Monday, June 12, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"Be joyful always ..."

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." -- I Thessalonians 5:16-18

I want to say, "Wow. Really Paul?  Really?" But then I remember what he wrote to Timothy: "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

So, now I am saying, "Okay, God, show me." And He does. 

I begin to see that the "joyful" comes from what He has deposited inside of me and is not dependent upon my outward circumstances or situation. I begin to see that prayer is part of my communication with "the creator of all things." I begin to see that giving thanks is from a grateful heart remembering the perfect sacrifice of love for me on the cross. And, I begin to see that all of this --- being joyful, praying, being thankful --- is His will -- His choice -- for me in being connected to His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.

My prayer right now? "Father, I want (I will -- I choose) to know You more. I want (I will -- I choose) to be joyful always. I want (I will -- I choose) to pray continually. I want (I will -- I choose) to give thanks in all circumstances. I want (I will - I choose) Your will for me in Christ Jesus. Amen"

Bottom Line: May we realize God's will -- His choice -- for us in Christ Jesus. May we be joyful always. May we be praying continually. And, may we give thanks in all circumstances. Amen? Amen.

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"... keep in step..."

 "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 if I go, I will send Him 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

"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." -- Galatians 5:25

One of the many purposes of the Holy Spirit being sent is to keep us in step with Father. If I should want to go one way and the Spirit wants me to go another way --- I am not in step with the Spirit.

Spirit: "Go encourage that person over there."
Me: "No, I am not in a place to do that."

Spirit: "Go pray for that person over there."
Me: "No, I'm not good at that."

Spirit: "Go this way not that."
Me: "Really? But I want to go that way not this way."

Keeping in step with the Spirit requires paying attention -- yes. But, it also requires obedience.
Keeping in step with the Spirit requires having hearing ears -- yes. But, it also requires  obedience.
Keeping in step with the Spirit requires seeing -- yes. But, it also requires obedience.
Keeping in step with the Spirit requires not talking -- yes. But, it also requires obedience. 

He, the Holy Spirit, will gently nudge, quietly speak, lovingly show and mindfully still our lips   --- all of which will keep us in step with Him and Father --- if only we obey.

Bottom Line: May we know, may we learn, may we accept that truly living by the Spirit is being in lock step with Him in all matters, on all occasions, for every situation and circumstance. May we come to know His gentle nudge, His quite voice, His loving sight, His mindful closing of our lips --- and obey Him. Amen? Amen.

Monday, May 29, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

Salvation

"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." -- I Peter 1:8-9

In simple terms "salvation" means: safe keeping, deliverance from difficulty.

Moses speaks of salvation in Exodus 15:2 -- "The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

David speaks of salvation in I Chronicles 16:23 --  " Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day." And, in Psalm 51:12 -- "Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me."

Isaiah speaks of salvation in Isaiah 25:9 --- in that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in Him; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation."  And, of "everlasting salvation" in Isaiah 45:17 -- "But Israel will be saved by the LORD, with an everlasting salvation; you will never be put to shame or disgrace, to ages everlasting."

Zechariah prophesied of the salvation of Jerusalem coming riding on "the foal of a donkey" in Zechariah 9:9 -- "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

Peter states in Acts 4:12 -- Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 

Moses never saw the One, David never saw the One, Isaiah never saw the One, Zechariah never saw the One, Peter did see the One but encourages those who have not seen Him -- the One -- to love Him, believe in Him and in so doing be filled with inexpressible and glorious joy in receiving the salvation of our souls.

Bottom Line: Can you say with inexpressible and glorious joy that even though you have not seen Him -- the One -- that you love Him and believe Him and have received the salvation of your soul? May all come to know the salvation -- safe keeping -- of their souls. Amen? Amen.  
  

Monday, April 24, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

There is life in death.

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24

For many years I planted a small garden in my back yard. Tomatoes, beans, squash, turnips. For the last couple of years I have helped my dad plant a small garden -- mostly green beans and purple hull peas. All that is required is sun, soil, water, and the seeds. I would till the soil, add some fertilizer, form the rows, plant the seeds, water and then depended on God for the sunshine. After a week you could begin seeing little green sprigs breaking the ground. There is life in death. There is life in the burying of a seed and it produces an abundance of fruit and other seed. We ate the fruit of the garden all summer and into the fall.

We recently celebrated resurrection Sunday. Remembering that Jesus' death produced a life that no one had known before.  His death became the beginning of a new life and an everlasting life for all who believe.

