Psalm for the Day

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Your ways or not My ways………… Part II


“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matt.5:7).

The first four principles of the disciple's character are related to one's inner life; the remaining five speak of the active side of our character in its relation to others.  For those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, love expressed as mercy toward others will be the evidence of such righteousness.  Mercy is a principle of conduct as well as character in the life of the disciple.  (Sermon on the Mount).

The wonderful promise to those who show mercy is that "they shall obtain mercy" (Prov. 18:24; Matt. 7:2).

 Jesus states in Matthew 7 the principle that we are to be judged on is the same basis of our treatment of others.

Do you, for example, ask God to forgive you your trespasses, while at the same time you have resentment or an unforgiving spirit toward others?

Then Jesus warns that "if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses" (Mark 11:25-26; Matt. 6:12).

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (5:8).

As being merciful speaks of our relation toward our fellow man, purity of heart describes our relation toward God.  If our Spirit life is anything, it is purity of heart, holiness, and godliness.

The term "purity" means "to be clean."  It is, therefore, to have clean desires, affections, thoughts, and motives.  In contrast, it is said of the wicked that "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication's, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Matt. 15:19).


The promised reward to the pure in heart is that "they shall see God."  Sin or impurity of heart acts as a veil and obscures our vision of God.  His Word is no longer illuminated to our hearts, and our prayers remain unanswered (Isaiah 59:1-2; Hebrews 12:14).

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (5:9).

This refers to the manifestation of love in the daily conduct of Jesus' disciples in their personal relationships with others.  In a world filled with hate, riots, social unrest, jealousy, greed, addictions, selfishness, strife, and war, the spirit-led disciple is characterized as a man of peace, as well as one who seeks to make peace with all with whom he comes in contact.

The New Testament clearly teaches nonresistance as the passive side of Christian character (Matt. 5:38-39) and peacemaking as the active side (5:9; I Peter 3:8-11).

The disciple who would follow Jesus and be like Him has peace in his own heart (Isa. 26:3), follows after peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18), and seeks to promote peace between all men (Matt. 5:9; Prov. 12:20; James 3:18).

The promise is that "they shall be called the sons of God."  By virtue of this characteristic, they shall be like God's Son, who is the Prince of Peace.

The doctrine of nonresistance is not for the unregenerate, nor for the “carnal” Christian who is weak in the faith and who feels he must resort to force in order to assert his so-called "rights" and defend himself at the cost of others.

All he indicates thereby is that he lacks the faith and willingness to suffer persecution with Christ, and that he lacks the spirit of humility to "turn the other cheek," but must avenge himself and return evil for evil.

People are going to make us angry but we are not to let it get the better of us.  We must not let anger cloud our thinking.  As Proverbs 29:22 says, an angry person starts fights and commits all kinds of sin.

Keep quiet and pray!  Seek God for the right way to handle the situation and for a solution as well as restoration.  He knows the answer and the hearts of all involved.  He will tell you when to speak and when to be silent, when to walk and when to wait.

Sometimes it is smarter not to speak at all while we are angry.   We should wait until we have had time to calm down, think clearly and pray.

James 3:5 tells us that what we say in the heat of the moment can cause a great deal of harm.  A word spoken in anger is just like a tiny spark that starts a forest fire. It cannot be taken back once it has left your mouth.

Revenge doesn’t belong to me. (Romans 12:19-21)

This may be the hardest part of His Word because it involves humility.

God produces supernatural results when we wait upon Him.

When we live lives that are pleasing to God, even our enemies will be at peace with us.   (Proverbs 16:7)

Our thoughts and ways are not God’s, His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours.    So if we will surrender our free will and do as He directs we will learn to walk deeper in His ways.  We will learn His heart and have a greater understanding of His ways!

He desires for us to walk in humility which requires dying to our flesh, emotions, selfish desires and pride.

