"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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spiritual Healing

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law,” Romans 13:8, KJV.

In the midst of pain and turmoil many fall prey to depression, unforgiveness, and even hate. Some when they lose a loved one or suffer maltreatment from the world, especially to a malicious crime, embrace hate—the exact opposite of love. Although circumstances may seem to validate those emotions, it is not a fruit of the Spirit (reference Galatians 5:22).

How do we attain spiritual healing? What is it? Why do we need it? Spiritual healing is the mending of broken spirits…and the only being that can heal it is God. There are false prophets in this world claiming that they can heal people, but none of this is possible without the Holy Spirit. And in some cases where the healing doesn’t come to past, they’ll blame the individual for lack of faith. God has given to each individual a measure of faith (reference Romans 12:4). And then still some will use this passage of scripture: “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you,” Matthew 17:19-20. But just as some versions of the Bible omit verse 21 some people have a tendency to ignore it as well, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

Let’s get one thing clear, God is not a puppet where He acts or submits to our beckon call. He is God, the One true and living God. He is the merciful God who is faithful to forgive us and the sovereign God who is independent of us. We are dependent to Him because we need Him. Even Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, understood submission to the Father. Recall what He said in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39), “…O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

In knowing this we need to also understand that God will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly (reference Psalm 84:11); it is your sins that have withheld good things from you (Jeremiah 5:25)—not God. Jesus came so that we can have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He loves us and wants us to learn how to do the same. Despite the brokenness of our pasts, the pain and despair, God can heal it all. And for me, the best healing of all is death in Jesus Christ. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 5:8, KJV.

“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” So we mustn’t harbor unforgiveness, but walk in love. God gave us the best example and that is allowing the sacrifice of His Son on the cross to forgive our sin. Being that God can forgive us, why can’t we forgive others? When you truly accept Christ into your life, He changes your heart of stone into a heart of compassion. Hatred is no longer a consuming fire for you and unforgiveness melts away.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law,” Romans 13:8, KJV. And that love we speak so often about is exemplified on the cross. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” Matthew 5:17, KJV.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spiritual Adultery

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore,” Psalm 86:11-12, KJV.

Life is afforded to us for a purpose. Each individual has a unique calling on his/her life by the Almighty God. How can I say this? Well, do you believe that you’re randomly here on earth? Do you consider yourself an accident for temporary means or a perpetual being? According to the Bible, God says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations,” Jeremiah 1:5. This tells me that I am not arbitrarily here. The enemy may attempt to get you to believe this nonsense, but we must recognize that there is an invisible war going on and we must decide which side we’re on.

It does not matter what others may say against our steadfast faith in the Lord, for they challenged Jesus Himself. So what more will be done to us who believe? Is it really worth it to gain the whole world and lose your own soul? Every morning, I seek the Lord for who He is: the Maker of all things. He is the creator, not a random choice among gods set up to choose from. Isn’t it strange that some worship images or idols made with their own hands? How can something you made save you from anything? People bow down to statues, throw their hands up in the air to diabolical music and then in the same breath say they love and reverence the true and living God. How can this be? Let’s do an honest assessment: Let every man examine himself (reference 1 Corinthians 11:28).

To examine is not a glance over to see if you can get by like we may do when hurrying out the door. Sometimes, at least I know it’s true for me, I may see a small speck on my shirt or accidentally rub up against an object that may leave an unnoticeable spot to others…but the truth is that I know it’s there. So what does that say about what Christ can see? If you know something is wrong or unclean in your life, don’t ignore it. Ask God to deliver or clean you up (reference Ephesians 5:27).

The word examine mean to analyze or look over carefully to inspect. Another definition describes it as a probe to question, looking at it thoroughly and putting it to the test as for its quality. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” 1 John 4:1, KJV. If we know that we are doing something against God and continue to do it, this is spiritual adultery. What would you do if someone were cheating on you?

Additional Reference: All in Fun

Monday, March 29, 2010

In the Day of My Trouble...

