In God’s Economy

Surprisingly, you’ll find the Biblical principles of Godly gain, spiritual gifting/blessing, grace, exaltation, promotion, all things we would hold to be “worth attaining to” are found and available through methods the natural mind wouldn’t expect.

Now to accurately preface this devotion, I’m not speaking of the modern ideals of “Christianity” that seek specifically for monetary, personal gain motivated in pure selfishness… I’m referring to the truest sense of Biblical promotion: When GOD raises us up!

In short, we are going to see the 3 main unconventional principles for “Godly gain”

1.) If You Want to Save, You Have to Lose:

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” -Luke 9:23-25

2.) Humbled to be Exalted

“For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” -Luke 14:11 -Matthew 23:12

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” -James 4:6

3.) To Be First, You Must Be Last.

“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” -Matthew 20:16

Wether or not these principles make sense to us regarding this logic, the Bible is absolutely clear: “His ways are HIGHER than our ways… His thoughts are HIGHER than our thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-13) Also, “The wisdom of the world is foolishness unto God.” (1 Corinthians 3:19) So whether we think this makes sense, or not, we know that we can trust God and His Word! He is so much smarter than we can or ever will be.

As Christians, we always start in the low seat. (Luke 14:10) We, like Christ, have been called to be servants. Matthew 20:27-28.

So really you can summarize this by saying, “Those who chase a crown, will never find it. Those who are not chasing it, the crown chases them.” True Biblical promotion will be motivated in humility and selflessness. God desires to reward His humble and obedient!

Today let’s choose not to pursue our own personal desires, but rather let us be so consumed with Jesus that nothing else matters. It’s to them whom God pours out upon!

Prayer:

“Lord help me to be humble and keep my eyes completely on You. I thank You for your continued love and patience and teaching me Your ways.”

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“Getting to the Root”

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

-James 4:8

As natural human beings, living in a corrupt world full of opportunities and temptations, sometimes we find that it can become a real fight to remain true, pure, living with integrity as the Bible clearly instructs us to once we receive salvation by His grace through our faith in Him.

The good news is God hasn’t left us “high & dry” in this life here on earth to live for Him. If you’ve ever heard me preach or read other manna’s I’ve written, you’ll know that it is by His grace alone that we are not only saved, but even sanctified as well. Empowered by His Spirit!

Anytime there is an ailment, any good doctor would try to accurately diagnose the condition to accurately prescribe a remedy or cure. Throughout the scriptures you’ll see that the “root cause” of addictions, sins of all sorts, you’ll find are rooted in self gratification.

Ever heard of the saying, “Let’s get to the ‘root’ of the problem”? We all have.

It simply means to find the origins or cause of an “issue.” Then just like a tree that is only killed at the root, we have to find the “root” and “kill it.” All of our “issues” of life, can easily simply be brought to “self.”

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” -1 John 2:16 (KJV)

Many people greatly desire to be freed from addictions or habits that are sinful, but unfortunately not many people actually understand the “root” of their problem. Once the cause of these struggles are identified, like a diagnosis is important for a prescribed remedy, we also can Biblically diagnose our own lives and see that the remedy is to “die to self”. When flesh stops “feeling” or “desiring,” it’s much easier to refuse that which we are commanded to abstain from.

As was all of my sins I was bound by, they also were rooted completely in selfishness: the desire to fulfill my own personal desires or cravings.

Being born again is to start over with ALL NEW desires!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Having said that, it’s time to crucify that flesh that pulls us to do those things that we shouldn’t.

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” -1 Corinthians 15:31 (KJV)

The key to overcoming sin is to overcome your desire for self-gratification. And to do that is to metaphorically die to “self”.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

I’ve heard it said that sin is both stupid and selfish. “Stupid” due to its consequences (death), and selfish identifying its motivation.

In conclusion, the root is always “self.” It’s time to do some “spiritual gardening.” Take selfishness up by the root!

If that is where you are today, and you want to live and walk in victory over temptations, then call out to Jesus! He selflessly was slain for us, and now our invitation is to selflessly lay down our lives for Him! He alone can set free!