Through the fire we will burn off pride, selfishness and worldly ways which will allow the true light of Christ to shine through us.   We will display the love of God beyond words!   Our actions will speak love!

In order to do this the first thing to die is our pride.   Obedience is the key to this way of life.   When the time comes and you feel you want to strike out to hurt another, obedience is knocking on your door.   Will you open it and obey or will you decide your feelings are more important than another’s? 

Will you use your razor sharp tongue to kill and destroy a person’s heart and steal their joy or will you step out of yourself and make the right decision?

Will love prevail?

The choice is yours…….who will you serve: Jesus or your flesh?

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.   Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.   James 1: 19-21 NIV

“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26 NIV

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the SAME mouth come praise and cursing.  

My brothers and sisters, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?   My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?  Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.  James 3: 9-12 NIV

 

 

Your ways or not My ways………… Part I


As you have seen I have posted some questions that cause us step back and say, “Hmmmm.”

I have recently been challenged by the Holy Spirit to walk deeper according to Isaiah 55: 8-9;

‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the Lord.


‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NIV)

At first I was curious why He was telling me to live deeper by this passage.  I thought I believed it and was living by it but since He confirmed it through another person I decided I had better seek Him more diligently to find out why?

It has been an interesting journey in finding the answer and I would like to share a little portion of it with you. I have had the privilege to write a few sermons from this adventure, as painful as it was, the reward has been awesome. One of the amazing things was hearing me praise God for allowing me to experience the pain and growth of this adventure.

It all comes down to being led by the Holy Spirit instead of our flesh. 

Pride or humility.  

Forgiveness or revenge.  

Wait on God or react.   

Love or selfishness.

Mercy and grace or malice.

To believe the best in someone or act out our emotions.

You either live by the Word or you live by the world.

God is in control or Satan is in control.

 

So the previous post on the “Golden Rule” comes back to either we walk by our feelings, emotions and are controlled by our flesh or we step back and seek the Holy Spirit for guidance.

He has reminded me over and over to be still, calm down and decide if I want to grow and increase my faith or seek revenge. We are presented with the challenge to walk by faith and be changed in His likeness or allow our anger---our temper to strike out in order to hurt another.

If we choose to hurt another we have only hurt ourselves and usually find out afterwards it did not feel as good as we thought at the time we annihilated them.

Most of the time we say mean things because we want the other person to know we are mad, we are hurt, we didn’t get our way, or they didn’t do or say what we wanted.  So we strike out in hatefulness to ensure that they know we are mad.  

What Jesus asks of His followers according to the “Golden Rule” is to surrender the right to personal revenge.  In other words, surrender your free will.

Are you willing to give up your freewill to live according to His Word?

Are your feelings more important than another’s?

Your actions will reveal the true answer.  There may be times we react in anger and realize what we have done was wrong and it is at that point we should confess our sins and apologize.   But do we…………or do we decide to live by our pride?

Do we develop an attitude that they deserved it?  Better yet, when we realize we were wrong do we immediately correct the hurt or do we enjoy the power of controlling them by making them suffer a little while?

Do you feel remorse and apologize for what you did or do you find a way to make the other person feel it was their fault?   They made you react that way because ……………..?

How long did it take before you to said, “I am sorry”?

What I learned was about the attitude we should have toward those who wrong us. Rather than getting even, we should be willing to go to the opposite extreme. We need to be ready to humble ourselves for the kingdom of God.  We need to understand that vengeance isn’t ours, but the Lord’s (Romans 12:19).

The human tendency has been to seek the emotional satisfaction of revenge for perceived injury.  Our instinctive response to any kind of injury is hatred and desire for vengeance. This is why Jesus made it so clear in His Sermon on the Mount that not only outward murder but also inward hatred is subject to God’s judgment (Matthew 5:22-23).

Jesus implied that we must give up personal vengeance altogether.     There is a difference between confronting evil and seeking personal revenge.  It is possible to confront evil with a desire for the redemption of its perpetrator. We are called to love a sinner while confronting his sin, but when we seek vengeance we are motivated by hatred—a desire to make someone suffer for what they have done to us.

