Sunday, March 31, 2013

There But For The Grace Of God

My Utmost For His Highest

‘If we are not heedful and pay no attention to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other people are failing, and then we take our discernment and turn it into comments of ridicule and criticism, instead of turning it into intercession on their behalf. God reveals this truth about others to us not through the sharpness of our minds but through the direct penetration of His Spirit. If we are not attentive, we will be completely unaware of the source of the discernment God has given us, becoming critical of others and forgetting that God says, “. . . he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.” Be careful that you don’t become a hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right with God before you worship Him yourself.’ CHAMBERS
When you see something that is not right in another person’s life or someone does something that is unkind or selfish or that you disagree with .. do you condemn them or pray for them?  Do you judge them .. think harsh thoughts about them .. consider them to be less than you … cast them onto the pile of people who do not deserve forgiveness and grace?  It is so easy to feel justified in those attitudes .. when it is someone else …
Matthew 7:3-5  “And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.”
It is better to intercede than indict … to pray than to persecute … show others the same forgiveness and love that we were shown …
Romans 5:7-8  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Run To God .. Not From Him

My Utmost For His Highest

‘Your growth in grace is not measured by the fact that you haven’t turned back, but that you have an insight and understanding into where you are spiritually. Have you heard God say, “Come up higher,” not audibly on the outer level, but to the innermost part of your character?’ CHAMBERS
Does that seem odd to you?  Inconsistent with your view of being sanctified .. holy … Do you remember Isaiah 6:5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah was aware of the distance between a holy God and Isaiah’s sinful nature.
A danger that we face is thinking that we must be perfect and when we discover we are not, we want to hide our sin or worse .. run from God instead of to God.  Chambers is talking about my understanding that what the Word says is true … Not only about my old nature but also about my new nature.  “What can wash away my sins?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus … what can make me whole again .. nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
You may believe  that where you are at this moment is as far as you can go with God, but He wants to take you to a higher place spiritually.  Are you aware of your failings, your sinful state? Good!  That is the first step … take it to the Lord and He will cleanse you … wash your feet … restore you …
Ephesians 3:17-19 “… so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Guard Your Heart

My Utmost For His Highest

‘[…] the outer level of our spiritual life with God is impaired to the slightest degree, we must put everything else aside until we make it right. Remember that spiritual vision depends on our character— it is “the pure in heart ” who “see God.” God makes us pure by an act of His sovereign grace, but we still have something that we must carefully watch. It is through our bodily life coming in contact with other people and other points of view that we tend to become tarnished. Not only must our “inner sanctuary” be kept right with God, but also the “outer courts” must be brought into perfect harmony with the purity God gives us through His grace. Our spiritual vision and understanding is immediately blurred when our “outer court” is stained. If we want to maintain personal intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, it will mean refusing to do or even think certain things. And some things that are acceptable for others will become unacceptable for us.’ CHAMBERS
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Why would we think that if we walk through a mud puddle that we won’t get muddy?  In the same way .. as we walk in this unholy world, we become stained from its unholiness.  We must be careful that we don’t put this world and the people in it ahead of God.  That somehow we must consider the world first and then accommodate God somehow.  If that thinking creeps in, we have lost our spiritual vision.
The outer court that Chambers is referring to is the outer court of the temple.  We are a temple.  1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”  You can think of the heart as the Holy of Holies … where the Spirit inhabits.
As I type this I can hear sounds outside … they are the sounds of Rara (rah rah) a Voodoo celebration that happens before Easter … It reminds me that we are in a world that does not know God and one that would prefer that we were not salt and light .. but would embrace darkness instead.  Guard your heart …. And bring glory to God.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Trusting When You Know It Will Cost You

My Utmost For His Highest

If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many of your decisions as possible irrevocable, and let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay forever on the “mount of transfiguration,” basking in the light of our mountaintop experience (see Mark 9:1-9). But we must obey the light we received there; we must put it into action. When God gives us a vision, we must transact business with Him at that point, no matter what the cost.’ CHAMBERS
It’s moving day in Jacmel so this will be a short devotion today.  Making irrevocable decisions is a faith challenge.  When you know it’s God .. and you will know in your heart, you can do nothing else than obey … there may be earthly consequences .. but the object of our service goes far beyond what we wear, what we eat, or where we live.  Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Life In Christ

