Daily Devotionals

Devotion for 9-24-2020

Christians have a natural tendency to try building a life in which faith is not necessary. Unbelievers do, too. We create our comfort zone where everything is under our control.

But this is not pleasing to God. He IS LORD which means “boss.” Not us. God allows things into our lives that DRIVE us to depend upon Him. If we don’t see HIM at work around our events (which HE allows), we will NOT SEE HIS POWER AND HIS GLORY.

FAITH is not an idea. Nor a concept. FAITH is centered on a Person a relationship with God. Himself. Our generation promotes a dangerous concept that encourages people to “have faith.” In this abstract doctrine, we “pursue a faith.” Faith itself becomes our pursuit It is an act of believing, and we have a “pursuit”  and an act of believing but this is un-biblical.

Faith is only valid if it is focused on God and what He says He is purposing to do. Jesus said, to His followers, that “if you have faith in God, you will do even greater things than He has done.” Our faith HAS to be based on God’s power, and not on human wisdom. We WILL stumble and fall, without a FIRM faith in the LORD.

In his power, Moses could never have delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army. In his power, Moses and the Israelites could not have crossed the Red Sea on dry land. In his power, Moses could not have provided water from a rock, for 3 million people, nor furnish bread and meat to all those people, in a wilderness. Moses had to believe that God, Who called him, would do the things He said He would do.

Joshua could not take the Israelites across the Jordan River on dry land, or bring down the mightiest city walls of Jericho, or defeat HEAVILY ARMED enemies. Only God could do those things. Joshua had to have faith that God could do those things. On their own, the disciples could not feed the multitudes. They could not heal the sick until powered by faith in Jesus. They could not raise the dead. But God could and did these very things through them.

When God lets you know what He wants to do through you, it will be something that only He can do. What you believe about Him will determine your response. IF you have faith, you will obey. If you lack faith, you will not do what He wants. And that is disobedience. Jesus questioned those around Him, “Why do you call me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ and don’t do the things I say?” Luke 6:46. Jesus frequently rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith. Their unbelief revealed that they had not come to know who He was. Thus, they did not know what He would do.

When God calls a person to join Him in a God-sized event, faith always reveals a lack of faith. Disobedience reveals a lack of faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. Without faith, a church cannot please God. Selah!

Devotion for 9-14-2020

God’s will = a TURNING POINT. God always presents a God-sized assignment. When God invites you to join Him in HIS work, it will be obvious you CANNOT do it on your own. If God doesn’t help, you WILL FAIL. This is THE CRISIS point at which many people decide NOT to follow what they sense God is leading them to do. Then they wonder why they do not experience God’s Presence, and power, and activity the way other Christians seem to have. The word. “crisis,” comes from a Greek word that means “decision.” The same word is used for “judgment.” We are not talking about a calamity in your life, such as an accident or a death. “Crisis” is not a disaster or a bad thing. It is a “turning point or a fork in the road that calls for a decision.” You must decide what you believe about God. EVERY CRISIS OF BELIEF has these characteristics:

• an encounter with God REQUIRES faith.

• encounters with God are GOD-SIZED.

• What you do in response to God’s invitation reveals what you believe about God.

• True faith REQUIRES ACTION.

ALL through Scripture–when God revealed Himself–the response of the listener REQUIRED faith. Here’s what God says about faith:

• faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. Hebrews 11:1

• We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

• “The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

• “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

• [Paul said,] “My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and Power, so that your faith might not be used on men’s wisdom but on God’s Power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

• If you do not stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9

Faith is confidence that what God promised will come to pass. Sight is the opposite of faith. If you can see clearly how something can be accomplished, faith is more than likely NOT REQUIRED. If our church has chosen to operate on a budget based on what we know we can accomplish, faith is not needed or necessary. Selah!

Devotion for 9-10-2020

When God invites us to an assignment, IT ALWAYS LEADS TO A CRISIS OF BELIEF.  Hebrews 11:6.  Have we set a budget that we feel we can do, without God working through it? Then we are not planning to do something that only God can do.  God does not get glorified.  So . . .  How did we plan our budget?  Did we plan according to our pledges and previous giving?  Did we consider what others have promised to do to help us?  Did we give any consideration to depending on God to provide?  That is not how the early church, in Scripture, worked. In their case, they always, as a whole body,  prayed—unceasingly—until God did something that only God could do. They did not try to dream up what they might want to do.  They did not try to dream up what they might think that God wanted them to do.  They watched what was happening around them, and prayed about those things that were happening, and searched the Scriptures to see what God was speaking about, in their circumstances. Do we really believe that what we see happening around us, is God testing us  to see if we have faith to “step into the waters?” If we don’t,  we won’t.  Anytime God leads you to do something that has God-sized dimensions,  you  WILL  face a crisis of belief.  This is always present in EVERY Bible story from Genesis to Revelation.  We STILL don’t have faith in OUR circumstances today. And our churches, especially, don’t have any more faith than those who do NOT believe. “ As we give, so shall ye receive.”  Does our church set out to do only what we think we can afford and then wait to see if God “might” supplement our income?  Settling on a budget that we know we can do, does not bring glory to God—especially to those who do not believe. People in our community watch to see that our church can only do what   anybody can do.  GOD DOES NOT SHOW UP— to them, nor to us.  

As Jesus walked by,  nothing changed. The only time it changed, was when someone around Him KNEW He could change their condition. They sought Him first. As they approached Him,  He always asked them, “What do you want Me to do?”  And they would tell Him that they knew that He could, if He would choose.  AND HE DID. IS HE THE LIVING CHRIST, TODAY?  Has He changed?      Have your “dis-eases” changed?  Maybe, Maybe not. Thou knowest! Selah!

Devotion for 9-07-2020

Jesus did not heal every need that was around Him. Often we see every need around us, and then try to meet as many as possible. And one individual is not the church. So . . . how do we find clear direction, from the whole body of believers? There have to be several things that line up. What are you hearing from Scripture, and prayer, and circumstances, and the body of believers (the church) with all pointing to the same thing? When you do, you can proceed with confidence. To see these things, you will only see them after they have passed by. You must have written them down in a trusted place, where you can retrieve them easily, and quickly. It may be that things line up after much time has passed. If it was not worth the time, at the time, then you have a relationship problem. Sometimes, you may feel that our church does not care. You may say that the church does not help me to know God’s will. BE CAREFUL! When you say this, you are saying more about your opinion of God than about your church. You are saying that God cannot work through these people. You are placing yourself in danger of isolating yourself from the counsel of God’s people. TRUST GOD to give direction through other believers. Listen to anything the church says to you. Turn to them for advice on major decisions. Let God confirm what His message is for you. We could not adjust our lives to God if we did not know what He is saying. Each member should be given an opportunity and encouraged to share as God guides them to share and note judge another. Relating what God is doing in their life and what God is doing in your life brings you experiential and practical awareness of Christ’s presence and guidance in our midst. When God is causing a person to share with the body, then others may feel more comfortable with sharing with other believers, too. God speaks to His people by the Holy Spirit. He can speak in any way He chooses, but the most common way will be through Scripture, and prayer, and circumstances and the body of believers. Each believer is interdependent with all the others to function correctly in that body. You cannot fully know God’s will for the involvement in the body of Christ apart from the counsel God provides through other members. All the members of the body belong to each other, and they need each other. Pray for our church and the way God works in and through our members to help believers to understand God’s call. Gather and pray for each other in our church. Selah!

Devotion for 9-04-2020

Jesus Christ IS present, IS the Head, of every local church. Ephesians 4:15. Every member is placed in the body—as it pleases God. 1 Corinthians 12:18. The Holy Spirit manifests Himself to every person for the common good 1 Corinthians 12:7, and the whole body is fitted together by the Father.

Then the body functions as Christ leads, until every member becomes spiritually mature. Ephesians 4:13. Believers need each other. What one member lacks, others can supply. Members are enabled and equipped by the Holy Spirit to function where the Father has placed them in the body.

What God is doing in and through the Body is essential to my knowing how to respond to Him. I make the necessary adjustments and put myself there too. I let God use me in any way He chooses to complete His work.

This was Paul’s goal: “We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Colossians 1:28. Paul constantly urged all believers to become vitally involve with his life, and ministry. The effectiveness of Paul’s ministry rested on them. Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2; Ephesians 6:19

How will the Church help you to KNOW GOD’S WILL?

We have to maintain a relationship with Him. We have to be ready to do whatever He asks me to do. WE HAVE TO BE ATTUNED TO WHAT GOD IS SAYING AND DOING IN the Body. “Whatever You direct me to do in relation to Your body, I WILL DO. I am Your servant FOR YOUR PURPOSES!”

If the members of the whole body are not sharing what they sense God is doing, the WHOLE BODY is in trouble! TAKE SERIOUSLY your role to help other believers in the same way.

then watch! Selah!

Devotion for 9-01-2020

God never adds members to a church by accident.  [1 Corinthians 12:18].  And when He does add someone to our church body, it is my responsibility to see what God is doing when He brought them/him/her to our congregation.  All of us have the opportunity to witness God’s activity in this family.  [Ephesians 4:15-16]

When God honors us by placing a new member in the body, we need to ask Him to show us what He is up to.  

Then we need to share what we sense of God’s activity.  God speaks through the members of His Body to help others know and understand God’s assignment.  

Would you try to ignore the conflict between body parts, in your body, and hope it would pass?  

Would you take a vote of all your body parts/members, and let the majority rule?  

Would you trust your eyes, and keep on walking since sight is an extremely important sense?

God gave our bodies many different senses and parts. When each part does its job and when each part pays proper attention to the others, the whole body works the way it should.  

A church is the Body of Christ. It functions best when all of its members are able to share what they sense God is doing and saying. Members of a congregation can’t fully know God’s will for their lives apart from the testimony of other members.  A church needs to hear the whole counsel of God through its members. Then it can proceed in confidence and unity to do God’s will.     

Many Christians today feel that their walk with God is private and independent. They see not need for joining a church or making themselves accountable to other believers.  

Some view the church in terms of how it can help them accomplish their ministry personally, rather than seeking how their lives fit into the larger work the LORD is doing in their congregation. It is true that our walk with God is personal, but it is NOT private.  Sin makes us independent.  Salvation makes us inter-dependent on one another. Scripture teaches that the church is a body  in which each member is vitally important to the others. [1 Timothy 2:5-7)  The church is God’s redemptive agent in the world. He is at work accomplishing His purposes, and places every member in a church to accomplish His purposes through EACH congregation.           Selah!

Devotion for 8-29-2020

What is prayer and spiritual awakening?  

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT—TO OUR WORLD, AND TO LOST—separated—peoples’ relationship with God.  As disciples, one of our highest purposes in being here in this time, is not just become a disciple—learner—but a witness.  That means we give our testimony at any moment, in all places.  So . . .      how do we do that?  

My own spiritual markers began before I was even born.  Jeremiah 1:5  When we accept His Call to us, we accept His location for us to be.  He places us in His field(Garden of Eden).  It is OUR choice to follow Him there, or not.  Once we agree to that, we agree to WATCH to see what He is doing around us.  We WILL NOT see that without ATTENTION to what God IS DOING—around us.  NOW is when?  WHAT IS TIME? If time is the occurrence of events, one after another, then what are those events?  When will we see God in those events?   AFTER they occur!  So . . . what happens if we don’t CAPTURE our events?   In order to obey God, we must IMMEDIATELY adjust out life (time) (events) to what the Holy Spirit is saying through God’s Word/s and our prayer/s and our  circumstances—events—  and adjust our values, and then  our plans   to His Plans and purposes.  Spiritual markers in my life (and your life)  will show up just like the stones were captured and placed  where God is revealing Himself, in our lives. As time—events—occur, we NEED to be able to come back to those events, to see what God is doing  along His His-Story. After prayer and  confirmation in the Word and by other believers  

we can accept His Call. We can adjust our lives to His Work in our time(events/life). This job   brings together things God has been building into our life for decades, and then forever.  

God has always used circumstances to reveal to Jesus and all those recorded in the Scriptures to reveal where He wanted to involve them in His work. God will also use circumstances to reveal His directions to you.   

However, you must check these against what God says through the Scriptures, prayers,  and other Christians. REVIEWING YOUR SPIRITUAL MARKERS is very important.  

When God is ready for you to take a new step or direction,  it will be in agreement with what He has already been doing in your life.  

Sometimes,  you may find yourself in difficult or confusing circumstances, like our present circumstances. To understand these circumstances (events), God’s perspective is VITAL. Never determine the truth(what’s that?)of YOUR situation by focusing on the circumstances.        You cannot know the reality of any situation until you have heard from God.  

START developing a list of your own spiritual markers. Add to it as you reflect (after capturing) and pray (capturing) and observe  God’s activity in your life.      

Selah!

Devotion for 8-26-2020

The place to start (with all your heart): “LORD, whatever I know to be Your will, I will do. Regardless of the cost  and regardless of the adjustment, I commit myself to follow Your will. No matter what that looks like, LORD, I will do it!”

You need to commit to that before you seek God’s will. Otherwise, you do not mean “Thy will be done.”  

Instead,  you are saying, “Thy will be done as long as it does not conflict with my will.”  

Two words in the English language CANNOT go together:  “No, LORD.”  

If you say “NO,”  then He is NOT your LORD. If He is your LORD, your answer MUST ALWAYS be “yes.”  In any decision making, do not proceed until you can honestly say, “Whatever you want of me, LORD, I will do it.” If He says to memorize a Scripture,  what will you do?(Psalm 119:11) If He says to record His events, around you, do you have time; are you ready? (“As it is written . . . “) When Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God gave Joshua the following instructions:  “Choose 23 men from the people, one man for each tribe, and command them, “Take 12 stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan River where the priests’ feet are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night.”  Joshua 4:2-3. These stones were to serve as a monument for the Israelites.  Joshua explained, “This will be a sign among you.  In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you should tell them, “The waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the LORD’s covenant.  When it crossed the Jordan, the Jordan’s waters were cut off.’  Therefore, these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites”  Joshua 4:6-7.  The stones were to be a visible reminder of God’s mighty act in providing for His people.  All throughout OT times, others also build altars or set up stones as reminders of significant encounters with God.  These altars and stones were physical markers of great spirit encounters with God.  They provided opportunities for parents to teach their children about God’s activity around them.  We need to do the same thing.  When we note in writing today, we need to be able to get back and see what God has been doing, around us.  We NEED TO LOOK BACK AT THESE SPIRITUAL MARKERS in our lives.  We need to be able to show others clearly the directions God has faithfully directed our life clearly.  Then you can see yourself, God’s will in your life.  When we face options about a decision, we need to REVIEW OUR SPIRITUAL MARKERS. Don’t take the next step until you have see the CONTEXT OF GOD’S FULL ACTIVITY AROUND YOU, IN YOUR EVENTS. You can see from God’s perspective from your past encounters with God, up to the present. Which of my options is most consistent with what God has been doing already.        Then you NEED TO PRAY       and then WAIT for God’s guidance and timing.                    Selah!

Devotion for 8-20-2020

You might get mad at your church and at God, for God asking you to do something you intend is the right thing to do.  Israel got mad at Moses, after Moses asked Pharaoh to let God’s people go.  Pharaoh, in turn, made their labors worse.  Exodus 5-6.  The human tendency is to assume that you made a mistake, or that you missed God’s will.  You also might get mad at your world, if they are ungrateful for your good intentions.  Mose blamed God. He accused God for failing to do what God had asked him to do. We would have done the same thing. Or at least most of us.  Moses explained it that way. “LORD, why have You caused so much trouble for these people?” WE NEED TO HEAR FROM TRUTH! The Holy Spirit is going to talk to you about a Person—Jesus Christ!  TRUTH IS a Person!        Remember?  “I AM . . .  THE TRUTH. . . ”  John 14:6 The disciples were in a boat when a terrible and terrifying storm arose (Mark 4:35-41). What’s the TRUTH about this situation? If you asked the disciples in the boat in this storm what is the truth about this storm, what would be your answer? “We perish!” TRUTH was asleep in the back of the boat. In a moment, Himself, would stand up and calm the storm. That moment, they knew the truth of their circumstance/s.  