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” -John 8:36 (KJV)

Not Mine

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians 1:11 (KJV)

Paul addresses the church of Philippi in this introduction from prison. While there are many great take-aways in this introduction, I am intrigued by verse 11 in the phrase that says “…which are by Jesus Christ…”

Any sincere, mature, hungry-for-God Christian does understand that we must naturally produce the fruit that is evident of our salvation we already received ONLY by faith. But let’s face it, sometimes doing all the right things can be really difficult in trying times. The hope and key to understanding how any Christian can actually look, act, and speak like Christ, is none other than Christ Himself living those works IN you and THROUGH you. The apostle Paul and Jesus Christ Himself said it best in these verses:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 KJV

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” – John 15:5 KJV

Every great man and woman of God in scripture understood that they don’t have it within themselves; only Jesus! The apostle Paul also said this revealing statement in regard to fruit that wasn’t “from him” or “his”

“And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” – Philippians 3:9 KJV

The desire of any born again believer is to say, “Thank you Lord Jesus for forgiving me of my sin, but Lord help me to abstain from these things that brought me to your altar in the first place.” The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that saved us, is also the same divine strength that also sustains us in our walk of supernaturally purifying sanctified living. The key is learning not to trust yourself with the spiritual fuel, but trusting God.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:5-8 KJV

As we are divinely empowered by His grace, it’s time for us to passionately choose what is right, and to boldly reject what is wrong!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, forgive me, and equip me to do your will in my life. I cannot do this on my own; I NEED you! Thank you Jesus!!!

Biblical Prosperity

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“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:7-8

In a day and age where we are all pressured in climbing the ladder of financial success and prosperity, (even now in the church unfortunately), it is a rare treasure to find people who define success & prosperity the way God truly defines it in His word. Even now as a pastor, I’m having to re-shift some career priorities due to the pressures of climbing the monetary ladder of prosperity. We’ve all felt it; some ways different than others, but the in the end, it reaches to every young adult in college, every middle management personnel, etc.

The historical context of this scripture is God speaking to Joshua the apprentice (now in command) immediately after Moses dies. You can read this passage from verse one through to verse nine. No doubt that Moses was deep “shoes to fill,” so one could only imagine what pressures Joshua was feeling to step up to the plate leading the people of Israel, and not fail. God knew this, and fervently encouraged Joshua that He would be with him “whithersoever thou goest” (vs. 9) So God does something truly profound: He tells Joshua just exactly how to be successful and prosperous in his new position.

Let’s take a real look at the opening passage again, and notice EXACTLY WHAT GOD SAYS is the criteria to “make your way prosperous” & “have good success”

  1. “observe to do according to all the law”(obedience to God)
  2. “turn not from it to the right hand or to the left”(consistency & endurance)
  3. “meditate therein [the book of the law] day and night”(devotion & worship)

I find that one of the biggest heartaches within the modern church is that the message of the gospel has become so unapologetically selfish pursuing more money, wealth, and “things” of this world that don’t amount to anything eternally speaking. The devil has without a doubt crept in swaying the minds of our pastors enticing them to pursue what is pleasing to the flesh and somehow attempting to justify it by twisting scripture out of context; just like Satan does so regularly.

“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.”
Leonard Ravenhill

Remember: When we came to God, it was about us surrendering to Him, and giving our lives for His will; not us treating God as a “genie in a lamp” to do our bidding. It’s no different each and every day for us to take up our cross and follow Him.

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” 1 John 5:14

If we truly want to be successful, we start by recognizing where true success comes from: God.

  1. Love Him
  2. Live for Him
  3. Stay the course!

It’s that simple!

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

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Strangers & Pilgrims [part 2]

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“[7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. [8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” -Philippians 3:7-8 (KJV)

(Today is the second edition of a “part one” written previously. If you haven’t read that one, I would encourage you to start with that one first. Click here to read that one.)

I find it blatantly interesting & theologically appropriate that the apostle Paul chose the word “dung” to describe “all things” compared to winning Christ.

As a born again Christian that I’ve been most of my life (childhood, teen, young adult, etc.), I’ve found that this is one of the hardest focuses to maintain. Don’t misunderstand me, you know this truth if you have been radically saved by faith in Jesus; I’m referring to an unwavering, continual path of consistent mental dedication living every single day as though EVERYTHING else outside of Jesus is truly, “dung.” Let’s look at what the original text of the New Testament defined it as:

Dung: Original Greek Word “σκύβαλον” | Transliterated Word: “skubalon” | Phonetic Spelling (pronunciation): “skoo’-bal-on” which means, “any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs of things worthless and even detestable.”

I want you to see what I’m seeing this morning.  Two parts: Not just worthless, but even detestable, meaning even undesirable!  That’s a tough one there! Many things I know I have put “sweat, blood, and tears” into, I realize I don’t need to. If anything, I shouldn’t, especially if those things become idolatrous. (putting anything above the Lord). It’s ok to work to provide meals and shelter for you and your family, of course. What the issue can be is pursuit of no satisfaction putting everything monetary above our spiritual needs of maturity in the Lord, and personal growth.

