Friday, February 28, 2014

What Were You Thinking?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘When we do something out of a sense of duty, it is easy to explain the reasons for our actions to others. But when we do something out of obedience to the Lord, there can be no other explanation-just obedience. That is why a saint can be so easily ridiculed and misunderstood.’ CHAMBERS
A reasoning mind can be a bane to obedience.  When God speaks we must decide if we are going to obey.  We are brought to a crisis … logic has no place in responding to God’s direction except to know that He is always right and we must trust Him and not ourselves. (Prov 3:5,6) As you encounter life, you must place your confidence in God.  When you act by faith, logic .. pragmatism … what is reasonable .. conventional .. even understandable will fail you … Gods ways are not our (man’s) ways .. nor our His thoughts, our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Responding in faith requires that we be living by faith  …. focused on God .. all the time … Christian .. that is the life you have been called to .. saved to … don’t miss it by letting the affairs of this world be the priority in your life.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Draw From His Well ... It Never Will Run Dry

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Suppose that you have a deep “well” of hurt and trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says to you, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:1). Would your response be to shrug your shoulders and say, “But, Lord, the well is too deep, and even You can’t draw up quietness and comfort out of it.” Actually, that is correct. Jesus doesn’t bring anything up from the wells of human nature— He brings them down from above. We limit [ Jesus … ] by saying, “Of course, I cannot expect God to do this particular thing.” […] We impoverish and weaken His ministry in us the moment we forget He is almighty. The impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus for Him to be our comforter or our sympathizer, but we refrain from approaching Him as our Almighty God. […] We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment or surrender to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, […] We struggle to reach the bottom of our own well, trying to get water for ourselves. Beware of sitting back, and saying, “It can’t be done.” You will know it can be done if you will look to Jesus.’ CHAMBERS
What is it that you face that you believe is too deep for Jesus? All of us face those things .. it might be a relationship … a physical problem … maybe financial … or perhaps some persistent sin … Whatever it might be, it is something that you regard is “too hard to be solved”. Something that is beyond the reach of God.  The solutions to life’s issues are not found in self-help books … in personal resolve and determination  … but in Jesus.   That is not to say that the issue would necessarily be removed from your life .. but rather .. that the Lord would give you the strength to persevere in the face of it.  The promotion of health and wealth Christianity is actually a self-centered faith not a God-centered.  Rick Warren said “God is more interested in our character than our comfort.”  Our testimony to the world … is not that as a Christian, nothing bad will ever come into your life .. but as a Christian, you can face anything that comes into your life … because God is your strength and hope.
There is a device called a “chem-stick”  It is a plastic sealed tube with a liquid inside.  It doesn’t do anything … at least not until you snap it .. break it … then .. suddenly, magically, it emits a bright glow.  We used them in the Army long before they were available commercially.  When I would fly in the desert on a moonless night… there was no horizon .. you could not tell where the ground and the sky met … there are no lights … but if someone on the ground were to “snap” a chem-stick, I could see that light from a long way off, in the midst of the darkness. So it is with us as we sojourn in this life … our lights shine brightest when we are broken.
Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Shine Brightly My Friend …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Breath Of The Lion

My Utmost For His Highest
‘[…] We think His ideals are lofty and they impress us, but we believe He is not in touch with reality— that Each of us thinks this [i.e., what He says cannot actually be done] about Jesus in one area of our life or another. These doubts or misgivings about Jesus begin as we consider questions that divert our focus away from God. While we talk of our dealings with Him, others ask us, “Where are you going to get enough money to live? How will you live and who will take care of you?” Or our misgivings begin within ourselves when we tell Jesus that our circumstances are just a little too difficult for Him. We say, “It’s easy to say, ’Trust in the Lord,’ but a person has to live; and besides, Jesus has nothing with which to draw water— no means to be able to give us these things.” […]  My misgivings arise from the fact that I search within to find how He will do what He says. My doubts spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, I should bring them into the light and confess them openly— “Lord, I have had misgivings about You. I have not believed in Your abilities, but only my own. And I have not believed in Your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.”’ CHAMBERS
Like the woman at the well, asking how Jesus could do what He said He would do because she saw no way that He could.  She knew that ,in fact, if she or anyone else were in His place, it could not be done.  But we must remember that neither she nor we could ever be in His place.  He is the Sovereign Lord … the Messiah … He was about to do something miraculous in her life … It is so easy to lose sight of His sovereignty  when we feel the breath of the lion on our neck [ problems that are beyond us] …  We view God through the lense of what we can do.  Mistake!  What are you facing today that has you worried, frustrated, afraid?  Remind yourself of who your Father is … remind yourself of who your Savior is … remind yourself of His promises and His faithfulness.
Matthew 16:32-33  (The Message) “Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Loving God With Your Everything