THE PERSON OF TRUTH IS ALWAYS PRESENT IN YOUR LIFE. We cannot know the truth of any circumstance until we have heard from God, through Christ, through the Holy Spirit.  

Consider this circumstance:  Luke 7:11-17. What is the truth of this circumstance? Now my son is dead, and I have no one to take care of me. So, what is the circumstance?

TRUTH was standing right there!  in front of her.  When He reached out and touched her son, everything changed. The people “marveled” at what they had witnessed. NEVER determine the TRUTH of any situation— until you have heard from Jesus.  HE IS THE TRUTH OF EVERY circumstance.  Again, Jesus is surrounded by more than 5000 hungry people(John 5:1-15). He wanted to feed them. Jesus asked Phillip and the disciples about the TRUTH of the situation.  

“We can’t do that!” IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!  

We know the rest of the story. So,  wouldn’t it be better if WE     TRUST God with the other half of OUR story? Does God(do you think) test our faith, as He did with Phillip? In our case, we are having a “budget” meeting today. Do we TRUST God with our situation?  TRUTH stands in the middle of our condition or situation.  He stands in the middle of our church; He is the Center of our BODY. He is the Head of the Church! “I will NEVER give you a command for which I will not release the Power to enable it to happen.”

TRUST ME! OBEY ME! What is your faith?  

WHAT’S THE TRUTH?                 Selah!

Devotion for 8-14-2020

You cannot understand the truth of your circumstance  until you have heard from God.  

In Exodus chapters 5-6, Moses did what God told him to do.  He asked Pharaoh to release the Israelites. But Pharaoh refused, and, in fact, made things worse for them.  

This made the Israelites turn against Moses.        

What would you have done if you were in Moses’ place?  

Would you have gotten mad at the Israelites, when you intended to do the right thing for them? Or would you have become mad at God, for your listening to Him, since this only aggravated the problems?  

Moses took it back to the LORD (Exodus 5:22-23): “LORD, why have you caused trouble for this, Your people?”  Moses was ready to quit (Exodus 6:12)

From God’s perspective, He wanted His people to come to know Him by experience—as the great I AM.  In order for them to learn this, they had to witness a greater measure of God’s power when He delivered them!  

We need to learn from this example.  When we face circumstances that make us want to blame God for what He is doing, we need to NOT QUIT following Him.  We need to learn to wait upon the LORD (Psalm 25:3-5)

BEFORE YOU CAN LEARN THIS, you need to already have your life FIRMLY ANCHORED IN GOD.  The most difficult thing for you to do, in all your life?  Matthew 16:24.  REMAINING GOD-CENTERED.  UNTIL YOU MAKE A HABIT OF RECORDING THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE, and recording your prayers and Scriptures, your attitudes, your thoughts—everything about your day—you will not see Him, His purposes, His ways, BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO SELF-CENTERED.  You won’t see from God’s perspective.  You won’t see God’s will.  HE has EVERY RIGHT to be

  • the INITIATOR in your life
  • the FOCUS of your life
  • the DIRECTOR of your life

That is what it means for Him to be LORD—Boss OF YOUR LIFE!        Selah!

Devotion for 8-06-2020

When reviewing all that God had done in his life, Joseph declared to his brothers, “You planned evil against me, God planned it for good.”  Genesis 50:20  Every major experience in his life—both good, and evil—could be seen to have purpose , and to result in good.  When we face difficult or confusing circumstances or situations, these can overwhelm us.  Suppose Joseph had seen these events as “God doesn’t love me,” or “God is not fair.”  Have you been in a situation of fear, where, in your prayers, you begin to accuse God of ignoring, or being on vacation, or not paying attention to you?  According to Scripture—God’s Word—this NEVER happens.  God has wisdom; God has LOVE, beyond your imagination.  It is for each of us, one-on-one. What should you do?  First, ask God to show you His Perspective on what’s happening. LOOK BACK (you cannot look back on different points of activity if you did not write them down, as they were happening—DAILY).  When you face a troublesome time, the Holy Spirit  will take the Scriptures and help you understand the event from God’s perspective.  He will reveal to you the truth of your circumstances. Then, You can adjust your life and thinking to what God is doing.      

Selah!

Devotion for 8-03-2020

When reviewing all that God had done in his life, Joseph declared to his brothers, “You planned evil against me, God planned it for good.”  Genesis 50:20  Every major experience in his life—both good, and evil—could be seen to have purpose , and to result in good.  When we face difficult or confusing circumstances or situations, these can overwhelm us.  Suppose Joseph had seen these events as “God doesn’t love me,” or “God is not fair.”  Have you been in a situation of fear, where, in your prayers, you begin to accuse God of ignoring, or being on vacation, or not paying attention to you?  According to Scripture—God’s Word—this NEVER happens.  God has wisdom; God has LOVE, beyond your imagination.  It is for each of us, one-on-one. What should you do?  First, ask God to show you His Perspective on what’s happening. LOOK BACK (you cannot look back on different points of activity if you did not write them down, as they were happening—DAILY).  When you face a troublesome time, the Holy Spirit  will take the Scriptures and help you understand the event from God’s perspective.  He will reveal to you the truth of your circumstances. Then, You can adjust your life and thinking to what God is doing.      

Selah!

Devotion for 8-01-2020

Proverbs 3:5-6  GOD SPEAKS THROUGH OUR CIRCUMSTANACES The Word of God is the infallible guide to what we should be doing.  2 Timothy 3:16    Some people want to rely on the world’s ways, on personal experience, or popular thinking.  The Bible NEEDS to be our guide for faith, and experience and practice.  IT IS REMARKABLY PRACTICAL  Jesus watched to see His Father’s activiy in His daily life.  John 5:17, 19-20.  He did not take the initiative  in what He did.  Only the Father is the initiator.  God had already been working throughout history, and was carrying out His purposes in Jesus’ time on earth.  When Jesus saw the Father’s activity, that was His invitation to join His Father.  Jesus never tried to out-guess what God was doing.  He did not have to dream up what He could do for the LORD.  He watched to see what the Father was doing around Him, and He immediately aligned His life that way.  It was the Father Who accomplished His purposes through Jesus.  Jesus was mentoring us, to respond in our lives.  Of couse, as He has promised, when He went to His Father, He sent a Comforter, His Holy Spirit, as given at Pentecost, and still until now.  We are to adjust our lives, just as He did, to our Father’s activity.  We are to place our lives at His disposal—where He is working—AROUND US, so He can accomplish His purposes through us. Sometimes circumstances “seem” bad to us.  Maybe you feel you are in a difficult situation.  You may be asking God, “Why is this happening to me?” God’s perspective is VITAL!  Joseph needed God’s perspective in his circumstances.  He had dreams of greatness when he was a youth(Genesis 37:1-11).  His older brothers were so jealous that they wanted to rid themselves of him.  And so they did.  What was Joseph thinking during all of this?  
Can you relate this to your life?       Selah!

Devotion for 7-31-2020

For most of us, when we pray, we NEVER relate our prayer—to what happens next. THE next greatest thing you need to do is to PAY ATTENTION TO GOD’S RESPONSE.  WHEN you pray, ANTICIPATE the activity of God— in answer to your prayer. This TRUTH is found all the way through Scripture. When God’s people pray,  God responds.  

Here’s what happens IF you pray and then forget about what you asked. Unusual things may occur throughout the day,  BUT . . . you view them as DISTRACTIONS,  and you try to ignore or get rid of them.  YOU FAIL TO CONNECT THEM WITH WHAT YOU PRAYED.  When you don’t notice what happens next, as being related to what you prayed, YOU WON’T MAKE ADJUSTMENTS to what God is doing. You may expect God to answer,BUT . . .  you need to stick around for the answer. HIS TIMING is right and best.  Because of that, His answer may arrive sooner than you expect.  As in Scripture,   we view our experiences as God being silent.  Genesis 12:10-13 Judges 6:11-13.  and so on.  Some people say that the reason God is not answering, is due to sin in our life.  If that is your case, look at Job. Job felt that his relationship with God was on right terms. Job did not know all that God was doing during these “forty days.”  They were LONG, and at the end of this LONG PERIOD OF TIME, God DOES show up.  There was a reason for all that was happening.  WE DO HAVE TO KNOW THAT GOD IS LOVING US.  

We have to keep on reading His Word, and look at The Word, and adjust our prayers to agree with what The Word is saying,  knowing that the Spirit of God will help me/you understand what God is doing in my life. The Spirit of God will, IN HIS TIME, show us.  Without a journal, you cannot have a sin CHECKLIST.  You will not be able to examine yourself fairly. You cannot analyze Scripture, to apply to the experiences of your life, because you don’t remember the experiences, nor your prayers,   nor the actions God has been taking along those experiences.  You need to know “God’s Word In Your Hand and Your Heart,” by Avery Willis.  That tool only becomes REALLY effectively used when you can see God, after He has passed by.  John 9:1; Luke 5:1-5.  1 Samuel, Chapter 1.  The list goes on and on.  You got it yet?                     

Selah!

Devotion for 7-30-2020

IF you seek God’s will, the FIRST THING you need to do is deny yourself(Luke 9:23).  This means examining your heart to see if any selfish or worldly motives are there.  Ask yourself:  * What is the Holy Spirit saying to me in the Scriture/s I am reading?  * What is the Holy Spirit saying to me in my prayer?* What is the Holy Spirit confirming to me through my circumstances, about what He said, from my Scriptures and my prayer, about those texts?  * Is the Holy Spirit verifying what He said through what other believers are saying?God will never lead us to do something that contradicts what is written in His Word. For instance, God wil never lead you to commit adultry, or to stead, or to do anything that goes against His Biblical principles.  Watch for Him to use the written Word to confirm what you are sensing in prayer. Don’t play games with God.  This means that we don’t look for Scriptures that might seem to say what we selfishly want to do and then claim it is God’s will. I know that I have prayed for one thing, and got another, several, or many times.  This means that we need to be more aware of ourselves, BEFORE we pray.  Often, I am in a hurry(B.U.S.Y.)when I come to pray, and do it without searching the Scriptures–to LISTEN, before I “speak.” I have come to the realization that I need to PAUSE–“LORD, if I ever give You a request–and You have more to give than I am asking–PLEASE cancel my request!”
WHAT’S HAPPENING WHEN YOU PRAY?   I need to ask God to help me understand what HE IS DOING in my life.  Could it be, that God is not granting me my request, but is, instead, desiring to do something MUCH greater?  God ALWAYS has far more than I can ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20-21. The reality is I can’t even imagine a prayer that comes close to what God wants to do, through me.  Would you, or me, rather have what you, or I, am requesting, or would we want what God wants, to give?         Only God knows what God wants to give.  Only the Spirit of God knows what God purposes in our life. So let God give you all He wants to gove.  1 Corinthians 2:10-12. He ALWAYS knows what is best.  Likewise, God wants you to PERSIST in your current praying, and He will confirm that, too                  

 Selah!

Devotion for 7-28-2020

WE HAVE A DIVINE INTERCESSOR!  Asking a prayer without Him, is one of the greatest Christian-slayers that exists.  Romans 8:26-27.  The Holy Spirit has a huge advantage over us:  He already knows God’s will—and when He intercedes for us, He’s in an absolute agreement with God’s will and helps us know the will of God   as we pray.  When you pray, anticipate  that the Holy Spirit already knows what God has prepared for you.  John 16:13.  The Spirit does not guide you on His own initiative.  He tells you what He hears  from the Father(by the Word of God) and guides you to pray for what He knows the Father wants to do in your life.  When I review what I have journaled,  and that God has been saying to me  when I pray  and read His Word, I begin to see what God is telling me about Himself, and His purposes, and His ways. I often see a pattern to what direction the Spirit is leading me to pray. I get an indication of what God is saying to me.  

You may be asking, “How do I know that the requests I’m making/praying are the Spirit’s leading, and not my own desires?” What do you do BEFORE you seek God’s directions?  You have to come to the point where you have no will of your own.  That is easier said than done.   But it is possible; the Spirit IS eager to help you in this guidance.  

Selah!

Devotion for 7-25-2020

PRAYER IS NOT A ONE-WAY CONVERSATION!

Prayer is NOT a reciting of everything you want God to do for you. It IS a two-way FELLOWSHIP AND COMMUNICATION. You speak to God, and God speaks to you. The thing we NEED to know is that prayer IS LISTENING! GOD ALREADY KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO TELL HIM! Jeremiah 33:3. PRAYER IS NOT a religious activity, but it IS a relationship. Through prayer, YOU adjust to God; God does NOT adjust to you. He *wants* You to pray, but He does not *need* you to pray. Prayer is for US to hear what God wants to do in our life—during our prayer time. When the Holy Spirit reveals a truth to you, during prayer, He is present and actively working in your life. This is a DI vine encounter. Here is what’s happening. IF. You are seeking God‘s will in prayer:

  1. God is causing you to want to pray. He is taking the initiative.
  2. The Holy Spirit–through the Word of God—is revealing God’s will to you.
  3. You pray in agreement with the will of God.
  4. You adjust your thinking and attitudes to God’s truth.
  5. You look for and listen for. confirmation or further direction from the Bible. WATCH circumstances, and other believers. Have your Scriptures(Mana)and prayer from today—with you, as you go! Remember that you wrote it down this morning? Psalm 5:3.
  6. You OBEY!
  7. God works in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
  8. You experience Him as the Spirit revealed when you prayed.

PRAYING AND READING YOUR BIBLE are inextricably CONNECTED! When I pray, Scripture often reminds me of some text that I need to look up; I believe that my Bible passage was brought to my attention by the Spirit of God!

Selah!

PRAYER IS NOT A ONE-WAY CONVERSATION!

Prayer is NOT a reciting of everything you want God to do for you. It IS a two-way FELLOWSHIP AND COMMUNICATION. You speak to God, and God speaks to you. The thing we NEED to know is that prayer IS LISTENING! GOD ALREADY KNOWS WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO TELL HIM! Jeremiah 33:3. PRAYER IS NOT a religious activity, but it IS a relationship. Through prayer, YOU adjust to God; God does NOT adjust to you. He *wants* You to pray, but He does not *need* you to pray. Prayer is for US to hear what God wants to do in our life—during our prayer time. When the Holy Spirit reveals a truth to you, during prayer, He is present and actively working in your life. This is a DI vine encounter. Here is what’s happening. IF. You are seeking God‘s will in prayer:

  1. God is causing you to want to pray. He is taking the initiative.
  2. The Holy Spirit–through the Word of God—is revealing God’s will to you.
  3. You pray in agreement with the will of God.
  4. You adjust your thinking and attitudes to God’s truth.
  5. You look for and listen for. confirmation or further direction from the Bible. WATCH circumstances, and other believers. Have your Scriptures(Mana)and prayer from today—with you, as you go! Remember that you wrote it down this morning? Psalm 5:3.
  6. You OBEY!
  7. God works in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
  8. You experience Him as the Spirit revealed when you prayed.

PRAYING AND READING YOUR BIBLE are inextricably CONNECTED! When I pray, Scripture often reminds me of some text that I need to look up; I believe that my Bible passage was brought to my attention by the Spirit of God!

Selah!

