"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17, KJV

Praise the Lord

Welcome to In His Name, a devotional site where the Word of God is posted and explored. This site embraces the love of Jesus Christ, encouraging Bible study.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Empty Vessel

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy,” Acts 2:16-18, KJV.

The Holy Spirit, God, lives within those who welcome Him; the ones who willingly open their hearts and minds to receive Him. Simply, to the people who aren’t ashamed to proclaim the goodness of the Lord. As I meditated on several chapters of the book of Daniel recently, the more I understood the necessity of standing firm on God’s Word.

Daniel’s interpretations of dreams did not come from himself, but the Holy One. He truly sought God in all that He did. Many revered the God he served as the most Holy One because He proved Himself over and over. And God still does the same things today. Keep in mind though the fact that Daniel sought not his own wisdom, but the Lord’s.

I think back to the first chapter of Daniel when he denied the king’s meat and refused to indulge in the king’s wine so that he would not be defiled. This was all in reverence to the Lord. When the days had passed Daniel and his friends’ appearances looked better than those who had eaten the meat. God blessed them with knowledge, skill, and understanding (Daniel 1:17). Later, Daniel and his friends found favor in the king’s eyes. I mention this to illustrate how one’s openness to God will benefit.

Daniel made himself available to God, in all aspects of his life. The commitment of servant hood was always found evident throughout the entire book of Daniel. I find Daniel a great example of a man who was empty of the world and willing to receive whatever God wanted to give.

When we wait with expectancy from the Lord, does He have room in our lives to move? Are there areas of unforgiveness, jealousy, or malice? By letting go of past hurts that may cause us to embrace that spiritual poison of unforgiveness releases God to act on our behalf. We must empty ourselves of the world in order for the Spirit to reside within.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,” Matthew 6:14-15, KJV.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Good Shepherd

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” John 10:11, KJV.

Jesus is the good shepherd. He watches over us from heaven. When He left Earth He made it clear that a Comforter would be arriving soon and that is the Holy Spirit. God said that He would never leave us nor forsake us and His word is the truth. If we were to look at any other religion practiced in this world, Christ as the foundation and center of Christianity is the only one who laid down His life. He was the only One who acted in love.

But the hired servant (he who merely serves for wages) who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them]. I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me--,” John 10:12-14, AMP.

His love is genuine, pure, and kind. Jesus did not act in selfishness, rather selflessness. All that He did was for us. The infirmities that He bore on the cross were for the benefit of mankind. And today many reject Him as being the Son of God which is the equivalent to those who stood on that day and shouted, “Crucify Him!” Just as those who were in the past (before Christ walked the Earth) rejected Him, many today in the present are doing the same thing. It seems as if with the passage of time some embrace damaging doses of complacency. Satisfaction of thinking peace can be found in many roads to heaven. Yet Jesus clearly stated, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture,” John 10:9, KJV. And if that wasn’t enough He goes on to say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6, KJV.

As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again,” John 10:15-17, KJV. There within those verses lies hope; the hope for those of us who are sharing the Gospel with a person who may have ignored the message for years. There lies hope for the person who may be out prostituting themselves for a measly dollar. There lies hope for sex addicts who think they cannot give up the lust of the flesh, there lies hope for the person who thinks they can save themselves… Jesus knew, and He knows, and here He is sharing with us His mission to bring them into the fold as well.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Whom Much Is Given

And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more,” Luke 12:47-48, KJV.

It is quite evident that many in this world want fame, fortune, elite status, or maybe a combination of them all. Often these sought after things are not for the benefit of others, rather for self-gain. The tragedy or downfall in this kind of thinking is in the foundation itself. I’m sure many of us are familiar with the scripture about the love of money in 1 Timothy 6:10, KJV, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” God wants us to have life and to have it more abundantly. He wants us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. God enjoys seeing His children happy; more importantly filled with joy and of course that peace that surpasses all understanding. But He wants it to stem from Him, not the things that He gives to us.