Remember: The Lord has never seen the righteous forsaken (Psalm 37:25) We all have the same amount of time in every day; just 24 hours. We need to examine our daily time investment portfolio. In it’s assessment, what percentage of that time is invested into eternity?

When we put so much stress and anxiety over the littlest things on this life, I want us to start seeing our lives here on earth the same way Paul did: Nothing is of real value compared to Jesus. Our parking spots my get taken, our plans might be rescheduled or even canceled, we might not get that promotion at work, we might even have tragic loss of monetary things, but we have to be encouraged and remember that none of this will even be a glimmer of thought 100 years from now. (See Romans 8:28)The fist part to this message I described us born-again believers as “renters” temporarily living in this earth knowing the Bible tells us this is not our home.

John 15:19 – “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”

John 17:16 – “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

1 John 2:15 – Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Today, ask the Lord to help you see our lives here for what it really is.  If we know the Word says that we will all be judged by our works, (Romans 2:6, Matthew 16:27, Ecclesiastes 35:19) then we really should have a re-shift of priorities. In eternity, it will not be whether we got that two-story house, or the in-ground pool, sports car, etc., but what will be known about you is whether you put Jesus FIRST IN ALL things or not.

As Christians, we truly are strangers here, so let us stop worrying about “fitting in”

As Christians, we truly are pilgrims here, so let us remember we are just “passing though”

Lord I pray for all who are reading this that know in their heart that if they put half as much effort in their walk with you as they do other goals or obligations, they’d have a much stronger walk with you. Teach us all daily this important truth. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!!!!  [Watch this video, and listen to the powerful message in it]

Strangers & Pilgrims

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;” – 1 Peter 2:11

This morning in my prayer time, I wept bitterly like a baby. If you’ve been saved by His grace, regenerated by His Holy Spirit, set established on the Rock of Jesus Christ, delivered from your sin, … You know it. You remember when His power and love hit you like a ton of bricks. Even the most hardened, stubborn, non-emotional person will weep in the presence of the Lord. The problem with us good-intending Christians is we get caught up in the cares of the world (education, better job, bigger house, nicer yard, newer cars, etc.) that we miss sight of what is truly important: Jesus. That’s it. Of course there’s nothing wrong with these ambitions; the issue I’m referring to is having these ambitions far above our ambition for the Lord, time with Him, our prayer closet, etc.

I’m hitting home the simple reality of what the Bible refers to us as “strangers & pilgrims.” If we tightly grasp this revelation, many things we place our focus on will no longer be seen so important anymore. Simply put, “This is not our home.” I’ve never seen anyone who rented a residence put a ton of finances or efforts into its improvement. Some yes, of course, but I’m talking a “full overhaul.” They don’t own it; it’s not theirs. The same is to be said of this world: We don’t own it, we are not of it; the only thing we look forward to, and invest our efforts into is the “end of our lease” here on earth.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

In another way to say the last embolden portion of that verse: Our investments are a direct reflection of what’s important to us. Whether the currency of time & energy, or monetary currency, we put energies toward our desires and focuses.

As Christians, we have to ask ourselves, “Do we ‘invest’ an adequate amount of our ‘currencies’ in our spiritual ‘portfolio?’ ” I know I haven’t been the “investor” I’d like to be. But the Lord is showing me day by day just how depraved I am without the time I need with Him.

So many things in our life we invest into that aren’t necessarily bad, are the biggest distractions because we have a sense of justification toward them more than we atually should, especially if it falls in the “need” category.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

I would sincerely ask that if you are reading this right now, though this devotion is short and simple, play this song at the bottom of this message while spending some much-needed resources of time in intercession with Jesus. If you do this with all your heart, (and if need be repent of loosing sight of the priority of Him over other cares of this life), I would be shocked if it won’t bring tears to your eyes. If He is or was your first love, make Him just that today. He is the ONLY one who can bring you true peace.

The Desired Gifts

“Follow after charity [love], and desire spiritual gifts, …” – 1 Corinthians 14:1a

In meditating in God’s Word, this single verse stands out; not in the way you might be expecting. I’m not writing a message on “tongues,” or “prophets/prophecies,” and/or it’s relevance for today, I’m simply talking about GIFTS… GOD’S GIFTS. That’s it. In every capacity of quantity, quality, and measure. I’m simply going to give you the Word.

I’m coming from what I call the, “Two Principles of Gifts”:

  1. Gifts are given with the intention of the recipient receiving. (At least a genuine one from a “cheerful giver.”)
  2. Gifts are given with the expectation of stewardship by the receiver.

Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or for whatever occasion, the gift given is given with the expectation that the intended receiver would receive it. In addition to that, no one appreciates giving a gift to someone who after having received it, you find out later that the recipient wasn’t “all that appreciative” in caring for it.