Devotion for 7-23-2020

(We are cool this morning!  A new day!  God bless you all, and I hope sleep is getting better for all! ) I am weak, and limited, and have lacks.  EVERY human IS.  I did not create this world. Neither did you. BUT, . . . What Does Scripture Say (WDSS)? Romans 8:26-27What happens when you pray?The Holy Spirit already knows what God has waiting for you.      His task is to get you to want what God already wants to give you. AND what happens when you request things God already wants to give;  YOU WILL ALWAYS RECEIVE IT. Why?    Because you have asked according to the will of God.  
When God answers your prayer, He receives the glory. Your faith is increased,  and you have received a fresh experience of God’s love for you. What you get far exceeds what you would have ever sought on your own.  Ephesians 3:20 -How do we know what the Holy Spirit is saying? You know His voice.  John 10:4  You must decide if you only want His will.  1 Corinthians 10:4. “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13.  Our prayers tend to request far less than what God wants to gove us. So the Holy Spirit needs to raise our thoughts and desires of this world to a higher level. We are so led by the things of this world and the values and thinking of those around us, but God wants to relate to us in a MUCH higher plane. IF YOU ARE NOT KEEPING A SPIRITUAL JOURNAL OR DIARY, you definitely should start one.  When the God of this universe tells you something, it is important enough to write it down.  All through Scripture, when God speaks, He says, as Jesus said, “It is written . . . “  And He says, “BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”  Immediately record what He says, and what you see happening, around you—BEFORE YOU FORGET! THEN, you need to ADD YOUR PRAYER RESPONSE.  It would also be IMPORTANT to write how you need to adjust your life to the experience God is relating you you, in the way that He has shown you. Selah!

Devotion for 7-20-2020

John 16:8–“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” 

God wants no hindrance to His love relationship with you.  “Reprove” means “convince;” He HAS already come, so He has already convinced us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  But the world does not hear, because the world does not have a relationship with Him.  
When we do not ADJUST, and OBEY, we do not experience Him Once God has spoken through His Word, How you respond is crucial.  You MUST ADJUST YOUR LIFE TO THE TRUTH.  Once I know the Truth, then the TRUTH applies to me. THEN I have to agree with God. This is the FIRST step to Experiencing God.  BUT . . . You have to respond to that truth. OBEDIENCE. Always connect a revealed truth to your understanding of God AND your relationship with Him. As you spend time in a love relationship with God, you’ll come to know His voice. God has already given many messages and commands in the Bible. As you read Scripture, the Holy Spirit will be working to reveal truth about God, and His purposes, and His Plans and ways. When He speaks, you must adjust yourself to the truth revealed, to obey and experience God. Spend time in prayer. WRITE Scripture down. Why?  If you don’t, you will pass by, and not “Be still, and know that He is God.”  You will not see Him—and His Glory—until after He has passed by. You will not examine that Scripture. You will not analyze that Scripture, and you will not Think about that Scripture, nor will you APPLY that Scripture.  You will also MISS a conversation with God.  Conversation involves more than one Person.  And, since you wrote it down (if you did), the conversation needs to be followed through, over time.  Who’s time is it? Ask Moses, who was 80 years old, when he first heard the I AM, the first time, and HE DID WRITE IT DOWN!.  HE ALSO WROTE DOWN HIS ANSWERS. PRAISE THE LORD THAT HE DID!  Even down to this day.

Selah!

Devotion for 7-18-2020

UN-AIDED by the Holy Spirit,     the ways of God seem foolish (to us)

AIDED by the Spirit, we can understand all things.  

When God reveals spiritual truth, to us, through a passage of Scripture–that is experiencing God Himself, working in our life!

The Spirit of God knows the mind of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12.  He knows what God is preparing to do in my life. The Spirit of God then opens my understanding about God’s purposes and His ways.  

I SHOULD TAKE THAT PROCESS EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY.  

How do YOU respond?  

I DO take this seriously:  

• I write down the passage of Scripture.  

(This is why I ALWAYS have my Franklin Planner with me.  I never know when or where I MIGHT “hear” Him speak.  Believe me, IT WILL NOT BE WHEN I AM “READY” or expecting to hear)

• I NEED to meditate on this passage. 

 I don’t know about you, but my world goes real fast; there is always something interrupting or distracting going on.  Now that we have phones in our pockets, it is always dinging.  Watching others, they are ALWAYS looking at their phones, even when they are driving cars.  

• I try to immerse myself in the meaning of the passage, that has caught my attention.  

I need to see why the words are the way they are.  I need to be able to come back later, and look at other versions, and other aides that others have said about the passage.  I also know that if the passage has caught my attention, I MUST make ADJUSTMENTS in my life. THIS TAKES TIME. After all, Whose time is this?  

Also, I NEED to agree with God, and I commit to take any actions necessary for HIM to work in the way He has just revealed to me.  

• As I leave the place of Bible study, I begin to look for ways God will use that truth in my life during THIS day.  

Write out, on paper, a prayer response to God. IMMEDIATELY adjust yourself to God.  

• WATCH to see HOW God uses this truth in your life, this day, and in the next coming days.  

• TAKE ACTION! Enjoy a fresh experience as He works in and through you.                            Selah!

Devotion for 7-14-2020

I am the least of all pastors.  But I know in my heart, that I want to honor the LORD.  In all that I do.  I make MANY mistakes.  I get distracted.  But today, I was led, I know, by God, to 1 Samuel 2:30:  “I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disgraced.”  Who are those that despise the LORD? Those who do not seek the LORD for guidance, through Scripture.  2 Timothy 3:16-17  God speaks to us by the Holy Spirit through His Word.  
    As I look back over my mistakes, and review the Scriptures, circumstances and prayers, as well as what other believers are saying, I am SO thankful that God has directed me to “write this down.”  SO FEW WILL DO THIS.  Why? They are following the wrong voice.  “Too B.U.S.Y.” In John 10, Jesus talks about relationship to be like a shepherd and His sheep.  When God speaks, He speaks to individuals and we recognize His voice, and follow Him.  With Scripture as our guide, God speaks to us in individual ways, so that His people hear and recognize His voice.  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. “Hebrews 4:12  He is personally relating to you/me.  The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God—which IS the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) to instruct us, correct us, rebuke us, so that we may be fully equipped for every good work. We can evaluate EVERYTHING, and not any one.  Selah!

Devotion for 7-13-2020

In all that we do, we—people, churches—MUST SEEK to be on God’s agenda, IN ALL that we do.  How do we do that? It does not matter about “church growth models.”  Or any other “systems.” We want to every person in our whole congregation (our church) to cry out to the LORD, and ask HIM how He wants to grow HIS church in our community.  Scripture over and over again, repeatedly tells us that God is always at work, to accomplish His purposes AMONG HIS PEOPLE. Christ said that He would build His church.  Matthew 16:18. The reason that we have so many splintered, and broken, churches around us is that church leaders have been seeking to impose their plans on God’s people, rather than seeking what God intends to do through them BY HIS AMAZING POWER.  

It is not difficult for EVERY casual, or uninformed, person to see God’s ways and plans as different from those of our plans. God uses Kingdom principles to accomplish God’s purposes. God’s ways bring cleansing, and forgiveness, and builds people up. His ways are humble.  His ways are the way of service, and love. God does not simply wait to help us achieve OUR goals for Him.  IN HIS OWN WAYS.  Isaiah 55:8. We will not carry out God’s plans with our own methods. Isaiah 53:6  It is foolish to think we can accomplish God’s way using worldly methodology and values.  
The world says you should never commit to do anything you cannot afford. Yet, God says “without faith, it is impossible to please Him.”  Hebrews 11:6. The world values a chain of command. God seeks “Blessed are the meek”The world claims that results are important. God values people.  
When God achieves His purposes in His ways through us,  people will come to know God. God will be greatly glorified. People will recognize that what has happened can be explained only by God. He alone will receive the glory!  Jesus asked His disciples to feed the multitudes. Their answer? “Send them home!” But Jesus, by using Kingdom principles, sat the people down, then fed them,  and asked the disciples to clean the place up.      Twelve baskets full of leftovers.  
The people witnessed a miracle.   What would have happened IF the disciples had done it their way? They would have left hungry and empty. Instead. they left seeing God display His power to a watching world. By love, His Nature, and His Power. The disciples watched this kind of display MANY times while they walked with Jesus. They had to learn to function accordingly, to Kingdom principles, to accomplish Kingdom work. EVERY TIME WE MINISTER TO PEOPLE IN OUR STRENGTH, RATHER THAN IN GOD’S POWER, PEOPLE LOSE OUT! 
Selah!

Devotion for 7-11-2020

We dream dreams of what we want to do for God.  Then we pray for God to bless our efforts, and to help us accomplish, our goals.  We formulate plans based on our priorities. “After all, we are doing it for Him!” We mobilize fellow believers to make our schemes successful.  

What’s really important, however, is what God plans to do where we are, and how HE wants to accomplish HIS purposes       through us.  

Here’s what Scriptures say about OUR plans and purposes:  

“The LORD frustrates the counsel of the nations.  He thwarts the plans of the peoples.  The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation”  Psalm 33:10-11.  

“Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the LORD’s decree will prevail.”  Proverbs 19:21.  

If your agenda is not the same as God’s you will not experience God working through you. God reveals His purposes so you will know what He plans to do. That is so that you can join Him. His plans and purposes will NOT be thwarted. They WILL succeed. The LORD foils the worldly plans of the nations, but His plans come to pass.  

Planning IS a valuable exercise, but it can never become a substitute for hearing from God. God intends that we follow Him. He expects us to get our directives from Him.  He wants to equip us   to do the assignment He gives. We have a tendency to forget the need for a DAILY, INTIMATE relationship with God.  We may accomplish our objectives but forgo the relationship. It is possible for us to achieve all of our goals, but still be outside of God’s will.  God created us for an eternal love relationship. Life is our opportunity to experience Him at work in us and through us–in our world. Planning is NOT wrong.  Just be careful not to plan more than God intends for you to.  Again, I almost married the wrong woman.  As soon as I asked His opinion of this marriage, He broke the engagement.  I have not seen many people that would ask Him His opinion before it happens.  The same in doing missions trips.  We have just done the most fantastic trip to Kenya, and for one year before the trip, I did not think God wanted us to go.  Even down to the flight to Kenya.  Every roadblock I saw coming, He completely cleared, as it came into fruition.  The plane from JFK to Kenya was held up what seemed like an eternity, just for us to get there, after being held behind by 3 security checks, during which we had more than an hour, to get through.  I told my wife, that we WERE NOT GOING TO MAKE THE FLIGHT.  I said, “We are just going to have to go back home.  God does not want us to be there.”  Guess what happened?  The whole airport seemed to stop, and take us right through to a delayed plane waiting just for us.  

IT IS SO WONDERFUL TO WATCH WHAT GOD DOES, as He works through and around you.        Selah!

Devotion for 7-09-2020

How do we clarify God’s leading?  

The first need is to trust the LORD to provide for what He has called us to do.  This requires for the church to pray about what God is doing.  This kind of prayer REQUIRES us to tie our prayer to Scripture(WDSS).  It is RARE for people to bring to us, a prayer, with Scripture that speaks about their prayer.  And most people that bring prayer, are not asking our whole church to pray specifically, with Scripture, until it is answered.  And when they see the answer, they do not bring that back to the pray-ers so that all can praise the LORD for what HE has done.  

God always has far more on His heart to accomplish through our lives and churches, than we could possibly imagine. How tragic for us to become so preoccupied with our plans and strategies that we do not even take the time to hear what God intends to do.  

The Bible is full of examples of people who willingly set aside their plans to follow God’s.  

Mary is one.  Praying, the LORD spoke, Luke 1:37 and Luke 1:28.  When God spoke, He did not ask her to tell Him her life goals, or how she intended to glorify God.  God’s plans dwarfed anything Mary might have planned for herself.  

Paul is another. Saul, of Tarsus, has specific plans he intended to accomplish for God.  He was to hunt down and arrest any Jewish people who had embraced Christianity.  But then the risen Christ intercepted him and revealed what God’s plans were. Saul would share the gospel before some of the most important powerful people in the Roman Empire.  To this day, the world feels the impact of what God did through Saul.  

The sequence is seen throughout the Bible.  Amos 3:7.  What God did through Saul were far superior to anything Saul could have set out to accomplish.    God spoke–to invite Saul, and Mary, to become involved so He could carry out His eternal purposes though them.

How about you?  Both Mary and Saul had pray-ers supporting them, throughout the whole plan that God had for them.  BOTH knew the Scriptures, and used those Scriptures over time, with pray-ers. Selah!

Devotion for 7-08-2020

Scripture reveals God as a loving Father.  Isaiah 55:8; Micah 4:2  One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to help us know God’s nature.  He (the Holy Spirit) helps us to understand the ways of God.      God does not act the same way people do. And on our own, we will never discover what God intends to do.  The Holy Spirit helps believers to understand the purposes of God. But on our own, we will NEVER discover what God intends to do.  God must reveal that to us through His Holy Spirit.  

Every time God speaks, God reveals things about Himself:  

• When Abram was 99 years old(that’s after speaking to him at 75 (Gen.12:5), the LORD appeared to him, saying, “I am God Almighty.”  (Genesis 17:1)

• The LORD spoke to Moses.  “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them:  Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”  (Leviticus 19:1-2)

• “I, Yahweh, have not changed . . . Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them.  Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Hosts.  (Malachi 3:6-7)

• Jesus said to the Jews, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever.”  (John 6:51)

God unveils His character to help people respond in faith.  

God identified Himself to Abram by the name God Almighty.  99 yo Abram NEEDED to know God was all powerful so he could believe God could give him a son at 100 yo.  

To Moses, God revealed His holy nature.  He was holy.  God’s people had to believe He was holy–so they would respond by being holy themselves. Their lives depended on it.  

God spoke to Malachi to inform Israel(His church) that He is unchanging and forgiving. They would be forgiven IF they returned to God.  

Jesus called Himself “living bread” and the source of living eternal life with God. So people could respond and receive life/freedom from fear.  

God makes Himself known to increase our faith so we will obey Him. We MUST pay close attention to what God reveals about Himself.  For example, when did Abram know God was almighty?  

Perhaps he knew it in his mind as soon as God said it.  But, he grew to know the LORD by experience as God Almighty when God did something in his life that only God could do.  When God gave him and Sarah a son, Abraham knew God to be almighty.  GOD REVEALS HIS PURPOSES.           WATCH!     Selah!

Devotion for 7-07-2020

“How can I know whether the word I receive IS from God?”  Or, 

“Is it from my own self, or even from Satan?” Good questions.  

The problem is what to focus on.  Today, everybody is digital, and that, in itself, is impossible to focus on anything.  Again, B.U.S.Y.(B-eing U-nder S-atan’s Y-olk). So you start out FIRST with asking the LORD to raise the level of your experiences to the standard that Scripture presents.  After all, it IS the Word of God.  Remember Matthew 28:19?

If you have a matter on your mind, you need to get it out of your mind, and captured on paper, so that you can be prepared to wait on God’s Timing.  This needs to become a life-time practice.  DEPEND ON GOD’S TIMING!  If you have not received instructions from God on that, or any matter, you need to PRAY and WAIT.  WATCH to see what God is doing around you.  That means relationship, and you cannot be occupied with this world, except to find out what He is doing.  DON’T TRY TO SKIP OVER THE RELATIONSHIP TO GET ON WITH THE ACTIVITY.  Satan WILL try to deceive you, and doubt God.  But, he cannot ultimately thwart God’s purposes.  So, how do we do that? Waiting involves making things NOW become things that we can return to–be retrievable.  God’s things are endless.  They are lessons, and they may be little things, but, we need to be able to see them–after HE has passed by.  The more intimately aware you are of His activity around you, the easier it is to recognize a fake.  

When you are sensing a leading of your spirit, you need tot be prepared to know if God is the One guiding you. So, you need to understand the ways of God THOROUGHLY; if something does not measure up to God’s ways,       turn away from it immediately.  Matthew 4; Luke 4

Satan tempted Jesus to take shortcuts.  He tempted Jesus to do God’s work–in the world’s way. Jesus refused.  He never discussed any of them with Satan; He never argued with him.  He MEASURED everything against the Scriptures, and discarded anything that did not line up with what God had said and done.  

Remember 2 Corinthians 10:3-5?  We ARE in SPIRITUAL WARFARE!  l need to become very aware of that, IMMEDIATELY. Things SEEM good, but WDSS(W-hat D-oes S-cripture S-ay)?  Like Jesus’ encounter, it sounded very good, and right.  It met Jesus’ needs, and used God’s power to do it. Jesus CLEARLY knew His mission, and how the Father wanted Him to accomplish it.      Satan tried to get Him to go a different route–“instant success”–Jesus recalled the assignment His Father had given Him, and rejected the false counsel.  

How about you?       