In Matthew 5:38-41Jesus is teaching us that we need to give up any sense of entitlement to personal revenge, to be purged of the motivation of personal vengeance.   By asking them to turn the other cheek, Jesus meant that His disciples should be motivated by love and a desire for the redemption and forgiveness of offenders—even when opposing their actions.


You may submit to or resist the person who is opposed to you but there is no place in "love" for "ill will".  There is no room in "love" for the desire to "hurt", or for the delight in destroying another person.

Several years ago when I wrote a sermon on careless words the Holy Spirit showed me a brief vision of Judgment Day.

It was a painful vision and one that I am sure many will be stunned by, for all of the things we have done and we will give an account for, I know I was.

I will share a brief portion of what I saw and heard:

“As we stand before Jesus we will give an account for our words…..imagine what it will be like to stand before Jesus and He replays an incident where you hurt someone. He allows you to see the hurt, the tears, the damage you did and how it affected their lives.

He will also show you what He saw in your heart at that time …..your evil intent, your malice towards them, your selfishness, your eagerness to hurt them, your thoughts and your pride. 

He will also show you how He tried to stop you and the very moment you made the decision to follow your free will which was empowered by your fleshly emotions. You will see what He saw to the degree of how much you really wanted to hurt that person because you were angry, hurt or disappointed.

The biggest hurt and embarrassment will come when He shows you how deeply you broke His heart. You broke His heart before you broke the heart of your victim.

As I watched this played out the remorse was too late and the person was so fearful that they were going to hear, “Depart from me you wicked servant, I never knew you.”  This person was crying uncontrollably and trying to say, “I am sorry” but Jesus said, “It is too late, I tried to stop you and I told you not to do it”.

Then when you disobeyed and hurt them I told you to go and say, “I’m sorry at the time but your pride prevented you.”

Jesus allowed that person to see the hurt they caused the other and the struggle they encounter to forgive.   He allowed them to see the hurt the other carried for the remainder of their life.

He showed them how pride had stopped them from being obedient and saying, “I am sorry”.   They had decided their feelings were more important than the other’s.

I will never forget the fear on their face, the intensity of trying to say they were sorry, and how they were begging Jesus to give them another chance.

He lovingly told them, “It was too late.””

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:35-37 NKJV

Revenge is the act of intentionally harming others, through harassment, assault, selfishness, jealousy or manipulation.

The purpose of hurting another is to wound the victim deeply through malice hoping to make them feel dejected, depressed, and/or fearful.  Usually this is followed by a sense of power and the desire to let the victim know you have struck and you will punish them in some way.

A person who tries to live and walk by the Spirit will use Galatians 5:16-25 as a blueprint;

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.   For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh.  They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.   But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.   Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  (NIV)

Living by the Spirit is total commitment to discipleship (Luke 14:25-33) and it is crucifixion with Christ (Galatians 2:20).

 

 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Disposition to hate sin……


“The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers”.   Acts 9:31 NLT

The Scripture text in Acts 9:31 describes the state of the early church after the conversion of Saul.  Two conditions are described; they walked in fear of the Lord and they walked in the encouragement (comfort) of the Holy Spirit.

Is it strange that such things be blended: fear and comfort?

Are we normally in such a state as this, as was found in the early church?

Does fear dominate your conscience and are you comforted in the midst of this fear?

Is the church of today in such a state…..a true fear of God?

It appears that the church of today prefers to dwell upon the love of God, yet find no durable comfort in it.   The love of the world permeates the church, instead of a hatred for sin. 

Fear of man prevails and God is a convenience for Sundays and emergencies.

Many are persuaded today that the word fear really means respect.  There is a type of superficial respect to God that does not affect how one lives.   God is not in all their thoughts; when the world and their fleshly desires are gods of their heart: this is truly wicked and glory is in their shame.   They love the euphoric feeling that they are getting away with their sin.