Let us consider for a moment the preceding verses (Luke 12) beginning at 42 continuing through to the 46th, “And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

This sounds very relevant today. Many find themselves waiting on God for relief in many situations, but then turn to their own devices saying that God is delayed, that He isn't coming fast enough. Many claim to wait on the Lord, yet "handle" problems on their own accord that goes completely against His will. “And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” For those who know better and still willfully disobey (not asking God for help or deliverance, but relax in their sin) will be beaten with more stripes than the ones who did the same things and didn’t know any better. Look at all that is afforded to us and how much knowledge we have at our fingertips. Many read the Bible, know the word of God, yet discard or disregard the information. Why do so many refuse to do what they know is right? It is quite evident now (as if it wasn’t before) that tomorrow is not promised. God gives to us and yet we ask for more. But in the receiving, “…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…

Additional Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Threescore and Ten

“The days of our years are [a]threescore years and ten (seventy years)--or even, if by reason of strength, fourscore years (eighty years); yet is their pride [in additional years] only labor and sorrow, for it is soon gone, and we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? [Who worthily connects this brevity of life with Your recognition of sin?] And Your wrath, who connects it with the reverent and worshipful fear that is due You?” Psalm 90:10-11.

I’ve often heard from others that three score and ten is the promised number of years for mankind, especially of those who serve the Lord. But as I got to thinking, I found this to be questionable. For this reason consider those who die young in the Lord never seeing that particular age. As one pastor pointed out recently, it does take much to undo traditional religion. Many impose their beliefs or what they think about the Bible onto their children rather than what the Holy Bible actually states. As you will see noted below from a few scriptures where those in the Old Testament lived well beyond those years, there was nothing that suggests this was a promise to mankind. Now, while I do consider it a blessing that people reach those ages and many who surpass it in great numbers, it does not degrade the life of a person who may have left the Earth at one score.

A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

1LORD, YOU have been our dwelling place and our refuge in all generations [says Moses].
2Before the mountains were brought forth or ever You had formed and given birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God.
3You turn man back to dust and corruption, and say, Return, O sons of the earthborn [to the earth]!
4For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.(A)
5You carry away [these disobedient people, doomed to die within forty years] as with a flood; they are as a sleep [vague and forgotten as soon as they are gone]. In the morning they are like grass which grows up--
6In the morning it flourishes and springs up; in the evening it is mown down and withers.
7For we [the Israelites in the wilderness] are consumed by Your anger, and by Your wrath are we troubled, overwhelmed, and frightened away.
8Our iniquities, our secret heart and its sins [which we would so like to conceal even from ourselves], You have set in the [revealing] light of Your countenance.
9For all our days [out here in this wilderness, says Moses] pass away in Your wrath; we spend our years as a tale that is told [for we adults know we are doomed to die soon, without reaching Canaan].(B)
10The days of our years are [a]threescore years and ten (seventy years)--or even, if by reason of strength, fourscore years (eighty years); yet is their pride [in additional years] only labor and sorrow, for it is soon gone, and we fly away.”
I think it’s important to focus on the succeeding verse of Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom.”

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pharisees and Sadducees...

Matthew 23:1-2, 23-28, KJV.

"1Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:...
23Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Importance of Intercession

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”1 Timothy 2:1, KJV.

Intercession basically means praying to God on behalf of another person; one who selflessly “stands in the gap.” The importance of intercession is very evident, especially in light of recent events. In America, we are so privileged that often it can easily be taken for granted. As we stand in a bathroom, brushing our teeth letting the water run, someone doesn’t have clean water to drink. As we enjoy the opportunity of choosing which outfit we’ll wear on tomorrow, many don’t have a way to wash the only one they now have on.

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors,” Isaiah 53:12. Of course this passage is speaking of Jesus and what He has done. Jesus poured out His soul unto death on our behalf. He didn’t look at it and say this problem we created was just too bad, no; He made intercession for us the transgressors. If we are to be Christ-like, shouldn’t we make it a daily habit to pray for others?