Selah!

Devotion for 7-06-2020

God guides SPECIFICALLY.  

Most people feel that God gave us brains and the Bible, and that that is sufficient to guide us in all our thinking.  This implies that Christians are always thinking correctly.   

The problem with this thinking is that the old nature (The Carnal Christian of The Disciple’s Personality) is CONSTANTLY at odds with our spiritual nature.  Romans Chapter 7.  This feeling, or thinking, neglects the IMPORTANT fact that our ways are not God’s ways.  Isaiah 55:8.

After God spoke to Noah, about building an Ark, Noah knew the size, the type of materials, and how to put it together.  

When God spoke to Moses about constructing a Tabernacle, He was specific about the details.  

When God became flesh, He gave specific directions to His disciples–where to go, what to do, how to respond to people who accepted or rejected their message, and where to preach.  

God called Abram, and said, “Go out from your land, your relatives, your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1.  Following God’s promise to reveal His plans simply REQUIRED that Abram obey.  God ALWAYS provides enough specific directions so that you can do what He wants you to do AT THAT MOMENT.  When you need to know more, He will guide you.  

As time went on, God revealed to Abram that a son would be born to him.  Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran, to go to a land that God would show him, a land that he did not know.  As more time went by, God spoke about the number of descendants, the territory his people would inhabit, and that Abrams’ descendants would go into bondage, eventually to be delivered.  

The Holy Spirit CONTINUES to give clear directives today.  He will give you unmistakable guidance for your life.  

You may say, “That has not been my experience.”  I know that that has, in the past, been the way I felt.  My problem is that until I was led(by God), to start “scribing,” or journaling, did I suddenly notice that I was being led by God all the time.  Until you can look back, you will not see what, and when, God had been there all along.  And, over time, if you do that, God will more deeply draw you to Him, to build with you, and me, a love relationship of intimacy with Him.  So often, we do not relate anything that we are reading in the Bible, to our experiences as time is passing by.  Journaling TAKES TIME (Whose time is it, anyway?)  Do you see God at work, in the events, as they happen?  Do you relate these events, to Scripture, which was guided by the Holy Spirit?  Ah Hah!  Do you relate each event with your Scripture today, and your prayer, ABOUT THAT SCRIPTURE, and your spirit–to THE Holy Spirit?  Do you pay attention to what other Christians are saying, about Scripture?  Then, do you take the time to review and analyze those Scriptures, the prayer/s, the circumstances, others’ words about life related to Biblical words?  Most say, “I’m too BUSY.” (B-eing U-nder S-atan’s Y-olk).  You are right.  You are.         What you fail to realize, is that this is not YOUR time.  God had planned for you to be here -NOW-for His purpose.  Isaiah 55:1-11.  PRAY  And wait.  Learn patience.  GOD’S TIMING.  Don’t try to skip over the relationship, to get on with the activity.      Selah!  

Devotion for 7-04-2020

For most of us, at least 7/10 days, when the Master has something for us to do, we say, “I’m sorry.  That is not on my agenda.”  

If that is the case, what do you think the Master would do?  

Were the disciples like that?  They had an encounter with God.    Do you think God has changed?  

God does not give up.  He would discipline His servant.  I have had several people to text me this week, with major signs of distractions, fears, things upsetting for them.  When I suggested that God was trying to get their attention, I heard NOTHING back.  I don’t think they liked my idea.  Sooner or later, the Master would no longer come with assignments, and the servant would remain outside of the activities and purpose of the master.  

Then God is not working in or through their lives anymore.  

Once God has given you a sense of direction He is leading(did you know that He is doing that?), you have to watch to see what that is.  You have to give Him ALL THE TIME He wants to develop you into the kind of person He can trust with the assignment He wants to do through you, for others.  The moment He calls, YOU must be ready for the role.  God guides SPECIFICALLY!

Most people that I know do NOT journal—in either a prayer journal, or a Gratitude journal, or even a life journal.  If you do not, you may find it difficult to experience God.  I see this around me, in conversations every day.  You will not see, or hear, God, UNTIL HE HAS PAST BY!  No human being is going to(Romans 3:10-12).  As time passes by, you cannot see where God is at work, until you see Him working around you.  And if you have not kept up an on-going relationship with Him, you cannot see where, or how, He is at work around you(John 5:17).  How much do you remember about yesterday?  If you did not journal yesterday, journal today, and then compare your next “yesterday.”  Okay, how much do you remember about this day a week ago?  Then, a month ago?  Your mind is not created to hold things, but it is very good at thinking—especially if you control it.(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)  You, especially, will not remember thoughts digitally.  Nor will you analyze them.  Nor will you come back to them later.  It is impossible to do this if you have not captured them, AS IT IS HAPPENING.  

Time is never mentioned in all the Bible.  Events ARE.  Look at Who God IS. Exodus 3.  His name is I AM.  That is I AM NOW.  Suppose Moses had not written this down?  

GOD HAS NOT CHANGED.        HOW IS HE AT WORK—NOW—around you?   Selah!

Devotion for 7-01-2020

Needing time to grow. Once God has given you a sense of direction that He is leading, and you have said “yes,” give Him all the time He wants to develop you into the kind of person He can trust with an assignment.  Don’t assume that you are ready for the call.  

  • David. How long was it, after God anointed David as king, that David attained the throne?  What was God doing during that time? God was building David’s relationship with Him, so that David could lead the nation according to God’s purposes. David did not even know what the outcome would be.  
  • Paul.  How long was it after Saul heard God speak to him (he was out doing what Saul wanted to do) on the road to Damascus.  How long was it before his first missionary journey?  God wanted Gentiles, too, to hear about Jesus.  God took the time to prepare Paul for His purpose. It was critical for him to be thoroughly prepared for what was coming, and God knew what was coming.  

Is it for your sake alone that God takes time to prepare you? It is also for the good of those He wants to reach through your life. For their sake, pursue the kind of relationship with God wants to give you. When He chooses to work mightily through your life, He will achieve what He wants in the lives of those you touch.  Selah!

Devotion for 6-30-2020

Where you are NOW is no accident!  Where you are now, may not be what you are looking for.  Many people want to be someplace else.  Your plans may not be God’s plans. But, . . . God has you where you are, for Him to use you for HIS plan or purpose.      Do you see how self-centered this attitude is?  Human reasoning will not give you God’s perspective.  
    If you cannot be faithful in a little, God will not give you the larger assignment.  
He may need to adjust your character through small assignments in order to prepare you for larger ones.  He may want to lead you through entirely new experiences. God knows needs far better than you. He knows where you are; ONLY He knows what’s coming. And He has you where He can speak to you, to help others, to come to Know Him. When you respond in obedience to what HE wants, even though this NOW may not be what you are seeking or anticipating, you will come to know Him by experience. This is the goal of God’s activity around you—to come to know Him.  “Share your Master’s Joy!”  Matthew 25:21
Don’t assume every assignment must be from God. You have to determine whether it is or not.  God is the only One Who can tell you that. The most important thing is NOT TO RULE OUT that you can have pre-conceived ideas. REMEMBER—you will know His will through your RELATIONSHIP with God. DON’T BYPASS THIS RELATIONSHIP!Many people don’t recognize when God comes to them. They are not ready to eliminate their own plans. God has the right to “interfere,” or “interrupt” your life.  HE IS LORD! When you surrendered to Him, you acknowledged His Right to help Himself to your life at HIS prerogative.  Selah!

Devotion for 6-27-2020

An encounter with Jesus, for the disciples, was an encounter with God. When God spoke to Abraham, Moses, Mary, and many others, those events were encounters with God.  

In the same way, when you encounter with The Holy Spirit, that is an encounter with God, for you. The Holy Spirit has been given to believers.  He is the One who guides you into all truth, and teaches you all things.  1 Corinthians 2:9-12

You can study the Bible in any great university, and earn a doctorate in biblical studies—

but unless the Holy Spirit opens your spiritual eyes to understand even the simplest spiritual truths contained in its pages, you will still not recognize or understand the Word of God. You never discover truth.  Truth is REVEALED!  When the Holy Spirit reveals truth to you, He is not leading you to an encounter with God. THAT IS an encounter with God!

When God spoke to Moses, What WAS Moses’ next move? THAT WAS CRUCIAL.  

After Jesus spoke to each of the disciples, what they did next was pivotal.  

What do you do, after the Holy Spirit speaks?  

Moses paid a high price for arguing with God.  Numbers 12:1-8

When God speaks  and you hear, and do not respond, a time will come when you will not hear His voice.  Not obeying what you hear can lead to a “famine . . . of hearing the  words of the Lord.”  Amos 8:11

Luke 8:5-15 is a parable told by Jesus of the sower and the seeds.  Jesus says “Therefore, take care how you listen. . . “  Luke 8:18  If you don’t apply what you hear, your disobedience will cost you.  

MAKE UP YOUR MIND NOW that when the Spirit of the LORD speaks, you are going to do what He says.  

Some of us assume we have the next few months, or years, to think about what God is saying, and to consider whether this is the best timing, to see when we can best fit His instructions into our crowded schedules.  

But God speaks in HIS timing.    He communicates with His servant  when He is ready to move. As God enters into the mainstream of YOUR life—the moment He speaks to you—that is the time for you to respond.   He has a purpose in mind for your life. He knows exactly what He is doing in and through   your life. When God called Abram, He said, “I will bless you, I will make your name great.”  Genesis 12:2.

That means “I will develop your character to match your assignment.”  Many of us don’t want to give attention to our character.  We just want to get a big assignment from God.  Selah!

Devotion for 6-26-2020

 “Jesus Calling,:”Psalm 5:1111 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.Ephesians 3:20-2120 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.​Jude 24-25 Joshua 1:5I AM THE FIRM FOUNDATION on which you can dance and sing and celebrate MY PRESENCE. This is My high and holy Calling for you: receive it as a precious gift. Glorifying and enjoying ME is a higher priority than maintaining a tidy, structured life. Give up your striving to keep everything under control–an impossible task and a waste of precious energy.My guidance for each of MY children is unique. That’s why listening to ME is SO VITAL for your well-being. Let ME prepare you for the day that awaits you and point you in the right direction. I am with you CONTINUALLY, so don’t be intimidated by fear. Though it stalks you, it cannot harm you, as long as you cling to MY HAND. Keep your eyes on ME, enjoying PEACE IN MY PRESENCE.1

Devotion for 6-25-2020

Ways well-meaning people TRY to discern God’s voice:  

  • Ask for a miraculous sign.    The scribes and Pharisees were all the time trying to ask Jesus for a miraculous sign.  Jesus condemned them.  Matthew 12:38-39.  They were self-centered and sinful because they could not recognize that God was at work around them—in their midst.  Luke 19:41-44.  You don’t have to look for proof.  We are saved according to our faith.  It is still happening all around us.  Our self-focus hides it still today.  
  • Seek a method.  Moses heard from God through a burning bush.  Joshua heard from his donkey.  How many burning bush experiences have you heard of?  How many donkeys speak?  What God wants is living, loving, intimate relationship with us. So that we will DEPEND on Him alone.  
  • Name it and  Claim it method.  Many well-meaning people will open their Bible to a verse that fits what they want for now, to use.  I have done this one myself, many times. The only thing is that the Holy Spirit needs to REVEAL to you which truth of Scripture is God’s Word for your particular circumstance. You cannot force God to speak to you or to reveal truth by choosing a verse and declaring it to be God’s word for you.  God needs to take the initiative to speak to us in revealing His will. He does it His way. AND in His time.  

If God did speak to you concerning a matter, you need to continue in that direction.  Maybe for 25 years(Abram). If you say you have received a word from God, you are in danger of being a false prophet. But if, by faith, believe you really have received a word,  in God’s time, He will do it.  You have to just keep going. How long do you think, it was between God speaking to Noah, and the day when all the animals appeared at the door of the Ark?  

  • Open and Closed doors. This is the most popular method. This is not the pattern in Scripture for knowing God’s will. God does use circumstances to speak to us. Simon, fishing all night, was without fish. Jesus, preaching, got into his boat. Why? Adam and Eve had enough to eat. Why this particular tree? Gideon threshing wheat in a hidden place the Malikites would not think of for wheat. Nathaniel resting under a tree.  Why? Throughout all of Scripture, you do NOT see open and closed doors, to get God to direct people. God meets them in their circumstances and daily living.  

What we DO see in Scripture is that God always gives a direction—on the front end, of an assignment. He reveals only what you need to know, to get to the next step. This one step is all you need  to make the necessary adjustments and take the first step of obedience. As long as you are doing all that God has already instructed, you don’t have to worry about how every detail will work out.  

People do as they please. Then they put the burden on God to rescue them from undesirable consequences.  

God wants you to recognize His Voice. He wants you to invest  His  time  building a relationship with Him. ASK GOD RIGHT NOW TO GUIDE YOU INTO SUCH A RELATIONSHIP and commit to yourself to invest the time and effort to know HIM better.  

Devotion for 6-24-2020

How Do I know When God Speaks?  Romans 3:10-11  Sin has SO affected us SO deeply        that we cannot understand the truth of God, unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. He is our teacher.  As you pray, How does the Word  confirm in your heart  what God is saying?  The Holy Spirit uses Scripture. Observe what He is doing  around you—the circumstances of life.  The God who is speaking to you as you pray and the God who is speaking to you in the Scriptures is the same God who is at work around you DAILY.  Scripture gives evidence to encourage you at your NOW.  Deuteronomy 20:3-4. Today, not tomorrow. Who is Israel? Who is speaking? When God is speaking to you, you can know He is the One speaking.  The Bible illustrates that when God chooses to speak, it is clear what God is saying. So you can understand clearly what He is saying. Jesus said, “The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep . . . and the sheep hear His voice.  He calls His own sheep by name        and leads them out . . . I am the good Shepherd.  I know My own sheep, and they know Me.”  John 10:2-4, 14
Knowing God’s voice is not a matter of a method or discovering a formula.  Recognizing God’s voice     comes from a VERY CLOSE, INTIMATE relationship. Those who do not have that relationship do not hear what God is saying.  John 8:47 Since God will uniquely communicate with you in the intimacy of your walk with Him, your relationship with HIM is of utmost importance.  

When you have not hidden His word/s(Scripture) in your heart(Psalm 119:11), you are right back with Romans 3:10-11.  Your prayer is about your relationship.  That relationship is about what God speaks.  Your NOW(circumstance/s) is about God’s Word.  You become more and more familiar with God’s voice as you experience  this love relationship.  You will recognize His voice more and more readily.  Some people try to bypass this relationship.  What’s B. U. S. Y.?  1 Corinthians 2:14  They look for a miracle, or marvelous sign, or set out a “fleece.”  Or try a formula—to discover God’s will for their life.  

None of these are a substitute for an intimate relationship with Him.  Next Time, I will try to review how some well-meaning people try to discern God’s voice.  We will use Scriptures to illustrate.  Selah!

Devotion for 6-20-2020

When Jesus spoke, it was God communicating–through Him–to us.  

The disciples even spent 3 years with Him, and did not know Him.  John 14:9-10.  

God was doing God-sized activities, through Him.  The disciples heard God, just as Moses heart God, face-to-face.  In all, it was in a personal relationship.  When Mary Magdalene, or the rich young ruler, or Zacchaeus spoke with Jesus, they were encountering God.  

The Book of Acts is a record of God sending the Holy Spirit to us, to speak to us.  Then, until the present, it is still happening.  He is all around us.  Where we go, He goes.  He speaks to others, through His messengers(Ambassadors).

But . . . , we live as if God quit speaking to His people.  We change our whole mind-set.  We fail to realize that an encounter with the Holy Spirit is an encounter with God.  And we walk with Him every day, and every hour.  Pentecost to the present.  

The Holy Spirit takes up residence at our conversion.  1 Corinthians 3:16

1 Corinthians 6:19.  1 Corinthians 2:16  He is ALWAYS present.  Every Christian.  He speaks clearly at any time, and in any way He chooses.  John 14:16  BP  John 16:13.  John 14:26.  

