Monday, August 31, 2020

What we ask in Prayer

So Jesus answered and said to him, 
“What do you want Me to do for you?”

Mark 10:51

It is hard to believe that the Lord would ask us what He could do for us. However, sometimes that is the question we must answer. Bartimaeus was blind, and he knew exactly what he wanted Jesus to do for him: restore his sight. Yet he received much more than physical sight! He received salvation, for Jesus knew Bartimaeus's heart was faithful. Bartimaeus immediately used his gift to become a follower of the Savior.

Jesus also asked James and John what they wanted Him to do for them. They requested the most prominent places in His kingdom. This time, Jesus answered that He could not give them what they asked. Their request was selfish, and it brought dissension among their fellow disciples (Mark 10:41).
Only when we pray according to God's will is He pleased to grant our requests (John 15:16). We will not see our prayers answered if we ask selfishly (James 4:3). If God refrains from giving us what we are asking, we should evaluate our prayers. Are our motives selfish? Are we asking for far less than God wants to give? (2 Kings 13:19; Eph. 3:20). Are our requests worthy of the God we approach? Do we lack the faith God requires to give us our desires? (Matt. 17:20). Is there unconfessed sin? (Isa. 1:15). God delights in responding to our requests (Matt. 7:7). If we will ask according to His will, we, like Bartimaeus, will receive far more than we anticipated! (Jer. 33:3). - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Name it and claim it!  Well, in Spiritual reality, that's not how it works. You see, there's the little, but entirely significant, matter about the Will of God in what you requested.  If indeed it was framed as a request. 

Whole Churches have sprung up in recent decades that preach this kind of Gospel.  

Yet look closely at what Blackaby says...from Scripture...not necessarily his opinion.  It must be in accordance with God's Will.  

Next is the possible scope of an answer to a prayer from God.  Scope being the acceptable definition we are thinking vs what He says is an answer to prayer. 

Death of this physical body is considered an answer to prayer in God's eyes.  Might not be in yours,  considering the potential loss of a loved one.  But to God, death is a healing.  The body is no longer suffering and the person involved is no longer in any pain.  They are experiencing God's peace. 

It's then up to us to accept God's Will.  To keep on, after an acceptable period, mourning a loss that was His Will to happen isn't healthy.  Sure I miss family and friends who God has called home, but there's no respecting the life they lived if I spend so much time, energy and effort reminding God that He chose something that I didn't want. But truth be known I wouldn't want anyone whom He has called home to see the world in which we live today. 

The name it and claim it people fit in with the prosperity people.  Again, what we pray for must coincide with what God's Will is.  What did Jesus pray? Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Look at the night of His betrayal.  He knew what was to come.  He knew that for several hours His Father would not be able to look at Him. That for the first and only time in history their blessed fellowship would be broken.  He could have prayed differently but He didn't. 

We get caught up in thinking that we deserve this blessing or that blessing.  Jesus said we would have tribulations in this life.  Does that sound like blessings to you in everything you do?  He said a man's enemies will be members of his own house.  Sound like blessings to you?  He spoke through the Apostles to tell of enmities and struggles in the Church to come.  Wolves in sheep's clothing infiltrating the Church.  Sound like uninterrupted blessings to you?

The sad truth about life is the more we are blessed the less we rely on Christ.  I know that we are compared to sheep in the Bible.  His sheep hear His voice.  Do you hear His voice?  Or are you hearing the voices of the world that try to convince you of what you deserve? Of what you have earned?  Funny how the health, wealth and prosperity Gospel sounds so much like the theme of the rest of the world.  It's because it's source is the same.  It's considered a doctrine of demons.  

If Jesus said we would have difficulty in this life then my friend, we are going to have difficulty in this life.  He brought great assurances that we wouldn't be alone in them.  He brought such assurances because the difficulties would seem to be that great.  

There's been more times than I can remember of situations where things seemed insurmountable. God showed up at just the right time with just the right amount of help to do exactly what was needed.  No more, no less.  

To be 100% truthful, I don't want to be rich.  I would be content with being debt free.  I do not want wealth or prosperity to diminish my reliance upon my God.  

Look at the celebrities who have passed away.  I guarantee you not one of them took anything with them when they died.  Not a cent of their net worth.  It doesn't even depend upon whether or not they were saved.  In both cases none misses their wealth or possessions.  In Heaven believers are with Christ.  In Hell they are in torment apart from God.  Jesus told us what each is like.  

So when you pray look at your priorities and your heart.  Just what is important to you, is it what's important to God?  Soon Christ is returning.  All who are dead in Christ will be rejoining their bodies, now glorified bodies free from the effects of sin.  Those who are alive in Christ will shed their sin cursed bodies to inherit glorified bodies and join Christ in the air.  Everything believers are wearing at the time will stay here on Earth. Nothing goes with them.  

The physical isn't as important as the Spiritual.  Remember that when you are praying.  The physical is indeed important but our growth in Christ is paramount. That is the work He began in us that He will continue until the day He either calls us home or He returns.  

Look at your priorities in your prayers.  Look at your motivations in your prayers. 

Are your prayers Christ-centric or are your prayers you-centric?

Sunday, August 30, 2020


Wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 

NLT It may seem like it should be easy to wait. But it is a lesson the Christian soldier doesn’t learn without years of teaching. Marching and double-time marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. There are perplexing times when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, doesn’t know what role to play. What should that person do? Lose hope? Shrink back in cowardice, or rush forward in presumption? No—he or she should simply wait. But wait in prayer. Call on God and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty and plead His promise of assistance. When the dilemma is a choice between one duty or another, it is good to be as humble as a child, waiting with simplicity of soul on the Lord. It will surely be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by God’s will. But wait in faith. Express your ironclad confidence in Him, for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is an insult to the Lord. Believe that, even if He keeps you waiting late into the night, He will come at the right time; the vision will come and will not delay (Habakkuk 2:3). Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under affliction but blessing God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, like the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to your old world again but accept the case as it is—put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hands of your covenant God. Say to Him, “Now, Lord, not my will, but yours be done. I don’t know what to do—I am brought to the breaking point, but I will wait until you divide the waters or drive back my enemies. I will wait, if you keep me here for many days, for my heart is fixed on you alone. My spirit waits for you in the full conviction that you will be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.” - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Looks like today is a double header.  

This devotional hits home with me due to my feelings of "what's next?" with my career.  

It's not much different from what Spurgeon says to keep doing.  I keep on praying and attempting to press on with whatever He puts before me.  It's often making little sense but I press on. 

This last week was actually the beginning of the next fiscal month.  Multiple days in a row I would go in and find nothing to do. So I kept taking vacation days.  Finally I just asked for the rest of the week off.  At home I managed to get a great many things done.  I think in this time, God was also getting me to step back from making rash decisions. 

It's easy to be impatient.  It's much harder to be patient.  No need to explain that further.  It's a fact of life. 

In my past I have jumped the gun in decisions.  This time I am trying harder to wait it out.  It's not that my past run with job changes wasn't of God, those were. Just not totally convinced moving on is what's on His mind right now.  

Who doesn't like to know even the general direction of where they are going?  It certainly helps in reducing stress at times. 

Waiting.  A short word that can take seconds to years.  But there's much to be said in Scripture about what happens for those who wait upon the Lord.  

So I shall continue to pray and continue to wait.  The fact that God is still blessing us is evidence enough that we are on the right track. 

Be patient even when it is painful or irritating.  Scripture says that Jesus began the work in us and will continue it until either we are called home or are Raptured.   He began, not we began.  Jesus doesn't start things He doesn't want to finish or doesn't intend to finish.  

Joseph could have thought that the Lord forgot him but he didn't. 

Pray in every way.  Prayer is what reveals our hearts to God.  Rather than losing patience, turn to prayer. 

What it is to be Reconciled

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through 
Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18

The world abounds with people whose sin has alienated them from God. Christ's sacrificial work has restored Christians to a love relationship with the heavenly Father. As Christians, we are appointed as ministers of reconciliation. Once Christ dwells within us, we become His ambassadors, and we entreat others to be reconciled to Him (2 Cor. 5:20). We are God's messengers of peace, urging others to return to God (Matt. 5:9).

Sin breaks our relationship with God; it severs relationships with others as well. Broken relationships are the epidemic of our day. Sin alienates family members, separates friends, divides churches, and destroys marriages. Sin creates mistrust, jealousy, hatred, and greed, all of which devastate relationships. Only Christ has the remedy for the disastrous effect of sin on human relationships. As His ambassadors, we are to take the message of reconciliation to a broken, divided world. We urge reconciliation first with God, and then with each other.
How tragic when God's messengers of peace harbor enmity toward each other. It is a travesty to carry a message of love and yet be filled with hatred. If there is someone whom you refuse to forgive, your message of reconciliation is hypocrisy. The evidence that you are a disciple of Jesus is that you love your fellow Christian (John 13:35). In each of your relationships, make certain that your actions share the love and forgiveness that reflect what you received from God. Then you will not only speak the message of reconciliation, but you will live it as well. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

This thing of reconciliation is an interesting one.   It's not often that I can somewhat relate to a devotional like this one. 

