CHARACTERISTICS GOD DESIRES IN OUR LIVES

CHARACTERISTICS GOD DESIRES IN OUR LIVES

O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. —Psalm 15:1-5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27C4cQCb6mM

            What kind of people does our Lord desire us to be? Here are some characteristics He desires us to be living out.

  • Walk blamelessly
  • Do what is right
  • Speak truth
  • Do not slander
  • Do no evil to your neighbor
  • Reproaches not his friend
  • Despises the vile person
  • Honors those who fear the Lord
  • Will keep his word
  • Lives consistently
  • Doesn’t charge interest
  • Doesn’t take bribes against the innocent
  • Won’t be moved

Are you and I living lives consistent with these characteristics that our Lord desires? May it be so!

Dear Father may it be so in my own life that I am living to be faithful to You in these areas by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus, Your Son.

GOD’S PLAN ALWAYS PREVAILS!

GOD’S PLAN ALWAYS PREVAILS!

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. —Genesis 45:3

            Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold into slavery by his brothers because they hated him. They hated him for the dreams he had told them about of them bowing down to him.   Yeh, sure, that would never happen.   They wanted to kill him, the favored one of their father Jacob.

            Joseph spent 13 years between serving Potiphar and time in prison. At 30 years of age he was promoted to 2nd in command of all Egypt (Genesis 41:41-46). Seven years of abundance came about just as Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. In the 2nd year of famine is when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers (Genesis 46:1-7). Joseph understood that God had sent him ahead by using the evil his brothers served on him so they could be saved from the famine!

            So, 22 years later his brothers stand before Joseph… “terrified at his presence.” Can you imagine! Think of what they had done to him— sold him into slavery! Yeh, they were surely terrified, thinking they would now experience Joseph’s revenge, but that was not the case. Yes, Joseph was sold into slavery… but God was with him and His favor was upon him. Joseph realized this and there would be no vengeance. Instead, Joseph was going to have his whole extended family… the nation… taken care of… and he did so. What would we have done?

            Twenty-two plus years passed before the fulfillment of the dreams God had given to Joseph. Are you and I that patient for God to fulfill what He desires in our lives. Patience… God is working.

Dear Father I am so grateful that You always do what You say You will do. May I trust You fully by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   So be it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQmsEE_2-s

OUR LORD’S STEADFAST LOVE IS AMAZING!

OUR LORD’S STEADFAST LOVE IS AMAZING!

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me. —Psalm 13:5-6

            I am trusting in my Lord’s love for me.   “We love because he first loved us” (I John 4:19).  Really, I do not understand why He would love me before I even acknowledge Him, before I even loved Him. I do not understand how the Creator and Sustainer of all things could love me, but I am so grateful that He does!

            I am trusting in my Lord’s salvation and I rejoice in His salvation. Again, why would He save me from my sin? Why would He take the penalty and punishment for me? Why would He leave the glories of Heaven to come to this sin infested, rebellious world to have His own creation kill Him? I do not understand except for this one thing— God is love and He desires us to know Him.

            I will sing to my Lord. He has dealt BOUNTIFULLY with me. Wow… has He ever! He saved me from being condemned to Hell forever. He saved me to a relationship with Him. He is preparing a place for me in Heaven. One day I will be with Jesus and all who love Him. I will sing to Him about that! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJg31komsak

Dear Father I am so grateful for Your steadfast love toward me. I am grateful for the salvation You have given me. I am grateful for dealing eternally bountifully with me. Yes, I will sing to You of these things for You are worthy. In gratitude may I live and love in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnOFh9WFe6k

OUR HOLY LORD GOD ALMIGHTY

OUR HOLY LORD GOD ALMIGHTY

But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death… What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also. —Genesis 38:7, 10

            People may think our Lord is some “wishy-washy,” Santa Claus, permissive grandfatherly figure who allows people to do whatever they want and will reward them anyway regardless of what they do. He is nothing like that at all. People who think like this have a wrong perspective of what sin is and a wrong perspective of the holy, righteousness of our Lord.

            In the passage above two brothers were “put to death” by our Lord for their wickedness. In reality our Lord is very patient with all of us. All of us have sinned against Him. All of us have done wickedness against Him. How merciful He is toward us. When we ask Him to forgive us He does.

            “Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, ‘He won’t call me to account’?” (Psalm 10:13). People do not think they will be held accountable for their wicked actions.   There are many who think their goodness will be good enough to be accepted by God. This too could not be further than the truth. A very wrong perspective of themselves and God.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYZw0dfLmLk Judgment is coming and there is no escaping that appointment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On-whMoulOM

            “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).   If you have not you would be wise to call on Jesus to forgive you and then live for Him. Death will meet you before you know it! Call on Him today! Right now!

Dear Father may I live faithfully for You. Thank You that I have been forgiven through Jesus. Now may I live the type of life You desire me to live and may this be done in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

KINGDOMS OF EARTH

KINGDOMS OF EARTH CRUMBLE, GOD’S KINGDOM LASTS FOREVER!