Sin has so deeply affected us (Romans 3:10-11) that we cannot understand  the truth of God– unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to us.  He is the teacher.  He teaches us through the Word of God.  PRAY FIRST, for an opening up of His Word, to “me.”  Then watch your heart–that is where your “Teacher” is working.  DAILY!  Then, again, LOOK AT WHAT HE IS DOING AROUND YOU.  When he brings someone around you, ask, “How is God at work around you?”  

The God who is speaking to you–as you pray, and the God who is speaking to you in the Scriptures–is the same God who is at work around you in your day.  

The God who chose to speak in Scripture illustrates clearly what He is saying to you.  You can know clearly WHAT HE IS SAYING.  Jesus explained, “The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep . . . and the sheep hear His voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out . . . I am the good shepherd.  I know my own sheep, and they know Me.”  John 10:2-4, 14

God’s voice is not a method, or a formula.  IT COMES FROM AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.  Those who do not have the relationship do not hear what God is saying.  John 8:47

DO YOU NOT HEAR?  It is of utmost importance!  Selah!

Devotion for 6-19-2020

From Jesus Calling, June 19

Psalm 5:11

      11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:  Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

Ephesians 3:20-21 

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Jude 24-25

Joshua 1:5  

I AM THE FIRM FOUNDATION on which you can dance and sing and celebrate MY PRESENCE.  This is My high and holy Calling for you:  receive it as a precious gift.  Glorifying and enjoying ME is a higher priority than maintaining a tidy, structured life.  Give up your striving to keep everything under control–an impossible task and a waste of precious energy.

My guidance for each of MY children is unique.  That’s why listening to ME is SO VITAL for your well-being.  Let ME prepare you for the day that awaits you and point you in the right direction.  I am with you CONTINUALLY, so don’t be intimidated by fear.  Though it stalks you, it cannot harm you, as long as you cling to MY HAND.  Keep your eyes on ME, enjoying PEACE IN MY PRESENCE.  

Devotion for 6-18-2020

Scripture is definitely clear: God speaks to His people. Adam and Eve in the Garden. He connected with Noah He conversed with a guy named Abram.    He was in Jesus, speaking to His disciples. He spoke to John on the Island of Patmos.  He is STILL speaking to His people.  Through His Holy Spirit.  Jesus said, “Until I go, you will not receive the Comforter.”  
Are you having difficulty hearing God’s voice?  Don’t let anyone intimidate you about hearing from God.  John 8:47 If a Christian doesn’t know when God is speaking, that person is in trouble at the core of his Christian life!  Hebrews 1:1-2;   John 8:47(above) All through the Bible, God has spoken through various ways.  And when He spoke, people KNEW every time, that it was God Who spoke.  Moses is a good example(Exodus 3):  

  1.  When God spoke, the way He communicated was often unique to the individual.  For Moses, it was a burning bush—it did not burn up.  For Gideon, it was thrashing wheat—in a wine press; a fleece; a watering hole. God makes our experience with Him and His voice personal to us.  He wants us to focus on the relationship with Him, and not on the method.  Looking for a method, or roll of dice, will have us trying to repeat circumstances, and not a love relationship with Him.  The Key is that He speaks.  
  1.  When God spoke, the person KNEW for sure it was God.  The person listening has to have no question that his encounter was with God—“I AM”  I have spent my adult life sharing my experiences with hearing Him.  THIS IS REALLY TRUE!  God acts just as He promises He will.  YOU NEED TO DOCUMENT EVERY BIBLE PROMISE—IN WRITING, so you can come back to it AFTER He has passed by. Remember Moses questioning how the people will believe me that God has spoken to me?  Gideon lacked confidence, numerous times, and God led him to a verification.  Gideon was sure that it was God Who had spoken.  He still needed additional signs, until He knew it was God.  
  1.  When Go spoke, the person KNEW what God said.  The bush WAS the encounter(Moses).  The tree was the encounter(Gideon).  Fishing was the encounter(Simon Peter).  They all knew that they had to obey—to go with God.  It REQUIRED THEM TO ADJUST THEIR LIVES, TO OBEY.  
  2. When God spoke, that was the encounter with God.  By whatever means God chooses to speak to you, He will speak through an experience of His Presence and His Work in your life.  He is the only One Who can cause you to experience His Presence and Hear His Voice. 

WDSS?  When you hear, what do you do next?  Selah!  

Devotion for 6-16-2020

Frequently, the reason God’s people miss His activity  is that they are not committed to joining Him. They want Him to bless THEIR plans, not adjust to His will.

The presence and activity of God in your life will bring a blessing     as a result of your obedience.  Don’t keep asking God to bless your plans and goals.  When you identify where God is at work  and respond in love to His invitation, you’ll experience Him at work in and through your life.  There is no more wonderful experience than being at the heart of God’s activity.  

Ask some questions about what God is presently doing in another person’s life.   Jesus shows us His example: Nicodemus coming in the night (John 3).  The woman at the well.  Simon not catching any fish all night.  A woman bleeding for 38 years.  A paralyzed man at a pool; the list goes on and on.  Zacchaeus climbing a tree so he could see. These were ALL spiritual matters.  Do you see how we are “transformed by troubles?”  

Two factors are important in responding to God’s invitation:  

  1. WHEN GOD SPEAKS  He speaks when He is about to accomplish His purposes.  This is true all throughout Scripture.  But you have to remember that the completion of His work may be a long time off.  IN HIS TIME.  Abram’s son was not born for 25 years after God told him he was going to make a great nation through his descendants.     God began adjusting Abram’s life as soon as He spoke to him.       When God speaks to you, through Scripture(by inspiration of the Holy Spirit), and praying that Scripture back in conversation, and then WATCHING what’s happening,  and then what other believers are saying about what is happening, and what the Scripture and prayer was saying—that is worthy of your attention and decision.  You need to IMMEDIATELY begin to adjust your life—to Him. 
  2. WHAT GOD INITIATES.  Isaiah tells us, “Yes, I have spoken;  so I will also bring it about.  I have planned it; I will also do it.”  Isaiah 46:11  See also 1 Kings 8:56.   Likewise, in the New Testament, Philippians 1:6.        We MUST recognize when God is the One speaking.  I shared that in the message, “Tools That Help Us Grow.”  When He says something, we can be sure it will be so.  God has never yet failed to fulfill His Word.  You can be assured that God will accomplish His purposes.  ALWAYS BASE YOUR UNDERSTANDING ON SCRIPTURE.  NOT personal opinion, or experience, alone.  AND, don’t forget about false prophets.  Throughout history many people have claimed to have a word from the LORD, and then it did not come to pass.  Verification of God’s message becomes reality.  It is HIS TIMETABLE, not ours.  HE OPENS OUR SPIRITUAL EYES to see where He is at work.  That’s how you will know.  

More to come, about this . . .     WATCH and PRAY How is God at work, even until now? Selah!

Devotion for 6-13-2020

We should not, and cannot, browbeat people into becoming believers.  Persistence actually frustrates unbelievers and drives them further from God.  

You also cannot convict anyone of their sin.  

You CAN pray.  

You CAN watch—to see what ONLY The Holy Spirit can do.   And this has to be in God’s timing.  The following Scriptures describe how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.  

  • John 14:15-17
  • John 14:26
  • John 16:8

When you are born again, you enter a love relationship with Jesus Christ—God, Himself.    God sends the Counselor—The Spirit of Truth, to take up residence in your life.  He is ALWAYS present—to teach you.   In that process, He also convicts you regarding sin.  And the world of righteousness and judgment.  

Here’s what ONLY God can do:  

  • God draws people to Himself.
  • God causes people to seek Him.
  • God reveals spiritual truth.
  • God convicts the world of guilt regarding sin.  
  • God convicts the world of righteousness.
  • God convicts the world of judgment.

When you see someone asking about spiritual matters, and about any of the above things, then you are looking at God at work.  

Your job or work is not just to give you a paycheck.  Your job is an arena in which God wants to use you to influence others for His Kingdom.  All these people were no accident.  They were planned, just as you were.  Jeremiah 1:5, in case you forgot.  They didn’t ask to be here, in this time or place. Before Creation, God has been waiting for NOW.  

So, how do you proceed?  

PRAY! Only God knows what He has purposed  for those around you.  He knows what is the best way to accomplish His Will there.  He knows why He has brought these particular people/Christians together and put them in their current positions.  

After you pray, WATCH what Scriptures come into mind.  THIS IS WHY YOU NEED YOUR PRAYER JOURNAL WITH YOU ALWAYS.  Take note of what people are saying around you.  

MAKE A CONNECTION!  Between your prayer, and your Scriptures, and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. If you do not pay attention to what follows your prayer, you may miss God’s answer.  

ASK QUESTIONS!  about what is happening in peoples’ lives.  Find out what God is doing in their lives.  I use the question, “How is God at Work around you?”  in introductions, or first greetings, all the time.  I have had only one person who answered right back.  99% of the time, I get a blank stare.  After a minute or two, they will usually say that they have not seen Him.  BUT THEY DO REMEMBER IT, for a long time, even months later.  Usually the next time they see me, like an “Ahh Hah.”  

Try this some time!  But don’t forget to do the Pray, Connection, before!  Selah!

Devotion for 6-12-2020

Scripture tells us that there are some things that only God can do.  

If you are going to join God, you, of course, need to know where He is working. You need to learn to identify these things; and when you see them happening, around you, you will immediately recognize God’s activity.

John 6:44 tells us that no one can come to Christ, unless the Father draws him.  People will not seek Him or pursue any spiritual matter unless the Spirit of God is at work in their lives.  

So . . .  when do we see spiritual matters?  

Suppose someone around you—a neighbor, or a colleague, or a child, begins to inquire about spiritual issues.  Is the Coronavirus a spiritual issue?  Is racial differences a spiritual issue?  

You do not have to question whether God is drawing that individual. God is the only One that owns everything that is going on.  Colossians 1:16  If someone asks about something that they are afraid of(Deuteronomy 20:3-4), GOD IS AT WORK.  

GIDEON for example—threshing wheat in a wine press.  To have food for today.  The Midianites are stealing EVERYTHING.  Gideon is not even thinking about an army.  He has no skills.

Moses—shepherding his father-in-law’s sheep(at 80yo), NEVER to go back to Egypt.

Simon—no fish to catch

God is the only One Who can draw them to him.  

If someone is asking why   God is at work.  

Anyone asking why we have the Coronavirus, or their “work” is stopped?  

ALL THESE THINGS ARE PLACED HERE—for God is trying to draw them.  NOTHING CAN HAPPEN unless God allows it to happen (Job 2:1-6)

SO MANY PEOPLE AROUND US ARE LOST—SEPARATED FROM GOD!  This understanding can give us GREAT freedom(Hebrew meaning of the word, “Salvation.”)  WATCHING and PRAYING are two sides of the same coin.  BECOME AWARE of what’s around you.  We don’t have to use any pressure, or manipulate people into a discussion about Christ, nor do we need them to “make a decision about Christ.”  And that is a problem in our culture today.  Riots?  No mention of God, or decisions.  

We cannot assume the role of the Holy Spirit.  And the Holy Spirit deals with everyone one-on-one—at a time.  The riots would not happen if the individuals have been shown that their lives have a purpose.  (Purpose Driven Life)  Jeremiah 1:5    No one shared around them.  And no one prayed for them.  

John 9:1-3  How about you?  How will the Power of God be displayed in your Life?  Selah!

Devotion for 6-11-2020

WORKING WHERE GOD IS AT WORK. Jesus condemned many of the religious leaders of His day for missing the most important part of life:  a love relationship with God.  John 5:39-40:  “You pour over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.  And you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Two factors are important about recognizing God’s activity around us:  

  1. You must be living in an intimate love relationship with God.
  2. God must open your spiritual eyes  so that you can see what He is doing.  Unless God allows you to see where He is active, you will not recognize what God is doing even though He may be working mightily all around you.  

What makes sense to us is not necessarily what God has on His agenda.  PRAY, and WATCH.  We don’t first look  to see what God is doing around us.  When God opens our eyes to see what and where He is working—THAT is our invitation to join Him.  But, perhaps, when we see the evidence of His activity, we fail to identify it as God’s work.  
We all have had times when God seems to be in something.  That is God—opening up your spiritual eyes.  We feel like that was wonderful, but “we don’t know if God wants me to get involved in it or not.”  In fact, most of the time, we just let it go by.  We don’t think about enough to bring it back to God in PRAYING.  We don’t look to link it to Scripture/s. By the time you bring it back, it takes too much “time,” to even think about it.  If your heart is not sensitive to these times, it passes by(God has passed by, just like Jesus passing by Zachaeus.  If we are not SEEKING, like Zachaeus, we, too, will miss our opportuniity.)
On the other hand, a heart that is sensitive to God at work around us, and prepared through a love relationship with the Father, will be redy to respond to God at the slightest prompting.  Remember:  EVERYTHING IS GOD’S, anyway.  Selah!

Devotion for 6-10-2020

“Lord, if you will just tell me what you want me to do, I will serve You to the best of my ability.”    Ever heard that?
If God were to put you into that kind of assignment, could He trust you to handle it? On the night before the crucifixion  Peter said to Jesus, “I’m ready to go with You both to prison and to death!” Luke 22:33-34. Jesus warned him, “The rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know Me.”
God KNOWS the exact limits of your faith. He knows what you can handle. Our own hearts can deceive us(Jeremiah 17:9)  Hebrews 3:13.  Isaiah 8:20.  Isaiah 60:1-2We can have a higher estimate of our own faithfulness and trust in God than we should.  But God is NEVER FOOLED. Don’t insist that God should put you into something you think you should have.  Don’t strive to find a position that you think you deserve, or can handle.  You WILL put yourself into something that is beyond what your character can manage at this point in your self-image.  Let God orient you.  Servants wait on the master for whatever instructions the Master gives.  The servant does not tell the Master what kind of position he wants.  

ANOTHER FACT IS IMPORTANT:  waiting on the LORD should NOT be idle time.  Waiting is time for God to mold and shape your character.  DO NOT USE HUMAN STANDARDS to measure the value of your assignment. ANY responsibility that comes from the Maker of the Universe is important.  

God has been active in our world from the beginning. He is STILL working. John 5:17Jesus watched to see what the Father was doing.  John 5:19-20  Then Jesus joined Him and did the same work.  He kept watching for the Father’s activity around Him—so He could unite His life with the Father and the Father’s work.
Is it possible for God to be active around us, and we don’t recognize it?  Let’s turn to Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6 (key verse is 17).  Elisha prayed.  Only when the LORD opened the servant’s eyes did he see God’s activity—all around them.  WE SO OFTEN CAN’T WAIT FOR GOD  “He that hath ears to hear . . .”  Selah!

Devotion for 6-9-2020

God invites you to join Him.  2 Corinthians 5:19-20.  God was/is in Christ, revealing Himself.  All of the old way is gone, BEHOLD,  all things are new.  God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or imagine—according to the power that works in us.(Ephesians 3:20)

God has ALWAYS been involved in the world, according to Scripture, to reconcile people back to Himself.  He is in the center of ALL that takes place.  God is always telling us through Scripture, His divine work in this world.   He always takes the initiative to reveal what He is doing, to His people.  Amos 3:7  He involves His people in His activity.  

God wanted to save people from a severe famine, so He helped a young man named Joseph to understand that a drought was coming.  He set up all the conditions.  He had been working in the background to set that up.  

God wanted to save His people from a widespread massacre, so He raised up a young woman, named Esther, and made her beautiful, and placed her in the royal throne.  

God, when He was ready to send our Messiah into the world, sent John the Baptist to announce it.  His whole ministry was only 6 months long, enough to accomplish the greatest announcement in the world.  And his cousin’s ministry was only 3 years long, but it accomplished John 1:12.

God prompted a businessman to make his own tomb available for Jesus’ body.  

Whenever God was about to accomplish something new, He INVITED people to join Him in His activity.  God’s OBEDIENT children are in a love relationship with Him.  He shows them where He is working—so they can join Him.  He may spend years preparing your character or developing your love relationship with Him, before He gives you a large assignment.  