My Utmost For His Highest
‘The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one’s willingness to do something like washing the disciples’ feet— that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God. It was Paul’s delight to spend his life for God’s interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. But before we will serve, we stop to ponder our personal and financial concerns— “What if God wants me to go over there? And what about my salary? What is the climate like there? Who will take care of me? A person must consider all these things.” All that is an indication that we have reservations about serving God. But the apostle Paul had no conditions or reservations. Paul focused his life on Jesus Christ’s idea of a New Testament saint; that is, not one who merely proclaims the gospel, but one who becomes broken bread and poured-out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for the sake of others.’ CHAMBERS
When God speaks, you know it’s God and you know what He said .. the question is will you obey.  You may think that you are being responsible .. practical .. in that before you step out you consider whether you can afford it, or what impact it might have on those around you … as if God were not aware of your situation.  If you indeed love God with your everything … then it is His purpose that you want to fulfill .. His voice that you want to heed … That requires faith … considering other “things” before you obey is a sign that you lack faith … that, really, you don’t love God with your “everything”, but with some things.  That is a bitter pill to swallow … admitting that you have a divided heart … but God will take you to that place .. the realization and then the opportunity to act in obedience to His revelation.  It is a crisis that you face … you know that if you obey those other things that you love … even prefer over God .. must be cast aside ..
Hebrews 12:1-3  “Therefore, […] let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
There was a bracelet that many Christians wore some years back .. WWJD .. “what would Jesus do”  What He did was obey the Father .. even to the cross.  Mark 8:34 “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
You may want but you must be willing … and that requires faith.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Loving God 8 Days A Week

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We have no right in Christian service to be guided by our own interests and desires. In fact, this is one of the greatest tests of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (see John 15:13). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. […] Many of us are interested only in our own goals […] But if we are totally surrendered to Him [Jesus], we have no goals of our own to serve. Paul said that he knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the motivation of his life was devotion to Jesus. […] In fact, he [Paul] stated, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren . . .” (Romans 9:3). Had Paul lost his ability to reason? Not at all! For someone who is in love, this is not an overstatement. And Paul was in love with Jesus Christ.’ CHAMBERS
I have heard it said and have said myself, that the love of a woman can change a man like nothing else.  When you are in love with another person, your priorities change … how you spend your time and money.  What you dwell on in your thoughts.  Suddenly everything else dims in the light of that relationship.  That is a reflection of how our lives should be in relation to Jesus.  God hates adultery because it represents a divided love.  You cannot love two things the most.  You will love one, and in comparison, you will hate the other.  You may have an affection for one (or many other things), but you will not have the commitment to it.
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
God is a jealous God and wants all of your love for himself … Taking a cue from a Beatles song … our love for God must be 8 days a week….  yes, He wants us to love others, (Matthew 22:37-39) but in comparison to our love for Him, our love for others is a mere affection.  The truth is, our love for others is but a reflection of our love for God.
I saw on Facebook that a couple, married for 38 years, had renewed their vows to each other.  That is understandably a great way to proclaim your commitment.  But more than making your statement through a ceremony … we should live our lives in such a way that there is no doubt where our affections lie.  And so it is with our love for God.  Is there any question in other people’s minds where your affections are?  Would they be surprised to learn that you are a Christ follower? Maybe you should consider renewing your vows with God.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dealing With An Attitude Of Ingratitude

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Paul’s idea of service was to pour his life out to the last drop for others. And whether he received praise or blame made no difference. As long as there was one human being who did not know Jesus, Paul felt a debt of service to that person until he did come to know Him. But the chief motivation behind Paul’s service was not love for others but love for his Lord. If our devotion is to the cause of humanity, we will be quickly defeated and broken-hearted, since we will often be confronted with a great deal of ingratitude from other people. But if we are motivated by our love for God, no amount of ingratitude will be able to hinder us from serving one another.’ CHAMBERS
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to serving others is an expectation of gratitude.  You might do something for someone with great need and their response is  … they want more.  I have observed in the past, for some people .. when they have nothing and they get something .. they soon seem to want everything.  Ingratitude.  If you become frustrated over people’s ungrateful response to your service or kindness … what that means is that what you did, came from an internal motivation to be and do good.  Properly motivated service to others will spring from the love of God.  You must be mindful of just how ungrateful you yourself can be toward what God has done for you and what others do for you.  And that realization will always temper your response to others.
Luke 17:14-19 ‘When he [Jesus] saw them [ ten lepers who wanted to be healed ], he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”’
I know it’s a stretch, but you could surmise from this story that you can expect only 10% of the people you serve will be grateful for the good done.  I know that is probably an inaccurate estimate, but it does point to the fact that your doing-good cannot be based upon how others might respond … but on the prompting of God’s Spirit and the love we are to show others. If people treated Jesus that way, why should you expect to be treated any differently.  And notice, Jesus did not undo the healing of the nine nor was he frustrated by it.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Facing Troubling Times

