THINK PROPERLY ABOUT YOURSELF

THINK PROPERLY ABOUT YOURSELF

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me, —Psalms 131:1

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. —Romans 12:3

            We are not to be prideful or arrogant, but we are to think about ourselves correctly. God has distributed to each of us a measure of grace and faith. Let us not seek to occupy ourselves with things that are too great for us, but let us occupy ourselves with those things He has given us grace and faith to be involved in.

            So, let us consider this— are we occupying ourselves with those things God has given us grace and faith to be involved in? There are some things that are just so clear from His Word that we are to be involved in: loving God and neighbor (Matthew 28:37-40), being witnesses (Acts 1:8), making disciples that obey (Matthew 28:16-20), obeying the one-another commands… Yes, God’s Word is very clear that these areas are included in the grace and faith He has given us. There are areas of service where the Lord would have each of us serving Him in and we need to obey Him in those areas as well.

            Are you being an obedient disciple? Are you thinking too lowly of yourself and that is what is keeping you from being obedient to Him? Are you thinking too highly of yourself and that is what is hindering you from faithfully serving Him where He desires you to be? Both of these are prideful. Let us seek to serve Him according to His purposes and not according to our pride.   Yes, may this be so in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it.

Dear Father may I be serving You with the measure of grace and faith that You have given me. May I not allow pride to diminish Your desires for me not inflate those desires for me. May I be faithful with the measure of grace and faith You have given me. 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=xBkk9gxDet0

 

NONE CAN STAND IF HE KEEPS RECORD OF SIN!

NONE CAN STAND IF HE KEEPS RECORD OF SIN!

  If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? —Psalms 130:3

            Of course the answer is— nobody. One sin, just one would be enough for our Lord to judge us and we would wind up in hell. Just one sin could do this. We do not understand the depravity and wickedness of sin before a perfectly pure and just God. He cannot have anything to do with sin. It is utterly abhorrent to Him. No person who has not called on the Name of Jesus to be saved will be forgiven (Romans 10:13). Forgiveness only comes through Him (Acts 4:12; I Peter 1:13-25).

            Fellow follower of Jesus let us be thankful that God does not keep a record of our sins. Surely nobody can stand before God as if they are perfect in themselves. We are not. David surely understood this— “Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalms 51:9-12). Yes, David confessed what he did (II Samuel 12:1-25) and his desire was to be restored to “the joy of your salvation.” Sin in his life took that joy away, but it returned after he confessed his sin to God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkrxLW8lrIg

            Brother and sister if God kept a record of our sin then neither could we stand. But, God has provided the way through Jesus not only to be forgiven (I John 1:9), but has also to enable us to stand (Romans 14:4). How grateful, thankful, comforting, encouraging this is to us.   And now, Dear Father, may I be faithful in living for You out of my love for You. I only can love You because You first loved me and I marvel at this.   Yes, may I live faithfully for You by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. May this be so because this is my desire!

LEADERSHIP FOR MONEY GRUBBING

LEADERSHIP FOR MONEY GRUBBING

 Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” —Micah 3:11

             Leaders, whether they government or religious, so many times are in their positions for financial gains. Many government leaders manipulate and bribe for their own personal gain. They are not interested in the welfare of the people, but only in their own welfare. They should not be in office! There are also religious leaders who are also only focused on their own personal financial gain. They are not serving because they love God or love people. No, they are in their positions with their eyes on monetary benefit. They too should not be in their positions.

            Those leaders, whether government or religious, both say, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.” These people claim to be following the Lord, but their actions prove otherwise. Recently a government official after finding out they may have action taken against them by the religious group they are part of said, “I think I know what is best for me and I can decide.” This person has no problem slaughtering children in the womb and thinks they can do whatever they want and not what the Lord wants. This is utter hypocrisy and is way too common with those who claim to know the Lord. They are not obedient to Him, but they are obedient to their own whims. Themselves gods of their own making.