Don’t get discouraged  if a task  or sign       or “call” does not come immediately.      Remain FAITHFUL  in what He has told you to do, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant something may appear.  GOD KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING!  

Focus on deepening your relationship with God.   Jesus was 12 years old when He went about His Father’s “business,” in the Temple.  Yet, He was 30 years old when He began the ministry God had prepared Him for.  Until that point, He continued being a carpenter.  He waited until the Father was ready for Him to begin His ministry.   Be patient.  All these people spent years in character-building and love relationship, with the Father.  God needs to teach you to trust Him, for everything.  He owns it all.  He knows everything.  He is everywhere.  God has to build some basic foundations into your life before He gives you a larger role in service to Him.  

Devotion for 6-6-2020

“This all sounds good, but how do I apply these concepts?”  In EVERY situation, God demands that you depend on Him, and not on a method. The KEY is relationship—with God. Most people no longer expect God to do anything unusual in their lives,   or in their churches. They no longer trust God to answer their prayers.  I.e.,  Christians are not living by faith. Back to Psalm 81:10—“Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”  
When we ask something from God, we need to seek His provisions for His work in a way that God would be pleased to provide.  He wants everyone to knowthat God has provided for the need as an answer to prayer and faith—not in response to “raising funds.”

  •     It should begin by getting our heart adjusted—to a given matter.  9/10th of the difficulties are overcome by getting ready to do the knowledge of what His will is.
  •     Seek the will of the Holy Spirit of God THROUGH the Word of God.  The Spirit of God MUST be combined with the SPEAKING of God.  If you look for the Spirit alone without the Word, we open our minds to delusion.  God never does contrary to the Words of God.  
  • Examine your circumstances or conditions with that Spirit and Word.  
  • Before you pray, LISTEN to the Word, and ADJUST your prayer to THAT WORD AND HOLY SPIRIT.  Reflect, according to your best ability and knowledge, to feel at peace.  DOCUMENT all of this, because you DO NOT KNOW GOD’S TIMING Isaiah 55:8

According to your love relationship, with God, God PREPARES YOU to be involved in His Work—developing you to a God-centered life.  NOT TO YOUR OWN life. With any other focus, you are dreaming up something you can do without Him, and is meaningless.  God does not ask you to dream up something you can do for Him,  on your own.  TAKE INVENTORY:  How are you investing your time?  (It IS God’s time).

Devotion for 6-5-2020

You must be careful to identify God’s initiative  and distinguish it from your own desires and feelings. A self-centered person tends to confuse his personal agenda with God’s will.  
Christians often talk about “open” and “closed” doors.  They ask God to close a door if they are not heading in the right direction.I is admirable to seek God’s desires, but there is a danger in thinking that God’s will is always the path of least resistance (“open door”).  What do your difficult circumstances have to do with God’s will?  If your focus is on self, you are always seeking to protect yourself and pursue what is “best” for you, and that is seeking to build ourselves up.  We get into the “fight or flight” situation. To the children of Israel, the Red Sea certainly appeared to be a “closed door.”  They didn’t have any choices.  Moses stayed on God-focus. You cannot determine if you are in God’s will by whether or not things are going well in your situation.  
    TO SEEK GOD’S GUIDANCE, MAKE SURE that prayer, the Scriptures, AND circumstances all confirm the direction you sense God’s leading.  Your prayer NEEDS to be related to GOD’S WORD, or speaking.  And then the Scriptures AND its related prayer(a Conversation, by God) need to be with you in today’s circumstance/s.  IT ALSO NEEDS TO APPLY TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS AROUND YOU.  GOD PROMISES YOU A VICTORY. Deuteronomy 20:3-4

Gideon(Judges 7) had adjusted his life to call Israel to war against the Mideonites.  They had a force of 30,000.  Israel showed up—30,000 strong.  You know that Gideon knew God was his guiding light.  Now he is ready. But God spoke.  But Gideon was not sure about Who, or What Power God had.  You know the rest of the story.  
    When did Gideon “worship?”  How was God going to destroy 30,000 with 300?  
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO STAY THE WAY YOU ARE, AND GO WITH GOD.  How about you?

Devotion for 6-3-2020

God knows what is going to happen in your community.  People are going to experience temptations, crises, disappointments, hardships.  God wants to intercept those lives and bring salvation (freedom) and blessing to them.  Suppose He chose to do that through your life.  If, when He came to you, and invited you to join Him in His activity, you responded in a self-centered way?  “I don’t think I can do that!”  “I don’t have time!” or “I’m not educated enough.” or “I’m afraid to speak to someone in public.” or “I don’t have enough experience in that!”  
Do you see what happens?         The focus is on self. When God invites you, His timing is not convenient.  You present Him with an extensive list of reasons why He has chosen the wrong person, or why now is not the right time, or convenient.      That’s exactly what Moses did.  
God knows we can’t do it!  If you could, God does not get revealed or glorified. And He could do it even without you.  But HE PLANNED YOU.  He owns everything.  He takes pleasure in loving you, and wanting to do stuff with and through you—to bring others to His Purpose and Ways.  God achieving anything in our life hinges on His Presence and activity around you. Throughout Scripture, we see God taking the initiative in peoples’ lives.  Their attention is on their circumstances or situation.  Peter walked on water, in an unbelievable storm,  UNTIL . . .    God would encounter a person and reveal what He desired of them.  
The REVELATION was an invitation for that person to adjust his life to God.  No one to whom God spoke  remained the same.  Peter knew fishing; he knew storms.  What happened when he couldn’t catch fish?  t He couldn’t keep on fishing, and go with God.  And every person experienced His Character in different dimensions
We try to manage what’s happening, or try to expand upon it and administer it ourselves.      WHAT DO YOU HEAR GOD SAYING?  It will be “out of this world!”

Devotion for 6-2-2020

OUR PLANS AND GOD’S ACTIVITYGod is seeking to bring people in our community, as well as in our nation, to Himself.  He wants to use our life and church in that process.  We may know that Christ has given us a Great Commission(Matthew 28:18-20), but we do not automatically know the specific ways He wants to use us to accomplish this purpose, especially around us.  We also know that we are supposed to be witnesses wherever we go(Acts 1:8).  Do we feel burdened to know how God wants to do that, through us?  We think that if we are “good” people, and go hear a 20 minute message once a week, we have accomplished that purpose.  How does God intend to use us and our church in His Work?  WE MUST KNOW HOW GOD INTENDS TO USE US AND OUR CHURCH IN HIS WORK.  Amos 3:7.  Until we have heard Him reveal Himself, how are we going to adjust our lives into the mainstream of His activity?  If you study grat movements of God in church history, you’ll notice God repeatedly invites people to surrender to what He is getting ready to do.  They HAD TO ADJUST THEIR LIVES, and WATCH God accomplish His purposes through them.      Gideon could not just keep farming. Isaiah was just a winemaker. Peter could have just kept fishing.  David was a good shepherd.  Devoted to caring for dumb animals.  Saul could have just kept chasing  down “hypocrites.”  Every person had to change their lives, in order to go with God.  So it is today.  It is God, Who does His will, through those who do.  How about you?

Devotion for 5-30-2020

GOD IS NOT OUR SERVANT TO BLESS OUR PLANS AND DESIRES.

He is our LORD, and we must adjust our lives to what He is doing and the ways HE chooses to accomplish His work. If we will not submit to God and His ways, He will allow us to follow our own devices. Be sure of this:

we will miss seeing God’s activity, and we will not experience what God wants to do through us to bless others. As Christians, it is not only important what we do but how we do it.

Many times, churches try to “serve” God. They may think that God wants them to do something–maybe build a new shelter, or a new auditorium, etc. But they don’t seek to ASK HIM to determine how He wants them to begin. Or when. If God is doing this(whatever), God will not fail. With God, how you do something is just as important as what you do. It is possible to do the right thing in the wrong way or at the wrong time. Doing the task that God assigns in an un-Godly manner, actually harms the cause of Christ rather than supporting it. Doing things God’s way is critical.

Israel was delivered from bondage in Egypt by many miraculous signs and wonders. They walked through the sea on dry ground and they saw seemingly invincible Egyptian army destroyed, trying to do the same thing. They saw God provide bread from the sky. Flocks of quail to eat when they needed meat. Fresh water sprouting from a Rock. Wouldn’t you think they could trust God to do anything, after all that?

Yet, when they arrived at Canaan, they did not trust Him to deliver the Promised Land to them. The result? They spent the next 40 years wandering around in the wilderness. Psalm 81 God would have conquered their enemies quickly if they had only trusted God instead of relying on themselves. They chose to attempt only what they thought they could accomplish themselves. And because of their choices, they missed God’s blessing. Selah!!

Devotion for 5-28-2020

OBEY WHATEVER GOD TELLS YOU TO DO.  The world urges us to protect, pamper, promote, comfort, and prosper ourselves.  But God tells us to deny ourselves.  Well-meaning friends and family want us to lie close to them.  The world wants us to earn a comfortable salary, and build a reputable reputation, but all of that might only be nurturing the very self that Christ commands us to deny.  If this makes you uncomfortable, then you need to spend more time with Gd and ask Him to clarify exactly what He wants you to do at this stage of your life.  We need to distinguish between GOD’S PURPOSES, and NOT OUR PLANS.  
When God starts to do domething in the world, He takes the initiative to tell someone what He is doing.  God, out of His Grace, involves His people in accomplishing His purposes.  Your view of what God is doing, is distorted.      Look at the example of Noah.  What about all the plans Noah had made to serve God.  God was pleased with him.  God was displeased with all the other people on earth.  He prepared to obliterate them all, and start over.  It had never even rained on the earth.  
    God planned to obliterate the sinful people of Sodom and Gomorrah.  He/they revealed His plan to Abram.  Abram couldn’t do anything about it.  
    God wanted to remove the oppression of Midianites from the Israelites.  He revealed his purpose to a farmer named Gideon.  
 When God was preparing for the Messiah to bring the Gospel to earth, He revealed His plan to a teenager named Mary.  
  God wanted to spread the Good News to all the world—Gentiles, He appeared to a “heavy-hitter” named Saul.  
The critical factor was what God was about to do.  In every one of these situations, it was not what the individual wanted to do for God.  
What if Noah was to conduct a door-to-door evangelistic survey of his neighborhood, or start a ministry to homeless people?  These may be noble intentions, but they would have been completely irrelevant to what God was about to do.  Noah did not go to God, and ask God to help him accomplish what he might have been dreaming of doing for God.  In Scripture, you never see God asking people to dream up what they want to do for Him.  He never urges Christians to set impressive goals and generated grand visions for Him, and His Kingdom.  God rebukes those who propose, on their own, to do the best thinking over His commands.  None of them were brilliant planners.  They did become brilliant people of faith.(Hebrews 11)  God commended them for their compliance, not their performance.  Who delivered the Hebrews from Egypt—Moses, or God?  Did Moses seek a relationship with God?  Did Moses ever take matters into his own hand?  Yes he did. (Exodus 2:11-15)  Why did Moses assert himself on behalf of his own people?  Their suffering pricked his conscience.  He was liing in Egyptian comfort and luxury.  He had the best schools and education in Egypt.  He used his position and strength to help a fellow Israelite.  His intentions were commendable.  The result?  40 years of wandering—in a wilderness.  That ought to straighten him out!  
    Suppose he had succeded with his strength and power?  How many people would most likely died abnormally early.  The Egyptians were a world power.  How many were lost God’s way?  And by God’s way the Egyptians were plundered.  

Why is it so hard for us to learn that doing things God’s way is always best?

Devotion for 5-25-2020

The attention of the Bible is always on God, and His Plan(purpose and ways).

Our attention is on me, and today. Romans 3:10-11 The essence of sin is a shift from a God-centered life to a self-centered life. The essence of salvation/freedom IS A DENIAL OF SELF AND A RETURN TO A GOD-CENTERED outlook.

We MUST come to a place where we renounce our self-focused approach to life and turn our attention and control over to God. When this happens, God orients us to His Purposes that He is accomplishing around us.

 What IS a God-centered approach?

• confidence in God

• dependence on God–on His abilities; on His provisions

• focus on His activity around us

• humility, before God

• denial of self, seeking first the kingdom of God, His righteousness

• seeking God’s perspective on OUR circumstances

• holy and Godly living.

Joseph–Potiphar’s wife daily attempted to seduce Joseph. Ultimately, he went to prison rather than yield to this temptation.

Joshua and Caleb–It was God who led the Israelites to the land He wanted them to have. Unlike the ten spies, they said, “If the LORD is pleased with us, He will bring us into this land. . . . Don’t be afraid of the people of this land.” (Does any of this sound like today?)

King Asa–In his earlier years, when he saw an impossibility, he turned to the LORD for strength. It was the LORD who fought the battle. Later, under like circumstances, he did not seek the LORD. (2 Chronicles 16)

Adam and Eve–in the Garden

Self-centeredness is a subtly trap yet is common. The world praises self-reliance. Trusting God makes no sense.

God-centeredness REQUIRES a DAILY denial of self and a submission to God. “As it is written, . . . “ John 12:24-25

Devotion for 5-22-2020

2 Corinthians 5:17

We need to review our life, to see how God has been working, up until now.  

Really important!  

You cannot see God, until He has passed by.  

Then you need to look at NOW.

How does NOW relate to what has gone by?  

Is there a crisis of belief going on in your life?      What is a Crisis of Belief?  

Through Scripture, what is God saying about that(Crisis)?  

It has to seem Impractical.  Apart from God, you will fail.  The  UNknown is God’s.  He KNOWS EVERYthing.  Doing by yourself would be foolish.  Insane.  Irresponsible.  

That is why you must have a love relationship with Christ.  When it is based on a deeply relationship, then nothing is impractical.  It is between two persons.  It is interactive.  Once you have walked with Him, you never return to the introduction.  Everything has been His, EVEN TO NOW.  The “old has passed away; behold, ALL things are become new.”  Jesus was extremely practical.  5000 men were hungry.  He fed them.  Extremely practical.  A woman had only enough for a last meal, before she was going to starve to death.  Who, and what, did Father, or Son, or Holy Spirit do?  The daily presence of God should be the the most practical part of a believer’s life.  Real and tangible  through relationships  with His people.  

God has not changed.  He is in your home, your church, your workplace.  Visible and evident       to you; to those around you.  

How do you walk the walk?  Talk the talk?  HOW DID YOU FEEL when you walked and talked?  

Worship Him?   How clear is your relationship?

Are you having a difficult time, or an emotionally uneasy time?  WHY?

   SPEND TIME WITH THE MASTER.  

BE UNUSUALLY JOYFUL!

Devotion for 5-21-2020

God does initiate the relationship with us.  He desires for that relationship to be dynamic and personal.  He also comes to talk about your life–being PRACTICAL.  Day-to-day living.  Hagar–she simply was chosen by Sarai, to produce a son for Abram.  Sarai used her, mistreated her, verbally abused her, to the point of fleeing for her life.  She reached the end of her resources, and had nowhere else to turn.  God saw her, knew her needs, and lovingly provided for her.(Genesis 16:1-13).   Solomon–had a deeply faithful father, David, and did not ask for wealth, or fame.  He asked for wisdom.  God provided all three.  (1 Kings 3:5-13   Twelve disciples–were met each in their own worlds.  Jesus didn’t send them out in their own strength.  He gave them authority they never had known, to overcome whatever they faced. (Mark 6:7-13)   Peter–in prison, awaiting execution.  (Acts 12:1-17)  An answer to prayer released him so dramatically that he thought he was dreaming, and went to tell others.  They thought he was an angel, or a dream.  As you read through Scripture, people came to experience God in real and personal ways.  Both OT, NT are full of personal experiences, in which only God could have worked around them.  All walks of life.  God has not changed. How will you respond to what is happening around you?  