There's a friend who, for a short time, was working where I am now.  He is no longer due to a corporate decision to remove temporary jobs. But in the span of time that he was there, God used me to help reconcile this man back to Him. 

It was a wonderous time.  Really just being sensitive to being prompted to answer his questions.  God took care of us not being interrupted while at work.  He attributes a great deal of what has since transpired to the reconciliation process of him and his wife.  They are getting back together. 

He had a shaky upbringing in the Church.  This was his Prodigal Son moment.  He asked questions and God used me to answer them.  It was and still is an amazing thing to help in that moment. 

Reconciliation is for all of us.  Even Pastors have need of it.  Anyone who is human has been in a relationship dilemma.  Something said or done that disrupts the relationship.  Reconciliation is needed to restore it. 

When a great divide happens reconciliation is difficult. The greatest one we will ever face is the one between us and God.  The only one who could bridge that gap was Jesus.  

Deep within everyone, I believe, is a longing to just be held by Jesus.  I know most have heard the song "I Can Only Imagine".  For me?  I am looking forward to being held by Jesus.  That kind of hug that says "it's all right now". 

Reconciliation is possible in this life between you and others but to do it up right requires a relationship with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit can go places we cannot in relationships.  Have experienced that on many occasions. 

Living it out is only possible in a right relationship with Jesus.  When the world calls for hard justice and we forgive, opportunities for reconciliation can happen. 

Jesus went through so much that we cannot even fathom in order to provide reconciliation between God and man.  

If you are in a broken relationship with Jesus or with someone else, the place to begin is in prayer to start the healing process.  Let go of your rights your desires your wants and give it all to Jesus to fix. 

Think about your struggles. Has it been worth it to have a broken relationship for this long?  

In the story of the Prodigal Son, once the Father saw the wayward Son on the horizon, he got up and ran to him.  He bridged the gap before his son could hold him back. He made the way when the way was difficult. He can still do the same with you.  My new friend hadn't the context to understand just what all God was really doing in his life. He had questions and the answers were just out of reach.  He couldn't understand a Bible like the King James.  The language confused him.  I told him that I can relate.  It's why I use the New American Standard Bible. It's written in modern English from the original manuscripts that the King James was supposed to be written from. 

There's relief in reconciliation.  A deep deep wonderful feeling of peace. 

Seek out Jesus today and begin your own reconciliation with Him and those in your life that you are separated from. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Not a free ride to do whatever

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, 
that each one may receive the things done in the body, 
according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

2 Corinthians 5:10

There are many motivations in the Christian's life. One is our awareness that one day we will give an account of our lives to Christ, as He sits in judgment upon humanity. It is much more comforting to believe that Christians will be ushered into heaven with no questions asked about our faithfulness upon earth, but that is not what Scripture says will happen.

Paul cautioned that in the final day of judgment, every Christian will give an account for his or her actions. This expectation terrified Paul and motivated him to strive to please God in everything he did (2 Cor. 5:9–11). Paul knew that although he might ignore the Spirit's quiet voice during His life on earth, a time of accounting would come when he would have to explain why he had rejected God's instructions. Paul never carelessly assumed that, because of all he had done for God's kingdom, God would overlook his sin. Instead, he understood that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
God does not force His will upon us. He will ask us to answer for the way we responded to Him. Christians have been pardoned by the sacrifice of Jesus. We are not condemned. But because God is absolutely just, we will be called on to give an account of our actions. The Christian life gives a tremendous freedom, but it also brings a pervasive sense of our accountability to God and to others. We can learn from Paul that accountability is healthy; it gives us a powerful motivation to please God. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

We do not come to Christ only to receive, but to give.  We come as those once dead yet now are alive.  We come as those who also will give an account of what we have done in this body since coming to Christ. 

Many preachers don't preach on this topic. 

Accountability is not taught much in many so-called Churches.  Why? Because it hurts!  Why? Because it involves responsibility.  

When left to our own devices we will certainly go do our own thing.  One who is accountable to another will second guess pretty much everything because they know they will be asked about what they have been doing. 

Accountability isn't a bad thing but I think it's been painted to look that way, thus why it's avoided by more Churches than accepted. 

We do not have a license to sin in this life. 
Every careless word will be asked about.  Our rage at wanting personal justice that included a profanity laced tirade will be brought up one day before Christ.  We who are in Christ will give an account of what we have done in this body. 

Look at your life.  How do you see yourself?  Ok. Now. How do you think God sees you?  Not by your standards of good and bad, by His.  We automatically don't think we're really that bad.  Welcome to the deceitfulness of the sin nature. 

I am certainly ashamed of much of my personal life, let alone what people have seen.  I do not look forward to giving an answer to why I have done, said or thought the things that I have.  

We do not have free reign to just do whatever we want in life.  From work to recreation.  We have what God has for us to be doing.  We have been compared to workers in the fields according to Scripture.  Workers are to be working. 

Thanks to how poorly made a great deal of things are these days we are certainly challenged in the area of getting to work as God had intended. We spend a great deal of time getting things fixed. Or we overspend so we have to work more to compensate.  It's a struggle for sure. 

Getting our attitude and thinking right is a struggle too.  But it's not insurmountable. 

Prayer is the beginning of everything.  I know a man who has been out of Church for a great many years yet God was still with him.  He was praying without even knowing he was. God was still answering. 

What are your priorities? Because those too will be asked about. 

What's important to you? Because that will be asked about. 

Take time today to look at your life.  Look to see if you can find a Godly man, for men or a Godly woman for women,  to help you with staying accountable.  Men should not be having women as accountability partners.  It opens the door to sin and temptation.  Same is the reverse, women should not have men as accountability partners for the same reason. 

Look at what you need to change.  I am constantly looking at my life.  Mistakes happen but intentionally repeated mistakes are a choice. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Work where God is working

For a great and effective door has opened to me, 
and there are many adversaries.

1 Corinthians 16:9

Open doors of service may also let in adversaries. Paul had many of both. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Ephesus, he was trying to determine where to go next. He chose to remain longer in Ephesus because of the open doors of service God granted him. Knowing that God had opened the doors of ministry, Paul was not going to leave, regardless of how many enemies he faced. We might assume that Paul would reach the opposite conclusion. In light of the opposition he faced, he could have concluded that it was best to serve in less hostile regions. Instead, Paul based his decisions on God's activity rather than on what people were doing.

As you respond to God's invitations, don’t be caught by surprise when adversaries try to thwart what you are doing. If you concentrate on your opponents, you will be sidetracked from God's activity. Don’t base your decisions on what people are doing. They cannot prevent you from carrying out God's will (Rom. 8:31). Many times the most rewarding spiritual work is done in the crucible of persecution and opposition. While Paul was in Ephesus, a riot broke out in reaction to his ministry. The city theater resounded with an angry mob who shouted for two hours in support of their god, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:23–41). Despite this fierce rejection, Ephesus became one of the chief cities from which the gospel spread throughout Asia. It takes spiritual discernment to see beyond human activity to God's will. As you seek places of service, look beyond what people are saying to find what God is doing. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

As you read this, it should make you think. 
The devotional is telling us to look deeper at the things you face in life rather than only on whatever is making you uncomfortable or happy. 

There's no retirement plan in this life for a believer.  That comes after we die. Until that day we have work to be done and it's wherever God is working. 

Read again what is said of Paul.  He didn't go where it was safe in a cushy position. He went or stayed where God was working.  Our society tends to push the whole enjoy the retirement thing.  Prove that from the Bible.  I have known true men of God who were still doing the work of God until the very end of their physical life.  Jesus in writing the New Testament says through Paul to run the race as to win the prize.  Doesn't say get most of the way through an coast.  

We who are in Christ need to keep on looking for where God needing workers in the world.  There's no justification for out of work people calling themselves Christians. 

Look at what you are doing.  Are you a worker in the harvest?  Or did you get out n start just doing your own thing?

Satan loves to get what once were committed Christians to take an off ramp in the highway of life to keep them from being useful to God.  

But I pray every day and read my Bible!  Is that all that a person who is a part of the body of Christ is supposed to be doing, or is there more?  Isn't a body part to support the other parts of the body?  A body part focuses on its purpose.  If the liver all the sudden decided it's been around long enough, it's time to retire, then the body is certainly going to suffer.  