My Utmost For His Highest

I have been crucified with Christ . . . —Galatians 2:20
“. . . it is no longer I who live . . . .” My individuality remains, but my primary motivation for living and the nature that rules me are radically changed. I have the same human body, but the old satanic right to myself has been destroyed.  “. . . and the life which I now live in the flesh,” not the life which I long to live or even pray that I live, but the life I now live in my mortal flesh-the life which others can see, “I live by faith in the Son of God . . . .” This faith was not Paul’s own faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith the Son God had given to him (see Ephesians 2:8). It is no longer a faith in faith, but a faith that transcends all imaginable limits-a faith that comes only from the Son of God.’ CHAMBERS
Satanic right to myself .. do those words seem strange to you?  What was Satan’s problem?  He wanted to be God .. He didn’t want to be one with Him .. he wanted to rule.  When we go our own way that is what we are doing .. following the path of Satan.  This is the point where people start thinking that I am getting fanatical in my thinking.  The question we must ask ourselves is .. ‘Why am I wanting this or doing this?” to satisfy myself .. my insecurities, my misplaced passions, my lack of faith .. or am I doing it to bring glory to the Father and good to others.  And, by the way, good to others is not helping them follow after their own lusts .. but meeting their physical and spiritual needs . not wants.
A note of caution ….. I have noticed that Christians often tempted to hang their “sacrifices” to the Lord  on their gates as trophies for all to see and marvel at.  We must be careful that what we offer to God we offer in secret .. it should not be for the praise of men but for the glory of God that we do as we do. People will marvel when you give up what they love and try to give you credit for making a sacrifice .. be careful that you do not rob God of His glory.
This is what walking by faith and not by sight means … trust God and not yourself … abandon your affections for the things of this world so if and when you give them up .. they will mean no more than the empty soda bottle you just tossed in the trash .. er recycle bin …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Delight Yourself in The Lord

My Utmost For His Highest

Whenever we stop short of our true desire in prayer and say, “Well, I don’t know, maybe this is not God’s will,” then we still have another level to go. It shows that we are not as intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and as Jesus would have us to be— “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22). Think of the last thing you prayed about-were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.’ CHAMBERS
What would Jesus have us to be?  One with Him …. John 17:11  “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” 
After 41 years of marriage, Martie and I talk about how much we think alike .. even knowing what the other is thinking .. I will think something and she will say it.  We were created in Their image … Man and woman become one flesh … become one …  a picture of the Trinity … each with God’s Spirit … each separate .. but one ... And so we should be of one mind .. one motivation .. that is to glorify God with our lives …
James 4:3  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” God knows what we need before we ask for it.  Luke 6:45-46  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?”
What we ask for reflects what is on our heart.  Our hearts must be clean .. without sin .. so our Father will hear us .. and our hearts must be after God’s heart.  What do we love .. ourselves or God?  Who do we trust?  Ourselves, or God.  The answers to those questions will explain if, why and how we pray.
My understanding of Psalm 37:4 is that as we seek God … He will give us new passions … to serve .. to be a poured out offering in this world … we will care about what He cares about … we will not worry about our lives … because “We have a Father.  He calls us His own.  He’ll never leave us, no matter where we go.  He knows our name .. He knows our every thought … He sees each tear that falls … and He hears us when we call”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Turning Back For Anyone

My Utmost For His Highest

When we think of separation today, we do not mean to be literally separated from those family members who do not have a personal relationship with God, but to be separated mentally and morally from their viewpoints. This is what Jesus Christ was referring to in Luke 14:26. […]It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason—a life of knowing Him who calls us to go. […]The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character, and we encounter many changes in the process. We feel the presence of God around us when we pray, yet we are only momentarily changed. We tend to keep going back to our everyday ways and the glory vanishes. A life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring on eagles’ wings, but is a life of day—in and day—out consistency; a life of walking without fainting (see Isaiah 40:31).’ CHAMBERS
Probably one of the most difficult experiences we have had is being with family who are not Christians and knowing that they think poorly of us because of our faith.  Yes, the Bible says that the world – including our lost family members, will hate us – that is reject us because of Jesus – but it doesn’t speak about how difficult that will be.  We get a glimpse of it with Lot’s wife .. as she regretted leaving  … When Jesus told the young man to “let the dead bury the dead” or when they told Jesus that his mother and brothers were at the door to see him, we being to see that our call to follow God is one of commitment and forsaking our old life and its priorities.  “I have decided to follow Jesus .. the world behind me the cross before me, no turning back … ”  The two greatest commandments are Love God and then love others ..there is an order to the commandments …   We love God which enables our love for others … The Bible says “we love because God first loved us.”
Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Amen
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dirty Fingernails

My Utmost For His Highest

I must cleanse myself from all filthiness in my flesh and my spirit until both are in harmony with the nature of God. Is the mind of my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I mentally rebellious and defiant? Am I allowing the mind of Christ to be formed in me? (see Philippians 2:5). Christ never spoke of His right to Himself, but always maintained an inner vigilance to submit His spirit continually to His Father. I also have the responsibility to keep my spirit in agreement with His Spirit. And when I do, Jesus gradually lifts me up to the level where He lived-a level of perfect submission to His Father’s will— where I pay no attention to anything else. Am I perfecting this kind of holiness in the fear of God?’ CHAMBERS
Have you ever suddenly noticed that you have dirt under your fingernails?  Do you know what I mean?  You can’t feel the dirt but there you are , sitting in a chair and for some reason you hold your hand up and look at your fingernails.  And there it is .. ‘DIRT’.  You think .. ‘I have got to clean my fingernails!’  That is how it is with sin in our lives .. things that do not honor God but that we accommodate as being a normal part of our lives … one day, the Holy Spirit lifts those sins up … brings them to our attention … and we realize that we must do something about them … the questions is .. do we?  Or do we think “I will take care of that later.”
I preached at a church this past Sunday and asked the people if they thought they could stand before a holy God with sin in their hearts.  What do you think?  I told them that God will not hear the prayers of someone who does not have a repentant heart.  In other words,  God will not hear you if your heart is not right with Him.  He does not wink at sin .. He sent His Son to die to overcome sin.
My point .. don’t take sin lightly if it is the same as having dirty fingernails … it is a serious thing … you should examine your heart everyday … 1 John 1:8-10 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Living in The Shadows

My Utmost For His Highest

Any goal we have that diverts us even to the slightest degree from the central goal of being “approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15) may result in our rejection from further service for Him. When you discern where the goal leads, you will understand why it is so necessary to keep “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Paul spoke of the importance of controlling his own body so that it would not take him in the wrong direction. He said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest . . . I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27). I must learn to relate everything to the primary goal, maintaining it without interruption. My worth to God publicly is measured by what I really am in my private life. Is my primary goal in life to please Him and to be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how lofty it may sound?’ CHAMBERS
We have a problem of confusing “doing” with “being”.  It’s not a new problem.  Whole denominations have risen up around the idea that it is what you do that makes you right before God.  Jesus confronted the Pharisees over that issue.  They were at the top of the spiritual ladder .. and yet Jesus said they were blind guides .. white washed tombs filled with dead men’s bones.
Matthew 23:24,27  “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!  […] For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.”
Do you think that the Pharisees thought they were on the right track?  Doing the right things?  That it was about appearance and not heart?  Galatians 2:20  “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Our new life beings and ends with Jesus … but it is so easy to walk away from Him and live in the shadow of true faith.  We can be doing wonderful things, but if Jesus is not in it .. we have missed the point … my new life is to bring glory to God .. without Jesus at the center of my life, God is not glorified … Let this be your song and prayer today
Give Me Jesus. “In the morning, when I rise, In the morning, when I rise,  In the morning, when I rise, Give me Jesus….. Give me Jesus, give me Jesus … You can have all this world .. But give me Jesus
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Conditional Christianity

My Utmost For His Highest

One of the penalties of sin is our acceptance of it. It is not only God who punishes for sin, but sin establishes itself in the sinner and takes its toll. No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing certain things, and the penalty of sin is that you gradually get used to it, until you finally come to the place where you no longer even realize that it is sin. No power, except the power that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit, can change or prevent the inherent consequences of sin. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light. . .” (1 John 1:7). For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person. The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit today is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie.’ CHAMBERS
Have you noticed that if you see a problem but don’t do anything about it, after a while, you don’t see it anymore?  It becomes part of what you think of as normal and acceptable.  At first it bothered you, but over time, it lost its significance.  So it is with sin and our tolerance of it.  If you don’t deal with it as soon as you see it, there is a great danger that it will become part of you. If you live with it … tolerate it … you will be lying to yourself if you think that you can be spiritual at the same time.  You will have become a conditional Christian.  Meaning, I am a Christian but based upon my conditions .. my definition .. not God’s.  And more than that .. you will convince yourself, that “almost” is OK with the Lord.  What is it that you tolerate in your life?  Confess it and forsake it .. today.
What I am talking about is not a rare problem, but a common one.  Every day presents opportunities for us to choose poorly.  It’s only when we sharpen our spiritual vision .. heighten our spiritual awareness that we can recognize and stand against our flesh and sin.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, March 15, 2013

But God .....