Devotion for 5-20-2020

When two people love each other, they are naturally interested in finding out more and more about each other.      But, . . .  that is not the primary reason why they spend time together.  It is simply because they love each other.  They feel refreshed every time they are with each other.  
Same thing about your love relationship with God.  His Word.  His Purposes.  His ways.  You WANT to spend time with Him.  You should DESIRE to have fellowship with Him, simply because of what you already know about Him; so you interact with Him to know more about Him.  As you spend that time with Him you will inevitably grow deeper in your devotion to Him.  Everything we do with and for God  should stem from our love relationship with Him.  REAL. PERSONAL. AND PRACTICAL.  
SO many people view God as distant, much like we relate to bosses.  Especially in day-to-day experiences.  They feel towards God as quietly unconcerned about their events that are going on around them.  From Genesis to Revelation, God is relating to people in personal, practical ways.  Turn to any story in these pages, and you see how peoples’ relationship with God is extremely intimate and personal—why and where they are. Adam in the Garden.  Not exactly excited about managing all this stuff.  He complained—who to?  He needed help!  He was lonely.  Too much to be done.  God came daily.  What for?  Adam was asked to be manager of the Garden.  It wasn’t his.  He didn’t like his load.  They (he and God) did it  deeply. God said, “Okay, find some help.”  God led all the animals before him.  Not a single one of them pleased him.      So . . . Who handled the problem?  Hint—it wasn’t Adam!  
You know the rest of the story.  Were Adam and Eve awed by God?  Was Adam excited about his “helper?”  Did that solve all his problems? Stay tuned . . . !   Selah!

Devotion for 5-19-2020

When your relationship with God is as it ought to be,       you will ALWAYS be in fellowship with the Father.  
Jesus was tested on this over and over again, even down to “it is finished.”      You wil enjoy being in His Presence,     and having a close fellowship with Him.  

When Adam and Eve were no longer coming to meet with God, but were running to hide, something was wrong.  
God sought to meet with His people during the time of Jeremiah.  God declared, “I have spoken to you time and time again, but you would not listen, and I have called to you, but you would not answer.”  Jeremiah 7:13.  I have always tried to meet with my LORD each morning.  I long for that time in the morning; but I can get distracted by other things, even by weather, or cold, or hot, etc.  My best time of the day is spending time with Him.  It always enriches and deepens my relationship with Him.      So many people struggle with trying to make time alone with God.  Why is that?  You don’t merely read the Bible, and pray something.  It’s not a discipline or a duty.  The real purpose of this time is to view it as an opportunity to get to know each other better.  When I was first courting any of many girls in my youth, I always longed to find time to spend with them as much as possible.  God does that with us.  Do we likewise, seek this time to spend just to enjoy His Presence?  MAKE IT A PRIORITY!  If you love Him, you will move “Heaven and Earth” to spend time with Him.  A good way to really deepen this relationship is to keep your Gratitude Journal.  Make sure you work in it DAILY.  Very few Christians do this.  Could it be that this help us grow in that relationship?  Remember, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one”?     Selah!

Devotion for 5-16-2020

No matter how hardened your heart is—even in stopped work, or coronavirus, or relationships—you do not want advice. The harder it is, the less you want others to help you. I find that in dentistry, as well as ministry. In dentistry, almost ALL teeth could be saved. Dentistry knows how. Those people who lose teeth, are the only ones who have gone to dentists, most of the time.

  People in Jesus’ day were desperate, who came to Him. In each case Jesus always asked them, “What do you want Me to do?” These are spiritual matters.

Here’s what God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26. No matter how painful and devastating your experiences have been, God is pursuing you with love. He can free you from your hardened, bitter heart.

Paul had to deal with the problem of his past. Philippians 3:4-14

He had been a faithful Jew. He was faultless in keeping the laws of the Pharisees. He had a distinguished education and reputation. He was zealous for God.

  Yet, when Paul met Christ, he came to view his past successes as rubbish. More than anything else, he wanted to know Christ and to become like Him, attaining eternal life. He focused on his future. He set aside the past. He pressed toward the goal of a heavenly prize. He could not re-order his past. But now there were no limits to what God could do in and through Paul—in the future. Become like Jesus. Ephesians 5:1-2 Let your present be molded and shaped by what God is doing around you—when? NOW! You were created  for eternity. God’s plans go far beyond our time. Make sure you are investing your life, your time, your resources—into that which is lasting. Matthew 6:19-21, 33. God knows what’s best for you. He will come to you and guide you, as you walk and listen  to Him.

Devotion for 5-15-2020

From “Jesus Calling”

Revelation 12:10

Ephesians 6:16

James 4:7-8


SPENDING TIME alone with ME is essential for your well-being.  It is not a luxury or an option: it is a necessity.  Therefore, do not feel guilty about taking time to be with ME.  Remember that Satan is *the accuser of believers.*  He delights in heaping guilt feelings upon you, especially when you are enjoying MY PRESENCE.  When you feel Satan’s arrows of accusation, you are probably on the right track.  Use your *shield of faith* to protect yourself from him.  Talk with ME bout what you are experiencing, and ask ME to show you the way forward.  *Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to ME, and I will come near to you.* (Bible Promise)

Devotion for 5-13-2020

YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME

  Jesus said to His disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you . . . you are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of it.” John 15:16, 19.

  Did Peter elect to follow Jesus?  No. Jesus chose Peter. Peter’s decision to follow Jesus was a response to Jesus’ invitation to join Him. God took the initiative. Matthew 16:13-17 When Peter responded to Jesus’ question, Jesus recognized the Father’s activity in Peter. The Revelation came directly from the Father. Jesus made it clear that Peter did not figure out that on his own.

Have you “figured out” that God loves you? If He did not, you would have never become a Christian. He had a plan in mind, when He made you aware of Him, and His love for you. He called you to His purpose. He took that initiative, and you began to experience a love relationship with God(He first loved you). He enlightened your understanding of spiritual matters and drew you to Himself—just like Simon Peter. You would never have taken the initiative. Deuteronomy 30:6. Philippians 2:13. Revelation 3:20.

God created you NOT for time, but for eternity. Your life here on earth is an OPPORTUNITY—to become acquainted with Him, and choose to enter a relationship with Him, not for today, or for the next few weeks/Sundays. Time as we know it is a period during which God wants to develop your character into His likeness. He is into eternity, and He wants to draw you into that, with Him, in its fullest dimensions for you.

  If you merely live for a time, you will miss the ultimate purpose of creation. You will allow your past to control and limit your life. With God, your life is shaped by the future—NOW—as well as eternally. It will never stop or be altered—like Peter’s. God uses your present to mold you and shape your future—while here on earth. Your life in time limits you. Failure, shame, poverty, pride, success, fame, excessive wealth, sickness, weakness, etc. All those are shaped by your past. Not your future. You may have little hope for the future, because of your past. Time. Nowhere in the Scriptures is time mentioned.

WHO DO YOU HEAR? WHO IS CALLING?  

Devotion for 5-12-2020

GUIDE TO PRAISE

WHY? Should I praise the LORD?

1. God’s character—is worthy of praise

(Deuteronomy 10:21; 2 Samuel 22:4; 1 Chronicles 16:25; Psalm 22:3)

(Personal Names of God, Harpers Bible Dictionary, p. 685)

(Names of God notes, Logos 4)

1. Praise is our gift, or sacrifice/offering, to God.

(Hebrews 13:15)

1. God saved us—to glorify Him

(Psalm 50:23; Isaiah 43:21)

1. God commands us—to praise Him

(1 Chronicles 16:28-29; Psalm 147:1, 20; Psalm 148:1-14)

1. Praise follows Jesus’ example

(John 12:28; John 17:1)

1. Praise prepares us for what we will do in Heaven

(Revelation 5:9-14; Revelation 7:9-17)

HOW? Should I praise the LORD?

1. Use words of honor, greatness, joy—that are most natural to you.  Meditation  this. Psalm 100

2. Read Scriptural prayers—out loud.  With feeling, thoughtfulness.

3. Use Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs to praise Him.

4. Use instruments(Psalm 150)

5. Recite the great saving acts of God—in the past, in Scripture (Psalm 105)

6. Describe the character of God—His attributes

WHAT? Should I say, when I praise the LORD?

1. Read aloud your own praises from Scriptures

2. Express your deepest feelings

WHEN? Continually.  Everywhere.  Who?  Everyone who has breath.

Praise is NOT limited to special times, nor to special places.  It should become as natural as breathing in and breathing out.  It should become a natural expression of life—in God’s Presence.

We usually find it easier to give THANKS, than we do to give Him PRAISE.  The two are types of prayer, but they have different focus.

Praise adores God for Who He is;

Thanksgiving expresses gratitude, for what God has done.  His actions—in distant past, and immediate past.

Praise is a greater act of worship.  Thanksgiving usually leads us to praise.  We should thank Him for everything, but praise should be continually. 

Devotion for 5-09-2020

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD, WITH ALL YOUR HEART?

  • Matthew 6:24
  • Deuteronomy 6:10-15
  • Matthew 6:31-33

HE WILL PROVIDE EVERYTHING YOU NEED!

The LORD makes it perfectly clear—He wants to be first place in your heart!

God always takes the initiative in this love relationship. THE ENTIRE BIBLE is testimony of this. With Adam and Eve, in the Garden. He fellowshipped with them.

He came to Noah,  to Abram, to Moses, to all the prophets.

With each one of them, it was He Who took the initiative to build an experience with them—personally—with each of them, one-on-one, a personal fellowship of love.

Jesus chose disciples to be with Him, and to experience His love. He came to Mary, to Martha, to Lazarus. A guy named Saul, on the road to Damascus, He initiated a personal experience of His love.

Why not us? Sin has marred us SO deeply. We will not seek after the LORD on our own accord. Romans 3:10-12 If God did not approach us, we will never find Him.

  • John 6:44-45, 65
  • Jeremiah 31:33
  • Hosea 11:4

God showers ever-lasting love ON YOUR LIFE. He lovingly draws us  when we are NOT His friend. Ephesians 2:1-5

To firmly anchor your relationship of love with God, obey Him(love Him), YOU MUST BE ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED of God’s love for you.

SAUL (Paul) VIOLENTLY opposed God. It took 14 years for Paul to be ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED of Christ’s love relationship with Him. Though we may absolutely reject God—or even to leave Him out of our EVERYDAY experience—He has chosen us, loved us, revealed Himself to us. THROUGH HIS SPEAKING—God’s Word.

Devotion for 5-08-2020

MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

The patience of faith

***Because thou hast kept the word of My patience.***

 ~[Revelation 3:10] (brain://ZV7n25pevVKuAMpuK3XjSw/Revelation310).

Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says—‘I cannot stand anymore.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. For what have you need of patience just now? Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. “Though He slay me, yet will I wait for Him.”

Faith is not a pathetic sentiment, but robust vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. You cannot see Him just now, you cannot understand what He is doing, but you know Him. Shipwreck occurs where there is not that mental poise which comes from being established on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the heroic effort of your life; you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God.

God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us, now He wants us to venture out all in abandoned confidence in Him. There are spots where that faith has not worked in us as yet, places untouched by the life of God. There were none of those spots in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee.” The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we take this view, life becomes one great romance, a glorious opportunity for seeing marvelous things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.

Devotion for 5-07-2020

Good Morning — 

My devotion today was taken from the Jesus Calling devotion reading:

Genesis 50:20

Psalm 23:4

IF YOU LEARN TO TRUST ME–really trust ME–with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from MY PEACE. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting ME. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace through the very adversity that was meant to harm you. Joseph was a prime example of this divine reversal, declaring to his brothers, “ You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”

Do not fear what this day, or any day, may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting ME and on doing what needs to be done. Relax in MY sovereignty, remembering that I go before you, as well as with you, into each day. Fear no evil, for Thou are with me, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter.

Devotion for 5-06-2020

The Joy of the LORD

We have only one life to live. It will end, sometime. You did not choose this time, or place, or to whom, you were born. But you DO have the choice of what you do with it, while you have time left.

What if, when the end comes, you realize that your “ladder was placed against the wrong wall?” How can you know that, before you reach that point?

Your relationship with God IS the single most important aspect of your life. God does not force you to love Him, although He loves you more than you can imagine, or ask. This relationship CAN totally satisfy you. If everything else were removed from you, would you be totally satisfied? Content? Most people have a want list. A “like to do” list. A “Bucket List.”

As good as all these things are, what do you think God intends for you? He intends to give you Himself. The deepest level He intends, in which you would find ENORMOUS satisfaction and joy in your walk with Him. God alone can fulfill the deepest longing in your soul, that we try to satisfy with things, activities, and human relationships.

Most of us try, in our culture, try to be busy with accomplishing something. God does not say that in Scripture. He DOES say, “I want you to love Me above everything else. When you are in a love relationship with Me, you have everything you need.” (Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:33). To love God is the highest achievement, and the noblest position in all of life.

That does not mean you will never do anything to express your love for Him. It does mean that He will call you to obey Him and do whatsoever He ask. But you don’t need to find something to be doing to feel fulfilled, or to feel worthy of Him. You ARE completely fulfilled in your love relationship with Him.

NO COMPETITORS! Matthew 6:24

“When the LORD your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give you—a land with large and beautiful cities that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant—and when you eat and are satisfied, be careful not to forget that LORD Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Fear the LORD your God, worship Him, and take your oaths in His Name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God.” Deuteronomy 6:10-15 And, Matthew 6:31-33.

Who do you love?

Devotion for 5-05-2020

Do you ever feel like everything in your life is out of order? Many people who do attend church regularly, all their lives. They often serve in leadership positions. They have the respect of many members in their church. They may serve God, worship Him, believe in Him, even fear Him. But . . . their relationship with Him is not a genuine, heart-felt love. God created every one of us for a love relationship with Him. That kind of love in your life overflows with God’s love for you. And your love for Him will cause you to overflow to others as it was intended, by Him. Jesus was often considered that He associated with “sinners.” He approached them, he touched them. He visited them. Even in the Old Testament, this relationship is expressed: “Listen, Israel: ‘The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God  with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.’” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) This cry of God is carried into the New Testament(Mark 12:30). Everything in your Christian life. Everything about knowing God.  Everything’s about experiencing Him  Everything about His will for your life depends on the quality of your love relationship. If this relationship is not right,  nothing in your life will be in order, or right.

Examine these Scriptures:

  • Deuteronomy 30:19-20
  • John 3:16
  • John 14:21
  • Romans 8:35, 37, 39
  • 1 John 3:16
  • 1 John 4:9-10, 19

Do we really realize that the LORD does not just GIVE your life – He IS your life?

He does not grant you things  and comforts, so you have a “good” life.   He wants to bring you into a relationship with Him  so that out of that relationship you have everything you could possibly need. You did not initiate a love relationship with God; God initiated a love relationship with you.   Long before you began your life on earth, God demonstrated His love for you on the cross of Christ.

He wants you to love Him in return. 

  • You can choose life,
  • You can listen to His Voice,
  • You can hold fast to Him,
  • You can believe in His only Son,
  • You can obey His commands and teaching,
  • You can be willing to lay down your life for your brothers and sisters.

But when you love God, He promises to respond with His blessings. God’s Spirit will reside within you. He will make you more than a conqueror over every difficulty you face. Nothing will separate you from God’s love. What is the foremost thing God wants from you?  He wants you to love Him with all your being.  Your actions and experiences depend on your love for Him.

Devotion for 5-01-2020

PURSUED BY LOVE

God pursues each person in order to have a love relationship with them.  (Matthew 22:37-38)

A life spent walking closely with the Lord is both exciting and rewarding.  God does not want you to miss out on what He HAS INTENDED for you, from eternity. 

BUT . . . Sin causes us to follow our own selfish desires, but in doing so, we reject what God knows is best for our lives. So, God takes the initiative to draw us closer to Himself.  This love relationship, however, is NOT one-sided.  He wants you to know and worship Him.  Most of all, He wants you to love Him.  John 14:21.

Your obedience, as well as your love for God, to do His commands—goes hand in hand.  John 14:15:  “If you love Me, you will keep My Commandments.”   When we obey Jesus, we demonstrate that we DO trust Him.  Our obeying is our OUTWARD expression of our love for God.  John 14:31.  Obeying also includes doing it in the spirit of the command.  Take Jonah, for instance.  He finally obeyed, and went to preach to Nineveh, but then he went outside, to watch the great destruction.  When God did not destroy it, Jonah was so mad he wanted to die.  He did follow the command, but his spirit was not in obedience to telling the people to repent.  He wanted them zapped. 

