VICTORIOUS THROUGH HIS WORD!

VICTORIOUS THROUGH HIS WORD!

And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. —II Samuel 7:28

And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went. —II Samuel 8:6

            The Lord God is God and we are not.  His words can be utterly trusted.  He has promised good things for His servants and we can rest in them fully.  We are to be His servants.  Just as the Lord gave “victory to David wherever he went” so also He is the One that gives victory wherever we go, wherever He sends us.  We go in His authority and not in our own (Matthew 28:18-20).

            So, are you trusting in what He has to say to you?  Do you rest in what He has for you?  Are you expecting victory wherever He sends you?  “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).  Do you really believe in His word when He says He has “good works” for you to do?  He has prepared these “works” in advance for us to do.  What He has for us to do He will do through us.  We need to go wherever He wants us to go and do whatever He wants us to do?  Remember, He is the One who gives the victory.  He is the One who gets the glory.  He is the One who is over all things and can be fully trusted! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xOCRYENXTk

Dear Father I fully trust Your Word and for You to do the work that You desire to do through me.  I will trust You for the victory in and through these things.  Oh, may I follow You wherever You desire me to go.  May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Sx_U0Ztr8

GOD’S SERVANTS

GOD’S SERVANTS

”David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” —II Samuel 1:14

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. —Hebrews 13:7-8

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who must give an account. To this end, allow them to lead with joy and not with grief, for that would be of no advantage to you. —Hebrews 13:17

Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.  I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number, men will rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them. —Act 20:28-30

This is a trustworthy saying: If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble task. —I Timothy 3:1

            Leadership is not to be taken lightly.  It is a serious ministry that the Lord has put a person in.  King Saul was selected by God to be king over Israel (I Samuel 10:1).  Yet, he was not a faithful and obedient king.  God said, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions” (I Samuel 15:11).  But it was God who made Saul king and Saul made the choice to do what he desired and not what God desired.  David still recognized that Saul had been anointed by God as king over Israel.  Even when Saul sought to kill David, David would not kill Saul when he had opportunity because of that fact that God anointed Saul as king (I Samuel 24:6, 12; 26:11).  David understood who put Saul into kingship and it was not his place to kill him.  He understood God was in control and would carry out His plan in His time.  David trust God for that and would not take things into his own hands.

            There is a lack of respect for leadership today in our society as a whole and in the Church in which Jesus is the Head.  There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  People want token leaders so they can still do what they want to do.  They do not consider that whether in society at large or in Jesus’ Church that it is the Lord who places them in the positions they are in (Romans 13:1-7; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11-13).  Leaders are responsible as to how they lead and they will give account to God for this.  But, so also will everyone else give an account as to how they treated their leaders!

            Leaders are put into place by God.  Those in the church are to follow the faithful example of their leaders.  Leaders watch over the church.  The church is to submit to the leadership.  Leadership will give an account to God as to how they lead.  Leadership that leads with joy and not grief is advantageous to the church.  Leadership is to keep watch over other leaders and the flock that the Holy Spirit has placed them over.  Leadership is to acknowledge that the church is the Lord’s church.  Leadership is a “noble task.”  The leader is to be a servant leader just as Jesus was when He was on earth.

Dear Father may I be a servant leader that seeks to honor You above all.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rznoe3zKxM

HE IS GOOD, FORGIVING & LOVING

HE IS GOOD, FORGIVING & LOVING

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. —Psalm 86:5

            Yes!  God is good all the time… all the time!  Of course things do not seem good all the time to us because we are living in a fallen, sinful world where things go bad.  Sin has affected this creation, but take joy because the heavenly home before us will be sinless and perfect.  Then we will know completely the goodness of God without the negative influences of wickedness.

            Be thankful that the Lord is forgiving.  If He was not forgiving then the whole human race would have no hope.  It is because of His gracious forgiveness that we can even exist.  Let us praise His Name!  We will be with Him forever!

            The astounding thing is that our Lord God Almighty loves us.  This is truly amazing that He takes and reconciles those who were His enemies to Himself and gives them life (Romans 5:10)— “For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!”  So “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I John 4:11).  May it be so!

            So how will you and I be like Jesus today?  Who will we be “good” to?  Are there any we need to forgive?  May we do so.  How will I show His love to somebody today?  Yes, may we be like our Lord today.  So be it.

Dear Father of our Lord Jesus Christ may I be like You today toward those I come into contact with.  May this be in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  Yes, may this be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PemhmovZRec

HE IS TAKING NOTICE!

HE IS TAKING NOTICE!

The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness… —I Samuel 26:23

            The Lord knows all about you and he will reward you for your “righteousness and faithfulness.”  Let us not be like those who say, “It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?” (Malachi 3:14).  That type of thinking is foolish and selfish and those who speak such things do not have the bigger picture nor love for the Lord God Almighty.  Jesus said, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12).

             “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).  Yes, let us remember Who we are serving!  What an awesome privilege to be serving our King of kings and Lord of lords!  How fortunate we are!   

