Monday, March 27, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

". . . where two or three ..."

"For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them." -- Matthew 18:20

One of my favorite scriptures that is committed to memory. It is about you, as an individual, and a couple of other people. Just think -- you and one or two others coming together in the name of Jesus and He is there with you. So, why not take advantage of that -- its scriptural.  You are over at some friends for lunch or dinner -- take time to gather in His name and see what happens. You are out in the grocery store and run into someone -- take time to gather in His name and see what happens. You are in your office setting with others -- why not take time, if and should the opportunity arises, to gather in His name and see what happens.

I once had an employee come to me concerned about some things happening with her husband. He was struggling with pressures at work and had taken off in his truck and she did not know where he was. I was careful -- I asked if we could step outside (in broad open daylight) and let me pray with her concerning his situation. We did. I prayed in the name of Jesus knowing He was with us. Within an hour she had heard from her husband and all was well with him.

Coming together in His name is powerful. Coming together in His name brings results. Coming together in His name causing things to move and shake. So, I encourage you to everyday find someone to come together with in His name.  It may be your spouse.  It may be a friend or another believer you have just met. It may be your mom or dad. And remember it does not matter where the coming together takes place -- just know He is there with you.

Bottom Line: May we daily take the time and the opportunity to come together with someone in His name. May we know the power of coming together in His name. And, may we always have a testimony of what happens when we come together in His name. Amen? Amen. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

I do not pretend ...

"If He snatches away, who can stop Him? Who can say to Him, 'What are you doing?'" -- Job 9:12 

I do not pretend to understand the ways of the Lord.  Well --- to be perfectly honest --- maybe sometimes I try. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us we don't: "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."

His way of doing things are different than mine. My way of thinking is different than His. Yet, we are encouraged to continue on a path or road of Christ-likeness. Christ was always obedient to Father. He listened and He obeyed. He did what Father showed Him to do. Just look at John 5:19 and John 8:28.

Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himslef; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." -- John 5:19

  ". . . I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught Me." -- John 8:28

With those scriptures in mind -- in John 9 we are told of how Jesus heals a man born blind. He spat on the ground, made some mud and then put it on the man's eyes and told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam. I see no where in that ninth chapter of John where Jesus asked, "Father, what are you doing?" He simply obeyed.

So, how do we see and hear and know what the Father is doing and asking us to do? Through faith in His Son who asked His Father to send the Holy Spirit who would then guide us into all things.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" -- John 14:26

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you. ... But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. -- John 16: 7 & 13

Yes, He speaks, He shows, He directs. The question is: Are we looking, listening and being obedient? Or, are we just thinking or saying, "What are You doing?"

Bottom Line: May we not pretend to always know His ways. May we see, may we hear, and may we obey as the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Spirit of truth guides and directs. Amen? Amen. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!
 
"This is the way ..."

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." -- Isaiah 30:21
 

We are all on a journey here on earth. We are physically walking --- on the earth, in our homes, in our work places, in schools, and out in the public. But, we are also walking a spiritual journey with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  I believe that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we will be directed in our physical journey and our spiritual journey with Him.  Every new day brings about the opportunity to hear from Him. We just have to listen for Him.  We need to learn to discern His voice above all the other voices clamoring for our attention.

"The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice. -- John 10:3-5


We need to know His voice in the midst of our everyday life circumstances. And, as a "gentle whisper" as Elijah did -- ". . . Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" -- I Kings 19: 11-13
 
Bottom Line:  Whose voice are you choosing to listen to and to follow? May we always have ears to hear His voice behind us saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Amen? Amen.

 

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"Where Are You Standing?"

"I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." -- Psalm 40:1-2

Later in this psalm, David, talks about troubles without number surrounding him and his sins overtaking him. Yet, he calls on the LORD to come save him.  He was in a "tight fix" or as some would say -- "between a rock and a hard place" or "stuck with no way out". But, he also knew where he needed to be and that was on a rock -- a solid rock and if you will --- I am thinking -- "The Rock". In the midst of his situation or circumstance he waited for the LORD to come and help place him there -- "on a rock."

