Divine Assignments

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47 All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation 48 numbered 8,580. 49 When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry. — Numbers 4:47-49 NLT

When it was time for the Israelis to leave a place in the desert and move forward, the Tabernacle had to be completely disassembled.  Moses and Aaron would assign each member of the Levite tribe a particular task to achieve this,   The things that were in the Holy of Holies could not be touched by anyone but Aaron and his sons.  If anyone else touched these things or even looked at them for a moment they would die or be put to death.  Each person had a specific job to do and a specific way to do it.  Some carried the Holy objects and others carried the poles and skin coverings.  Aaron and his family were chosen by God to be the priests and the Levite tribe was chosen by God to be their helpers.  If the move was to be successful, each person chosen by God must accomplish his task in the manner prescribed by God.  God never changes.  He has the same plan in place today and if the Church, His body, is going to move forward, each of us must do our job.  Just as Israel was called out of Egypt and Aaron was chosen to be the priest and the Levites were chosen to carry the Tabernacle, we are called out of darkness and chosen to be priests and a holy nation.  We may not feel a calling to be pastors, missionaries, choir directors or teachers in the congregation where we worship God.  But in the Church, the body of Christ, each of us has a specific task to do.  Just as the Levites were chosen to help Aaron and Moses, we have been chosen to help our local pastors and the Church staff.  God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives.  The Holy Spirit abides in each of us so we are not restricted as the Levites were.  We can touch every area of our world with the Word of God.  Ask the Holy Spirit what task God has assigned you and do it diligently.

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

Post 10-15-2018

Store Up Riches in Heaven

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20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. — Luke 12:20, 21 NIV

Riches are neutral, being neither good nor evil.  It is our attitude about those riches that causes us problems.  In the parable of the “certain rich man”,  Jesus shows us the real issue with riches.  When we have the wrong attitude about money and possessions, we spend too much time and money in trying to obtain more of each. The rich man decided to build more barns which would require more of his money and time, so more possessions and money causes us to spend more time and money protecting what we have bought.  It  becomes a vicious circle that destroys relationships and eventually destroys us.  God blesses us so that we can bless others.  If we hold onto those blessings too tightly and don’t use them for His work, they can become our god.  We become dependent on them for our self-worth and happiness.  When we have the right attitude about riches, we use those things to advance God’s Kingdom here on earth and to lay up rewards for ourselves in heaven.  Jesus did not instruct the disciples to pray for riches, but rather to ask just for what they needed today.  

11  Give us today our daily bread. — Matt 6:11 NIV

 

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

Post 10-13-2018

“The Lord God Is My Strength”

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17 Even though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even if the olive harvest fails,
    and the fields produce nothing edible;
even if the flock is snatched from the sheepfold,
    and there is no herd in the stalls—
18 as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will find my joy in the God who delivers me.
19 The Lord God is my strength—  he will make my feet like those of a deer,
        equipping me to tread on my mountain heights.  
– Habakkuk 3:17-19​
 

Happiness and pleasure are worldly things and are dependent on our external circumstances.  They are fleeting and temporary.  But joy, true joy, comes from the Holy Spirit that abides in us.  It is dependent on our internal attitudes.  It is eternal and no one, not even satan can steal our joy.  If we lose it, it is because we give it away.  It is our strength that gets us through every day.  There are times when we may not be happy and our circumstances may not be pleasant, but how we respond to those times determines where we are on our journey with Jesus.  When these times come, do we blame God and sulk like spoiled children or do we respond like Habakkuk and rejoice in the Lord”?  When we don’t feel like praying, that is the time we need to pray the fervent, effectual prayers.  When we don’t feel like shouting with joy, that is the time when we need to clap our hands and shout with a voice of triumph.  Our joy is not based on feelings or circumstances but upon the sure knowledge that “God is our salvation and He has become our strength”.   All day, every day, all our life long.

Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! — Psalm 47:1

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

Post 10-12-2018

Eat The Whole Thing

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 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. — Mark 11:23, 24 NLT

These are two well-known and often quoted verses from the Bible.  Of course, we know the basic principle of God answering prayer is true.  But, can we just randomly pick a mountain, ask God to cast it into the sea and watch it immediately happen?  Of course not.  We might not like the mountain where it is but there might be a million other people who love it and perhaps even God Himself might like the mountain where it is.  If God has told us to pray that prayer about a specific problem, then that mountain will be moved.  But the important thing for us to notice and remember with these two verses is the fact that they are the meat between two slices of bread.  We can’t just have the meat, we have to eat the whole sandwich.  Look at the principle in verse 22:

22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”

There is a requirement that God has laid out for us before we ask Him to move the mountain.  And then verse 25 gives us another requirement that we must fulfill before we ask God for anything:
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.