Look at your activities. Are you doing anything for Christ?  Colossians says to do all that we do as unto the Lord.  It's referring to work. Which means the work isn't done until the Lord says so not when the world says we have enough time in.

It just may be your involvement in the work of Jesus is that involvement that is needed to find that last person who will be saved before the Rapture.  If you don't do what God called you to do, it will keep on until someone else rises up who is willing to work.

Consider your why. Why do you do what you do, is it Biblical or is it a worldview that doesn't fit God's Word?

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The World's way isn't God's Way

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, 
and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:11

There are two ways to attain high esteem. One is the world's method: Take every opportunity to promote yourself before others; seize occasions for recognition and manipulate your way into the center of attention. The other way is God's way: Humble yourself. Rather than striving for recognition and influential positions, seek to put others first. Cultivate humility, for it does not come naturally. One of the many paradoxes of the Christian life is that when God sees your genuine humility, He exalts you.

Proverbs 16:18 warns that if we put our efforts into promoting ourselves, we will be brought down. Jesus told of a man who tried to enhance his own image (Luke 14:7–11). While attending a banquet, he immediately claimed the seat of honor. When the host saw this, he humiliated this man by asking him to move to the least honorable place to make room for a more distinguished guest. Jesus said the wise thing to do is to seek the lowest position and allow others to exalt you if they feel you are worthy.
There is an enormous difference between the way the world honors you and the way God does. Proverbs 25:27 indicates that glory is not legitimate if you seek it yourself. When the world exalts you, you are the one who receives the credit. When God exalts you, others will praise Him for what He has done in your life. If you honor God, He will honor you (1 Sam. 2:30). Strive to humble yourself and bring glory to God. Allow Him to be the One to honor you in the way that pleases Him! - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's been the mainstay phrase for several decades to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  Vanity is everywhere in the commercials we see to internet advertising.  Make the most of yourself.  Get what you can get.  It's every man for himself.  

This isn't God's way.  As we read what Blackaby, more importantly, what Scripture says by the words of Jesus, seeking the glory, the attention, the power of being first isn't seen as the best move a person can make. 

We have a role, a job, to do in Christ.  Scripture says we are part of the body of Christ.  Each part has a different function.  To do the best we can in that which we have been called.  

Joseph was a shepherd at first. He diligently did that.  But he had a bad habit of constantly relating dreams that really got to his brothers.  So much so the thought of killing him came to mind.  So as the plot unfolds the decision came down to selling him rather than killing him.  A rough way to go but consider this: God provided that option because He had a Plan to fulfill in Joseph's life.  So they sell him off, convince their father that he is dead. Lovely family characteristics.  So now it's on them to do his job too.  Joseph's life was irrevocably altered. Not only was he learning new occupations but was learning a hard lesson that speaking like he was to his family got him into the situation he was in. He was in the early stages of God's plans so he probably didn't see where anything was going.  This went on for at least a decade.  In that time he had but one thing to cling to and that was his faith.  Even to the point of being in the dungeon with the cup bearer and the baker, he wasn't seeing all that God was doing.   But at this point he had learned humility.  Then he was elevated at the proper time to rule over Egypt.  That wasn't the Pharoah's doing that was God, elevating him at the proper time to a place of importance.  

We see movies of the obscure person who doesn't seem to amount to much all the sudden being propelled into the limelight.  Designed to be inspirational feel good movies.  Yet in reality if we really look at a lot of power hungry people it's them trampling on others to get where they are. When people exalt themselves what the world calls 'karma' hits them.  What the Bible calls it is what we read in that passage.  It's not karma or anything like that.  It's Jesus doing exactly as He says He was going to do.  

I work as best as I can in whatever God gives me to do.  I do not seek high recognition, although He often bestows it. I follow Colossians 3 when it tells us to do what we do as unto the Lord.  If recognition is part of His plan for me then fine, it is. If not, one thing is clear, don't push for it. Read in Esther, yes her uncle spoke what he did to her about how did she not realize that she was put in such a position for such a time as this.  That Uncle also could himself sought out the King's favor by bringing up the fact that he saved his life, that he owed him one.  But he didn't.  Look what happened. After the plot became known, God elevates him to a significant position of authority to save the Jews.  

Our lives are full of constant attempts to engage in edifying self.  To do whatever you can to get what you can in life regardless of who you hurt along the way. 

That's not God's way.  Do what God has for you to do and when the time comes, let Him exalt you. If not, wait for Him to tell you in person in Heaven.  The praise of men is paltry compared to Jesus Himself telling you that you did great. 

Be mindful of your actions in regards to seeking recognition and glory.  This blog could give me reason to say that I have done a fantastic job! Look at me! I instead tell people to look at what God has done.  This is all His doing.  I am just trying to obey in what I am given to do.  

Live as God wants of you, not as the world says you deserve.  Let Jesus be the one to direct your steps as it says in Proverbs. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Because the days are evil

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but 
as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15–16

These days we are bombarded with opportunities that entice us to invest our time and energy. Each day the voices of urgency cry out for every available moment. So many causes promise that time spent on them will reap great rewards; how can we recognize God's voice among so many competing voices?

A fool makes unwise choices with his time. With every new opportunity that comes along, the fool chases off in a different direction, not questioning whether that is the best choice. The loudest voice gains his attention. At some point the fool discovers to his dismay that he has squandered the investment of his time.
The days in which you live are evil. Marriages are under tremendous pressure; families are disintegrating. Multitudes are dying each year without hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Investing your life wisely is critical to you and to those around you. Foolishly spending your time in sinful or wasteful pursuits can cost you and others dearly. Often, it is not evil pursuits that rob your time. Rather, the temptation is to sacrifice what is best for what is good. The enemy knows that blatantly tempting you with evil will be obvious, so he will lure you with distractions, leaving you no time to carry out God's will. He will tempt you to so fill your schedule with good things that you have no time for God's best. You may inadvertently substitute religious activity for God's will, pursuing your own goals for God's kingdom instead of waiting for His assignment. Time is a precious commodity. Be sure to invest it wisely.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

I read the first part of this...well the second paragraph...and thought of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.  Every single advertisement in television or online is offering something says 'come this way...I have something for you to see...'.   

We live in the days when getting the most bang for your buck in advertising is actually pretty much a cut throat sport as any physical activity.  You know it's a loss in the 10's of THOUSANDS of dollars for every SECOND you see dead space where a program or commercial is supposed to be? 

These days are indeed evil. It seems like it's getting worse, but the reality is it's only getting ready for the times that will be after the Rapture.  

In our world today we have watered down Churches that only seek to not offend anyone.  We have idolatry laden Churches that are honestly not glorifying God, but are really putting on a concert each week.  Apply 'love not the world nor the things of the world' and a great many of those 'Churches' would really disappear. 

1 Corinthians 8 speaks of considering your actions around those who are weaker in the faith.  How what you do influences them.  If your Church is a watered down Church and the lines between idolatry and true worship of God cannot be determined then get out.  You taint your testimony and can be showing someone who, unknown to you, looks at you for guidance as to what's acceptable and what isn't in worshipping.

These days are indeed evil. Binge watching is the thing of the recent years.  Ever consider that's intentional on the part of Satan?  You binge watch television or movies and the intent is to suck you into the story...why?  So that you are not in prayer or your Bible or even a Bible preaching Bible teaching Church.  

A great deal of books and videos are produced to try to consume your time on your health and recreational activities.  There's a reason why.  It draws your attention from the road of life leading to God.  

Satan doesn't want new believers, he also certainly doesn't want those who became believers to know the truth of God. He wants them to have distorted understandings.  To twist what's in the Bible to be something else so that the next round of people will be further lost than the current round of people. 

He would rather you go in circles than make a decision as well.  As the story goes there's two fields one has those who decided to follow Christ, there's a fence and on the other side are those who chose not to follow Christ.  There are people on both sides and some sitting on the fence.  
The Rapture happens and all those who followed Christ vanish.  Then comes the judgment. All those who rejected Christ are taken. Then Satan goes to those on the fence and says they are going with him too. They complain and say they didn't choose either!  He explains...he owns the fence.  The undecided have decided. 

Only those who have decided are written in the Lamb's book of Life.  Only they are sealed in Christ.  Those who who were on the fence are revealed to have been the same as those who rejected Christ. 

In these evil days, State and local governments are disguising ordinances that are meant publicly to supposedly cover activities concerning this virus.  In many places it's no big surprise that Churches are being targeted. Including home Bible studies.  Look at California. The city of Pasadena threatened to file criminal charges against a Church, its Pastor and staff and everyone who would show up for a Church service. Yet people can congregate in the hundreds to protest legally.  The days are evil. 

