Archive for October, 2016

The Word that Always Works

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17, KJV).

Words are an important part of our lives today. They’re how we communicate and build relationships. Human words can be destroyed, diminished, or derailed by other dynamics. All words human words, no matter how powerful they are, all possess the potential to fail. But, there is a Word that always works—that Word is from God.

Scripture tells us where the word of a king is, there is power (Ecclesiastes 8:4). We should not want the words of the world—words we cannot trust—but desire to hear words that mean something and can do something. There is power and authority in the Word of God. We can trust it every single time, in every situation. It always works.

God’s Word protects and fights. When Jesus was led into the wilderness, the devil tried to tempt Him. But, He fought the devil with the Word of God and said, “It is written…” Today, we’re admonished to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) (Ephesians 6:17). When we evoke the Word of God, everything and everyone is subject to it. There is authority in His Word.

The Word is profitable unto us. It teaches us what is right, what’s wrong, how to get right, and how to stay right (II Timothy 3:16–17). When we allow the Father’s Word to come into us, it will become illuminated in our lives and change us! Everyone needs an active, working word of God in their life.

We all need to say the Word, retain the Word, believe the Word, and use the Word. We will never say want we don’t retain, or use what we don’t believe. Following these actions will ensure the Word can be activated and powerful in our lives. If we seek to know today when the Word can be the most powerful, we need to understand the Word is most powerful when we use it now, today. Say it, retain it, believe it, and use it, and see God’s faithful, and so is His Word (John 1:1).

Forget About Your “Just in Case”

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Do you know someone who always has that one thing just in case? I marvel at women who carry purses and bags that emulate Mary Poppins’ suitcase—there’s a never-ending supply of stuff that comes out of them. If you go into their bag, with all the items to navigate through just to reach the surface, it will be a few days until you return.

While I don’t live by this mantra, I do have a tendency to stock-pile toiletries in my house. When I come home with another 12-pack of soap, my husband wonders how we’ll ever get through the 3 other 12-packs of soap in the linen closet. When he looks at me with a concerned look while emptying the grocery bags, I say, “it’s just in case.”

Yes, folks, at any given time, I’m prepared to have 50 people come through my house and take a shower with their own personal bar of soap. You never know—it’s just in case, but not an invitation…

Being prepared just in case isn’t always a bad thing. Realistically, you can have a First Aid kit in the event someone gets hurt. You can have a spare tire when you’re miles away from home and accidentally run over a nail. You can have a needle and thread ready to go if a button falls off your shirt. All of these scenarios articulate preparedness, and you’ll be glad you were ready just in case the uneventful happens.

But, on the flip side, our just in case mindset isn’t always worthwhile, especially when it comes to our walk with God.

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment (Luke 23:55–56, KJV).

Jesus told believers He would soon face the cross, but that He would not stay in the grave (John 2:19). Most did not understand Jesus, others didn’t believe death could not hold Him, and there were others who did believe, but had a just in case mentality.

After Jesus hung on the cross and died for our sins, His body was placed in a sepulcher. When women believers saw Jesus body, His words a distant memory, instead of believing in Jesus’s resurrection, they decided to follow their own just in case plan. They went to prepare spices and ointments for His burial just in case He didn’t rise from the grave.

While we think our just in case frame of mind is good practice, God sees it as a lack of faith. When we intentionally have Plan B ready to go just in case God doesn’t do what He said He will do—how He will deliver us, forgive us, work a miracle in our life, etc.—we don’t trust God and don’t have faith in Him.

God is calling His people to trust Him, believe in Him, and get rid of our just in case outlook. We don’t need to expend the effort in life coming up with a just in case plan when God already has every situation under control.

When we have a just in case approach, we’ve walked into an area of our life that God hasn’t sanctioned, anointed, and is a place where His presence doesn’t dwell. If we’re unwilling to reside in His presence and His plan, we’ll find very quickly our just in case isn’t going to do us much benefit.

Today, when our mind wanders into the state of just in case, remember who we serve. God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19), He knows our every need (Matthew 6:8), and will supply that need (Philippians 4:19)! There is no need for just in case with God. Prove Him and find out He’s always just in time.

Your Untold Miracle

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Disease. Sickness. Illness. Infection. These are all terms we don’t like to hear, but they all are all a part of our daily lives. We’re human, and we’re frail. We live in a vessel that’s prone to sickness as much as we try to live healthy lifestyles.

