Monday, December 29, 2008

A Change of Mind is in Order

Do you have any idea how much God loves you? He is crazy about you; what else could He do to show you exactly much He cares about you? A better car? A higher income? A better behaved family? A bigger home? An unexpected windfall?

There was a memorable plaque that I came across a few weeks ago. It said, "Which is easier, for God to bring peace out of the storm or for Him to bring peace within the storm?"

I know that we all want the former; God prefers the latter because that is where faith sits!

The Kingdom of God works on a different system than the domain of this world. The Kingdom of God works entirely on faith; the domain of this world works on success, accomplishment, wealth, health and possessions. There is no greater disparity than that of the two sytems!

Maybe it time that we reposition our minds toward the things that God prefers. It make take some sincere repentance; for sure, it will take some degree of faith!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hearing From God

An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. And Zaharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear gripped him.

So opens the communication, once again between the Creator and His creation!

400 years; that’s a long, long time.

400 years had been how long it had been since God had spoken to mankind. No prophets, no angelic appearances, no visions, no dreams; absolutely no communication whatsoever!

Silence, how does that make sense. Mankind left to himself leads only to degradation; nothing good comes from this type of silence.

“Do not be afraid” were the first words from God in over 400 years. “Do not be afraid”; four words that speak volumes.

-God chose to open is communications once again with one single man.

-God did not allow the urgency of the message to be delivered to override His care for the individual. "Do not be afraid" is not an unimportant detail.

-God chose to speak to an individual who was available; just doing his assigned duties.

-God re-opened communications with the physical presence of an angel to confirm the message.

So, how long has it been since you have heard from Him? The good news is that, at least, it couldn’t have been 400 years. Schedule some time to hear from Him soon! He will show up.

Monday, December 15, 2008

That Name!

Power in the Name

His name is Jesus, not Christ, not Lord, not God. Yes, He is the Messiah (Christ), He is Lord of Lords and He is eternal God but His name is Jesus.

There is something entirely unique about His name. Scripture indicates that it is unique beyond all other names.

There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.. Acts 4:12

And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know. Acts 3:16

Therefore God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. Philippians 2:9&10

And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads! Revelation 22:3&4

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17

Scripture tells us that there will be many Christs and false prophets. Mark 13:22 There, therefore, is no power in the title of Christ.

Lord is a title of royalty. There have been many Lords in many countries and societies. Jesus is called the Lord of Lords for such reason. There is no power in the title of Lord.

Too many to name are the gods of this world. Religions too numerous to mention all have a concept of god. People freely use the term of god in their exclamations, “Oh, my god!”, “god, no or god, yes”. Jesus referred to the god of this world referring to Satan. There is no power in the title of God!

If you are weary of your mundane job, life; if you are powerless over the temptations; if scripture is boring or left on the shelf; if you would like to experience more power in you life, drop the powerless terms and adopt the powerful name of Jesus!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Food For Your Soul

For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Many are very familiar with this scripture. Knowing about this scripture is far different from knowing the scripture. There exists a serious lack, in terms of time invested, in the Bible by Christians today. This lack has brought sever consequences. Fear, stress, relationship troubles, pornography, impatience, debt, mistrust, insomnia are commonplace in the lives of Christians in current times.

Jesus prayed the following words: They (the followers of Jesus) are not of this world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:16&17

We are “sanctified”(set apart for God’s purposes) by God’s word. There is no other method available. Jesus knows that living in this world dilutes even the strongest resolutions. The “truths” of this world begin to take on an air of acceptability over time. The only antidote for the “truths” of this world are the real truths of God’s world and the only place that we experience God’s world is through His word.

Hebrews tells us that the Word of God is living and active. Clearly then, scripture is not a stagnant document. This is an important distinction because, unlike every other book or document, the Bible reveals its truths in levels.

…the natural man does not accept the things of God; for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. I Corinthians 2:14

The closer we are to our “natural man” the less likely we are to read the scriptures because we do not “understand them”. The amazing resilience of scripture provides that, even if we begin close to our “natural man” state, the “sharp, two-edged sword begins to speak to our spiritual man.

As our spiritual nature feeds on God’s word, our spiritual nature grows stronger and stronger. As our spiritual nature (faith) grows new levels of scriptural truth open up to us.

It is time to begin again. Pick up God’s word and ask the Holy Spirit to direct your thoughts and reveal His truth.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Truth Sprouts Worship

Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus answered him, Because you have seen you believe? Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe. John 20:28&29

Believing is a difficult thing to explain isn’t it? Come to think about it, it’s a bit difficult to personally understand as well. It’s kind of like being “all grown up”. Kids can hardly wait for the day when they are grown up until one day they are there and can’t understand where all the time has gone. Likewise, belief is something we can often see in others but, at times, feel woefully inadequate in our own lives.

So how do we go about increasing our faith?

We have all read the books or seen the movies wherein hope is slipping away and despair is growing by the moment. The horizon has been repeatedly scanned for possible escape; any help! Suddenly, miraculously over the distant hill we see the cavalry, the townspeople, the lone stranger, the long lost love… Hope turns to unfettered joy as desperate hopelessness turns to victory!

The Psalmist might have had an initial similar expectation as he begins his thoughts (Psalm 121)I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? He continues: My help comes from the Lord who made the heaven and the earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps [you] will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever!

So how do we increase our faith? Worship is the key! Let me hasten to point out that we too often have the view that worship is music or singing. While music and singing are often present at worship and sometimes vehicles of worship, it can as easily be an escape from true worship!

In a discussion with a woman who attempted to deflect confrontation about her private life Jesus said, “…true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth and truth” John 4:23&24

“Worship in truth”…what, if you were sincerely honest would you really say to God? Until we are willing to deal with truth we will never enter into the truth of worship.

The Psalms are great examples of honesty. (For example, read Psalm 10 looking for the truth and for the turn around.) It is only due to the courage of the psalmist in laying his heart bare before the God who knows him better than he know himself that his perspective begins to change. Once we experience the deep release of truth with God we will be set free to worship!True worshipers shall worship the Father (John 5:23) in spirit and truth!

It is within this type of worship that true faith is discovered!

Isn't it time to be real with your God?