Imagine if you cared for, fed, and loved a litter of puppies that once weaned, you gave one of them to someone who received it, but didn’t take care of him/her at all. It would at most be upsetting, and at very least be disheartening.

Think of how God might feel when as He is described as the “giver of life,” who gave us the best gift of all, His only Son (John 3:16), we having the opportunity, either rejected it, or received it, but eventually loosing a sense of good stewardship with His “gift of life.” (Hebrews 2:3, 10:38, & 12:25)

Understanding those very simple, yet very logical principles, there is by-far, no greater giver than God Himself!

“Every goodgift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James 1:17

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? – Luke 11:11-13

So God is the bestgiver? Yes; without a doubt! Any Christian, from any doctrinal background would agree! And He desires to give unto us that we would receive and utilize! It is undebateable that whatever the gift truly coming from God, it is with intent to empower, equip, and improve us spiritually. God’s gifts in any measure are purposeful! Not a single one is given in vain. So if we know and believe that, regardless of our theological upbringing or denominational alignment, we should always approach God with a heart that says, “Lord, WHATEVER you desire for me to have AND utilize for your glory, I WANT IT!

The Word today is for us to “DESIRE” His gifts! Regardless of what gifts they may be, or what gifts you think may, or may not be “available” for today. Whether it be prophecy, interpretations, gifts of faith, joy, peace, temperance, …whatever it is!

What’s also great is understanding that phrase in James 1:17, “…with whom is no variableness…” meaning, God is just and righteous! The Bible tells us that He doesn’t “play favorites” (Romans 2:11)

(Note: It is to be perfectly clear that no divine gift, whatever it might be, is given to be received for selfish reasons. Unfortunately, in today’s modern Christianity, we are bombarded with this idea that we are to “name and claim” these monetary or financial “blessings.” So for sake of genuine clarification, I am not referring to these “gifts.” We know the Bible tells us not to prioritize that above spiritual blessings. (1 Timothy 6:10, Matthew 6:19-24) Regarding any gift given by God, His Word is clear: It is for serving others.)

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” – Ephesians 4:12

As said by a mightily-anointed woman of God I know (my wife), true Christianity & holy living is rooted in “selflessness,” while true worldliness & sin is rooted in “selfishness.” This couldn’t be a more accurate “measuring stick” of theological discernment.

Today, with a heart of selflessness for God and His perfect will, genuinely ask God to give you EVERYTHING He desires to give you. (Even if it may be a gift you were taught wasn’t “applicable for today.”) Remember, if it’s truly from God, it is a “GOOD GIFT.” Crucially, God does not give a “stone” if you’re asking for bread, so whatever you ask of Him, you won’t get a “stone” or “serpent” (See Matthew 7:11).

The more you study the scriptures, the more you will find that literally EVERYTHING we receive from God (divinely) is a gift! Starting with salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), all the way through our sanctified life (Ephesians 2:10). He justifies us through His grace in salvation, (Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7), and He also empowers us by His grace in sanctification. (Titus 2:11-12)

“… for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

Lastly, like God is accurately characterized as a giver, we too are to be “givers.” Of course that is to be true of all actions or characteristics attributed to God…We are to be like Christ!

“Be followers [imitators] of me, just as I also am of Christ.” – I Corinthians 11:1

“…Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16b

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7

Christ Jesus, the most precious gift, was given that we might receive life eternal, and that we would be transformed from selfish receiving/taking, to selfless giving preferring one another above ourselves. (Romans 12:10-16; Philippians 2:3)

Prayer: “Lord, I thank you for ALL your gifts you’ve given me, including the ones you wish me to have; whatever they may be, Lord, I ask that you would in your mercy and love bestow them onto me that I may be equipped by you and for you to do the work of the ministry you have called me unto.

O My God, I Trust in You! [part 2]

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” -‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:5‬‬

In yesterday’s manna, we looked deep into just how trustworthy our God is! We know that when we have trials that overwhelm us, we can turn to the Lord, and we can be restassured that He is able to deliver! Today however, I’d like us to look at our relationship with our trustworthy God, and ask ourselves if we have truly “committed our way unto Him?”

