous”?  Our courage and our successes come after we have read and meditated on His Word, not before or in the absence of allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us and to explain God’s word to us.  God has not changed, so, yes, He still speaks to us today.  He speaks to us through His Word, through His people and yes, He speaks to us directly if we will be still and listen.  Jesus said  “my sheep know my voice” (John 10:25-30).  To know someone’s voice, it would be necessary, at some point, to have actually heard that voice speak.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-27-2018

“Get Ready! Stand Up And Tell Them!”

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17 “As for you, get ready! Stand up and tell them everything that I’ve commanded you. 
– Jeremiah 1:17a ISV
 
God had just told Jeremiah to go and tell the rulers and the people of Jerusalem that the city would soon be overrun with armies from the north.  Once the disaster started, it would be over quickly, like water pouring from a pot that has been tipped over.  It is understandable that Jeremiah probably was not too excited about delivering that message to the kings and their armies.  Jeremiah would soon learn the lesson that we need to learn.  God never sends us on a mission that He has not prepared us to go on.  He never sends us alone, He is always with us.  If He says we will not be defeated, then we can be assured that He will prevail for us.  It is our weakest moments that God uses for His glory.  He wants the odds against us winning to be so great that when we do win and the world sees it, they have no choice but to say that our God is the Great Almighty God.  Jeremiah was told to “gird up his loins” (KJV) to prepare himself physically for the battle since he would be facing people.  Since our warfare now is not against people but against spiritual rulers and demons, we are told to “gird up the loins of our minds”. (KJV).

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world — 1 Peter 1:13 NLT​

Whether the battle is physical or spiritual, the battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord.  He will overcome and we will not be defeated.  But, just as Jeremiah was directed to stand up and deliver the message to the people, our instructions are the same.  So, we need to prepare ourselves and our minds for the tricks of the devil and be ready to stand up and tell the world everything that God will give us to say.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-26-2018

Why Can’t We ______?

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28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”  29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” — Mark 9:28, 29 NKJV

While Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration, a man had brought his son, who was possessed by a demon, to the remaining disciples.  They had been unable to cast the demon out of this particular boy, even though they had had success earlier in casting other demons out.  They were confused by this and asked the same question that people are still asking today.  “Why could we not cast it out?”   We pray for the sick to be healed and when it doesn’t happen the way and the time we think it should, we ask the question — “Why?”   Jesus explains that sometimes it takes more than a prayer, it takes fasting as well.  Some translations do not include “fasting” in the answer Jesus gave.  We know that Jesus spent many hours fasting and praying.  Before His temptations in the desert with satan, He spent forty days fasting and praying.  God does the healing, so why would we be required to pray and fast?   The Scriptures never exactly explain the connection between fasting and praying. The Old Testament prophets and David fasted and prayed. John the Baptist and his disciples practiced fasting and praying.  The disciples of Jesus practiced it, especially in Jerusalem after the Resurrection.  Jesus made a practice of doing it, so it seems that it would be a good idea for us to try it as well.  Each of us should do some research on different ways to fast, pray and allow the Holy Spirit to guide each of us into what and how long to fast. You may not think fasting is a good idea or that you have never practiced fasting.  Think about this, in the physical world, what did you give up for a little while to get what you wanted the most?   In the worst scenario, nothing unusual happens, in the best scenario, we end up with a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus, our best friend.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-25-2018