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul,” Leviticus 17:11, KJV. Jesus made that final atonement for our sins. In the Old Testament, sins were atoned for by the sacrificing of animals. This was to show us the need for blood to be shed (which is the pouring out of life) in order for forgiveness to be extended. The issue with that was that in those days this had to be done every year. But when Christ came, the final atonement was made because an animal sacrifice was not good enough. It was just a “temporary fix” to an ongoing problem. This is why Jesus died on the cross once. He is the Son of God and he bore our sins so that we could be born again…born again out of sin. Once born into sin, secondly born into righteousness (eternal life) through Jesus Christ. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed,” 1 Peter 2:24, KJV. “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood,” Hebrews 7:24. He will forever be Lord.

Jesus didn’t turn His back on us in our time of need, even when He left the Earth He made clear that He was going to send a Comforter, the Holy Spirit. And guess what the Holy Spirit does? “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God,” Romans 8:26-27, KJV. Let us be mindful that our intercessions are not to be used for vanity, it must line up with the will of God. To know if it lines up with the will of God is to know it lining up with His word. What is His Word? Jesus Christ. It all goes back to the One Mediator who acts on our behalf. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us,” Romans 8:34, KJV.

God looks for us to intercede for one another. There may be a person on life support who the doctor has counted out for dead….where is the intercessor? There could be a mother who has been told that her unborn child won’t live a normal life or past the age of 2…where is the intercessor? There could be someone who has a hungry family, but no money and they’re sleeping in a car that may be on its last leg…where is the intercessor?

Yes, truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor [no one to intervene on behalf of truth and right]…,” Isaiah 59:15-16, AMP.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fishers of Men

“Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him,” Mark 1:16-18, KJV.

Evangelism is commonly described as zealous preaching and advocacy of the gospel. It is through this that many of us are saved from hell. The way I would describe it by scripture would be to use this passage from Matthew 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” It is a command for us to tell somebody else about Jesus.

If we were to consider for a moment how many people cross our paths in any given day, how many of those people would have heard or witnessed anything about the gospel of Jesus Christ? If we are the “foot soldiers” and “mouth pieces” for the Lord, how many missed opportunities do we let go by? I know that I can honestly say that I’ve let many pass me by. It may have either been as a result in assuming rejection, crippled by fear, or lack of preparation in what to say. Does this ring any truth in your own lives?

I would like to encourage others as I have been encouraged by many. When the Lord says in His word that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled, He meant it. It’s a thirst where you just can’t get enough. It is a hunger where you want to be a true representative for Christ bringing Him glory. It does not consist of a personal agenda, but a satisfaction of knowing that you’re obedient to His will. For God says if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. This is a conscious effort of aiming to please God and not self. It is understandable that we’re all going to go through things, but remember what Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,” Matthew 5:11-12, KJV. Also He tells us, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven,” Luke 10:19-20, KJV.

How do we get our names written in heaven? Simply to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; believing in our hearts and confessing with our mouths we shall be saved. What an awesome assurance that gives peace as we endure in this world. This is that same peace He expects us to share with others. Knowing that the greatest commandment of them all is love, we ought to love enough to share the plan of salvation.

Additional References: Acts 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Ephesians 6:19-20, 1 Thessalonians 2:8, Colossians 4:3-4, John 9:25

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Those Who Walk in Pride

“The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30, KJV.

Focal Passage: Daniel 4

Pride is defined as a sense of one's own proper dignity or value; also it can also be pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, or association. This can easily lead to a feeling of self-sufficiency, self-centeredness, and arrogance. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate,” Proverbs 8:13, KJV.

Daniel 4 goes further with the rule of Nebuchadnezzar. As touched on in the previous post, King Nebuchadnezzar had seen the display of God’s power through the interpretation of a dream he had. No one outside of Daniel, the servant of God, could interpret this dream. In the dream interpretation the Lord provided to Nebuchadnezzar his future. In this chapter of Daniel, it is made known that the dream is indeed referring to the king and all that will happen to him. “This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,” Daniel 4:24-25, KJV.