Some endure illness for a short season—experiencing the common cold or random virus, maybe or maybe not causing flu-like symptoms. But, there are others who suffer from chronic diseases, life-altering illnesses, sometimes ending up in death.

It’s easy to recognize these illnesses when the symptoms appear: sore throats, aches, fevers, chills, pain, or the uneventful mass that shows up on test results. We know and recognize we serve a Healer, so we cry unto to Him (Matthew 10:8)—the One who has told us to cast every care upon Him (I Peter 5:7). We pray for healing, and when our symptoms dissipate or are miraculously healed, we praise God for His healing provision in our life.

It’s easy to praise and worship God for a healing when we see it evident in our life. But, what about the times we don’t see a healing? What about the times when the pain or sickness is still prevalent in our bodies, and it’s hard to get up and face each day?

Scripture admonishes us to praise the Lord (Psalms 150), even when we don’t feel like it! King David even had to command His soul to worship the Lord (Psalms 103:2).

While our praise should be freely given to the Lord, it’s our praise that brings the healing we’re so desperate to see manifested in our lives (Psalms 50:23). When we come into the presence of the Lord, pour ourselves out to Him, and present a sacrifice of praise, this pleases God and He responds.

If we would learn to praise the Lord and give Him the glory He’s worthy of, more miracles would happen in our lives. And, sometimes, these miracles are the ones we don’t even know about.

Most of us don’t even realize we’re carrying around sickness in our bodies on a daily basis. The type of sickness could result in a temporary illness or one that could have significant impact in our lives. But, because we worship the Lord, many of us receive a healing for a sickness we don’t even know exists long before it ever emerges—before we see even one symptom.

God heals us time and time again and keeps these aliments from surfacing in our lives because we’re being obedient, serving Him, honoring Him, loving Him, and worshipping Him. I wonder how much of the sickness we face on a continual basis is because we aren’t doing what the Lord called us to do before the symptom cropped up in our life. Sickness does happen for other reasons, but how many untold miracles would we experience in our life if we would just worship and praise the Lord?

When you consider how God has touched you time and time and again without your awareness, and taken sickness from your body you didn’t even know you had, you might realize you have more of a reason to praise and worship Him today than you did before.

We serve an awesome God who is able to do more than we could ever ask or think. And, He already does this daily just because we have a mind to worship Him. I encourage you today to worship and praise the Lord because He is worthy. You’ll just have to wait until Heaven to learn all the untold miracles in your life just because you praised.

What are You Going to Do?

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them (Exodus 15:22–25, KJV).

God delivered the Nation of Israel from bondage in Egypt, but their exodus led them into the wilderness. Three days after crossing the Red Sea, the dry desert parched their throats and the Israelites were desperate for water. While their thirst seemed unbearable, it became the center of their world. They forgot it was the Lord who just saved them in Egypt. A new day brought a new trial, and it seemed their current problem was too big for God.

Israel came to the waters of Marah, which were undrinkable because they were bitter. Instead of turning to God for an answer, they sought the bitter waters, which was not the solution to their problem. The Nation of Israel didn’t think about what God actually had in store for them, or how He could take care of their situation.

After crying to Moses for water, he went to the Lord and asked for help. It was after Moses intreated of the Lord, God showed him a tree. This tree provided wood, which they were able to cast into the waters. The waters became sweet and everyone was able to drink.

What can we learn from this Scripture setting? All God wants us to do is ask Him for help and He will supply. He’s created a solution to our problem before we even face it! God planted a tree in the wilderness to supply the wood to work a miracle for His people long before they were in the wilderness and long before they became thirsty. Everything we could ever need has already been supplied in Jesus. All we need to do is just trust Him to work and know He can meet our every need.

Jesus provided a different tree for the rest of us to change our bitter world of sin. The cross at Calvary transformed us from our life of sin, and made a way for all of us to spend eternity with Jesus. But, it’s up to us if we want to take the road to salvation. Do we repent, receive the baptism of water and of the Spirit, or stay in the bitterness of the world?

We have a choice every day to trust in God—to allow Him to work in our lives, or grieve His Spirit. Will we listen to Him or will we follow our own plan? We need to choose who we will serve (Joshua 24:15) and believe that He is greater than any situation we face. We shouldn’t take any thought for our life because God will always provide (Matthew 6:25–30).