            “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness” (II Timothy 2:19).  He is training us “in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17).  “For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous” (Psalm 1:6) and “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).  “For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as if through the flames” (II Corinthians 3:11-15).  “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”  (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)— Revelation 19:6-8

            Yes, let us be living righteously knowing that this is not in vain as we serve our Lord Jesus Christ.  A great day is coming as we get closer and closer to the end of “the race marked out for us.”  So let us fix “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2) until we hear those words “Come and share your master’s happiness.”  Yes that day is getting closer and closer!  May we hear those words “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:21, 23).  Dear Father, yes, may it be so that I live a righteous life in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  All for Your Honor and glory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQmsEE_2-s

REAL POWER!

REAL POWER!

Blessed are those whose strength is in you… —Psalm 84:5

How strong is the strongest man on the planet?  

Paul Anderson’s “best lifts of his career include an amazing 1206 pound squat(still unmatched), a 627 pound bench press, a 380 pound one arm press, a 600 pound push press(pressing the weight overhead),and an incredible 575 pound jerk press(pulling the weight up and pressing it out). He made the Guinness Book of World Records for lifting 6,270 pounds in the backlift. This weight is listed as the most weight ever lifted by a human being. He won the gold medal at the 1957 Melbourne Olympics. In all, he broke 18 American records, 8 world records, and retired unbeaten and unchallenged.” http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/peter_broady/pages/strongestman.htm

            These are amazing weights lifted by a person and yet compared to the strength of God they are nothing!  Even if you could take the whole human race— past, present and future and the combined weight they could lift is nothing when compared to God.  The temporal just does not compare to the eternal at all.  It is astounding when you think about it.  God is so awesome and we are not.  Still, He loves us!  He loves us!

God offers us His strength to live.  Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6) and “He has given us of his Spirit” (I John 4:13).  He who created all things resides in us through His Holy Spirit.  Now, that is REAL POWER! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLMVqNwypjA  “To him be the power forever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 5:11).God has given us His power to live and bear witness of Him (Acts 1:8).  Now let us depend on His strength and not our own today and for the

A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP

A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP

The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. —I Samuel 18:1

            As the wall was joined together or the circuit completed as mentioned in Nehemiah 4:6 so also was Jonathan’s soul knit or joined together with the soul of David.  Jonathan loved David as he did his own soul.  Yes, they loved each other as they loved themselves (I Samuel 20:17).  Now here is a strongly bound friendship founded on doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord.  Saul was seeking to kill David and out of his love for David Jonathan sought to protect him from his own father, King Saul.

            Do you and I have any friendships like that with others who love the Lord?  Are you “knit” or “joined together” with any other believers in such a way that you truly love them as yourselves?  Now isn’t it interesting that the Great Command that Jesus gave is to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and Jesus said that the 2nd command was like the first— “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40).  Do we love people like that?

            This type of love will look out for the best interest of another person.  Who do I love like that?  How am I looking out for their best interests?  Is there anyone that I am “knit to the soul of?”  Or, am I an Island unto myself, isolated from any “knitting” or “joining together” with anyone who truly loves the Lord?  That is a terrible place to be!

            This type of knitting or joining together is only mentioned between David and Jonathan.  We are not told that either David or Jonathan had another relationship with any others like this.  This was a very special friendship.  Do you and I have any of those?  We are told that “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).  Those who have friends don’t wait for others to approach them, they are friendly toward others!  Friendliness invites friends…

Dear Father, thank You for all those around me that I can talk with beyond the superficial and especially for those who are “knit” together with me and I with them.  It is a joy to know we are on the same page and seek to honor You above all.  May these relationships bring honor and glory to You in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR2rpVd5Lwo

MOTIVE

MOTIVE

Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. —I Samuel 15:23

“Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. —I Samuel 16:7

            The Lord sees man differently than man sees man.  Man can only see the outwardness of a man— his looks and his actions.  But the Lord sees the heart of a man.  He understands the motives and intent of the heart. 

            We are told that rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft.  This is how serious sin is.  Do we understand this?  Being stubborn is as bad as worshipping idols.  These are heart issues and this is what the Lord sees.  Men’s actions may look good to men, but what do they look like to God.  He is not fooled by the outward hypocrisy of men.  He knows exactly what a man truly is!

            Look what the Holy Spirit leads the apostle Paul to say in I Corinthians 4:1-5— “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Now it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.  I care very little, however, if I am judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.  My conscience is clear, but that does not vindicate me. It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

            What is Paul saying?  There are people who may judge us, but what really counts is when the Lord judges us.  People do not know our heart.  We don’t even fully know our heart.  But the Lord fully knows our heart and it is Him we are going to give an account to.  It is true that “by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20), but the context of this statement is identifying true and false prophets.  It does not mean that you will know everything about a person, but it does mean that you can tell if the person truly follows the Lord or not. 

            When the Lord judges us on that “day” He will not just judge the actions, but He will judge the motives behind the actions.  Which of us have pure motives all the time?  If Paul said that “My conscience is clear, but that does not vindicate me,” what does that mean about us?  Just because we have a clear conscience does not mean that we are completely innocent.  The motives of our heart may not be right and only the Lord can judge that 100% accurately.