            But our Lord is not mocked. Those who claim to “lean on the Lord” will be found out for exactly who they are. He will reveal it and nobody is getting away with anything. Every single one of us will stand before Him and then the truth about us will be revealed.   Those who are living for their own financial gain when they are suppose to be looking out for the best interests of those they are serving will be shown exactly who they are and will suffer the consequences. Our Lord God Almighty is will not be mocked. All will answer to Him! Prepare to meet Him!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-PYpyaGXYc Yes, may we be prepared to meet Him!

Dear Father I am so glad that You are in control and that one day You will right all wrongs. I so look forward to that day when I will be with Jesus in glory and with all those who love Him. May that be soon! Until then may I be faithfully be about Your desires. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.

A JONAH OR A JOHN

A JONAH OR A JOHN

  “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” —Jonah 3:4

             Jonah… he surely was not obedient to God’s call on his life… initially. Then after God brought literal storms in his life Jonah was obedient to God’s desire— he went to Nineveh… reluctantly.   He was obedient, but it was obedience with an attitude. It was not a loving obedience to God, nor was his obedience out of love for the Nineties.   He was being obedient, but not with the right attitude.

            Even with a wrong attitude and a brief message— “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4) —God impacted the whole city of thousands upon thousands of people as they repented in sackcloth and ashes. God used a man with wrong-headed thinking to bring multitudes to repentance! Was Jonah happy about this? No, he was not. How sad is that?

            Here’s a point I would like to make… a point my Lord is speaking to me about.   If God worked through Jonah with his poor attitude, can He not work through you and me who are seeking to love God and people? If God impacted multitudes through Jonah’s brief message can He not work through the Word of God we speak to people to impact people as well?

            Listen, you and I do are not going to be “perfect” in our communications with others as we seek to encourage them to trust Jesus, but God works through imperfect people to draw others to Himself. We just need to be obedient. But let our obedience be out of love for God and love for people and not out of reluctant obedience— “Ok Lord, I will do it because you want me to, but I really don’t want to.” No, may our attitude not be like that, but may it be “Yes Lord, because I love you and I love people I will obey what you say… willingly.” Yes, may that be our attitude. Let us not be a reluctant Jonah… let us be a beloved John (Gospel of John and 1, 2, 3 John, Revelation). May that be so!

Dear Father out of love for You and love for people may I be faithful in sharing what Jesus has done for us and encourage them to trust Him. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEhRucEVzH8

GOD’S GIFT OF CHILDREN

GOD’S GIFT OF CHILDREN

 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. —Psalm 127:3

             Children are a gift from our Lord and an extension of His grace. As with any gift from God, “How are we stewarding these precious gifts He has given?” Children are meant to be a blessing, not a burden. But today there are many who see children as a burden and not a blessing. If people truly believed that children were a gift from God and a blessing from Him they would not—

  • Be aborting these blessings in the womb
  • Be giving others responsibility for educating these blessings
  • Be relegating the responsibility of caring for these blessings to others
  • Be allowing others to shape the character of these blessings
  • Be abandoning these blessing to fend for themselves
  • Be allowing the promotion of drug use among these blessings
  • Be allowing these blessings to be trafficked
  • Be allowing these blessings to die of hunger
  • Be allowing these blessing to be gender manipulated
  • Be allowing these blessings not to hear about Jesus

Any gift that you would give to another you give to bring joy to their lives. Children are to be a joy to our lives, but how many people are not experience joy from having children? Or, how many people are not seeing these children as gifts from God? A gift received and not treated as the giver desires brings great sadness. How grieved is our Lord by not treating His blessings of children as they ought to be treated? His justice is coming… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFlQv_AkmaI

Dear Father I thank You for our children and may each one of them, their spouses and their children follow You. May this be so down through their lineage to the end of this age.   That is our heart’s desire above all else for them. May You also work through us to affect many other children and families for Your Honor and glory. Yes, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.