“I have told you this many times before, and now I repeat it with tears: there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ's death on the cross.  They are going to end up in hell, because their god is their bodily desires.  They are proud of what they should be ashamed of, and they think only of things that belong to this world”.  Phil. 3:18-19 GNT

How would those who know you describe you?

Would they describe you as one who walks in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit?

Is that, in truth how you do live?

What does a lack of the fear of God look like?

It is when a person takes sin lightly, casually, carelessly, obstinately, persistently and is either brazen or apathetic when confronted with sin.  

Sin is unconcerned with being offensive to God and unconcerned with His heart.

Sin complains at exhortation, despises reproof and instruction, refuses to submit, seeks its own way and justifies itself.

It is so common…..just look around you…….or……maybe within you?????

What does the fear of God look like?

“The fear of the Lord is to hate what is sinful.   I hate pride, self-love, the way of sin, and lies” (Prov. 8:13 NLV).

Fundamentally, the fear of God is a disposition to hate sin.  It is a hatred of sin that moves one to depart from it: “…by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil” (Prov.16:6 NKJV).

The fear of the Lord will NOT disobey God, regardless of the consequences.  It will seek to know God’s will and follow after Him, no matter what the cost may be.

 

A "glorious church........


Ephesians 5:27, "That he might present to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish."

Jesus wants to present to Himself a "glorious church!

Learning God's ways produces this result in the people of God as they are instructed on the lifestyle that is pleasing to the Heavenly Father and how to be empowered to live it.

God wants to present to the world, a people who are His and who will display a quality of life that He produces in them, which the world cannot duplicate.  He wants to present a people who will demonstrate to the rest of the world what life is really like for a people when God is their Everything!

These people are those who submit to learn His ways and who obediently walk in His paths.

We need to learn the ways of God because when we come into the church as new believers, we bear a striking similarity to the children of Israel when they came out of Egyptian bondage.

The Book of Exodus tells the story of Israel's deliverance from 400 years of bondage and slavery in Egypt.  God had set them free and had taken them unto Himself as His people, but they were a people with a major problem that God was going to have to deal with.  All the Israelites had been born in Egypt.

Egypt's lifestyle had born into (molded) their lives. They had learned Egypt's ways of life, their language and their patterns of thinking.

They thought like Egyptians, they ate like Egyptians and they acted like Egyptians. They had an Egypt mentality and a slave mind set. God had delivered them out of Egypt, now he was going to take Egypt out of them.

The people of Israel needed their thinking changed.  God was going to have to retrain and reeducate them from Egypt's ways to His ways.  Israel must learn that they are what God says they are now and not what Egypt said they were. It was important that they be introduced to the laws and principles of God that He expected them to live by as His people in Canaan.

When you and I were delivered from the Kingdom of darkness and brought into the family of God, we came with a problem similar to Israel's problem. Still clinging to us was a world mentality and a slave to sin mindset that was going to have to be dealt with.  Like Israel, we too needed our thinking changed and we needed to be instructed in the ways of God that He expects His church to walk in.

It is important that everyone knows the way the government they live under operates.   It is to our detriment if we neglect to educate ourselves in the area of laws and regulations.

Are we to think that God would be any less specific in giving to the citizens of His Kingdom the information that is crucial for them to know how His kingdom functions and how the laws that govern it operate?  I think not!

God has given to us in His Kingdom a handbook called The Bible with all the information about His ways that we need to know so we can live successful, productive and victorious Christian lives pleasing to Him.


We need to learn His ways because we come into His house like little children that need training and discipline in the ways of God.


Many of us have thought that God's goal was to fill His house with as many people as He can get into it. 

No, not true, He wants more than that.

God is out to get people who can take instruction and are willing to be disciplined. He is looking for a people who will come into His house and say, "Here I am, Father, instruct in Your ways."