            These are pretty serious statements: “Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.”  We are to make “judgments” but let us do so with great care.  The motive for our making “judgment” may not even be pure.  As best as we can, let our motives be God-honoring.  In that day “He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.”  Seek to be faithful with right motive!

Dear Father may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  Oh, that I would seek to honor You with my actions and the motives behind them.  So be it!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlSmG-_eJTU

GIVEN UP TO THEIR OWN WAYS

GIVEN UP TO THEIR OWN WAYS

But My people would not listen to Me, and Israel would not obey Me.  So I gave them up to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. —Psalm 81:11-12

For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts… Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another. —Romans 1:21, 24

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen.  For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. —Romans 1:25-26

Likewise, the men abandoned natural relations with women and burned with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  Furthermore, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, He gave them up to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. —Romans 1:27-28

            Imagine our not listening to the Lord God Almighty, Creator of all things and the One who holds all things together.  Imagine anybody not willing to listen to Him who is Sovereign over all things.  Or think about those who “talk back to Him.”  “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:20-21).  When we were growing up we knew what would happen if we “talked back” to our parents.  Yet people are quick to talk back to God.  How serious is that?  It can be eternally serious!

            When people do not want to listen to our loving, compassionate, caring, concerned and longsuffering Lord then there is a point where He gives them up or lets them go their own way.  How foolish to not walk in the Light, but choosing to walk in darkness.  Why do people do this?  It is because “people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

            This is nothing new.  It all started with Adam and Eve going their own way and eating the fruit they were told not to (Genesis 3).  Since then sin has be desirous to the natural man more than desiring God.  How sad…  But for God to “give them up” to their own ways is a scary statement.  When people make the choice to suppress the truth of God they do this by their own wickedness.  The darkened heart lives without the Light of God.  They cannot see His glory and cannot understand Him.  They see life with blinders on with Satan the instigator in this (II Corinthians 4:4).  Satan uses all kinds of things to blind people from the truth.

            I was talking with Tom yesterday.  He has a religious background, but with what he has seen happening in “the church” he does not want anything to do with “it.”  The trouble is that Tom doesn’t understand what the Biblical church is, who Jesus is and he has made a god up in his mind to his own liking and going his own way.  This is so sad, but it is understandable how Satan will use the wickedness of men to “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18).  Still, what an eternally dangerous place to be when God may “give them up.”  We do not know when this may happen in a person’s life so let us share the gospel with whoever we can.  Dear Father, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it for Your honor and Your glory!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-pYBUCjkqE

DISOBEDIENCE— IT WILL NOT GO WELL!

DISOBEDIENCE— IT WILL NOT GO WELL!

If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.  But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king —I Samuel 12:14-15

            America has turned its back on the Lord for the most part.  This nation does not fear the Lord.  Its leaders and its people are largely rebelling against Him.  They do not serve Him or obey His voice.  We are in great danger of the Lord’s hand being against us and if that is the case then nothing or nobody can save this nation from His judgment.

            No, we do not fear the Lord…

As a nation do we really want the Lord’s hand against us?  Are we provoking Him to anger?  Do we really want to experience His judgment?  Our leaders and “we the people” need to repent, turn from our ways and obey the voice of the Lord.  If we do not, then why would God not judge this nation?

O Lord God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus be please to bring repentance to this nation.  May You begin with Your Church.  May we be what You desire us to be and do what You desire us to do.  May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ35aiGAchc

LORD & KING

LORD & KING

…for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. —I Samuel 8:7

            This rejecting of the Lord from being King over Israel is the same problem our world has today.  People in this world do not want Jesus to be their King.  They want someone else or something else or themselves to rule their lives.

            Brothers and sisters, those of you who have called on the Name of the Lord, Jesus is our King.  We are His servants.  As His servants we are to serve according to His purposes.  Jesus reigns and we are to yield to the desires of our King.

            Now, as you serve the Lord and share the gospel with others, many unfortunately will reject the message you bring.  Remember this; it is not you they are rejecting.  It is the One who has sent You with the message. 

It is like an earthly king who sends his servant with a message to some of his people.  They may reject the messenger and even kill the messenger who is only a carrier of the message.  The people are ultimately rejecting the king who sent the messenger with the message.  They are rebelling against his message and he himself.

So it is in this world.  King Jesus has sent us with His message of the good news of the gospel.  We are carriers of that message.  The message is His— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=446s People’s rejection of the message is a rejection of His Kingship.  Still, we are to bring the message to people.  We do not know who those are who will accept the message and call on our Lord Jesus to be the King of their lives.  There will be those who reject the message and our King, but let us be faithful to our King and getting His message out.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKTqwBetI1I

Dear Father I am so grateful for the message of King Jesus being brought to me.  Now, may I faithfully bring that message to others and not be fearful of rejection, knowing it is Him they are ultimately rejecting, sad as that is.  May I go in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  So be it!