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” —Psalm 11:3

The LORD tests the righteous. —Psalm 11:5

 For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face. —Psalm 11:7

            Brother and sister when the foundations of a society crumble, what are you and I to do? Well, this will be a test of our faith. When the foundations are destroyed our Lord is still righteous. He has not changed and we are to remain faithful to Him to live and act rightly. That does not change for the follower of Jesus.

            In the United States our foundations have been crumbling for quite some time.   The follower of Jesus is still to be a witness (Acts 1:8) and is still to be a disciple-maker (Matthew 28:16-20).   During the testing of our faith we are to be maturing, not retreating (James 1:3). It is during these times, as well as others, that we need to draw near to God and be purified (James 4:8). It is during these times of testing that our faith is refined (I Peter 1:7). It is during these testing that the true shepherds and sheep will be known (John 10:11-16).

            Now, how are you and I reacting to this virus among us? What did your faith in Jesus look like in 2020? What will it look like in 2021? Let us be reminded of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when they were going through testing— “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18). These three men were going to continue to serve God and not be pressed into a worldly way of doing things just to survive. Will we continue to serve God or be pressed into the worldly reaction and do what the world is doing during this time of the virus? Oh, let us continue to serve our Lord and God however He wants us to. You know, death can come to us at anytime in various ways. Let us be found serving our Lord until we take our last breath!   May it be so!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUxI-ynsTnM

Dear Father when the foundations crumble around me may I continue to serve You faithfully. I am so thankful I am in this Kingdom of Yours that cannot be shaken, that cannot crumble. I need not fear death! Yes, may I serve You for the rest of my life in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!  

Let us have this attitude and not fear death (Hebrews 3:14-15). https://youtu.be/rgWkmyzmTMc?t=58

JESUS REIGNS!

JESUS REIGNS!

The LORD is king forever and ever. —Psalm 10:16

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jvsK798Lbs

            Jesus is Lord and King and He reigns forever and ever— “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). Brothers and sisters we are part of a kingdom that can never be shaken so let us be thankful and worshipful (Hebrews 12:27-28). Those things that are created will be shaken and removed “so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” What is it that will remain? All those who will remain are those who have called on the Name of the Lord for salvation from sin and to a relationship with Him (Romans 10:13-15).

            Our world will be shaken! We see the trembling of it with what is happening now with this virus, but this is nothing compared to what will eventually happen. In the future billions of people will die in a short amount of time. Look how people are handling the deaths of those from this virus. What will it be like when the real shaking starts to take place? Peoples’ thinking and actions during this time are very questionable. What will it be when things really get bad?

            You can see how easily the human race can be manipulated by the very few.   Those in government and media can easily sway the multitudes. We have seen this with the present virus. A greater deception and manipulation will one day happen on this planet and the anti-Christ will be heading up that delusion — “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (I Thessalonians 2:9-12).

            Brothers and sisters let us rejoice that we belong to a kingdom that will never be shaken because Jesus reigns in it. Let us keep focus on that kingdom which we are part of. We are safe and secure regardless of what happens in this world. Yes, let us take great comfort in knowing that! One day the earth and heavens will be shaken and only that which is in His kingdom will not be shaken. We will not be shaken!

Dear Father I am grateful to be part of Jesus’ kingdom that will not be shaken.   Now may I encourage others to call on Jesus for salvation from sin to a relationship with Him that they too may be part of His kingdom. 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=aKTqwBetI1I

WOMEN’S DESIRE FOR CHILDREN

WOMEN’S DESIRE FOR CHILDREN

When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” —Genesis 30:1-2

            There are those women who truly desire to have children and actually envy those who can have children. How sad it is for those who want to conceive, but cannot? Yet it is God who enables women to have children or not. In the verses above Jacob got angry with Rachel when she said, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Why did He get angry? She seems to be putting the blame on Jacob that she was not having children, but Jacob said, “Am I in the place of God.” She needed to look to God which apparently she did as we read in Genesis 30:6 that “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Instead of blaming Jacob she needed to cry out to God which we did and God answered and Dan was born. Not being able to have children is very emotional for women and as we have seen in this passage can bring conflict.

            Abortion today happens because people do not fear destroying what God is creating. They do not have a right attitude toward Him. They do not respect Him. They do not care what He thinks. They are more focused on their own selfish desires and reasons. There is absolutely no reason to destroy the life that God is creating.  Abortion is a direct assault on the God of creation and His creation.

            Can you imagine people destroying what you have created? Say you were carving a sculpture and after many weeks of working on a piece someone came by and destroyed it. Yeh, that would not go over well. Just think of anything that a person has created and intentional destroyed by another. Yeh, that caused conflict. How much more serious is it when someone destroys what God is creating!

            People can use all the reasons and excuses they want, but when it comes right down to what is happening abortion is the ending of life… the life of a person.   Abortion is intentional destroying what God is creating. That does not go over well with Him to whom people will give answer to. Let people give their reasons before an Almighty, Holy God and see how that goes.