SOW HIS SEED, EXPECT A HARVEST!

SOW HIS SEED, EXPECT A HARVEST!

 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. —Psalm 126:5-6

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2DlsMtjPlw&list=PLApeJb99y-r-JRrQbua5KHmLNB3oq-IDc&index=38

            Be faithful in sowing the seed of God’s Word.   Have a passionate heart for the lost.   They are headed for hell without Jesus.   This should bring us great sorrow.   But let us go out with His seed and plant and water it. He is the one who causes that seed to grow. We cannot make it grow, but He has given us the responsibility to sow and water as laborers with Him (I Corinthians 3:5-9). So let us be faithful in doing our part!

            Listen… if we are sowing God’s Word then there will be a harvest. You can be assured of that because—

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. —Isaiah 55:9-11

So let us trust that as we faithfully sow His Word that a harvest will come. We will be filled with joy just as “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7). But we need to be sowing! Want to experience joy and rejoicing… sow His seed… expect He will harvest! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=10s

Dear Father please help me to be faithful in sowing Your seed. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. So be it!

LED ASTRAY BY LIES!

LED ASTRAY BY LIES!

 But their lies have led them astray. —Amos 2:4

 But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the LORD will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel! —Psalm 125:5

             Whether it was Judah of old or any nation or people today, lies lead them astray as they turn away from the Lord and to their own wicked ways. Their lies lead themselves astray and they lead others astray by those same lies.

            Here are some of the lies today that are leading people astray.       

  • Instead of working as God has designed, government pays people to stay home and be idle. This is a huge lie as people think this is “free” money.
  • God’s Word is clear “The wicked borrow and do not repay.” This is true of an individual as well as a nation. Our government is not paying its debt, but is constantly increasing it.   And as our representatives they are not being faithful with the money they are exacting from its citizens— us.   It is a huge lie that we do not have to pay our debt.
  • Not living within the resources available. Whether this is a family or a nation it is a terrible lie to think one can live beyond one’s budget without consequences.  
  • Our government giving away money with the communication that it is helping and is compassionate while all the while it is causing dependency and passivity, lack of motivation and creativity. This lie is destroying people and businesses.
  • Portraying concern for race while all the while bringing about more division fueled by its policies and communication. This is a lie about unifying, but is causing further rifts.
  • TV as state communication spouting lies as directed and people are swallowing their “news” message as truth. This is terrible manipulation.

We live in a world system, but as followers of Jesus we are not of it.   Instead we are to be discerning as to what times we live in and what is going on around us. Regardless of what is going on in our nation or in the world the commission that Jesus gave us is to “make disciples of all nations” and that has not changed. As citizens of Heaven we are to be faithful to our King, being and doing what He desires and not get distracted by what is happening in our world. We are to live for the Truth and not be carried away by the crooked ways and lies of those seeking to deceive and lead others astray.   We have only one Savior and that is Jesus. We are to pray for our government and our Lord works in and through government, but government is not our Savior.

Brothers and sisters let us not be discouraged with all the lies that are being perpetrated. Instead let us be encouraged in the work of our Lord and be faithful as we wait to be with Him. May we shine for Him and encourage others to trust in Jesus. He alone is our hope!

Dear Father please help me to see through the lies that are communicated in our day. May I be faithful to You by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus. May it be so!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxIZOlWfccA

THE WAYS OF OUR LORD

THE WAYS OF OUR LORD

 A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, he loves to oppress. —Hosea 12:7

 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. —Hosea 14:9

             The ways of our Lord are right and those who love Him walk in them. But those who do not know Him stumble at what He has to say. They do not understand, they are not discerning and they do not know His ways. They love deception and oppression.

            Think about it. Who would not want to do what is right? Who would want to do what is wrong? Who would want to liberate? Who would want to oppress? Who would want to use right measurement? Who would want to use false measurements? Who would want to be wise? Who would want to a fool? Who would want to have understanding? Who would want to be ignorant? The upright want what the right ways of the Lord. Transgressors do not want the right ways of the Lord. It is really that simple.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1dxUncCYIM

Dear Father my desire is to be and do what You desire. I look forward to glory when I will perfectly do so. But it is my desire to do so and may it be in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus. So be it.