    If you, or I, have an obedience problem, we have a love problem.  God’s love for us is always; His love IS FOCUSED—on me, you, us all.  Can you stand before Him, and say, “I love You with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my mind, and all my strength!”?  Jesus did that, standing before us. 

Jesus said that He would take those who respond to His Love for us into an ever-deepening experience of love and fellowship with Him. 

Devotion for 4-30-2020

THE IMPORTANCE OF A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

My prayer is that you spent your day yesterday (4-28) meditating and making notes on Psalm 119. If you did not, you need to do that, for this devotion to have any significance.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He called Moses.

Moses’ success did not depend on Moses’ skills, or abilities, or his likes, or his past successes, or his preferences.

First—God gave Moses an assignment.

When Moses obeyed God, God enabled Moses to do what God commanded.

The results revealed that God was working through Moses, doing things that Moses could never do in his own strength, or skills, or talents, or likes.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He asked Samuel to go anoint a shepherd boy of 5 years of age, to be king of Israel. How could a shepherd boy govern a tumultuous Israel, in such a dangerous time? Jesse did not even think about such a young boy—lowest of the low. And whose plan was this, for Jesse’s great grandmother to gather grain by reaping behind the gatherers cutting wheat in the field?

And who equipped the shepherd boy to be this nation’s greatest king?

Throughout the OT, God worked, by the Holy Spirit/Jesus, in these and other people. And after Jesus’ coming into this world, He sent the Holy Spirit, to dwell and work in all who would obey. He equips us where He assigns us. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 — the common good is the building up of the Body of Christ(the Church). Christ adds members to the Body. The Holy Spirit IS the gift. The purpose is the body.  When members refuse to serve, or they stop participating with the Holy Spirit their part  “dies.” God told this to Adam and Eve, in the Garden. And so, it is even NOW! John 14;10 The Father was in Jesus, and He worked through Jesus to accomplish God’s purposes. And Jesus passed it on to us. John 15:5

My focus, and yours, too, needs to be allowing God to manifest Himself through us. God living His life through you and me to accomplish His purposes. This is not to cause us to focus on ourselves. It’s all about  God’s assignment and our obedience. FOCUS ON THE ASSIGNMENT, as we go. Matthew 28:18

Devotion for 4-28-2020

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR LORD.

The Lord didn’t just create us and let things go without getting involved. God created the heavens and earth, plant and animal life, and he made us with intricate detail and uniqueness. God puts great care into all the things he makes. With loving purpose, he designed your physical appearance, your mind, your talents, and your personality. He delights in what he has made and longs to know you(and to have you know Him).

 God has always dwelled with his people. In the garden of Eden, he dwelled with Adam and Eve. After Adam and Eve sinned, God went to extravagant lengths to pursue his people. He sent prophets with his message, and he gave the Israelites instructions for the tabernacle, where his presence would be. Then Jesus came to earth. After the ascension, God poured the Holy Spirit into our hearts so that God will always be present with us. He will never leave or forsake us.

 If you struggle with your identity, if you are insecure about the way God made you, if you tend to criticize yourself, then take extra time reading through today’s psalm(119). Notice how God through the psalmist defines your identity. Observe how the psalmist describes how God made you. Write down the verses that stick out to you. Post them so you can be reminded of God’s love for you. You are not an accident. His hands made you and formed you. God values you and is thrilled about your life. He gladly dwells with you!  Meditate on ***Psalm 119***.  Write down verses that speak to you from your meditation.  Make notes.  Then MAKE THOSE NOTES RETRIEVABLE TO YOU AT ANY INSTANT!

Devotion for 4-27-2020

GOD IS ALWAYS ACTIVE

One of the greatest tragedies with God’s people, is that, even though they
wish to experience Him, they do not know how to recognize Him at work, within
their midst. It has to happen by the Holy Spirit instructing us and helping us
to know when and where God is working. The fact that you do not recognize it,
does not mean He is not working right now.
First of all, don’t try to bypass the Love Relationship. God created you. That
is more important than what it is that you want to do for Him. Anticipate that
God is trying to draw you into an intimate love relationship with Himself. When
your relationship with God is as it should be, He will begin to give you
assignments—at HIS initiative. Your job is to FOCUS on that love relationship
and STAY THERE until God gives you a new assignment.
Another problem we have is taking a non-biblical approach to spiritual gifts. He
gives us each a unique combination/s. These gifts are the working of the Holy
Spirit in our life(time), to enable us to obey what God asks us to do. God
gives ALWAYS the assignment, FIRST. Then God equips us by the Holy Spirit, to
accomplish what He assigns. In my case, a perfect manifestation of this was in
beginning and through the whole trip, even returning and afterwards. When the
Spirit resides in us, we have all the power of God, and all the resources of heaven
at our disposal. God will carry out what He intended through us—our life. We
may call that a spiritual gift. God does not ask us to find ministries that
suit our gifts. Only God can tell us what He wants us to join Him where He is
working. We don’t choose what we want to do for God. We need to understand the
relationship between a God-given assignment and a spiritual gift.
Over the days of this week we are going to return to Scripture for more clarity
on this. Stay tuned.

Devotion for 4-25-2020

Good morning!  GOD AT WORK THROUGH JESUS

Jesus made it clear that He was DEPENDENT on the Father to show Him what to do.  He made it clear that the Father INITIATED the relationship AND INVITED Him to be involved in HIS FATHER’S activity.  

  • John 7:16 — My teaching is not Mine, but is from the One who sent Me.  
  • John 8:28—When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on My own.  But just as the Father  taught Me, I say these things
  • John 10:37-38—If I am not doing My Father’s works, don’t believe Me.  But     if I AM doing them    and you don’t believe Me, believe the works.  This way you will know     and understand     that the Father is in Me and I in the Father
  • John 12:49—For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command into what I should speak.
  • John 14:10—The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own.  The Father who lives in Me does His works.
  • John 17:8—The words that YOU gave Me, I have given them.

After Jesus had ascended into Heaven, and the Holy Spirit came into him, Peter describes this: “This Jesus the Nazarene was a man     pointed out to you by God      with miracles, wonders, and signs      that God did among you      through Him.”  Acts 2:22God      the Father     accomplished His work      through Jesus   the Son.  And Jesus realized that He could do nothing by Himself.     But with the Father at work in Him, the Father could do anything.    He never took the initiative to dream a dream     or launch a new ministry.        He lived His life in absolute obedience upon the Father.  
If Jesus was that dependent upon the Father, then you and I need to follow the model He set, and realize how ludicrous it is for us to set out on our own way in any direction or guidance other than from the Father.  
When we do things     without the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures say, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.”  Romans 3:10-11.  and “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”  John 6:44.  According to this, people do not seek God on their own initiative.      People don’t ask questions about spiritual matters     unless God is at work    in their lives.       When you see someone asking questions about about spiritual things(even being PLOM disease, or REV disease, or BUSY disease), God is at work in their life.  WATCH!  You are witnessing God at work.    That is something ONLY God does     in peoples lives.                  For example, When Jesus passed through a crowd, He always looked for where the Father was at work.     The crowd     was not the harvest field.  The harvest field   was within    the crowd.  As Jesus walked through the busy streets of Jericho, He was intent on reaching Jerusalem where He knew the cross was awaiting Him.  Although Jesus was only passing by, He noticed Zacchaeus in a tree.     It must have been evident to Jesus that for a man to seek Him so earnestly, and intently, the Father must be at work in his heart.    So Jesus turned aside  and said, :Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, because today I must stay at your house.”  Luke 19:5      Why did salvation come that day, to that household?   Z. was seeking—a spiritual matter—and obeyed.    Jesus was looking for the activity of the Father   and joined Him.    He adjusted His life    to the working of the Father.     He was so in tune with His Father’s activity that He could spot it even in the midst of crowded city streets,    and while focused on the cross ahead.      IF, in the course of YOUR day,  as you go, and someone starts talking about spiritual situations, whatever ELSE you may have planned,  DON’T DO IT!  Cancel what you have planned—spend time with that individual      to discover what God is doing.

Devotion for 4-24-2020

GOD IS ALWAYS AT WORK, EVEN UNTIL NOW.  John 5:17, 19-20Around US.  Jesus said that He did ONLY what He saw His Father doing, in the same way.  
Do we really believe that?  If so, what is happening around us?  Do we ask Him about it?      When you want to learn how to know and do the will of God, you should ALWAYS look to Jesus.  How did Jesus conduct His earthly life?  Jesus perfectly fulfilled every assignment the Father gave Him.  He never failed to do His Father’s will.  He demonstrated what surrendering to God and obeying looks like.  After 3 years with Jesus, Phillip asked, “Show us the Father!”  
    Jesus responded, “Have I been among you all the time without your knowing Me, Phillip?  The one who has seen Me has seen the Father.”  John 14:9-10

God did not create this world, and then abandon it to run itself.  Jesus recognized that His Father was always working, on earth, to accomplish His divine purposes.  He is not sitting in a heavenly throne room passively observing the activity on earth.  God is orchestrating history.  He IS present, even NOW, and in the middle of human activity.  AND, He chooses to involve His servants in carrying out His purposes.  2 Corinthians 5:17-20  Therefore, since He is at work reconciling through His people,     WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING? Go back to John 5:  we have a clear model:  

  • The Father HAS BEEN working all along.
  • Now the Father has me working
  • I do nothing on my own initiative
  • I watch to see what my Father is doing.
  • My Father loves me
  • He shows me everything that He, Himself, is doing.

How do we see Him—NOW?

Devotion for 4-23-2020

Good morning!  Sorry I was late yesterday sending; I thought I did, but Syl reminded me to send it, but later in the day.  So today, I am sending it on early.  This week has somehow been very busy and fast, for some reason.       When I awakened this am, God seemed to move me to quickly pick up a devotion from 4 years ago, and it was like He was actually speaking:  a book called “Jesus Calling,” by Sarah Young.
LET ME CONTROL YOUR MIND.The mind is the most restless, unruly part of mankind.  Long ago, you have learned the discipline of holding your tongue, your thoughts defy your will and set themselves up against ME.  Man is the pinnacle of MY CREATION, and the human mind is wondrously complex.  I risked all by granting you freedom to think for yourself.  This is godlike privilege, forever setting you apart from animals and robots. I made you in MY image, precariously close to deity.  
Though MY blood has fully redeemed you, your mind is the last bastion of rebellion.  Open yourself to MY radiant PRESENCE, letting MY LIGHT permeate your thinking.  When MY SPIRIT is controlling your mind, you are filled with Life and Peace.  
Genesis 1:26-27(NIV) Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Romans 8:6(NIV) The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Devotion for 4-22-2020

GOD IS AT WORK AROUND YOU

When He reveals Himself, in God-sized activity(Amos 3:7), many of us do NOT see His revelation. We are NOT LOOKING/WATCHING to see what He is doing. How do we move our thinking, or acting—to make adjustments?

You can’t stay where you are and go with God at the same time.

Let’s re-visit the burning bush. First up, God said, “Return to Egypt.” Exodus 4:19-20. Moses MADE the required adjustments to orient his life to God.

 Do we KNOW that God can do everything He says He can do?

Going back to Egypt was VERY dangerous to him. He also was doing something by himself. He also KNEW where God was at work. John 5:17 Moses was moldable. He was like a coffee cup. Most of the time, the cup sits around ready to be used, but available for use. We have to be available, and remain at God’s disposal, to be used as God chooses. Moses was an ordinary shepherd.

As Moses obeyed, his experiences with God brought him into a deeper and deeper understanding of Who God IS. God accomplished ONE step at a time– Things that Moses could not do on his own. After all the plagues, they left Egypt, to come up against an impossible way out. It seems that by following God’s guidance led those people into a horrific bloodbath. NO WAY OUT! Moses cried out. God said, “Why are crying out to Me?”

You know the rest. Even today, we can see the Egyptian chariot wheels on the bottom of the Red Sea. How many thousands of years later? Moses must have felt humbled and unworthy, to be used in such a significant way. He simply had obeyed and done everything God told him to do. Obedience brought Moses(and Israel) through so many impossibilities.

Experience God today. Holy Spirit —> the Bible —> prayer —> circumstances —> The Body of Christ(church) —> The Great Commission. 

Devotion for 4-21-2020

YOU MUST MAKE MAJOR ADJUSTMENTS IN YOUR LIFE TO JOIN GOD IN WHAT HE IS DOING

To move from YOUR way of thinking, or acting, to God’s way of thinking or acting  will require fundamental adjustments.

You can’t stay where you are

and go with God at the same time.

Moses had to make major changes in his life,   in order to join God in what God was doing.

Moses could not stay in the desert  and stand before Pharaoh, at the same time.   He had to become convinced that God could do EVERYTHING He said He would do.   He had to leave his job, his extended family, AND move to Egypt.

When Moses had fled, 40 years earlier, he left as a fugitive. Returning meant he had to probably turn himself in to an authority that wanted to punish him severely. It had been written into the law of Egypt. His life was in great danger. How else could he feel? His adult experiences were as a shepherd(the lowliest job on earth). Ken to homelessness today. How could God use someone like that?

He HAD to believe. If it were not God, speaking, his life was in GRAVE danger. There was no one else to help him. He was all by himself.

God told him where He was working, and it was not out in the desert, nor was it having anything to do with sheep.

REQUIRED: TRUST AND OBEY.

Guess what? God has not changed. HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER.(Hebrews 13:8) You cannot stay the same and go with God.

If it is God, who is Speaking, YOU WILL HAVE A CRISIS OF BELIEF!

Read Living in the Presence of God, a story of Brother Lawrence. It is a small book, but it is totally all about this, in a real person’s life.

Devotion for 4-20-2020

Taken from my study of Experiencing God latest new book: God’s Invitation to You God wants a watching world to come to know WHO He really and truly IS.

  • He does not call you to get involved so people can see what you can do.
    • He WILL call you to an assignment that you cannot accomplish  apart from His divine intervention.

This does not mean that God does not ask us to undertake mundane, seemingly ordinary tasks. But . . .

when God is involved in anything, there are ALWAYS eternal, divine dimensions, implications, and possibilities.

When God asks you to do something you cannot do, you will face a crisis of belief.

You will have to decide what you really believe about God.

Can He and Will He do what He has said 

He wants to do through you? that seems impossible through your ordinary life?

How you respond reveals what you truly believe about God.

  It does not matter about what you say.

This major turning point is where many people miss out on experiencing God’s MIGHTY POWER

 working through them.

We want to walk with God by sight, not by faith. It will be impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6) Faith is more than just belief.  It requires ACTION (James 2:14)

  • God does not want you merely to believe what He says.
  •  
    • He wants you to obeywhat He commands (Luke 6:4)

All God’s promises and invitations are meaningless unless you believe AND obey Him.

For instance, . . . 

  • “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and  that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
  • “If I go to the Israelites and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His Name?’ What should I tell them?” (EXODUS 3:13)
  • “What if they won’t believe me and will not obey me but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’?” (Exodus 4:1)
  • “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent—either in the past, or recently, or since You have been speaking to Your servant—because I am slow and hesitant in speech.” (Exodus 4:10)
  • “Please, Lord, send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13

Moses offered numerous excuses/objections.

 He questioned whether God could accomplish such an enormous task through him (Exodus 3:11), and whether the Israelites would believe that God really could appear to him(Exodus 4:1), and whether he was capable of speaking eloquently enough to convince Pharaoh, and the people, of what he said(Exodus 4:10).

In each case, Moses doubted God’s power more than he was questioning his own ability.

 He faced the Crisis of Belief. Is God really able to do what He says?

God finally convinced Moses to become involved in delivering Israel from slavery.

Moses’ faith is described in Hebrews as a model of self-sacrifice and trust in Almighty God. The writer of Hebrews describes Moses’ faith, AND ACTION: (Hebrews 11:24-29 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.) 

%d bloggers like this: