"To (His saints) God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
It's true that, without Christ, we would have no hope of reconciliation or having any kind of relationship with the Father. Can you imagine that? Those of you who enjoy intimacy with Abba, can you even grasp NOT being able to have that fellowship with Him?
Neither can I.
We owe everything to the Godhead, Saints! Absolutely everything. Christ is the Door, Christ is the Bridge, Christ is the (only) Way to God, and Christ is our eternal hope of intimate relationship with Abba. He is the King of Glory, and He is our Hope of Glory.
In obedience to the Father's Loving Plan of restored and renewed Life, Jesus reopened the way sin and death had closed to any hope of embracing our Creator in the strength and passion in which we were created. Christ literally bought back our Destiny in Abba with His own blood.
Will the truth and beautiful power of that amazing story ever grow old? Not with me it won't. After all, "hope deferred makes the heart sick", folks! So why defer it? WHY NOT TALK ABOUT IT CONSTANTLY? WHY NOT PRAISE HIS MIGHTY NAME FOR WHAT HE'S
Its magnificent effects are alive and well and prospering in us each day through our
acceptance of Jesus' blood sacrifice, right? Then, as scripture declares:
"Let the Redeemed of the Lord SAY SO, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy..." (Psalm 107:2)
I'm saying so!! Our hope is no joke, ladies and gentleman. Indeed, it's something to SHOUT about! It's something about which to be eternally grateful! It's Christ in you, the Hope of Glory! Amen.
Walk gratefully and courageously, beloved... and have a great day!
(Originally published June 4, 2013)
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4)
It doesn't get any better than this in terms of what awaits the children of God beyond those blue skies! We have God's enduring, everlasting promise, and He cannot tell a lie! All the sorrow, all the pain, death itself, and EVERY TEAR will be wiped away from our eyes forever! Do you believe the Lord, Saints?
I SURE DO!
Therefore, hold on... don't give in, and don't give up... but be encouraged by God and His Faithful promise of what awaits us in the Kingdom not made by human hands. For, as scripture says, we are citizens of Heaven, and seek another country - one whose Builder and Maker is God!
GOD BLESS YOU!!!
(Originally published May 14, 2013)
Time with a loved one is robbed of its richness if one enters into it through coercion or obligation instead of sincere desire and utter delight. God feels this way about His relationship with us. Just as He "loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7), God also loves and prefers a cheerful, happy, joyful, hilarious lover.
No woman wants her husband to spend time with her out of a sense of duty or obligation; indeed, a wife would rather not indulge in intimacy at all than to have it on those terms.
Likewise, God's heart longs for intimacy with us to be a time of sincere, mutual delight, and nothing less. In His mercy, He will wait until our hearts are open to His overwhelmingly bountiful Love.
God says, "I don't want our time together to be a 'chore', beloved. I never want that. I want it to be a pleasure..."
Let Him know you welcome His love with open, willing, zealous arms. It will immeasurably bless His Heart. Amen.
(Originally published May 13, 2013)
PRAISE is a sword in our hands, for praise carries the Word of God extolling His Character and Strength. (See Eph. 6:10-18)
Friends, the last thing the enemy wants us to do is praise - remember that! PICK UP YOUR SWORD, DAILY, AND DANCE AND DECLARE the enemy's DOOM! Cut him to shreds with victorious rejoicing in all the Lord has done for us, and praise God even in your prayers! Let every part of your day PRAISE HIM, for in so doing you call forth the mighty Presence of the Lord to defeat the enemy in our midst! (Psalms 22:3). AMEN!
(Originally published May 9, 2013)
GOD says, "Just keep saying YES to Me, and I will lead you out!"
Remember that the power of agreement with God comes with saying yes to His directives. We are not saying, "yes, but..." - we are saying, "YES." That means whether we clearly understand His ways or not in any circumstance confronting us, we will submit to doing things HIS way (and not our own) all the way through life.
Continually submitting to God is the only way the supernatural power of agreement truly can take hold in our lives. We grow in God through spending time with Him in praise and worship, and through regularly consulting His word. Indeed, all we need for life and Godliness has been placed right into our hands. Through intimacy with Christ, we can 'eat' our fill of His wisdom, knowledge, and power. (John 4:34)
Remember also that God will reward our obedience by explaining His ways in every circumstance as we are able to receive the explanation, and as we seek Him out for it. As our relationship with Him grows in process, He will also increase our trust and faith in Him so that we will say "yes" first and joyfully every time, no matter what!
"... we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our certain good, that we may be partakers of His holiness."
Determine to embrace the reality that whatever God does is for our CERTAIN GOOD.
God’s plan for us is affected without guesswork; He does not do what He thinks is best for us (as earthly fathers), but acts as One Who Sees the End from the Beginning, already aware of the fruit His Plans will bear in our lives when we trust Him.
Choosing to yield to GOD’S DEFINITION of truth cultivates our trust in Him because He is eternally faithful to all aspects of His character. (2 Tim. 2:13).
God can be trusted to tenderly receive “the uglies” of our character. He will not condemn us for confessing these flaws, but will gratefully and faithfully forgive and cleanse us of them (1 John 1:9), ever forwarding our transformation to the image of Christ.
**However, refusing to humbly submit to God’s desire for our character transformation through receiving conviction, repentance, deliverance, cleansing, and infilling sentences one to a life-long cycle of bondage to sin, self-deception and misery!**
Friends, please believe that our righteous, tenderhearted God is - above all things - FAITHFUL. He will never let you down, and He knows exactly what will bring blessing to our coffers in every situation, always. It's true. Yielding to His plan, will, and destiny for your life is the best decision you'll ever make. Be blessed.