Psalm 86:1-10, KJV

1Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
2Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.
3Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
4Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
6Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
7In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
8Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
9All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
10For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
 The prayers of the righteous avail much…

Friday, March 26, 2010

Walking in the Light

1 John 1:5-10, KJV

5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 5:16, KJV. Where does this light come from? The light is Jesus. The light is walking uprightly before the Lord. The light is the goodness of God allowing Him to operate in our lives. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid,” Matthew 5:14, KJV. We are his tools in which He uses to share His goodness. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Ephesians 2:10, KJV.

But let us not be deceived into thinking that because we know a few scriptures that we are saved and walking in the light--the knowledge of scriptures does not save a person. Prime example: the devil. He knows scripture and even tried to use them against Jesus. Rather we must apply those scriptures to our lives. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” We wouldn’t be deceiving God, we’d only be misleading ourselves in thinking this way. And just as the Bible states, we lie about having fellowship with Him if we walk in darkness. Let each man examine himself.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turning Towards God

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV.

Those words spoken to Solomon from God still strike a cord today. The Old Testament is a collection of books that should not be discarded because we now have the New Testament. For we must remember what Christ said in John 5:39, KJV, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” The Old Testament is filled with prophecy and rings of truth now and forever. In studying God’s word before Jesus walked the earth one can see His extended grace and mercy…especially with the children of Israel.

This one scripture instructs us to do four different things. The first part of the scripture tells us to humble ourselves. To humble ourselves means to be meek, mild, gracious…basically to come to God with the innocence of a child. “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me,” Matthew 18:3-5, KJV.

Secondly, we ought to pray. How simple is that? The road map is laid out for us in the book of Matthew, chapter 6 verses 9 through 13. This is seeking God, honoring Him, communing with Him, thanking Him for His continuous grace and mercy, and appreciating Him because of who He is and not just because of what He can give us. Nowadays, prayer for some has become a venue of just asking for things. We have to learn that it should first be a way of praising God, acknowledging that He is our source of everything we’ll ever need (reference Matthew 6:33).

Thirdly, God instructed in this passage of scripture for us to seek His face. Seeking the face of God means to constantly lean on Him in the good and bad times; embracing Him as our refuge of covering and protection. Such as when Moses proclaimed, “The Lord is my Banner” in the book of Exodus.

The fourth instruction from God here is to turn from wicked ways. We cannot live an unclean life and expect for God to bless us. We have all been born with a sinful nature, but Jesus redeems those who come to Him with a pure heart. If you aren’t saved, you don’t have to continue living in sin…God delivers and God saves. He will teach you by way of His Holy Spirit to walk after the Spirit and not the flesh. All we have to be is willing. And if we do these things, the scripture states: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” God promises to hear our prayers…if we obey His commands.

Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place,” 2 Chronicles 7:15.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Romans 8:35-39, KJV

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When this life is over...left behind are our bodies, clothing, houses, cars, jewelry, jobs, etc. We are inevitably separated from these things, but nothing separates us from the love of Christ. We leave behind foes, evil doers, manipulators, con artists, et cetera, but nothing separates us from the love of Christ. The faithless, the scorners and mockers, the naysayer... all left behind, but nothing separates us from the love of Christ.

For just as Paul stated I too am persuaded, "...that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Partakers of Christ's Suffering

1 Peter 4:12-19, KJV

12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
God never said we'd live a life free from trials and tribulations. The very fact that we are Christians makes the world hate us. Think back to the martyrs throughout history who died because of their faith. The word martyr means a person who chooses to suffer or die rather than give up his or her religion or beliefs. This is concrete evidence that they believe.

So, when we go through things "think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seeking the Lord

Psalm 6, NKJV

To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. On an eight-stringed harp.[a] A Psalm of David.

1 O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure.
2 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
3 My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O LORD—how long?
4 Return, O LORD, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake!
5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?
6 I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears.
7 My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.
8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the LORD has heard the voice of my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my supplication; The LORD will receive my prayer.
10 Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.

About this commentary:

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

The psalmist deprecates God's wrath, and begs for the return of his favour.