My Utmost For His Highest
At the beginning of our life with Jesus Christ, we were sure we knew all there was to know about following Him. It was a delight to forsake everything else and to throw ourselves before Him in a fearless statement of love. But now we are not quite so sure. Jesus is far ahead of us and is beginning to seem different and unfamiliar— “Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed” (Mark 10:32).’  CHAMBERS
Do you ever feel like you have fallen behind Jesus?  There was a time when you were walking beside Him .. full of zeal … imaging life would always be like that … but then the bubble popped … you found that you could not keep up.  There were distractions … other interests … what seemed a joy was becoming a drudgery.  What I am talking about, I believe, happens to all Christians at some point in their life … they may or may not stop going to church … spending time reading their Bible … but their hearts have become devoted to something else.  Maybe they return to their nets ( the way they formerly lived)  whatever … the source of the problem is that they have lost their connection with Jesus.  He is the Vine and we are the branches … In Ephesians chapter 2, Paul wrote :
Ephesians 2:1-6  “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,  among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”
Two of the most powerful words in the Bible … But God … don’t lose heart .. don’t become anxious … You are the son or daughter of Jehovah God .. and He has made a way for you … remember whose you are .. and quicken your step to draw close to Jesus’ side.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Come to Jesus and Live

My Utmost For His Highest

The first thing I must be willing to admit when I begin to examine what controls and dominates me is that I am the one responsible for having yielded myself to whatever it may be. […] There is no power within the human soul itself that is capable of breaking the bondage of the nature created by yielding. For example, yield for one second to anything in the nature of lust, and although you may hate yourself for having yielded, you become enslaved to that thing. (Remember what lust is— “I must have it now,” whether it is the lust of the flesh or the lust of the mind.) No release or escape from it will ever come from any human power, but only through the power of redemption. You must yield yourself in utter humiliation to the only One who can break the dominating power in your life, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ. […] When you yield to something, you will soon realize the tremendous control it has over you. Even though you say, “Oh, I can give up that habit whenever I like,” you will know you can’t. You will find that the habit absolutely dominates you because you willingly yielded to it. It is easy to sing, “He will break every fetter,” while at the same time living a life of obvious slavery to yourself. But yielding to Jesus will break every kind of slavery in any person’s life.’ CHAMBERS
The yoke of the master of lust or self-centeredness is a harsh one.  There is no peace only the demand for more … there is no blessing only a moment of satisfaction before the need to be satisfied rises up again.  There is no love, only the suggestion of affection which is really a tool to get what you want.  But then there is Jesus … Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Chris Rice – “Come to Jesus”
“Weak and wounded sinner,  Lost and left to die,  O, raise your head for Love is passing by, Come to Jesus and live
Now your burden's lifted, And carried far away,  And precious blood has washed away the stain... so Sing to Jesus and live,
And like a newborn baby, Don't be afraid to crawl, And remember when you walk sometimes we fall... so Fall on Jesus and live,
Sometimes the way is lonely, And steep and filled with pain, So if your sky is dark and pours the rain... then Cry to Jesus and live,
O, and when the love spills over, And music fills the night, And when you can't contain you joy inside... then Dance for Jesus and live,
And with your final heartbeat, Kiss the world goodbye, Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side... and Fly to Jesus and live,” 
So, what are you waiting for? An invitation … you’ve got it!
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Does Jesus Have Your Heart?

My Utmost For His Highest

Genuine total surrender is a personal sovereign preference for Jesus Christ Himself. Where does Jesus Christ figure in when we have a concern about our natural relationships? Most of us will desert Him with this excuse—”Yes, Lord, I heard you call me, but my family needs me and I have my own interests. I just can’t go any further” (see Luke 9:57-62). “Then,” Jesus says, “you ’cannot be My disciple’ ” (see Luke 14:26-33). True surrender will always go beyond natural devotion. If we will only give up, God will surrender Himself to embrace all those around us and will meet their needs, which were created by our surrender. Beware of stopping anywhere short of total surrender to God.’ CHAMBERS
“All to Jesus I surrender.  All to Him I freely give.  I will ever love and trust Him. In His presence daily live.  I surrender all.  I surrender all.  All to thee, my blessed Savior.  I surrender all.” How many times have you sung that song in church.  We sing so many songs on Sunday mornings .. without really hearing the words .. or meaning what we sing .. we are just singing … Jesus demands total commitment to Him.  Are you ready to give it?  I fear that many if not most Christians like being Christians because of what they get not because of what they can give. The health and wealth gospel that is rampant in our churches encourages us to think about what God will “bless” us with.  Our focus is on us not Him.
Jesus wants your heart … Sing this song as a prayer today …..   “Lord you have my heart and I will search for yours. Jesus take my life and lead me on.  Lord you have my heart and I will search for yours.  Let me be to you a sacrifice. And I will praise you   Lord. And I will sing ---- of-love come down.  And as you show your face we'll see your glory here.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Where is Jesus?

