“I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.” Isaiah 48:10 “An iron cast into the fire loses its rust and becomes glowing white, so he who turns completely to God is stripped of his sluggishness and changed into a new man. When a man begins to grow lax, he fears a little toil and welcomes external comfort, but when he begins perfectly to conquer himself and to walk bravely in the ways of God, then he thinks those things less difficult he thought so hard before.” (Thomas A Kempis) It is amazing that if we are looking for rest, we must give it all to God and allow His fire to burn in our soul. It is so easy to walk with God when we allow Him to burn up the things in our lives that are getting in the way of our complete surrender to Him. To find that rest we are longing for in God, we must allow God to heal our wounds. We are carrying so many hurts in our spirit. No matter where you have walked in this life, you have wounds that God needs to heal. Some of us have more wounds than others and it takes us longer to find that rest that God has for us. Some of us are hardheaded and it takes us longer for God to convince us that He wants to heal us and give us His rest. It is only by the fire of God in our life burning up the chaff that we can have this rest. Total spirituality is living life forward but understanding it backward.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice! That at times is the hardest thing that we can do is rejoice in the Lord. When our world is falling apart and we just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, this scripture tells us to rejoice. This year has not been the best year to rejoice in the Lord. I should have known that it would be a year that would try my patience. God spoke to me the first of the year and told me that there was things in my life that needed to be corrected and He was going to lead me in the direction so that I could draw closer to Him. It has been one of those years. It has been a time of change, but it has been a time of rejoicing in the Lord. I have come to realize that God brings us through these hard times to show us how much He loves us and wants the best for us. In my case I am very hardheaded and it takes some time to get through to me. During this time of correction, God has never left me. His presence and His love has always been with me. Every day that I walk with God is better and better. I rejoice that He is with me showing me the […]
“But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:15-16 Society and the church discourages addictions. Well, at least most of the addictions. There is one addiction that our society and even some of our churches seem to approve of. That is the addiction to busyness. Busyness addiction is a notable exception. Our culture defines success, status, loyalty, and purpose in terms of high volume of activity. We are busy all the time. If we are not busy, the society may think that we are not very successful. Successful people are always busy with something. Aren’t they? We take on more and more activities until we just don’t have time. Our busyness is not just about our work, but it is about our church also. We feel that if the church doors are open, we must be there. Our children must be involved not only in school activities, but in sports outside school. This busyness is very personal to me. I know that I am too busy. I am trying to stop some of my activities. It is just hard to say no to good causes. Just as all addictions, this addiction causes damage to your health, your emotions, but more importantly to your spiritual health. God has been dealing with me about my busyness. I need to slow down and smell the roses. That is hard to do. There was no one as busy as Jesus. The crowds were coming from miles around to hear Him preach. Everyone wanted a healing from Jesus. This scripture tells us that the Son of God withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. How long has […]
“For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.” Hebrews 4:10-11 One of our problem with living the victorious life is that we are too busy to stop long enough to talk to God much less listen to God. We need to have a time that we recharge our spiritual batteries. “I wasted an hour one morning beside a mountain stream, I seized a cloud from the sky above and fashioned myself a dream, in the hush of the early twilight, far from the haunts of men, I wasted a summer evening, and fashioned my dream again. Wasted: Perhaps. Folks says so who never have walked with God, when lanes are purple with lilacs or yellow with golden rod. But I have found strength for my labors in that one short evening hour, I found peace and power. My dreaming has left me a treasure, a hope that is strong and true, from wasted hours I have built my life and found life anew. (Author unknown) If we will waste a few hours, we will find that life will get better and better. We will be able to feel the presence and love of God in our lives.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6 Do you believe that you can live a victorious life for Jesus Christ? I don’t just believe that you can live an abundant life for Jesus; I know you can. Our problem is we don’t know that we can. Satan has blinded us in to believing that we have no power or authority. This is just another lie of Satan. If our churches are going to survive today, we must accept and know that we have the authority to move forward for God and take new areas for God. Most of our churches today only want to stay in their four walls, because it is easier. If we never get out in our community, we don’t have to battle Satan. It takes knowledge and courage to fight Satan. Jesus never told us that if we followed Him it would be easy. He only promised that He would be with us to the end. “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) This is our mandate. We have the authority to go and make disciples, because of Jesus Christ’s victory on the cross.