If we allow God to work in our present situation, He will not only bless us but lead us to a place of abundance. After the bitter waters were made sweet (Exodus 15:25), God led Israel to Elim. Elim had 12 wells of water, 70 palm trees, and was an oasis that provided more than enough for the Israelites (Exodus 15:27). All we have to do is trust God to lead and guide us, and we’ll find everything we ever need in Him.

The Potter’s Wheel

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

When I was in junior high school, the educational administration desired all students obtain a well-rounded education. So, every 6 weeks, we would rotate 1 class in our daily schedule to receive instruction on a different skill set—shop, home economics, art, and the like.

I was beyond excited for my art class. As an aspiring young artist, I was eager to develop my drawing and painting skills, as well as glean a hour of creativity during my day. However, there was a portion of the art class I was not looking forward to. That part of the class was the pottery unit.

As thrilled as the rest of my classmates were about shoving their hands into a wet, slimy medium, having clay covering their clothes (and hair), and walking around for the rest of the day smelling like the earth, I did not want to have any part in it.

Pottery was a messy art form. It took forever to get the hang of shaping something on the wheel. I couldn’t ever form my clay right, so I was at the wheel for a long time remaking my vase (or whatever object) over, and over again. I hated having to keep the clay (and my hands) wet or else it would dry and crack before I was finished.

I would eventually give up and produce something a little less than perfect. Trust me—you wouldn’t be placing any one of my creations on your fireplace mantle…

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it (Jeremiah 18:3–4, KJV).

We serve our amazing Creator, who is likened to the potter in Scripture. He formed us (the clay) in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5)—knowing our end from the beginning of time (Isaiah 46:10).

The Lord set an ideal of how we should turn out as He formed us on His “potter’s wheel.” But, in our life of sin, we don’t always turn out the right way, so the Potter has to break us down to a lump of clay and start over again. God builds us back up in His own image (Genesis 1:27) to follow after holiness and righteousness (Ephesians 4:24).

This is a messy job. I know God has abundant disdain for recreating His original perfect work. He can’t get away from His potter’s wheel because we, as humans, continue to mess up day-by-day. His hands are constantly dirty remolding and reshaping us to walk in the right paths.

But, we should be thankful that we serve a God who loves us enough to keep His hands on the clay—to keep His hands dirty at the Potter’s wheel. When we don’t turn out right again and again, He keeps working on us and never gives up (Hebrew 13:5). He’s there carefully sculpting us, forming us, and building up the areas of our lives where we’re weak. And, He’s pouring into us the precious gift of the Holy Ghost (John 7:38) to keep us wet so we don’t crack and break in the process.

When we’re on the Potter’s wheel, being broken and reshaped, it doesn’t feel good. But, let’s take a step back for a moment and consider the Potter. We should be thankful He’s still working, still molding, and still has us on His wheel today. It’s a messy job. It’s a long task. But, our Potter thinks we’re worth it.

Let’s be grateful we’ve found a place on the Potter’s wheel today, that and we’ll be there until He’s ready to put us into the kiln—to transform us into our final form (I Corinthians 15:54).

The Good Way is in the Old Paths

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein (Jeremiah 6:16, KJV).

There is an innate desire in the church to move forward to something better. But, seeking something new isn’t always the right way. Sometimes reaching backward is how we move forward in our spiritual walk. Scripture tells us to reach for the old paths. It’s when we reach for the old paths we can reach forward with more power, authority, and unction in the Holy Ghost.

Our Times Demand We Know the Old Paths

The same power noted in the Old and New Testaments is sorely needed in our lives today. Our society tells us the Word of God is outdated and subject to interpretation. We need to get back to the mindset of our elders in the faith and fear the Lord (Psalms 33:8), so the favor of God is on our nation (Psalms 33:11–12). Revival will start with each of us. When we seek the old ways and desire for great moves of God, we’ll see revival happen in our midst.

The Old Paths are the New Way Because They Work

The Holy Ghost is the only thing we know to have power and authority in our lives. We can’t change what works. The latest “change” is never going to be the greatest in the church because nothing can be compared to the Holy Ghost. We need to seek after the old paths that have great demonstration in the power of the Spirit (I Corinthians 2:4–5). If we get rid of the Holy Ghost in the church, the church will die out.