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Perseverance […] is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero [Jesus] is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. […] spiritual perseverance. […is ] not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.
If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. […]  one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God.’ CHAMBERS
Have you ever noticed how the Bible, spiritual devotions or a word from another Christian seem to line themselves up with our circumstances.  We should not be surprised.  God speaks by the Holy Spirit through prayer, the Bible, and other Christians.  This life we live requires faith in God, hope in God, and love of God. Our relationship with Him must be the first thing in our lives.  Fear enters in when we lose sight of God and focus on the problem.  Suddenly the problem takes priority as the first thing.  There are so many problems that are beyond us.  They are giants compared to our ability to solve them or make them go away.  But God is able and willing but we must trust Him.  That does not mean the problem necessarily goes away. God more often takes us through something rather than saving us from it.  But whatever He chooses to do, we must be faithful .. and trust Him.  James 1:2-4Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Trusting God Is Loving God

My Utmost For His Highest
‘To be surrendered to God is of more value than our personal holiness. Concern over our personal holiness causes us to focus our eyes on ourselves, and we become overly concerned about the way we walk and talk and look, out of fear of offending God. “. . . but perfect love casts out fear . . .” once we are surrendered to God (1 John 4:18). We should quit asking ourselves, “Am I of any use?” and accept the truth that we really are not of much use to Him. The issue is never of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time.’ CHAMBERS
There is nothing too hard for God.  Jeremiah 32:27 “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” So, think with me here, if there is nothing too hard for God, what does God need us for? The answer?  He doesn’t.  But, He chooses to use us anyway.  He is glorified through us.  The world sees Him through us.  Although we may not be very useful, we are very valuable.  He expressed His love through the cross .. we express our love through obedience.  1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” Make this you commitment and more, how you live your life every day.
“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.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Missing The Mark And Missing God's Best

My Utmost For His Highest
‘If we are quietly waiting before God after He has said to us, “Come aside by yourselves . . .” then that is meditation before Him to seek His will (Mark 6:31). Beware, however, of giving in to mere daydreaming once God has spoken. Allow Him to be the source of all your dreams, joys, and delights, and be careful to go and obey what He has said. If you are in love with someone, you don’t sit and daydream about that person all the time— you go and do something for him. That is what Jesus Christ expects us to do. Daydreaming after God has spoken is an indication that we do not trust Him.’ CHAMBERS
James 4:17 “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” Sounds pretty harsh doesn’t it?  If God tells us to do something and we don’t do it, we are sinning .. missing the mark … missing God.  We mostly treat God’s commands and suggestions.  And why is that? Because we don’t trust God with our lives. Oh, we trust Him for eternal life .. but that is for later .. for now, we will do our best to figure out what is best.  If that happens to be coincident with God’s will .. great!  The Bible gives specific direction to all Believers .. and then God will give each of us specific direction … we treat it all the same … obedience “IS” always a function of trust.  And trust is a function of love.  If we don’t obey God, we are missing the mark … and missing out on God’s best for us.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If I Indeed Love God, I Must Love Him In Deed

My Utmost For His Highest
‘When it comes to taking the initiative against drudgery, we have to take the first step as though there were no God. There is no point in waiting for God to help us— He will not. But once we arise, immediately we find He is there. Whenever God gives us His inspiration, suddenly taking the initiative becomes a moral issue— a matter of obedience. Then we must act to be obedient and not continue to lie down doing nothing. If we will arise and shine, drudgery will be divinely transformed.’ CHAMBERS
It is simple really.  We act by faith and God shows His power.  The Bible is filled with examples of people trusting God and those who did not.  God will not act until we obey … Obedience begins in the heart.  We must be in agreement with God … He must be first … Jesus asked “Why do you say you love me, but don’t obey..?”  If we, indeed, love God with our who being then we must love Him “in deed” and not just in words.
1 Samuel 15:22 “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice[…]”
Psalm 51:16-17 “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
As children of God, we must have a willingness to walk in obedience to God … Henry Blackaby said if we have an obedience problem .. really what we have is a love problem.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rise Up And Get Going