God wants to deliver us out of our empty unfulfilled existence that we had in the world and bring us into His house to be instructed in His ways that will lead us into paths of satisfaction and fulfillment.

 Many of us may be pleased with who we are now in our spiritual growth, but none of us are what we could be if we continue to learn God's ways.


God brings us into His house so He can write on us and stamp us with the Holy Spirit's seal and send us to the world. It is God's intention that by the time He is finished teaching His people His ways, every believer will become an open expression of God and all will be telling the same story.   

I Corinthians 3:3, "We become your letters known and read by all men."

We are to be an expression from His heart.

 I can't help but wonder: “What are people reading when they read you and I?”



 

 

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Believe or Not to Believe………. Part II


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."    Isaiah 55:8-9


It is true God is the potter and we are the clay upon the potter's wheel. The potter is busy working out of us all the impurities that would hinder us being made into the vessel of the potter's choosing.

As we are instructed in God's ways, we are being changed day by day, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Our motives, our values, our ambitions and our priorities are being examined by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis and brought into line with the Word of God.  We are being transformed by the renewing of the mind as the Holy Spirit re-educates us with the truths of God's Word.

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is." Romans 12:2 NLT

Have you ever wondered why God is so set against us wanting to walk in our own ways after we become a Christian?

When a person wants to continue in their own ways rather than His ways, then that person is challenging the fact of what His Word says in Romans 12:2, “….that my will for them is good, acceptable and perfect.”  They are openly rejecting His direction and purpose for their life. They are saying they can run their life better than the Lord can.

Part of Satan's strategy is to encourage us to continue to walk in our own ways. He knows that as long as we keep doing our thing - we won't be doing God's thing. We will never embrace the will of God nor walk in it.

Trying to live the Christian life outside the will of God produces miserable, angry, frustrated, and unhappy people.  It is only as we walk in the will of God that we find His presence, His purpose, His provisions and His power.  If Satan can keep us from exchanging our ways for God's ways, he can keep us deceived, lost, discouraged, and easily defeated in our Christian walk.

 So I, ask you: “Doesn't it really make sense for us to trade in our ways for his ways?”

We were not born into this world knowing God's ways, much less understanding anything about them. They were not included in our DNA. They are completely alien to man's thinking.  God says this about it in Isaiah's writings.


Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."


When we come to Jesus we come knowing a lot of things. The ways of God are not one of them.  He brings His ways into our lives as Isaiah said, "precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little.  He wants us to know. He gives truth to us as we are able to assimilate it. The more we desire to know, the more He opens up to us.

 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Believe or Not to Believe……….


“Therefore I esteem as right all, yes, all Your precepts; I hate every false way.”  Psalm 119:128  AMP

We should consider Psalms 119:128, and make a decision about it: “Do we believe it or do we not?”

This verse implies that God has given instruction in His Word concerning every area of our life and these instructions are always the right thing for us to do.

Always!  No arguing---no debate----no excuses.  Never!

At some point in our Christian walk, if we are ever going to go anywhere in it, we are going to have to make a decision on what God is telling us to do.


“Do I really believe what God has said to do is really the right thing to do?"

Sometimes it seems like the thing God tells us to do is opposite of what it should be or appears to contradict His Word.  Good example would be when He told Abraham to sacrifice his son.   God’s ways and thoughts are not ours and in times like this, we must trust and obey.  Faith is being tested and stretched.   (Isa. 55: 8-9)

Will we believe Him when it looks “wrong”?

If we will believe and obey what God says for us to do, we will eat the fruit of all He has promised.


If we refuse to believe and obey, we will eat the fruit of our own way. I have experienced both and I can tell you that His fruit taste so much sweeter.

We need to know that as we learn the ways of God, divine precepts and principles of a heavenly origin are being brought into our lives. To our great joy, we discover that those precepts and principles are workable in the 'here and now' where they are needed not in eternity.