My Utmost For His Highest

The only way to be obedient to “the heavenly vision” is to give our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory.  This can be accomplished only when we make a determination to continually remember God’s vision. But the acid test is obedience to the vision in the details of our everyday life— sixty seconds out of every minute, and sixty minutes out of every hour, not just during times of personal prayer or public meetings.’ CHAMBERS
Chambers is talking about a specific vision that God gives to Christians, but it caused me to think about the call to all of the Saints to holiness.  Not perfection .. but the pursuit of God.  The total commitment to following Jesus.  In the Book of Revelation 2:2-4 Jesus said to the church of Ephesus  "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;  and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.  Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
It is an easy thing to slip into religion without Jesus.  Going to church .. singing the songs … even speaking Christian-ese … but Jesus is not at the center of it … as a result … the life we are living  is dead ..because we have quenched the Spirit's fire… but we are satisfied …
To the Church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:15-18  Jesus said  "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked--   I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
We can lose our love for God because of our love the world.  We say we love God .. but our heart reveals the truth.  We deny the truth that we cannot love both .. deceiving ourselves .. and missing God.  We think we are doing well but we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. We must be on our guard … it is so easy to fall into this way of life … It doesn’t happen all at once .. but when we become aware of it .. like Jesus told both churches …  repent … give your heart back to God …  for His glory and for your good.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Do You Love Jesus?

My Utmost For His Highest

“From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66). They turned back from walking with Jesus; not into sin, but away from Him. Many people today are pouring their lives out and working for Jesus Christ, but are not really walking with Him. One thing God constantly requires of us is a oneness with Jesus Christ. After being set apart through sanctification, we should discipline our lives spiritually to maintain this intimate oneness. When God gives you a clear determination of His will for you, all your striving to maintain that relationship by some particular method is completely unnecessary. All that is required is to live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ.’ CHAMBERS
If you are married, have you ever been disconnected emotionally from your spouse but still live with them?  You go through the daily routines .. maybe even a little peck on the cheek when you leave for the day … but the loving connection is not there.  We can “do” for God without God being the source of our doing.  We go through the motions of ministry .. but the power behind the ministry is absent.  Why does that happen?
2 Timothy 3:1-5  "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,  traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!"
Hard words … but the truth is that we either trust in the Spirit or the flesh .. can’t do both … we either live for God or for ourselves … We may do the right things, but our hearts may not be in it … Something to think about .. I know I am.
And when Jesus asks “Do you love me?” What will your answer be?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Step By Step

My Utmost For His Highest

‘[…] we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration. Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next. Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves. Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ? We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender. When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. […] If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.’ CHAMBERS
There are two aspects of sanctification or being set apart for God.  First is the conversion ..where we were, at one time, not His and now we are (Romans 9:25-26) and the second is the life process being made holy… conformed into the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29)  Where the inner man is renewed day by day … each day becoming more like Jesus and less like the world.  (2 Corinthians 5:17). The first part requires faith (Ephesians 2:8,9) but so does the second part.  If you try to clean yourself up .. to do right .. and not do wrong .. to stop doing those things that keep you close to your old nature and far from your new nature … it just won’t happen (but you already know that don’t you!) it takes Jesus … He is our sanctification and our strength … “Without Him I could do nothing .. without Him I’d surely fail … Without Him life would be hopeless .. Like a ship without a sail …

There is a Haitian saying that I use frequently with the pastors I work with … “ti pye ti pye” (tee pa tee pa) it means step by step.  The problem for some Christians is not that the way is rough, or steep, but that they have decided to stop walking.  They are content with where they are .. they don’t want to go any further than where they are … But God wants us to go all the way … To love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength is to never stop .. to never be satisfied with our “Spirituality” but to continue to press on

Philippians 3:12-15  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You