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Rise, let us be going’ —Matthew 26:46
‘In the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples went to sleep when they should have stayed awake, and once they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of having done something irreversible tends to make us despair. We say, “Well, it’s all over and ruined now; what’s the point in trying anymore.” If we think this kind of despair is an exception, we are mistaken. It is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize we have not taken advantage of a magnificent opportunity, we are apt to sink into despair. […] There will be experiences like this in each of our lives. We will have times of despair caused by real events in our lives, and we will be unable to lift ourselves out of them. [...] If we are inspired by God, what is the next thing? It is to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the basis of His redemption. Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.’ CHAMBERS
We have all fallen short of the glory of God.  That is not an excuse for sin, but it is the reason for it. That is why the cross was necessary.  I think that all of us will have regrets in our lives.  And, very often, the consequences of our sins cling to us as a constant reminder that we missed the mark, perhaps many times in our past.  That would leave us in a pathetic place if it were not for God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness through Jesus.
When someone loses a leg or is crippled somehow, they have a choice … they can live in despair or they can press on in life … and live for God’s glory in spite of their physical limitations.  So it is with us and past failures.  Consider the many in the Bible who lived with the consequences of their sin, but went on to serve God in a mighty way.  A friend of ours says that “God can hit straight with a crooked stick”, meaning that we don’t have to have a perfect past to be used by God.  Now the man who lost the leg may not be able to run a marathon, but there are many, many things he can do.  And so it is with us.  God wants to use you for His purposes … so as Paul said … “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
So let us rise up and get going.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stretch Out Your Hand

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13). As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed. But he had to take the initiative. If we will take the initiative to overcome, we will find that we have the inspiration of God, because He immediately gives us the power of life.’ CHAMBERS
When we read about Jesus healing people we read the words .. “Your faith has made your whole”.  We must exercise faith to see God act.  Faith is the initiative that Chambers is referring to.  Israel had to step into the water for the Jordan river to back up.  God provides the opportunity, but we must respond in faith.  What is it that you are facing that seems insurmountable?  Put your faith in God.  Be obedient to what He is telling you to do.  Stretch out your hand …
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Justice, Mercy, and Humilty

My Utmost For His Highest
‘We should experience delight for having heard God speak, but mostly humiliation for having taken so long to hear Him! Then we will exclaim, “How slow I have been to listen and understand what God has been telling me!” And yet God has been saying it for days and even weeks. But once you hear Him, He gives you the gift of humiliation, which brings a softness of heart— a gift that will always cause you to listen to God now.’ CHAMBERS
When you think of humiliation, was do you think of? Embarrassment, shame … the word has a negative connotation in our culture.  To be humiliated is to be put down in the eyes of those around you.  No one likes that.  But what we are talking about here is humility … having a humble spirit … not proud … Micah 6:8 declares that what God expects of us it to love mercy, to act justly, and to walk humbly with God.  We don’t have to prove our worth to men, Jesus proved our worth to God on the cross.  We should walk in the knowledge of that.  It doesn’t really matter what the world thinks of us as Christians … weak minded, inflexible, deluded … remember, the world rejected Jesus .. and spiritual matters are foolishness to those who do not follow Christ.  We should live in the knowledge of that.
We are humble because we know whom we have believed and are persuaded that He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him.  (2 Timothy 1:12).  We can take credit for nothing ... God has given us capacity and opportunity ... everything is from Him ...
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone)
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What Is Your Level Of Love?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says. I show God my lack of love and respect for Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says[..] The goal of my spiritual life is [should be] such close identification with Jesus Christ that I will always hear God and know that God always hears me (see John 11:41). If I am united with Jesus Christ, I hear God all the time through the devotion of hearing. […] What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don’t want to hear God, but I am not devoted in the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. […] The attitude of a child of God should always be, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” […] Have you heard God’s voice today?’ CHAMBERS
Henry Blackaby said that if we have an obedience problem what we really have is a love problem.  Our willingness to obey God is a reflection of our level of love for Him.  Matthew 22:37 says to love God with every fiber of our being.  In John 14:15 Jesus said if I love Him I should obey him. You cannot love the world and God at the same time.  If you think you can, you are deceiving yourself.  God speaks to you by His Spirit though prayer, the Word, circumstances, and other believers.  The world speaks to you through your flesh and its desire to be satisfied.  Who are you listening to?
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What's On Your Mind?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servant’s life. If you have never used your mind to place yourself before God, begin to do it now. There is no reason to wait for God to come to you. You must turn your thoughts and your eyes away from the face of idols and look to Him and be saved (see Isaiah 45:22).’ CHAMBERS
What do you think about as you live your day out?  Does your thinking begin with God or with what you must do that particular day? Do you think about the troubles you might be facing? The loss you might have experienced? Is your mind filled with thoughts about the affairs of this world?
Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
You choose what you dwell on.  Colossians 3:1-3  “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
So set your mind on Him today. And  .....  “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Pause That Refreshes