If we receive, believe and obey them, we will find ourselves....

 Enjoying peace - where there is no peace.
 Having joy - where there is no joy.
 Receiving direction - where there is confusion all around us.
 Having deep, growing relationships - where so many around us are being polarized.
 Seeing our families being drawn together - where others are disintegrating.

We need to know that as we learn His ways, God begins a work in us that starts to produce some wonderful changes in our life. 

Philippians 2:13 says, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him."

Philippians 1:6, (NIV) "And I am sure that God who began the good work within you, will continue his work, until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Glory of Mount Zion…………


“This is what Isaiah the son of Amoz saw about Judah and Jerusalem that was coming:   In the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be the most important of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills. All the nations will come to it. 

Many people will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. Then He will teach us about His ways, that we may walk in His paths. For the Law will go out from Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”   Isa. 2:1-3 NLV

To really appreciate what Isaiah is saying in these verses, we must understand what the conditions were like at the time that he prophesied these words. There was only one nation in the whole world that had any idea of God at all. That nation was Israel, and even their knowledge had become corrupted and polluted.  All other nations of that day were bound by satanic power and were blinded spiritually by the God of this world.

In the midst of this condition, Isaiah stands up and with prophetic anointing burning in his soul and declares that there would come a day in the future when people from every nation were going to come into the house of God to be instructed in His ways and that they would walk in His paths.

In the first chapter of Isaiah we were dealing with the consequences of Judah and its fallen state, but now Isaiah is telling about the time when Jesus returns.


Let’s stop for a moment and think about what will become of those that decide to conduct themselves contrary to the Word of God?

How hopeless will it seem to those that are left behind when the Lord calls His Church home?

The mountain of the house of God will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. We are talking about the raptured church, and those nations that are streaming to the house of God are the nations of the Gentile people that have chosen to follow God’s will and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

It does not include those that comprised Biblical standards.  It does not include those that thought they were good enough.  It does not include those that have interpreted God’s Word in such a way as to act in behavior that is contrary to God’s Word and believe it is acceptable in the times we live in now, when it was unacceptable previously.  God’s Word does not change and neither does its consequences.


As we look around us and see the rapidly deteriorating condition of this world we are never to take our eyes off of the One who bought us from His place upon the cruel cross. For those that remain faithful in the meantime, for those that answer when God calls, for those that share the Gospel with others in need of its hearing, regardless if they heed or not, there are high hopes ahead for each and every one of us.

The Lord took Isaiah away into a future place through the Holy Spirit and showed him something awesome.

God showed him the glory of Mount Zion!

 

 

 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spiritual Virgin…………..


Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?


Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.”    Psalm 24:3-4  NLT

What is a spiritual virgin?

One who “follows the Lamb wherever He goes.”   Rev. 14:4

As in the physical sense, a spiritual virgin is one who is utterly and completely given to the one for whom he or she is intended.

The spiritual virgin not only has known no other, but longs for and desires no other.   He is a first fruit and is blameless in his loyalty to his one Master.

Spiritual virginity is a spiritual quality that God greatly desires in all His people.  It has nothing to do with salvation because, in that case, who among us could be saved?  

Nor does it have to do with service, for the Bible is full of men and women who did exploits in the name of their God who, nevertheless, showed the human weakness of sin and disobedience.   King David is an example.

A virgin is not a representative of a certain class of elite, but the one who manifests a quality of spiritual devotion to God that He finds enormously pleasing and delightful. 

Too often God has to deal with us as Hosea dealt with Gomer, his unfaithful wife.  God graciously forgives our unfaithfulness, brings us back home, and restores us to His service. 

How comforted I am by Your mercy, O God!

Lord, I covet spiritual virginity, the quality of devotion that never tires, grumbles, deviates or adulterates.  

My example in this is He who never faltered or hesitated but who in all things did Your will and followed Your way perfectly.  He who has planted His virgin life in me will propel me in the virgin way.