Just as in the previous chapter (Daniel 3) Nebuchadnezzar soon lost sight of who was in charge. The words from his mouth soon became self-centered instead of God centered. “In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them,” Proverbs 14:3, KJV. The king began professing things as if he was in charge. One thing we have to consistently realize is that everything that we have is not ours—it’s God’s. This is an example of where we could lose our heads. “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee,” Daniel 4:30-31, KJV.

Often people get to a point in their lives and careers and forget about who got them there. It is only by the grace, mercy, and favor of the Lord that we afford many of things that we do on today. With the king, everything that was spoken in that dream came true. This is the omniscience of God knowing the beginning and the end. Knowing what we’ll do before we actually do it. I’m sure many will say, “Well, why doesn’t God stop it?” The answer is that He gives us free will to choose. It is not His will that anyone should perish. He places “stop signs” in our paths giving us the opportunity to make the right decision. He makes provisions on our behalf. When I look back on my life, seeing many mistakes that I’ve made, often I can clearly see where God provided that way of escape. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” Proverbs 16:18, KJV.

In the dream, it was noted that the king was going to be brought low: “The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws,” Daniel 4:33, KJV. Notice what Proverbs 29:23 states, “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

This king later stated that as he looked to heaven his understanding returned to him and he blessed the most High. This experience of going through helped him in realizing who God is and that He is very real. “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase,” Daniel 4:37, KJV.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Fiery Furnace

“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God,” Daniel 3:24-25, KJV.

Focal Passage: Daniel 3

This passage of scripture speaks volumes to many. There have been times when people, including myself, have found themselves in situations that seem virtually impossible to get out of. And then I look at this scripture realizing that God is with us all along. It’s so awesome to see how the Holy Spirit lifts the words off of the pages allowing us to see that when Isaiah spoke of Immanuel (God is with us) the book of Daniel allows it to be seen with natural eyes, “and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Now, how would any of them know what the Son of God or “like” the Son of God would look like? The answer is clearly the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of God just like the Son of God has always been there ever since the beginning of the Earth.

In the preceding chapter the king, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled his spirit. He called for the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to relay the interpretation of this dream for him. After finding that they could not relay the dream and the interpretation to him, Nebuchadnezzar made a decree to have all of the “wise” men slain. This word reached Daniel who later came forth (after seeking the Lord) and revealed to the king his dream as well as the interpretation. Daniel receives this vision and interpretation in humbleness, knowing the light dwells within God. “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his,” Daniel 2:20, KJV. Even Nebuchadnezzar understands the greatness of our Lord, “The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret,” Daniel 2:47, KJV.

What amazes me about this story is that even after the awesome display of power by God the king goes on to make an image of gold. With this golden image, Nebuchadnezzar expected the people to fall down and worship it at the sound of all kinds of music. What was this about? It’s strange, but just as it is stated in the book of Ecclesiastes, there’s nothing new under the sun. The same thing happens today.

Let us recall for a moment the day of September 11, 2001. Recall how people banded together. During this time of history, I saw signs everywhere reverencing God. Video clips were shown over weeks of time of people praying to God and worshipping Him. Now, I’m not sure if it was out of pure fear or actual respectful reverence. But there was a turn from wicked ways…if only for a moment. People knew that they needed God. More recently, the devastation in Haiti has caused awareness to the need for prayer. We are banding together to help one another, displaying the greatest commandment of them all: Love.

What happens when these catastrophes become a distant memory? Do we then return to thinking we have everything under control? Do we then turn back to life as usual putting other gods before the One true and living God? Many expect Him to be loyal, but where is the loyalty to Him?

We may face trials and “fiery furnaces” in life, but we must keep the faith that Immanuel is always there in the midst.