These verses speak the language of a heart truly humbled, of a broken and contrite spirit under great afflictions, sent to awaken conscience and mortify corruption. Sickness brought sin to his remembrance, and he looked upon it as a token of God's displeasure against him. The affliction of his body will be tolerable, if he has comfort in his soul.... Every page of Scripture proclaims the fact that salvation is only of the Lord. Man is a sinner, his case can only be reached by mercy; and never is mercy more illustrious than in restoring backsliders. With good reason we may pray, that if it be the will of God, and he has any further work for us or our friends to do in this world, he will yet spare us or them to serve him. To depart and be with Christ is happiest for the saints; but for them to abide in the flesh is more profitable for the church.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Grievous Wolves

Acts 20:28-32, KJV

28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
32And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

The church is in the heart of a man. It is the belief in which one lives by. Those in a position to pastor or guide a church body must be on guard taking care of the flock God purchased with His own blood. What a great responsibility that mustn't be taken lightly. There is a great need to stay in prayer for the entire congregation as well as for the strength of oneself.

Paul mentions above that there are "grievous wolves" who seek to draw away people after their own doctrine. What a disturbing revelation, yet very true. You may have individuals with a different agenda than that of God; people who propagate to be in certain positions to draw men unto themselves. That's why it is so important that not only the pastors pray for the congregation, but that we pray for our pastors and ministers of the Gospel. And we must even pray for those who aim to distort, evade, and corrupt the truth of the Gospel.

Staying in the Word of God, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding maintains our strength to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Additional Reference: Ephesians 6:11

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Everything Belongs to the Lord

Psalm 24

1The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

When we move away from the mindset of thinking we’ve accumulated things, we’ll better understand God’s grace and mercy. Everything that we have or the materials used to make what ever is in our care, God has allowed us to have. We brought nothing into this world when we were born, and we’ll take nothing out. Even our very bodies don’t belong to us…and it will remain here after we leave.

It is important to give God glory for His many blessing for that’s where our strength and help comes from. We don’t even have the power apart from God to draw breath into our very lungs. Let us give God the praise that’s due to Him.

“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together,” Psalm 34:1-3 KJV.

Additional Reference: 2 Corinthians 10:16-18

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Way of the Righteous

Psalm 1

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Prosperity consists of more than materialistic things. Often, we'll see unrighteous people living a life filled with lavish accommodations, but we ought not to desire their belongings (reference Matthew 6:19-20). Consider how they accumulated those items and consider their end (reference Psalm 73).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not for Our Sake Alone

Romans 4:16-25, KJV

16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

When we go through things, it's often not just for ourselves, but to help save somebody else. Be selfless and share your testimony with another...it just may save a life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Watchman

Ezekiel 33:7-11, KJV

7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
10Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
11Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
We are obligated to tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must open our mouths and not be ashamed nor afraid. Lord, help us to be who you've called us to be; lead us into the places You'll have us to go...letting Your will be done, not our own.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Desire the Sincere Milk of the Word

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” 1 Peter 2:1-2, KJV.

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,” Matthew 12:34, KJV. “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth,” Psalm 34:1, KJV. Have you ever encountered someone who may say you praise God too much? Seriously, have you heard of such a thing? Believe it or not, there are people who are self-professed Christians maliciously belittling other “brothers and sisters” in Christ. This is a clear sign of or result from the following: hatred, craftiness, two-facedness, jealousy and/or evil speaking.

It is important as a part of the body of Christ, these are the very things we should be praying to God for deliverance from rather than embracing. Understanding that disagreements may arise from the mere fact that we’re all individuals, but we must come together as we’re all of one body in Christ. The same way those characteristics can tear a family apart if not put in check it can also drive a rift of division within the church.

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also,” 1 John 4:20-21, KJV. To love another is to not hold hatred and malice in the heart for them. The scripture states that we are to lay aside all of these things. How are we to receive anything from the Lord if our motives aren’t pure? Are we coming before Him righteously? Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift,” Matthew 5:23-24, KJV.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…” The only way we’ll grow spiritually is to take in the word little by little. We all had to start somewhere. People who are leveled on a strong foundation in Christ at one point in time had to study God’s word, one verse at a time. Some are eager to grab the platform of teaching when they themselves have yet to learn the basic principles. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15, KJV.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If It Had Not Been for the Lord on Our Side

Psalm 124
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

If had not been for the Lord who was on our side, where would we be? Have you ever thought back over life and in hindsight seen the hand of the Lord? How he’s covered many of us in our mess and foolishness; and how many of us may have played Russian roulette with our very lives or livelihood?

This Psalm pierces me to tears as I think about the goodness of God. As much as we seek for ourselves, when are we going to begin seeking God for just being Him? It’s not about how much money we can get, the elite status we can achieve here on earth, and definitely not about how good we can make ourselves up to look…it’s about Christ. Money changes hands, people fade out and die, what’s “hot” today may not be “hot” tomorrow, but the Word of the Lord stands forever. And I thank God for being able to receive that message.

We flock to the throne when a loved one is sick or we need a “breakthrough”, but how would you feel if someone only approached you for what they can get out of you? Let us reflect on that the next time we ask God for something. Do we seek Him even when everything seems to be going okay? Praise and worship is a lifestyle, not just something done when our lives seem to be headed for the dumpsters…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Easy Yoke and Light Burden

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30.

As I petition God for a closer walk with Him, He brought a few scriptures to memory and the above was one of them. Jesus knows all about our lives and what’s going to happen on our journey. That is why He makes provisions on our behalf. Take for instance His grace and mercy in times of trouble…trouble in which we’ve placed ourselves. God delivers. But let us focus on the trials we endure because of the faith in Christ, that’s what this scripture is specifically speaking of.

Our daily walk with the Lord can be challenging at times. It’s not because of our faith, and it’s not because of our willingness to serve (at least I’ll speak for myself); rather it’s because of the enemy. The enemy can reside anywhere he’s welcomed. It could be a coworker bringing him into the office every day. It could be through a degrading email crossing your path, a voice message, or even a close family member. But God knows all about it for He says in His word, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

There may be times when we just need to rest. Not from our faith, but away from the wiles of the enemy. The reason I say this is because when we go out into the world to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not everyone is going to accept Him. This is not our burden. We can’t save anybody, only Christ can. We introduce them to our King, our Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit does the rest. It is important to meditate on God’s word during our time of rest. The time of rest is not about sitting in the house and not doing anything. It’s about praying and seeking the face of God. It's about relaxing in that place of refuge.

Do you remember when you were a child and were hurt either physically or emotionally by someone? Where did you go? For most of us, we probably ran to our parents because that’s where we found solace and comforting. There was a break from the pain and an embrace of love. This is the rest Jesus was speaking of.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Here Jesus explains how we can come to Him. Again, He is speaking to those who are doing His will. He’s not going to call an unsaved person to rest…what would they be resting from? He is speaking to believers who have been beat up by the world for their faith in Him. We learn more about God by being Christ-like—meek and lowly in heart. What exactly does that mean? To be meek is to be gentle, kind, temperate; and lowly means to be humble and modest. Are we displaying behavior like this? Are we angry all of the time, are we accusatory and never take responsibility for anything? Are we willing to lend a helping hand, or just ready to kick another brother or sister down? We must take on His yoke. Many describe Jesus as the perfect gentleman. And this is where He tells us we’ll find rest for our souls. His yoke is a lot more tolerable than the ones we create for ourselves.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Still, Small Voice

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice,” 1 Kings 19:11-12, KJV.

Chapter 19 from the book of 1 Kings reminded me of what God had said to me a few years ago. I was accustomed to seeking God for the things I needed, but for some reason left certain areas of my life “off-limits.” It wasn’t that I had done this on purpose, but rather I thought some blessings needed time to incubate in the heavenly realm. I know God must’ve smiled at my finite thinking or maybe He was disappointed because I had put Him in a box He had no business being inside of.

A few years ago, I was fasting and believing for God to deliver me from an unhappy situation. I never had a problem with seeking and believing God’s deliverance in the area employment. My faith was very strong in that area and still is. I sought God to have me working in the same place in which I lived. At the time, my employment was states away from where I lived, but I was trusting God for deliverance. When I had gone on a fast, determined to receive an answer from the Lord, three days later I was blessed with a response…a specific answer. As I rejoiced, smiling ear to ear something very significant caught my attention. It was God’s still, small voice. It wasn’t a shout or a parade of sorts, but a still, small voice. I heard God say to me, “I can do that in every area of your life.” Out of nowhere, in the midst of my rejoicing and only thinking of the blessing at hand, He said this.

It was after the storm that I heard this… I believe it was because God knew He had my attention. Is God trying to get anyone’s attention today? With the way the world is we can often focus on the depressing things and the rubble we may have to pick up after a catastrophic event, but what about the One who’s there interceding on our behalf? God is not to blame for bad things happening in our lives, although He may allow them. He tries to stop us from making mistakes, but it is our selfish nature that bulldoze ahead anyhow. It’s like a mother trying to stop her young teenage son from doing something he’d later regret, but he does it anyway. Sure this is different from God because He has the power to stop certain things (and He does at times), but He also affords us that free will to choose.

Who are we choosing to listen to? Are we consumed by the media and what newscasters have to say or are we on our knees desperately concerned about what God is telling us? Are we drowning out His voice with the loud speakers of life or are we seeking quiet time with the One who created and know us best? The sad part about it is that He’s in the same place He was all along…God’s location does not change although ours may.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Take No Thought

Matthew 6:24-34, KJV

24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Beware: Some are Aroused with Jealousy

Acts 17:1-9, AMP

1NOW AFTER [Paul and Silas] had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
2And Paul entered, as he usually did, and for three Sabbaths he reasoned and argued with them from the Scriptures,
3Explaining [them] and [quoting passages] setting forth and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, Whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ (the Messiah).
4And some of them [accordingly] were induced to believe and associated themselves with Paul and Silas, as did a great number of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.
5But the unbelieving Jews were aroused to jealousy, and, getting hold of some wicked men (ruffians and rascals) and loungers in the marketplace, they gathered together a mob, set the town in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring [Paul and Silas] out to the people.
6But when they failed to find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brethren before the city authorities, crying, These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also,
7And Jason has received them to his house and privately protected them! And they are all ignoring and acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, [actually] asserting that there is another king, one Jesus!
8And both the crowd and the city authorities, on hearing this, were irritated (stirred up and troubled).
9And when they had taken security [bail] from Jason and the others, they let them go.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Laying Aside Unforgiveness

Acts 7:51-60, NKJV

Israel Resists the Holy Spirit
51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,
53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

Stephen the Martyr

54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;
58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen followed in the steps of Christ (Luke 23:34)...as we all should.
Additional Reference: Matthew 6:15

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lying to the Holy Spirit

Acts 5:1-11, NKJV

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”
5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
8 And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?” She said, “Yes, for so much.”
9 Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”
10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.
11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

One can lie to man, but it is impossible to lie to the Holy Spirit. Some people carry with them a discerning spirit of the Holy Ghost. Be careful of the vows you make to God.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Just Shall Live by Faith

Focal Passage: Habakkuk 2:5-14

Excerpt from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
"Habakkuk must wait in faith."
When tossed and perplexed with doubts about the methods of Providence, we must watch against temptations to be impatient. When we have poured out complaints and requests before God, we must observe the answers God gives by his word, his Spirit, and providences; what the Lord will say to our case. God will not disappoint the believing expectations of those who wait to hear what he will say unto them.

All are concerned in the truths of God's word. Though the promised favour be deferred long, it will come at last, and abundantly recompense us for waiting. The humble, broken-hearted, repenting sinner, alone seeks to obtain an interest in this salvation. He will rest his soul on the promise, and on Christ, in and through whom it is given. Thus he walks and works, as well as lives by faith, perseveres to the end, and is exalted to glory; while those who distrust or despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him. The just shall live by faith in these precious promises, while the performance of them is deferred. Only those made just by faith, shall live, shall be happy here and for ever. (Hab 2:5-14)

"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea," Habakkuk 2:14, KJV.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our Faithful Creator

1 Peter 4:12-19, KJV

12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.