“Awake, north wind!
Rise up, south wind!


Blow on my garden
and spread its fragrance all around.


Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.”  Song of Solomon 4:16 NLT

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sacrifice……… at what cost?


Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.                      Mark 10:43-44 NIV

“Teach me, Lord, how to forsake without being forsaken.  I know You will never forsake me, but I am not sure I can pass the test of forsaking what I should forsake?

I greatly admire the decision of Moses, who “forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king.”   Heb. 11:27   He forsook the spirit of Egypt, the wealth of Egypt, and the claims of Egypt.    But I am fascinated by the fact that he did all this while still in the land of Egypt.

I have forsaken many things that did not count for God’s sake.  I was happy to give up things that no longer had any meaning for me.  It is so easy to sacrifice what you no longer desire!

But Moses sacrificed Egypt for God’s sake while still surrounded by its immense charm and magnetism.  

Lord, how hard it is to make a decision for You when surrounded by wealth, popularity, position, charm, self-centeredness and power. 

To see God then is to have the eye of faith indeed; and to decide for God then is to forsake this world even as Jesus forsook it when He denied Satan’s offer of its kingdoms.

Lot was forced to forsake the riches of Sodom, while Moses gladly gave up Egypt.

Lord, I know You will separate me from every clinging thing in Egypt; but first You will ask me to do it voluntarily.

It is God’s intense desire to mole us into a “man” of God and not a pampered “saint”.

He wants to make us a steadfast believer and not a warmed over replica of Egypt.  

“Lord, please make me a voluntary forsaker, not a forced one.”   

 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Love is…………


Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].” I Cor. 13:4-7 AMP

A person who truly knows love is selfless, a servant and putting others above themselves.

The heart of “Abba Father” is love.  If we really know His heart to the degree that we can identify it so we can tell people they have “Abba Father’s” heart then we would be less adapt to hurt others.

Love is actions. Our actions speak louder than our words. We can say we love and yet treat others out of selfish emotions, anger, pride and selfishness.

The Father’s heart is love----- ““nonnegative”” love. That means it is not controlled by emotions, anger, selfishness or double-mindedness.  Either you love or you don’t.

James describes double minded as: “[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].” (1:8 AMP)

How can a person trust you with their heart if you do not walk in love?  You can say you love, you can write it but unless your actions show it, love is meaningless.

“With it (mouth) we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!

Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.

Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter?  (James 3:9-11 AMP)

 

The depth of the Father’s love is revealed when things go wrong, when you’re angry, selfish or controlling. This is when the meter reveals how much of “Abba Father’s” heart is in you.

Love is not selfish.

Love is not control and manipulation.

Love is not prideful.

Love is not jealous.

Love is not deceiving.

Love is not rude or mean.

Love is not judging.

Love is not vengeful.

This type of love is from the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

We have a choice: “Will I be the vessel that is used by Satan to kill, destroy and hurt others?”

“Will I be the one who reacts out of my emotions or will I run to “Abba Father” to seek His heart in the matter?”

God’s love is:

Consistent…….Never changing! Dependable!

Forbearing and forgiving……Gives mercy and grace!

Patient…..Not quick to strike out!

His love goes the extra mile…… Puts the feelings of others first!

His love seeks the good in others………Looks at their heart!

We too, should let the good outweigh the bad.

I want all who reads my post to know I love you and appreciate you!

I understand my posts can be strong in words but I share my heart with you out of love. I am the first one convicted when I write them, long before you read them.

I spend a lot of time in prayer and fasting regarding my posts and I share because I want others to know Jesus and have an awesome relationship with Him.

Sometimes we can get off track and need a loving reminder that we need to repent and return back to the Father.

Believe me, I could use this time for more fun things and sometimes wish I had more time to do other things but I feel I am doing what He ask.

I just wanted you to know, I do post with love and prayers!

Love is speaking the truth even when it hurts. Guess I could choose to be a phony and live my life as all holy on fb and another way in real life.  But what you see and read is who I am.