(Originally published May 6, 2013)
“Do not look at his appearance, or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
You know, we have been conditioned to expect God to behave toward us the same way as our parents, friends, or spouses.
For example, if our parents’ love for us was mostly conditional instead of unconditional, we expect God will hold the same standard toward us. If we value ourselves based on our appearance or achievements, we assume God’s opinion of us is also based on those things.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
First and foremost, God is a heart watcher. Today’s scripture verse reminds us of this, as God chose the tender, righteous heart of David above the hearts of his brothers, and anointed him King. Psalm 103:13-14 further states that God’s compassionate heart considers and “knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust.” Thank goodness God NEVER judges us the way we judge ourselves; rather, He applies His gracious and righteous nature to consideration of all our trials, and His arms are continually outstretched in hope of reconciliation with us through the pardon provided by Christ’s death and resurrection.
Therefore, we should never fear that God will automatically punish us when we've sinned. (Rev. 2:21) We should never run away from Him, fearing reprisal and rejection; rather, it is critical that we know and believe God wants to talk things out with us when we've rebelled against Him. We should always run to Him in repentance, believing that He wants to hear as well as heal us:
“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
The desire to reason and reconcile still burns within God’s heart for us today.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
(Originally published May 2, 2013)
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing... And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things... Do not fear, little children, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12:22-23; 29-30; 32)
Good day to you!
I love today’s scripture passage because it proves to me that God wants to bring His redeemed children right back to the place Adam and Eve were after creation and before the fall, where they didn’t have to work to live. God not only literally provides everything for us, but He takes pleasure in so doing; that’s my favorite part. It speaks of His love for us and His desire to fulfill our souls and meet all of our needs at all times so that we can give our whole focus and devotion to Him in JOY!
Amen! What a life! :0)
A Simple Truth
God always feeds me. He always clothes me. I have never lacked or wanted in any way for any of these things, all of my life. [I cover that testimony with Christ’s Blood!] It’s been one of the most starkly literal truths I've come to since being called by God as a Pastor. He has shown me a very important thing:
I have NEVER been "my own source" for any good thing in my life, EVER. No, that’s not the no-brainer it seems like it is... at least not for me. In the past, I would say to myself that God provided my employment, but my belief systems would maintain that I was the one who earned my own paycheck... I did the work worthy of the pay.
The real truth is God was responsible for that also. He provided everything that went into it, friends; the ability for my employers to pay me, the ability for me to do the work for which I was paid, and the literal cash placed into my coffers. After all, God declares in Psalm 50:10&12, "For every beast of the forest is Mine; and the cattle on a thousand hills... If I were hungry, I wouldn't tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.”
So rest easy, beloved, because in a nutshell - God’s got it!
(Originally published May 1, 2013)
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)
“Living the life” is not living life at all.
By the world’s definition, “the life” consists of the possession of things – chiefly money. People want money – kids are taught that acquiring enough cash to live comfortably is the main goal of life. They are taught that accumulating things – especially expensive things – defines their societal status and self-worth.
How dreadful and cruel a deception that is!
“Living the life” by mankind’s definition is actually “wasting” the life; frittering it away with things that won’t last and status that falls clanging to the ground in depravity and emptiness. Basing one’s life on the opinion of others is consigning oneself to bondage. My mother used to tell me that people will have you standing on your head and still they won’t be pleased with you. It’s true. People pleasing is a fruitless, frustrating goal of life that actually only fosters death and a “never enough” mentality within its adherents.
God wants us to have true life and fulfillment and pleasure; things that are only found in understanding Him. It’s so simple, really... since God is the Creator of all things (and that includes you and me), only God knows what will ultimately please and fulfill our lives. He fashioned us to be satisfied by the true and living waters flowing from His belly, and anything else we try to substitute for His goodness will fall to the ground in discontentment and death.
Lifetime Truth: Only Jesus will satisfy our souls.
In life, don’t reach for what another man or woman has unless you're reaching out for Jesus through His shining example in their lives. Nothing else of this world or any other will ever truly satisfy your soul.
(Originally published April 30, 2013)
Good day, everyone!
Today's devotional scripture comes from Psalm 27:14 and involves the least favorite pass time of many people... waiting. Here's the scripture:
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord." (Psalm 27:14)
Well, the first thing that jumps out at me from this passage is that it takes courage to wait on God. While we wait, the flesh is being destroyed, our souls (mind, will, and emotions) are being tested and refined, and anything about us not in alignment with the will of God and His plan for our lives is usually readily and glaringly exposed.
Waiting brings out the "uglies"; and, knowing this truth in advance of submitting to God in obedience takes courage, friends.
But the next thing that stands out for me in the passage is that God is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him... He is a also a REWARDER of those who choose to obey Him. Here it is said that the pay-off for obeying God in the "wait" is special impartation of strength; from God, that's a big deal, y'all. It really says that, if we are willing to trust Him and wait on His will in our lives, He will grant us His JOY in the wait, doesn't it? After all, the JOY of the Lord is our strength; so if the Lord will impart strength to us as we submit to Him and wait upon His will in our lives, what He's really doing is giving us His JOY in the wait! That will make it possible for us to wait successfully on His circumstances and smile in our hearts as His plan unfolds.
If we set our hearts and minds to take courage from Holy Spirit, and choose to obey His desires for the refining of our souls, He will REWARD us with the supernatural impartation of His JOY from head to toe, to strengthen us and enable us to cheerfully obey Him. How gracious is that of God?!
Our God is an awesome, loving, generous God. Have a great day!
(Originally published April 25, 2013)