So, I ask you -- Where are your feet standing? Are you in a "tight fix"?  Are you "between a rock and a hard place?" Do you feel "stuck with no way out?" --- Then who are you calling on and praying to?

This is what David prayed ---

"Be pleased, O LORD, to save me; O LORD, come quickly to help me." Ps. 40:13

Bottom Line: May we know that whatever we may be facing, whatever we may be going through, whatever may be our situation --- as we call out and patiently wait --- there is always One who will come quickly when we call, pull us out and set our feet on The Solid Rock. Amen? Amen.

Monday, February 27, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"We have been given something"

 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." -- Matthew 5:14-16

We have been given something through Jesus Christ.  We are a light -- a beacon -- something that others point to and see -- and that light is the love of God. It is to be seen. Not hidden. You can see a city on a hill from a long way off. A light shining in a house at night can been seen through the windows. It is meant to shine forth for those within and those outside to know someone is there.

Believe me, people notice you. People see your good deeds. They see your goodness. The love of God shines through you and this is the kicker: They are not praising you when they speak to you about the good deed you may have done for them or someone else. They are praising God even if it seems like they are praising you.  How, you may be thinking? Because even if they are praising and thanking you for the good deed -- now get this -- they are thanking Him  because it is not your light, but His light that He has given you. You are just letting His light shine through you. So you see, the praise and glory always goes to Him because it is about Him.

Bottom Line: May the light -- His light -- that you have been given -- shine so that others may see Him through you and praise the Father in heaven. Amen? Amen. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"God Directs"

"Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight." ... Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me." -- Psalm 119:35 & 133

"This is what the LORD says --- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." -- Isaiah 48:17

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." -- Jeremiah 10:23

"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." -- 2 Thessalonians 3:5

I use to not like asking for directions. I would almost rather stay lost until the last possible moment when at last I would finally (at my wife's consistent and constant insistence I will add) stop and ask how to get from here to there.

Since our birth someone has been giving us directions. "Don't touch that it's hot! Don't run out in the street! Don't stay out late. You are doing a good job of cleaning your room -- keep it up." Coaches give directions to their staff and to their players and you better bet they follow if they want to continue to be part of the team. Directions are necessary in life. They help keep us going down the right path.

However, as we get older, a lot of times we do not want people giving us directions or helping us to make decisions. -- "I am grown now! I can direct myself! Not anybody going to tell me what to do!" But that is contrary to His Word -- Again, Jeremiah 10:23 -- "I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps."

 The thing is -- we all need direction in our life right up to the day we die.

Bottom Line: Who is directing your life? You and you alone? May we decide that we need direction in our life. May we know that His Word is always available to help direct us. Always. Amen? Amen.

Monday, February 13, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"His Word"

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." -- Hebrews 4:12

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." -- James 1:22

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." -- Colossians 3:16

"I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. ... I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways." -- Psalm 119:11 & 15

 Question? --- How many of us really spend adequate time in His Word? We read newspapers, magazines, novels -- and for quite a few that is now mostly online. But His Word is online now in any format, language or translation you want.  All at the touch of a few clicks, pushes or swipes.

For me personally, I have read through the Bible several times. I study His Word in preparing for sharing on Sunday mornings, connect group meetings, teaching on the mission field, etc. But, I even find within myself a lacking of really meditating on His Word as I should. The LORD, in speaking to Joshua as he was coming into his leadership role, had this to say to him: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." -- Joshua 1:8

My Webster Dictionary states that "meditate" means ---  to engage in contemplation or reflection. The Hebrew word actually means "to murmur". So, to meditate on His word is more than thinking about it or contemplating it, or reflecting on it.  It is actually saying it over and over and over again until it is in your inmost being. You keep bringing it up over and over again. Just take this small example: Say, "The LORD is my Shepherd." -- Now say it over and over and over and over and over and over. Say it again and again by putting different emphasis on each word.  Believe me -- it will begin to get down in you as never before.

Bottom Line: May we choose to really spend quality time in His Word. May we choose to really spend time meditating on His Word. Amen? Amen.