Additional Reference: Lamentations 3:24-26

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

This man had a dream. He along with others suffered for the freedom that many of us enjoy today. The main thing I honor and respect this man for is his belief in God. His faith went ahead of him and it kept his heart persevering. It goes back to the kingdom of heaven...it is at hand. Let us examine our lives, what fruits will the future be reaping from our labor?

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hope everyone had a good MLK day…good evening.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand

Matthew 3:1-10

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Sovereignty of God

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:18, KJV.

It is a privilege to praise God for He is the good God; besides Him there is no other. And to put anyone or anything beside Him is an insult. Let’s take a look at that being who dared to do just that. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High,” Isaiah 14:13-14, KJV. Lucifer, son of the morning, later became Satan. “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit,” Isaiah 14:15, KJV. We must all consider the end…obviously Lucifer, like so many, thought that such a good God would not only allow this lunacy, but move over for “their” will to be done. Can we just for a moment consider the end?

In acknowledging God’s sovereignty, we must understand that He is I AM. The very definition of the word sovereignty means a government free from external control. So, if God is sovereign then we have to know that nothing can control Him. Many become fearful at the happenings in today’s world, but do we really understand that God is still in control? When we look back at the martyrs, those who suffered for the cause of Christ, does that make God any less in control of the situation because they died? Does any of this make Him any less aware? Of course not; God may allow certain things to happen in this world, in our lives, but we must continue to look at the things which are not seen…the things that are eternal not passing in a fleeting moment.

When Satan sought to overtake God’s kingdom, he soon realized that he could not. He formed an alliance with those once called angelic beings, now demons, and lost his residency in heaven. Anything that shows itself to be against God is for Satan. We must constantly look beyond what we see with our physical eyes because those things are temporary: cars, TVs, houses, human bodies, and even church buildings. Satan will try to distract us with temporal things, making them attractive in our eyes, so that we’ll be more apt to receive them. He’s a cunning and manipulative being. We have to understand that as he was able to convince one-third of the angels in heaven to follow him. So, what would make us think he’s not out there doing the very same thing by attempting to place our focus on non-spiritual things?

We must be steadfast in our faith fully aware of the things that are unseen: the good and the bad. There’s a spiritual battle going on whether some choose to acknowledge it or not. Ignoring its existence does not make it any less real.

Additional Reference: Luke 10:18, Ephesians 6:12

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Holy Matrimony

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” Matthew 19:4-6, KJV.

As I celebrated my marital vows made three years ago to my husband, I reflect on the meaning of marriage; and the above scripture as Jesus spoke sums it up perfectly. Marriage is between a man and a woman becoming one. In order to be one you must be on one accord; of like minds. It’s not a surprise that many relationships end up in divorce. This is because the minds are not alike. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14, KJV. It’s not enough that the person you may be dating knows about God and believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, it depends upon that person having accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior: salvation.

Let’s take a look at something I went through. Years ago before I was married, I noticed that as I moved through relationships I could never understand why I kept on experiencing the same disappointing things. I thought that I was being a good, caring girlfriend by making myself accessible whenever needed. In my mind I felt that was best…to be encouraging, positive, and available. The problem with that is you begin expecting the same thing out of that person—reciprocation. And when it is not, you’ve set yourself up for frustration. How did it get to this point? What was it that I was doing wrong? Although the avenues to get to the destination were different, the result was the same. How did I rectify this problem? I began directing those areas towards God. Remember when God said seek ye first the kingdom of God…? I had to ask myself whom was I seeking? Where was my focus? Where was my desire?

In one relationship before I got married, God said to me, “Stop being mad at that person for not being Me.” That was a profound statement that resonated within. I never thought that I was putting such a burden on another person. I wasn’t seeing things clearly as man is only man and the imposition of responsibility to live up to such high standards may have been a flaw within itself.