For God so loved the world the He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." -- John 3:16

Our life in Christ is a new beginning for us here on earth. There is life in us dying to our old ways. We become a new creation in Him (II Corinthians 5:17).  So, I ask us all -- What we we doing with this new life? Are we reproducing? Are we new? Yes, indeed! But are we letting our new life bring forth "many seeds". Are we helping others who do not know to see the new life in Him? Are we living our new life for all to see? Are we taking our new life seriously enough to share it with others? Are we telling them that there is life everlasting through Him?

Bottom Line: Jesus' death brought life and continues to bring forth life. Even life everlasting. May our new life in Him continue to produce "many seeds" of new life. May we share our new life in Him with others so they to may have everlasting life. Amen? Amen.
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"He's Alive!"

"He is not here; He has risen, just as He said." -- Matthew 28:6
"He has risen! He is not here." -- Mark 16:6
"He is not here; He has risen!" -- Luke 24:6

I want to declare to you today something you should already know -- JESUS IS ALIVE! He is as much alive today as when they first discovered the empty tomb. And since He is alive -- He is alive in us! Romans 6:11 states, "count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus."

I am ashamed to admit it but there are times in my life that I have lived my life (even if only a very very brief moment of it) as if my Savior were not alive.  Times of trial and tribulation and discouragement and disillusionment. Isn't that awful. I mean really awful.  I was living as if I was under my circumstance and not above them as His Word declares. I am thankful that in those times it was only for a moment. And then my thinking became clear again and I declared at the top of my lungs -- "No! My Lord and Savior is alive! HE'S ALIVE! HE'S ALIVE! And He is right here with me every step of the way. Always. Always. Always."

Indeed, He is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly realms. And, we are seated with Him. (Ephesians 1:20 & 2:6) Did you get that? We are seated with Him. Hallelujah! Thank you, Father! Thank you, Father!

Bottom Line: He is alive! And He is with us. May we get a hold of that in our body, mind, and spirit and may we never forget. Amen? Amen.


 

Monday, April 10, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"Worship the LORD with gladness"

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. -- Psalm 100

The Bible does not tell us that everything in our life has to be perfect (fine and dandy or hunky-dory) in order for us to give praise to God, our Lord, our Maker. We are to worship the Lord with gladness regardless of the condition of things around us. We are to come before Him with joyful songs. We need to realize who He is everyday! He is our Maker. We need to realize who we are to Him --- His sheep.  He cares for us. He has vested interest in us.

Do we truly realize that with every breath we take, with every fill up of our lungs that we are taking in the breath of life that He gave us? That alone should be the reason we "shout for joy"! That alone should be the reason we "worship with gladness"! That alone should be the reason we "come before Him with joyful songs"! That alone should be the reason we "know He is God"! That alone should be the reason we "enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise"! That alone should be the reason we "give thanks to Him and praise His name"!

Bottom Line: May we today and every day --- "worship the LORD with gladness" for the breath of life we breath. Amen? Amen. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

MONDAY MORNING!

"I AM"

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' Then what shall I tell them? God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
-- Exodus 3:13-14

The more literal translation to "I AM WHO I AM" is: I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE. God was actually saying to Moses and the Israelites that He would be whatever they needed Him to be at any given time in any given situation. And, for us, as true believers, as Christians -- our Father is I AM. God, our Father, wants us to know that every single day of our existence here and for eternity He is -- I AM.

My Father, WILL BE WHAT HE WILL BE, in each and every situation and circumstance of my life. I really believe that! If I need a deliverer my Father, I AM is there! If I need provision, my Father, I AM is there! If I need a front guard or a rear guard or a side guard, my Father, I AM is there!

Consider the following:

No one will ever love you more than, I AM
No one will be more faithful to you than, I AM
No one will ever deposit more in you than, I AM
No one will ever establish a name more worthy within you and before you than, I AM

I AM -- is your Friend
I AM -- is your Advocate
I AM -- is your Sword
I AM -- is your Refuge
I AM -- is your Security
I AM -- is your Hope
I AM -- is your Promise
I AM -- is your Purpose
I AM -- is your Source for everything
I AM -- is your ALL in ALL
I AM -- is your connection to  Glorious Eternity

Bottom Line: May we not forget the love of, I AM. May we not forget the faithfulness of, I  AM. May we not forget the Word of, I AM deposited in us. And, may we never forget that His name is -- I AM. Amen? Amen.