            Again, for those who have had abortions there is forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He is merciful and gracious, comforting and compassionate. He will save and forgive anyone who calls upon Him (Romans 10:13-15).  

Dear Father may You open the minds of people to understand what abortion really is. Be pleased to intervene and hinder this wickedness that is taking place. May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp6PVk-CCc0

CHILDREN IN THE WOMB FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

 

CHILDREN IN THE WOMB FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.” When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. —Genesis 25:21-24

            There are those who want children as Isaac and Rebekah did in the passage above.   Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife that she would be able to have a child and the Lord answered. Then there are those who are expecting a child, but they call it “an unwanted pregnancy” and “terminate it” or “abort it.” These are word plays, euphemisms to soften what action is really taking place which is the killing of a child.

            After Rebekah’s conceived it is mention that “the children struggled together within her.” The Lord calls these in her womb children. There are many in this world that will not bring themselves to call them children. They don’t want to acknowledge what they are really doing when they abort children in the womb. They do not want to admit they are killing a child, but that is what they are doing.  

The abortionists are killing children to get wealthy. We live in a sin sick nation and a sin sick world. How horrible is it that a child in the womb can be killed right up to the moment of birth and some are even partially born when they are killed.   Then there are those who survive botched abortions and they are left to die. Others who survive botch abortions are disfigured for life or have other life-long health issues. Yes, this is a dark, cruel world system and no wonder because “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (II Corinthians 4:4). Satan is behind this and those who don’t trust in Jesus need to “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive to his will” (II Timothy 2:26).  Abortionists are doing Satan’s work. Anyone who is not controlled by the Spirit of God can wind up doing anything. This clip shows the utter depravity of man… https://youtu.be/7y2KsU_dhwI?t=484  

            Not only were there twins in Rebekah’s womb, but this twins represented two nations. Two nations would come through their lines. Wow, think of that. Twins were in the womb. Two nations were in the womb. To abort the twins would be aborting two nations. How many influential people out of the 60,000,000 that have been aborted in the U.S. or the multiple hundreds of millions that have been slaughtered world-wide?   We are killing the most vulnerable, the most defenseless and the most innocent among us. This truly is atrocious. What other living creature kills its own offspring at the rate people do?

            Now, praise God there is forgiveness with God for any sin against Him. That forgiveness is found through Jesus.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYZw0dfLmLk&t=49s

Dear Father please forgive us for our callousness toward those children in the womb.   Be pleased to intervene and help Your people to do what You desire in this area. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

PASSING GOD’S TEST

PASSING GOD’S TEST

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”   “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” —Genesis 22:1-14

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”   Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. —Hebrews 11:17-19

            What incredible faith and trust Abraham had in God. How would you and I respond if we were in Abraham’s shoes?   Would we have that type of faith and trust in God? Would we be obedient? Will we be obedient in testing?

            We won’t be put into the same exact situation as Abraham— not in the details, but our faith will be tested “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:3) and so “that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7). How much trust do you and I have in our Lord God Almighty?

            Again, our faith will be tested. Our trust in God will be tested. Just read the opening chapters of the Book of Job. In the verses above Abraham was in God’s will when he was being obedient to offer up his one son. It was a test of his faith. Job, said by God to be a blameless and righteous man, lost his livelihood, lost most of his employees to death, lost all his children to death at the same time, lost his health and lost the support of his wife. He still worshipped God and did not sin in all he went through. Here is what he said—“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) and “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). Oh, that we would have this type of trust in God! Dear Father may it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus! May I trust You regardless of what happens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQmsEE_2-s Wait on Him… He is faithful!

INFLUENCE

INFLUENCE

Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” —Genesis 18:32

When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. —Genesis 19:16

            How are you affecting people? Are you affecting people? What type of a witness are you? Who are you discipling? Whose life are you involved in? Are we being faithful to our Lord in what He wants us to be and in those things He wants us to be involved in?

            A commentary on Lot in II Peter 2:6-8 says “if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard).” Lot was a righteous man and those wicked deeds taking place around him really bothered him, but how much impact did he have in the town?

            When Abraham was interceding for Sodom he asked the Lord if He would destroy that city if 10 righteous people were found in it. The Lord said He would not destroy the city if He found 10 righteous people in it. Ten people were not found. Lot was a righteous person. We are told that. Then his sons-in-law through he was joking about the city being destroyed and they stayed.   He, his wife and daughters had to be led out by the hand because they lingered after being told to flee. His wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back. Apparently she was pretty tied to the city. His two daughters got their father drunk, slept with him on different nights and became pregnant by him. Those were the ones saved out of the city and yet our Lord was merciful to them!

            How many people am I influencing for our Lord Jesus? How many are you? How many will escape the judgment of God because of our faithfulness? Who will you seek to be a witness to today or who will you be involved with in the discipleship process (Acts 1:8: Matthew 28:16-20)? Oh that we would be faithful!

Dear Father be pleased to work through me today to encourage others. I think of those I will be seeing today. May I be an encouragement to them for Your honor and glory and their benefit. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yBzIt_z8oY