Now, this is not to say don’t have standards because I do not feel anyone should settle. And it wasn’t that I purposely looked to someone else to provide as God does, but God showed me that what He wanted to provide for me was a mate, not a duplicate of Himself. For He is sovereign, for He is One. And in the process of preparing my mate, He was also preparing me. God allowed me to see things within myself that I never knew existed. When a person looks into a clear mirror, all barriers from their eyes removed, then they can see clearly what the Lord is doing or showing them in their lives. Only without resistance from us can He truly move on our behalf. It is interesting that many want so much out of a potential mate, but not able to provide the core things they themselves are seeking. Let us do self-examination as the Word instructs and this will truly show us who we are (Matthew 7:3-5) before we begin placing demands as to what we expect from somebody else.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Overseer

“And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses,” Luke 16:1-4, KJV.

Focal Passage: Luke 16:1-13

Many moments in life call for us to be an overseer, a steward. It may be that we have to oversee a vacant house while family members are away, vehicles or money that may have been loaned and even precious children who enter the home for a slumber party with one of your very own. The responsibility shifts to the possessor at the time, even in a circumstance where you were asked to hold a camera for a friend who escaped to the restroom for a few fleeting moments. For that specified period of time, you are that personal steward.

It’s interesting that as we loan things out to friends or family members we do this with the trust that they will take care of what we’ve loaned to them. We expect them to take care of our items as we do. I try not to say take care of things like they would do their own because some don’t take care of their things well. Many treat what they have like garbage and could care less. Last month I looked at the passage of scripture in 1 Peter 4:9-11 and explored some areas of what it means to be a good steward. Today, I ask you to consider the parable in the Bible where Jesus spoke about the rich man and his steward.

In this parable, the rich man heard that while he was away his steward had wasted his goods. When the steward was prompted to give an account of his stewardship it was found that the he had not served the master well. In order for the steward to set up opportunities for himself, he sacrificed at the expense of the rich man hoping to make future gain for himself before he was thrown out. Is this what some of us may do?

When God affords time to us, how is that time spent? When He cancels debt, how do we manage the dollars then available? With the talents he’s blessed us with whom do we use them on or for? These are several questions that help in evaluating our current status in life, asking ourselves, “What kind of steward am I?”

Our very gifts and talents have been afforded to us by God, how do we thank Him for that? Do we manipulate others for self gain, or do we sacrifice whether it benefits us or not? Only a thorough examination of oneself can bring an authentic account. It is important to understand that even our very bodies are loaned to us for a specified period of time. It is up to us to manage all that God has given us…and to manage it well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Spirits

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error,” 1 John 4:1-6, KJV.

It is noteworthy that the instruction here is to believe not every spirit, but to test the spirits to examine whether they are of God. With many preachers lacing the world today, it is disheartening to know that the motives of some are not pure. What’s even more disturbing is that many of them consider themselves your closest ally. You may have friends or as some say “associates” who claim to know the word of God, and they very well may, but deliberately twist it in hopes of manipulation.

As a born-again believer, one will know the Spirit of God because as stated in verse 2, “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” Anything in opposition to this is the spirit of the antichrist. Why do you think Jesus said, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” even as Peter spoke? It was not Peter himself, but it was that spirit coming against God, a spirit that was speaking something contrary to the word of God. Let us look at that scripture in its full context: “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men,” Matthew 16:21-23, KJV.

As I read this I thought who does Peter think he is to rebuke God? Peter was a human being, just as we are humans. But we must remember that just as we need correction from the error of our ways, Peter needed it as well. When the spirits are tried, it is God who corrects. The only difference from Peter’s situation then and ours now is that Peter spoke with God—the Son; we speak with God—the Holy Spirit. Back then, Jesus walked the Earth and the Holy Spirit was yet still in heaven. The Holy Spirit came after Jesus left the Earth. So, we still have direct contact with God who in turns checks us in the very things that we as human beings do. So knowing this, it is quite clear our ability to discern other spirits because we have the One spirit who ministers to us of their very nature.