My Utmost For His Highest
‘Have you delivered yourself over to exhaustion because of the way you have been serving God? If so, then renew and rekindle your desires and affections. Examine your reasons for service. Is your source based on your own understanding or is it grounded on the redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually look back to the foundation of your love and affection and remember where your Source of power lies. You have no right to complain, “O Lord, I am so exhausted.” He saved and sanctified you to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that He is your supply. “All my springs are in you” (Psalm 87:7).’ CHAMBERS
Serving others is exhausting.  We must serve by the power of the Spirit, not in our own strength. There are times when we must withdraw to be refreshed. Like Elijah laying by the stream in 1 Kings 17.  If we are trying to accomplish God’s work in the power of our flesh, that is an entirely different matter.  That is impossible for us to do and we will most certainly exhaust ourselves.  You will know the difference.  In the former, you will be at peace but feel spent in your energy.  In the latter, you will be frustrated and anxious .. stressed … because all of your effort has come to no good end.  Rest in the Lord … Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Teach me Lord to wait .. and trust .. and walk ..
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Is Your Heart Set Apart?

My Utmost For His Highest
‘When we pray, asking God to sanctify us, are we prepared to measure up to what that really means? Are we prepared to pay the cost of sanctification? Are we really prepared for God to perform in us everything for which He separated us? And after He has done His work, are we then prepared to separate ourselves to God just as Jesus did? “For their sakes I sanctify Myself . . .” (John 17:19). Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us. Are we really prepared for what that will cost? It will cost absolutely everything in us which is not of God.
Are we prepared to be caught up into the full meaning of Paul’s prayer in this verse? Are we prepared to say, “Lord, make me, a sinner saved by grace, as holy as You can”? Are we prepared to set ourselves apart for the Holy Spirit’s work in us?’ CHAMBERS
Chambers devotion was filled with questions. The questions began with “are we prepared”  in other words, are we willing .. is our mind set … How do you prepare for a test in school?  You set your mind to it.  You focus on it.  You study the subject.  In the same way, we must set our minds to sanctification … becoming like Jesus.  Be careful.  If you decide that you can’t .. then you won’t.  Being transformed (Romans 12:1-2) is a process.  It certainly has a beginning … salvation … and it has an end … standing in the presence of our Lord … but it is what is “in between” that we are talking about today.   How you choose to live your life. God does not intend that you find a cave and live in it .. set apart from everything and everyone.  But He does intend that you live your life in a way that your heart and its devotions are set apart from the things and ways of this world. His purpose is that we would be one with Jesus … in disposition, deed and devotion.  The book we need to study is the Bible .. the teacher is the Holy Spirit.  The test is how we live our lives.
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Getting Back On The Path Called Joy

My Utmost For His Highest
“Every fact that the disciples stated was right, but the conclusions they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that has even a hint of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If I am depressed or burdened, I am to blame, not God or anyone else. Dejection stems from one of two sources— I have either satisfied a lust or I have not had it satisfied. In either case, dejection is the result. Lust means “I must have it at once.” Spiritual lust causes me to demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Himself who gives the answer. What have I been hoping or trusting God would do? Is today “the third day” [referring to the day of resurrection when the disciples had lost hope] and He has still not done what I expected? Am I therefore justified in being dejected and in blaming God? Whenever we insist that God should give us an answer to prayer we are off track. The purpose of prayer is that we get ahold of God, not of the answer.” CHAMBERS
Dejection is a sadness that is caused by failure or loss.  Are you in the midst of a struggle?  Perhaps you have lost hope in a certain circumstance.  Perhaps you have failed to accomplish something or avoid something.  And you are sad .. dejected … because of it.  When we are sad for those reasons, the problem is that we have become disconnected from God … our faith in Him is waning … failing .. faltering … To find our way back to the path called joy, we need to first reconnect with Him … His love never fails … He is always sufficient .. even when we are impatient and lack faith.  As Paul wrote in Romans 8 ….
Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Keep your eyes on the Lord and not on your circumstances.  God is glorified in our lives when we trust Him and not ourselves.  When we persevere in the storms of life and stay close to Him.  He is our strength … He is our hope and peace.
Psalm 42:5-6 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God”
Bondye Beni Ou (God Bless You)