DIFFICULTY… LOOK TO OUR LORD!

DIFFICULTY… LOOK TO OUR LORD!

 To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. —Psalm 123:1-2

             We look to the Lord, He who is enthroned in the heavens because He alone is ultimately in control of all things. He alone has our best interests in mind. He alone loves us with an everlasting love. He alone knows all things and is carrying out His plans and purposes. Yes, it is to Him we look. Man will fail us, but our Lord God will never fail us… never. We may not understand all that He is doing and why certain things happen, but how could we understand all He is doing unless He reveals it to us.   He is so far above us. We are so small. It is impossible for us to put together all that He is doing all over this planet to further His plans and purposes. We see bits and pieces, He sees the whole. We do not understand the pain and sorrow we suffer, but even that has purposes in His plans that we do not understand fully. We can understand to the extent He has revealed to us in His Word, but beyond that we will have to trust Him. This is part of what faith does— faith trusts Him with the things we do not understand and believe that He has our best interests in mind.   “Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. This is why the ancients were commended” and “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:1, 6). If you have not read through Hebrews chapter 11 recently, do so. It is a great reminder of all those in the chapter of past saints faith. Some are named and their faith victories mentioned while others are nameless but their faith is clearly seen by their actions.

            Are you looking to Him even when you do not understand so much that is going on around you? Do you believe that He truly has your best interests in mind even with the pain and sorrow that you may be experiencing right now? Do you trust Him even when life plain and simply is not making sense right now? Consider Psalm 121—           

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.   He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Behold, the Protector of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.   The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is the shade on your right hand. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.   The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will preserve your soul. The LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsQmsEE_2-s

Dear Father I am so glad that I can trust You even when things do not make sense to me. I will trust You. Who else is there to turn to that is like You? There are none like You and I will cling to You. May I faithfully be living for You by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus.

WHOREDOM… BUT HOPE!

WHOREDOM… BUT HOPE!

 …for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD. —Hosea 1:2

 And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD. —Hosea 2:13

  There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land;  there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. —Hosea 4:2

 Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. For the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not the LORD. —Hosea 5:4

 The verses above speak to the time when Israel, the north, would be scattered by Assyria in 722 B.C There are principles in these verses that can apply to any nation.   Specifically let us look at America.   God has surely worked in this nation and yes there was a great Christian influence earlier in this nation’s history.   It is hard for the generation after mine to conceive that schools used to have prayer and Bible reading say nothing about them knowing the history of when children use a primer using God’s Word as they were learning to read. How many people in today’s schools know this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_England_Primer

Our nation has immensely changed with many forsaking the Lord and committing whoredom with other gods which are really no gods at all.   Knowledge of God is fading fast from our mainstream culture. So often I talk with people and they do not have any idea what Jesus has done for them at the cross. They do not know who He is or the basics of God’s story.

In turning away from God there is only one way to go—- down the slippery dark slope of depravity (Romans 1:18-32). That is where we are now and we are headed further into degeneracy. Like in the days of Hosea we are lacking the “knowledge of God in the land.” Just like in his day “there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.” Describes our culture pretty well, doesn’t it? The boundaries are being pushed further and further to accept all kinds of wicked lifestyles. Our society is now accepting just about anything and normalizing it. We are a wicked people.

As people in our society cling to wicked deeds Satan has trapped them and “taken them captive to do his will. But there is hope— “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. (II Timothy 2:24-26). Our Lord is always at work, brother and sister, and let us work with Him to share His Word that others would come to Him, live for Him and be with Him, and all who love Him, forever. May this be so in the power of His Holy Spirit and in the authority of His Son!   Yes, so may it be!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGLwJNYu7q8