So, whenever someone speaks contrary to what the Bible states, it is the spirit at work in them. And it will either be rebuked by the Holy Spirit or it will be endorsed by the enemy. It depends on who’s the master. “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Voice of the Lord

Psalm 29

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hold Fast Through the Trials of Your Faith

           Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-13, KJV
"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

Thursday, January 7, 2010


  Matthew 5:1-12 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible...oh, how I love Jesus!

 "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." King James Version

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Words of the Wise

All scripture for today's post are provided by the King James Version.

Proverbs 14:1
"Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."

Proverbs 14:3
"In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them."

Proverbs 15:1
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

Proverbs 16:24
"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

Proverbs 18:4
"The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook."

Proverbs 18:20
"A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled."

Proverbs 19:1
"Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool."

Psalm 19:14
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Boast in the Lord

Jeremiah 9:23-24, AMP
"Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise and skillful person glory and boast in his wisdom and skill; let not the mighty and powerful person glory and boast in his strength and power; let not the person who is rich [in physical gratification and earthly wealth] glory and boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] riches; But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord."

1 Corinthians 1:31, AMP
"So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord."

2 Corinthians 10:17, AMP
"However, let him who boasts and glories boast and glory in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10 - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible seeks the glory of God, and to be approved of Him.

"If we would compare ourselves with others who excel us, this would be a good method to keep us humble. The apostle fixes a good rule for his conduct; namely, not to boast of things without his measure, which was the measure God had distributed to him. There is not a more fruitful source of error, than to judge of persons and opinions by our own prejudices. How common is it for persons to judge of their own religious character, by the opinions and maxims of the world around them! But how different is the rule of God's word! And of all flattery, self-flattery is the worst. Therefore, instead of praising ourselves, we should strive to approve ourselves to God. In a word, let us glory in the Lord our salvation, and in all other things only as evidences of his love, or means of promoting his glory. Instead of praising ourselves, or seeking the praise of men, let us desire that honour which cometh from God only."

About this commentary:

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Consider Their End

Scripture: Psalm 37:1-11, KJV (no commentary)
 "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Former Things

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert,” Isaiah 43:18-19

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,” Isaiah 46:9-10

There are two passages in Isaiah where God tells us not to remember the past and the other where He tells us to remember the past. I find this interesting as we approach a new year, leaving behind things that may have caused us pain as well as those things that may have prompted us to cry with joy. In all things give thanks unto the Lord for His faithfulness.

The first passage: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old…” In the preceding verses God makes plain how He paves the way for us. “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow,” Isaiah 43:15-17, KJV. As I read this, I thought about Moses being led by God in taking the people out of Egypt. The literal description of how the Red Sea was parted and how God shielded them as they crossed over. Think about this for a moment. Imagine a wall of roaring sea waters encompassed on both sides of you as you walk a path looking ahead. It could be quite intimidating, especially knowing that the enemy is pursuing you from behind. In this, the message of focusing on God resonates so loudly, one can hardly ignore. Look ahead to where our help comes from, just as Peter was being taught by God—the Son, Jesus Christ.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” Psalm 23:4. Remember that rod Moses held, it was only activated with the anointing from God. Notice here that the rod and staff comforts. This comfort comes from God—the Holy Spirit. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you,” John 14:26, KJV. Take a look back at Exodus 14:14-16, AMP, “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest. The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward! Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the Israelites shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”

But then God states to recall those things of the past. It is interesting because I see it as how much He’s done, yet still more that He will do. In the midst of putting away the former things, He also instructs to remember the former things. Well, both scriptures shed light on the way we’re to live in this world today. We should focus on the goodness of the Lord and understand that He is still fully able to perform miracles. It did not stop in the Old Testament; it did not end when Jesus left Earth because God is still here. His Holy Spirit resides here, making intercessions on our behalf. “…for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” He wants us to remember His faithfulness, but also to understand His love. Recall those things of the past, but know that the past trials should not keep you from seeking Him now.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 3:13-14, KJV.