And there are some veggies that need to be eaten as well,  Have we determined that what we are asking for aligns with all the Scriptures, not just our favorite ones?  If we have met the requirements for God to answer our prayer — believing (being completely convinced that it will happen), forgiveness and alignment with His will, then the mountain will move.
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-11-2018

The Lover and the Loved

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27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live! — Luke 10:27, 28 NLT

In any love relationship, there is the lover and the loved.  For the relationship to work, each participant must be both at all times.  You can’t choose to just be the lover today and the loved tomorrow.  That would never work, because the flesh would want to be only the loved everyday. Being the loved is easy, being the lover can be hard work. This is true in human relationships and it is true in our relationship with God.  He loved us first and He loves us more than we can love Him, but He still wants and desires all the love we can give Him.  He desires to spend time with us alone, just the two of us.  God, as our lover, sent us His Son as a gift, the greatest gift ever given by any lover to His beloved.  He also gave us a book containing many love letters, statements of His love for us and reminding us of the many things He has done to show His love for us.  In that book, He assures us that He will always be with us and never forsake us.  In a true, legitimate love relationship, when one party says to the other “I love you”, that requires a positive response from the other party, namely, “I love you, too.”
Have you ever just said “I love you, Lord”  for no other reason than the fact that you love Him and not because of something special He did for you?  Is he the last person on your mind before you go to sleep and is He the first person you speak to when you wake up?   Just try it in the morning.  Before your feet hit the floor, just say “I love You, Lord, I love You, Father, I love You, Holy Spirit, I love you, God.”   He will always respond with a gift of peace and joy.  He can’t help Himself, He will do it just because He is God and God is love.

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

Post 10-10-2018

Oil to Keep Our Lamps Burning

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1 The Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually. — Leviticus 24:1 NLT

Consider the olive.  The tree grows in stony soil where other trees cannot grow.  A new tree is started with a seed or a cutting and then transplanted.  It grows for seven years before it has any berries on it and it is about fourteen years before the crop reaches maturity.  In Old Testament times, the fruit was harvested by shaking and beating the tree with a reed or a stick.  This injures the tree so much that it will only produce fruit every other year.  Once it starts to produce fruit, it will continue to produce fruit for centuries.  After the fruit is harvested, it is pressed to get the oil from it.  This oil was then used to keep the light in the Tabernacle lamps burning continually.  Jesus said that we are now the light of the world.  For us to be the pure light that we should be, we must go through much of the same process as the olive.  God transplants us from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light  and we start on a journey.  It will take some time for us to mature and produce fruit. We need to be shaken at times to get us out of our comfort zones.  We need to be disciplined at times to get us back on the straight and narrow path.  We have sinful, fleshly desires and those desires are not going to go away without a fight.  So, God allows us to be pressed down until there is nothing left but a heart with pure motives.  Then and only then are we able to be the light to the world and deliver it from the darkness of sin.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.– 2 Cor. 4:8-10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-09-2018

“Praise His Glorious Name Forever”

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23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” — John 4:23, 24 NLT

Our worship of our Lord and Savior should not be limited to a Sunday morning experience.  If that is all the time we spend at the feet of Jesus, then we need to examine our hearts and ask if that is truly worship.  Worship is defined as showing reverence and adoration for a deity.  If we take a look at our calendars and our checkbooks, we might be surprised to see who we really worship.  If we truly adore someone, it is only natural that we would want to spend more time in their presence.  We would be waiting to hear their voice and we would hang onto every word that they had to say.  When we had to leave their presence, we would be watching and waiting for opportunities to tell others what this great person had said.  We would make time to be with them and to let them know how much we adored them.  Our hearts would beat faster at the very thought of being in their presence.  If it were possible to live without ever being away from their presence, we would spend all of our time there.  This person would have to be the center of our world and deserve to have our highest loyalty.  This person would be someone that we would never hurt or betray for anyone or anything. This person’s name would be in our hearts, on our minds and on the tip of our tongues all day long, every day. This person would be someone that we worshiped in Spirit and in truth once a week, all week long.  Let each of us examine our thoughts, our words, our actions and our lifestyles and honestly determine who we worship.  If the answer isn’t  Jesus, and Jesus alone, then we need to take some time to ask His forgiveness and change our habits so that we mirror His glory.

18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Praise his glorious name forever!  Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen!  ​ — Psalm 72:18, 19 NLT​
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-08-2017