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5 Do you believe that you can live a victorious Christian life in the world that we live in? I believe that it is possible to live a life of peace and a life that overcomes the world and Satan. Our problem with living this life is that we just don’t have the faith or the trust to live this life. We don’t believe that Jesus won the victory on the Cross and that because of this victory we have the authority over this world and over Satan. In our walk with God, we need to overcome the world. Overcoming the world means that the things of the world have lost their meaning. We seek the things of God more than the things of the world. Yes, we are in the world and we have to be part of the world, but we don’t have to allow the values of the world to influence how we act. As we overcome the world, we learn to trust Jesus and what He has for us to do in the world. Overcoming the world is so important for our walk with God. In the following devotions we will write about victorious living and our authority as disciples of Jesus Christ.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 This scripture tells us that we are not to worry and that we should seek God’s kingdom above all else. The reason we in the church worry so much is that we refuse to be broken. We don’t want to become humble and without letting God break us and becoming humble; we will always worry because we don’t trust God. We don’t see power in our lives because we are not broken. “The humble man feels no jealousy or envy. He can praise God when others are preferred and blessed before him. He can bear to hear others praised and himself forgotten, because in God’s presence he has learned to say with Paul, “I am nothing.” When we become as Paul and are willing to say I am nothing, then we will be content in all that we do. There will be no worry. The only way we can maintain our humility is with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers everyday should be Lord, keep me humble and make me more like you. Trusting that you will take care of all my needs
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 This scripture tells us that in order to not worry we have a part in this process. Our part is seek the Kingdom of God. It says seek it above all else. We seek God more than worldly goods, more than money, more than pleasure, we seek Him more than anything in our life. Jesus must become number one in our life. We must become a God Chaser. We need to want God deep down in our soul. The blessing of being a God Chaser is that we don’t have to chase God long before He is chasing us. More than anything, God wants a relationship with us. This is the reason God sent His Son to die for our sins. To be a God Chaser, we need to allow God to change our view of Him. In other words, we need to let God be God. I have seen God do so many wonderful things and most of them have not been what I expected or the way I expected them to happen. I believe God likes to surprise us by doing things His way. Let’s let God out of the box so He can show us His wonderful love and grace. And Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” Everything turned on Moses being willing to turn aside – to interrupt his daily routine to pay attention to […]
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 “The challenge to actually trust God forced me to deconstruct what I had spent my life constructing, to stop clutching what I was so afraid of losing, to question my personal investment in every word I had written or spoken about Jesus Christ and fearlessly to ask myself if I trusted Him.” (Brennan Manning) If we are to truly trust Jesus, we must deconstruct everything in our lives. When I was first called to the ministry, I had such faith and trust in Jesus. We moved to Colorado to attend Bible College without a doubt that this was what we must do. Over the years for some reason, I lost some of my trust in Jesus. I had more doubts about my trust. The first of the year God gave me this scripture, “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” (Habakkuk 2:1) This has been a year of deconstruction. A year of listening to God and moving out in the direction He is leading. Everything in my life is not perfect, but I have more trust in Jesus than I did at the first of this year. If we worry, we are not trusting Jesus. “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, though the sheep pens are […]
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 If we are grateful for the gifts that God gives us, we will not worry. Everything that we have comes from God; our food, our clothes, the house we live in, our jobs, our health. These all come from the grace of God. He provides for us out of His love for us. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace; as gifts from God that are undeserved and unearned. We thank God every morning for the day that He has given us and we continue with this thanksgiving of praise throughout the day. In our busyness we forget to thank God for all the many gifts that He gives us. We are too busy to live. I am retired but I am too busy. My surgery last month has slowed me down and made me realize that life is too short for all this busyness. I am so grateful that God meets our needs and we don’t even have to ask. He knows all about us and our needs. “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7