There's still hope though in these times.  Jesus hasn't returned...yet. But look up...that time is coming soon.  Look not to mankind for safety or Salvation.  It's only found in Christ Jesus.  Waste not your time in Churches that aren't teaching the whole council of God.  That are not teaching that there's a Heaven and Hell decision for those who attend to make. 

Jesus said in this life we would have tribulations.  He hid nothing.  He never promised health wealth and prosperity.  He said they hated Me, they will hate you. He said times were coming when a man's enemies will be members of his own house.  Family members turning in family to the government.  

Be in prayer more than you binge watch.  
Be in prayer for our Leaders.  They are indeed being swayed to single out Churches and Christians.  There's a war going on and it's about the information, what we see, what we think, what we do, it's all about the information. It all on how to manipulate the masses to turn on Christians here as well as across the world.  Christians who were Muslim are marked for death.  In many countries to be a conservative Christian means to be ostracized by the public for not being tolerant. 

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.  Doesn't say through any other means than the Bible.  No self help book will get you anywhere. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Difficult times but still with hope

“If you believe with all your heart, you may.” Acts 8:37 NKJV 

Dear reader, these words may alleviate your concerns over the ordinances. Perhaps you say, “I am afraid to be baptized—it is such a solemn thing to declare myself to be dead with Christ, and buried with Him. And I don’t feel confident in coming to the Master’s table—I am afraid of eating and drinking judgment on myself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” Oh, trembling believer, Jesus has given you liberty—don’t be afraid. If a stranger came to your house, he would not go into your family room without invitation—he would stand at the door or wait in the hall since he is not at home. But your child travels freely around the house. It is the same way with the children of God. When the Holy Spirit has allowed you to feel the spirit of adoption, you can approach the Christian ordinances without fear. The same rule is true for the Christian’s inner spiritual privileges. You may think that you should not expect to be “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8)—if you could just get inside Christ’s door, or sit at His feet under the table, you would be content. But you should not have any less privilege than the very greatest Christian. God makes no distinction in His love to His children. To Him, a child is a child; He will not make any child into a hired servant, but will prepare the fatted calf and call for music and dancing as much for the one who wandered as the one who never went astray (see Luke 15:11–32). When Jesus comes into the heart, he issues a general license to be glad in the Lord. Nobody wears chains in the court of King Jesus. Our admission into the full privileges of the faith may take time, but it is sure. Perhaps you are thinking, “I wish I could enjoy God’s promises, and walk at liberty in my Lord’s commands.” “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” Remove the chains from around your neck, captive child—Jesus makes you free. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Oh that I would be reminded of this more often.  

Its not hard to pick up a chain of guilt and lay it upon your neck.  It's much harder still to remove it.

My friend, guilt is as much a part of living as is the rest of it.  But, as we read, it doesn't have to be that way.  By no means have I arrived in what you are reading today.  I can easily relate to Paul's words of himself.  Considering himself to be the chief of all sinners.  I am, unfortunately, the kind that can get fixated on the why of a problem for longer than I should.  In that understanding comes a problem of letting go when I have asked for forgiveness from Jesus.  He's trying to get me back on my feet,  to help me get moving forward again, and I keep looking back at what just happened.  In this I doubt that I am alone. 

There's many songs in recent years that I cling to that aren't hymns.  TobyMac has several that I lean on. One such is "Move". 

It's got a lot of reminders in it that we are on a mission, a journey if you will, and staying in a fallen down state isn't where we are to be.  Those Jesus healed and forgave were given orders to move, to go, to tell, some were told not to tell, but to just they told anyway.  Some may say it's the 'walk it off' mentality. 

Been still reading in Corinthians lately and 2,000 plus years ago Paul was eluding to how difficult life could be for a believer.   He wasn't teaching on peace and prosperity.  He was talking about how life could be and should be for those married and unmarried people.  His advice and commands point toward people living in a right or better relationship with Jesus in the midst of life's happenings. 

We have countless books and so-called specialists in this world yet the one place people ought to look for understanding in people problems is as old as time itself.  Yes, the Bible. 

Remembering who I am isn't always at the forefront of my mind.  Sometimes the circumstances and conditions hit so quickly that I am in a reaction mode instead of an action mode.  

Be mindful of whose you are.  If you are saved by Jesus Christ, you are a child of God.  Your time on this Earth is a visit until we are called to come home.  Home being Heaven. This sin cursed world isn't going to develop into some utopia because of the ideals of people.  It's going to be a struggle til we go home.   If you aren't saved, you face this world alone, without the peace and assurance of the Holy Spirit of God.  There's only one place to get it, that's in Salvation in Christ Jesus. 

These are hard times on the Church in general.  Many places across this world are banning the Church from gathering.  Satan is believing he is hurting the Church in this.  He cannot stop the prayers of God's people.  

Remembering whose we are in Christ bolsters our faith.  Let go of the chains we have around us. Let them fall.  Cling to the truth of Christ.  There's not much time left until the Rapture happens.  My prayers have become more on the day to day than the long term.  Keep doing what I can when I can.  Trusting God to provide the way forward.  Getting up n moving when sin knocks me down.  Jesus said to remember He overcame the world. 

Monday, August 24, 2020


And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you 
little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, 
lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.

Deuteronomy 7:22

When God led His people into the Promised Land, He did so step by step. If He had allowed them to annihilate their enemies at once, the land would have been too difficult to manage. So He allowed some of the enemies to remain for a time in order to maintain the land and suppress the wildlife. In doing so, God taught His people to trust Him step by step. He gave them only as much responsibility as they could handle at one time.

As God leads you in your Christian growth, He will allow challenges that match your character and relationship to Him. God will not totally change your character at once when you become a Christian. Rather, He will lead you through a process to become more like His Son. He will keep working in an area in your life until it is controlled by the Holy Spirit. You may eagerly desire maturity in every area of your character, but steady, gradual growth is more lasting. God will not take shortcuts in His process of making you like Christ. He sees your life from eternity and will take as long as necessary to produce lasting spiritual growth in you.
Do not become impatient while God is producing Christ-likeness in you. Do not seek more responsibilities than those He has given you. Obey all that you know He has asked, and He will lead you at a pace that fits your present character and His purposes for you. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Well I wrote this once this morning but the phone keyboard decided to crash.

I would be lying if I said that my days aren't filled with weariness.  This virus has caused my company to impose restrictions that I really cannot live with but have to live with concerning this virus. 

The weariness is something that can be felt.  Yet I am reminded that I am not alone.  

I struggle each day yet each day Jesus is there.  I fail Him daily yet He's still there. 

I know not what the day brings but I know He is already there before me.  

My sin nature never leaves me alone.  Yes the Spirit is there within me but as I also read in Spurgeon's devotional, it's toothless.  Loud, but toothless.  I am often relating to the emotional writings of King David in the Psalms that he wrote. 

I often have to go back to that song by Carrollton called Tell Me.  I am indeed my own worst enemy.  Unless I am reminded often then the pain of failing Jesus is thick.

Think about your walk with Jesus.  Remember that we have that sin nature with us until we are called home or are Raptured.  Our sin nature knows us better than we know ourselves.  Yet the Holy Spirit knows us better than that. 

Remembering that we already won in Christ is often hard.  It's a struggle when you can't be with friends or family who can remind you. 

I fail Jesus daily yet He keeps forgiving me.  I fail to keep my promises to Him, yet He never fails to keep His. 

Life is going to keep on until the rest of the Bible is fulfilled.  We who are in Christ are not alone. We have that hope in Him that's not found in anything the world offers.

Pray for each other today.  We might be weary but we are still in Christ and He is still in control. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The soon

“The sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.” Isaiah 65:19

 Glorified saints no longer weep, for all outward causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships or disappointed hopes in heaven. Poverty, famine, peril, persecution, and slander are unknown there. No pain causes distress, and no thought of death or bereavement makes anyone sad. They no longer weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No “sinful, unbelieving heart” (Hebrews 3:12) prompts anyone to leave the living God; they are all faultless before His throne, fully conformed to His image. Those who have stopped sinning forever are right to stop mourning! They no longer weep because all fear of change is past. They know that they are secure forever. Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They live in a city that will never be invaded; they bask in a sun that will never set; they drink from a river that will never run dry; they pick fruit from a tree that will never wither. The earth may revolve in countless cycles, but eternity will not be exhausted—and while eternity endures, their immortality and happiness will coexist with it. They are forever with the Lord. They no longer weep because every desire is fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that is not in their possession. Eyes and ears, hearts and hands, judgment, imagination, hope, desire, will—all the faculties are completely satisfied. And however imperfect our present idea of the things God has prepared for those who love Him, we know enough. We know, by the revelation of the Spirit, that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite happiness. That same joyful rest remains for us. And it may not be far away. Before long, the weeping willow will be exchanged for the palm branch of victory. Sorrow’s dewdrops will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss. “So encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18 NLT). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

This is the second time this morning that the same message on the same subject has been brought to me to read.   As I have told others, I don't believe in coincidences, I believe in Godincidences.

God's plans for man, be it me or all who are alive today, will not be thwarted.  Doesn't matter what the eye sees or the ear hears, it's the Word of God that stands true every time. 

Jesus is coming soon.  I read that headline in a Prophecy Newsletter at . You ought to go there yourself to read it for yourself.  Much as Paul was Timothy's Spiritual father, the man writing that newsletter is my Spiritual Dad. 

Are you ready for what's to come?  In spite of what a controlling media says to you, this world isn't getting better.  We are going through what the Bible says is birth pangs. Surges of change that are reshaping the landscape of humanity to prepare for the return of Christ. 

After He receives the true Church to Himself, the 7 years of Tribulations begins.  Heralded by a peace treaty with Israel and her enemies.  Brokered by a man who will eventually turn on them 3 and a half years into the 7 year treaty.  Oh many called such a thing beyond fantasy.  But remember they said the same about Israel becoming a nation again. How many decades had it been? The said thd same about Jerusalem being declared their capital.  Yet now that has come to pass too.  Prophecy is coming true, the media smoke screens cannot change the truth. 

So where are you in your life with Christ? An alien? An outsider?  While you can my dear reader come to Christ now before it's too late!   It's not to say you won't have things to go through in life.  You will, but you will no longer be alone in them.  He will make straight the crooked paths of your life.  I still struggle with sin every day. Until Jesus does come or calls me home, I am going to.  But WITH Christ it's possible to fight back concerning sin.  Without Christ it's impossible. Being 'good' and not sinning are not the same thing. There's going to be millions of people claiming to be good people at the Judgement at the end of the Tribulation. There's billions of 'good' people in Hell.  To die without Christ means all of your good works mean nothing on that Day.  Saying you aren't a bad person is you judging you by your standards.  Not God's standard. How does your standard measure up to perfection? In Christ we are cleansed of sin and appear as spotless and pure before God. That's perfection. You cannot cleanse yourself of sin. It took Jesus dying on a cross, rising again 3 days later, to create the way for man to be saved.  He offers that Salvation free of charge to all who ask.  So ask!

Scripture says that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  So call Him on it!  Ask Him to save you!  Time is coming to a close on the offer.

Once Christ comes, there indeed will be a great many people who will finally come to Christ, but they won't join Him immediately.  Not like we who have come to Christ will be at that time.  The world will be against all who come to Christ during that time. The reality is Satan will know for sure that his time is short when Christ returns.  He will amp up his craving attacks on those who belong to God. Read Revelation, you will see what's coming. 

My dear reader please be sure today that you know that you are saved. 

Look up Romans road to Salvation online.  Read it, believe it, live it. 

Time is growing short. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

What did Paul say?!?

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.

For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 NASB

So what is this about? What is Paul saying?  Read it again.  This is about sinful corruption within a Church being called out.  Called for what it is.  How many Churches today would think that this letter to the Corinthians was written to them?  Probably none, yet in truth it is written to them.  

Paul's chief reason to write was immorality but read on as he expands it to include idolatry among other things. 

Idolatry includes bringing in the playing of university songs as part of a worship service to God.  It includes anything that is being focused on that isn't Jesus Christ in a worship service.  This is the path a Church went evidently in what we read in Revelation, the one that forgot her first love.  All kinds of programs and zeal but idolatry moves the heart away from God to something of man. 

I am not writing this to keep on going on about it, but to reveal truth.  Idolatry is alive and thriving in the modern Church.  Idolizing people to organizations from the pulpit or the choir.   To call it what it is, is what Jesus would do. 

Where is anyone edified or lifted up in the name of Jesus when the Ohio State University fight song or alma mater song is played and sung right before proclaiming that you want the Heavens to open up so that they can see Jesus? That's what happened.  People being taught it's ok to worship a University alongside of Jesus Christ. 

What does Scripture say? It says that God says He is a jealous God.  Paul would turn over such idoliters who claim to be believers to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.  The message of the Bible never needs changing with the times.  The truth is the same yesterday, today and forever. 

Oh dear reader if your Church is caught up in idolatry get out!  Run!  Scripture is clear where this is concerned. 

Think long and hard on this.  Paul is writing the Corinthians to get them back on track with Godly living.  To keep the Church pure. 

Churches get large for 2 reasons either God is behind it or Satan is.  Satan will easily help a Church that is willing to compromise to get more people in it.  

Consider well your own life in regards to how you have allowed compromise to enter in. Now is the time to return to Christ while you still have that option and opportunity. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Is there a difference between You and the World?

They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. Nehemiah 3:8 ESV

 Well-fortified cities have broad walls, as Jerusalem in her glory did. In a similar way, the New Jerusalem must be surrounded and preserved by a broad wall of nonconformity to the world, by separation from its customs and spirit. The tendency today is to break down the holy barrier and make the difference between the church and the world insignificant. Professing Christians are no longer strict and puritan, questionable entertainment is everywhere, frivolous pastimes are indulged, and a general laxity threatens to deprive the Lord’s special people of the sacred distinctions that separate them from sinners. It will be a bad day for the church and the world when the proposed merger is complete. When the sons of God and the daughters of men are one, another deluge of wrath will be ushered in. Dear reader, make it your aim in heart, in word, in dress, and in action to maintain the broad wall, remembering that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4 ESV). The Broad Wall provided the inhabitants of Jerusalem a pleasant place from which to view the surrounding country. This reminds us of the Lord’s exceedingly broad commandments, in which we walk in communion with Jesus, overlooking scenes of earth and looking toward the glories of heaven. Separated from the world, denying ourselves all ungodliness and the lusts of the flesh, we are not in prison or restricted within any narrow bounds. No, we walk in liberty because we keep His commands. Come, reader—this evening, walk with God in His statutes. Like friends meeting on the city wall, meet your God in the way of holy prayer and meditation. You have a right to walk the strong wall of salvation, for you are a free citizen of the royal city. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Many days ago, I was lead to write concerning my grieving over a so-called Church, proclaiming their love for an idol right before they broke into song crying out for the Lord to fill the place they were in.  That still bothers me today, and then I read this devotional today. 

How separated from the world are you?  Can you be examined and found guilty of being different from the world?  Harsh way to put it, but still, is there enough evidence for it to be declared that you are a Christian?

So many Churches today have introduced compromises on so many things that it's no longer a Church it's a club that has free admission with no conscience on declaring the ravages of sin in a person's life. 

People have infiltrated the Church, just as the Scriptures warned us about and they have made a mockery of what Christ went through on the cross to sway people.

The Bible says to speak the truth in love.  Seasoning your words.  The Bible is there to teach us how to live Godly lives. 

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This isn't just for Pastors, it's for everyone. 

Remember James 4:4 "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

It's not alright to worship idols while being in a place to worship God. 

It's not right at Church it's not right in our personal life.  Our lives will be examined one day.  Every thought and every intention reviewed.  What will yours say about you?

While in your home or Church or even your car or workplace, is Christ with you?  Ridiculous question I know.  Of course He is!   

Be careful of your choices.  Because James 4:4 applies to all who claim to be Christians. 

It's not all in fun.  What kind of punishment did Jesus say should be for one who causes a little child to stumble?  Sound at a like He was kidding?

The Churches in Revelation.  It goes back to that.  Especially the one rebuked for leaving their first love, which is Christ. 

Can others say unequivocally that you are a Christian? Or will there need to be a long drawn out discussion to determine whether or not you are?

You cannot serve two masters. 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Poor in Spirit...not poor in Life

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3

The Bible presents many paradoxes that challenge our human way of thinking. We think of the poor as possessing very little, yet Jesus said the riches of heaven belong to the poor in spirit. Self-reliance robs us of God's good gifts.

Jesus insisted that in order to follow Him, we must deny self. As long as we rely on our own resources, we will never place our trust in Him. As we acknowledge the poverty of our souls, we realize how desperately we need a Savior. Jesus declared: “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt. 4:17). God has so much to give the one who recognizes his need and will call upon Jesus!
Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. He had just encountered the rich ruler, who valued his possessions so much that he could not give them up to follow Jesus (Luke 18:18–24). Jesus later encountered Zacchaeus, a wealthy, notorious sinner (Luke 19:1–10). Despite Zacchaeus's material wealth, he recognized his spiritual poverty and found salvation. Jesus taught the disciples that true wealth is found in a relationship with God. Those who realize their inherent spiritual poverty apart from God will trust in Him, and He will enrich their lives immeasurably. Do not allow your resources, wisdom, talent, or abilities to prevent you from trusting the Person who can bring you abundant life. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

This devotional tends to ask you right away...where do you stand before the Living God?

What drives you?  Why do you work as hard or not as hard as you do?  What's behind your work ethic?  Do you give your best because you work for the Lord or for the preservation of your self esteem and self image?

Many have heard of the old adage of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.  That if you want it you have to go out and get it yourself. 

This doesn't exactly follow with taking up your cross and following Christ. 

Have heard and I won't deny that the words have come out of my mouth as well, that if only I could win the lottery everything would be better. 

No it wouldn't.  Studies of a great many lottery winners have proven that every one had regrets over winning.  It wasn't the grand thing they hoped for it to be. 

As this devotional mentions, the more we have the less we go to God for.  I no longer share that wish for an abundance of wealth.  I pray that we get our bills and mortgage paid off.  After that, aside from what we need, my desire is to help others. 

Even without an abundance of wealth my desire is to help others.  I may not get the opportunity but the desire never leaves. 

The Spirit desires to help us if we but come to Him and ask.  Do you ask?

I have made many mistakes along the way in life concerning my walk with Jesus.  In my eyes the greatest being not asking before proceeding. I still falter in this area but hope that I am getting better. 

As Blackaby said "Do not allow your resources, wisdom, talent, or abilities to prevent you from trusting the Person who can bring you abundant life."

I know nothing more accurate than the truth that Jesus knows infinity more than I  do in any given situation.  I see what I do but he sees every angle of it. Even the true intentions of everyone involved. 

Do you rely on Christ?  I pray for each day, not just each meal.  I am not strong enough to face this world alone.  I am not able to face life without His guidance though the day.  I need His control over my mouth, my mind and my actions.  I have easily proven to myself that I am incapable of mastering this life in any area.  

As I also read in my Bible recently it says that if anyone is to boast in anything  boast in the Lord.  Tell of what He is doing.

Think about what motivates you every day.  What's behind the why of what you do?

Pray for your eyes to be opened.  Way too many, both the believer and unbeliever are walking around either willingly with closed eyes or with eyes that cannot see. 

Everyone whom Christ healed had their Spiritual eyes opened.  It may not have lasted but for a time they could see. 

Ask for your eyes to be opened.  You will then see things differently.  You will begin to find out what it is God has in mind for you. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

What we NEED, not what we WANT.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Matthew 6:11

Jesus often reminded His followers not to worry. He told them not to be anxious about tomorrow's needs or potential problems (Matt. 6:25). Rather, Jesus stressed a daily reliance on the Father, who provides for His children day by day.

As the Israelites wandered in the desert, they had no way to get food. Miraculously, God provided manna that appeared on the ground each morning. God's provision was sufficient for one day at a time. Each day the children of Israel received fresh manna as a tangible reminder of God's love for them. If they attempted to store it for the days to come, they found that it had spoiled by the next day. It was impossible to stockpile God's provision because God wanted them to trust in Him, not in their pantry. God's grace was sufficient for each day.
God wants us to trust Him daily with our needs. This trust does not make us poor planners or careless with our futures, unprepared to face what may come. Rather, it keeps our relationship with the Lord in its proper perspective as He reminds us daily of our dependence upon Him. God is aware of what tomorrow will bring and how we should prepare for it. He knows the problems we will face, and He has already made provision for us to overcome them. He asks us to trust in Him daily. Our faith in Him today cannot substitute for our trust in Him tomorrow. If we walk with Him closely today, we will be in the center of His will tomorrow. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Each day, after reading my Bible, reading devotionals, writing what you find here, I get ready for work.  Get my coffee and lunch.  And has been our practice since getting married, I and my Wife pray before I go to work.  Once on the road, I have a verbal prayer time with Jesus.  Talking about the concerns of my heart.  Sharing my desires for the day. 

In the last 8 or so months, work isn't as plentiful in volume as in past years.  It's often part of my prayer time for Jesus to keep me busy throughout the day.  Much like praying for my daily bread as this devotional starts out with. Not being anxious about the day. Not worrying about what is to come.  God has shown me clearly in the period of years between leaving where I work and returning almost 5 or so years later, that He always has a plan and purpose for my life.  

Work is something that I do while He teaches me something else.  Ever consider that?   People can be taught to do something, but it doesn't follow that they learned a lesson.  Very big example was in the popular movie The Karate Kid.  Daniel was taught to do many things after he agreed to be trained.  Yet at one explosive moment he goes off on Miyagi. Miyagi then shows him the true lesson behind taught not what his eyes saw or his mind understood. 

Jesus often used normal real world things to teach and then teach.  Both the job and the lesson. 

It's easy to complain about life's problems to God.  Yet is it necessary to go through in order to learn?

We often pray for what we want but it's oh so easy to miss praying for what we need. 

We think we understand it all in life.  Then Jesus takes the opportunity to open our eyes if we are willing to ask.  We do not have the wisdom of God. It's something to ask for in prayer.  Paul, when he was Saul, believed without a doubt that he understood the Scriptures. Believed he knew all he needed to know. Then on the road to Damascus he was brought to a screeching halt. For 3 days he neither ate nor drank. In his mind he was getting an education.  The Spirit was showing him everything he had missed about the Christ.  Everything he had thought he understood was thrown out.  After Ananias arrived and did as instructed, he was baptized, took food and drink.  Then began proclaiming what he now knew and understood about Jesus.  There was no way anyone could refute him.  

We often want the easy way out or around things.   Sometimes God allows us that luxury, sometimes He doesn't.  That Plan He has for us is incorporated into the Plan He has for over 8 billion people. 

Praying is to be like breathing.  It should be natural. It should be from the heart.  

We aren't always going to understand why things happen.  It's just the way life is. 

Yet our hope isn't to be in the things we see or do.  Our hope is in the person of Jesus Christ.  He appoints our place in the body for His plan and purpose.  We don't come to Christ with the idea that we now have a Genie to grant our every wish. 

He came to seek and save the world.  
He came as a servant. 
Ours is to come to Christ, share that with others.  To serve along the way. 

What are you doing as you start your day?
Are you at all including God in your decisions?   People are sometimes amazed when we say we met online 20 years ago and got married.   Saying we were lucky.  No, God has planned for us to meet that way.  Prayer lead into it before we had ever knew of each other.  Scripture says that without faith it's impossible to please God. Faith in God means trusting in His plan and purpose.  It means seeking Him in our life choices.  By no means should it be just saying hey I found someone that I like.  The newness wears off and unfortunately in most cases divorce is in the future.  You didn't include God in your decisions. 

As you get ready to go about your day, pray. Pray before you start and as your day goes on.  

Be thankful.  Oh my dear reader be thankful to God for all He is doing in your life.  The good, and yes even the bad that He allows. 

We live in a world that is very ungrateful. 
It should never be in regards to our own walk with God. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

More than the name of Christian

Strangers have come into the sanctuaries of the LORD’s house. Jeremiah 51:51

 NKJV In this account, the faces of the Lord’s people were covered with shame—for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the temple’s holy place, reserved for the priests alone. Everywhere around us, we see similar cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now receiving an education with the view of entering the ministry! What a heinous sin is the solemn lie by which whole populations are identified as “Christians”! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that even among the better churches of our land there should be such lax discipline. If the thousands who will read this devotional would all take this matter before the Lord Jesus today, He will intervene to avert the evil that will otherwise come upon His church. To pollute the church is to poison a well, to pour water on a fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have the grace to maintain, in our own proper way, the purity of the church as an assembly of true believers—not an entire nation, or some unsaved community of unconverted people. Our zeal, however, must begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord’s table. Let us see to it that we are wearing our wedding garments, or else we ourselves will be intruders in the Lord’s sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way and the gate are narrow. Oh, for the grace to come to Jesus properly, with the faith of God’s elect. The One who struck down Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of His two ordinances—as a true believer I may approach them freely, but as an alien I must not touch them or else I’ll die. It is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord’s table to search themselves. “Search me, God, and know my heart” (Psalm 139:23). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

I read this, this morning, and it just followed the aches of my heart concerning all that I have seen in the professing Church today as well as this nation called the United States. 

Far be it that we should call ourselves a Christian nation.  It couldn't be farther from the truth.  Going deeper, far be it that most professing Churches are part of the true Church of God. Because they most certainly are not.

The ways of man, the doctrines of demons, have infiltrated and influenced a great deal of the professing Church today. 

What is taught, what is introduced as good and relevant are in fact disguised sin.  

We must be in the Word of God to find the way of God.  It's not found in man. Jesus is the head of the Church.  It's not anyone who leads a large group of people. 

That's another reason why what I have seen, been through, grieves me greatly. 

Idolatry is plainly explained in the Bible. 
Yet a great deal of Churches today have introduced it as programs to reach the lost.

The Berean Church was known for looking up even what the Apostles shared with them to see if it was so. 

Do you take everything a Pastor says at face value?  Have you been in your Bible enough to be able to discern truth from error?

I was lead to mention in recent days of the fact that when the Rapture happens, there will still be full Churches with people who are members.  They will be left behind because they never truly came to Christ. 
They were taught how to look like it without becoming. 

I don't know how long ago Spurgeon wrote this particular devotional, but it most assuredly applies to today's world. 

I read my Bible every day.  You cannot find wisdom in any other way.  I read it before reading devotionals.  You have to.   

Do you ever even open your Bible outside of when you are at a Church?

We need to be fed and the sole source isn't a Sunday sermon. 

Today, really look at where you are in Christ.  What are you doing in the fields in which you have been sent?

Just what are you doing?  Wasting time on frivolous things?  Relaxing is one necessity of life, but a life of it is called laziness.  God's not done with things for you to do as long as you are still breathing. 

Paul said to live is Christ, it was his focus. 

It must be ours too.  

Monday, August 17, 2020


“Hallowed be Your name.”

Matthew 6:9b

Our calling as Christians is to bring glory to the name of God. God's name represents His character. Taking the name of God in vain misrepresents God's character to others (Exod. 20:7). As Christians, we carry the name of our Savior. The way we live and relate to others is a direct reflection on the name of Christ.

Doing something “in Jesus’ name” is to do something that is in accordance with His character (John 15:16). It means that Jesus would be pleased to join us in what we are doing. If, however, our actions detract from God's reputation, He will jealously guard His name. Sometimes we are too concerned with protecting the reputation of people but too little concerned with protecting the holy name of God. When the Israelites profaned God's name before the nations by the way they lived, God “hallowed” His name: He made His name holy by punishing them (Ezek. 36:22). When David sinned before his nation, God publicly disciplined him in order to protect the holiness of His name.
We can so tarnish the name father before our children that it hinders them from loving God as their heavenly Father. We can be such unforgiving Christians that our sinfulness discourages people from seeking forgiveness from our God. We can show such disrespect for God as we worship Him that those observing lose their reverence of Him as well.
Our supreme desire should be to glorify the name of God by the way we live.
We ought to pray daily, as Jesus taught us to, that God's name be treated as holy.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Several days ago I spoke of the great sadness of my heart when I made mention of a so-called Church proclaiming its love for an idol right before crying out for Jesus to open up the Heavens that they wanted to see Him. 

Really read that single verse that begins today's devotional.  Is there any mention of anyone or anything else?  No...didn't think so. 

It's astonishing and astounding to me that degree of deviation from the message of the Gospel that particular Church has fallen.  

There is no room in any Church to worship anyone but Jesus.  Proclaiming love towards anyone or anything above Christ is a sin!   Jesus said plainly if you love even your blood relatives more than Him you aren't worthy of Him. 

Churches, like casinos and nightclubs grow for sometimes the same reasons. 

Because they are not doing what God wants and He is going to patiently wait until they realize it or if they venture off the path far enough He will remove their lamp stand. Read Revelation. What they are doing is exalting sin in their actions and activities. Satan is loving it. 

Some may disagree with these statements, but before you go there...I would very much appreciate a detailed defense of your position strictly from the Bible. No other defense will do. It's the same defense you would be giving before Christ. Filter your thoughts and actions through the Truth...then tell me it's supposedly ok.

Hallowed be thy Name.  

How often do we hear people mention Jesus's name off the cuff, no intent behind the use other than derision? They mean it's use as a curse word.  They do not consider it Holy at all.  Hmm...skeptical? Consider that you never hear anyone saying "Satan" in the same context.  People who find aren't believers in sudden pain who do take the Lord's name in vain, will never cry out "Satan!".  Satan absolutely has been trying to make the name of Jesus unholy for countless generations. Yet note again that his name is protected. 

Do you consider your words before you speak?   Have you ever been accused of not thinking before you speak?  There's much said in Scripture about the uncontrollable tongue.  It speaks forth both blessings and curses, often in the same breath. 

Swearing in any context is bringing dishonor to your adoptive parent...God.

There's no excuse to use any swear words.  The English language has thousands of words that can be used to adequately express yourself.  

Hallowed be thy Name.  Scripture says to set our minds on things above not on things down here.  In Heaven it's a whole different world than here.  All who are there are worshippers of God.  Both angels and all who have died in Christ. Nothing unholy is there.  Even Satan has to shed most of his nature to be able to stand before Christ in Heaven. 

If you aren't a believer this by no means is a reason for you to have for not coming to Christ.  Jesus can easily take care of any language problems.  Is it not He who formed the mouth?  Can He not heal it as well?

I pray each day that if necessary, that Jesus would put His hand over my mouth if something is about to come out that shouldn't. 

Scripture says to speak the truth in love.  Meaning to season your words.  Being careful of what is said.  Speaking in anger and hate isn't thinking before you speak. 
That's an unbridled tongue. 

I certainly weep for so-called Churches that have allowed so much of the world in that you cannot tell the difference.  They may be growing, but for all the wrong reasons.  We have lived in this part of Ohio for 20 years and have been to many Churches.  It's heartbreaking to see so many people who are clueless as to what ought to be a part of worshipping God that just isn't there. It's these places where there will still be hundreds showing up after the Rapture because they never really came to Christ. 

Pray for these lost people. Jesus said many will be before Him claiming to be saved yet He says to depart from Him, He never knew them.  Please, my friend, let it not be that you would be one of those. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Look Up Your Salvation is near

Look up...your Salvation draws near...

Feel like I'm a nobody
Wonder if I'll ever amount to much
Seems like no matter what I do
It's never gonna be enough
Should I just give up?
Lord, I need to hear You speak
Tell me I am loved
Tell me I am known
That You died for me
I am not alone
Tell me I'm Your child
The one Your heart beats for
I can find my strength
Knowing I am Yours
You've always known what my heart needs
And You tell me
You wrote Your name upon my heart
You knew me before my life began
You still have a plan
And when I'm starting to forget
Jesus, You tell me who I am
Who I am
You tell me I am loved
Tell me I am known
And that You died for me
I am not alone
You tell me I'm Your child
The one Your heart beats for
I will find my strength
Knowing I am Yours
You've always known what my heart needs
And You tell me, oh
Your voice has the power to heal the hurt inside
Your voice speaks the truth, brings my heart back to life
I am loved
Oh, I am known
You tell me I am loved
Tell me I am known
That You died for me
I am not alone
You tell me I'm Your child
The one Your heart beats for
I will find my strength
Knowing I am Yours
You've always known what my heart needs
And You tell me
Lord, You tell me
Oh, You tell me
You tell me, oh

I am not sure who needs to hear these words this morning by Carrollton, but they are here now.  I have to be honest with you all, there's been many times I go back to this song for some reassurance.  Life is hard, it's difficult it seems more times than it's not. Either that or we're just used to remembering what all didn't go right in our eyes more than what was good. 

Even among the greats of the early Church, they all had good days and had bad ones.  Nobody's immune to them.  Peter and Paul had times when they were wrong and needed to be told as much. 

Sin in this world is what makes life as hard as it is.  There's only one cure and yes, it's through Christ Jesus. Only when the power of God is present in the life of a believer can sin's power be broken.  

Politics, treaties, elections, viruses all are powerless before the God of the Universe with whom we all have to give an account.  Political opinion will mean nothing when you stand before Christ.  Nothing we value in this life that's of this world will mean anything before Jesus in that day.  The only question requiring the right answer is: are you written in the Lamb's Book of Life?  "I hope so, because I am a good person" isn't going to cut it. Jesus is the only answer.  Giving your life to Christ isn't losing it, nor giving up on living it, it's finding it.

If you are overwhelmed, stop and ask yourself why.  Is Jesus in your life or is He not even a part of it?  If you are looking down on those who do believe in Christ, why?

He loved you enough to die for you.  Sin will kill you.   Sin, apart from Salvation in Christ Jesus, will indeed send you to Hell.  That's the barest truth.  Salvation in Christ brings forgiveness of sins and those people are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.  

You look for peace in this world and you will never find it.  It's not found in sports, in movies,  hobbies, people, nothing. 

It's only found when that God shaped hole in your heart is filled with Christ.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Over Sin...but beware...

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified 
freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:23–24

Because of sin, Adam and Eve fell short of the perfection God intended for them. Because of sin, the Israelites relinquished the glory they could have experienced as God's holy nation. Because of sin, Judas fell short of the opportunity to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. Sin will corrupt every area of your life that it touches. Sin will cause your marriage to fall short of the promise it held in the beginning. Sin will cause you to fall short as a parent, a church member, a worshiper, or a friend. Every area in your life is susceptible to sin's destruction.

The wonder of salvation is that God completely dealt with sin. He did what we could not do. Through Christ's sacrifice, God, by His grace, offered His salvation and canceled the penalty of our sin. By His grace, He takes a life that has fallen short of God's best and gives it meaning. He provides the opportunity to immediately confess our sin and to be cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). He mends a broken heart. His grace erases anger and bitterness. He restores severed relationships. He takes a life devastated by sin and makes it whole. He takes our failures and produces something good.
Only God can heal sin's devastation. Only He can bridge the gap between His glory and your sin (Rom. 3:23). You must trust Him to do so. If you will ask Him, He will free you from the bondage of your sin, reestablish your relationship with Him, and restore you to wholeness. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

We think because we were born to. 

Yes that was a complete sentence.  

Animals operate on instinct, humans on thoughts.  Sin, like a crimson color, from before birth, changes what was once white and pure and discolors it forever, unless one comes to Christ for Salvation. 

We were created in the image of God.  The Holy Spirit is of the same kind as Jesus.  We bear the image of God, and our enemy, Satan, will both delight in abusing it, and destroying it to his ends.

Sin is why we struggle day to day.  Sin is what corrupts those in power. Sin is what destroys Churches.  Sin is everywhere. 

Beware of thinking that you got this!

Nobody has the power to deal with sin on their own.  If it were possible, then Jesus died needlessly.  He also took on the punishment for sin doled out by His Father needlessly.  He endured the horrific death on a cross unlike anyone else in history, needlessly. 

You are deceiving and will always deceive yourself concerning sin.  It's impossible without the Spirit of God to view sin from a different perspective.  Cannot be done. 

Beware now, while you still have a breath in you to not take sin lightly. 

Sin held Jesus on the cross.  Your sin. My sin. The sins of everyone who ever lived. 

If the Creator God of the universe stated that a perfect sacrifice was necessary to atone for sin, then you, my friend, cannot and will not find a solution to it apart from God's solution to it. 

Sit down today and make sure you are right before God.  Make sure you indeed are saved.  That your name is written down in the Lamb's book of Life.  

It's the most important RSVP you will ever be counted in. 

I read what Jesus said of people in Hell.  

This isn't conjecture, this isn't fiction. Jesus told people plainly, no parables, plainly.   Those who are there are in torment.  Those who are there want everyone alive to never come there. Those who are there want everyone who is alive to come to Christ while they still have a chance because they missed theirs. 

There is no atoning for someone else's sin who has died without Christ.  You cannot get someone out of Hell that died without Salvation. It's a personal choice that must and can only be made by those who yet still live and breathe. 

You must choose this day whom you belong to.  You must choose Salvation if you indeed want to live and not suffer the consequences of a life spent apart from God. 

Hell is as real as Heaven.  It's as real as the spot on this planet you are reading this from.  As real as the chair you sit in as real as the bed that you are reading from. As real as the coffee, tea or other drink that's in your other hand right now. 

Sin deceives you into a false sense of security.  If your thoughts are that Salvation is for weak people, you are deceived. If your thoughts are that you don't need it, you are deceived.  If you think of anything that keeps you from receiving it, you are deceived.  You have believed a lie tailor made for you in this moment. 

Satan knows you better than you do. 
He knows exactly what lies to get you to think to try to keep you from being saved. 

You are being manipulated if you are still undecided.  He would rather you spend eternity in Hell than for 1 of you to find yourself in Heaven where a celebration awaits those who have said yes.

Beware of your own pride in thinking anything that says you don't need Jesus. 

Coming to Christ is the beginning of living,  not the end. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Our Great need for the Great Physician

“I know their sufferings.” Exodus 3:7 ESV

 Children are cheered as they sing, “This my father knows.” Shouldn’t we be comforted as we realize that our dear Friend, the tender Husband of our souls, knows all about us? First, He is the Physician, and if He knows everything, there is no need for the patient to worry. Calm down, my silly, fluttering heart—quit asking questions, straining to see the future, and suspecting the worst! What you don’t know now, you will know later—in the meantime, Jesus, the beloved Physician, knows your soul’s adversity. Why should the patient analyze the medicines or diagnose the symptoms? That is the Physician’s work, not mine; it is His business to prescribe, and mine to trust. If He writes His prescription in a handwriting I can’t read, I will not be uneasy—I will rely on His unfailing skill to make everything plain in the result, however mysterious the process. Second, He is the Master, and it is His knowledge, not our own, that should prevail. We are to obey, not to judge: “the servant does not know what his master is doing” (John 15:15 ESV). Should the architect explain his plans to every workman on the job site? If he knows his own intent, isn’t that enough? The clay on the potter’s wheel cannot guess what its ultimate shape will be, but if the potter knows, what does the clay’s ignorance matter? The Lord must not be cross-examined by anyone as ignorant as I am. Third, He is the Head. All understanding centers there. What judgment does the arm have? What comprehension does the foot possess? All the power to know lies in the head. Why should some other part of the body have a brain of its own when the head handles every intellectual need? Believers must find their comfort in suffering in this—not that we ourselves can see the end, but that Jesus knows everything. Sweet Lord, forever be the eye, soul, and head for your people—and let us be content to know only what you choose to reveal. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

God knows. Jesus is more than just aware of what you are doing and are going through.  The Spirit sees first hand.  If you indeed are a believer, He sees through your own eyes and feels through your own heart what you see and what troubles you. 

That is beyond what any physician on Earth can begin to attempt to do or use in treatment for any patient. 

Going further on is noteworthy to remember and reflect on the truth that whereas its possible to lie to ourselves on something we do it's impossible to lie to God about it.  

Which, it matters not, believer or unbeliever, it is impossible to lie to God. 

It has been days since I saw footage on Facebook of a so- called Church service.  It still brings shock, horror and a host of other emotions to my heart, not the least of which is being appalled by what I saw and heard.  I am reminded by what Paul said in Acts 17:23 "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you."

What did I observe that has nauseated me and disturbed me so much?  Before I reveal that...just how many times does the Bible tell us and in how many ways does it show us that we cannot serve two masters.  You cannot worship something or someone else and give your leftovers to God in worship.  Because in a supposed house of God when idolatry has equal billing with Jesus on the same stage,  then you teach that it's ok to worship idols right along side of worshipping God.  Paul teaches in Romans of the dangers of causing someone to stumble.  Jesus warned of causing a child to stumble that a heavy mill stone ought to be tied to such a one and cast them into the depths of the sea!

What does all this have to do with the Great Physician?  Knowing that a person is sick is one thing, admitting it is something else.   A great many believers refuse to believe they have a problem.  They think it's other people and not them.

The appalling act that I heard was a university fight song, a university alma mater song being sung in a Church right before a worship song with the lyrics containing:

We've waited for this day
We're gathered in your name
Calling out to you
Your glory like a fire
Awakening desire
Will burn our hearts with truth
You're the reason we're here
You're the reason we're singing
Open up the heavens
We want to see you
Open up the floodgates
A mighty river
Flowing from your heart
Filling every part of our praise

People please believe me, if you are a Christian, or have been going to a Church to find what Salvation is about...things like that you need to run from because God is not worshipped in a place that worships idols. 

A person witb a drug or alcohol addiction has to admit they have a problem before they can get help.  The same goes for illnesses that we experience in life.  We need to admit we need help an then seek it.  We cannot do in our Spiritual lives like we read in the Old Testament.  People took the Ark of the Covenant and put it in the house of another god.  Every morning they found that statue of that so-called god broken and bowed down to the one true God of the Ark of the Covenant. 

Realize we all need healing from the Great Physician, the lover of our souls.  Christ died so that we may live.  We live to worship Him. Not Him and other idols. 

Run don't walk for the door of any so-called Church that does what I described to you today.  Those people are trying to serve two masters.  God says that is impossible. He is a jealous God. Wanting all of our hearts and minds.  Not part of it.

Read the warnings to the Churches in Revelation.  Read what was written to the Churches in Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Thessalonians, to Timothy.  Read of David's heart in Psalms.  Read of the people of Israel exposed for their idol worship in Jeremiah that they thought they werr getting away with.  

Seek help from the one who can heal your body and soul while there is yet time to be healed.