If you’ll notice in Psalms 37:5, it does give us our “end of the bargain” by committing to Him as well as trusting in Him. Yesterday I referenced the Biblical reality of the scriptures giving conditions. Examples: “IF you abide in me,” (John 15:7) “You will seek me and find me WHEN…” (Jeremiah 29:13) “IF any man purge himself…” (2 Timothy 2:21) and countless more! A time when the Philistines were I continue threat against the Israelite nation, the prophet Samuel spoke the word to God’s people and this is what the Lord said regarding His desire to deliver His people:

“And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, “If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtoreth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he willdeliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” -‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭7:3‬‬

You see there’s absolutely no doubt that God wants to deliver us from peril or trials, but it is equally imperative that we realize our commitment to God it is just as important as our trust in Him. This verse in 1 Samuel 7:3 shows the conditions before God will deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. 1.) returning to the Lord 2.) put away other gods 3.) prepare their hearts unto the Lord 4.) serve Him ONLY.

Throughout my life I’ve found that sometimes God, though wanting to deliver us, will allow us to remain in “the pit “simply to get our attention to call out to Him. King Hezekiah is one of many perfect examples of this life principle.

“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, ‘Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.’ Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,’I beseech thee, O Lord , remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight.’ And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, ‘Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.” – 2 Kings 20:1-5

There is no doubt that God delights in mercy (Micah 7:18-19), but His mercy is designed for us to receive when we submit, surrender, and commit to Him! God’s desire is to “cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” as stated in the same reference of Micah chapter 7. We have to remember that Christ came to die on the cross to pay the penalty for sin not that we can be forgiven and continue life as usual, but that we would be forgiven and we would abandon our trespasses total commitment and trust in Him!

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” -‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:16-18‬‬

“Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.” -‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭8:61‬‬

“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.” – Psalms 145:18-20

You see I not only trust the Lord in His power, might, and mercy, but I have committed my life to Him in service to His ministry. As human beings, yes we will fail, however we have an advocate with the Father and His name is Jesus! Bible assures us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness! (1 John 1:9)

Today, trust AND commit.

O My God, I Trust in You!

prayer

“O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.” -Psalms 25:2

It’s no secret that all the contributors to the book of Psalms at some point, and in many accounts fell into distresses, turmoils, and trials. The one thing that stands strong however, is their unwaivering trust they all had in the Lord their God! They knew that no matter what was to befall their path, the Lord will direct them.

Having considerable amount of examples of scripture to use in which every author, every patriarch, had considerable opportunities to trust the Lord through the impossible, (or at least what seemed to be impossible), the Psalms stood out to me in its quantity, quality, and simplicity. The 25th chapter continues in this light:

Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles. -Psalms 25:15-22

Today, the Lord is directing me in this topic to greater revelation. Sometimes it’s easy for me to get over anxious, worried, or fearful, but when we learn to put our trust in the one who made the heavens and the earth, it’s not so fearful. You see because God cannot lie, any and every word the Lord has given us through scripture, you can rest assured He will accomplish. Some of course come through conditions as we see throughout the Word, however, when we fulfill those conditions (examples: turn to, trust, repent, keep the covenant, fear the Lord, etc.) God is faithful to His Word & His promises!

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” -Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep [you] from evil.” -2 Thessalonians 3:3

“God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” -1 Corinthians 1:9

In times of heart-ache, persecution, slander, financial distress,… no matter what the obstacle, don’t give up, don’t let go, don’t lose trust, don’t lose hope! Another favorite of the Psalms in this light is this:

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;” -Psalms 91:2-9

If any scripture to memorize, it’s this:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord is faithful, and near to a broken and contrite heart. So when you find yourself if fear or distress, turn to the Lord and trust Him and His Word! Listen to this song and let it encourage you!

The Victory in Surrender

“For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:25‬)

The words of Jesus here can be a tough “pill to swallow” for some, if not most. We all as individuals have our God-given life that at each new day we wake up pursuing ways to stabilize or increase monetary improvements on our value of living. This however is not, nor should it ever be “the focus” of living when following Jesus as His disciple. Having a nice house is not wrong, nor is it wrong to have a nice car; of course not. It is however out of God’s prescribed order if those “things” have us. (See Matthew 6:33) Take a look at what Jesus told Peter two verses previously:

“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew‬ ‭16:23‬)

We have to ask ourselves, “Do I honestly savour the spiritual need? Or the natural want?” If the natural, then it’s time to surrender. Verse 24 (in-between the two verses mentioned), it says:

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”‭‭ (Matthew‬ ‭16:24‬)

We learn very quickly & clearly throughout the scriptures that in God’s economy, we must “go down” before we can “go up.”

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (Peter‬ ‭5:5‬‬)

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:11‬‬)

“Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” (Proverbs‬ ‭3:34‬‬)

“Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” (Psalms‬ ‭138:6‬‬)

Today, if your heart’s number one affection is on anything other than God & His word, let’s surrender today to find the victory in Christ!

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬‬)

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” (Matthew‬ ‭6:20‬‬)