I apologize if I have hurt or offended anyone with my posts.

Love you all!

Kathy

“A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city, and [their] contentions separate them like the bars of a castle.

 A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].           Proverbs 18:19-20 AMP

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You can run but you can’t hide………………


When we fail to do what we ought, then we ought to expect the consequences.


Consequences are a fact, and regardless of what we may think about them, at some point “The Hammer” falls. The consequences are applied regardless of our feelings about their fairness. 

A good example of delayed consequences can be found in Exodus 32:33-35: “The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.

 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.”  (NIV)


God may put off momentarily what we have coming, but oftentimes the delayed consequences are far worse than they might ever have been if we would have just taken them as originally prescribed. When we run from God we are engaged in a futile flight.

God does give us abundant opportunities to repent and turn from our sins before He sends the consequences for our disobedience.


With all of the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed upon us, why do we always try to look beyond Him and to what man has to offer?

Why is man’s approval, affections and accolades more important than obedience to God?

God delivered His chosen people from the Egyptian bondage in such a spectacular fashion and yet within a short period of time, while Moses was receiving the Law, they began the process of making an idol made by the hands of men to worship.

Why, when we have the presence of God do we chose the mediocrity of mankind?

I wanted to present a few thoughts to meditate upon as we begin the journey of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah chapter two.

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fair or unfair?


Isaiah 2



As we continue to look at the words of Isaiah we can say it is a book that deals with choices and the consequences of those choices. It is interesting that if the consequences are in line with our desires then we usually proclaim the system that calls for those consequences as fair. If, however, the consequences go against our desires, we tend to call the system unfair.


Isaiah is proclaiming the message of God, who miraculously delivered His chosen people, and the basis of this message only has their best interest at heart. They defy God’s Word, they ignore His messengers, and they belittle His name and His power. Isaiah is proclaiming that there are consequences for their actions and those consequences will be upon them soon.


In the prophecies of Isaiah are the foretelling of the hope of the future, the birth, the life, the ministry, the death and the resurrection of their awaited Messiah.  Just as the people during Isaiah’s time failed to heed the message, so too did many during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Now as we grow closer to the time of His returning, people are failing to hear once again.

The consequences will be handed out and this writer believes the time of this occurring is just around the corner.  Although we may not be able to convince everyone of their need for repentance, however, we must do all, that God has called us to do.


Quick question: “What is the main reason that we established a relationship with God?

I am going to say that for a good portion of us, we began our walk with the Lord in an effort to pull our “behinds” out of the fire. 

At the time we heard about the wonderful things that Jesus had to offer and we chose to grab that for ourselves. We found ourselves in a hopeless situation and in a last ditch effort we looked to God for the answer.

Do not be ashamed of the reason for our initial contact with Jesus, the important thing is how we have developed our relationship since then. The problem is that many of us take that quick rescue and fail to go deeper into our personal trust in Jesus and as a result loose what we had attained in the beginning, regardless of how selfish the motives might have been.  We began hoping there would be better times ahead.


What were some of the reasons that we decided to seek Jesus? I am sure the fear of an eternity in hell might be a motivating factor. Perhaps a certain hope of mercy in regards to our consequences regardless of how guilty we might have been. Perhaps there was a desire of better health or perhaps some blessings that were unrealized.

We began with high hopes but few of us become actual partakers. Many fall back into the old patterns of behavior and forget that the only true peace is through Jesus.


This is clearly the saddest ending to a relationship with Jesus. He takes us regardless of how we came to Him. He is responsible for the forgiveness if we honestly and earnestly repent of our sins. He is serious enough about wanting us to spend an eternity with Him that He bled and died to pay the price in our place. If we fail to grow in our understanding of God’s desires for each and every one of us, our love for Him grows cold and where we once relied on His direction for our lives we begin to take control of our own destiny and find that the end of self-reliance is self-destruction.