Old Paths Bring Us the Rest We’re Looking For

Scripture tells us in Jeremiahs 6:16 if we walk in the old paths, we’ll find rest. Stress in our lives today is at an all-time high. But, our stress today is being caused by the choices we make. If we’re not seeking the old paths we’re not seeking God to find our rest for every day. When our focus is on Jesus Christ, benefits of rest and peace will come into our lives (Isaiah 26:3). When we seek the Lord, and the old paths, we will always find ourselves in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalms 91:1).

Where’s Your Citizenship?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Someone I know recently shared a picture of our fifth grade elementary school class for the entire world to see. I was immediately embarrassed reflecting on the awkward, innocent, fifth-grade version of myself. But, then a wave of nostalgia swept over me as I glanced at faces I hadn’t seen in years.

My eyes settled on a few students in the class who were from different countries. My grade school, at the time, facilitated a foreign exchange student program. So, I had quite a few exchange students in my class. I became good friends with many of them growing up and was sad when they left to return to their respective countries.

It was hard for me to understand why my friends had to leave at the time. But, I learned they all lived somewhere else. They were citizens of different countries and couldn’t stay in the US indefinitely.

As I looked at those faces, I wondered where they were now and what they were doing. Did they ever return to the States? Did they become US citizens?

Citizenship is an interesting concept. It ties us to something bigger than ourselves, and gives us privileges and benefits which are unavailable in places we travel to. We’re citizens of the country we live in, and most of us haven’t obtained dual-citizenship to any other country. Why? It’s a lot of work.

Deep down inside all of us, there is a desire to obtain dual-citizenship to somewhere. We didn’t create that desire, and we can’t devise a process for obtaining that citizenship on our own.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19, KJV).

We were not put on this earth to be a permanent citizen of this world. Our true citizenship is in heaven, where we’ll meet our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20). But, how do we obtain that citizenship?

It’s amazing, we don’t have to take any tests or pay any fees to gain this citizenship. It’s an arduous process in the earthly realm, but quite the opposite in the heavenly one. Jesus took care of it all by shedding His precious blood on the cross.

Ephesians 2:19 tells us we are no more strangers and foreigners—people who live in a country with native-born citizens without the rights of citizenship. All we have to do is to be “born again” (Acts 2:38) through the new birth experience (John 3:5), and we’ll become fellowcitizens with the Saints and of the household of God. We’ll start to enjoy the many benefits of this “dual-citizenship” already on earth, as we’ll be joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and citizens of a heavenly realm.

Dual-citizenship isn’t a grandiose idea, or an unattainable endeavor. Our enemy would like us to think that earth is the only place we will ever reside. But, we have a Savior who has prepared a place for us (John 14:3) and eliminated the paperwork so we can step right into that new land at our appointed time.

The key is getting ready before we lose our “dual-citizenship;” the day when we leave this world behind. Where will your citizenship be? See today to secure your heavenly citizenship, and look forward to the day when the Lord calls you home.

Are You Salty?

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men (Matthew 5:13, KJV).

Jesus told the church that we need to be salted and not to lose our saltness (Mark 9:49–50). Every part of our lives need to be seasoned with salt—including our speech (Colossians 4:6). When we speak, act, or think, we need to ensure a little seasoning has been added. We need salt! What is our salt? The Holy Ghost!

Salt Penetrates

Salt penetrates everything it comes in contact with. Once salt is sprinkled on food, it penetrates to the inside. The Holy Ghost wants to get into our lives and saturate us. That saturation will not only impact us, but will spread to all of those to whom we come in contact with on a daily basis.

Salt Purifies

Salt purifies and purges whatever it touches. Just like salt, when the Holy Ghost comes into our lives it purges out sin and purifies our hearts. The Holy Ghost replaces who we are and fills us with God’s presence and His characteristics.

Salt Preserves

Salt was used to cure meat to help preserve it outside of the refrigerator. The Holy Ghost also helps to preserve us. It protects and keeps us from the attacks of the enemy. When we deny the power of the Holy Ghost, we deny His ability to come and preserve us.

Salt Heals

Salt was used inside of wounds on the battlefield to help stay the spread of bacteria and begin the healing process. We are fighting a battle every day in this life. The enemy will hurt us and try to keep our wounds open—this is why we need salt! The Holy Ghost, working as our salt, will heal our old wounds and recover us (Mark 16:18).

Salt Causes Thirst

Salt makes the consumer thirsty. The thirst the Holy Ghost gives us is to desire more of it—more of the wells of water springing up to everlasting lift (John 4:14). The more we have of the Holy Ghost, the more we’ll want it and the more it will overflow onto other people.